Tuesday, December 13, 2011

try to do the kitchen litho

The last few days I had been gearing up to this. It was my turn to try "Kitchen Lithography." The video looked pretty straight forward. You simply gathered your materials, followed the steps, and you would have an inexpensive way to make repeatable hand-burnished prints. These would be items you could find in your kitchen, such as aluminum foil, oil, and water. (Double click on images to see larger)

     Well, there was more to the process than the video shows. See the results of my first try, above. That was Friday evening after work.

     The next morning, Saturday, I went online to learn more. There were several folks trying to unlock the steps to the same video. I picked up some tips from the kitchen litho thread posted at Inkteraction (http://www.inkteraction.ning.com). As a result I went out to buy an 8 inch aluminum flashing at Warren Lumber in our town. It was 85 cents per foot. I also bought 220 grit wet sandpaper and some heavy duty aluminum foil. That afternoon, after three hours of labor, here are the images I produced.
I was unhappy with these images. 
Let me show you some of the process.

(Above) Heavy duty foil, taped to backside of a pan, wet sanded with 220 grit sandpaper, flushed with water, blown dry with hair dyer, vinegar sensitized, dried, litho crayon drawn image, spritzed with water sprayer, skimmed very lightly with sponge, slowly inked with brayer (thin layer of oil paint), spritzed with water, skimmed lightly with sponge, inked again.

One secret is the 5 to 7 second coke etch, which is quickly rinsed with water. Click on short video.

I was used to working with water soluble products. Working with oil paint got my hands all messy. One useful tip was to wash my hands with toothpaste and that did the trick. I discovered that canola oil and a paper towel easily removed the oil paint on foil and the plexiglass plate I had underneath the flashing. A pair of disposable rubber gloves kept my hands clean. Click on video.

One Iowa participant, Aaron Scott, said that areas can be reworked, re-etched, and cleaned up. When my energy ran out Saturday afternoon, I gave it up. I would like to learn more. In the future I want to read more about the successes and get more tips from the online KLF club (Kitchen Litho Frustration club). 
Best efforts yet. Used petroleum jelly on prepared aluminum flashing.
Double click on images.

See what others are saying about Kitchen Litho below.
+
http://poppenga.blogspot.com/2011/11/aluminum-foil-etching.html



Friday, December 2, 2011

   Jesus made it possible for feelings of rejection and being unwanted to leave me. I had been born with clubfeet. That is, my baby legs had no heels, they stretched out down to the toes. Through the years those internal feelings followed me and shaped my life.
   A friend Larry asked Jesus to heal those emotional wounds in me. In a time of tears and grief, Jesus held me in his arms and let me cry. He replaced that grief with a rootedness, a sense of being loved by him. I was not unwanted, I belong to him. He brought a calm into my little heart, in my grown up adult body. And he brought a rest that was not there before.
Larry said the prayer for me. But Jesus healed the wound. (Gardena, California, 1989 entry)

The tendency to judge yourself without mercy--to have difficulty having fun--to take yourself very seriously--I could relate to that.

Learning about co-dependency opened my eyes. Patterns of thinking were glued to my being. They described my life choices exactly. They seemed like unbreakable walls.

The wall breaker comes to cradle and nourish. He touches my life  through people, through counsel, through hands-on prayer, letting me cry without embarrassment, without ridicule, without shame, and the embrace goes deeper than deep. It is silver. It moves the internal landscape. The restless architecture is given outside strength and joy emerges, laughter spills out, the brittle meaness softens.

     Jesus led me across the LBI campus to Guy's apartment. To exercise the next step in the New Hope program, I would share "all the things I know I had done wrong to people," I would disclose them to another human being. Guy was just another student who sat in the same classes as me, someone I did not know well. He knew Jesus and he did listen to my long list of mistakes. What I remember the MOST was the hug at the end. When I did, I began to cry and all the tears came out. He did not pull away from me. I was so embarrassed to soak his shirt with tears. Guy said it was ok. And so I just stood there crying on his shoulder. It was like Jesus was holding me and it was a safe place to cry.
    Jesus became very real to me in THOSE MOMENTS!!! He was not ashamed of me or my behavior. He let me pour out my heart. And after all that crying there came a peace. (Anaheim, California 1988 entry)

    In Isaiah this morning (chapter 40 verse 11) God comes to every person as a shepherd to cradle his young lambs. He comes to settle the anxiety and the restlessness that bears no name, that is glued to my being.

    Joy expressed in my life these past twenty years came out of his nurture and cradling. Enjoying life, enjoying my job, enjoying painting, enjoying assemblages, enjoying singing and humming and playing guitar, making melody, enjoying cooking, enjoying bike rides, enjoying people, being open, being myself, enjoying times in his presence, caught off guard when he taps my shoulder, enjoying the fingerprints of his knowledge that scientists have recently published,
laughing, and cracking up; going easier on myself, and telling him he is remarkable.

He paints this value of himself ON TOP OF ME. the architecture laughs, the brittleness sings, the rusty kettle blogs yes.

You Paint Joy On Top Of Me by Karl Marxhausen, 40 by 40 inches, sand and acrylic paint on panel 
Elsewhere art exhibit, All Souls Gallery, 4501 Walnut, Kansas City, MO. November 6th to December 2nd, 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

 
    prayer had been said for me, tears had flowed as i laid on betty's living room carpet. at one point larry was asking me to speak simple words with my lips. i could not do it. i would not do it. my jaw was clenched. the muscles stubborn. my mind heard his request. my body was unwilling. weird, right? after many mental tries, the words were eventually formed and spoken, "jesus is lord."

    there have been times in my faith walk when the unexpected happened. like, loosing my ability to walk, walking woozy at mc donalds, being drunk with no substances in my system, and falling down on the floor in the front of the church with other parishioners, during ministry time. The king james bible records roman solders falling down like dead men at the tomb where jesus was buried. daniel, ezekiel, and john all fell down like dead men. it has happened to me, while being in the presence of one i could not see. 
but---letting tears roll, having muscles twitch and jerk, feeling repeat contractions in my chest and legs, the grunts and groans, laying on the carpet while the unseen interfaces with you---is all worth the release, healing, and calm that follows. unexplainable, yes. illogical, very. irrational, of course. still, it is biblical. the risen jesus and his holy interface is a reality. coming undone and unraveling in his presence is blessed.

   there is no one-time fix. that has not been my experience. mine has been a path where one is unwilling yet led. where a choice of yes comes with prompts from an outside source. a unnatural relationship. he breaks in and brings sanity to my life. everyone who calls upon this lord will be made sane. i am the one found clothed in my right mind.

Unraveling In His Embrace by Karl Marxhausen, 36 by 48 inches, acrylic on canvas.
Elsewhere art exhibit, All Souls Gallery, 4501 Walnut, Kansas City, MO. November 6th to December 2nd, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In 1987 my wife and I were headed out to the state of California, when my mother in Nebraska gave me this advice: seek out information about Adult Children of Alcohlics. And I did.

1. Adult children of alcoholics guess at what normal behavior is.
2. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty following a project through from beginning to end.
3. Adult children of alcoholics lie when it would be just as easy to tell the truth.
4. Adult children of alcoholics judge themselves without mercy.
5. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty having fun.
6. Adult children of alcoholics take themselves very seriously.
7. Adult children of alcoholics have difficulty with intimate relationships.
8. Adult children of alcoholics overreact to changes over which they have no control.
9. Adult children of alcoholics constantly seek approval and affirmation.
10. Adult children of alcoholics usually feel that they are different from other people.
11. Adult children of alcoholics are super responsible or super irresponsible.
12. Adult children of alcoholics are extremely loyal, even in the face of evidence that the loyalty is undeserved.
13. Adult children of alcoholics are impulsive.
They tend to lock themselves into a course of action without giving serious consideration to alternative behaviors or possible consequences.
This impulsively leads to confusion, self-loathing and loss of control over their environment.
In addition, they spend an excessive amount of energy cleaning up the mess.
 
(Characteristics of Adult Children of Alcoholics, by Janet Woititz 1983 courtesy of http://www.coachmaria.com/12steps.html, accessed Nov 20, 2011)


While living in southern California and going to school at the Lutheran Bible Institute of Anaheim, I attended an evening New Hope program at a church. I learned about codependency in a christian setting and followed the 12 step program.
In 2011 when I look at "my walls" that were dealt with, there is nothing "simple" about them.


hide the pain
don't feel
don't share
fake it
crippled at birth
feeling unworthy

feeling unwanted
feeling abandoned
shamed
ugly
labled
being belittled
"you don't have the brains to do it right"
verbal and emotional abuse
"you can't expect to be loved unless you do this...
internal pressure from unrealistic expectations
"you can't meet my expectations unless you do it my way"
my own critical attitudes
being a jerk around others
being judgmental

ANGER at mom and dad
forgive attitudes of anger at yourself
choose to let go of bitterness towards parents

My private diary is full of unexpected break-throughs from a higher power.
This is as real as it gets.

When he breaks in...He is not embarrassed by what he sees.
He is not ashamed of what I am.
He is pleased with my inadequacies.

He embraces this porcupine. 
tears fall, I come undone, 
my mind unravels in his embrace, 
he gifts me with joy, my melts my resistance, 
his bathes my sores, he mends my wounds.



 










"You Embrace Me, How Can You??" 10 by 28 inches, acrylic on panel
Elsewhere art exhibit, All Souls Gallery, 4501 Walnut, Kansas City, MO. November 6th to December 2nd, 2011


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mylar ribbons shine in the window in 1998.
Young intensity pours out the door onto the side walk.
 14 North Main hops with reggae music and dreadlocks.
The band from Tennessee, Temple Yard, takes 
a music break at That Phat Phish coffeehouse 
and signs willing palms and arms.

 
It is a warm summer night 
on the Carrollton downtown courthouse lawn.
Teenage cars circle the square.
The next alternative band to take the 
flatbed stage is Empire from Kansas City,
courtesy of That Phat Phish coffeehouse in 1998.

 
In this season of art, our coffeehouse staff  
rides a wave of excitement.
This works.

Inside there is popcorn and hot chocolate,
hanging out and being there. 

 
 
It is another Saturday night at the Phish....Kevin and his young friends ask me about the pictures made out of brightly-colored flattened cans, chunks of asphalt, a butterfly wing, painted shopping sack strips, a dirty knit glove, shiny Dorito bag liners, and silver glitter. 

 
 
I tell the kids to look at the collages 
and tell me what might be represented.
The answers they give bring me wonder and joy.

Blonde mop top Kevin 
stares for a minute
at a dirty glove 
surrounded
by dark dingy shapes 
at the bottom of the piece, 

and then at the orange orb above
floating in a sky of silver.
 "It is someone reaching up to the Lord," he says.

His sister Danielle says something about 
two blue hand shapes
with a teardrop of bright red 
on each palm
 outlined with silver glitter,
set against a purple background:

"They are the hands of Jesus."
She notes the telltale spots of red which represent the blood scars.

 
 Danielle doesn't miss a thing. 
When asked what the glitter might be 
she says plainly:
 "That's us!! 
We are in the wounds of Jesus. 
That is where he heals us."


Beautiful Fire by Karl Marxhausen, potato chip liners, plastic cup, ice bag remains, wristbands, and silver paint on panel, 17 by 11 inches, 1998.

In Roman times, when Christianity went underground, the drawn dirt outline of a fish indicated one was a follower of the risen rabbi from Nazareth, the Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus. It is 2011, and in the United States, the land of many open faiths, I say, Jesus is so P-H-A-T. He is Pretty Hot And Tempting. The Lover of my soul. He is beautiful fire. My joy, my savior, my peace, my defender, my strength, my deliverer, my provision, my rest, my rescue, my choice, the MORE, the YES, the LIGHT, the Smart Embrace.
Collage #4 by Karl Marxhausen, 17 by 11 inches, plastic, foil, knitted glove, squashed soda cans, felt, oil and acrylic paint on panel, 1998.
Elsewhere art exhibit, All Souls Gallery, 4501 Walnut, Kansas City, MO. November 6th to December 2nd, 2011