Portland: Drawing, Books, and Printmaking!

July 26, 2014 § 8 Comments

Mike.Schultz.Portland.Elephant.1JPG

Portland – In early June I returned to Portland, Oregon where I’ve been busy balancing various projects, steadily working on print designs, and reading up on Burma.

Earlier this week, I met with some extraordinary local printmakers to discuss printing methods, the finer points of paper varieties, and a production timeline. It’s really exciting that the Thailand Burma Flora Fauna project has entered this stage of production. 

Thank you all for your continued interest and support with this endeavor!

Supermoon rising over Portland, Oregon - June 2014.

Supermoon rising over Portland, Oregon – June 2014.

Works in Progress

Asian Elephant – After struggling with a design which first featured an extinct variety of rhinoceros and then later the Asian Elephant, I finally abandoned it and went back to the drawing board (quite literally) to rework the picture. Finally, the newer image feels like it’s on the right track! 

Sketchbook drawing of an Asian Elephant carrying a branch - getting closer with this one!

Sketchbook drawing of an Asian Elephant carrying a branch – getting closer!

Trying to understand the muscle movement of an elephant walking in my sketchbook.

Drawing the muscle movement of elephants + thumbnail compositions in my sketchbook.

Work in Progress - an older version of the print featuring an Asian Elephant.

Work in Progress (WIP) – an older version of the print featuring an Asian Elephant.

Sun Bear – The design for a print featuring the elusive Sun Bear is nearly complete! For now, here are some detail images.

The sloping head of the elusive Sun Bear with a Burmese landscape behind it.

WIP – The sloping head of the elusive Sun Bear with a Burmese landscape.

Preliminary sketchbook drawing for the Sun Bear print.

Preliminary sketchbook drawing for the Sun Bear print.

This print will feature a hilltop monastery loosely based on Mt. Popa, a favorite place we visited in Upper Burma in the Spring.

WIP – This print features a hilltop monastery based on Mt. Popa, a favorite place we visited in Upper Burma.

Additional Print – I’ve also been making drawings of Bagan, Burma in blue colored pencil. This will potentially be the additional print design that some Kickstarter supporters will receive for increasing their pledge during the funding campaign. (It would be printed in black, as a linocut or letterpress.)

Working on imagery for the additional print for those who increased their pledge.

Working on imagery for the additional print for those who increased their pledge.

Garden Drawings –This summer so far, I have been spending my off-time gardening and growing vegetables. It’s been enjoyable to draw from the garden as well.  If you can’t tell, I’m really into sketching with a cheerful blue color these days.

Sketching basil, chard, and carrot tops in my garden.  July, 2014.

Sketching basil, chard, and carrot tops in my garden. July, 2014.

Reverse Culture Shock + the Big Burma Book Report 

Reading – Part of the way I’ve been processing my reverse culture shock (it’s a thing!) and reflecting on this recent time spent in SE Asia has been by avidly reading about Burma and its history.

Curiously, it seems that the more I seek to understand about Burma, the less that I actually know. While the history of any single subject is bound to be complex, for me the shaping of present day Myanmar, seemingly the result of an endlessly labyrinthine trajectory of events, is particularly captivating.

Books – For those of you who would like to broaden your understanding of Burma, I highly recommend reading the two books, in particular. This spring and summer I read Finding George Orwell in Burma and No Bad News for the King both fascinating and well written documents.

No Bad News For the King, by Emma Larkin, details the affects of Cyclone Nargis, which claimed 138,000 lives.

No Bad News For the King details the affects of Cyclone Nargis, which claimed 138,000 lives.

Upon returning to Portland, I reread Burma Chronicles, by Guy Delisle and Quartered Safe Out Here, a WW2 memoir by a Scottish solider named George MacDonald Fraser. Reading Quartered Safe Out Here was a bit too much like eating lunch at the local V.F.W. with my grandfather in the early 1980’s. I also attempted to read some much hyped fiction, The Piano Tuner, but it just wasn’t for me.  

Currently, I’m reading 30 Heritage Buildings of Yangon. What I love about this book is that it is a positive and crystal-clear presentation of the current state of heritage architecture in Burma’s former capital city of Yagon.

It offers not only a concise history 30 unique buildings, but also details the potential of these structures available for restoration and renovation. Any one of them could join the ranks of the Strand Hotel, a Yangon landmark– that is, if they are not torn down to make way for newer construction. Follow this link to watch a video of The Strand Hotel.

30 Heritage Buildings of Yangon, by Sarah Rooney (aka Emma Larkin) is a fascinating read so far!

30 Heritage Buildings of Yangon is a great read so far!

Also, I am currently reading two 100+ year old books authored by V.C. Scott O’Conner. Those books are The Silken East (1904) and another called Mandalay, and Other Cities of the Past in Burma (1908).

I was lucky to find an original copy of Mandalay, and Other Cities of the Past in Burma, which boasts beautiful photos like this one taken by the author.

I was lucky to find an original 1908 copy of Mandalay, and Other Cities of the Past in Burma (1908), which boasts beautiful photos like this one taken by the author.

The lens through which V.C. Scott O’Conner wrote is now outdated, but none-the-less his books are filled with his fascinating photographs and oral histories that he learned while holding government appointments in Burma in the 1890s.

V.C. Scott O’Conner's The Silken East (1904, reprinted 1993) has Burma oil paintings by J.R. Middleton.

V.C. Scott O’Conner’s The Silken East (1904 – reprinted 1993) with paintings by J.R. Middleton.

On deck, I just found a nice hardcover of From the Land of Green Ghosts by Pascal Khoo Thwe, and am searching for a used copy of No Time for Dreams by San San Tin, which is proving a little more difficult to locate for a good price.

Thank you

Thank you all for your continued support of this project! I’m excited to have entered this next stage of production and will keep you updated on the progress as it unfolds.

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§ 8 Responses to Portland: Drawing, Books, and Printmaking!

  • ElliMaanpaa says:

    Those blue color drawings are simply beautiful!

  • jackbaumgartner says:

    I love the blue drawings, Mikey. The series is coming along beautifully. I can’t wait to see the prints themselves. What kind of paper are you going to use?

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thank you, buddy! I appreciate hearing from you on this forum. I’m believe I am going with French Paper. They’re whole mill is run by water power, I am told. Rives is the traditional go-to paper for quality printing, but we had a long talk about it, and I decided against it at the recommendation of the printers. For one, it slightly buckles in ways that the French does not. For two, the colors aren’t as nice. For three, it doesn’t feel as good between my fingers – it’s cotton and more rough, which means it’s harder to get a solid print and for all the ink to take right. And fourth (the least of my considerations, but still a qualification / consideration) is that it is twice the price! So, French it is.

  • i second on the blue – very lovely. like delicate porcelain

  • Wow, you’re so busy!!!! :D

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