Monday, November 22, 2010

Printmaking: a well-documented session with a SPECIAL GUEST

Host: DH

For this BANOS session we were joined by special guest MOMO. Learn more about him here.

Using cardboard tubes, lots of ink, and household supplies like rubber bands, string, rope, buttons, and burlap, members created prints.

  1. Paste, tape, or otherwise adhese things to a carboard tube.
  2. Coat the tube in ink or paint either by coating it with a brush or rolling it on or slathering the tube in a puddle of ink.
  3. Roll the tube onto paper. Repeat on a few sheets to experiment and to see how the pattern changes.
  4. After the first layer dries, try adding to it with more shapes and patterns, or re-applying the same shapes or patterns with different colors.


DH's rubber band and button print.
MOMO's circles and relief.

Incidental life prints. Better than the intended product? Your call.

MC's lifestyle shapes with webbing, inspired by satellite member HM's reminiscence of printing a whole pair of shorts.

MR's "am I here ... or over here?" print.

NG's repeated rope plus table football.


Clean-up time.

Don't forget to visit member web sites:
MR and/or MR blog

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ab Ex Sculpture

Host: MR via MC

Inspired by his trip to the MoMA Abstract Expressionism exhibit, MR's project was Abstract Expressionist sculpture, to be made from cardboard scavenged in the neighborhood. Materials turned out to be provided by some one stop shopping as a nearby condo had just put out a bunch of boxes from some flat pack furniture.
In concept, the product is the photo itself, not the sculpture, which was a dynamic way to shift the ideas in the 2D canvases of De Kooning et al into a 3D format and then back to something flat. This is of course keeping in mind that in BANOS spirit the process is just as much a part of the project as the product and interpretation of the project is meant to be loose, as we'll see in the following photos.

MC's sculpture looks like the future as conceived by an AbEx era pop scientist. Especially considering the materials involved, he gets a remarkably sturdy effect here that gives the mismatched upper half and angular base stronger energy.  

MR makes excellent work of shadow, does a nice job of capturing the AbEx spirit in his shapes, and even incorporates the angle of the traffic boundary in the background for a strong juxtaposition. He and MC both showed quick mastery of the materials and heart of the evening's project.
DH created a deeply personal piece, which included hair clippings. The "before and after" feel of two separate sculptures provides tension. Note that DH did not set the two pieces neatly beside each other.

NG's tiny pot on a rising coil strays from the abstract in Abstract Expressionist, but he let the materials determine the shapes, and this is what emerged. The way the jagged shadows made by the angular flames play out against the coil is the strongest element here. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bean Mosaics

Host: MC

This was a straightforward, slightly goofy, and especially fun project. Members collaborated on the week leading up to the meeting on what materials to get, settling on traditional dried beans, with the addition of aquarium rocks to provide a little extra color. Most members did a small amount of image-reference research, but in the spirit of BANOS, improvisation and on the spot creation and problem-solving was encouraged. Host Milton scavenged some wooden boards and primed them with a thin layer of neutral gray in the afternoon.

MC's snail with cigarettes

DH's Native American iconography

MR's portrait of his daughters, though most members agreed it's
really a portrait of his younger daughter with his wife

NG's bandito

Most members went figurative, and even Derick's decision to employ symbology rather than a figurative depiction of a person or thing shows how the media helped determine the subject matter. As you can see in the faces on Mike's and Nathan's, or the text on Milton's, the challenges as well as more rewarding aspects of the pieces were a product of using a fairly large shape as the smallest increment, or pixel of sorts.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Over dinner, members decided on a theme for the zine, which turned out to be Fantasy and Sexuality. 

Source material.

Using materials that some members brought, in addition to stuff from around the house (a jar of vintage matchbooks), and a stack of vintage sports and soft-core magazines, we each created many pages for a zine. Each of us worked within the dimensions of half of a standard sheet of letter sized paper.

Completed pages laid out on kitchen 
floor for determining order.

We chose as a group which ones we liked, attempting an even distribution of works per member. Then we laid them out and called off-site member Harrison to determine an arbitrary order for the zine by asking him to name a random series of numbers.

We all used all 3 of the following techniques: drawing, collage, text. Furthermore, we often used two or all three approaches within one page.

Examples, after photo-copying:




Drawing (back cover)

The next day members who were available to do so went to Staples and ran off copies, then reassembled at Milton's to collate and staple pages.

Contact us if you'd like a copy of the first official B(A)NO[S] zine, titled Mushrooms and Clams.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Exhibition Posters

Host: DH
Date: April 10, 2010

This was an improvisatory, very successful project. Sitting at the head of the table, playing to a skeptical audience of three, host Derick leafed through a book "that it looked like he'd found in the trash" (MC) of posters by Picasso. After plenty of teasing about his storytime approach, the group began spiritedly critiquing the posters in the book and agreed that the night's project should be inspired by the book.

PROJECT: Draw in rapid succession a series of B(A)NO{S} Group Show posters. Loose interpretation and functionality is fine, perhaps encouraged. The group was inspired by Picasso's brazenly unfussy line style that Picasso used in a lot of posters. I'm Picasso, dammit, it doesn't hafta look good.
RESULTS: A smashing good time and a wealth of work generated by the group.
NOTE: B(A)NO{S}, as a rule, likes to plan the project ahead of time, and for the most part, this should be the rule. Still, keeping things loose and making this one up as we went along was probably an element of the evening's success.
LIFE LESSON: The group's patience with Derick's admiration for the book paid off big time. Remember that B(A)NO{S} is a judgment-free zone. You get better results that way.

Future chapters may consider:
A) Basing a project on the commercial work of a fine artist
B) Picking a book at random from the host's shelves and using it as a jumping-off point
C) Improvising a project on the spot, but not more than once per rotation


Mike's portrait by facial hair

Milton's postage stamp poster

Derick's optimistic plans
for B(A)NO{S} this summer

Nathan's Solo Goup (sic) Show poster

One of our favorite (?) posters
from the Picasso book

You can get the book cheap.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Still Life

Host: M.R.
One of our favorite projects. Each member brought two items to add to a pool of still life elements. By phone, items were catalogued to H.M. and he chose which items would be depicted by which members, with the caveat that he could not assign items to the member who brought them. Going forward, this will be a B(A)N[O]S staple: chapters should pull in a remote member of another chapter to arbitrarily/randomly determine some of the project's content. 

Note: Each artist can supplement his setup with items from around the house.





After completion, each member provided a critique. It is important that each entry, especially the weakest one, is not spared honest input but is also noted for whatever qualities it brings to the project. 

Monday, January 11, 2010


Host: M.C.

4 pages were divided into four segments. (4 = number of members - 1) Each member wrote his name in the upper left corner of his sheet, then passed it to another member. In 3 minute intervals, each member drew one other member. IMPORTANT: no pencilling, time limits observed. After each 3 minute interval, a very brief discussion decided who would draw who next, and each sheet was passed (i.e., the sheet with "Harrison" written in the upper left was passed to someone who hadn't yet drawn Harrison). Moving around table for better angles permitted; what's vital is that all portraits are drawn while all other members are also in the act of drawing portraits.






This was a rewarding project that made us more familiar not only with our own and each other's techniques but also with our perceptions of one another. This was especially stimulating because it was Nathan's trial run with B(A)NO[S] and his first time meeting (perceiving, being perceived by) Mike and Harrison.