3 Fish Studios, work place of Eric Rewitzer and Annie Galvin
For our last studio visit of the day, Michael and I left the sunny Mission and headed out to the avenues, into the fog. But as I saw the fog upon the horizon, I reflected that I was a true San Franciscan by now, loving the fog and welcoming its cool and luminous light.
Eric Rewitzer (of 3 Fish Studios) is doing a series of food trucks for the gallery opening and I already coveted the one with the Mexican motifs.
Linocut Trucks in process for the Four Squared show at Arc Studio and Gallery
In contrast to the tiny artists' studios that I had visited, Eric (and his wife, Annie Galvin) work in a beautifully refurbished single story building that probably was some sort of grocery store back in the day. Micheal told me how Eric was able to negotiate with the owner, get a small business loan, fix up the space and start a thriving business.
I was impressed because that kind of business acumen, much less ability to weld power tools, is not often found among artists. I know that I can barely hammer a nail into the wall and if I miss my thumb, it's a miracle.
Eric was originally from Cleveland and took classes through high school and college. But, as is true with so many artists, he said that he has learned more in the past five years by making the prints than he ever did in school.
Eric RewitzerThe space is clean, full of light and stocked with all the tools that a lithographer/printer/engraver would need.The front area has shelves with the various kinds of work that they produce - original paintings, linocut and digital prints and postcards, among other items.
The huge work table in the middle of the room had several works in progress. Eric was nice enough to show me some of the steps that go into making a linocut - from drawing the template, cutting it, printing it and then, as a final step, coloring it in with watercolor.
When I stupidly asked how long it took to make one, he answered by telling me "48 (?) years." Oh, I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to respond to that question in that fashion but was never brave enough.
Seriously, I think he told me that one piece can take several days from conception to completion.
In answer to my query about what kind of material he carved with, he wrote me (via e-mail) that the material he carves is artist grade linoleum. "Prints that are made with linoleum are called linocuts. Linoleum is simply ground-up cork mixed with linseed oil, then mounted on burlap. And yes, I get the brown linoleum shipped to me from the manufacturer in Germany, and my friend Rik Olson, another artist up in Sonoma, uses it, as do several other printmakers around the area."
I remember my printmaking class at the San Francisco Art Institute where we had to carve our prints in the toughest wood ever. As for printing, well, I don't think one printer at the SFAI was on a level floor. It made for quite a challenge. But Eric's space is a print maker's dream, with modern presses, spaces for inking and storage and even a garden in the back.
Eric's linocuts, waiting to be inked and printed.
His work reminds me of William Rice, an American woodblock print artist and educator who was associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement in California. Like Rice, Eric's work reflects a Japanese influence moderated through American eyes, strong graphic design and a respect for his materials that shows in their final production.
The last image is of their lucky duck. They told us that every time they lit up the duck, somebody came in and bought work. I am lighting the duck as a lucky symbol for next week's gallery opening and for lots of sales for all the artists showing.
Remember, support your local artist because art comes from the soul, saves the soul, represents the best of the soul.
Ars Longa, Vita Brevis.
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/3FishStudios
Arc Gallery and Studios: http://www.arc-sf.com/foursquared.html