Jes Lee

Summers that are everything

I have not been letting my days of my break from work slip by unnoticed. Each day I have been steadily working towards two goals: getting the rooms in our house painted (I hit the halfway point last week!) and most importantly, creating new artwork. I have slowly been creating and editing new compilation images using some of the photos I took during our trip to Okinawa last winter.


This image is one of about 6 new pieces I have been working with. Everything is still a work-in-progress. Some of these images end up on my Instagram account if I feel like they are close to being complete.

Last week I had the idea to pick up some screen printing equipment. Thanks to a conversation over beers and dinner with a very awesome, smart friend, I heard of a technique I had not thought of (this happens quite often when I am around certain friends). I started playing with it, and have been pleasantly surprised with the results.

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I am able to create colored backgrounds, and then ink jet print images over them.



It needs a lot of tweaking, and many new decisions to be made on colors, and color density, and how it works with each image, but I am thrilled that it worked!! I’m excited to keep experimenting with this throughout the summer.

Last week I was thinking about how many of the images I take don’t get printed, don’t end up in any compilation images, and basically aren’t seen by anyone but me. After recently teaching a class on creating a one-sheet book, I decided to play with that medium, and created this little book.


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This one was so much fun to make, and I plan on making many more. I see them more as ‘zines’ than fine-books. Zines are something I have wanted to make for quite a while, but was struggling with an idea for. I think these making these simple little books will help with that craving.

Each day I have off of my day job, I try to savor. I know all too well that the summer can go by in an instant. So far, it has felt like a wonderful, long break, and I still have many days left to come. I have already done more creating that I ever hoped to, and I have no intention to stop.

May you all enjoy the summer and warm weather as much as you can, whether you are working or not!

I can’t stay mad…

….at the snow when it is so pretty out. Giant snow flakes, sticking to all of the tree branches, covering up the dingy muddy snow we had this morning.

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Especially when it looks like I am living up north and not in the city. Driving to class tonight could be interesting though.

I have been home today working on a new photo book project, and nursing a migraine while curled up on the couch. Other than the headache it hasn’t been a horrible way to spend the day.

I am quite excited about my new photo book, though there isn’t enough quite yet to post here. Soon.


New work

Now that my work for my show has been dropped off, I am moving on to the next items to work on.

The next show I have coming up will feature more printing and book work, so I am experimenting printing on different types of paper. Today I tried a couple of prints on a Japanese mulberry paper. I have actually made some of this paper by hand before, and I love it! You can print with an ink jet printer on it without doing anything special. Thankfully, you can also buy it from many art supply stores in many sizes. I would love to make all of my own paper for prints, but I think I would be working on that for a long time!

Quite awhile ago I started making two leather journals, one for Mr. FN and one for myself. They got set aside as I got busy with work for this show. The other night he asked me when I was going to work on them some more so he could have a different journal to use at work. What an excellent idea! So these are on my to-do list for today. The next step is rounding the spines and I need to use a piece of equipment at MCBA for that. Since I will be there tonight being a studio monitor, it is the perfect time to work on that!

I have also been trying a bit of food photography. My food allergies have gotten quite bad again, and I have found myself making a lot of my own food at home. So, to make it a little bit more fun I have been taking photos of what I am making. It has been good practice! The lighting in my kitchen is not the best, so I have had to find ways to compensate, etc. I may eventually blog about a few of the recipes I have been trying, but in the mean time, I’ll be collecting the photos on my Flickr account here.

Also on my list today is to get more pottery done for the holiday sales! I think that will be a very relaxing task this afternoon.


This little blog of mine…..

I have a new plan for this little blog, as well as new plan for my website.

First: there is a new design coming for my website. Yes, the redesign has started, and you will notice a few things (specifically the background) look a lot different than they did a couple of months ago. But there is more work to be done both with the pages you see and what goes on behind the scenes. I’m hoping that all of these changes will be coming to you in less than a month…but I am relying on a pretty great webmaster to help me with these changes, and he needs some time.

Second, as of January 2012, I will be closing my online photo shops…Etsy and BigCartel temporarily. I am not sure how long this will last. The reality is, I sell 100% more at the art festivals and other places I display my artwork than I do online. I’m not complaining about that! I just can’t justify the fees of keeping an online shop open, when the shop itself is not covering any portion of those fees. So, I’ll be running little promotions through the month of December (follow me on Twitter if you are interested!) and then will be taking my shop offline in January. Hopefully, I will find a more affordable solution soon, and will be able to have an online shop again, but in the mean time, this is what needs to happen.

Third, I have never been a big one for New Year’s resolutions, but I do actually have a few for this year, and a few of them affect you, my dear readers! The plan is to implement them immediately, but I’m giving myself a little leeway, and saying they are resolutions for the new year.

Resolution #1: Try some different film developers! Seriously, in all of my years as a darkroom girl, I have used D-76 and Ilfosol 3. I know I’m missing out on many great developers! I just need to spend the money on them and try! So this year, I shall, and the results will be posted…

…which leads to….

Resolution #2: I will post more here! I’m going to try to post daily, but I realize there will be times when that doesn’t happen. But I’m going to try! There will be more personal posts, yes, but there will also be many more art posts in general….about things that come through my Twitter feed, things I hear from other artists, things I am applying for, things I am day-dreaming about, etc. 

Resolution #3: to do a 365 project. Really. I have tried at least 3 times now, and haven’t made it more than a few months. My friend Cate on the other hand has a knack for keeping them going. In fact, I think she has one that has been on going for 3 years now! I’m going to make it 1 year. This, I will start on December 22nd. (That date will be explained later for those of you who might not know it’s significance.) It will be a cell phone 365 – nothing against film at all. I just realize I need to relax my own rules and give myself a little easier start on this one. 

So, that’s it. Just me deciding to take charge of my site, be a little more vocal here, and get back to expiramenting. I think 2012 will be a great year….I think 2011 will end well too.

Until next time,