My Collectors: Tony

Tony admires his new limited-edition print:  “Sherbourne and Wellesley” (2015).  Artist’s Proof, 17 x 22″.  Sold at my recent Open Studio.

When you first begin to show your work, your first collectors tend to be your friends and family.

This is not to be sniffed at.  It’s one thing for someone to say, “That’s lovely dear…” and quite another for them to hand over the cash.  Money speaks louder than words!

Then as your friends talk to friends, your followers and collectors start to come from friends of friends, friends of family members… and so the circle expands to however many degrees of separation.

Every business person knows that word of mouth is the best marketing strategy.  And the strategy behind that is to do impeccable work, impeccably presented.

I’m grateful to my collectors and I enjoy seeing their excitement and delight at owning one of my prints!

You are cordially invited…

In Toronto this weekend?  Drop by my Holiday Open Studio, say hello, and pick up some truly unique holiday gifts.

2015 open studio

Don’t miss my last Open Studio of 2015!

Sunday, December 6th, 2015
2:00 to 6:00 P.M.

805 – 392 Sherbourne Street, Toronto (just north of Carlton)

for entry, use code 3040.

R.S.V.P to
appreciated but not required –

Feel free to attend via random acts of spontaneity.


Printing – a tricky business

David Roddis, “Flux (lacking dimensional reference point)” 2015.  Archival pigment print, from 17 x 22″.  Edition of 10.  ©2015, David Roddis.  All rights reserved.

What’s happening when you send your painstakingly produced work to your Epson Stylus Pro 3880 printer and the result is a disaster consisting of what looks like a monochrome version with sections of bilious green?

There are two ways that problems can occur here:  first, when the printer is not functioning optimally; second, when the problem is a “mistranslation” of the colors and intent that’s occurring from the computer to the printer.

By the way, if you are having similar problems, it’s essential for troubleshooting that  you start with a properly calibrated monitor.  This ensures consistent results – monitor colors and print colors will never be exactly the same; but they can be very close; it’s consistency rather than exact reproduction that is the goal.  But that’s for another post – let’s troubleshoot the current problem.

Troubleshooting:  The first step is to print a test page to determine if the print heads need cleaning.  (On the principle that the most likely explanation probably applies.)  Result:  Yes, indeed they do, for the test pattern has sections that did not print at all.

Second step:  Do the cleaning.  This consumes ink, but there’s no way around this.  Now print the test page again – success, all of the pattern prints.

BUT, there are other mysterious forces at work.  I wouldn’t want this to be too easy…

When I examine the print dialog box in PS, I see that the default color space is “CMYK”.  Wrong!  That represents color separations for offset lithography.  I need an RGB color space, and one that’s for inkjet printing, not web display.

(How the settings ended up at that profile, I have no idea – I’ve been printing for years, consider myself a bit of an expert in this skill and certainly know enough not to use CMYK separations… my computer sometimes seems to have a mind of its own… that’s my story and I’m sticking to it…)

Out of the RGB color spaces available, I’m partial to ProPhoto.  Back at the document, I choose Edit > convert to profile and choose ProPhoto for the destination space.  In the printer dialog, I make sure that “Photoshop manages colors” is selected, NOT printer; for the printer profile I choose one that corresponds to the type of paper I’m using:  Epson Radiant White; ditto under the Page Setup tab.

Now all I have to do is to manage the printer’s exquisitely sensitive response to the loading of paper…

Problem solved. You may wonder if it’s all worth the trouble, but once I hold a beautiful print in my hand, one that looks exactly as I imagined – I love my Epson, prima donna though she may be!

Five Things Flowers Can Teach Us (conclusion)

David Roddis, “Synaptic”, 2015.  Archival pigment print, various sizes from 22 x 17″.  Edition 1/10.  ©2015, David Roddis.  All rights reserved.

Here is the conclusion of my article, which originally appeared on Shaun Proulx’s Gay Guide Network.

Five Things Flowers Can Teach Us (conclusion): Nº 3 – 5

3. Appreciate the rain.
“What a horrible day,” said the woman in the elevator.
“Oh, I’m sorry, did something happen?” I replied.

My remark was a bit naughty;  I had already guessed she judged the day horrible because it was raining.

I’m not trivializing life’s major setbacks; I’m talking about rain.

You say, “What a depressing day!”;

I say:  Rain is soft and refreshing, it makes colours shiny, super-saturated; towering clouds glower mauve-black, great silver spikes of lightning stab the horizon – and if that weren’t enough, you get to wear retro-cool rubber boots from Canadian Tire for splashing in the puddles.

I say:  Have fun in the rain!

And the begonias on my balcony, the cosmos and zinnias in Allan web-9x6-openHouse-Oct3113Gardens, the dahlias at the market, the cellophaned bouquets of tulips in their buckets outside the convenience stores at Avenue Road and Davenport – flowers everywhere in the dusty metropolis turn their faces skyward to meet the rain and, refreshed, radiate simple gratitude.

4. There are cycles.
There are days, weeks, even, when – just between you and me – my petals are little brown around the edges. This past year had its challenges, yet already the cycle has turned and I’m popping out a few bright green little shoots…

OK, so I’ve pushed the metaphor a bit far, but I hope I can remember, when future difficulties cycle round, that there is a time for everything, that good can follow bad, and that 99% of what I worried about never happened.

5. Flowers are vulnerable and delicate; flowers are tenacious and strong.

What has a front, has a back; and the bigger the front, the bigger the back.
– trad. Japanese saying

Every cliché hides its secret formula in plain sight: All you need for the alchemical transmutation is patience and persistence.

Vulnerable and delicate:   I want to remember the waxy, sweet lilacs on woody branches, violet blossoms fluttering to the table top at the merest breath. Tenacious and strong:  I want to remember scrappy, obstinate weeds that tore through pavement.

Tlilac_20100508_0115he secret formula necessitates looking beyond the surface and seeing anew what has always been there:

I want to experience the tenacious strength of women, to feel the vulnerable delicacy of men.

Can beauty and truth really be found everywhere?  Up to you.  Look, closely.


©2015, David Roddis.  All rights reserved.

Light out of darkness

occult-autumn open Studio_20150928_0035
David Roddis, “Occult” (2015)

The first snows have fallen in Toronto, soulless Xanadu of the Great White North, and its citizens are in an uproar of disbelief, their carping, narcissistic distress bringing to mind Mark Twain’s wry comment that

“everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it…”

Snow and cold, winter’s long, dark nights and pale pink dawns, are reminders that, despite the hubris of Homo sapiens, Nature rules, and with placid, psychopathic indifference.  I live in a country where it’s possible to die simply by being outdoors at the wrong time of year.   From that frightening possibility comes, or used to, the quintessential Canadian trait:  Fortitude.

Without light there’s no dark; no modelling of volume, no chiaroscuro.   Digital photography entices with bright bright bright, but that way lies images that might as well be passport photos.  You’ve seen flowers countless times, so why take the picture?  Because you’ve never seen these flowers in this light of this moment…

     I like to see how little light I can get away with.

Five Things Flowers Can Teach Us:  #2

Be still

Flowers have the soothing gift of being right where they are. They don’t race around on a mission; they aren’t engaged in secret, frantic agendas. They just stay there, and we go to them, and willingly. If I can risk  sounding silly, they are content with where they are.

And when the air is still on a warm summer night, they are buddhas: Motionless, inward, yet light at heart.

Nothing to change, nothing to do.