Sunday, December 13, 2015

The End Of A Fabulously Busy Year

I am thrilled, relieved, grateful, inspired, and overjoyed--this year has been exceedingly full and exciting in so many ways and it looks like this year is primed to unfold in kind.

I have not updated this baby in awhile because I've been blissfully nestled in a seemingly endless array of deadlines, from holiday gift typewriter-drawing commissions, to web illustrations and too many crochet projects--fortunately for my blog, my wrists are now protesting my use of them, forcing me to take a hiatus from drawing.

I keep getting asked to draw beautiful women--yes, please! Will release full image after Christmas presents are received...

So in the meantime I'll torture myself with these images of projects I can't wait to finish or begin:

I would totally date a grid.

Here's a snap of some freshly scored Rives BFK that I can't wait to dig into. This is intended for my upcoming show at Café Lulu in my hometown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in April 2016. I've got a huge space to fill and plan to make twelve to fifteen 30 x 44" drawings for this show--at this point mainly using permanent marker and other usual suspects of drawing materials.

* * *
Purple ribbons available at Ace Typewriter in St. John's!

A recovering chromaphobe's in-progress self portrait.
I cannot believe I am finally basking in the magic that is working in color! The idea of creating a four-color CMYK typewriter-drawing was floating around in my head for awhile, but the problem stopping me was locating a yellow ribbon. Thanks to Ace Typewriter I have blue, purple, and standard black and red, but it appears that yellow may not exist--if anyone has leads, let me know! Luckily, my brilliant friend Jessica Poor suggested using Saral yellow transfer paper:

Photocopy of separated yellow layer on top of yellow transfer pape fastened to quality paper allowing the typewriter to transfer marks indirectly.

That pretty blue ribbon--it looks ultramarine but types a stunning cerulean. Tiny view before the cyan layer is added to the completed magenta (well, red) and yellow layer.

 This is why I refer to myself as a closet-printmaker. All of my drawings are attempts to make drawings that look or act like prints. Is typewriter drawing just a masochist's monotype?

* * *

In more leisurely news, I've had the immense pleasure of discovering the Portland Correspondence Coop held every third Tuesday at the IPRC--it's a wonderful community of awesome creative people who meet and make mail art, often involving some kind of mail art exchange with a monthly theme, jovial conversation and a rotating cast of typewriters brought in to test-drive by expert/enthusiast Ethan Jewett of PDX Typewriters. Its free, open to the public and highly recommended--stay tuned via instagram, too!

The PDXCC has reminded me about how great mail art and old fashioned correspondence is in general--I mean, I use a manual typewriter to draw, I should be using it the right way, too.

In my early twenties, I had a solid penpal situation with my dear pal Emily--of which the peak of correspondence took place when we lived on the same street (and still used USPS!)--as well as romantically bombarding potential suitors and my friend Michael, who I met in Milwaukee but was instrumental in and an unforgettable help when I moved to Portland.

Klaus Nomi Elvis stamp

Drawing frivolous things--a forgotten pleasure

Reverse side of a wedding gift waiting to be sent. Color!

Anyway, I'm really excited to have begun a mail-art back-and-forth with Brendan Larsen, one of my favorite drawers I've found on Instagram. Also, I look forward to rekindling the practice of sending unexpected appreciative mail to loved ones as well as some good old typewritten-letter correspondence with Colin Smith and future fun drawing collabo with the talented Quinn Amacher. Anyone else?

* * *

Lastly, I'm excited to announce that my typewriter-drawing, Carissa, is featured in the winter issue of PictureSentence and that the creators of the publication, Robert and Margaret Tomlinson, have invited me to share some of my work in a drawing show Robert is curating at the Western College of Oregon in February 2016.

Also in February, I look forward to a joint exhibition with the incredibly talented Stephanie Yoo* at Darling Press! Brooklyn transplants, she and her loverman Hunter have been super supportive in sharing my work with others and attending my shows (and letting me draw them!). I wouldn't have met them if it wasn't for my amazing cousin and prolific musician Lorna--who now also, along with her wonderful partner Keith, share this beautiful city with us. I'm so spoiled.

That said, I want to express my gratitude for the unending ways my pals and colleagues have offered their undeniable emotional, logistical, creative, brilliant, kind-hearted, and continuous support. Thanks so much for attending my many shows and events this year, and I can't wait to share the details of 2016's already mounting list of shows! Looking forward to the future! XO

*CORRECTION: The show at Darling Press will be a solo show after all, but Stephanie Yoo and I will have a joint show sometime later this year. 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mostly Drawings Of Women: Opening Reception First Thursday

It's exactly one week away from the reception for my final solo show of the year--I'm excited, relieved, and super pumped to hide in the studio to prepare for the upcoming shows next year. 

Until then, I'm very glad to install Give Up The Queen And Nobody Gets Hurt once again--I just need to make sure I have 296 magnets and thumbtacks. I'm also happy to see all of my typewriter drawings behind glass--I'm a poor gift-wrapper, so I won't see most of them until I install at the salon this Monday. 


This reception delightfully coincides with 77 Salon's brand re-launch party, so it'll be quite the celebration.  It's rumored there will be pizza and bubbly. Hope to see you there!

Mostly Drawings Of Women
ink and typewriter drawings by Rachel Mulder
77 Salon
1100 NW Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97209

First Thursday, November 5

On view Nov. 2 - 29
M-F: 10am-8pm
Sat: 9am-6pm
Sun: closed

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mostly Drawings Of Women - Solo Exhibition at 77 Salon

I'm so pleased to announce that my final exhibition of this year will showcase the various media I've been working with since 2014.

Please celebrate the closure of this beautifully wild year with me on First Thursday, November 5 from 7-9pm! You can RSVP and stay tuned for more details on Facebook.

Mostly Drawings Of Women
on view November 2 - 29

77 Salon
1100 NW Glisan Street
Portland, OR 97209

Opening Reception
First Thursday
November 5


Additional hours:
M-F 10am-8pm
SAT 9am-6pm
SUN closed

Streetside At Blackfish

First Thursday Shot, by Keith Milgaten
Stephanie And Hunter, 2015
typewritten ink on paper, 28 x 34 inches
I'm so excited to focus on wrapping up my projects for what has been a delightfully wild and productive year.  I'm currently working on a bunch of holiday-deadline commissions and wrapping up all my loose ends for my final show in November--details coming soon.  In the meantime, check out my latest typewriter drawing on view at Blackfish Gallery in The Pearl District.  You can see it at any time of day, so go at midnight. Stephanie And Hunter will be on view through October 31.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Jill - Work In Progress

This is a commission I've just begun for my amazing cosmic-mom, Cameryne.  It's her dear friend, Jill, as a kid and will be a present for her for her birthday.

Kid's are so challenging to draw because it's so easy to make them look ghoulish! Perfect for October. I've got a ways to go, but I'm so excited about the upcoming details on the shirt and to dabble with the receding background.

Monday, October 5, 2015

October Is Typewriter Month!

And I had no idea--this is what being productive in the studio for six consecutive shows leads to: being totally out of touch with what's happening outside of yourself.

Patsy, 2015
 typewritten ink on paper, 6 5/8 x 13 3/8 inches

I'm super grateful to Nico Courtelis and Chloe Eudaly (proprietress of Reading Frenzy and co-founder of the IPRC) were kind enough to clue me in to the excitement that is Typewriter Month in our fair city. All the hubbub is co-sponsored by IPRC and Design Week Portland with typewriter aficionado and publisher/editor/designer of Uppercase Magazine Janine Vangool gracing us with her presence with a release and presentation of her new book, The Typewriter: A Graphic History Of The Beloved Machine.  She has all the details/itinerary here.

I unfortunately* won't be available to attend this year's soiree, but it's on my calendar for next year. Should you be available, please attend and tell me all about it and/or let me live vicariously through your Instagram.

If you are feeling especially generous, you can feel free to tell people to go to Blackfish Gallery to see my latest typewriter drawing AND to Radish Underground to see my very first humongous monster of a typewriter drawing--both on view currently!

In other news, I finally scanned the pieces I had on view at Luke's Frame Shop last month--enjoy! Endless thanks to everyone who came out to both recent openings--what a blast!

Erica, 2015
typewritten ink on paper, 8 x 9 1/4 inches

Kierre, 2015
 typewritten ink on paper, 16 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches

Self Portrait II, 2015
typewritten ink on paper, 7 x 12 inches

Thom, 2015
typewritten ink on paper, 14 5/8 inches x 9 15/16 inches  
*It's actually quite fortunate because I get to watch two people I love and adore, Robbie and Katharine, marry each other!

Friday, September 25, 2015

First Thursday - Blackfish Gallery

Next week catch my latest large-scale typewriter drawing Stephanie And Hunter on view in Blackfish Gallery's Fishbowl II. Celebrate all the fresh new work on view on First Thursday, October 1 from 6-9pm.

These drawings are made using my Sears' Citation II Manual Typewriter. By adding layer upon layer of typewritten ink and multiple feeds through the typewriter, it is a slow build of marks and value like sediment collecting, until the image is complete. 

Fishbowl II
420 NW 9th Ave
Portland, OR 97209

Regular hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm

Friday, September 11, 2015

Opening Reception @ Luke's Frame Shop

I'm so stoked about the opening! Come nerd out with me and get an up-close look at Unrevealed, my latest small-scale portraits made using my Sears Citation II manual typewriter on view through September 29 at Luke's Frame Shop.  Opening Reception: Saturday, September 12, from 6-8pm. Hope to see you there!

Left to right: Erica, Patsy, Michael, Carissa.  Also, I love that faint Luke's Frame Shop logo shadow overlay...
On a more personal note, I am feeling more than sentimental as I finally begin to process some recent changes in my life. I have recently made the difficult decision to leave my position as exhibition coordinator/art assistant at ProjectGrow, a place where I have cultivated countless friendships and experiences from which I can't imagine my life without.  

It's so difficult to describe how amazing this place is--I've been connected to this art studio/gallery/urban farm here in Portland since 2011. ProjectGrow is a place where anything imaginable can happen--where creativity and authentic expression is fostered. And that sentence sounds so empty, but it's really just so hard to explain! Over the last three years, moments of my day entailed the following: while attempting to be the supportive one, uncontrollable tears surprised me as three of my motherless colleagues and I hid under our boss's jacket while we imagined our dead moms in heaven playing cards and drinking wine; I cleaned up organic chocolate syrup disguised as faux-feces from all the surfaces in the bathroom as part of a practical joke telling me I was hired; in order to distract ourselves from mundane matters at hand, I began to sing an impromptu musical and was quickly accompanied by nearly half the room, all of us singing operatically about "fourteen boys in the boarding school" and then quickly and hilariously degrading into a narrative of exactly what was happening in the room.  

I can't imagine my life without ProjectGrow, and I don't have to, because it's influenced my life drastically. The decision to leave is being made so that I can focus on my own creative practice, but I would not be here, now, if I hadn't been afforded the opportunity to experience this beautiful, hidden world.  I am forever in debt to the incredible, brilliant, and strong people I know now.

The reason I'm explaining all of this is that, just a few short weeks ago, I mentioned to Luke (the owner of Luke's Frame Shop) that several of my colleagues who might wish to attend the opening use wheelchairs.  When he explained that there wasn't an accessible entrance, he went ahead and built a ramp so that all of the people I care about could attend.  I guess this post is making it sound like I get ambushed by tears often, but I am very fortunate to be surrounded by so many awesome, caring people, and I couldn't help but be overwhelmed by this act of kindness.  Luke's has been my favorite frame shop, and I'd already respected his team and business immensely, but this really takes the cake. Endless gratitude.

Wheelchair accessible ramp built by the team at Luke's Frame Shop--see it in action tomorrow, Saturday, September 12.
See you tomorrow!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Unrevealed @ Luke's Frame Shop

My latest typewriter drawings are now on view from today through September 29 at Luke's Frame Shop. I'm so excited to finally see them vertically on a white wall. Endless gratitude to the always kind and helpful staff at Luke's.

ThomErica, accidental/temporary found collage in flatfile drawer--each separate and on view at Luke's Frame Shop September 3 - 29, 2015. Typewritten ink on paper.
I'm thrilled to celebrate the show during the reception on Saturday, September 12.  We will be there from 6-8pm and there will be snacks and refreshments to numb all of our emotions. See more details and RSVP to the event on Facebook here. Until Soon!

Friday, August 28, 2015

In Progress - Kierre

I'm working on one of my last drawings for Unrevealed, which will be on view at Luke's Frame Shop from September 3 - 29. This piece consists of the following characters: @, #, ', %, o, ", *, and +.
Kierre, in progress typewriter drawing on Rives BFK

I am having so much fun drawing.  It's funny, if I were trying to make this image with traditional drawing media like graphite or charcoal, I would become so frustrated because it would become too time consuming, because I would pile on the material too quickly.  Typing, in a perhaps counterintuitive way, helps me work faster because it forces me to be more patient, challenging my heavy hand.  Since I have to treat it more preciously, I don't use a ton of time erasing and therefore redoing.

Come celebrate with me during the reception on Saturday, September 12, from 6-8pm.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Typewriter Drawing: Process

I forget that perhaps my process isn't as clear to others at it is to me.  Using my Sears Citation II manual typewriter, I use various symbols on paper repeatedly to create shifts in value and texture. My current series Unrevealed is a collection of such portraits based on photographs where the subject is obscured by light/shadow, perspective/foreshortening, or cropping.
studio view/in progress, Patsy, 2015
image made using: & % " # '

in progress detail, Erica, 2015
I typically pull the pin on the platen out, disengaging the roller so that I don't have to abide by the mechanical shift to the next line.  This way, especially if I'm working towards a rich black, I have more control and can more thoughtfully layer characters on top of one another.

studio view/in progress, Erica, 2015
image made using: o ' # % "
I discovered that # is my favorite symbol for skin since its natural appearance of crosshatching makes for an even balance in shading.  It covers a lot of surface area and is my main character for making pure black.  It resemble a mezzotint, but I can't decide which process of the two is more masochistic. % is a very effective symbol for hair.  The linear quality of the / in the % helps it illustrate the direction of the hair, but the little circles keep it from becoming cartoonish, and lend a softness to it which makes it look more believable.

Patsy, 2015
typewriter drawing on Rives BFK

This collection will be on view at Luke's Frame Shop in Portland, Oregon this Septmber!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

In Progress - Patsy

detail, Patsy, 2015, typewriter drawing on Rives BFK

This is a portrait of an incredible woman I've known for several years.  She is beyond sweet, the queen of pet-names, brilliant, kind, and possesses a kind of wisdom I've never encountered before.  Her face is such a wonderful landscape to traverse with my typewriter.  Patsy is part of my series Unrevealed, which will be on view September 3 - 29 at Luke's Frame Shop (2707 SE Belmont, PDX, OR). 

Opening Reception for Unrevealed: Typewriter Drawings By Rachel Mulder
Saturday, September 12, 2015

I can't wait to hang this show--it is such an honor to show these works on paper at my favorite framing biz, Luke's Frame Shop. The opening also coincides with the Belmont Street Fair, so it should be a blast--but if you need a reprieve from the party outside, we'll be there to soothe you with wine and cheese.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

In Progress - Thom

I'm experimenting with a new way to deal with the narrow width allotted by my Sears Citation II typewriter. Looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship, or future large-scale drawing nightmare disguised as friendship. Oh, good.

If you're in PDX, please come see the end result and celebrate the new incarnation of Unrevealed, my ongoing series of small-scale typewriter drawings, during the opening reception on Saturday, September 12, from 6-8pm at Luke's Frame Shop.  Can't wait!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Upcoming Exhibition: Unrevealed at Luke's Frame Shop

I'm thrilled to announce that my latest small-scale typewriter drawings will be on view at Luke's Frame Shop, my favorite local frame shop + art gallery from September 3 - September 29, 2015. I was fortunate enough to show the first incarnation of this series in my hometown, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, earlier this summer, and I'm very pleased I have the next twenty days to crank out some new drawings especially for this exhibition. Carpal tunnel, here I come.

Please mark your calendars for Saturday, September 12 and join me from 6-8pm during the opening reception, which delightfully coincides with the Belmont Street Fair. Hope to see you there!
Cyan, 2015
typewritten ink on paper, 8 x 10 1/4 inches

Jamond, 2015
typewritten ink on paper
8 1/4 x 12 inches
Michael, 2015
typewritten ink on paper
8 1/4 x 13 inches

Michelle, 2015
typewritten ink on paper, 8 x 10 3/8 inches

Self Portrait, 2015
typewritten ink on paper, 7 1/4 x 12 inches


In this series of portraits the subject's identity is obscured either by natural visual distortion or by the purposeful withholding of certain features, a result of my fascination with the way in which facial features can mutate into erratic and confusing landscapes. As my heavy handed drawing techniques in traditional media and linework urge cartoonish renderings, the sense of veracity that comes with portraiture was elusive.

Using my Sears Citation II manual typewriter as a drawing tool and a photograph of the subject as a framework, I challenged my instinct to rely on caricature but also found myself resistant to the ideals of traditional portraiture. Rather than seeking and depicting a blank truth, where facial features and body parts appear as expected, I was compelled to complete an exercise in neglecting the firmly cemented visual images in my head. Navigating through this imagery using this cumbersome yet delicate drawing tool within the delineated contours of the photographs allowed me to scatter my focus, working in one compartment at a time and allowing the images to form like sediment collecting, a slow build of overlapping marks and feeds through the typewriter until each was complete. Focusing solely on the difference in values and angles and not the expectations of visual truth, I was led back to the fundamental task of drawing what’s there.