Monday, April 11, 2016

All about my amazing friends and family

I like to promote my friends and family and today I'm writing about Jeff Newcomer, my brother.
Jeff Newcomer is based in Minneapolis so I get to see him about once or twice a month. He helps out with the boys if they need to get picked up from school once in a while or if they need an extra hand at their Cub Scouts meetings.

Jeff is a great photographer with over 20 years experience on the job doing portraits, restaurant, food, events, and corporate imagery.

I'm currently working on his website, Also trying to improve his search-engine optimization. Would you believe there is another Jeff Newcomer who is also a photographer? The other Jeff has all the google top slots -- for now.

I'm still working on the website, trying to develop a responsive portfolio for him in between doing some layouts and design jobs and chauffering the boys here and there.

Corporate Events Photography by JR Newcomer / Jeff Newcomer Photography Minneapolis

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Small Ring Dishes

I love having a few of these around for vitamins, a few small chocolates, or earrings...

I make them by handbuilding pinch pots. I use a squeeze bottle to apply the black slip. They are fired at one of the fabulouse Minneapolis parks nearby (Fuller Park). A lot of our park buildings have ceramics facilities -- what a great city.

Here are some pics from the process.

Here are some recent pics that my brother took - he transformed by sunny dining room into a photo studio.

Most of these dishes are about 1-inch deep and 2.5 to 3.5 inches diameter.

Here's a pic from the day we shot the images - you can see how Jeff used white paper - he also put thin white curtains up to make the light more diffuse.  We decided to use Skittles for the pic, because they're more colorful and fun-looking than chocolate pieces.

This picture shows the dishes as greenware, un-fired clay.

I bought the small squeeze bottle with the metal applicator for applying black slip decorations from Continental Clay in NE Mpls.

This imagery of black line art is a common theme in my work. Here's a work on paper with acrylic and gold leaf from about 2003

Buy the small ring dishes in my etsy shop

Questions? Ideas? Contact me or leave a comment below. Thanks for viewing.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tardigrades or Waterbears: Why they are amazing

Why tardigrades are so awesome...
Apparently not everyone has watched the Cosmos episode that featured the waterbear or tardigrade. Here's a link to a 30-second clip from the second episode of Cosmos (above)

These little invertebrates live all over the earth and they are pretty amazing because they can survive the vacuum of outer space, being bombarded with all kinds of gamma radiation. Every other life form from earth would just die out there. But when International Space Station scientists put tardigrades in outerspace, they dry up into a little hard balls, then when brought back to earth and hydrated, the little suckers just come alive and start eating and mating!

Serious science from
"YES, indeed many of the tardigrades survived the trip in space, and a few of them became the first animals to return alive after exposure to both space vacuum and solar radiation ... the space vacuum and cosmic radiation did not affect their survival or reproduction at all. This was true for both Richtersius coronifer and Milnesium tardigradum. What this means is that these animals can either protect their cells from expected damage of the extremely dehydration impact of space vacuum, or that they can repair damage that arise in some way. At the moment, we don’t know which is true.

I carved a couple tardigrade lino-cut blocks for printing on blank books and blank cards. The initial tardigrade notebook I put on my Etsy shop was my biggest seller of 2015.

It's kind of cute. It has eight fat little legs. The mouth parts are weird, like some kind of alien, the tardigrade's mouth has a tube that pushes in and out vacuuming up its food.  I wasn't sure how to draw the mouth (which is also its anus).  I made the mouth cuter than reality -- simplifying it into more of an anemone or flower-like appendage. The point of the art isn't scientific, it's about adoring these little critters which are part of many earth biomes (and maybe they came from outerspace - theory of exogenesis: 
"Panspermia Hypothesis – the “seeds” of life exist throughout the universe (perhaps as extremophiles!). The Earth was “seeded” by life arriving from space (also called “Exogenesis”).
Quote above on Exogenesis and Tardigrades and other Extremophildes from U Alberta Biology Lecture 

Next: to get these items placed into nerd-friendly shops like science museums. Let me know if you have a contact there who I should contact to place some of these items. 

Posted by Kelly Newcomer, Jan. 2016

Friday, January 08, 2016

Kelly Computer and Mr Machine visit Hippie Modernism at the Walker Art Center

Thoroughly enjoyed the Walker Art Center's Hippie Modernism Exhibit.

Need to read this essay from the catalog by Hugh Dubberly and Paul Pangaro. Apparently Dubberly has the full text on his website (Yay, because I have so many books, I really don't want to buy anymore -- there's no more room.)

I had seen the Archigram show at the Contemporary in Chicago a few years ago (Archigram was a futuristic architecture group from England in the late 60s, early 70s) In this exhibition, I was introduced to similar groups  -- a few pics:

Mr Machine checking out the posters
Please excuse  the lack of detail regarding some of these works - My aim here is to preserve some of my inspiration and favorite works from the show.

Ettore Sottsass, from The Planet As Festival, 1972 , handcolored lithographs on paper (above)

Onyx, Parsec City, Mike Hinge 1968-1970 (above)

Sture Johannesson, The Aquarian Planetarium, Day and Night, I am You, Copenhagen, 1969, Screenprint, Lithograph, and offset print on paper. (above)

This one really reminded me of what Edouardo Paolozzi was doing at the same time. 
I love these things!


Haus-Rucker-Co Mind Expander 2, 1968 (above) 

This was designed for two people to sit in

Ant Farm Black Van (above)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kelly Newcomer Design Portfolio 2015.

I am currently looking for design or social media work, especially small jobs. Preferably for social justice groups.
Contact me for pdf of design samples (low-res version below)
Some of my layouts are online: and

Friday, March 27, 2015

Mark Dayton and the Office of Technology for Peace

On September 22, 2005, Minnesota Senator, Mark Dayton, introduced legislation to establish a Department of Peace and Nonviolence that included the establishment of an Office of Technology for Peace. Here is the link to that legislation

I made a comic about it back in October 2005, but now I am finally getting around to posting more info about this legislation. How cool for Mr. Dayton, to be able to write a bill with such a visionary message -- that's the kind of stuff I'd want to try for if I was a United States Senator.  (Vote for Newcomer!)

John Lennon and Yoko Ono liked to talk about the war machine, and the necessity of a peace machine. So, this is part of what needs to happen (in every nation) to help bring about peace. 

Basically, this legislation was not adopted. But let's hope for a similar bill to be ratified sometime soon.

Office of Technology for Peace
In general
There shall be in the Department an Office of Technology for Peace, the head of which shall be the Assistant Secretary of Technology for Peace. The Assistant Secretary of Technology for Peace shall carry out those functions in the Department affecting the awareness, study, and impact of developing new technologies on the creation and maintenance of domestic and international peace.
The Assistant Secretary of Technology for Peace shall provide grants for the research and development of technologies in transportation, communications, and energy that—
are nonviolent in their application; and
encourage the conservation and sustainability of natural resources in order to prevent future conflicts regarding scarce resources.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kelly goes to Arts Funding Panel

Notes - I am a note-taking-machine! (image of my notebook from my etsy site)

On Jan. 13, 2015, I went to a free arts funding panel offered by Springboard for the Arts and Hennepin County Libraries. I ended up with a couple new goals about art grants.

1. Approach WARM Women's Art Registry of Minnesota and maybe do their mentor program, or at least write the funding for the mentor program into one of my grant applications. (yikes: Looks like it costs $90 per month) But WARM members have other get togethers and hopefully they can help me as a mom who put her art career on hold for the kids and  special needs issues of kid - who is ready finally to refocus on art-making but I still have to juggle  other caregiving responsibilities. 
I became a WARM member for $55 for one year - which will get me into their other programs (not the Mentor one though)

2. I used to have a goal of applying for ONE art grant per year. Maybe two. (MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and McKnight Fellowship). Now I am more in mind to apply for three - and go for something like a travel/study grant or a grant for a project with a community-emphasis - there might be something I'm already involved in (like those conversations I've been having with Tammy Ortegon about balancing caregiving & art-making - that could possibly turn into a project with a community connection for which we could get a grant to help realize it).

The presenters were:
Delta Giordano, she is an artist with a theater background and she works for the Knight Foundation which has an innovative new program called the Knight Arts Challenge.
Cynthia Gehrig, President of the Jerome Foundation which gives fellowships to emerging artists, and also sponsors a travel/study grant, and also sponsors residencies for artists at Northern Clay Center, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, New York Mills, and Textile Center
Shannon Forney from MRAC - she's also a performer, a clown, and part-owner of a coffee shop where they have the Smallest Museum
Noah Keesecker Moderated - Program director of artistic development at Springboard - he's also a composer.