Jess Hutch.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Hi there. I hope you had a lovely Thanksee, if you celebrated it this past weekend. Mine involved long drives, endless food, and good times with the fam.

Here's a toy I completed about a week ago. A while back a very nice gal named Jen Rocha contacted me about doing a knitted version of the mascot for her soon-to-open business, sugi. She says sugi will be "a gallery/store that promotes local artists and specializes in artist collaborations". So here's the mascot, a hilariously cute little octopus. I thought at first that doing a knitted version would be a no-brainer, but oddly enough, this was one of the most difficult toys I've ever made. I just couldn't get that body right - I think I redid it about four times. Octopi are weird, you know? I guess I never thought about it much. They're weirdly shaped. Anyway, here's sugi! Sweet.

Tonight I'm finishing up another project for an upcoming group gallery show. Once it's done I'll take pics and post them, can you even stand the suspense?

Monday, November 20, 2006


briefcase trainI turned 31 last Thursday, so naturally I had to spend the following weekend with trains. Indeed, it was a very trainful weekend. On Saturday morning Jeff and I took the streetcar to the BART to Amtrak to Old Sacramento State Historic Park. Three different trains, folks! Old Sacramento is the older part of our state's capitol, near the river, with lots of buildings from the 19th century now filled with taffy shops and tattoo parlors and gift stores. It was loads of fun.

Of course, the highlight of a trip to Old Sacramento is a visit to the California State Railroad Museum. I'm not a train fanatic, really, but I do love a good train, and the museum is chock full of them. Big, big trains. Inside the museum. It was fantastic.

Our day at the museum included:

*gorgeous old locomotives from the 1870s, restored to their former glory. My favorite was painted a rich chocolate brown with yellow and red pinstriping and super shiny brass fittings. Unbelievable. When did people stop making utilitarian things so beautiful? Can we do this again?

*a sleeper car from the 1930s. They had it on some kind of hydraulic thingie that made it pitch and sway while you walked through it. They blacked out the windows to heighten the "in another place" feeling, and had a sound system playing train noises. To top it all off, a very old gentleman who "only worked on the trains for 38 years" was sitting there in full conductor gear, ready to answer any questions one may have about the old days.

*many, many 8 year old boys and 65 year old men. Apparently, these two groups are CRAZY for the trains. I was in good company.

*I told one docent that my grandpa and his father (my great-grandpa) both worked on trains, but that I'd never really had a chance to speak with either of them about their experiences before they passed away. I was roundly chastised (in the kindest way possible) so I resolved then and there to get the complete scoop from my dad, who knows the whole story. I guess I'd never thought a whole lot about it, it was just one of those things I knew about my family - but now I want to know how, when, what they did, etc. That's what a good history museum does, it brings it alive, and makes you proud of your own family's past.

So last year, longtime readers may remember, I spent my 30th birthday at a local cemetery. This year I spent my birthday with trains. Any thoughts as to what these choices may represent?

If you're in the Sacramento area, do check out Old Sac and the Railroad Museum. A great way to spend a birthday.

Photos of my trip are on flickr - after the Thanksgiving holiday I'll have photos of other recent stuff (new toys, great birthday presents, etc). Have a fun weekend, y'all!

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Hoo boy. I'm distracted. I have a lot of projects going at the same time, keeping me nice and busy - I'd show images of these things but they're mostly commissions, and I don't want to show anything just yet. You know me, always the big reveal. I promised once to show in progress photos from time to time but it's so hard! What's that about?

I've also been distracted for two solid days by the election. Hoo boy. HOO BOY. Yea, verily, there has been much rejoicing in the Hutch-Heermann household. There was some jigging, a bit of boogieing. Some shimmy-shaking. Yea. Verily.

Anyway, since I have literally nothing to show at the mo', here are some recent doodles. Fun stuff for you. Please enjoy in good health. To liven things up, I inverted the black & white in the images, then colorized them. For kicks! The dog walking the dog in the top image was inspired by Fifi Doodle, a character in the hilarious and disturbing Steven comic by Doug Allen. And the bottom image is a drawing of my cat, Chuy, aka "Chooch". You can click on the images to see them larger.