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Careless Press
~ California
(Carol Es)

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Artist: “Carol Es is a self-taught artist, writer, and musician who was born and raised in Los Angeles. Sometimes considered an Outsider artist, she is primarily known for creating personal narratives and has used past experiences as the fuel for her subject matter - transforming a broken history into a positive and spiritual resolve. Candid experiences are laid bare and forged directly into abstract paintings, drawings, soft sculptures, mixed media collages, installations, and handmade Artists' books.”
Desolate Press editions  

The Spark
By Carol Es
Los Angeles, California: 2017, Careless Press. Edition of 20.

5 x 3.5" black box containing pamphlet, 2 ephemera pieces, and flashdrive. Printed on 100% cotton Moab and Strathmore papers. Embellished with unique markings in colored pencils, gouache, ink, pen, and graphite by Carol Es. A simple circle drawing on watercolor paper is inserted into the pamphlet's centerfold. Materials: Italian papers, linen card stock covers, thread, and waxed twine. Pamphlet with hand stitched binding. Printed with Epson Ultra chrome K3 inks. Includes an antique paper label. Signed and numbered by Carol Es. Case tied with orange waxed Irish linen thread and labeled using a playing card on the box exterior. Magnet closure.

Carol Es: "The Spark, 2017, is a multimedia limited edition that includes both a handmade Artist's book and a custom flash drive inside a clamshell case. This small 3.25 x 4.5 inch book entitled, The Spark, was created as a companion piece for Up to Now, the six-minute movie, presented in HD on the accompanying flash drive. It is a semi-animated story against the backdrop of Joshua Tree created by Carol Es in collaboration with Jonathan Nesmith and Susan Holloway in 2015.

"They all come packaged like a gift – carefully tied together with orange waxed linen thread from Ireland. The case is then labeled with a playing card, face-down, revealing an intricate painting of Joshua Tree in the springtime. "

The charming movie revolves around time the artist spent in Joshua Tree National Park ruminating about her personal struggles and their transference into her art.

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By Carol Es
Los Angeles: Careless Press, 2013. Edition of 8.

6 x 9"; 20 pages. Two drawings on black Strathmore Artagain paper. Two handmade flower-pressed papers. Two original watercolor and ink paintings. One gouache/Sumi-e painting on golden handmade paper from Nepal. One original block print. Two copper plate etchings on Rives BFK. One embroidered drawing. One 5 x 5" Giclée. Three digitally designed pages with archival Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks. Letterpress and digital printing. Japanese stab binding. Cover with hand die-cut house illustration. Slipcased. Cereal box papers used for covers and slipcase. Signed and numbered.

Carol Es: "Houses is the title of poem I wrote back in 1999. It has been through probably a thousand revisions before the final re-write in 2013, when I decided to reconstruct it into an artists' book. The lines of the poem are broken up among the pages in the book. It is about moving countless times as a child with my dysfunctional family. My parents were always fighting, my mother had mental illness, and with each break-up they had, they bought and sold a house, splitting up my brother and I, but eventually getting back together. Then, the cycle would repeat itself again within a year.

"I made the covers of the book out of random cereal boxes. Each one is a little bit different. It also comes in a very simple slip case, also made from cereal boxes (mostly raisin bran). "

$750 (Last Copy)

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Today's Quandary
By Carol Es
Los Angeles: Carol Es, 2013. Edition of 50.

8.5 x 5.5"; 28 pages. Each includes an original colored pencil and ink drawing on the front page. Bound in 100% cotton Crane Lettra paper covers. Printed by Bill Roberts at Bottle of Smoke Press. Pamphlet stitch binding. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Carol Es: "If there is such a thing as an accidental publication, this would be it! Now, that might sound confusing, and trust me – it is. However, before completing Houses, and while working on a new book of drawings … something odd happened along the way: the sudden channeling of writing aloud thoughts, ideas, memories, and realizations while these artist's books were in the process of being created. What then materialized was something of a diary-entry-meets-art-philosophy-manifesto of 28 black and white pages, and an honest look into the private inspiration of one silly little artist – ...

"It's mostly writing, but there are eight illustrations scattered amongst the pages that show past and upcoming content of some of the artist's books created between 2008-2014."


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Scribbles in a Sandstorm
By Carol Es
San Pedro, California: Carol Es / Chance Press, 2010. Edition of 20.

7 x 7" closed, 7 x 40" extended; 26 pages. Double sided accordion.
Letterpress and inkjet printed. Bound in cloth-covered boards with removable illustrated paper spine.

Edition Details, Colophon: "All inkjet-printed pieces use Epson Ultrachrome K3 archival inks. The main panorama is printed on Moab Entrada Rag paper; the cover pastedown on Canson Infinity Rives BFK; the title page and colophon on Canson Infinity Rap Photographique; the present piece on Canson Infinity Arches Velin Museum Rag; and the stand-alone inkjet print on Canson Infinity Montval Aquarelle. The Gocco print is on handmade banana-leaf paper, the sketchbook is bound in Fabriano Ingres wrappers, and the letterpress print is on Arches Cover."

Carol Es: "A handbound artist's book enabling the accordion-folded text block to unfold and display a 40" color-printed panorama. On the flipside: an instant Carol Es art collection including a Gocco print, a letterpress print, and a giclée print on watercolor paper, as well as a bound-in excerpt from Carol's sketchbook. The book also includes an original signed sketch."

Carol Es, colophon: "For many years I have wanted to set aside some quiet time in the desert where I did nothing but draw. In the spring of 2010, I was finally able to do just that. I rented a secluded house in Joshua Tree National Park that had a detached art studio with perfect light. I couldn't have asked for a better set up both physically and mentally. During my two week stay I was able to come up with a lot of work including this book.

"For the previous year I had been dealing with the loss of both my parents. The loss made me realize that my muse had always been my dysfunctional family, and after their death I had been struggling a bit with my usual sarcastic transformation of them into goofy cartoons.

"However, lo and behold: the birth of Dan, a brand new character. He seemed to appear almost like a super hero, as if to save the day. Perhaps it was the simplicity of the nature around me, I really don't' know, but he developed in my sketch book as a non-descript animal. A dog? A cat? A horse? Or perhaps it is two people in an animal suite. Nobody knows for sure. But while Dan appears to be indifferent, he is there to make you happy. He cheered me up anyway.

"I've always said that I consider my art a kind of medication. It distracts me from the bullshit in my head, yet it also resolves a lot of issues. It allows me to keep a sense of humor about life even though I'm a bit of dark person. I guess you could say I'm a pessimistic optimist: This shitty world is beautiful."
$150 (Last 3 copies)

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By Carol Es
San Pedro, California: Careless Press, 2008. Edition of 50.

5.5 x 8.5"; 24 pages. Illustrations digital laser prints. Text typed on an Underwood portable typewriter. Covers letterpress printed on Crane's Lettra by Aardvark Letterpress. Endpages of Strathmore Artagain paper. Handbound by the artist with waxed linen thread. Laid in brown smooth cardboard lidded box. Band closure with an antique paper label of birds.

Carol Es: "This senseless, handmade books contains childlike, crude drawings and words come directly out of the artist's bedside sketchbook. They are ideas in a dream: funny inspirations taken from a half sleeping brain gone mad. The drawings were kept as pure as they were when scribbled down in the middle of the night, redrawn in gouache and reproduced as digital laser prints.

"Every page is individually typed on an old Underwood portable typewriter, so each book varies in text, mistakes, cross outs, and languages."
$130 (Last 3 copies)


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All Done But None
By Carol Es
San Pedro, California: Careless Press, 2007. Edition of 20.

11.75 x 7"; 32 pages. Pale green hardcover starched linen, stitch bound with slipcover. Although a limited edition each is original. The illustrations are in watercolor and ink on Fabriano Artistico paper, with end papers handmade from Nepal and letterpressed at Careless Press. Each book has an original painting on the 24th page and each contains a copper plate etching, a dry point engraving, and a solar plate print on Rives BFK paper. The edition is hardbound with letterpressed, handmade end papers from Nepal.

An irresolute, yet humorously spirited Carol Es deals here with indecision while offering true-to-life stories as various options for the book's direction.

These miserable anecdotes and ironic childhood tales include bad dreams, avoiding school, being raped, playing drums in a band that toured with Pauly Shore, working for pornographer Larry Flynt, and revelations of a dysfunctional family life.
$1,250 (Last 3 copies)

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By Carol Es
San Pedro, California: Careless Press, 2005. Edition of 50.

8.5 x 8", 36 pages, letterpress printed with a die-cut letterpressed cover. Book is hand-stitched with original watercolor drawing, 14 color inkjet images, hand-carved block print insert, and a hand-cut collar pattern. Housed in a box with a block print label (signed & numbered by the artist).

The title of this artist book suggests dual meaning of both intimate self-expression and the artist’s pattern making background in the Los Angeles garment industry. Master garment patterns were often marked "1-self," "2-self," "2-lining," "interfacing," before being shipped to the fabric room on the assembly line for manufacturing.

Carol is a native Los Angelina and self-taught painter whose work has shown locally for several years. Her work intimately explores the tribulations of childhood trauma using pigment, manila paper and sewing pins to overcome them. Her witty psychological portraits mark her past, while serving as a release. Carol is also a recent recipient of The Artists’ Resource for Completion Grant from the Durfee Foundation.

"1-SELF" is a showcase of her artwork with essays by Los Angeles art critics Shana Nys Dambrot and Kristina Newhouse. The artist's own remarks are interspersed to give additional insights into her and the work.





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Page last update: 03.19.2024


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