Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Art · The Push-Pin Man
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The Push-Pin Man

Al Parker - September 1st, 2008
Traverse City artist Eric Daigh is not only passionate about his creative works, he’s also intent on earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
While other artists typically work in oils, watercolors or charcoal, Daigh has chosen to express his abilities through a very unusual medium – push pins, those run-of-the-mill, plastic colored pins that are jabbed into bulletin boards in offices around the world.
“We’ve applied to the Guinness book for ‘The Most Push Pins Applied by an Individual,’” says Daigh, an affable, energetic artisan whose lifelike character portraits are catching eyes at the
InsideOut Gallery in Traverse City.
Daigh will be featured in a one-man show, “Portraits: 50 Thousand Pieces of Plastic,” from 7 to 11 p.m. at the gallery on Sept. 19.
From a distance, Daigh’s works look like compelling, insightful portraits of a uncertain medium. But up close, a viewer is surprised to find thousands of common push pins transformed into a vibrant piece of creativity.
“Push pins are only the medium. The image is what is important to me – the gaze has to be really compelling,” explains Daigh, whose works are all oversized portraits that reflect passion, much like the works of one of his favorite artists, Chuck Close.
“He’s far and away my biggest influence,” says Daigh, who also admires the work of portrait photographer Martin Schoeller and his father, Rick Daigh.

Close is noted for making huge oversized portraits, using a grid as an underlying basis for the representation of an image through digital or photo-mechanical means. It’s a simple, but versatile process that offers more creativity than one might expect.
Like Close, Daigh considers himself a “process painter” whose works combine creativity with hours of diligent application.
“It’s the humanity that we’re trying to show,” says Daigh. “It’s really tricky sometimes, trying to get the exact curve of a cheek or wrinkle under an eye.”
Daigh begins his projects by taking a series of photos of the subject. After carefully analyzing the photos, he uses a computer and specialized software to break an image down to a very low resolution and force the computer to make the image out of only five colors, the primary colors of red, blue and yellow, plus black and white.
“With the push pins, I don’t have every color in the rainbow to use. It’s a limited color palette,” he explains. “Push pins only come in a few colors.”
Daigh gets his multi-colored packs of 500 pins through local retailers. He and his wife, Meghan, sometimes spend their evenings sorting pins into the five colors he uses. Push pins don’t come in black, so Daigh has to spray paint green pins to black.
After breaking the image down to a low resolution, Daigh produces a row-by-row grid that dictates where each color pin should be placed to form the image. Daigh then places the pins, one-by-one, following the grid map. It takes some 11,000 push pins to complete one of his 3x4-foot works.
“If I can do 1,000 pins a day, I’m pretty happy,” says Daigh. “But one advantage to working with pins is that I can work on it for two minutes and place a few pins or I can work for two hours at a time.”

Born and raised in Southern California, Daigh was 15 when his family moved to Traverse City. He graduated from TC Central High School and later the University of Montana.
After college he moved back to Traverse City in 2004. When not working on his art projects, Daigh works for Circle of Blue, an international organization that focuses on the global freshwater crisis.
While most of his recent works utilize the colored pins, Daigh is already planning on expanding his medium into thread and colored duct tape. He tried working with colored star stickers, but they were too reflective.
No matter the medium, Daigh is very pleased that the public has expressed interest in his works.
“It’s impressive to me to think that someone has paid their hard-earned money to have one of my works in their home,” he says. “It’s quite an honor.”
For more information, go to www.daigh.com/pins or www.insideoutgallery.com.
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