Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"Choban" in Color

This is a hand-colored version of the woodcut I made and posted about a few days ago. I actually designed the cut with the intention of adding color. Not sure how I feel about this version. But that's always how I feel after I make a color version of a black and white print.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Sketchbook Sunday: Family Portraits

Tonight Will, the girls and I had a family drawing night inspired by the workshop I went to with Meri Adelman last week. We each took about 1 minute to draw another person with a black Sharpie and then we colored them in (not necessarily coloring the one we drew.) Lots of fun. The kids want to start doing this regularly. We'll see what happens.

Friday, January 26, 2018


This is the proof of my print for Baren Forum Exchange #75. It's of our recently adopted dog Choban, hanging out on the couch where he sleeps at night. I've got the run of black and white prints finished, but I really want to hand-color them before I send them out. I'm planning to play around with paints tomorrow to see what I can come up with.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

My Year of the Dog Woodcut

This is a little 2.75" x 4" woodcut of one of our new family dogs - "Mary" (a little, black chiweenie) that I did for this year's Chinese New Year Exchange through the Baren Forum for Woodblock Printmaking. It's the Year of the Dog. I'm going to try some hand-coloring before I decide whether the cards I send out will be black and white or color.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sketchbook Sunday: Portraits with Meri Adelman

Last night I participated in a portrait drawing workshop called "Facing Ourselves" with artist Meri Adelman. It's part of the Women's Creativity Nights series of workshops at Six Senses Clay Studio (I'm offering white line printmaking February 3rd). There were five of us there. Meri took 4 minutes to draw each participant (and later I drew Meri), and then we took turns using oil pastels to fill in the drawings with color and patterns. Unfortunately I hadn't brought my camera, so I only have this photograph of the portrait of me. But they were all stunning and fun to make.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Mary Azarian's Winter Trees from 1992 Calendar

A friend of mine gave me two "Country Calendars" published by Mary Azarian's Farmhouse Press in 1992 and 1993. This stark and uncomplicated woodcut accompanies the month of January.

I am haunted yet oddly mollified by the absence of footprints or animal tracks in the snow. The black and bare trees are all that escape cover.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sketchbook Sunday: Wagner Moths

This week I drew from moths in the Wagner's collection. Each sketch is 1" x 1". I want to do more 1" x 1" linocuts and woodcuts such as these, and hoping that through persistant tinker around, eventually a clear direction for this project will reveal itself.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"Amida Waterfall" by Hokusai

Amida Waterfall on the Kiso Highway is from Katsushika Hokusai's series A Journey to the Waterfalls of all the Provinces. My wonderful husband Will gave it to me for winter solstice. I have ordered it a frame and am eager to display it on a wall in our home.

I wrote about another print from that series - Kirifuri Waterfall - back in 2010, the year I started this blog. I wrote about how the streams of water read like massive, exposed tree roots. This waterfall reads very differently. The stream at the top appears like a moon streaked with blue wood grain. Streams then fall almost straight down; a long line of parallel stripes of various widths, like a bar code. The work elegantly expresses the memorizing beauty and grandeur of a natural monument. As in all of Hokusai's waterfalls (and most of his landscapes in general) the people are dwarfed by the subject, and seem so much more nimble and transient.

Coincidentally, that blog post from 2010 is also the only one which includes a photograph of my beloved.

Monday, January 8, 2018

1"x1": Hippo Eye and Seahorse

More 1" x 1" lino blocks printed in repeated patterns (over the weekend I posted a 1"x1" Jaragua Lizard). Still not sure what I'm going to do with this or where it's going. Time in the studio will tell. 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sketchbook Sunday: Dog Portraits

These are portraits of the two dogs my family adopted this year. Mary is a chiweenie (chihuahua and dachshund mix) and Choban is an Australian Shepherd. I feel their respective personalities really come through.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

1"x1": Jaragua Lizard

I'm playing around with 1" x 1" blocks printed in repeated patterns. This is a linocut of a Jaragua lizard. It's the smallest lizard in the world and so the print is true to actual size. Not sure where I'm going with this yet. Still at the stage of playing around. Can't say I'm super thrilled with this particular cut, but I like the general idea. More to come.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Highlights from [Baren] Exchange #74 (Part 2 of 2)

Here is the second half of my highlights from Baren Forum Exchange #74. The first half I wrote yesterday.

Of her print Tightening the Boom, Jennifer O'Keefe merely comments: "New England cranberry wet harvesting." Nicole Schlooser is even more enigmatic, offering no commentary on her untitled woodcut of sleeping rabbits. We viewers are left with an image on a square piece of paper to contemplate.

I paired these two prints, with such dissimilar subjects and styles, for a reason, although finding to right words to articulate why is a challenge. The connection I see seems to rest in both composition and aura.

Regarding the former, there is a horizon across the upper-center of the pictureplane - explicit in O'Keefe's and implied in Schlosser's. In both, natural elements such as trees and water suggest gentle, wavering movement. A partial oval anchors the scene, and depth is suggested by the diminishing scale of figures in the background compared to those in the foreground.

Regarding the latter, there is a stoic anonymity of beings who quietly pass the moments engaged in the flow of activities both repetitious and indispensable. It is the heartbeat of life itself when at rest.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Highlights from [Baren] Exchange #74 (Part 1 of 2)

I returned from visiting family for the holidays to my package of prints from Baren Forum Exchange #74. What a happy surprise and fine start to the new year! This is an stunning collection of 7" x 7" prints. I really love the whole collection so much, but have limited myself to highlighting 4 on this blog.

The technique challenge was white woodcuts (after the Provincetown style), which is a very difficult and time consuming technique to attempt, let alone master. Most of the participants at least made a go at creating a print partially or fully in the traditional white line style, and the results are full of many subtle and lovely effects. I could go on, but I don't really write about technique on this art blog. And so...

This first featured print, Espresso in Sienna, is by Alexandra Morris. Initially I was grabbed by the colors, but ultimately what charms me is the interaction between the pottery and that doily. Positioned asymmetrically, the lace loops and swerves round and round, echoing the curves of the cup, it's handle, saucer, and surface designs.

Monica Bright's print Fixated features a similar interplay, this time between an imaginative and abstracted school of fish that spiral around a watchful bird. This image is more singular in the direction of its composition; with the background completely carved away to eliminate any distractions, emphasis is on the overall hypnotic spiral and a darkened, hungry eye.

I'll post again tomorrow with the other 2 prints from this exchange that I've decided to write about.