Sunday, December 20, 2009

New video up!

I finally had some time to squeeze in editing Karen Kunc's demo video. It is very long, and because there is so much to learn about her technique and process of working from sketches to finished print, I pretty much left it all in. You can go to youtube to check it out. It was taped at the Sev Shoon print center in Seattle this fall.

At the same time as Karen's demo was going Zha Sai, another visiting artist, was working on a relief print on the other side of the room. I was sorry to only catch on of the demos on video, even though both were brilliant artists. (Photo on the left taken by Janet Marcavage)

I am always interested to see how different printmakers register their prints. Karen used a larger block of wood that the paper could be registered on and run through the press- as you can see if you get a chance to look a the video. Zha Sai had a brand new apparatus that was so simple, yet, I had never seen one before. She registers her paper only on the top edge. I wish I would have had a regular camera with me to take a picture of her printer's helper, but since I don't have one, I'll try to sketch it out quickly for you. It is basically an L-shaped piece of plexiglass that she places over her print so that she can align her paper registration marks on the top of the page. So simple, but if you ever see her her, it must work well, since her prints were amazing.
If anyone else has a chance to try this out, let me know. I'd like to hear if it works as well as it looks it would.

It has been a super busy fall for me, hence the absence of me in the blogsphere. I have some test results from z-acryl plates, I wanted to post in the near future (tomorrow maybe?). I am renting a small studio space out to print in in Tacoma, and am teaching small classes in printmaking from there. Here is a short video of a day of printing from my beginning polymerplate class. You'll see it's a really small space, but if there are 3 or less people printing, we could make it. I am looking forwards to teaching more classes after January.

I also took a polymerplate + letterpress class in Seattle this fall and had blast learning about the vandercook presses. The class was taught at SVC by Chandler O'Leary. She added some pictures of work made in the class on her blog here. I put some pictures of the class on flickr with pictures of two small tabletop presses I am in the process of fixing up. The last parts are with a friend who is helping me out by welding a broken part and making a small chase for the Chicago #10 press. I am so excited to see them both put together and working again.

Upcoming in the new year are a portfolio and a solo show in February that I should be getting ready for. More to come on news and upcoming events in the next couple of posts.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

News and Upcoming Exciting Events

There have been so many exciting events going on in my life that I have hardly had the time to sit by the computer. I have some great video from a Karen Kunc and Zha Zai demo from Seattle to post in the near future. Also just went up- a intimate exhibition by Chandler O'Leary at the Pacific Lutheran University Gallery in Tacoma.
I was selected as one of 4 artists to complete work for the NoteWorld Servicing Center corporate offices in Tacoma. The time frame is very tight, so I have been working double time on that. I also have a solo show at the Friends Gallery at Lakewood Library going up on Nov 1st, so I need to get crankin' to have some more new pieces to put up. The images are the finished set of linocuts of the message series.

Here is a short list on some events coming up:
1. Exhibition in Dupont, Patriots Landing. Oct 2nd, 2009-Mar 28th, 2010, 1600 Marshall Cir, Dupont, WA 98327
2. Solo show at Lakewood Library. Nov 2nd-30th. 6300 Wildaire Rd SW, Tacoma, WA 98499
3. Beginning Polymerplate class taught on Tuesday mornings in November in my studio. More info and syllabus on my website front page.

4. Art At Work Month- a citywide event in Tacoma. Open studio tours, Nov 7-8th, 10am-4pm. F.S. Harmon Building, 2926 S. Steele St. Tacoma, WA.

5. A table at the 37th Annual Yule Boutique, at Pacific Lutheran University, Nov 22, 9am - 5pm. 12180 Park Avenue S, Tacoma, WA

6. In the works a portfolio print, some other exhibitions, a possible co-op membership in Seattle and children's book illustrations for a local author.

I had sworn to be busy after my husband deployed, and I can say the least I have accomplished that goal. It's all good though. I am thoroughly enjoying networking and making myself cozy in Washington. I miss my husband dearly every day, but keeping busy helps with having less time to feel sorry for myself and spending time with friends keeps me upbeat. Who knew water aerobics, bible study and walking dogs could provide so much joy in my life. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Well Blog Me...

The bird linocuts are finished with some color. I have 10 done, and have 10 more to go. Did have time to post one on Etsy. I took a "fancy" picture of it this time in frames. I should do this for all my prints for sale on etsy. I love it when people photograph their art (for selling purposes) with props, it always makes me want to have one.

My little mousy mezzotint and bird etching got featured in blogs. RE-Read Design wrote about things inspired by Finland in the beginning of the summer and the mouse was featured at Melissa's blog. It makes me happy and encourages me to go on when people enjoy my art. :)

Oh, and one more thing, I finally got my website front page updated so that it shows info of my upcoming class.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Print Your Heart Out!

Wanted to give you a head's up on a class I am going to be teaching at my new studio. It's not the biggest palce on earth, so I am limiting class size to 5 students. That will enable everyone to get the attention they need and enough space to spread out. The class will be an introduction to photopolymer plates. Price is $180 and it will include all essential materials needed in the class. Classes will meet on Tuesdays from 10am - about 1pm, depending on how people get done with their work. I chose polymerplates to be my first class, since it is fairly easy and students can continue making them at home after the class.
During the course of the class we will briefly look at the different types of printmaking, students will learn how to prepare, expose and print with polymerplates and how to continue with the process even after the class has ended. Students will have a chance to see original prints from artists around the country and be inspired by the multitude of expressions that printmaking offers. Since space is limited, I wold advise to sign up for the class early. To do so, please email me at, payments can be made through paypal or check. I will add this course to my website front page in the next couple of days.

I was able to go to the Seattle Wayzgoose this past week which was held at the School of Visual Concepts. They have a really nice print shop and have some awesome classes you can attend. The wayzgoose was a blast, and I actually remembered my video camera now, so I could take some pictures from the steamroller printing of giant linocuts:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Three tips for Lincut Printing

Howdy folks! I have been having a long break, spending time in Finland with family and enjoying the summer. I made a little picture diary of things that I loved there. You can find it here. As far as intaglio printing goes I am out of commission until the semester starts back up again at TCC on Sept 28th. I was silly and left my materials in the studio, thinking I would not need them. That's ok though, it has given me time to make some linocuts.
Remember the age old game of telephone? As part of my new theme of animals conspiring against us, I am working on a linocut series of animals passing a message along to each other. I was trying to make them look a little like vintage illustrations. I don't know if it worked or not. Here are the first two I finished so far. It's supposed to be 9 little prints when it's done.

I was using the speedball watersoluble block printing ink to print the last prints. Since the plates were so small, I just hand burnished them. Below is my print setup at home. I have always had problems with this ink drying up and becoming gummy after about 10 prints. Since I am thrifty and don't want to throw out ink I paid for (I have 5 different colors of this stuff), this is the solution to work with it. I took my small atomizer bottle meant for watercolor painting and misted the rolled out ink surface lightly in between prints. That enabled me to print indefinitely with the ink. Also- don't squeeze out too much ink on the plate for rolling out at a time. I am still not crazy about these inks, they are watersoluble like watercolor even after at least 5 days after printing and drying. But because of the same reason, they are easy to use at home (which we are renting) for easy cleanup.

Tip #2: Linocuts curling up on you? If you work on smaller sizes, the plates always curl up after they are washed. Bigger ones flatten out with weight but not these ones. If you dry them in between phone books with a weight on it they will flatten back out. Here is a before after photos. Oops, the plate is different in the photo, but you get the point.

Below is a print that I was working for a comission. A friend wanted a print of a chickadee to give to her father for a birthday present. I figured that since it ties in with my other animal prints, I would make a whole edition of them. Here is where the tip #3 comes in (afterthoughts kill me). I tried to do some watercolor on top of the print (before I knew it would run) and of course it bled all over. I also printed them on Rives light weight since I was hand printing, so the paper warped a lot when it got wet. To fix these two problems, I had to get a little crafty.

I used Krylon crystal clear spray on the print and let it dry thoroughly. Then I added wheat paste to the watercolor to keep it from soaking in immediately. This helped me apply the color more evenly and kept the paper from wrinkling up. In the end, it turned out great. She loved it. I had to turn it in as soon as I got it done, so I don't have a picture right now, but I will color the other prints as well so we'll have a picture in a couple of days.

Hope those are some helpful hints to someone out there. Just chuggin' along here.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tweet tweet

I have been working hard to print some of the plates that I have been working on. I had 4 plates, but no prints, so yesterday, I made a couple of hours time for myself to pull a couple of proofs off of each to at least start the edition. I wanted to have some ready to go for our reception at Grand Impromptu tonight and for a fair tomorrow. I still need to go back and take the time to properly finish printing each edition.

I have some fun and exciting ideas for the blog in the future, so stay tuned for those. I am on twitter now too, so you can follow updates there from all my sites.
Here are some pictures of the new prints:

The Eavesdroppers, I also worked on this in watercolor. Etching with chine colle.

This is a partner piece for the little mezzotint Scout I. Also a mezzotint on copper.
I wanted to still play around with the Scout I plate, so I scraped in some background. I like both the prints, but for different reasons. I'll only print a small 2nd edition of these.
I have also worked on some more watercolors. Finishing my second more serious one this week. They are both the same subject as the prints. I just wanted to work in water color as well, to see how the ideas change as I work in different media. Here are some steps in watercoloring and the finished piece underneath.
The little mice are the Sneaky Suspects.

This is a little mini etching I wokred on just for fun. I wanted to make a little etching in a shape of a house. i ended up drawing a little cat on the inside. I think I'll make a couple more with different animals in there. This is about 2" wide and 2 1/2" tall.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Prints, Watercolors and Events

The days seem to have less minutes in them every day. Its been over a week since I last stopped by the TCC print studio, even though I have been carrying supplies with me every other day, thinking that I might have some time to swing by and get some work done. Semester is only 2 more weeks, and with family coming to town this weekend, it's not looking so good for the rest of the month either... I am trying though, maybe tomorrow before I have to go sit the Grand Impromptu Gallery.

I did have a chance to print a couple of weeks ago, finished two prints a large etching and a small mezzotint. (Both above) It was my first ever mezzotint to rock, scrape and print, and I was pretty happy with it. Theres a picture of me rocking and another wiping a plate at the TCC print studio. I am rocking my second round plate at home, and hope to finish it at some point in the ear future. The imagery has shifted from my factory farming theme to a George Orwellian animal takeover. Lots of imagination and humor is involved. The investigation is revelaing how animals are quietly scheming to take over. One can see them eavesdropping, having meetings and planning right now.

The two watercolors, the birds still in progress are also part of that series. They show the suspects that were caught and who to look out for. Below a picture of my mess at home.

Lastly but not least, I am taking part in the Tacoma Ladyfest June 6th at 1pm. Ladyfest Tacoma is an event celebrating, encouraging and showcasing the talents of female artists and performers. They give women the space to create, share, shine and hold an event that gives back to the community in support of women. All proceeds from the event will be donated to DAWN, a South-Sound non-profit organization whose mission is to end domestic violence by empowering survivors and fostering communities where abuse is not tolerated. I hope you can come, for more information please visit their website.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Buzz

So many events so little time! Exhibition, spring cleaning, meetings, being stuck in traffic- when d I get to make some art. There are so many exciting things going on right now.

I got asked to do a show at Patriots Landing, which is a retirement community here is Dupont. They have a lobby area with empty walls and no art to put up. I got a couple of other artists together and the reception will be on April 25th. I first thought I could make some new non-shocking work, but now realize, that it's not going to happen with everything else going on. I did finish two presentable pieces, the black horse drawings, that I have ready frames for. If I can handle it, it would be nice to have a couple more new drawings, since I have a lot of frames from an old project that I never intend to show again. We are also doing a spring botox for the gallery- sprucing it up a bit. We finished painting the walls, and half the floor, and by the end of the week it should be mostly done. We had a good time, I put some photos on flickr, click on the picture below to see those. The next show goes up next week, with reception on friday, I'm sad it'll be the same night as the reception at Patriot's Landing, so I can't make it to both. Tomorrow I am going to TCC where I am signed up for the independent printmaking class, to teach one of the other independent students about etching aquatints with chinamarkers. That should be fun. Maybe I'll try to take some photos about it. It's been a week since I last made it down there... I am working on a new plate, which I am not sure how it will look. I guess I'm in a transitional phase, where I'm not sure how the art is going to look yet. I do have a theme though. It's been on my mind for years, and I am finally getting it on paper! More on that later.

Monday, April 6, 2009

What I've Been up to Lately

Well, it's been busy busy busy lately. But I guess thats a good thing to keep me out of trouble. I went the the SGC conference a week ago, and had a blast. I took some photos and video, that I mean to post, but haven't had the energy to edit them yet. I have cool videos of a foiling demo and a panel talk on new technologies in printmaking.

I have been making some illustrations and a logo so I am not completely sitting on my hands. A long time project, that I've mentioned before is Fabians creatures, which is a novel being written by Joshua Goldfond. So far I've completed 6 or 7 illustrations of all sorts of creatures, which has been great fun since animals are fun to draw. Josh is hoping to finish the book this summe, so keep your fingers crossed that we get it published.

My husband asked me to make a logo for his detachment in the army. Their mascot is a scorpion, I know-how cuddly, so he wanted the logo to be a skeleton riding a scorpion with their company patch in it somewhere (its the flag with the fleur de lis...). Anyways, completed that too tonight, so I thought I'd post it here for all to see.
Stay posted for those videos to come soon...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Blog Feature

Rosemary Ponnekanti of The News Tribune in Tacoma has featured my work on her GO Arts blog. Visit to see her article.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Trees I Have Known

One of my new Z-Acryl pieces was accepted to a juried show in Kansas:
Trees I Have Known is a juried exhibition featuring artwork and ephemera made by and collected by a diverse group of artists, thinkers, and neighbors who have created work that reflects upon the tree as subject, metaphor, and inspiration.
The work for this exhibition was selected from submissions by 150 artists working in Lawrence and beyond. Over 30 artists working in a wide range of media will be featured:
Bobby Neel Adams (New York), Charles Boone (Illinois), Kyle Bravo & Jenny LeBlanc (Louisiana), Stacey Cluppert (Wisconsin), Eric Farnsworth (Lawrence), Jon Feinstein (New York), Jenny Lee Fowler (New York), Justin Guilbert (France), Mirka Hokkanen (Washington), Paul Hotvedt (Lawrence), Chancey Jahnig (Lawrence, currently), Lora Jost (Lawrence), Mindy Kober (Texas), Jeff Krolick (New York), Dave Loewenstein (Lawrence), George Lorio (Texas), Robin Masi (Massachusetts), Eleanor Matheis (Lawrence), Elaine McKay (New York), Michele Monseau (Texas), Melanie Mowinski (Massachusetts), Colleen Mullins (Minnesota), Tim Obrien (Lawrence), Erika Osborne (West Virginia), Sarah Nicole Phillips (New York), Katherine Sehr (New York), Erika Shearer (Lawrence), Matthew Szosz (California), Suzanne Szucs (New York), Jake Vail (Lawrence), Erika Villareal (Indiana), KT Walsh ( Lawrence), and Roscoe Wilson (Ohio)
The Percolator exhibition was borne from discussions with Stephen Goddard, curator of Trees & Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature & Culture. The Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas will be showing Trees & Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature & Culture during the course of this exhibition.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spring Thing Reception

Of course I forgot my camera (2 times now!) as we were setting up the show this week. I also went to a cool letterpress artists printpalooza at the Kings Bookstore, with steamroller printing and everything, and of course did not have my camera with either. I think I need to strap it to me permanently or something.

I wanted to announce the reception for Spring Thing at the Grand Impromptu Gallery this friday March 6th from 5-8pm. We will also be open for the monthly art walk Thursday March 19th from 4-8pm.

I helped paint and hang some work this week. The show looks really nice, if you have a chance to stop by. We are featuring works from all the members, so there is a really nice variety of 2-d and 3-d pieces. I wont forget to take the camera with to the reception on friday and then I can finally post some photos.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grand Impromptu Gallery


I am so excited to have been selected to be a member of a co-op here in Tacoma. They are a pretty new gallery that started about a year ago. The space is awesome and is part of the Tacoma art walk every month. You can visit their site at A new show is going up at the end of the week, titled Spring Fling, and I will already have work in it.
I am so happy to be a part of something new and exciting. I look forwards to being an active member and bringing something to the table there. Pictures to be posted soon!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Book on water and reflections

I received a link for this nice book from the scientific illustration list serv. The book is from 1903, author Sir Montagu Pollock, title A Study of Reflexion and Colour in River, Lake and Sea. The book is old, but offers some intersting insights into the physical nature of reflections in water.
The database can also be searched with other keywords (woodcut, print, etching etc.) to find other old forgotten books and ilustrations. In addition to texts, you can also find audio, film and music files.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

PLU National Print Exhibition

Above: Patrick Merrill, 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, woodcut, 1st prize; Robert Schwieger, Bob's Workshop, screenprint on glass.
I had a chance to visit the closing reception of the Pacific Lutheran University National Print Exhibition on Friday Feb 11th. The wonderful exhibition, organized by master printer Craig Cornwall, was juried by Tacoma Art Museum curator Margaret Bullock.

Below left to right: Tom Baker, Beacon, relief, silkscreen; Karla Hackenmiller, Liminal Deploy, etching; Andrew Au, GLNrUD, etching, silkscreen, 2nd prize; Jenny Freestone, Vessel, Recycle, drypoint, etching.

The exhibition was a joy to see offering such a wide variety of beautiful prints and combinations of techniques from established and up and coming artists alike. Ms Bullock said in her statement that her criteria for jurying pieces into the exhibition were well thought out compositions, mastery of the techniques, and intriguing combinations of materials and processes.

Some of my favorite surprises were Robert Schwieger’s screen print on glass, Patrick Merrill’s large woodcut triptych (which also won first prize) and Kathleen O’Connell’s etching, drypoint and coffee print. Mr. Cornwall was also doing a printing demo with students during the reception for visitors to see how the intaglio process works.

Above left to right: Kathleen O'Connell, Cities and Names: Cristobal, etching, drypoint, coffee; Chandler O'Leary, Versailles, letterpress; Ann Schuster, Collateral Damage, woodcut.
Please enjoy some of the pictures from the exhibition.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Printmaking Quotes

I was on the road for a couple of days with our move, and I came to my computer to find over 90 messages (daily normal around 10)! The Mid America Print Council list serv had sent me tons of quotes about printmaking. Thank goodness Nichole Geary has collected them in her blog to share to the world. Here are some of my faves:

"Printmaking is fun because it takes a perfectly simple process like drawing and makes it as complicated and error prone as possible."
- George Bodmer submitted by Julian Cox

"Printmaking, like sex, is not solely about reproduction."
submitted by Curtis Readel, Christopher Cannon, and Jeremy Cody.

"If you can't do it in black and white, all the color in the world is not going to help."
- Robert Malone, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville submitted by Amy Schmierbach

"Inspiration is for amateurs! The rest of us get to work!"
- Chuck Close, SGC Keynote Address, Boston, MA 2004 submitted by Syd Cross and Dusty Herbig

"The great thing about printmaking is that it brings the element of sport into artmaking."
- unknown submitted by Matt Rebholz

Nichole has a pretty cool blog otherwise too, worth checking it out! Thanks Nichole for putting this together.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Movin' and shakin'

Our movers will be here on wednesday! For all the hustle and bustle I won't be able to write in a little bit. It will be a long drive from GA to WA. Hopefully we'll get internet set up at our new house within a week or so when we arrive.
I packed my sewing machines yesterday, so I concentrated on some printmaking for a change today. I did the demo on the lithography plates last week, and got inspired to make a set of three little "hut" prints. The images are only a couple of inches tall- I think they'll look nice in some shadow boxes.
While I was drawing the prints, I was thinking back to my childhood. Building little huts was one of my favorite activities growing up. Even when the other kids would come and break our hut down, we would always build a new one trying to make innovations as we scavenged for supplies.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Z-Acryl Lithography Printing

I had a chance to demo z-acryl plates to a couple of the teachers at AASU and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to tape it and add it here. Z-acryl (brand name) makes thin plastic plates that are used similar to aluminum litho plates, but the advantage to these plates are their immediacy, cost and ease of use. There is no need to etch the images and the thin plates can be run through a computer lazer printer to print images on. When using toner, the plates do need to baked in the over according to the manufacturers directions to make sure that the toner does not lift off during printing. The plates are 13"x18" and currently cost $2.50 per plate. Something else similar to these plates are Pronto Plates, but I have not used them, so I cant say much about them. As far as I have heard they are preocessed the same way.

Basics before starting
1. be careful not to touch the front of the paper a lot. the oils in your fingers will stick to the paper, and will catch ink and print.
2. the paper has a front and a back side. The front is the rough side and the back is the glossy smooth side.
3. I am not aware of any way to make corrections for these plates, so what you draw there is permanent. (I'm not vouching for this, but you could maybe try scraping it off with a razor, but that would only work for very small areas.)

To start with my image, I already had a small leftover piece of a larger sheet. I wanted to just draw a small image that was fast and easy to print for the demo purpose. After I figure out my paper size, I place the litho paper face down on my CLEAN drawing surface and draw the outline of my paper on it with sharpie. (This will give you a pretty good registration, but I would not use it for multiple plate registration.) I also drew fainter lines in the middle to show where my image area is going to be. The paper is fairly translucent so the lines will show to the front.

I figured out what I wanted to draw, and sketched it out on a separate piece of paper. After I flip the litho plate face up, and use the sketch underneath as a guide for my drawing (remember no corrections, so plan well). I use a piece of paper to keep my hand directly from touching the plate. Drawing materials can be virtually anything oil base and waterproof. Easy media to start off with are sharpie markers and ballpoint pens. I also had a student who drew his image on the back glossy side of the plate, and we was able to print if off from there as well. Some of his penmarks did come off in the process though.

Below you see the finished drawing executed with ballpoint pen. It has very fine lines which all printed beatifully. You can also see the registration marks showing from the backside of the paper. The drawing is now ready to be printed. Important: when you get ready to print, make sure you have time to print the whole edition all in one day. So far we have not had much luck reprinting the same plate the next day after it has dried in between. If anyone has a good solution to this I would love to hear it.
I took a video of me printing this drawing on the etching press at AASU. This is my first demo video that I ever made so bare with me... If you have anything to add, or questions please comment or leave me an email, and I will try to include all good advice.