Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Goodness! I've been a slacker. Got so caught up in my printmaking class that I didn't get around to writing. So much good stuff to talk about, so I will be back soon.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Most of the class I'm taking focuses around various styles and methods of making woodcuts. It's late, and I am not feeling chatty, so I am providing links you can follow to find out more about the techniques.

Single-color woodcut. The bottom two are printed on colored paper:

Then a multiple color reduction woodcut:

Right now I am working on white-line woodcuts. They are a little different because they use watercolor to print. Here's my setup and some of the prints I made today:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

More relief printmaking. This is a good thing.

So the other thing I'm working on is improving my printmaking skills. I managed to weasel my way into the regular relief printmaking class at CCAD as an audit. for Spring semester. It's taught by the same instructor as the continuing ed printmaking class I took last summer, but it's more in depth and much more demanding. We started with monoprints. I won't go into much explication about them; you can see that elsewhere.

Next up: woodcuts

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Where have I been? Here. Working. A Lot.

Hey. I haven't posted in quite some time, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working on stuff.
I'll start with the collage book I have been slaving away on, called Magpie. It is a very labor-intensive project, which is why it's moving along so slowly. Photoshop, print, color, cut with an X-acto, lather, rinse, repeat.

The pages are taken from this super common book (around here, anyway), called Our National Calamity of Fire, Flood and Tornado, about the March 1913 floods in Ohio and other parts Midwest. I had to repair some paper tears where the signatures were sewn together, and then I covered the 20+ pages I wanted to use with a mix of white acrylic paint and clear gesso. 

While those were drying, I had to design a nest. I found words and phrases I liked, printed them out, sliced them up then glued them into a nest. I scanned the nest and printed 20+ out on 100% cotton paper which I then dyed in a tea bath (Yep, tea. Trader Joe's Irish Breakfast Tea, to be exact). Then I had to slice 20+ of THOSE out with the X-acto (I am good friends with my X-acto).

Here are some nests to the right, plus some branches. I hand-colored the branches with colored pencils, then cut them out.

The general layout of the pages will be like this photo:

But wait! There's more!

The magpie has to have trinkets for its nest, right?

More Photoshop, cutting, pasting, etc. etc.

See what I mean about labor-intensive? If prices were set by how much labor went into a work of art, I'd been looking at Gutenberg Bible prices.

In the next post I'll show you some of the things I've been making for the relief printmaking class I've been taking at the art school where I work.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thwarted? Time for Plan B.

Totally unrelated but entertaining picture.

Well. This has been a month filled with professional disappointment. We didn't get the NEH Preservation Assistance Grant. I don't feel too bad about that since there were 315 applicants for 71 grants. I didn't get a Rare Book School scholarship. "The scholarship committee prefers applicants who are at the beginning of their professional careers." Bite me, RBS. I am at the beginning of my professional career as a rare books librarian, even if I have been in the library profession for 20 years. In any case, CCAD can't pay for me to go, and I can't either since there is in indefinite delay in receiving the equity I had in my former house. I was going to take an art history class on art in 20th and 21st century Mexico City, but it will probably be cancelled due to low enrollment. Sad face. Still, I love my job, I'm getting to know some of the other artists and professors better, the library is getting more involved in curriculum issues which makes us happy, and my boss has promised to budget for a datalogger to keep track of the temperature and humidity in the special collections storage room. We also had a student make a zombie documentary about us. Rad.

Oh well. Plan B it is.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Munchie Bear says, "Happy Holidays!"

Christmas break is coming, which at our college means 12 days off with holiday pay. Yay, academia! (Got to have something to make up for our meager salaries). I'm also taking my unused vacation days, so I will have exactly two weeks to fritter away, er, I mean, work REALLY, REALLY HARD on art stuff. Actually, I do plan to work really, really hard on art stuff, both making and planning.

So many people love Munchie Bear. I really ought to do more with him. Greeting cards and whatnot. I came up with this Munchie Bear on the fly, to serve as our Library holiday card. Just a quick hit-it-and-quit-it with Photoshop on the monotype version will do for now, but I'm going to draw the hat and candy cane and maybe re-open my Etsy page with MB and some other designs. Question o' the day: inkjet or letterpress? Silkscreen? Hmmmm. We'll see.

I'm also hoping to work on a handmade book I've been slowly putting together as well as plan out steps on a silkscreen-on-fabric project. Bizzy.

I will also take time out to make cookies (gluten-free for me, regular for the family), have fun with friends, hug small children -- all the usual holiday time good stuff.  I hope all you get to do that, too.

A big Munchie Bear hug to all of you!


Monday, December 10, 2012

It's a show! In Martins Ferry!

Finally getting around to posting about the DM Diary show that opened on November 17 at the MITCH Collective in Martins Ferry, Ohio. It's my very first solo show, and definitely the bright spot in a pretty disappointing month (No NEH Preservation Assistance Grant for da liberry. We are sad.)

We hung them in the Riverview Gallery, a large room with a big bay window overlooking the Ohio River and the town. I've never seen the quilts hung together before, and they looked, well, like art. We had a great time hanging out at the house, eating hot wings out in the middle of nowhere, going to the Stifel Fine Arts Center, and talking art stuff. People liked them, which made me happy. I also took some good pictures of the quilts so I can try to find a place to show them that's closer to Columbus.

Siena cutting dowels

Before we cleaned

Before we cleaned

Looks like art

Josie setting up the snacks

Room with a view (of West Virginia)

They gave me this pillow - apparently it was inspired by something I said.