Sunday, December 13, 2009

Versatex Ink, Lichen and Pecans

Spent quite a bit of time printing this weekend -- and waiting around for a "weather event" that didn't really materialize. I used Versatex water-based screenprinting inks for the first time and am very pleased with the soft "hand" they impart to the fabric. I printed on a very light-weight linen and also on the front plackets of some recycled chef's coats that I bought for pennies at a rag factory and cut up. Not sure how I will make these "patches" into something useful, but I intend to do something with them. Christmas things came down from the attic, and Christmas lights went up outside, but nothing in the house looks like the holidays yet!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Frost Comes to the Bay

Friday night was rather magical at the ocean: cold, and quiet with virtually no wind or surf; a huge yellow moon rising behind the dunes; a sky bright with constellations; a row of soft, suffused lights from crab boats out beyond the flat surf; and the lanterns of clam diggers bobbing along the retreating little waves. Saturday morning on the bay -- the low light of winter, and a glorious frost.

A few hours of printing produced some interesting effects and some collage-worthy pieces, one of which is below.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Portland's Eastside Esplanade

Best-laid plans to finish my painting and organize my "studio" were thwarted today when my husband announced he wanted to go for a bike ride. We hopped in the car and headed for Portland's South Waterfront Park and biked north and then across the Willamette to the East Esplanade. There wasn't much time to shoot photos, but I managed to get this interesting one of the shipyard from where the bike path crosses from the Eastside Esplanade over the Steel Bridge to Northwest Portland:

We finished the outing by stopping in at the Sunday Best Sale (see previous post) and all the goods were even better in real life!

So below is the current status of my Euro-Dresden-American folkcraft-schoolgirl. I'm afraid her right eye (left facing) has gone from bad to worse and now looks rather "cycloptic" (pretty sure that's not a word).

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hadley Hutton and Penfelt at the Sunday Best

Somehow, I've managed to miss the Sunday Best Sale in downtown Portland for three years running. Fact is, I didn't even know such a thing existed. Luckily, I received an email invitation to it yesterday from LeBrie Rich, (the "Duchess of Felt"), of Penfelt and I spent 1 1/2 hours visiting the websites of all of the amazing Oregon vendors who are participating today and tomorrow (11 - 7 pm) at "The Cleaners" on 10th and Ash. Hadley Hutton, a perennial favorite will be there. You can view her beautiful encaustics and prints in her Etsy shop or on her website. Additionally, the wonderful works of several letterpress stationers will be available as well as beautiful textiles, ceramics, jewelry and leather goods. Help support our local economy by supporting these artists/artisans, several of whom employ others in their small businesses.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Rough Start and the Beautiful Work of K. William Kaust

work in progress
Acrylic on canvas 16 x24 (cropped)

During the past month, I have been very busy at work. Like--work day and night busy. Artistic efforts basically came to a standstill and consequently, so did my blog. I now have a full week off, bookended by two weekends, and I'm bound and determined to get something done -- to have something to show for my days off. The above is my first effort, and what an effort it's been so far! This was supposed to be based on a very loose doodle-sketch that I did of a woman. The sketch was cartoon-like, and only three colors: yellow, orange/red/pink (mottled- which counts for one color), and black. The woman had big hair and an attitude. Somehow, I now have a Euro - primitive -Dresden schoolgirl who appears to have been painted with milk paint! In fact, the paint quality reminds me of carved American folk art pieces. Haven't decided whether to go with the current flow, fix the eyes (and a few other things) and wrap it up, or to add more color, more modeling and change the feel. Stay tuned. And meanwhile, check out the exquisite, new, American Folk art carvings by K. William Kautz. He's been on my "Favorites" list for several years and his work is truly amazing. My favorite piece in his website gallery is "Woman with Candelabra," which, by the way, is nearly 6' tall!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall's Gifts

The rains are coming. The richness of fall's palette will soon be gone. A walk through the garden and neighborhood yielded many glimpses of patterns in nature but my photography didn't do justice to the majority of them. My friend reports this is the first year the heart-shaped leaves have displayed the speckled coloring.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Block Printing in Adobe Illustrator

Recently, I've been experimenting with a new-to-me printmaking process. The above image is the result of my activities mixed with a bit of alchemy...truly! I scanned my original print, which was French blue and cordovan, altered the colors to deep turqoise and dark coffee in the scanning program, put the pattern into repeat in Adobe Illustrator, and imported it into this blog. Voila! Deep turquise magically turned into shocking lime and dark coffee turned into deep periwinkle! Wow -- shocking but lovely! Below, is the original print.

And below, is the altered print put into repeat. (I finally figured out how to import it without changing the color.)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Discovering La Bella Casa in McMinnville

I've always been enamored with all things metal: Heavy or light guage; aluminum, iron, tin, or steel; smooth or with most any kind of pattern (be it perforated, embossed or woven). Drains, manhole covers, gasoline tank covers and other mundane objects offer some examples of very good design. I found the above drain cover on a recent trip to McMinnville, which by the way, was charming. It's definitely becoming a destination spot for tourists coming to visit Oregon's wine country. Within a few blocks--which, basically, comprise the town--there were several eateries and boutiques, as well as the wonderful stationery, gifts and accessories store, La Bella Casa. I like what McMinnville is becoming, but I especially like that it's still a farm town that caters to the hardworking folks that grow our food.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Colors of Autumn

Well, here's something in an autumnal palette similar to that of Diane Allison-Stroud's gameboard shown in yesterday's post. This is a small mixed-media piece that I did a few years ago. The vessel-like image was cut from a print I did in my first monoprint class with Lynn Thomas. I glued it on the background painting and then I hand-cut the little circles out of some heavy paper I had painted and glued them on. The decorations on the vessel were cut from a photocopy of one of the vessel prints in the monoprint series. 9"x11".

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Diane Allison-Stroud's Game Boards

Above, is a beautiful reproduction game board made by Diane Allison-Stroud. I've followed Diane's work for a number of years and it's been wonderful to see her honored first as a Country Living Artisan and then as an Early American Life Artisan. In addition to her richly colored reproductions, Diane has developed her own designs which have been influenced by the vintage boards as well as by the designs of the Gee's Bend quilters. Be sure to visit Diane's very interesting and inspiring blog where you'll find many photos of her work, studio, and the beautifully scenic area of the Appalachians where she has chosen to live.

Monday, August 31, 2009


This design -- or at least one quarter of it -- was orginally developed for a screenprinting class I took with Palmarin Merges. I cut a simple stencil out of Contact Paper and then attempted to print it in multiple colors. I also printed it in black and then scanned it into Adobe Illustrator and put it into a pattern. It now looks sort of like a fancy papercut. But it's nothing like the fabulous papercuts of the Englishman, Rob Ryan. Best thing about his papercuts? They come with heartfelt, lovely sentiments expressed in prose. You can see some of his work in his Etsy store and also on his blog which, provides a peak into his studio and his various commercial endeavors.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Akua Kolor Monoprints 8" x 10"

Here are a couple of monoprints that I did at the end of a series of studio sessions with Lynn Thomas, a very talented musician and artist, who I first took a continuing ed class from through PNCA. Lynn also teaches music to children, through elementary school programs and privately. We used Akua Kolor waterbased inks in Lynn's classes. They're made with honey and stay moist and "active" on the plexiglass plates for weeks -- literally -- which is great for printmaking.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

And now -- a lesson in patterns....

Let's face it, the wasps have us beat hands down on pattern making! Perfect hexagons. (Of course, on the other hand...their repertoire is a bit limited!

Spoonflower and PhotoShop Patterns

Last week, Cata sent me a link to Spoonflower, an on demand fabric printer. Well, one thing led to another, and thanks to Spoonflower's extremely user-friendly website, I learned enough PhotoShop tips to get me rolling. When not fussing with PhotoShop, I was at my table making little monoprints. I made 30 or so, three of which are below. All in all, a very productive weekend!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another beautiful weekend at the 'ville.

Had some fun with relief prints this weekend and, as always, was amazed by the beauty of our natural world.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum...

....I painted out a good portion of my painting of the rings and rectangular cube! I'll have to stew on this one for awhile before I make my next move. (It's not nearly as grey as it appears in this photo.)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Croppings of works on paper from Oysterville

What was intended to be merely a warm-up for working on my canvases in Oysterville turned into a two-day struggle on paper. The white "flower", below, is cropped from a larger painting on paper that went through numerous iterations and ended up with a pale background. The turquoise and orange, also cropped, was completed in one evening. They both became more exciting with a little help from Photoshop (above).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another painting in progress...

Well, I took the large ring and cube painting to Oysterville intending to finish it, but I wasn't brave enough to continue working on it. So....I started a new, smaller painting. Now I have two unfinished works to deal with! The numbers and letters are from a railroad sign along the tracks that lead to Bellingham. 16" x 20"

Friday, April 24, 2009


I finally got the comments feature to work! If you would like to comment, please click on the links below the individual posts.

Happy spring!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Work in Progress

I'm halfway into this painting. It's 30 x 40. Have to put some more time into the left half of the painting before determining what happens next on the right side.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Relief prints compliments of yesteryear.

This weekend, a brief stop in an antiques store yielded a couple of interesting kitchen items from the '30s or '40s and set me off in an entirely different direction than planned in my "studio." Here are a few of the prints in progress.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Acrylic paintings

Here are two paintings from a couple of years ago. Both are 30" x 40". Unfortunately, the lighting is not particularly good on either of them.