Thursday, December 19, 2013

Northern Cardinal Etching

The Northern Cardinal is a North American bird found in Southern Canada and throughout the US from Maine to Texas and into Mexico. I have enjoyed seeing them all of my life. I watched one in my birdbath the other day which was special to me because this is the first time I've had a birdbath! I really hope there aren't any new cats in the neighborhood. I thought it would be a good time to make an etching of a cardinal since we associate them so much with Christmas. The male is very distinctive with its black mask and vibrant red color. I know, my etching is black and white but I know you'll recognize it anyway! The paper is whiter in real life. Photographing etchings is a challenge!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas Carolers

Carolers bring Christmas cheer! Every year singers from the Virginia Corale (I think) spread joy in downtown Norfolk and always come through the art center where my studio is located. I love their costumes and they are so friendly that I thought I'd take a picture. It came out pretty well!! I don't mind having my work day interrupted by their singing!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hermitage Museum and Gardens in Norfolk, Virginia

Recently I visited The Hermitage Museum in Norfolk, Virginia to see an exhibit of works by artists who have studios in the museum's Visual Arts Studio. The museum is an early 20th century historic Arts and Crafts style house converted to a museum. It has a world wide art collection and exhibit galleries with 12 acres of formal gardens, natural woodlands and wetlands. It was built by William and Florence Sloane,
wealthy New Yorkers who came to the area in 1895 to operate textile mills. It was built to be a summer house but the owners soon lived there year round. They were avid art collectors. It's not so far from my house that I can easily go there and admire it - the beautiful woodwork inside and gardens outside! I've enjoyed participating in a few miniature exhibits there. Here are a few photos of it and two of the exhibit I saw. And for your pleasure, one of my must-see videos!

Rose Garden

Front Entrance

Rabbit sculpture by Virginia VanHorne

"Thinking Caps" by Patricia Isenhour

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Charbonnel in Paris

A great excuse for a printmaker to go to Paris would be to visit the Charbonnel store there. I can't believe that I didn't actually take the time to go inside when I was there a few years ago and see all of the great etching supplies that they make. (There's so much that captures your attention in Paris!) I did take a few photos of the etchings in the window. They're beautiful. Someday, if I'm lucky, I can go back for a visit!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friday, November 8, 2013

Etching for "TIME" Exhibit

Last night was the opening for a juried exhibit called "TIME" that includes an artwork I created for it called "Perennial Migration", a sundial made from two etchings. The sundial is on top and inside is a smaller etching of birds migrating. It's placed on a pedestal with good side lighting so that you can see that it functions as a real sundial!

The show is a collaborative effort between the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk and the City of Norfolk Bureau of Cultural Affairs. The exhibit showcases a large scale video by Jennifer Steinkamp called "Orbit 3" showing turbulent winds conveying the passage of time in branches of flowering trees. Artists were invited to submit work that for them related to the video. See the video here, if you like - it is pleasant to watch. If you can't click on it and get it, you can copy and paste... I am having some odd troubles with my posts and can't fix them! Well, maybe it will work.

Also, the organizers of the exhibit requested that we participate in a "PechaKucha". It is a talk where people present 20 images (shown 20 seconds each) of whatever they want in a 6 minute time frame. I think this type of event is popular right now. Maybe you've heard of it. I knew that I needed to do it to practice talking in front of groups of people. It isn't easy when you aren't used to doing it so it is rather terrifying, I must say! Anyway, I prepared my talk the best I could. At the opening, with the support of some nice artist friends and a good audience, it worked well enough for a few compliments. Ahhh.. now it's time to relax. In case you were wondering what I talked about - butterflies!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Stoney Produce Pumpkins

Yesterday when I was out doing some errands, I could not believe my eyes when I drove by Stoney Produce on 1st Colonial Road in Virginia Beach. I've stopped by there in the summer but not in fall. At least not that I remember because I've never seen such an extravagant display of pumpkins, gourds, and other fall items. I had to stop and check it out! You can see what I mean from my photos. I love the colors!

Monday, October 28, 2013

D'Art Halloween Party Pics

Here are a few photos from the Halloween party Saturday night. It was a good time with a great band for dancing, fancy spooky drinks and funny costumes. I'm not usually too fond of gorey monsters but I love this mummy that I think a local sculptor, Mike Bell made. It looks pretty scarey but friendly in some odd way!

Decorated pumpkins for the silent auction

Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo came to the party!

My favorite monster

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween Party at D'Art Center

This Saturday night there's going to be a big Halloween party at the art center where I have my studio. They are still working on the decorations but it's already looking spooky! We are supposed to decorate our studios and wear costumes. (humm..what to be...) There willl be music, strange drinks and who knows what else! You must come and check it out. And there's lots of great art to see while you party!
I'll post some pictures if I can get some good ones.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Stencil Girl - Page 3

I know....PAGE 2 is a little crazy but it gets resolved on PAGE 3!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stencil Girl - page 2

Here is Page 2 of the little story I did as a quick exercise in the workshop I went to last summer:


Monday, October 14, 2013

Stencil Girl

One thing that I like about art workshops is that because they are short, they make you do everything fast. You can't think too long about your idea or you'll have nothing at the end! You can't worry about how something might turn out. You just do it! Imagine that! I think the process of printmaking makes me a little less free or more careful. Starting over is not an option that I'm fond of! So a workshop is a fun experience for me. At a workshop I went to last summer on children's book illustration, we had a short time to make a 3 page picture book. I had to think of! Here's the first page of my creation:

(PAGE 2 coming soon!)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Grace - etching

 I enjoyed making some small cemetary etchings a few years ago. Here's one of six that I made. I'm not sure you can see it here but there are a few birds in this etching. I didn't have quite enough courage to do my research on tombstones at night but I did visit one of the larger cemetaries during daylight hours in search of some interesting tombstones! Although here I did use a little imagination.

Also, there's an exhibit in the main hallway of the Selden Arcade where my studio is located that is showing photographs of cemetaries. Here is the exhibition poster and a few interesting photos. I just noticed it today so I'll have to go back and take another look!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Buttterfly People by William Leach

I've been reading this nice book that I received as a gift recently. As you know, I've enjoyed painting and printing a few butterflies here and there. This book is called "Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World." It is written by William Leach who has had a lifelong love of butterflies. He describes how Americans from all walks of life pursued butterflies and how they influenced the character of natural history. He focuses on a few lepidopterists who traveled around the country and the world collecting and studying butterflies in the 1800's. The beauty of butterflies led Americans to understand nature in a much deeper way. He also discusses how technological and industrial advances at the time begin to generally take precedence over Americans' interest in nature, sadly. It's a fascinating story of people who were passionate to learn all they could about butterflies.

a plate from the book

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sundial Etching plate

I am trying something new with this sundial etching. Tomorrow I will hopefully finish the etching and then do some aquatinting soon after that. As always, I can't be sure how it will come out. And as always, I hope it works! Well,I guess we all hope our efforts work! Hmm.. I'm so philosophical... Anyway, wish me luck here because I'm anxious to see the result! (I like drawing because it always teaches you something new!)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Gulls and Crows Etching - 8" x 10"

I've been working on my etching of gulls and crows and made this print of it. I aquatinted it quite dark at the beginning (except for the gulls and fish) because I wanted it to look like very early morning. The aquatints give areas of the work nice tones, as you can see in the background. But sometimes there is a struggle and disappointment as the aquatint breaks down as I make more prints! As I am making more prints of this plate, the background aquatints are holding up well but the birds are beginning to fade a little. Hmm...anyway, I'm going to make as many as I can and like. (or feel like!)
I liked the idea of the white gulls and the black crows when I saw the writing of a friend. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Crab linocut finale

Here is the final result for my crab linocut. Still, I wonder if I should add more to it but I think I like it just the way it is now! Even with small pieces, it's  hard to know when to stop working!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Crab Linocut (3 3/4" x 2 1/2")

A friend and fellow artist asked that I make a crab linocut and since I really enjoy making these small linocuts, I decided to make one, of course! Here are photos of the first two colors. I used the same piece of linoleum and proceded to make the crab as a reduction linocut, carving the first color and printing it and then continued by carving the same piece to get the second color.

after printing second color

after printing first color

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Grisaille: Songs on the Black and White Keys

This is the front of the invitation for an interesting show at the Charles Taylor Center in Hampton, Virginia.
The reception was last Sunday and the show continues until October 6. My etching "Jackrabbit" is one of the artworks in the show. All of the works are black, white and/or gray and because there are at least 90 works in the show, there are all sorts of styles and media to view and enjoy. Check it out if you can!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Park on Printers' Row in Chicago

When I was in Chicago recently, I saw this little park on Printers' Row, an area of Chicago very close to downtown where a lot of printing and publishing companies used to be. Now there are mostly residential spaces like lofts. But I thought the letters in this park were very clever - just like letters for letterpress printing. And backward! Of course a printmaker like myself would love them! Very cool.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sketch for a New Etching

I've been working on this sketch for a new etching. Usually I like to make a sketch before I begin, so at least I can get a feeling for what the design that I want will look like. Also, I feel that I will have a better end result without as many corrections to the plate. That can be really frustrating and time-consuming! I would like to try something spontaneous someday though - no drawing! Just go for it!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fish Creek, Wisconsin Vacation

If you want some toys for your garden, you could find all kinds of things here. It's so colorful! And half of the things are whirling or twirling in some way! Anyway, it's fun to visit.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Rusty Rabbit in Ephraim, Door County, Wisconsin

We were vacationing in Door County, Wisconsin this summer and I found a nice shop in Ephraim called The Rusty Rabbit. I seem to be seeing rabbits everywhere! I wonder if it would fit in my garden. It's a very arty community with lots of galleries and art studios. The weather is usually cooler there so it's a great break from the hot and humid weather of the coast of Viriginia!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Another Day at the Beach - etching

When I was at the beach recently, I saw these seagulls and thought that it would be a good time to do something local so I made this etching. I worked hard trying to wipe the ink on the plate just right before I printed it. Printing an etching can be very challenging! Anyway, it was good practice for a bigger one that I want to do. It gives me a good excuse to go back to the beach to search for my next models!

6" x  8"

Sunday, June 23, 2013


What flower has a lovlier fragrance than the gardenia?
My grandparents had a gardenia bush right beside one of the outside doors of their house and it always smelled so wonderful when I would visit during the summer. I had to have one of my own.
Someday, I can see a butterfly painting....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Jack Rabbit Etching

It seems I like rabbits as I've been working on another one, this time a jackrabbit. I like the big ears! I've had some trouble understanding my difficulty adding aquatint but I'm almost sure that I have solved the problem. I was getting  discouraged because I was making many test plates and not finding the right clue.
I don't mind a few test plates but after awhile, it becomes monotonous! Now I think all is well. We'll see next time!

9" x 12" plate
some screenprint in background
Rives BFK paper

ready to be printed inked-up plate
hard to avoid reflections!
always a big challenge to decide how much ink to leave on the plate

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Flight of the Butterflies IMAX Movie

Last Thursday when I was out running errands, I decided to stop by the the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center to see the new IMAX film, Flight of the Butterflies. It's the true story about a scientist, Dr. Fred Urquhart, who after almost 40 years of research, finally discovers where the monarch butterflies go in the winter. It is the most incredible migration on earth as millions of Monarch butterflies travel from Canada across the U.S. to a few isolated mountain tops in Mexico. It's a beautiful film and very entertaining as it's in 3D! If you get a chance, you must see it. Here's a preview of the movie to tempt you:

The poster for the movie.
The science museum on a rainy day.

Monarch on its way!
pencil drawing

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Last Saturday morning I went to Granby High School in Norfolk with some of my small linocuts. I was invited to participate as a vendor during a student French competition, the 26th Annual Concours de Francais. I recently took some French lessons with the Alliance Francaise (so fun!) and my teacher asked me if I would like to come. I did not compete, of course, but my artwork was for sale! I enjoyed it but the students were surely nervous.

This display board we made the day before worked great!

The local Alliance Francaise was there. A nice group to help you learn French, if you want.

Welcome! A little print I made.