I gain inspiration from my gardens. The movements, colors, textures, and habits of the creatures and botanicals intrigue me. I recently carved a new set of relief blocks of birds. I chose four of my favorite birds - the titmouse, wren, chickadee, and robin. Here is a look at the various stages of this project.
Asheville BookWorks will close in March, 2019. It’s final Book and Print exhibition It’s Alive!: Frankenstein, 200 Years asked for interpretations of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein; celebrating the 200th anniversary of the publication. BookWorks has meant a great deal to my growth as a book artist and printmaker since it opened in 2004. Though I was a bit daunted by the concept of creating an artist book in response to Frankenstein; I decided to first read the novel. I could then create a book or print to submit to the exhibition if the story inspired me. Upon completing the book I was excited about this project. I was particularly attracted to and inspired by the visual imagery which occurred thoughout the story.
Take a look at how I went about creating Be Careful What You For. The finished piece was a tunnel book structure. The internal image used a letterpress printed relief print combined with metal type. The covers were painted papyrus on Davey board with a leather, waxed linen, and a vintage button closure.
This was a most rewarding project. I had never read Frankenstein. Reading this story and responding to it by creating an artist book - Be Careful What You Wish For; would never had happened were it not for Asheville BookWorks. I am so grateful to this most remarkable place and all that I have learned through taking classes there and participating in exhibitions!
I have now completed several botanical prints. It has been a journey exploring carving techniques, printing on an antique letterpress, as well as mixing and combining colors. There have been numerous challenges. Here are some images of prints, drawings, and other aspects of the work process.
I continue to learn as I develop this series. Reduction prints are challenging, but a great way to explore technique, image, and color!
During the cold months of Winter, I began a new series of prints based on the plants found in my gardens. I have explored birds and flowers in the past. However, with these prints I am focused on the botanicals. I spent a good bit of time completing a suite of drawings based on photographs I have taken. I recently completed my first print in this series. It was slow goint at first; since I had not worked in the reduction process for some time.
I had the urge to make some boxes. Valentines Day was approaching and boxes make great gifts at this time of year (or any time, for that matter). I enjoy the process; though it can be challenging. Here's a look at the various steps involved in making hinged boxes.
I have recently discovered another way to use the many blocks I have carved and print on fabric. Tea towels are quite popular for use in the home. I began exploring ways to use my carved blocks and develop my own printed selection of tea towels. Needless to say, I am excited with these results!
I love receiving cards, so naturally designing and printing them is most satisfying. I produced three for the 2017 holiday season. Small carved blocks provided the imagery, which I combined with antique wood type for two cards. 12 pt Twentieth Century Modern type was used for the third card. I was delighted when a local shop that carries my work commissioned me to produce their greeting card. It goes without saying that snail mail is here to say!
I have set up blocks on my Vandercook in order to print on fabric in the past. I decided to do the same with the patterned blocks. I then used the fabric to create zipper bags. Needless to say, this was loads of fun and I am delighted with the results!
I have set up blocks on my Vandercook in order to print on fabric in the past. I decided to do the same with the patterned blocks. I then used the fabric to create zipper pouches. Needless to say, this was loads of fun and I am delighted with the results!
Once I had carved and proofed each of these blocks I printed them in a variety of colors on French paper and chipboard. I was pleased with the results and used them as covers for single and multiple pamphlet journals. Take a look.
I was attracted to the delicate patterns of the beaded items made by the Maasi women and purchased a few to bring home. I completed a suite of carved blocks based on these objects in addition to fabric I had purchased while traveling in Ghana in 2013. I then experimented with printing these blocks on both paper and cloth. I am still exploring the blocks using them in various ways. It has been a rewarding process. Here is a sampling of the results.
I will now share printing on cotton muslin - the results were quite satisfying!
I traveled to Tanzania this past June. It was a most inspiring journey. We took safari's on the Serengeti (the Endless Plain) and in the Selous Reserve (located in Southeastern Tanzania). Here are some of the pictures from these experiences and the drawings they inspired.
This is a small portion of the amazing and beautiful animals I witnessed while on this journey - time will tell what types of prints occur as a result of this experience!
I decided it would be fun to use some of the blocks I had carved for Garden Reverie as cover imagery for blank pamphlet journals. I printed them on French paper and sewed them up with waxed linen thread. Here is a look at the process.
I decided to create a tunnel book for the Book and Print Collective show, which was exhibited at the Transylvania County Public Library in Brevard, North Carolina. I entitled the book Hope Among the Ruins. The focal point of the book is a dragonfly on a coneflower. I am attracted to dragonflies for many reasons; one being that they are a symbol for longevity. Here are some images showing how I approached this piece.
After all of the relief prints and text pages were printed; I began binding them into a Drum Leaf binding. I had printed all of these on Monawk Superfine paper; which I attached (using PVA) to Stonehenge paper. This caused the pages to be thicker when brought together into the binding. Here are some images of making the book,
I recently completed a new artist book entitled Garden Reverie. It is a Drum Leaf book housed in a hinged box. The book is composed of relief prints and a short poem written about the images. The prints and poem set in Garamond were letterpress printed. As with most projects; I learned a great deal. Here is a look at the process from start to finish.
It was a very involved project, but worth the many steps along the way to completion. I was so pleased with how all of the elements came together and hope to explore this idea in future prints and books - my Garden Reverie!
I recently completed a suite of cards which I entitled the Mindful Series. Working on these tiny prints was a way to consider and ponder the attributes I aspire to. I want to be kind, hopeful, a good listener, and believe that I can help to make the world a better place. I began by completing drawings of bits of nature (found on the 'inspiration tray' in my studio). I then completed a linocut from selected drawings, added bits of text and printed the cards on my Vandercook Sp 15. Take a look at the process - a very therapeutic way to deal with my concerns and hopes for the world.
I find designing and printing cards a rewarding process. I love that customers buy these 'messages of hope' to send to their friends and family. Just another way of making the 'world a better place'.
I often find bits of insects while gardening; and am attracted to their ephemeral beauty. I have collected numerous insects and their wings over the years; which I often use in my books and boxes. I recently completed a group of reliquaries inspired by these 'garden remnants'. I began by selecting a butterfly, cicada, dragonfly, and bee from my collection. I completed a group of small prints which I then used as the focus of the reliquaries.
I learned so much constructing these pieces bringing together my love for nature, letterpress printing, and book arts! Additionally, the Cicada Reliquary was juried into Pop-Up Now II at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon; and was purchased by Ohio University!
I completed a group of small relief prints based on 'happenings' in my gardens. I then used them in a group of small tunnel books with case bindings. It proved to be a beneficial way to bring image and book form together.
Designing and building boxes is another way that I use fabric I have backed with Kozo paper. I enjoy personalizing boxes in this way.
I sometimes back fabric and then use it to cover books or boxes. I recently completed a suite of Coptic books and hinged boxes covered with fabrics purchased while traveling in Paris.
I will focus on designing and sewing the Coptic books in this post.
I completed two small linocut prints during the Spring. Both were inspired by the birds that frequent my yard. I included two birds in each print perched on branches. I am most satisfied with the results and want to do additional prints using pairs of birds.
These two prints were most rewarding to draw, carve, and print. Indeed, more images with pairs of birds are in the works!
Spring's arrival prompted me to take a look at several drawings I had worked on during the Winter. I had completed a drawing of a Barred Owl; and decided it would work well as a reduction print. Here is a look at how I proceeded with Barred Nocturne.