Archive for the ‘Process’ Category

Anniversary print

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Happy tenth anniversary to my husband Dan, who has tirelessly encouraged and supported me as an artist.

On the left, a print made with several layers of monoprinting from the same woodblock, on the right, where we were ten years ago today.


Cherry twig test prints

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I pruned some branches off of my cherry trees. I brought the twigs inside and put them in a vase of water. Some of the buds are swelling and I hope they might have enough energy to produce flowers or leaves.


Instead of putting a couple of twigs in the water I experimented with making prints from them. I used my chisel to shave off some of the bark to expose some of the wood, and then inked and printed them as I do for my woodblock prints.


Planks of cherry wood are what has been traditionally used in Japanese woodblock prints, though I use Shina woodblocks more often. I hope to experiment with printing twigs more in the future and perhaps someday make a woodblock print entirely from cherry twigs and branches instead of from plywood or larger pieces of wood. It seems like a great way to use the resources I have in my own yard.

I wonder if the potato prints I’ve been doing with my 2 1/2 year-old son have had anything to do with this thinking outside the box?

Reduction Print Japanese woodcut

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

As a demonstration print during the workshop I just finished teaching, I made this:


I used one of Karen’s dead bird images, cropped it to fit a small woodblock, carved away everything that is white, then printed the orange, then carved everything that I wanted to remain orange, then printed the red, then carved away what I wanted to remain red, then printed the purple.


This is the first time that I’ve tried using the reduction technique combined with Japanese woodblock. I enjoyed how the transparent watercolors layered and also how the registration marks directly carved into the block made lining up the layers simple and easy.

Lid monotypes return

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

The “digger” prints I made yesterday didn’t quite turn out how I wanted them, so I am making more today. I just painted four tiny monotypes of the central area of the Twin Cities showing the central corridor light rail route. I tried to get the grid of city streets slightly more accurate than the ones I did yesterday, but there’s still plenty of distortion. I wonder if I will start mixing up east and west since I have been making mirror image maps for printing!


Bugs and Diggers

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

I have been printing a bit!

I pulled out some invertebrate stamps I carved a while ago and made prints to send to my students in my online class Collaborative Printmaking:


I also did some more construction observation with my son. This backhoe with loader and jackhammer caught our attention and we followed it along University Ave until I finished sketching it:


I then re-drew my sketch directly onto a woodblock using pencil and watercolors. I changed the proportions a bit and my son added some gestural marks:


Here’s an image of the block after I’ve done much of the carving. I carved some of my son’s drawing but not all of it. Next to it is a block with a drawing of a sow bug (or wood louse or whatever you like to call it) that I drew from life directly on the block from a live model scurrying around in a jar. I have just barely started carving this one.


And here is an ant I’m about halfway done carving. I drew this in pencil on the block from a macro photo of an ant that my dad took.


Stay tuned to see if I can put this all together into a finished print before I leave to teach my class at Peninsula School of Art next week!

Digger sketches

Friday, July 20th, 2012

I just sketched out some thumbnail ideas for the digger prints I’m making this summer. Four ideas for a pair of prints bringing together light rail construction, sandbox digging, and underground creatures.



Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

My summer goal is to develop a parallel exploration into “diggers”, the movers and shapers of my environment, large and small. The large ones are the big construction machines at work on University Avenue making way for the new Central Corridor Light Rail. The small ones are the earthworms, ants, millipedes, and other creatures who are constantly renewing the soil in my garden, occasionally disturbed by my shovel or my son’s toy trucks. I’m drawing them with my son by my side, and as you can see in my Flickr set “diggers”, he’s been making as many marks on the drawings as I am.

Yellow dump truck sketch

Collaborative drawing by me and my son, age 2


Woodblock business cards!

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Yesterday, during my demo at MCBA, I printed some business cards. I’ve wanted to carve a woodblock for printing business cards for a long time, and I finally did it! Although I think I might eventually clear a bit more wood away to make it look more finished:

Also, for those of you who may be holding one of the cards I gave you yesterday and reading this blog for the first time, I wanted to tell you of another upcoming opportunity to study Japanese Woodcut with me. I’ll be teaching a workshop at Peninsula School of Art in Door County, WI this August 16-18. If you’re interested, register now and plan an art making vacation!

Laundry Notan

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Last night at the Notan class (see previous post) Sheila suggested that the exercises might help us in other areas of our lives. I joked, “will it help me put away the laundry?” and she replied, “no, but it might help you see the space the laundry leaves behind.” So today I made a laundry-themed expansion of the square.


Notan class with Sheila Asato at MCBA

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

I am taking a class at MCBA on Notan, the Japanese principle of light/dark design, from Sheila Asato. It’s wonderful to be a student and do work within strict limitations in the various exercises to discover the problems and possibilities within them.