Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Old-school etching

Oh huzzah, I spent some time in my etching studio today!  No new plates, but trying to catch up on printing some editions because my print bin is dangerously low for this coming weekend's Plowshares show.  The printing process is a bit of a mystery for many people, so I took some photos with the goal of making a little tutorial about old-school etching.  I love complicated and obscure and old-fashioned art processes.  But it didn't really turn into a fully-functional step-by-step photo essay after all...although I did get a few arty shots to share.

The first step is to ink the plate, squishing the ink down into the etched lines with a plastic mini squeegee thing (sorry, I don't remember the technical term).  After the plate is inked, I gently wipe the surface of the plate clean with some stiff cloth, which leaves the ink in the lines to create the image.

This particular piece involves two plates.  After they are both inked and wiped, I lay them out on the bed of my beautiful etching press (with a piece of newsprint behind to keep the press bed clean).

I lay a piece of printmaking paper (which has been soaked in water and rolled out with a rolling pin between towels) over the plates, then the blankets go on top for cushioning and better contact.  I crank the big flywheel to move the bed between some big rollers, which presses the paper tight to the plates to pick up the ink in the etched lines.

And here is the print being pulled from the plates!  Always an exciting moment.  Now the prints I pulled this morning are drying between pieces of blotting paper with heavy things on top of them.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In a brief lull between shows and work, the Thanksgiving gluten-and-sugar free sweet potato pie is out of the oven, and I'm taking a moment to throw a photo up on my blog and let you all know I'm still alive.  Thought you might enjoy seeing some of the lovely eggs my flock are producing these days.  Please note that there are green eggs, but there's no need to reference Dr. Seuss.

I just uploaded my 2011 Community Supported Art sign-up on my website.  More info to follow...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shows and such

I had to run into A.C. Moore yesterday as part of my quest for the right color mattboard for some framing, and my ears were assaulted by really, really loud Christmas music.  I have a strong dislike for pop music in stores anyway (because then I have songs I don't like stuck in my head for hours), and early season Christmas music is extra rough for me.  But ya know, we gotta start getting in the cozy warm buying spirit!

Speaking of, I am madly preparing for two big out-of-town shows.  One is this approaching weekend: the Sauquoit Valley Fine Arts and Crafts Show, near Utica, NY.  The other is December 4-5 in Syracuse: the awesome Plowshares show, sponsored by the Syracuse Peace Council. 

Which means I'm pretty much busy with folding and packing cards, making journals, framing prints and paintings, collating calendars, driving back and forth to the printer, sorting out displays and tables, and generally being pretty boring in my little productive world (not the stuff of riveting blog entries).  I have some new limited edition products for the holidays: cool little magnet sets and address books.

Something fun is going on tomorrow night though!  Rasa Spa is having their 4th birthday party, and the reception for my show is part of the festivities!  Here's a link to the directions and information.  I'll be there for the evening, with a wee collection of things for sale.  I'm happy to say that I sold a painting from that show this week, amusingly enough the one hanging over the urinal in the mens' room!  Probably the one people looked at the most...

Anyway, hope to see you at one of these places.

Friday, November 12, 2010


At long weary last, the time has come to reveal the calendar.  Above is a page from the larger version (8.5 x 11).  This one is back from the printer, and I'm excited to take them to market tomorrow, and to the Holiday Store as well.  Below is a page from the smaller version, which fits in a CD case and sits on your desk in a perky kind of way.  This one will be going to the printer on Monday, and available by the end of the week, Lord willing and the creeks don't rise.  They'll be on my website and Etsy in the near future.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I haven't posted any photos of the animals I live with in a while.  Here's Nebraska looking sly.  He's super cute and loves me, but definitely has a streak of pure badness.

Today was a good day.  I woke up ready to work, the sun came out, I painted all day (those of you who have been following the saga of me trying to make these calendar paintings, you will be glad to know that I'm DONE with them and will now stop whinging and procrastinating), the woodstove has been going and therefore I am one more step closer to a fuel-oil-free life, a took a nice run, and now there's a celebratory homemade gluten-and-dairy-free pizza-like delicious creation in the oven about to come out for me to consume.

I love my woodstove.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Once in a while, paintings flow.  This came out last night, after I got home from a Farmers' Market meeting...the idea was apparently incubating while I was listening to talk of work hours and board elections.  Watercolor on illustration board, destined to be Miss January in my calendar.  Three more to go, hoping to have them done by the weekend...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Holiday Store opens

Been packing cards and cutting mats all last week, and here's the end result...my little display at the Holiday Store.  We opened last night to a rather enthusiastic crowd.  Check it out, we're on the Commons in Ithaca, in the Night and Day building, open every day until Christmas.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The good earth

It was sunny yesterday, so I got outside and messed around in the garden and yard.  "Putting the garden to bed," as they say...pulling out all the dead plants, rolling up the fence, hauling stuff to the compost pile, turning the soil, chucking old green tomatoes and frost-killed squash at tree trunks for the thrill of the smash.  I also dug my potatoes.  The summer was so busy that I didn't plant the seed potatoes that my housemates left for me when they moved out until (shameful confession) sometime in July.  So this is what I got.