Monday, December 29, 2014

Ball Jar Print

Now that Christmas is over, and I have a vacation from work this week, I can get organized with some of the projects that were put on the back burner! Over the last several days I've been working on a print that I started earlier in the fall. I finished the last layer today and am happy to be able to show it off.

The Ball Jar

This is the final state of the plate. I used an Soft-Cut block with layers of gray, light green, light blue, dark blue, and black. The paper is Rives Lightweight White, and the inks are Akua intaglio inks. I like those because they do not dry out while printing, and they clean easily with Dawn dishwashing detergent. The prints do take a few days to dry especially with multiple layers. These materials work well for me because I do not need to use a printing press, and I can print at home. The image size  of this design is 51/2" x 71/4". I'd like to do a series of prints using glass jars as themes. It was very challenging to try and create the illusion of transparency, but I'm pleased with the way the edition came out.

The state of the print before the dark blue and black layers were printed.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

"Sea Tree"

        This little drawing was inspired by last week's IF theme "sea". I just finished it up today amidst the baking and wrapping and recipe-seeking. A couple more days of work, and then a nice Christmas break! Looking forward to being together with family and friends, and after the holiday, finding some time to get my art work ready for a couple upcoming shows.

Best Wishes to all!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Starry Night

A linoleum block print that I am using for some of my Christmas cards. The hills in the background are the mountains that are part of the landscape in my town. Van Gogh's Starry Night was my inspiration, but I've tried to include the elements of a New England town. 

A week and a half to go before the big day--hope everyone is enjoying some peace amidst the hustle and bustle of the season!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy Anniversary!

                           HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD!

Sunday, November 30, 2014


What started out as a nuisance snowstorm the day before Thanksgiving, turned out to be a long, cold ordeal for a lot of people in our area of New Hampshire.

We lost power on Wednesday night around 7pm and didn't get it back on until Friday night around 11:00 pm. We weren't the only ones, as about 200,00 customers were in the dark at the peak of the blackout. Anyway, our Thanksgiving plans were adjusted, and we headed off to my sister-in-law's house about 45 minutes south of us. Everyone gathered there for a fun afternoon of feasting and celebration in a warm toasty location!

We had hoped for restored power that night, but instead slept in multi-layers under multiple quilts.
When the lights finally came on the next night,while we were bundled up again in bed, it was a wonderful thing!! You really appreciate the things one takes for granted when they are gone!

I took a few pictures today of the river while walking about town this afternoon.

Now that I'm back on the grid, I can share one of the new projects I've been working on. I've finished the first layer of a new reduction block print of marbles in a Ball jar, and am currently carving away the gray layer in preparation for the next color.

I may have to simplify some of the colors, but I hope to be able to create the illusion of the glass jar and the shiny marbles within.

Wishing everyone a merry week ahead!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Theatre

Tried to finish this up in time to post on Illustration Friday this past week. I'll squeeze it in under the deadline tonight, as a new word comes out tomorrow.

Brrr, feels like winter around here---thankfully no snow yet! Enjoy your  weekend and stay warm!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"Paper" for Illustration Friday

For this week's IF prompt "paper",  I drew an illustration of a girl making a sheet of handmade paper using a mold and deckle. In the water is the shredded cotton pulp that she is scooping up.

Here are a few examples of high school student work involving molds and paper pulp.

The students make low relief sculptures out of plastercine clay. Then they cast the sculptures using plaster of paris. After peeling out the clay, they press sheets of damp handmade paper into the plaster molds, and allow the paper to dry. These raised paper designs are painted and attached to the fronts of their handmade books.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Illustration Friday "smooth"

The IF word for the week is "smooth".  I was thinking about the smooth flat stones needed for skimming across water when I drew this little guy. You've got to get the right shape of rock, and the right flip of the wrist, to make a successful series of skips. Hopefully I've captured this tricky pose.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

the Sketchbook Project continues...

I've been working on new illustrations for this year's sketchbook, which has to be mailed in by January 15th. This is the 4th year that I've signed up for the Sketchbook Project, and while I've always made the deadline, it's usually a race at the end. Guess that's what makes it fun and exciting!

I used colored pencil and pastel on this one.

                                               Still working on the next two drawings  

Looking forward to adding color to this one

Halloween came and went without too many "trick or treaters" at the door, which means leftover candy in the house. At work, there were door decorating contests, as well as faculty and student costume awards. Our costumes weren't super exciting but we had a good time with it in the art wing.

Friday, October 24, 2014

MFA Visit

I spent the day at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on a field trip with a group of students from the high school where I work. There are 2 popular exhibits at the museum now, Goya and Jamie Wyeth.
I especially liked the Wyeth show, as his subject matter in this exhibit is painted from his environment in Maine. Lots of gulls, ravens, rocks, and even pumpkins fill the canvases. Photography was not allowed in that gallery, unfortunately. The Goya exhibit was interesting but crowded, and I would have liked to have more time on my own to absorb all the information. We only had about 3 hours to explore the museum, so as a chaperone I tried to cover a lot of ground. Overall it was a successful day, as we had a good time and all made it back safely on the big yellow school busses!

Friday, October 10, 2014


For this week's Illustration Friday post, I am submitting an illustration I created for a book named "Solomon Starbucks Striper" written by Roy Rowan. This illustration depicted an underwater statue in the sunken "Andrea Doria" guarded by an octopus named Philoctopus.

Solomon S. Striper

It's nice to be ending a busy week without a lot on the agenda for the weekend. I need to pick another bag of apples, and make some applesauce and apple crisp. I wish I had Columbus Day off on Monday to extend the weekend a bit, but not this year. Enjoying the peak of the autumn leaves' bright colors. It has been a successful year for tourism here as the trees have been exceptionally beautiful and the weather fairly pleasant! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Sketchbook Project 2014-15

I guess it's time to get started on my 2014-15 sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project. I believe this is my 4th sketchbook, and every year I kind of put it off during the summer, and scramble to finish it by the due date in January. This is the 3rd time my sketchbook will revolve around the adventures of a little mouse. Not exactly sure where he'll end up but I think he'll be visiting the homes of some nearby humans, and observing their activities.

The purplish sky didn't scan well. The pages are thin so the watercolor layer is a bit uneven, and the colored  pencil on top is not showing up as well as it does on the actual drawing. Oh well.

Enjoying a beautiful autumn day! The foliage is almost peak here, and the colors are lovely this year!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Money Mouse

Inspired by Illustration Friday "money"

Enjoying a Fall-ish weekend. It has been quite cool in the mornings here, with temperatures near freezing. Hoping to hold off on a real frost as we are still picking the last of the green beans, cukes, and tomatoes. I also need to harvest the basil and make a big batch of pesto. Going apple picking is also on the agenda. Gotta take advantage of the nice days we have left!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Illustration Friday, "Radio"

Remember bringing giant boom boxes to the beach? Not so much anymore! Everyone has ear buds in, or they are using little funky speakers.

I've been busy getting back into "school mode"and that's my excuse for being lax on my blogging, It takes a little while to adjust to a much fuller day, and not be too tired to work on art projects for myself. I'll squeeze this IF sketch under the wire and get it posted before the new one comes tomorrow!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Mouse Pirate (Illustration Friday---Skull)

     Here is my take on this week's Illustration Friday theme---"Skull"

Enjoying my last week of summer vacation! Will have to get some school stuff ready this week in preparation of my first official day back next Tuesday, but will try to take advantage of the nice weather! It is sunny and in the 80's for the next few days!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lighthouse Print

I've been working on a new block print, and finished it up yesterday. The image of the island and its lighthouse is from a photo I took while we were camping in Maine, on Penobscot Bay. I think it is the Indian Island Lighthouse, Rockport Harbor.

                   Step One/Two---Cutting out the white areas and printing two layers of blue

Step Three---Printing the brown layer over the blues

                                         Step Four---There was also a layer of green

 Step Five---The final black layer

                 The finished print ready to be signed and numbered. There are twelve prints in this edition.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Journey--Illustration Friday

Illustration Friday  "Journey"

Wow! The summer is flying by! I'm going back to work in two weeks, and I'm just starting the process of mentally preparing myself for the transition back to the classroom. This will be my 30th year teaching art at the same high school. I still really enjoy my job, but it seems hard to believe that I've spent more than half of my life in Room 701!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Uncommon Art on the Common

My booth at the Art Fest in Goffstown on August 2nd

I had an enjoyable day at the "Uncommon Art on the Common" Art Fest last Saturday. It ended up being decent, weather wise---just cloudy---no rain. I got the chance to explain the process of reduction printmaking to a lot of folks who had little knowledge of the technique. Although many remembered making linoleum block prints in school.

Yesterday I went to the League of NH Craftsmen Show in Sunapee with two of my art teacher friends. We had a great time looking through all the booths and hunting for this year's perfect mug. It was a beautiful day and not too crowded!

               The new mug on the right joins last year's pick! Both are made by potter Lloyd Hamovit.

Sadie enjoying her porch perch.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Illustration Friday "Golden"

"Rapunzel's Golden Hair"

Finishing up this week's IF post as well was getting ready for the "Uncommon Art on the Common" Art Fair on Saturday. I've spent the week measuring, cutting mats, bagging, framing, and organizing all my printmaking pieces for the show. Hopefully the weather will cooperate! My booth will be near Sawyer's Restaurant on Main Street in Goffstown. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Illustration Friday "repeat"

This week's theme, "repeat," seemed a little challenging. I wanted to do something that wasn't the most obvious solution, so I went with the idea that little kids always want their favorite story read over and over "again…again…again."

(Plus my friend's dog gets to make her debut in one of my drawings)
Otherwise my summer is flying by! During the last couple of weeks, I flew to Maryland for a visit with several friends, and a trip to the Delmarva Peninsula (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) for some beach time. After driving back to New England, the rest of my college friends and I spent time in Connecticut for our annual summer reunion. 

 Laughing gulls on Rehoboth Beach

Now that my big trips are over, I'm focusing on getting artwork together for "Uncommon Art on the Common" which takes place on Saturday August 2nd in Goffstown NH. This annual show has a large assortment of different types of art from a variety of local artists. I've ordered more mat board and other supplies, so next week will be a busy one. I just hope the weather will cooperate! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Santa Barbara" print

Last summer, a group of my college friends met in California to celebrate 35 years of friendship. We started our trip in the beautiful city of Santa Barbara. I wanted to create a block print to commemorate our time there.

The sketch on tracing paper to be transferred onto the block.

Inking up the block with a blend of brown and blue.

Cutting around the tree tops was tricky.

Prints drying.

 The final stage of the block and the finished design.

This print ended up with 6 layers. Hope this makes the process of reductive block printing a little easier to visualize.