Sunday, December 20, 2015

Another layer...

I added another layer of ink to the "Heron" print that I've been working on this semester. There will be two more layers of ink before I am completely finished. At this point I need to cut away the parts of the plate that I want to remain that darker green color.

Busy week ahead with three days of work, then a day off before Christmas! Looking forward to Christmas day itself, not so much the things that need to be done before. Enjoyed the traditional carols at church this morning, as well as a sweet children's choir. Brings one back to the reasons for the celebration!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Heron Print Continued

I've been working on the Great Blue Heron print in my printmaking class. This is the stage of the print with 1 layer of light green and 1 layer of peachy tan.

Below is the plate covered with blue gray

                                            This is the gray layer printed on top

This week I will be carving away the areas of gray that I want to remain on the finished prints. My plan is to add another layer of green and another layer of dark brown.

Another project that I've been working on this past week. Finally got the all the decorations on our Christmas tree Saturday. It has a really pretty shape--nice and tall but compact. Surprisingly, Wiley has not been too interested in bothering it, just a little sap on her head and back from going underneath it.

Look who is posing for her Christmas picture.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Happy Anniversary!

                             Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
                                          December 7, 1957

Saturday, December 5, 2015



Last week's Illustration Friday's theme was "punch." I didn't quite make it for the deadline, but will post it today anyway.

Busy times with the holidays rapidly approaching! Still need to get the Christmas tree, and decorate the house. I'm a little nervous to put up a tree as we have a kitten (a very large and active kitten) who gets into everything. I envision her climbing into it and knocking down the ornaments, as well as getting sap all over her fur. I guess we will find out soon!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New block print---Great blue Heron

I've been working on a new block print using a Gomuban relief plate. This plate is softer than a linoleum block and harder than Easy-cut. I have been using a printing press for this, and it prints great with the Akua inks. McClain's Printmaking Supplies sells it.

It's a little dark here, but I've cut out areas for the second layer.

                           Here's a close-up of the heron (above) and the original sketch (below)

This is the first color layer. The lines are from a Sharpee marker I used to cover over the pencil lines on the block before I started cutting. They fade away on subsequent prints, but remain dark enough to see on the plate.

Here's Wiley--my steady companion who wants to hang out and "help" whenever I'm working!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


                                                 A "whimsical" pig for Illustration Friday

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"Bouquet" Illustration Friday Post


Just finished a quick sketch for Illustration Friday. I used a charcoal pencil for this drawing, and like the way the textures came out. I did another drawing in graphite pencil for last week's topic, and while I love drawing in pencil, I find that the darker values and contrast are hard to achieve. Usually I switch to a black Prismacolor pencil after the initial sketch, as it doesn't smudge, and can go quite dark.

Last week's topic was "Adventure" but I didn't get it posted in time, so will post it here, a week late. you can see the difference in the pencil and the charcoal.

So far the first week of November has been very pleasant! Mild and sunny days for most of it. The foliage is still pretty, although a lot of leaves are on the ground now. I've been trying to get out and enjoy the weather, but now that we have changed to daylight savings, it is already pretty dark by 5pm. Still, I enjoy the changing seasons, and the setting sun made a beautiful pink and purple sky last night as I finished up my walk.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


                                                     Illustration Friday "stuffed"

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Autumn in New Hampshire

The foliage has been slow to arrive in all its brilliant colors, but this week it has been a bit more showy!

I had to stop on my walk and take a few pictures of the sky mirrored in the river, as well as a closer view of the bridge.

                                               And last weekend in York, Maine!

Illustration Friday "Star" (late again!)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Mermaid Selfie

Started this piece a couple weeks ago when the Illustration Friday prompt fit this idea. I didn't make that deadline or last week's "ink" (notice the octopus and tattoos), but figured it was a fun drawing to post anyway for no special reason.

Enjoying a bonus day off (Columbus Day) and really appreciating the gorgeous weather! It's going to really cool off by next weekend, so washing a few windows, and gathering up some herbs to dry. My husband has been madly working on outdoor projects the past few weekends trying to get a lot done before it's too cold to paint trim and repair the gutter.

We did zip off for an overnight in York Maine to visit his mother, who was house-sitting for a friend. Walked the Marginal Way with all the other tourists and leaf-peepers---I've never seen it so crowded even in the summer! The foliage is peaking, and with the nice sunshine and temperatures, everyone is out and about!

Have a good week ahead! Hopefully I will get a new illustration up before Friday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Beech Hill Farm Cat

                   "Beech Hill Farm Cat" 2015 Hopkinton Historical Society Annual Art Show.

I entered two prints and this drawing in the show. They always have a nice reception at the Historical Society building, and the show stays up through December  5th this year.

My daughter took the original photo of the cat on the fence, and I went over myself to take a few more pictures of the scenery. When I was there the cat was sleeping under a bench near the ice cream shop, so I don't know how unusual it is to find him on his post.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

End of the summer

I'm in the middle of several art projects, so will just post a few pictures of my very tall sunflowers that I grew this past summer. Alas, it is officially Autumn, and time to dismantle the gardens and prepare for the cooler seasons ahead.

The highest one was about 12' tall.

And of course I want to add a picture of Wiley, who joined the family in July. 
She's getting so big!

Enjoy the first weekend of Fall!

Sunday, September 13, 2015


I woke up thinking that today would be my grandmother's 107th birthday. She lived to be 100, and I'm so glad she got to read the children's book that I wrote about her and the Block Island bird lady, Miss Dickens.

Happy Birthday, Alice!

Monday, September 7, 2015

"old" friends

"Old" friends

Finally finishing an illustration for the latest Illustration Friday topic. I've been busy getting back into the school routine, moving daughter number two back to college, and framing some pieces for the annual Hopkinton Art Show.

It was an absolutely beautiful 3-day Labor Day weekend! My husband and I took on a big project--repainting the deck on the back of our house. It's one of those jobs no one really wants to tackle, but it was now or never, as one needs an extended time without rain. Anyway it looks great, and will hopefully stand up to the winter weather ahead!

Happy September!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Laughing Gulls Print

I signed up for a "print exchange" through the Sketchbook Project this summer. The directions were to make an edition of 11 prints for the exchange.  The paper size had to be 5" x 7" so the actual print will be smaller. One print will be kept for their library, and the rest will be sent to 10 other people involved in this project. I will also receive 10 random prints from all over the world. I've done one of these before, and it's exciting to see how other artists interpret the theme, which this time is "Greetings From A Distant Land". 

I used a vinyl-rubber "Gomuban"plate,  Akua Inks, and Rives Light paper for this image. I did not use a press this time (like I did for the lobster print), as I was home and wanted to see how the Gomuban plate printed by hand. Not bad.

Here is the finished print of Laughing Gulls.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Finished a new print!

White Mountain Gorge, NH

I've been working on this print most of the summer! You can see by the finished plate below that there are a lot of different textures in this image. I've lost track of how many layers in all, but around seven or eight. Sometimes I had to print the same color multiple times to get it dark enough. This print was made using a "soft cut" block, which means I had to print all the layers by hand without using a printing press. The height and squishiness of the soft, flexible block makes it difficult to print with a press. If there is too much pressure on it, it can become distorted and stretched out.

Two more weeks of summer vacation before I have to go back to work. We are in the middle of 90 degree heat wave this week.  I'm trying to finish up loose ends before the new school year begins. I have signed up for a "print exchange" through the Sketchbook Project that is due by mid-September, as well as the Hopkinton Historical Society"s annual art show, which also has work due at that time. I'll put some photos up of my progress in a subsequent post. Stay cool!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"Grow" Illustration Friday

My idea for this week's Illustration Friday prompt---"Grow"

We've had our kitten "Wiley" for about 5 weeks, and she is really growing fast! The tiny little fluff ball is getting lean and long. She's not a lap cat yet, but she likes to be where people are hanging out. When I'm on my computer or working on a drawing, she's usually laying somewhere close by.

There were a few thunderstorms going through today, and the air is still very humid. We need the rain as it's been quite hot the past couple of weeks. They call these the "dog days" of summer, but it is all about keeping the cat cool here!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Lobster Print

I just posted my new "lobster" print on my Etsy shop. I'm really excited about a new block printing material that I used for this project. I used a Gomuban plate that I've learned is a regular staple in Japanese classrooms. It's much softer than linoleum, but firmer than Easy-cut. It carves beautifully and can be printed using a press. Most of my other prints are printed by hand using the Easy-cut blocks, but this material is definitely something that I'm going to explore. The thickness of the Gomuban is only about an 1/8 of an inch, with blue on one side and green on the other, with a black core. The Akua inks that I used for the lobster print went onto the block nice and thin. Using a template on the press as well as pins and tabs, gave me strong color and excellent registration.

Plate on left with 2 color print stage on right

Final stage, wrapped and ready to go!

I'm also in the middle of another printing project using an Easy-cut block of a rushing stream. My daughter took the photo, but she is not sure exactly where it was taken---somewhere north of Plymouth.  It's similar to another mountain stream piece I finished recently. The Easy-cut is handy when I'm working at home without a printing press.

Feeling like summer is flying by way to quickly! So many projects, so little time!

*McClain's Printmaking Supply Catalog carries the Gomuban plates, and will send a free sample if requested.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Illustration Friday "nature"


Having a little fun with the mouse I like to draw! Wish I had a hammock in a cool shady spot right now. Heading into another stretch of 90 degree weather with high humidity this week. I think I'll stay in front of the fan and work on my projects. No real complaints from me--I'll take summer in all its extremes rather than the ice and snow of winter!

Posting this illustration on time this week on the Illustration Friday site! Yay!

Friday, July 24, 2015


Another late one for Illustration Friday. The prompt was "treasure" last week. I tend to be the collector of old family memorabilia and genealogy stuff. I'm always curious about the stories behind the photos and postcards, and other correspondence that has been saved.

I'm working on a couple of new prints this week. One of a lobster, and another one of rocks and a rushing river. My new kitten"Wiley" is a bit of a distraction. She either wants to play, or plop down right where I am working. She's practically sleeping on my keyboard right now, and I'm trying to type over her body!

Can't believe it's Friday already--have a good weekend!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Back from vacation!

I haven't posted for a few weeks as I was on a wonderful vacation in Cape Charles, Virginia with my college friends. In the last six years we have reconnected and met up each summer for a "girls' weekend/week".  Cape Charles is at the lower end of the Delmarva Peninsula, and is a quiet, lovely town. We stayed in a beautiful house with a view of  the Chesapeake Bay. There was plenty of time for sight-seeing, eating out, visiting the beach, and hanging around the pool. Also plenty of laughter and reminiscing!

                                Sunset from the porch
                               We stayed in the Aqua house
                                An interesting sculpture at the Public Beach.

While on vacation I attempted to post last week's Illustration Friday theme, but never got it on line in time, so will post it here. Picked a few grape tomatoes and 2 small zucchini today but my vegetable garden is a little sparse this year. I did plant some tall sunflowers which are growing well, and my husband's perennial gardens are adding color around the yard. Gotta love summer!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Solarplate Printing

I'm taking a Printmaking class this summer, and one of the types of prints I wanted to work on was Solarplate. Solarplate etchings are made by exposing a drawing done on acetate to a light sensitive plate. Here is an example of a print I pulled last week. The drawing is from a photograph I took in May when I was visiting the Portland Head Light. The fog was settled in out over the water, but not on the land.
Spent a fun weekend in Boston visiting with friends who were in the area for a few days. Got to go to the amazing fireworks display on the the 4th! It was a beautiful weekend weather wise, not too warm or humid. We did a lot of walking especially around the North End, the Greenway, Faneuil Hall, and the Waterfront District.  I measured 9.88 miles on my Fit Bit tracker just on Saturday!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Danger--Cuteness Alert!

                                                           Danger--Cuteness Alert

Watch out! This is what happens when you go to the animal shelter just to look. Of course there's a cat there to steal your heart. Today I brought home "Polly". She's a ten week old gray and white kitten with interesting markings. She sort of looks like a little fox from the side, as she has a rather pointed snout. So far we've had some play time, but now she's sleeping under a chair. I think all this excitement of finding a home has worn her out!