Saturday, October 27, 2007


Were it not for the smell of ink in the studio, I'd be hard-pressed to convince myself much progress was made on the new linocut. The first color is down, but it's a very pale gray-blue. I tried to take a shot of the prints on the rack, but the camera wouldn't pick up the color and it just looks like a bunch of white sheets of paper!

So.... the low-tech print set-up is the star of the show today instead. On the left, the nifty little registration jig which has evolved with the help of a clever friend. It's just a piece of masonite with 1x2s affixed squarely in one corner. Two pieces of L-shaped corner moulding sit on top of these, as "stops" for the paper edges. Small strips of plywood serve as shims to adjust the distance of the plate from the paper edges (margin control). Ink the plate, slide it into the corner, place the paper on top, get out your baren and kitchen spoon and print away!

Now that the first color is drying I can return to carving the plate. This next pass will remove a lot of material from the plate, so I'll be at it a while.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dem bones

In honor of the approaching Hallowe'en festivities, a few sketches of a very decayed bone found in a neglected lot not far from town.

I put the first color on the new lino this morning. Photos and whining later today.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Window basil

I had to take photos for some interp signs today, and intended to make sketches while I was out and about.

Didn't happen.

So now it's dark and I still want to draw. Basil in the kitchen window planters. Line drawing first.

Followed by a little color. One of these days I'm going to find a paper that's good for drawing AND for painting. This ain't it.

I tried to work quickly... 45 minutes, start to post.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Big 5k

Hey! Thanks everybody! Brush and Baren crossed the 5000 hits mark over night. :-) It's a nice thing to see on a Monday morning.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Back to work...

Okay. All the running around of the last month has been great and necessary fun, but it's time to get back to the table. As evidence thereof, I present to you the start of the next linocut. Largeish in size (12x18 inches), probably 5 colors in reduction. (As usual, no solid plan past the first carving.)

It feels remarkably good to manipulate tools and imagine where the image might go. Remember that when we're halfway through and I'm whining and despairing. (Also usual.)

Ponderosa pine, Chaffee County, October snow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Okay, so the autumn isn't COMPLETELY over

Views from the trail this morning. Snow tonight, I think.
It's been snowing on Monarch Pass all day.

I tried to bring home an interesting piece of sticker-y bush to draw this morning, but DUH! It stuck to my gloves and disintegrated in a pile of seeds. (sigh)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Warning label

My friend Brenda hangs a poster in her home workspace that says, "It could be that the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others," or some such interpretation of that theme.

And that's a little how I feel about today. FINALLY this morning I got out for the long-neglected walk, and OOPH. The season has changed and I missed the entire process! Travel and work and an unfortunate encounter with an ice-covered step kept me either on the run or under an ice pack for most of the last month, and while I was away my familiar landscape got an extreme makeover. One portion of "my" trail has been scraped away by hospital-constructing bulldozers. Another has been widened and covered with new gravel. Yet another has been denuded: large clumps of willow taken out around the lake to make room for more fishermen. (I guess.)

The swallows are completely gone and the juncos have come down from the high country. Many trees are completely bereft of leaves. And I am chagrined that I wasn't there to note the change in gradual increments instead of great swaths. (This is the part about serving as a warning to others: do not let doing interfere with being!)

My one consolation is that the "good winter ducks" have started to arrive: ring-necks, gadwall and wigeon are in. A few grebes, a few mergansers.-- and one handsome wood duck. Sands Lake's lone summer coot has 8 or 10 buddies now, and an osprey haunts Frantz Lake before continuing south.

The milkweed has transitioned from pink flowers to brown husks, so I brought a chunk in from the trail to draw this afternoon. My original intention was just to make a pencil drawing, but the temptation of a brush close at hand was too great. I'm not sure I like the drawing as well with the color... but there you have it.

And yes, I'm walking tomorrow- before it starts snowing or something!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Some days you're the windshield....

Some days you get the sketch. Some days it gets you.

Zoo scribbles. Black-footed penguins, Siamese crocodile.

This just in

Home again from what I think is the last extended road trip for a little while. (Maybe. Hopefully. Possibly.) A stop at the post office to collect my mail was rewarded with this little gem, hot off the press and ready for me to drool over.

If you don't know Gustave Baumann's woodcuts... what are you waiting for? The New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe has an exhibition of his work up until 2010.

Probably the two greatest influences on my own linocut work are Baumann's woodcuts and the scratchboard illustrations of Frances Lee Jaques. Jaques was a painter of dioramas for the Bell, Peabody and American museums of natural history. He also made color illustrations for natural history tomes, but it's the black and white work that he did to accompany his wife Florence Page Jaques' nature writing that just knocks me over. If I can ever begin to touch on the graphic sensibilities of these two guys (and the charm of Florence's writing)... well.... I'll figure I've finally made some progress.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

They're hee-ere!

Hot off the press, the new issues of Audubon Adventures arrived in the mail this week. This is a project for which I've done illustrations for several years... and this year we took on a completely new format. (Courtesy of the amazing folks at Cataleno and Company.)

Also exciting, my first soup-to-nuts project for the Adventures program: Sherrie as writer, illustrator and designer! "Nature Journaling for Everyone" is a little booklet written for youth leaders of all stripes who want to start nature journaling with kids. Yippee!

Linocut in Progress: The Third Act

Time to wrap up this linocut ! And we are wrapping at warp speed (see what I did there?)... because there are deadlines. Exhibition deadline...