Friday, July 31, 2009

Art and Music at the Farmers Market

It's time to pack up the car AGAIN!

David and I will have a booth tomorrow morning (Saturday, August 1) at the Salida Farmers Market in Alpine Park (corner of 5th and E streets). 8:00am - 12:30pm. The Darling Man will be playing music from the new CD, I'll be indoctrinating.... err.... educating... visitors about the linocut process. Come by and see us!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Creative NON-Fiction Workshop with Alex Van Ark

CORRECTION: Oops. I was misinformed... Alex's workshop is creative NON-fiction. Somebody made a typo. Consider yourselves re-informed.

Just in case you're tired of all this linocut stuff.... ArtWorks and Colorado Art Ranch have something new for you to do next week.

New York writer Alex Van Ark is visiting Salida as one of three Colorado Art Ranch Artists-in-Residence. Colorado Art Ranch residencies are supported locally by Salida ArtWorks and our crazy-wonderful community.... I'm wondering if our three guests will actually get any work done during their stay, since Salida has stepped up to fill their social dance cards in a big way.

Residents are asked to provide a community "give-back" as part of their stay, and Alex will be fulfilling this aspect of his visit by presenting a Creative Non-fiction workshop on Sunday, August 9, 1:00-5:00pm at the Salida Regional Library. Admission is free, but participation is limited. If you'd like to join the fun, contact Alex: vanarkaj (at) I have a phone # for him, too, which I'll send ya if you need it, rather than releasing it to the universe.

Ditch linocut color 6

True to The Sherrie Way of Printmaking, I decided halfway through this color run that I need 2 more colors, not 1 more. Is anyone surprised? I hope not.

I'm still feeling ambivalent about the blue... but holding out on changes until the other colors go down. Really the best way to change it at this point would be to make a second plate.... an idea which fills me with a modicum of horror.

I'll carve tonight, but it will be the weekend (probably) before the next color gets pulled. I'm off on a site visit all day tomorrow, and Friday I'll be getting ready for our booth at the Saturday Farmers Market! 8:00am-12:30pm at Alpine Park in Salida. David will be playing selections from the new CD and I'll be hawking linocuts and handmade books. Come see us!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ditch linocut color 5

Moving right along, by golly. I tried to use a more transparent blue for this step... an experiment that I will deem marginally successful. The next color should come quickly, as there isn't really much of this particular blue that will remain in the finished linocut.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Ditch linocut color 4

Color number 4 already! Who would have believed it?

Once again it seems my first two colors were close enough in value to each other that they're going to end up indistinguishable in the final product. (sigh) I find this really difficult to judge in the early stages... In the past I've made the mistake of going too dark too soon and REALLY making a mess of things. The light gray over the light blue looked different enough in the first two passes, but now? Harumph. Not so much. But I shan't panic. Everything else still seems to be on track.

The carving for color #5 promises to be time consuming: more leaves and tangled blades of grass. Should keep me off the streets for a bit, anyway. This weekend I have to turn my attention to a small commission, but I'm hoping for bits and pieces of time to keep this moving ahead. Or into the ditch. Which is what this is. A ditch. A linocut of a ditch. Really. Maybe into the ditch is a good thing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ditch linocut colors 2 and 3

The "underfoot" series begins to be an actual series! Good progress has been made on the third linocut image in the last 24 hours, with colors 2 (light gray) and 3 (green) both making it on to paper.

There is, actually, a concept behind all this complicated imagery of tangled bits below my feet. (And it's not just about a bad habit of not watching where I'm going.) I find it curious that we tend to describe our trodden landscapes with "throw-away" words: leaf litter, woody debris, duff, detritus. And this image here? Not a pond or a creek or a stream. It's a ditch, plain and simple. There's something profound in this idea, I just know it. I'm not entirely able to articulate it yet, but it's there.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Finally underway

As if we hadn't been spending entirely too much time away from home already, the DM and I traveled to Boulder this weekend to celebrate his birthday. It was nice to check out the scene at the Boulder Art Fair and David got to visit a bit with renowned Stick player Bob Culbertson, who was doing his Chapman Stick schtick at the fair.

This week the annual Audubon Adventures project gets ramped up to full speed and I need to give some attention to a couple of commissions, but I got tired of looking at this forlorn and neglected linocut block sitting on the table. Image drawn and first color carved, but not printed. (Sigh) So, I took advantage of a little schedule shuffle yesterday afternoon and got the first color down on paper. At this point it looks as if this image will be 7 or 8 colors, unlike the 10 of the last print. I am most looking forward to printing a couple of shades of green, which I don't seem to do often enough. Green is always a challenge, I think... in any medium!

More carving this evening whilst the Darling Man is off to a meeting. I hope to print color #2 tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Book Building Binge

The schedule gods smiled on me the last couple of days, and I found myself with enough time to fill a biggish order for hand-built books "Flora and Fauna" and "Living on the Edge." Both of these titles I originally built to finance back-to-back projects: an expedition for the Artists for Nature Foundation and an artist residency at Acadia National Park. Almost four years and 400 individually constructed books later, I'm still building them! Time for a new volume, don't you think?

At any rate, yesterday I printed, trimmed and collated the "guts" of 12 books, and today I built covers and assembled the finished books. Feels good to have that task done, since it gives me enough inventory to fill the order AND have some on hand to sell at the Salida Farmer's Market on August 1. Hm. And have on hand to fill orders in the Etsy store. Hmmm and hmmmm. Perhaps I should build a couple more.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Taking the super-long way home

Sunflowers on the Gothic Road

We've had the most ridiculous day... "stuff into the car, stuff out of the car" to the nth degree. We awoke in Crested Butte, loaded up the cars and made a quick trip up the road to the hamlet of Gothic, home of the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab. From there back down to CB and then the 100 miles to Salida.

Unload the cars (we had two, because I'd been in CB since last Monday and the DM arrived on Friday). Get into the DM's car and drive 60 miles to CaƱon City to take down a show there, then turn around and drive back to Salida.

Unload the car again.

Get back in to MY car and drive 25 miles to Buena Vista to collect our farm share (we missed the market yesterday), have some supper, and then drive back to Salida and unload the car AGAIN.

Had there been a reasonable route for managing all this, we would have taken it, but instead we had the surreal experience of coming home three times before finally arriving. We've now got multiple piles all over the house, but at least they're in one geographic location.

But hey... I told you Crested Butte was a fine place to teach classes. See?......

Workshop participant Carey, drawing in the lupine!

In the Gunnison National Forest, en route to Gothic.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


We're still in Crested Butte for one more day, it's been a great week of full workshops and enthusiastic participants. Not to mention drop-dead gorgeous scenery. A full report comes later, but I wanted to take a minute to share David's first YouTube video from the new CD. Good thing he knows the photographer, since he posted the video and THEN told her about it.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Off to the Butte!

Zoom! Another summer weekend disintegrated and another "to do" list only half completed.

We kept close to home for the holiday, happy to visit with a friend from New Mexico and dance with our neighbors at the Riverside Park band shell before last night's fireworks. We've had enough rain this season that the "grand finale" wasn't grass fires on S Mountain, as it was last year.

This morning we took a hike up Bear Creek, just downriver from town. I'm finding it quite delightful that a year after his arrival in the Upper Arkansas valley, the DM is finding new routes and taking me places I haven't been in my seven years as a local. We marked this trail a winner, full of an amazing diversity of plant and bird life. Dry slopes and wet creek bottoms... warbling vireos and hermit thrushes. Pine, fir, scrub oak, aspen, maple, juniper... cactus...yucca... moss.

And one particularly lush stretch of horsetail... (I decided to be kind and not post the images of the DM making his way to and from this particular slippery perch.)

On the way back down, we took a pic of this lovely butterfly, some species of comma, but I'm not sure which one. (Hoary comma?) Once I started messing with the image, I realized there's likely another linocut in here. Yikes! Suddenly a backlog of linos.

And I'll be lagging for another week, since tomorrow I'm off to Crested Butte for a week of teaching at the Wildflower Festival. I'm looking forward to it, but Double Yikes! It's already 5:00pm and I still have to pack gear and food and clothes and...

I'd better get with it.

Not sure if I'll be able to post whilst away since hijack-able wireless signals can be hard to find. See you all when I get back!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Another down-and-back trip to the city was on the docket for today. I needed some supplies for next week's workshops in Crested Butte (namely leather for making journals), so off I went. It was a nice day for a drive and traffic was light (a bit of a surprise during the summer tourist season).

Errand running took a total of 90 minutes (which was less than the time it took me to get there), so once again I managed a little time at the zoo. (Okay, so I was efficient about errands because I wanted time at the zoo.) Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has a nice, new little exhibit about the challenges of amphibian conservation- complete with a tank chock full of semi-cooperative American bullfrogs.

I finally came up with an answer to one of the most exasperating questions I receive whilst sitting in front of an animal exhibit with a sketchbook in my lap and pencil in my hand:

"What are you doing?" asks a bystander.
"Baking a cake," say I.

The new linocut block is drawn and I'll get the little bits carved for the first color this week. I'm not sure if I'll start printing right away, since I'll be gone all next week to teach workshops, and I don't like to lose momentum once I start. We'll see how I feel this weekend.

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...