Friday, December 27, 2019

Rainy Days and New Years, or, Let's Go 2020!

Studio window view on a rainy December day

One of the things about life in Maine that still puzzles me is the persistence of rain through the winter months. Back home in the Rockies winter precipitation came in the form of snow... maayybe sleet once in a while, but not rain. Rain was for summer afternoons, if we were lucky.

But here I am on a Friday afternoon at the end of December, watching the rain come down, and it's definitely NOT summer. I've got a fire going in the wood stove, a cup of tea at hand... and the 2020 calendar laid out in front of me. Holy cow, it's already getting full!

2019 has been a year full of making connections and finding my way in a community that is still new to me. I'm thankful for the support and camaraderie of collectors, students, colleagues, and friends across the United States and across the pond, and I hope I'll have the opportunity to spend time with all of you in the new year ahead... at exhibitions, workshops... or the local coffee shop.

My last completed linocut of 2019 was a pair of shirts for my grand-nephews, who will both turn two years old in March. "Let's Go!" seemed to be an appropriate theme for the lives of busy toddlers, but as I carved the lettering I thought perhaps it was also a good attitude to be embraced by their grand-auntie. I didn't make myself a shirt (yet)... but I've already got a photo of one of the little goobers wearing his... and I'm keeping it nearby to inspire me in the year ahead.

2020? Let's Go!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Linocut in Progress: The Semi-secret Project

As I type this we're getting ready for our first significant snowfall of the season here on the coast of Maine and I find I'm actually looking forward to it. I've got hot cocoa in the cupboard and wood piled next to the stove... and plenty to do in both the studio and the office. Staying in and getting work done sounds fabulous to me.

It's not quite time to reveal the ultimate goal of the project I'm working on at the moment, but I think it's okay to show you some work in progress. I've been carving, printing, and painting a dozen individual linocut birds. When finished they'll be part of a larger image with a potentially huge audience, so it's all rather exciting.

I'm printing the birds on Arches 140lb watercolor sheets, and I've found that it works best to use damp paper. That's different from my usual working method, but once I found the right level of dampness and the right press pressure the printing process has been amazingly smooth. Maybe it's the fact that I'm just printing one color that makes it seem so miraculously painless. No 15-color-pass headaches in this job.

Of course I'm on a deadline, so to expedite things I added some cobalt drier to the ink. This is something I typically try to avoid, for a number of reasons. I dislike the smell for one... and if used over multiple color passes I dislike how it changes the sheen of the ink. But what I really hate is that it is toxic stuff, and I have a solvent-free studio. But sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do.

The whole project needs to be done before the end of the month, so there's no time for messing about. Stay tuned for the big reveal and announcement, probably right around Christmas.

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Hundreds for November

Alrighty, then! Whew... I made it to a hundred little sketches for the month of November. This doesn't seem like such a big deal when one does the math: 100 sketches in a month is 3-4 per day. The trick is that if one somehow misses two days, then suddenly there are 10 sketches to do!

The hardest part for me is deciding what to draw. I want these sketches to be fast... responsive... interpretive... not careful pre-linocut drawings or long value studies. To that end I tried to stick to pen; if I used a pencil my inclination to go all crazy with subtle values would lead me down time-consuming paths.

I also want to work from life as much as possible, but it's November (now December). Daylight hours are short (especially up here in the north country) and there's rain and cold (and soon snow) to contend with and I am a wimp. So at the moment this means a lot of drawing indoors... interiors of coffee shops, my house, the laundromat. I did find one nice day to go to the Maine Wildlife Park before they closed for the season, and a couple of nice days for sketching landscapes near home.

To break things up I also worked from movies and a YouTube video described as Cat TV. (Footage of birds coming in and out of a feeder station.) I'd watch for an interesting frame, hit the pause button, and draw as fast as possible. The temptation to slow down and try to get a likeness on movie frames was huge, but I kept reminding myself my goal was to get the idea down quickly and move on.

It was a satisfying adventure, but rut ro! Now it's December. Here we go again!

In the meantime, here's a little flip through the sketchbook... I think I missed turning a couple of pages, but you get the idea. This month I'd like to be more deliberate about overall page composition, so we'll see how that goes. Onward!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Linocut in Progress: Well... finished, actually....

Whew! There's nothing quite so satisfying as a drying rack full of finished prints. Sometimes it takes a while to get to that point, as it did with this linocut, so sometimes satisfaction mingles with plain old relief. (See what I did there? Linocut? Relief? Get it?)

The end game, as often happens, was a bit subtle. First, some darks. Maybe the final, maybe not.

Linocut in progress, Step 11

Pretty good... but, yeah. I had avoided the birds. Why? Because I was afraid of them, of course! What if, after all this, they looked horrible in the final image? But they are so small... the larger one isn't even 3/4 of an inch tall... getting involved with little details seemed like a bad idea.

My best methods for dealing with indecision and anxiety are to A) avoid making the actual decision and B) eat chocolate. But neither of these can go on indefinitely without consequences, so I carved a few small marks into the birds, mixed up one last transparent dark, took a deep breath, and...

Hi ho, hi ho, to wipe the ink we go...

...wiped a lot of ink. At this stage there wasn't much lino surface left on the block, and no matter how careful I was about inking, I still had overrun. So I carefully wiped extraneous bits after every inking and before the prints went through the press. (Yes, that was a blatant attempt to draw out the drama. Did it work?)

And heeeeere's the result:

Slightly embiggenable with a click, if you'd like a better look.

Just enough simplification to the birds and one final dark in some of the rock and shadowed parts of the trees. Whew. 

If you've been following Brush and Baren for any length of time you know that I can go down some prolonged "just one more thing" rabbit holes. I did consider making one more little tweak to the image, but after a day or two I decided enough was enough.

All that's left now is to title it. The prevailing breeze on Pemaquid Point has caused these trees to lean back... but the birds of course love to face in to the headwind. I like the idea of push/pull and two different ways to respond to the same situation... but haven't yet come up with a succinct way to express that idea. Perhaps it's a big enough concept to save for another, more dramatic image.

I'll mull it over for another couple of days (eating more chocolate and avoiding another decision), but then it's due for a frame and a trip to New Hampshire for the Pine Tree Pop-Up show and sale at the Woodman Museum, so a christening will need to happen soon!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Linocut in Progress: Sneaking up on the end

Alrighty, then! Progress continues on this little linocut... you remember this linocut, don't you? It's the one that's taking a ridiculous amount of time because it keeps getting interrupted. But it's going to get finished soon. Really it is.

To move that claim along, here is a nice little split roll-up. A transparent gray-green for the top and a more opaque light gray in the lower foreground.

Which ended up looking like this:

Reduction linocut in progress, Step 9

I was feeling pretty good about the rocks at this point, and the foreground grasses, but I wanted to add a little more color in the lower section. I also needed to start making some decisions about how to treat the birds.

I opted for a transparent gray-to-browny-red over most of the block and just a touch of a lighter transparent gray in the birds.

Reduction linocut in progress: Step 10

The camera didn't really pick up the subtleties in the darks of the foreground trees, but trust me, they are there. The grasses are feeling pretty good. I think overall it needs just one more dark to pick out some shadows in the rocks and grasses and then some resolution for the birds. With any luck I'll finally wrap this one up this weekend.

And then what's next? I've got a rather involved commission project to get underway after this, and would like to get started on another new small piece, perhaps a snow scene! We saw our first snowflakes of the season today... just a few little squalls interspersed with sunshine... but I know the winter is not far away. I kept a fire going in the wood stove most of the day today, and it won't be long before the stove is the first thing I tend to every morning and the last thing I tend to every night before bed. Part of me is really looking forward to that. Just think how much faster the prints will dry!

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Return of The Hundreds

Five down, 95 more to go for November.

After a summer of almost zero studio time, my work groove has felt... well... not groovy. Both my hands and my thought processes are rusty, and I have been frustrated with my lack of creative grace.

But then I remembered The Hundreds.

Unbelievably, more than a decade has passed since my friend Tim Deibler and I challenged each other to make 100 thumbnail sketches every month for a year. Even though our success with the challenge waxed and waned, I managed to fill two sketchbooks with compositions and ideas... mostly from life, but sometimes from the television and videos.

It seemed a fine idea to take up the Hundreds challenge again, not only for tuning up my skills, but also for helping me get to understand Maine better. Believe it or not, today is the two-year anniversary of my move here from Colorado, and in a lot of ways I still feel very much a stranger.

So I relaunched my Hundreds effort in mid-October and managed to get 50 sketches done by yesterday, so now I'm off and running on the start of a new month. It's been blowing a literal gale here (more power outages, but so far not in my area!), so today's sketches are a mix of life drawings from inside my house and compositions derived from photographs I took this morning outside. I gave myself no more than ten minutes to find each composition and sketch it in ink before moving on to the next one.

Carrying a sketchbook with me is a long habit, but giving myself an assignment and a deadline ensures that I'll take it out and use it regularly. It feels good to flex both mental and physical muscles... so, hey! Why not grab a sketchbook of your own and join me?

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Linocut in Progress: Tree-mendous

After all the fussing about with the clouds and sky it felt good to turn my attention back to the trees and foreground on the current linocut in progress.

A green-to-ochre blend did the trick, bringing the start of some depth to the foreground. 

Green-to-ochre blend, Step 7

I was so pleased to be making progress that I tried to jump in immediately with another color pass, but it's been raining and cool this week and drying time has slowed down. It was chilly enough to light a fire the other day, so I moved the drying rack into the sitting room and hoped for some help there.

The next day everything seemed a little less tacky, so I crossed my fingers and went ahead with a transparent blue-gray to gray blend. I probably should have given the prints another day in front of the wood stove, but adhesion went okay and it was satisfying to finally get some more interest going in the rest of the image.

Blue-gray-to-gray blend, Step 8

Everything really needs drying time now, so I will carve for the next color and let these sit a bit.

But never fear! I have a commission project started, so won't be twiddling my thumbs. I should be able to share more details about this illustration project soon, but for now I'll just tease you with the idea of up to a dozen birds, printed and then hand-painted and assembled into a larger image. Fun, eh?

Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Linocut in Progress: After the storm, the lino!

Well.. it's been an exciting week and a half! In the wee hours of Thursday, October 17, a nor'easter crashed along coastal Maine. It knocked down the power pole coming down my road from the main line and took the 21st century with it. We lost power, water (no electricity to pump the well), telephone, internet, and I lost forward momentum.

Luckily the town of Damariscotta got power back fairly quickly, so some computer work could be done at the local coffee shop and showers could be had at the YMCA.. but everything else pretty much ground to a halt. I did go on a nice hike, and I spent one very long and exciting day surveying storm-petrel burrows on an island Downeast, so I certainly found ways to enjoy myself.

We were four days without power and water, and another two without phone or internet. But we've finally shed our pioneer ways and everyone on the peninsula is settling back into a more "normal" groove.

With all that time to sit in the dark and think, I came up with a solution to the problem of the current linocut in progress! As a reminder, here's where the print stood at the last step:

Step 5 recap

The issue for me was the shapes of the large clouds in the upper portion of the image. They were too clunky overall, and the three little white "fingers" that trailed out to the left bugged me a LOT. I had hoped those shapes would be less prominent with the hatch marks around them, but they remained stubbornly awkward-looking.

Of course every area in this image that appears white had been removed from the block at the very first step... before a single color was printed. And by the time I made the first color pass on the trees ALL of the sky material had been removed. It was Just. No. Good.

After some hemming, hawing, and general head-scratching, I decide that the best thing to do would be to cut a second block. But not a complete second block... just a partial one!

The "fix-it block" in place on the press

Here it is in the registration jig. Unfortunately everything is upside-down to the viewer, so harder to understand what's happening, but at the time I took the photo the light was horrible from the other direction. (So, yes. I'm now asking you to think inside out, backwards, and upside-down. Terrible!)

After the "patch" block

Here's a another look at the small block just after the whole shebang has gone through the press. You can see that the top and sides align with the top of the registration jig, but the bottom edge was cut to follow the shape of the lower cloud.

I put a lot of "activity" in the mark-making on this new partial block. I hadn't done this originally because I thought it might distract from the trees... but that didn't turn out to be the case. In fact I think it's better this way... improving the suggestion of wind-tipped trees along the coast.

Here's the result:

"Corrected" linocut in progress, Step 6

Whew! Now I can turn my attention back to the trees and get this image wrapped up in the next few days. Time to start thinking about what's next, too.

But here's an interesting aside: This image is already historical. The middle of these three trees also came down in last week's storm... leaving a gap and a memory. And a linocut.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Linocut in Progress: A fix and a re-think

Three cheers for my fabulous neighbor, who saw my grumpy face when he stopped by to bring my mail and promptly dropped everything to help me try to fix my press bed. Again.

Since the bubble was right in the middle of the bed and the rest of the adhesive we applied last year seemed to be holding (for now), it would have been a complete pain in the neck to try to pull up the laminate without breaking it.

We opted instead to pull the entire bed out from between the rollers and flip it over. We had only fixed the "top" side last year, and I knew that the original 20-year-old adhesive had also failed on the bottom.  Flipping the bed and dealing with the easier-to-peel-up side saved us a lot of time, elbow grease, and anxiety.

Laminate lifted up to clean the bed and prepare it for new adhesive.

It took the entire afternoon, and the wretched contact cement surely killed a few of our brain cells, but we got 'er done. The next morning I got back to work... which involved a little blue-to-gray blend on the lower third of the block, to get the horizon between sky and water sorted out.

Linocut in Progress, Step 4.5

Finally it was time to get away from the blues. I mixed a sort of olive-y, ochre-y, semi-transparent color and... voila!

Reduction linocut in progress: Step 5.

Except, hmmmm. There's a problem. The sky bugs me. To be honest, it has bugged me from the beginning, but now that there is a color printed that contrasts with the blues, it REALLY bugs me. I'm not satisfied with the shapes of the clouds. I tried to make them billowy, but they just look clunky. Argh. What to do?

Yesterday I considered bagging the entire thing and starting over... something I haven't done in ages. But it has also occurred to me that I might be able to do something interesting with a second block overlapping some transparent shapes in the sky. It's worth a try, anyway! I'll let the prints dry for a day or two and then sacrifice a couple in the name of experimentation.

In the meantime there are plenty of other things to do. In fact the list is overwhelmingly long... so maybe I'll just go take a nap instead!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Linocut in Progress: Well, SOME progress... and a set-back

With just one more workshop on the horizon before year's end, I have really been looking forward to some concentrated time in the studio.

So it was with much excitement that I set out to put the next color pass on the linocut that's been languishing for a couple of weeks. I mixed up another transparent blue, checked the press pressure, stacked the dry prints and got started.

And had problems. My matboard registration jig didn't seem to want to lay flat on the press bed, and I was having some minor registration issues. I kept fussing with it all, and then, with a sinking feeling, realized what the problem might be. I pulled the stack of padding paper and jig off the press, and sure enough, there in the middle of the bed, was a bubble.

You might recall that about a year and a half ago, when I finally found a place to live in Maine and got my studio set up, I discovered my press bed had become delaminated while in storage. After much anxiety, and a few false starts, my neighbor and I were able to pull up the laminate and re-adhere it to the bed and I was back to work.

Things have been moving along well since then, but the busy summer workshop and exhibition schedule kept me away from the press most of the summer. I did have a couple little black-and-white projects, but they didn't require precise registration and if there were problems with the bed at that time I didn't notice them.

I notice them now. It's hard to miss a big bubble smack in the middle of the bed.

Luckily the piece I'm working on right now is small enough that I can continue to use a portion of the bed that isn't warped, so I should be able to finish it. The pressure settings might need a little tweaking, but I did finish pulling this color today. I've got a message in to the manufacturer again, and I'll be making a call to my neighbor this afternoon.

In the least we're this far:

Linocut in progress, Step 4

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Upcoming Reduction Linocut Workshop at the Farnsworth Art Museum

"Treasured Path," reduction linocut © Sherrie York

We woke to some soft frost this morning on the midcoast, so there's no denying the autumn anymore! 

I've got one more workshop on the schedule before the snow flies and the deep dark season arrives. Actually, it's the weekend WHEN the deep, dark season arrives, since the time will change overnight November 2.

So, quick! Join me for a two-day reduction linocut class at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine. 9:30-4:30, November 2 and 3. Once you've had experience with a couple of new skills, your winter will fly on by in a whirl of printmaking! Well, it could

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Linocut in Progress: (After too long away)

Hooray! Summer is officially over!

Yeah, I'm weird that way. Summer is not my favorite season.

There are a lot of reasons not to like summer, most of which are a bit whiney... but the greatest reason is that summer tends not to allow for much studio time. And studio time is kind of imperative if one intends to produce new work.

I've got one more week of workshop ahead of me, but in the past few days I did manage to squeeze out a couple of hours to start a small reduction linocut. This one is just 9" x 6"– sort of like going back to training wheels after one has been off of a bicycle for too long. Maybe.

Linocut in progress, Step 1

But here we go! First color pass was a flat, light, transparent gray. Nothing fancy.

Linocut in progress, Step 2

Of course I can never keep things simple for long... Step 2 employed both a blue-to-light blue blended roll AND a little selective wiping out of the block to keep the bird shapes clear. I'm not really settled about what I'm going to do with them yet... so I can avoid having to make decisions by not inking them at all.

Yesterday afternoon I gave a short, informal demo at the Stable Gallery in Damariscotta, Maine...but in the morning I managed to complete the third color pass... another blue-to-lighter blue blended roll.

Linocut in progress, Step 3

I'm still on the fence about how to handle the birds, but since they're so tiny I can continue to keep them clear of ink and make that decision after other parts of the image get a little more resolved.

Progress will slow down a little bit this week, since I'll be leading a Field Sketching course at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland every day, but now that my tools are warmed up again and my brayers are rolling a more regular studio routine can't be far behind.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Birds in Art 2019!

One of the highlights of any year (but especially of those years in which I have a piece in the show) is the annual Birds in Art exhibition at the Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin. Birds in Art is the museum's flagship juried show, highlighting work by some of the world's best wildlife artists.

Of the approximately 130 artists with work in this year's exhibition, 73 attended the opening. Some travelled from as far away as Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

The opening weekend is always a stellar event, and a fun opportunity to visit with friends, colleagues, and the amazingly supportive and enthusiastic citizens of Wausau and its surrounding communities. In addition, colored-pencil artist Alan Woollett of England was named this year's Master Wildlife Artist. Birds in Art includes a mini show-within-the-show of fifteen of Alan's pieces, and Saturday visitors were treated to his presentation under the big tent in the museum's sculpture garden.

At the Saturday morning public opening. Find the linocut on the wall in this picture!

Funny thing about trying to shoot a panorama when people are moving around.
One tends to get some funny camera effects. Anyway... there are actually TWO
linocuts on the opposite wall... mine in the corner and Sue Medaris's by the door.

A better look at that corner, except missing Sue Medaris's piece.
To my left, Chris Maynard, to the right Paul Rhymer.

Patron dinner... only half of us in this room!

Alan Woollett's Saturday morning talk.

An added bonus for me (and hopefully for exhibition visitors) is a short video put together about the process for my piece, Four on the Fence, which is included in the show. The video can be seen on the Woodson Art Museum's YouTube channel, or on the museum's app. Or right here:

Birds in Art continues at the Woodson Art Museum until December 1, so don't miss it!

Friday, August 30, 2019

The September Shows: Linocuts everywhere!

I've enjoyed a little respite from the crazy pace of the summer, catching up with some of the myriad tasks that were neglected when my schedule hit Mach 10.

Some of what was happening in all the summer craziness was the framing and shipping of work for three major exhibitions, all happening in September. Which is almost now!

"Four on the Fence," reduction linocut © Sherrie York

The Woodson Art Museum's flagship exhibition is one of the highlights of the wildlife art year. Birds in Art 2019 includes the work of 114 international artists, and will honor British colored pencil artist Alan Woollett as this year's Master Wildlife Artist. Show opens to the public on Saturday, September 7 and will continue through December 1.


It's my great honor to have been invited to participate in the Susan K. Black Foundation's exhibition "In the Audubon Tradition," opening at the Cincinnati Museum Center on September 12 and continuing through January 5, 2020. The show includes work by 80 of the top artists in the wildlife art field...  whew!

(This list embiggenable with a click)


The Society of Animal Artist's 59th "Art and the Animal" exhibition opens this year at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas on September 20. Show continues through January 5, 2020. Selections from the show (including my piece, Chasing Daylight) will go on national tour following the event's close at the Briscoe.

"Chasing Daylight," reduction linocut © Sherrie York


Also, don't forget it's your last chance to see "Under Pressure: Birds in the Printed Landscape" at the Museum of American Bird Art in Canton, Massachusetts. Show closes September 15, so don't delay!

"Dinner Party," reduction linocut © Sherrie York

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Wow? What just happened?

My submissions for this year's Project Postcard event at the Woodson Art Museum.

It's a cloudy and cool-ish day here in midcoast Maine, with a few rain showers moving through. Sure, we're still having days of heat and humidity, but yesterday when I drove to town I noticed two large maple trees with a distinctly orange tinge to their outermost leaves.

Summer is winding down.

While I know some people try to avoid thoughts of summer's end, this year I feel inclined to embrace it. I gave myself a rather ridiculous schedule these last three months and by golly I'm tired.

There's still plenty to do... and I'm even starting to put things into place in my 2020 schedule already... but the pace seems more reasonable. I should probably emphasize the word seems, since I know looks can be deceiving.

But I've managed to squeak out some hours in the studio the last couple of weeks. Both projects were "secrets," however, so I don't have much to show at the moment. The photo here is a distorted view of my linocut submissions for this year's Project Postcard event at the opening of Birds in Art at the Woodson Art Museum.

Birds in Art artists donate small (4x6 inch) artworks which are installed in a secret location. Patrons pay $50 for the opportunity to spend one minute (!!) in the company of the many lovely (and anonymous) pieces and to choose one to take home. The museum uses the Project Postcard funds to purchase works from the exhibition for its permanent collection... a win-win-win for museum, artists, and collectors.

In addition to small print projects I have finally managed to ship the last of my works to major fall exhibitions, so whew! I can check that off the to-do list, also.

So what's next? Oooooh! A big, not-so-secret project! I've been asked to be the poster artist for the 2020 World Migratory Bird Day events! It's an exciting opportunity, although a little bit daunting due to the short production timeline. But I had my first design conference with the organizer yesterday, and I'll be jumping in to some rough sketches the rest of this week.

And of course I've got linos on my mind... I'd like to get some smaller works going before the end of the year... although right now my brain seems stuck in ideas that demand a larger scale. Hopefully my creativity will start cooperating in more practical ways soon.

So stay with me as I switch gears and head back into the studio season. Make sure your wood pile is well-stacked and your tea supplies ready to go before the cold arrives! We've got some linos to make...

Monday, July 22, 2019

The Summer Sessions....

After a solid month of workshop facilitation I finally see light at the end of the one-thing-after-another tunnel. I've got two more short workshops coming up in the next week, but then, whew! I'll have some time back at home and in the studio, catching up with framing and shipping and getting ready to start some new linos.

The past few weeks have been great, though... a lot of time outside in the field! Right on the heels of my exhibition opening at the Museum of American Bird Art I had a grand group of field sketchers at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland.

Farnsworth Field Sketchers in a friend's garden.

We enjoyed a busy week visiting the beach, the farmers market, and the garden of a friend who lives just a couple of blocks from the museum. We also spent a little time indoors working on drawing and watercolor skills.

Watercolor skill-building at the Farnsworth Art Museum

A few days after that class finished I was off to my annual gig at Hog Island Audubon Camp. "Back in the old days" when I lived in Colorado, coming to camp involved a couple days of travel on either end. Now I live 20 minutes from the camp's mainland dock! I'm still not sure if that's good or bad.

The Arts & Birding team: me, Jean Mackay, Derrick Jackson, Drew Fulton

My first week on the island was for the Arts & Birding session, which I co-facilitate with the fabulous Jean Mackay. If you don't know Jean's work, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

The photography section of our week is led by filmmaker Drew Fulton (he who made the short film about my work in the previous post) and photographer/journalist Derrick Z. Jackson.

Evening salon at Hog Island

One of the highlights of the Arts & Birding week is the evening salon. Every night, just before dinner, anyone who wants to share puts out sketchbooks or laptops with slideshows running, and lively conversation ensues. It's a lovely way to come together and see what everyone has been up to during the day.

My second week on Hog Island was for the high-energy Educators' Week. About 50 educators serving the spectrum of learners from PreK to college, schools to nature centers, came together to share ideas and experiences for outdoor education.

Sketching in the gardens at Hog Island

Of course I always make sure there are opportunities for field sketching at camp! We also make journals, and this year I even managed to squeeze a quick printmaking session onto the already-packed schedule.

And in an amusing twist, a few of the new printmakers decide their prints could translate well as temporary tattoos...

I came home this weekend, did the laundry, paid some bills, answered some email, and now I'm ready to pack a bag again! I'm headed back down to Massachusetts for another quick little workshop at the Museum of American Bird Art, and I'm looking forward to catching up with folks in the Boston area. Then it's back to Maine for a printmaking class at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens... at which point it will already be August! Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

New video about my work!

Whew! What a great opening weekend for Under Pressure: Birds in the Printed Landscape at the Museum of American Bird Art. I was delighted and touched by the turnout and support for me and my work. Thanks to everyone who came to the museum, asked questions, and shared their delight and curiosity with me. I appreciate all of you.

Now that the show is up, I would like to share the short video made by filmmaker Drew Fulton that accompanies the exhibition. Drew did a great job, and I appreciate all he did to create this great overview of my linocut process and inspiration.

So what's next? This week I'll be catching up with sending some work to a few galleries, plus preparing for next week's 5-morning field sketching workshop with the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. I think there might be a spot or two left, so if you'd like to join us next week for adventures in sketching outdoors along the Maine coast, pop on over to the Farnsworth website and register!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

"Under Pressure" is underway!


It was a busy but lovely day today here at the Museum of American Bird Art in Canton, Massachusetts. This morning started with a gallery talk and luncheon for museum patrons, a quick little printing demo, and then the afternoon public opening of my exhibition, Under Pressure: Birds in the Printed Landscape.

Talking prints with museum patrons

The show looks so lovely in this beautiful venue. It's the first opportunity I've had to mount 50 pieces of my work in one place, which was exciting and a bit unnerving.

Upstairs in the mezzanine my inner educator got to have fun creating an area all about the reduction printing process.

All about reduction prints!

The table case on the left has tools and lino and registration jigs... the panel just to the right of the table has photos of me at work in the studio and a description of each step of the process. Across the center are four prints from which I pulled one sheet at each stage... so viewers can see the print develop. And on the TV at right, a short film produced by Drew Fulton, which I will post here shortly.

The show is now up through September 15. MABA is open Tuesday through Sunday, 1-5pm, so if you're in the Boston area, do stop on in. (Bonus: Museum admission is free to MassAudubon members.) The museum sits on 120 wooded acres, with walking trails and plenty of wildlife to enjoy, too!

I expect you'll read more about this show later, but for now I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the MABA staff, who have been so supportive of me and my work, and who pulled out all the stops to make the exhibition look fabulous. Thank you all!

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...