Wednesday, November 18, 2015


I have had trouble making art for a long time. It started when my parents died within 3 month of each other, my mother in October 2007 and my dad in January 2008.  In 2010 we found out my aunt was having trouble physically and cognitively which led to my brother and me applying to be her guardians.

"Muzzled" printing ink on Yupo 2015

Except for some public art, I pretty much stopped painting. I sketched sometimes, wrote, and played with illustration but I didn't paint. I'm not sure why I stopped. I blamed it on being too busy, too tired, having an out-of-control studio. I also developed severe anxiety about many things. After doing everything that needed to be done, I just wanted to read or watch TV.

"Cocktails" printing ink on Yupo 2015

I also don't know why I am working again. It probably was a variety of reasons. I have been meeting with the Portrait group weekly for a year.  In September my aunt died. Both my cat and dog are elderly and have developed chronic diseases; they won't be here as long as I expected.

Once Upon a Time printing ink on Yupo 2015

My role as caregiver is drawing to an end. Things are in flux. Something has shifted and I am painting and printmaking. It feels strange but good, like finding my way back to where I used to live after a long journey away.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Block Printing Experiments -1

My background is in printmaking. That is what I majored in in undergraduate and graduate school. I left it behind after school due to the cost and toxicity of materials. Now that there are safer options and water-based products, I've been wanting to try block printing. I actually have the cutter somewhere in the basement. Of course, it is buried under something. So what did I do? I bought more! And I got some little flexible blocks. (I also have those in the underneath)

The Speedball blades seem sharp enough but the Speedball Speedy Cut blocks are a mess. They shred as you cut them and if you try to brush the shreds off, you make more.  In doing some internet research, I found that the best soft blocks were made by Staedtler Mars but are not longer available. In addition to the hated Speedy Cut, Speedball makes Speedy Carve which is supposed to be pretty good.

I found it hard to visualize what I should cut away and cut more than I needed to. Still, I am pleased with how the bee turned out. I may modify it a bit more if I can bear to work with that block again. Or I may just go buy Speedy Carve tomorrow. And some printing paper (of which there is also some down there).

Friday, October 23, 2015


I finally went back to the waiting fencer and finished it. Not sure how I feel about it except that it is done. To re-cap:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Piano Time 2015 Wrap Up

After dropping my son off at the airport for a year in Guam, I was feeling a bit melancholy so decided to visit the piano once more. Since it was the next to last day of the exhibit why not visit all the pianos? Why not, indeed. Armed with the city map, I tracked them all down.

I thought my piano had fared well until I looked at the sides.

Harlequin' pig nose ripped off


And poor Columbine's cat mask was completely gone.

Comments? Yes. Don't tape signs onto artwork.


This was no where near as bad as the damage done to Yasuyo Dunnett's lovely piano. It was destroyed by somebody behaving very badly.

Good Day, Sunshine   Yasuyo Dunnett

rendered completely unplayable

The other pianos were in better shape.

Slug Fest     Karien Balluff

Wonderland    Heather Carr

Land Free, Home Brave   Jennifer Carroll

Great Balls of Fire   Mike Eggers

Ensemble     Elise Koncsek

NW Melodies   Marsha Lippert

The absolute best view.
Lounge Lizards   Carol Meckling

Florabunda   Maria Mondloch

It looked like the squirrels had started to peel paper off the bench.
Read and Red   Natalie Overby

Backyard Birds  Susan Pope

Sealife   Susan Pope

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Piano Time- Commedia dell'arte, the finished work

Someday, I will blog along in real time as I am doing a project. I had hoped to do so with the piano but after crawling around painting in odd corners I just collapsed on the couch and watched home renovations shows. If you want to see the evolution of the project from start to finish with details go here.

At the Richmond Beach Library 
19601 21st Ave. NW
until September 15, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Piano Time 2015-Blocking In

My first design planned for figures on the sides but the trick with these kinds of commissions is to balance the design with how long it takes to execute.

The end result? Harlequin pattern on the sides and top.

Looking down on the top with part of the figures visible. It took two hours to paint all those little triangles.

Heads of The Doctor and Pulcinella drawn with Stabilo Aquarellable pencil. It has a soft lead so doesn't leave an indentation and is water-soluble, so melts into the paint.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Piano Time 2015-First Primer coat

I decided to see if the medallions would pry off the front panel. I used a palette knife and hammered it gently in all round the edge. It went in easily but stuck in the middle. When I lifted up the front panel, lo and behold, screws! Five screws were holding it on. Several turned freely in their holes. Don't know why they didn't fall out.

Medallions gone. See the five screw holes?

I roughed up the ovals with a wet sanding sponge and loaded up the primer.

The legs left unprimed. Not sure if I'll leave them as is or paint over them. Because I still don't have the final design worked out.

Another Piano Time artist, Yoyo.

Jennifer working mosaic magic on her piano. Jennifer and I painted pianos in 2012.