Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Down & out in a Florida Autumn...

...which is well under way into what is normally the most productive, super-fun, event-filled season on my art calendar has been brought to a screeching halt. The right hand cast came off yesterday, and I'm now in the countdown for carpal tunnel surgery on my left for Dec. 3rd. Yes, both hands, and while there's never a good time for something like this, I know this came not a moment too soon. At least one finger had gone numb round the clock byAugust and I was starting to lose my grip strength.

The surgery went well and I started part of my prescribed physical therapy the same night. Since then, five minutes on the hour every hour I'm awake, with more exercises assigned yesterday. For the first time in two years I think my right hand's going to be ok, and no permanent damage done.

On the other hand(!), I've never been all that great with enforced down time but I'm putting it to good use, catching up with reading, a Rosetta Stone German refresher and movies. Even though I can't draw, carve, drive or even type well for the time being, I expect to be back in the saddle, making art, by the first of the year. In the meantime, I have two prints in the 3rd Annual Juried Exhibition at the Florida Museum of Women Artists, opening this Friday on November 16th. And I have an Honorable Mention in the current (December 2012) issue of The Artist's Magazine on page 46, for my multiple block print "Permission To Come Ashore?"

More info on my website, Studio Ibis.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Big fun at the Studio Waltz!

The 20th Annual Studio Waltz came and went last Saturday on October 20th and was a great success here in North Pinellas County, FL! Friend and painter Barbara Kampe set up her plein air easel in my garden and sold paintings, and I sold prints from my booth with the assistance of Olivia Ferris. I nearly lost my voice more than once, talking about the process of etching and linocuts while giving a tour of my working studio.

We had cookies and cider and tea and my husband and neighbors all pitched in to help. It was the first cool-ish day of the year on Oct. 20th, which is to say, the first day that wasn't unbearably hot. The Waltz and the other 18 artists had a ton of competition because of all the events going on this past weekend, yet the crowds were steady and I had a great sales day. Thanks to all of you who stopped by, and keep an eye out for the 2013 edition!

The sign out front,  for when GPS's fail. As they do.

Getting ready in the post-dawn hour, tidying up the studio.

My lovely and fabulous assistant Liv, future robotics engineer, setting up my booth.

Monday, August 27, 2012

More old file finds...

For beer fans out there, this was an illustration job I did for Swamphead Brewery in Gainesville, FL in 2009. I did the digital Big Nose artwork here on the label; my friend Buster O'Connor (of Verdeo Design in St. Augustine, FL) has the Swamphead account and did this label design along with the others in the series for the brewery.

This started with a finished pen and ink drawing on vellum of the stump character, and a couple of pen & ink drawings of cypress trees, scanned and colored as separate elements in Painter and composited in Photoshop. I'm kind of pleased with the water; I was trying to get that transparent aqua look of a north Florida spring.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Yikes! Been a while, and I hadn't meant for so much time to go in between updates. I've deliberately avoided applying to any art shows for the summer to keep things loose for a couple of travel dates, but mostly to be on hand to help my parents and concentrate on doing some new work.

Cedar Key t-shirt sales the first weekend in May were a big success and it was a great weekend. Two solid days of sailing; gorgeous weather and great people. Oddly, I made it all the way home with a broken axle on my boat trailer though. I knew something was up with some mysterious clunks on the way down US19, but my safety stop didn't reveal anything; bearings were cool and everything seemed fine. No more  sailing until I can get Bob and Nick to take that apart for me.

I have a another block started, a hand-built catboat in Cedar Key, but nothing interesting to show there just yet. I've decided to take my etching in another direction though and stop putting birds on things. Back to doing mythic and fantasy to satisfy my twee line work urge, doing what I really want to do anyway. The block prints continue to do well with maritime and Arts & Crafts themes, which I love. More personal work will be done in etching now though.

To that end, off to Fae Escape Atlanta 2012 on the weekend of the 15th & 16th with my jeweler buddy, Christina Paluszek-McClure of Kryzia Kreations. She's the only jewelry exhibitor up there and I'm going as non-exhibiting "civilian" this time. First time going to a convention of any kind for me since 2009 and the first Faerie con. Great thing about this one: Charles Vess is the artist guest of honor at Fae Atlanta; it'll be great to see him and his incredible art up there again. I'll be bringing up my sketchbooks and looking forward to hanging with some interesting people.

In the meantime, my current project on the drawing board and the Mac is a centennial logo for the local coastal community of Crystal Beach. Going for a retro, WPA style here:

This odd object is the original,
 spring-fed fountain in the waterfront park.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another boaty block print!

This new linoleum block print is called Heading Out, and the perspective is from the cockpit of a small open sailboat on the west coast of Florida, heading for the pass. My source is a composite sketch of some video stills and photos of 21' Sea Pearls sailing with the West Coast Trailer Sailing Squadron; possibly the perfect, small production sailboat for these waters. I just wanted to capture that joy in breezing up on a fine afternoon and having other sailors out there, sharing a glorious sail.

After my last multiple block magnum opus, this is only a one-block, one-color enterprise. (Thank goodness...)

I did a marathon carving session to get it done in time for the Roycroft jury; from 5:30am on a Tuesday morning, I managed to get it completely carved, proofed, carved some tweaks and then pulled a final proof print four scanning just before going out to dinner the next night to celebrate my anniversary on February 29th with my husband — a total of 14 hours of carving. Ow.

The next morning I dried the proof with a hair dryer, scanned it and sent the disk off, postmarked by the 1st of March. I already had my four required images ready, but I really, really wanted to include this one for this year's jury.
Approx. 10"x7"; this one is hand-pulled using a wooden letter opener and spoon to burnish. Oil-based umber ink on Hosho Japanese paper.

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Permission To Come Ashore?"

My latest color block print is finally ready and is now in edition! I've done several other projects in the last six months or so since I started this, but it's been a real education in carving multiple blocks, color mixing and registration on the press. Feeling pretty good about this one!

I've made the final color adjustments and printed the first six of 15 (including an Artist's Proof I'm keeping for myself for exhibitions). I sent a scan of a state to the Roycroft Artisan jury last month and there's a framed one of these currently in the Dunedin Fine Art Center's S+M Show but I'll really debut the final print next week at the Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival at Craig Park, March 31st-April 1st.

10"x8"; nine colors on five linoleum blocks. Oil based-inks on cream Rives B.F.K.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Update on the five-block, eight-color monster print.

Just in case you were wondering — actually, I was wondering myself — when I'd finally get this one editioned and done. I'm working on another block print and a copper etching at the moment; just set this aside for a bit.

I pulled this lousy test proof about a week and a half ago. Don't be alarmed: the colors used are just old ones laying about the DFAC Cottage print studio; absolutely not the final palette I have planned. (I know: me, pink, right?) Unfortunately, the Gamblin white ink I used to mix the 2nd to the last/top color (the lavender) was gooey and the viscosity lifted the key block's black ink right off of the dog.

At any rate, I know I'm almost there; I just need a marathon day to mix inks and print, and I just found out that Monday is not going to be that day, as I had planned.

I have to get this done and one dried and framed in about a week and a half; it's going into the DFAC Summa + Magna membership show on Feb. 13th. Yikes.

I sure like how those water swirls are working out though...