Saturday, January 17, 2015

Rosie's Final Art

I wanted to share how I did this final step on two spreads for Rosie sings. First of all, I thought I had transparent extender for the new white and blue Gamblin oil-based ink that I  bought. But no, I have tack reducer, which is not the same thing at all! I tried some and the brayer just slipped around on the ink and would barely roll. So I'll be getting some transparent extender for the future so the ink won't be so opaque on layers like this.

I cut a mask out of newsprint to cover everything but the background. 

And then I (nervously) went to town with the star brayer. I had done a test with darker blue and it was overwhelming, so on this one I went lighter and used much less ink.

Here it is- messy edges and everything!

And here's the same process with the cover image.

Ta-da! I was pleased with how they turned out. Rosie is singing a happy song!

A Bit of Background on The Party Guests

All of the Party Guests in my last post are on their way to their new homes! Thanks everyone who commented.

I was talking to one recipient about how I originally drew those critters to be part of a mix and match book, called an exquisite corpse book. So they all line up at the neck and hips like this book The Monsterator by Keith Graves. But I was thinking of making a small edition of hand made books, and the project just became too big. I decided to make them as straightforward prints. It's kind of sad that we don't get to mix and match their parts though. So here they are normal on the top row and a little scrambled on the bottom just for fun.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Blog Anniversary

I've had this blog 5 years! Yay! It's been fun and I enjoy having a place to show work in progress as well as other people's artwork and books that I love.

To celebrate, I'm having a little birthday giveaway. I made these solar plate etchings many years ago and the series is called The Party Guests. Thank you for being party guests here at Art on the Page! To win one, just be one of the first 6 people to comment below and say which print you'd like. Then please email me with your address. Happy happy!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

More Rosie Progress

I'm working on these three spreads at the same time- I think it helps different pages look more cohesive. They are coming along well so far!

I'm feeling my way along here, trying some new and experimental things. From the previous painting of Rosie that I did like this, I know that layers of gouache on top of stamp pad ink will mask the stamps, but not completely hide them. So I stamped these squares knowing that they would mostly be hidden.

This is what I used for the stamps. I like this ColorBox ink best. The colors are rich, the stamp picks the color up easily, and they are archival. To block out the parts of the drawing that I didn't want colored, I lay a scrap of paper over that bit and stamped right over it. I let it be messy and imprecise- a good thing for me to practice. 

Then I painted the first layer of the backgrounds. 

Here is my cover painting almost done. Remember those carved brayers I was talking about? I want to be brave and roll a transparent white polka-dot brayer right over the background wall. Wooohooo! I have to do some practices first and make sure it will work!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Rosie's Progress

I've finished the drawings for a new revision of my picture book dummy, Rosie Sings. I'm excited to paint a few spreads and submit it! Doing the final artwork is my favorite part It seems like it takes about a minute to do after the looooooooong struggle of writing, drawing, rewriting, redrawing, and revising forever.

First I scanned my drawings, isolated the line art and placed it over a music collage that I'd already made and scanned into the computer. I printed that out onto my favorite paper, BFK Rives using my Epson printer.

This is what it looked like printed out on the BFK Rives.

Then I went over all of the lines with a fat black pencil. Next I'll add some hand made stamps and watercolor.

I wanted to try something different in a few spots in the book. So I carved stars into this hard rubber brayer. It's really difficult to do! The rubber doesn't cut as well as linoleum and carving on a round surface is tricky. But the stars are simple and I got it done. Now I can roll the brayer in transparent ink and roll that over my painted paper. I'm hoping I can get it so some of the background shows through. It will take some experimenting! Id like to use this star background  behind the scene with Mama holding and singing to Rosie.  I'll share the next stages of development soon!

Monday, December 29, 2014


I've drawn this little picture of a cardinal that I'm planning to make into a 3 color linocut. I haven't done a print with multiple blocks in years!

There's an artist, Andrea Lauren that I discovered through Instagram. She makes a lot of 2 or 3 color prints and turns them into repeat patterns for fabric or other things. I really love her style! Here are two of her prints.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014


I mentioned in my last post that I've been working on adding texture and including some drawing, collage, stamps, or something-or-other to my prints. It's been a process and I think I'm headed somewhere interesting!

There are several picture books that I've loved in the last year or so because the fantastic artwork has elements of what I'm trying to create myself. These artists have really been inspiring me, so I'd like to share them!

The Iridescence of Birds written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Hadley Hooper. First of all, it's a book about Henri Matisse- how cool is that? And the artwork is beautiful. If you are interested in Hadley's work, you should check out this interview at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. 

Hadley makes a lot of relief prints and textures, scans them and assembles everything in photoshop. The linework is grease pencil on butcher paper. That's what she uses for early drawings anyway, and that's what the lines look like in the final art.

I'd rather create the artwork by hand instead of assembling everything in photoshop, but I LOVE the way the prints look with some black accent lines. I think the illustrations have a looseness and detail with the lines added that is pretty hard to achieve with relief prints alone. And her ink textures and decorative relief patterns are nice too. 

These two photos above from the book are Henri's mother painting on plates and young Henri mixing up paint colors.

Here is Bluebird, written and illustrated by Lindsey Yankey,  This is a sweet story about a bluebird hunting for her friend, the wind. Lindsey uses drawing, painting, relief prints, and collage to illustrate this book. She also does a quirky thing that I love and draws a scene right around the edges of the page so that the orientation of the picture changes. 

In Bluebird, Lindsey combines bold relief prints with delicate drawings like the spread with the willow tree above.

I like the way she's used white paint on top of cream paper in many places. And do you see how the bluebird's head is somewhat transparent? I've been experimenting with leaving parts of the art transparent, so I noticed that right away.

There is also a delicate floral pattern on the top left of the bottom photo. Lindsey uses a lot of collage and decorative patterns throughout. All of those are different elements that I love.

I have already done a blog post about Mark Hearld including images from Outside Your Window, written by Nicola Davies. But I love Mark's work and this book in particular, so I had to share it again. Outside Your Window is a big book full of poems and short stories about nature that is divided into seasons. The artwork is a combination of collage, drawing, painting and a little relief printing.

Several different places in the book, Mark uses carved stamps to illustrate flocks of birds, fish, and wheat in a field. The stamps are always combined with collage and paint in a very successful way.

I really like the texture of this winter spread. I'm not certain, but it looks to me like he rolled some thin white ink over the top of printed or collaged trees. It makes the scene look very snowy, doesn't it? It's a beautiful foggy texture. Even though he mostly worked in collage for this book, I can still see the linocut influence. With so many different mediums going on, this book is incredibly rich and interesting.

And I saved my favorite for last. Sleep Like a Tiger written by Mary Logue and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski may be my all-time favorite book. The artwork is beyond beautiful. I'm a huge fan of Pamela Zagarenski! This book is in her usual rich style with lots of texture, paint, collage, patterns, and some stamps. You can see more of the artwork from this book at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. 

The little patterns in the girl's quilt are stamps. Pamela uses them throughout the book on the girl's quilt as it transforms visually into a nest, a cozy barn, a snuggly bear, and around the sleeping girl and tiger. The way she does this is very subtle but it nicely ties the story together.

This is the back endpaper. The moon has a layered collage of the poem The Tyger by William Blake. I love the way that it looks and that it is relevant to the story and not just a random snip of newspaper. I also like the very dark houses in the background- perfect for a night scene.

Pamela's quirky use of objects and animals is really wonderful to me. What is that little teapot doing on the train above for example?

The details and well as the overall layouts in this book are masterful in my opinion. Go and get one if you haven't already!

I'm lucky that my daughter also likes Sleep Like a Tiger! Here she is showing me where the stars are.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Here is the latest page I did for the collaborative book I'm making with Clara Boza. The word she gave me was Withershins. What a  great word! I had to look it up:

withershins (ˈwɪðəˌʃɪnz; Scottish ˈwɪðər-or widdershins adv
1. (Astronomy) in the direction contrary to the apparent course of the sun; anticlockwise
2. in a direction contrary to the usual; in the wrong direction. 

Here is my sketchbook page with the stamps I carved. It shows the development of the layout and colors. 

There are some things that I like about the way this page turned out, especially considering the experimental path I seem to be on lately. I think you can tell if you scroll back through this blog that I've been working on developing some textures and spontaneity with stamps and drawing in addition to linocuts. I have some favorite artists that I'm drawing inspiration from and I'll share some of their artwork in a blog post soon!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Merry Christmas

I decided to try and squeeze in the time for a new Christmas card. Here are two foxes cuddling in a  holly wreath. This was a fun little print to do and hopefully you will see a lot more card images in 2015!

Here are a few process photos-

The carved linoleum block.

Printing the image.

Here is the black and white image before I painted it. On this print I added some snowflake stamps with white and silver and then painted over them quite a bit for the final picture. I didn't originally think I would like the added snowflakes, I thought it looked too busy. So first I painted one that was plain, but the colors I chose didn't look good on that first round. So for my second painting attempt, I used this one with extra snow. It does look busier, but I like it. It has more texture. 

I'm having cards printed by my great local printer, Element Print. The will be for sale at Lyon Drug as soon as I can get them in the store. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mama Sings

Here is my most recent version of a spread from Rosie Sings. I actually made some artwork that isn't a linocut! This is from the end of the book when baby Rosie and her dog are all worn out from singing through the day. There are also two short lines of text that go in the upper right.

I took a few photos as I went along- this is a new process that I'm figuring out, so taking photos helps me remember what I did for next time.

I first made a collage of music sheets and scanned it. Then I scanned the line drawing and laid it over the top of the collage. I lightened the music behind the figures and the handwriting. Then I printed it out on Rives BFK paper.

Next I did some stamps. They are pretty subtle in the finished painting, but I still like what they added to the piece.

Here is the first layer of background painting.

And here it is finished again!

Since today is Thanksgiving, I'd like to wish everyone a wonderful day! I am thankful for my family, friends, and that I get to make artwork most days. I am especially excited today, because my little girl has been very slow to learn to walk and today we took our first family walk together! She still has to hold our hands, but she actually walked two blocks. That makes it a very special day for us. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Reading, Writing and Drawing in the Library

The print that I gave to the library during World Art Drop Day has been framed and hung! It's in one of my favorite spots- right above the new children's picture books. Our Bud Werner Memorial Library is so beautiful and such a fun place, I'm really happy to be a part of it!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rosie Sings

I haven't posted much lately because I've been mostly working on my Rosie sings dummy. And it's really boring to read about in a blog post! I'm pretty slow at this stage. I like to take a lot of time with the drawings because it's not something I'm confident about. And from experience I can tell you that it's better to do final art based on good drawings than on bad ones!