Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Velveteen Case

Look at this beautiful velveteen envelope my mom, Annette made for my latest artist book!

It's lined with black satin, has a velcro closure, and fits perfectly.

It even stands up without sagging at all.

This is the first one she's done but she'll be making more as time permits so each book can have one.
Thank you, Mom- it's perfect!

Mail Art for the Visual Storytellers Studio

I got my airplane prints painted and now I get to tell you what they are for! The Visual Storytellers Studio is a wonderful group of children's illustrators that I belong to and we are starting a mail art project. I made 5  of these prints to send to 5 of my artist friends along with some blank cards. Each person who gets one will create a piece of their own art and send it to one of their friends. We hope everyone will take a photo of the art and post it on our facebook page.

I'm off to mail 4 of these right now- one to Alex Colombo in California, one to Becky Gavney Driscoll in Wisconsin, one to Lisa Michaels in Florida and one to Tatyana Starikova in New York. I'm also mailing one to my friend, author and craft genius Anna Branford in Australia!

Here's a photo of 3 of my prints with the blank cards. Do you want to be part of the mail art project? Send me an email

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Printing fun

I made a fun block and printed it today along with some other small prints for gift enclosure cards. The girls and bear in an airplane are from a new picture book dummy I'm starting. It's in the very early stages- just some rough sketches. But I enjoyed turning this drawing into a linocut. It's like getting to know the characters a little bit better by printing them!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Illustration Friday: Journey

I'm a truck girl. I love old pick-up trucks. My old orange GMC took me on many journeys across the country. The truck I have now is a beautiful blue 1984 Dodge. I haven't driven very far in this truck- just fun drives into the country, trips to the dump, and the daily drive to work. Here is a little stamp I made of my truck.

This is a stamp I made and painted with watercolor. The red dump truck is Lucky, a character in my first picture book dummy. Lucky is based on my husband's real-life dump truck. That truck is so fun to ride in. It's bouncy, you sit way up in the air, and it's loud and scary when you dump boulders.

Here is an earlier stamp I made of Lucky and also painted with watercolor. Lucky has gone through many transformations. In this version his bed is sort of brown. I like the black and red I finally came up with better.

This is a stamp of my first pick-up truck. She was a 1972 GMC and I named her Bessie. I had Bessie for 18 years! Unfortunately a big Suburban with a bad driver smashed her so badly that she had to retire. She carefully protected my husband who was driving, though.

Here is a picture of Bessie I made after she um.... passed on.

And here we are, back at the very beginning of my printmaking journey which is obviously closely tied to my truck journey. This is my very first ever linocut. I made this print in 1995 by carving the linoleum with a razor blade. (I do NOT recommend it.) I think I printed it with acrylic paint and no roller.
I was commemorating the fact that Bessie's odometer had just turned over to all zeroes for the first time. I guess it's not really a birthday exactly, but surely an important event. I don't know why I chose this to carve for my first linocut. But do remember that I had so much fun I went right out and bought proper carving tools, a roller and real printing ink. Every journey has to begin somewhere!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Art for Japan auction

My linocut is in the first batch of art for the auction Meg Hunt is organizing to raise money for Japan. There are a lot of nice pieces in the auction! You can see them all here. My Seasons linocut is toward the bottom. It sounds like they will be available to bid on at eBay later this week or next. I'll let you know when it starts!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Book About Books

Yesterday my friend Laura Wait gave me a copy of a beautiful paperback featuring 40 book artists called Masters: Book Arts: Major Works by Leading Artists. Laura is one of the artists featured in the book- here is one of her spreads.

This is a gorgeous book full of photos of hand made book objects. Some look like books and some are more sculptural. There is also a bit of info about each artist with some quotes by them about their work. Here are Adele Outteridge's amazing transparent books-

And some neat bindings and and a patchwork book called Scrap Book II by Peter Madden-

Also featured in this book is the amazing Brian Dettmer-

And one of my favorite artists Beatrice Coron-

It's impossible not to be inspired to go and make things after looking at this art! I wish there was more time in the day....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Here is the artist book I've been working on for an eternity called Earth. It is about the different views of our planet. Here in North America we always see images of Earth that include North and maybe South America but we rarely see the other continents. This book celebrates the beauty of the whole planet. 
This one is number 1 in an edition of 10. I'll put together numbers 2 and 3 soon also. The rest of the edition will have to wait for me to hand color all of the interior art- it takes a long time. 

Each print is a black and white linocut done with oil based ink and colored with watercolor.

I trimmed the art right to the image so it would look dramatic against the black paper of the pages.

I attached the art to the page with acid-free ATG. It's a tape used in picture framing. When you peel up the backing of the tape only adhesive is left on the art.
By laying rulers down to mark the place for the art I can get it in position quickly. It's really hard to pull up the art when the adhesive has already made contact so this saves me from having to reposition it.
These straps are a composite leather material. It's thin and strong and cheaper than leather. It's actually so thin that I glued two pieces back to back for strength. Then I trimmed the corners and sanded the ends to make the glue stick better.
I punched holes in the pages to match the holes in this wooden spine. The sewing is my favorite part!

I punched holes in my leather straps ahead of time to be sure they were all centered. Then when the pages were sewn to the spine I just had to fold the straps over and mark the holes onto the wooden covers. Then I took the covers and drilled the holes all the way through. Next I glued the straps to the cover.

I found these fun stars here. They are brads that have 2 tiny metal straps coming off the back. You put them through the hole and then open the metal pieces to lock them into place. Then I lined up the last print to be sure it would show through the cut-out correctly. 

Yeah!!! It's exciting to see the book finished!