Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Work in Progress: Blackberry Lily

Nature offers up some of its most interesting and beautiful specimens late in the season.
Here, a work in progress in watercolor. Every Picture Tells a Story has original art and/or prints including my favorite, Lisbeth Zwerger.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Inside Day

Made a few new notecards with handmade paper (seaweed, linen, artemesia, iris, and cotton) and two print gocco cards under Jack's supervision...Cards will be available soon. Swedish artist Camilla Engman has a new studio and shop and blog. If you are a dog lover (especially labs) you will like this site. Rick Ladd's bottle-cap baroque is amazing folk art.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Cornell Plantations: Drawing and Painting

Drawing and painting at Cornell Plantations on the campus of Cornell University tomorrow.
The door to the Ed Ctr where we draw has a nice patina.

Road Trip Report: Marlton and Haddonfield, New Jersey

On the road this is a travel post... visiting family in Marlton and Haddonfield NJ. I had to include the fantastic baked oatmeal served with warm milk by my gourmet sister at her home (might as well be a B&B) that started out our Saturday. A great do-ahead breakfast for chilly mornings...then on to The Knitting Knook in Marlton. There is just something about roomfuls, baskets, and shelves brimming over with yarn in every color and texture... all that hope and possibility in one place. And then,.. the wee sweater,... knitted with sock yarn, delicate.

On to quaint and historic Haddonfield and the "In the Kitchen Cooking School" where we found french market baskets, olive oils, linens, glassware, and yes, more textiles. Classes are held in the back of the store around a huge honed, carrara marble- topped counter and also showcases a very large stove from England which has a "simmering oven" among other features.

The Polished Plate has Juliska glassware (European reproductions) and ceramics. I have to admit it has the ability to take your breath away...or is it more like a gasp when you notice the price....? It is really the craftmanship I admire. Actually, there are numerous useful and beautiful gifts (wedding, anniversary, etc) here in a range of prices.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Watercolor: White Pine

I like the gestures that young white pine make. Here are some small quick studies in watercolor with a very small brush. Going to visit ArtStar gallery soon for folk and fantasy. Tiffany Bozic 's fantastic tightly rendered, emotionally charged nature-scapes done on maple.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Botanical and Scientific Illustration

New notecards with Mahogany peony and Magnolia "Betty". Soon I will post about the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators of which I am a member (Finger Lakes Chapter). I also include "Kangaroo Apple" (Solanum aviculare, aka Poroporo, New Zealand Nightshade)
a watercolor that was included in the GNSI exhibition at this past summer's GNSI conference.
See GNSI member Mieke Roth's amazing work here and conference keynote speaker, James Gurney here. Also, the amazing James Gurney, author/illustrator of Dinotopia: The Journey to Chandara discusses his process alot on his blog, (voted one of the top 101 artist blogs), the Gurney Journey. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lantern of Hope: An artist-led grassroots effort in support of Barack Obama

Helen Heibert, esteemed papermaker (of Dieu Donne fame) now residing in Portland, Oregon has sent an update on her Lantern of Hope project.

October 13, 2008

Dear Friends,

It has been just 3 weeks since I launched the Lantern of Hope
Project, and there are 3 weeks left until election day. At this half-way point,
there are almost 200 lanterns glowing in 16 states and I’ve donated over $700
to Obama for America. I believe that my dream of lanterns glowing in homes in
all 50 states is still possible, but it will be easier with your help!

I’ve got my old fashioned map of the US with push pins above my
desk, and I’m having fun putting the pins in it. Here are the states that are
covered so far:

Can you tell me if you’ve sent one to a friend in another state, or
are you willing to encourage a friend in one of those states to purchase one

I have been amazed with the interest in the project, and I’ve been
in touch with many friends, friends of friends and complete strangers. Thanks
for helping to spread the word!

Here are some highlights and fun stories:
The lawyer I talked to about using the Obama logo suggested Jack-O-
Lanterns carved with Obama logos, or in other words, Obama-A-Lanterns. From
what I can gather, this is a theme being spread around the country, so join
in the fun!
Someone found me on facebook and offered to spread “flair” about the
project, so if you are on facebook, check us out at:
A local Portland family is selling bagels for Obama every Saturday
morning. I dropped off some lanterns with her this weekend and was impressed
when I saw the gauge that showed they have raised over $650 by selling
bagels in front of their house!
I went to an Obama fundraiser last week, where the host and hostess
featured the lanterns as door prizes.
A fellow papermaker and professor in Iowa City, Tim Barrett, was
inspired by the idea of lanterns with the Obama logo being illuminated around the
country and decided to encourage his contacts to make their own paper bag
luminaria adorned with Obama logos.
Here are his instructions for making your own “Luminaria” from
simple brown paper bags. And by the way, the first watermarked lanterns I made
twelve years ago were inspired by the New Mexican luminaria I saw as a child.

To make your own paper bag luminaria:

Download and print the Obama logo of your choice at

Cut out a circle, square or rectangle as required from a paper bag
and paste the logo over the opening, then add sand and candle (in votive glass
holder for safety), and display in your window every night!
I’m really not that politically involved, but I feel that I’ve
finally found a way to merge my passion (handmade paper) with things I care about.
I see the lanterns first and foremost as a symbol for what Barack Obama
stands for– hope for our country and a willingness to work for change to try
and make the quality of life better for more Americans.
I’ve decided to raise the price of the lanterns for this final push
(there are still a few on the Etsy site for $20 for those of you who click
Your purchase for $25 will yield a donation of $5 to Obama for
America and $5 to the Democratic Party which needs our help, too.
Purchase one now – it isn’t too late. Be part of history, they won’t
be produced after election day. Go to
or make your own lantern.
This coming week, we’ll be working hard to get some press (local and
national TV, radio and newspaper). Let me know if you have any
contacts or suggestions.
When I close my eyes and imagine lights glowing around the country, it
brings a smile to my face and makes me feel warm inside. Thanks so
much for your help with this project. It means a lot to me.

How Time Flies

Sometimes type is all you need. An invitation to a children's museum's 10th anniversary gala.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I have been experimenting with putting some old illustrations into Illustrator CS2. This illustration was done long ago for an invitation to a political fundraising breakfast held at a restaurant called Tiffanys that occupied an old bank (adaptive reuse at its best).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Botanical Illustration: Mahogany Peony

Two stages of this watercolor of a peony from the gardens at Cornell Plantations, in Ithaca, NY.
I prefer the first stage, but actually the color of the petals was a deep rich mahogany
and the end stage achieved by layering colored pencil is probably closer to the real color of this cultivar.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Brush & Ink

Pumas have striking features. This study sketch done with brush and ink from a photograph

Pencil Sketching

This pencil sketch was done as a quick demonstration for a Broome Community College drawing class for which I had been asked to guest speak. For this sketch, I asked the student to look away
while I drew...the sketch of the sheltie, was done from a photograph.


In an effort to give equal time to the rest of my brood, I am posting these two sketches of my twin daughters, Jenna, age 7 and Gabrielle, 7 months. I wish I had done them when they were the same ages, but, it was life in the fast lane....and then, there was Joseph,.. who is still waiting for his turn.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Chilly weather coming...
Softwear by Helle Jorgensen on Bientot Demain. Scarves at Sally Jones in Oneonta, NY. might make a nice gift for someone on your list. Smartwool socks that aren't itchy!
Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Nina Brooding. Sometimes one only has 10 minutes to sketch and try to capture something that you see in that one moment...If I had had a longer time (she wouldn't sit any longer) I probably would have overworked this drawing. This firstborn child is now 25...still brooding sometimes...but mostly just a beautiful, wonderful, funny, talented, gifted writer and human being.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Making Mistakes on Purpose

I just finished reading about Laurie Rosenwald's workshops called "Making Mistakes on Purpose". This is an illustrator who has built a career on making great mistakes. The idea
is to think less and just forge ahead, create something new, and work quickly. This is how my painting, "Newborn" was well, ...born. Done years ago after deciding I had to "play" (seriously, of course) more and forget about making the perfect painting (This is a recipe for disaster she says) Her company is called Rosenworld and it is worth a look if you are at all thinking you are taking yourself, your art, and your life too seriously. She has a new book coming out this fall, called "All the Wrong People Have Self-Esteem". Let us play... seriously.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Handmade Books and Journals

Yes, I am a paper junkie. I admit it. Then of course, handmade paper goes hand in hand (no pun, really) with handmade journals. Here are a few I have made-some just for me and some commissioned for weddings, graduations and art exhibits. I plan to do more journals/sketchbooks with coptic binding which allows the book to open flat for easy sketching. Winter is always a good time for making books with the handmade paper I've made during the summer.

Don Drake of Dreaming Mind creates unique handmade journals. Stolen Chicken "Wonderland" Card Set at Rose and Radish

Monday, October 13, 2008

Handmade Paper

One of several pieces of my handmade paper that will be on display at Starbucks downtown Ithaca, NY during month of November. Here is June Tyler in her papermaking studio (Pondside Pulp and Paper) in Norwich, NY where I go every summer to make paper. Her summer workshops are wonderful. This piece was made during a "Big Paper" workshop where the paper pulp (artemesia) was sprayed onto sheets in thin layers with inclusions of twigs, leaves,
green cotton and recycled coffee filters.

Some interesting links for you. Oil paintings by artist Csilla Sadloch. Wool felt dolls and pincushions by Mimi Kirchner. More dolls by Tracy Gallup. Some Youtube videos on papermaking