Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Fling in Napa Valley

Rainy Friday evening at Nancy's studio

This fantastic weekend workshop started Friday evening at Nancy Willis's studio where we attendees were asked to draw with pencil on thin sheets of styrofoam which we inked up and handprinted.  So FUN and easy.  Good ice breaker and chance to get our printmaking juices flowing for the next day.  There we spend a whole day at Sue Bradford's studio Saturday, pulling monotypes and ghosts, some with chine colle...
Inking table, water based ink, handprinting with barens
Some prints from Friday night
My prints from Saturday. Top two are first pulls, second row are the ghosts.
On Sunday we returned to Nancy's studio to take our less successful prints and enhance them by drawing and painting on them with watercolor pencils and caran d'ache crayons.  Then we cropped and adhered them to panels.  So the two on the right became these prints on panel.  
8 x 8"

5 x 5"

It was a great weekend.  Hopefully I can entice Nancy and Sue to come here and do the workshop at the Phoenix Center.  Let me know if you'd be interested in taking it here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Catching UP

I can't believe it has been so long since I last posted.  Here is the final version of my turtle/babies print. 
Green sea turtles lay 100-200 eggs and only one will survive to adulthood.
Candace Nicol, a wonderful artist/educator from Reno came to Phoenix to conduct a Collagraph Workshop for members of the Arizona Print Group.  Everyone loved Candace and we all learned some excellent collagraph tips and techniques. 

This will probably become an annual event since Candace's friends come for Spring Training...!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Print Exchange Mania

Print exchanges have been an important part of my art practice.  When I was first starting out, Melanie Yazzie invited me to be in a print exchange.  I made a 5 color reduction linocut - a major effort I since learned and because I put so much into it, I got invited to another, and another, and another.  And so on.  In a print exchange you create an edition which you send off and in return you get a print from the other artists participating.  I now have an amazing collection of prints from artists all over the world.  Another benefit is that the print exchanges are almost always exhibited somewhere, galleries, universities, and with Melanie's exchanges, the prints become part of major collections.  These are nice resume items for sure.  By participating in these exchanges, I have learned about some fantastic artists all over the country, and they have learned about me.  It is so fun to cement this knowledge with Facebook friendship and come March, even meeting some face to face at the Southern Graphics Council Conference in San Francisco! 

I recently completed a print for a Melanie Yazzie exchange called Birds and Animals of My Land.  This time (whatever was I thinking) I did a 7 color reduction.  But I really loved doing it. 
And now I am working on yet another M.Y. exchange - Animal Mammas and Their Babies.  I printed the first of TWO colors and am happily carving away (my favorite part of the process) in preparation of printing this weekend.

I will post the final version when it is finished.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I can't believe it has been 3 months since I last posted.  A lot happened with the opening of my exhibition at Five15 Arts for the month of October.  My sister, showed with me and came for the Third Friday reception.  We had such a good time.  I wonder if there ever will come a time when we live in the same city.  She is very settled in California and I love Arizona.  I guess we are lucky we aren't a continent apart. 

I had a great year teaching at the Phoenix Center for the Arts.  The people who work there are just the most fun and best people to work with.  And the students are so open to learning and happy to be there.  This year I topped off my year by participating in the Phoenix Festival of the Arts, sharing a booth with Marlys Kubicek.  It was a fun event and great to see so many people out enjoying the beautiful weather and great deals for art. 

NEED MORE STUDENTS for January Classes!
I will be teaching 5 classes in two weeks.  IF I get a couple more students in the Thursday Monotype class.  This is painting with ink on a plate and then running it through the press.  Immediate gratification for those used to longer processes like oil painting.  I also need two more students in Wednesday night Relief Printmaking.  This class, for beginners, shows how easy it is to begin creating art with little or no drawing experience.  For those who can draw, it is a way to make multiple original prints from a single plate.  Students in this class have created editions for print exchanges where their work is exhibited around the country and the world.

To register, or for more information click Phoenix Center for the Arts Registration. Click on the Printmaking tab to see the classes I am teaching.  I am also running TryMe like classes through Amazon Local - deals end Friday 1/3.  Go to Amazon Local PCA Printmaking to get the deal and then call the Phoenix Center to sign up for one of my 3 hour classes.  The TryMe type classes are for those of you who aren't sure you will like printmaking.  So you get to experience the thrill of pulling your first print in a single noncommittal class.  :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I hope it is art-filled!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

FAMILY MATTERS at Five15 Arts Gallery

My brother and sister came to town last week to bring Nancy's work down from Napa Valley.  We planned this show, with minimum discussion about what our individual works would be about...just our own views of our family history.  We didn't see each other's new work until the installation day.  It is remarkable how well it all works together.  Nancy focused a lot on us siblings and I had more work about Mom and Dad...overall there was a nice balance.  And having both her and my brother, Jeff, here completed the Willis Family circle as we hung the art...the remaining members of our little tribe.  
The work was well-received at First Friday's opening.  Viewers related to the images, smiled, looked closely, perhaps remembering something from their childhood or family gatherings.  Some asked for the story behind a certain piece. Our family lore is well represented here.  But I love when the viewer finds their own connection...
I can't wait until our Third Friday reception, with Nancy here to meet and greet with me...I am so happy to be showing with her.  A dream come true.  Come share it with us!

(I also want to thank Scott Cerasano, for his installation expertise and support; Michelle Terry-Helmick for the fabulous upcoming reception food/beverage; and Kathi Knox, whose support in the studio allowed me to complete half of my newest works.  They say it takes a village and my villagers are the BEST!)

Friday, September 27, 2013

FAMILY MATTERS Opens First Friday at Five15 Arts Gallery

I am so happy to be showing with my sister, Napa Valley artist, Nancy Willis.  Since the passing of our Dad in March of 2012, we have used art as a way to reflect and process his loss and our changing family dynamic.  Nancy will be here for the Friday, October 18th reception and following Saturday.  I hope you can stop in and meet her.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tango, Scottsdale Library and First Friday Happenings

Tango and Art Update:

The weather took over and a do not drive alert was sent to everyone's cell phone.  So not many people got to see this fabulous dancing...The dancers are gone but the art will stay up until September 19th.  If you are in the Mesa area go to Cafe LoFI  at 105 W. Main Street and check it out.

Last Tuesday I had occasion to go to the Scottsdale Library where they are exhibiting a wonderful show called STOP FAST SLOW.  I loved the work - especially the prints of Diana Hartley and drawings of Rossitza Todorova.  Highly recommend. On view until October 12th.

I will have work in two shows in downtown Phoenix - A print in the Arizona Bill 1070 exhibition organized by the industrious Rossi Todorova showing at A. E. England 424 N. Central with a reception 6-9 pm. 
I have 3 related prints in the Arte de Latino exhibition at the Gallery at the Phoenix Center for the Arts.  The reception is 6 to 9pm (I will be there early on, but will be heading out to see more art...)  

I can't wait to see Donna Atwood fabulous relief prints in her one person show at @Central Library Gallery.  Her reception is from 6 to 8pm. Don't miss it!  Little Miss Tex-Mex Rides Again!
Also opening on First Friday is Generation CSA, the intriguing mixed media creations of Mary Shindell at Five15 Arts Gallery on Roosevelt.  Reception is 6 to 10 pm.