Monday, May 1, 2017

Catching Up

Too much time has passed since I last posted.  I seem to be better at Facebook posts than blogposts but will try to do better.   So for a quick catch up - I had a one person show at Wil McNabbb Studio in Flagstaff AZ the month of August 2016.  Work from my Dangers Ahead show was exhibited.

In early August 2016 I taught a weekend Reduction Relief workshop in Napa, CA at Nancy Willis's beautiful studio.  I will be repeating this workshop again this August 4-6th.  Let me know if you will be in Napa Valley and are interested in attending.

In September 2016, Five15 Arts Gallery closed its door after 15 years on Roosevelt Row.  A developer bought our building and evicted us.  He will be building a new building behind our old one, that we are interested in occupying, if all goes well.  Until then, we were homeless until the Phoenix Center for the Arts offered us a temporary home in their own relocated gallery space.  Our first show was in January 2017, a group show called "Changing Spaces".  

We juried in three new members who have added fun and creativity to our merry group.  We had another group show for Art Detour in March, the work I showed is in the photo below.

I continue to work within the theme of Dangers Ahead and created this piece about the soon to be extinct Vaquita for the Mesa Arts Center Calendar which is a fundraiser they hold every year.

As a member of the Arizona Print Group, I was happy that the Seacourt Print Workshop in Bangor Ireland, exhibited our "Mythical Creatures" portfolio at their gallery in Northern Ireland.  My print is seen over the right shoulder of the man below.

 In January, I enrolled in the spring printmaking class at Glendale Community College taught by my friends and fellow printmakers, Donna Atwood and Marlys Kubicek.  One of the class assignments was a 2 color reduction linocut, to be printed at Santo Press in Scottsdale.  Such a luxury to have Brent Bond print for us.  We also just completed a two color screen print - self portrait - totally fun and great to learn a new process!

And gratefully, I have continued to teach printmaking classes at the Thunderbird Arts Center (the northern facility of the Phoenix Arts Center)  My classroom was moved two weeks ago to the room depicted here, and I am thrilled to have a space of my own.  Just for printmaking!  I have two classes scheduled for the next 3 Mondays (May8th) - relief at 3 pm and a drawing based solarplate class at 6 pm.  And two Saturday general solarplate classes beginning May 13th.  There are a lot more classes offered for the summer so check them out at
Coming up, I am working on a 3 color reduction relief print for a print exchange with the Seacourt (Irish) printmakers. Twenty of them and 20 Arizona Print Group members are creating work based on poems from their locality.   Five15 Arts is presenting the 6th Annual Five15 to the Power of 5 exhibition of 12 x 12 artwork from over 60 artists.  I need to make something new for that and then in September we will be doing a political based show, so I need to work on those projects.  I added many of my new prints to my website - so give them a gander and let me know what you think.  I welcome studio visits from interested buyers!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Printmaking Workshop in Napa, CA - August 12-14th

I will be teaching a 2.5 day Two Color Reduction Relief workshop in Napa, CA August 12-14th.  If anyone is in the area, or you want an excuse to visit Napa Valley, then sign up for this fun few days by contacting  Nancy at the phone number below.


A Two-Color Reduction Relief Printmaking Workshop
with Phoenix Artist Wendy Willis
August 12th-14th
Friday 5:30 to 7:30   
 Saturday 10:00 to 4     Sunday 10:00 to 3:00
$275. Price includes all materials, food and beverage & instruction

The workshop begins on Friday with an introduction to reduction relief. Over wine and nibbles we will help you select an image to work from for our two-color process (white, black and one color) to create an edition of 10 prints. Saturday begins with a continental breakfast, transferring the image to the plate and carving away the color we want to preserve.  After a nourishing lunch we will ink and print the plate, then repeating the repeat the process on Sunday. VOILA!  We will toast our accomplishments of the weekend and your edition of 10 5” x 7” hand-pulled fine art prints!

Wendy Willis is printmaker in Phoenix, AZ. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally including a public art piece in Phoenix and is held in public and private collections. She is a member of the Arizona Print Group and her recent exhibit, Dangers Ahead, received critical recognition for its themes of global warming. She is an active printmaker and educator and her area of expertise, reductive linocut can be seen in the image HISTORY.

contact  or 707.963.9410

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

New Class Opportunities

I started taking life drawing classes in the nineties at the Phoenix Center.  I met Marlys Kubicek there and together we started taking printmaking classes from David Manje at the Mesa Arts Center.  That is where I discovered I was a printmaker.  For the past several years I have been the Department Head for Printmaking at the Phoenix Center for the Arts.  I love teaching in the community education setting and sharing printmaking with those who never made art before - or since high school.  We also provide a place for experienced printmakers to brush up on techniques and/or come to play.

I am getting settled in at the Thunderbird Arts Center (1106 E. Grovers), which is still the Phoenix Center, only in the north valley.  It's a comfortable space and the residents in the area (and beyond) have really supported my classes.  But printmaking opportunties are always limited to the few locations with etching presses (or letterpresses) so when Agustin Vargas asked me if I was interested in teaching workshops at the Mesa Arts Center, I was happy to accept.

Both facilities have open registration right now.  The links for both are below.

Fall offerings at Thunderbird include Solarplate Etching, Monotype and Carve, Cut and Color (relief) with a couple classes in November for those who want to create gifts/cards for the holidays.

Fall workshops at the Mesa Arts Center are a one day, 6 hour Solarplate Etching workshop in September and a 3 day Two Color Reduction Relief workshop in October.

Mesa's website can be confusing.  Click on Adult, Workshops, and Graphic Arts to find my classes.

Class sizes for both locations are small, just 6 at Thunderbird and 7 at Mesa.  So sign up soon if see a class you'd like to take.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Dangers Ahead at Five15 Arts

First and Third Friday are over and 3 of 4 Saturdays too.  One more Saturday next week and this show will come down.  Fifteen months of work - challenging, interesting, failures and successes, but mostly all fun and satisfying.  I have sat at the front of the gallery looking at the work on 3 walls and felt pretty proud of myself.  The work is beautiful and everyone seemed to respond to it at that level.  The gratifying part for me has been the emotional connection people made of a deeper level.  I appreciate the kids and the elders and the various age groups in between who braved the traffic and craziness of First Fridays; and the friends and art lovers who attended my reception last night.  I felt loved and connected.  For those who couldn't attend, here are some images of the pieces which received the most comments.

Pirate Fishing
Flushed Prescription Drugs

The above prints are diffused relief prints. This is a process created by Moniker Meler of Stockton California.  We saw it demo'd at a printmaking conference in Philadelphia in 2010 and tried it unsuccessfully upon returning home.  A couple years ago we brought Monika to Phoenix to teach us directly and what a fun and impactful 3 days we had with her!  We are still trying to master the process - to be able to predict an outcome. But the beauty of it for me is it allows me to let go.  After the restraints and controlling nature of my reduction relief printing, the randomness and mystery is so freeing. 

By Catch II
Gill Nets I
Coastal Erosion

CO2 Emissions

Bottom Trawling
The five prints above are monosilkscreen prints.  The first two have reduction relief prints collaged onto them (the 4 small images).  Coastal Erosion and CO2 Emissions have some pieces of diffused relief collaged onto them.

If you are able, please come next Saturday (May 28th) for my last day with these prints at Five15 Arts Gallery.  (515 E. Roosevelt, in Phoenix).

I would also like to thank Marlys Kubicek and Diana Hartley, who hung the show for me and provided support in so many other ways. I am humbled and grateful for their friendship, understanding and assistance.  For the beautiful and delicious charcuterie at my reception I thank my sister, Nancy Willis, whose creativity in painting and printmaking has been born in,  part out of, and spills back into, her culinary skills.  She is still the best role model Artist I could ever have. I love you all!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sleeping with Fishes

In support of my May solo exhibition at Five15 Arts Gallery, I am undertaking to do 8 4-5 color reduction relief prints in less than 3 weeks. (8.5' x 7".) I started actual printing of the first two prints Monday.  I finished Friday.  I have to say I am having so much fun.  I love carving.  And seeing the next color printed. 
Drawings and color separations
I have completed detailed line drawings from which I made color separations.

I am using Gomuban instead of linoleum and have cut all the plates to the same size so I can use a jig to hold them in place. I use a 7-layered masking tape bumper to hold the paper in place.
First plate, color one

First plate, color one

2nd plate, color one

After printing, I use transfer paper to draw on the plate what needs to be cut away from the color just printed.

Plate 1, color 2
Plate 1 color3
Plate 1, final

Plate 2, color 2

Plate 2, color 3
Plate 2, final

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Winter Musings

It's hard to feel like it is winter when it is 85 degrees.  But such is the penalty (?!?) for living in the beautiful southwest.  The weather was weirdly warm in North Carolina where we spent the Christmas holidays with my brother in Charlotte.  I'm not complaining mind you!  I much prefer warm to cold, 110 degrees to snow and ice.

I've been working on diffused relief and monosilkscreen prints for my exhibition in May at Five15 Arts.  My imagery is more sea-related than swimmer, but I'm not ready to talk about it too much at this point - everything is still in process. With lots of work yet to do!

stARTup LA
The "girls" went on an art road trip to LA for few days the end of January to see the stARTup LA art fair in which my sister, Nancy Willis, and dear friend, Catherine Ruane, were participants.  Marlys, Diana and Carol and I spent the day at the art fair and the next day at the Aquarium of the Pacific and Long Beach Museum of Art.

Lipstick monotypes and oil painting by Nancy Willis
Carol and Catherine

Carol, Marlys and Diana

My favorite sister!  An inspiration always.

The Diablo Printmakers is a group of ASU printmaking students and they put out a call for art for their first annual juried exhibition.  Marlys and I wanted to support the students' effort so we entered work and each had a piece was accepted by the Juror, Mary Hood, a printmaking professor at ASU.  Tonight was the opening reception at the Harry Wood Gallery and we were pleased with the quality of the work in the show.  Two other Arizona Print Group artists also had work accepted in this show and Chris Dawdy from Tucson won the first place award!
Our prints off in the distance

Mary Hood, Juror
Christine Dawdy, organza collagraph

There are 3 classes going on now, the Collagraph/Drypoint Class that Marlys Kubicek is teaching and I am teaching Solarplate Etching and 2 Color Reduction Relief.  I am happy to have some new students who have never made art before (or since high school) and some who have never done printmaking before.  It is an honor to expose them to joys of printmaking.  I have 5 week relief and solarplate classes starting in March.  When they are completed my classes no longer be held at the Xico facility.  I am not sure where I will be - either the Phoenix Center on Moreland or a new PCA facility near Bell and 7th Street.  Watch this space to see where I land!

Solarplate etching by Laura MacKay

Solarplate etching by Ed Dubrow

Marlys giving a demo on inking and wiping the collagraph

Friday, November 6, 2015

My New Website

I am so happy to report I have completed creating my new website. It is The process was so easy and whenever I hit a snag, my "guy" at Photobiz was able to magically make it go away!  I have a guy!

I am really not a techie person. I believe it is important to try to keep up with the changing world and the technology that keeps evolving.  But I am far from comfortable with it. So I have spent over a week's time pulling images, updating my resume, and all the other decisions I needed to make about how I wanted it to look.  I am eternally grateful to have had Diana Hartley's assistance in funtionality and helping me think it all through.  I guess I have a "gal" too!  

So please check out my new website and tell me what you think. I hope you find it easy to navigate. I learned about Photobiz from Sam Dahl, who created an easy to update website for us at Five15 Arts Gallery.  Check it out too, at