Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve Art Tradition

Cameo feature on pedestrian entrance to a parking garage.

I love our new holiday tradition was going to an art gallery/art museum on Christmas Eve.  This year we took in the exhibitions at the Weston Art Gallery at the Aronoff Center for the Arts.  We were captivated by Elissa Morley's installation "Vision: Things That Fly."  And I was intrigued by the paintings of Todd Reynolds in his exhibition "Utopia."  We then popped in to the Contemporary Art Center to do a little last minute shopping.  Loved the Shepard Fairey pieces in the lobby!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

These two little dogs are among the blessings I am counting this holiday season.  They continue to make my heart light go on.  Maddie is so loving and Bear, who is getting older and a little slower, also snores so sweetly. 

I am also blessed with a wonderful family who has learned to laugh together and love each other in good times and bad.  And friends who have come to define unconditional love.

I am grateful for my students, who have listened and questioned and tried and appreciated learning.  I have learned so much from them and feel lucky to have shared such excellent time in the studio.  

I also want to acknowledge my new friends who I have yet to meet.  Most are artists whose work I found on the internet, who I have reached out to and who have welcomed me into their worlds with open arms.  Printmakers are the best!

So Merry Christmas to all. 

Monday, December 13, 2010


Jo Andersen, Marika Szabo and Marlys
Joe Marshall touching up his relief plate
It has been too long since I have posted!
MK and I have been spending lots of time on the Southern Graphics Council conference project we are curating for the Arizona Print Group.  Dan Welden donated solarplates to our 26 members last year to do a group project.  We envisioned all now 30 members' prints collaged together in one long print joined by a common theme and a horizontal line running through each print (at varying orientations).  The theme we chose was Reality/Distortion to fit in with the conference theme of Equilibrium.  We submitted the proposal to SGC and were accepted as one of 11 exchanges which will be on view during the conference March 16-19 2011 in St Louis.  Since many of the print group members had little to no experience with solarplates we have been having some really fun studio sessions helping them achieve their visions.  We had two sessions in Tucson hosted by the generous and talented Jo Andersen and have had several sessions at our studio, Bilancia.  It has cemented the vision Marlys and I have of a working print studio with collaborations and teaching...sigh.  Happy sigh!

Copper Queen Hotel
Heather Green
We also got out of town for a quickie trip to Tucson and Bisbee for Thanksgiving, staying at La Paloma and the Copper Queen.  We had the wonderful CQ Thanksgiving dinner - what a treat!  Delicious and so reasonably priced.  The day after Thanksgiving, we stopped in on Heather Green in her new studio/gallery and hit many of the great little shops on Main Street.  I learned a lot about turquoise from the jewelers there and regret there isn't any being mined any longer.  I had never been to Bisbee before but hope to return for what might be a new Tradition every November. 

Two new exhibitions opened Friday night, coinciding with the unveiling of the new fundraising calendar.  Each calendar has 12 original prints and sells for $200.  29 artists participated, including me (see earlier post here.)  It's really easy way to start art collecting.  And the work is quite good. 

"Grand Tour" by Corinne Geertsen
MK and I really loved the new exhibitions - "Nice Words", with Utah artist Brian Kershisnik - great paintings that were easy to look at but then you discover little surprises and bits of humor...and an exhibition of digitally manipulated photos by Arizona artist, Corinne Geertsen.  Some of her photographs made me laugh out loud; some were just beautiful.  Great transfixing of old family photos in wondrous new settings. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Your Days Are Numbered Print Exchange

I finished my print today, for the Your Days Are Numbered print exchange.  Todd Christensen of New Mexico Highlands University is the organizer.  I met Todd at the Southern Graphics Council conference in Chicago two Marches ago.  I had been in another print exchange with him organized by Melanie Yazzie, so I recognized his name when I saw him there.  I am curious to see who else is in this exchange but look forward to seeing the work by the other artists whoever they are.  The size is 10" x 22" and this print is titled "Heart Broken."

I printed a few extra from the first color pull in a greener version, to play around with later.  I wanted to experiment with different color variations to see how to get the figure to pop out.  But I am happy with this two color version.  It took me awhile to carve the (golden cut) linoleum after having used Gomuban for my last 4 reduction prints.  But the Gomuban didn't come in a size large enough to accommodate the 22" image requirement.  Gomuban is the name of the product at McClain's.  The same product is available at Graphic Chemical but they call it Blue Vinyl.   I asked Dean Clark if he could get it in a larger size and he said he would check on his next trip to Japan (where this product originates).

My next two projects are exchanges due in January.  Both will utiltize solarplates.  So I will be switching hats, after a few days of play with the remaining relief prints.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Expressions of the Soul - First Friday Report

Many people turned out for the First Friday reception at the Cathedral for the Arts Olney Gallery show "Expressions of the Soul - 5 Artists."  Annie Lopez, Joan Yen, Michelle Peacock, Mitral Kamali and myself came together at the invitation of Joan who put forth our proposal to this fine exhibition gallery.  The work is as varied and diverse as the artists.  We enjoyed seeing and meeting the art appreciators who stopped by, including Congressman and Mrs Ed Pastor.
We also met Pat Powers of Powerzmedia who recorded short audio statements from the artists which will go with the slide show to be made from photos of the evening taken by her husband.  This video will be made available to us artists and I will share it with you as soon as it comes out - (within the next month.) 

One of the unusual and very cool things going on for the opening at the Cathedral Center for the Arts was a slide show of our artwork on the side of the Church facing Central Avenue, put together and run by Roberta Hancock's son.  Roberta is the art director/curator for the Cathedral for the Arts and she treated us all like rock stars. 

So if you are feeling like you missed something special, you have another opportunity to see the slide show, meet the artists, see some great art and listen to some music too!  Third Friday, November 19th we will do it all again.  6-10 PM Olney Gallery at Trinity Cathedral, 100 W. Roosevelt, Phoenix.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Expressions of the Soul Opening Reception

I am one of five women showing at the Cathedral Center for the Arts at Central and Roosevelt starting this (First) Friday.  We are pleased to have two receptions - one for First Friday and another for Third Friday.  Stop by to meet the artists and see some wonderful art by a very diverse group of women:  Annie Lopez, Joan Jue Yen, Mitra Kamali, Michelle Peacock et moi!
Cathedral Center for the Arts
Olney Gallery at Trinity Cathedral
100 West Roosevelt Street, Phoenix
First Friday nov 5 6-10pm
artist reception
Third Friday nov 19 6-10pm
collector’s evening
(public welcome)
Olney Gallery is open during regular business hours: M-F, 9a-4p

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Summer Sprite"

"Summer Sprite"
I finished my print for the Mesa Contemporary Arts  2011 Print Calendar project.  It is a two-color reduction linocut.  Forty-eight artists are invited to create 50 prints and the calendar (with 12 original prints!) will sell for $200.  Such a bargain, my friends.  The calendars will be available at the MCA reception Friday December 10th from 6 to 8 pm and thereafter.  Save your pennies, they will make wonderful gifts! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting Hacked Sucks

I haven't posted much lately.  Last month my yahoo and gmail email accounts were hacked and my friends were asked by someone pretending to be me, to send money to London where I had been mugged.  The bad news was that for a week I struggled to regain my email and contacts and to get my Facebook page back.  I lost everything in my inboxes.  Yahoo, who was wonderful to work with and provided a human to talk to, restored my 339 contacts.  Gmail, with no human to contact, only restored my email address.  All mail and contacts were gone.  I learned that because I had a lot of contacts and that I was offline occasionally, I was targeted by someone in Nigeria.  There are several countries such as Nigeria, Russia and China where this happens a lot.  They went in and changed my passwords; then they forwarded all mail to my email address with an extra "L" in my name.  I reset my damned passwords before I discovered the keylogger trojans.  Opening email doesn't infect your computer.  Clicking on links will.  Opening attachments will.  Fortunately, this phishing expedition didn't have anything to click or open.  So my friends weren't infected.  Just phished.   I filed a complaint with the IC3, the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership with the FBI, National White Collar Crime Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.  I wish I could have done more.
The good news is that because so many of my friends called to make sure I was okay, I felt very loved.  And moved when I learned that two people had gone so far as to pull $2450 out of their banks to send to me in London before their wise inner voices were heard saying this isn't right.  Thank you for calling even when you knew I wasn't in London.  Thank you for worrying, for making sure your inner voices were right. 

Speaking dark clouds, I missed the first hail dropping storm at the studio last Tuesday.  When I got there there was still hail on the ground.  Then another microburst came along and dropped a ton of rain and more hail, denting my poor artmobile but not breaking any windows.  Phew!  Mother Nature had something to say that day!  We had 3 inches of rain at the house.  That's half our annual rainfall in one day.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

BILANCIA Reception

We celebrated our new studio venture with old and new friends last night.  Some guests have seen each other so often at Marlys' parties over the years, that they feel like friends outside of the party circuit.  I love it. 
 The conversion of Ed Knochel's house (Marlys' Dad) to this studio space took a long time.  After Ed's passing, Marlys worked hard to find homes for the family treasures, to salvage the useable stuff and find worthy recipients and to let go of the rest.  It was an emotional journey for her and for those who knew him; it was amazing to see the transformation of his home into a working and thriving art studio.  You will often hear us saying "Thank you, Ed/Dad" at any given moment.  He would be so happy to see his house being used and loved.
We actually have been working in the space for a couple months.  It feels good.  Lots of room, lots of light.  Lots of storage.  It is great to print alone and it is great to print together.  We collaborate well, discussing our ideas and processes.  We learn from each other, we admire each other's strengths and we realize how much we balance each other out.  That's why we decided to name our new collaboration Bilancia, which is vulgar Latin for balance.
We intend to have art soirees during the year, showcasing our new work and the prints from one of the print exchanges in which we participated.  This time we are showing "Passport Required" the print exchange of Arizona Print Group members.
Thanks to everyone who came by to share our excitement and the beginning of the Bilancia journey.  Thanks too, to Diana Hartley for hanging most of the art you see on the walls and to Fay Willis for her food and beverage assistance.  Photos from the party can be seen here on my flickr site.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

BILANCIA Opening Reception

Tonight is the opening celebration for Bilancia, the expanded studio space Marlys Kubicek and I will share.  After Marlys' father died last year, she decided to open the whole house to artmaking and teaching.  Our collaboration is now called Bilancia and we will be printing (and Marlys will be painting) in our now spacious studio.  We have established Independent Study, Print Studio Rental and Printing with Assistance rates and will be offering small classes and workshops.  The location is in Phoenix, 5841 N. 21st Avenue (the southeast corner of 21st Avenue and Bethany Home Road).  Come by tonight 7-9pm and see what we've done to the place!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Last Call for Classes at Phoenix Center

I spoke with the good folks at the Phoenix Center and I still need a few more solarplate and  reduction linocut students for the classes to make.  If you have been procrastinating, sign up soon.  Reduction Linocut starts October 2nd (9 to noon) and Solarplate starts October 4th 6-8:30pm, and both run for 6 weeks.  Click here for the class link.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

We Heart San Diego

Seeking to escape the heat and to see some dear friends, Steve and I took off Thursday for San Diego.  He lived there for several years two years after we were married.  You go where you find work and it was a great commuter setup for us.  For two or three years.  It got old after awhile but what never got old was our love of San Diego.  So many great things to do and places to go and wonderful art museums.  And on this trip we had an unusual drive by leaving later in the day.  We were escorted by a terrific storm to our left all the way across the desert.  And as beautiful the desert was with all those clouds, we never had to drive in anything more than a sprinkle. 
 Friday, we headed for our favorite spot in the city - Balboa Park.  After some Christmas shopping at the Mingei Museum we strolled through a wonderful and large exhibition of Toulouse Latrec at the San Diego Museum of Art.  I was thrilled to see so many lithographs and got some ideas for things to try in my reduction linocuts.  We take inspiration from many places and I can always find some here. 
Dr Lakra (Mexico)/Vhils (Portugal) Collaboration

JR  (France)
Saturday, after breakfast at Brians 24,  we took in a majority of the public art included in the Museum of Contemporary Art's current installation:  "Viva La Revolucion," where 20 artists from 10 countries created murals/graffiti art on buildings all over town.  We enjoyed seeing the works - many of them are accompanied by an audio commentary you can reach on your cellphone.  Great idea!  The show will be up until January 2nd 2011. 
Following the trail of art we discovered a couple of wonderful shops in Little Italy, Mixture and French Garden.  More shopping ensued followed by naps.    Gotta go - the day is calling.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


The past four weeks were plum full of visitors who partook themselves of the joys of playing in the water of our swimming pool.  World travelers and locals, the enjoyment found in water play is universal.  The Chinese kids were teenagers 14 to 16.  One determined Chinese girl learned to swim in just two days.  It was amazing to watch her overcome her fear and practice in the shallow end before venturing off into the deep end.  I am sure you can draw your own analogy to life here.   Anyway, she was 14 and apparently you learn to swim in China at 15.
The Dutch girls visiting my neighbor with their parents,  reminded me of myself on vacation with my parents.  I lived underwater.  They too were in the pool next door whenever the could.   The twins were 8 years old and the eldest was 10 (if my addled brain remembers correctly.) The girls didn't speak English but underwater you can clearly understand what's being communicated. 
My local friends Diana and Daisy, 9, came for a photo session.  It was my first time meeting Daisy and she was a little tentative at first.  But she was totally game and we had a blast.  No one wanted to get out of the pool...we floated around with the satisfied/happy/tired feeling of an afternoon well spent.
After each session with the visitors, it always ended the same.  Looking at the photos on the computer.  Laughter abounds, groans and teasing...It makes me sad that summer is almost over.  But I have hundreds of memories/photos to inspire lots of art.  Thank you to all my swimmer friends.  It's been wonderful sharing the water with you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday Reduction Linocut Classes

I will be teaching a 6 week reduction linocut workshop at the Phoenix Center for the Arts beginning Saturday, October 2nd from 9 am to noon.  Registration is open now until the end of August.  Learn how to make the complicated simple as you print 4 colors from one plate. 

Beginning Monday, October 4th I will be teaching a 6 week solarplate etching workshop from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. Beginners are welcome or come brush up on the process if you've been working in other media. 

The Phoenix Center is located at 1202 N. 3rd St, Phoenix AZ 85004.   Register online or call 602 262-4627.  Classes are limited to 7 students.

I had a print juried in to the NAU Biennial this year.  The exhibition is in the NAU Art Museum in Old Main, a great old building and wonderful place to see some fabulous printmaking.  The exhibition opens August 24th and goes until September 25th.  They are having a reception on Thursday, September 2nd from 5 to 7 pm and I will be there.  I can't wait to see the other work in this show.  And I am happy to be escaping the heat of Phoenix for a couple days!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

SB1070 Exhibit on CNN

La Ruta/The Route
You never know what will happen.  In June 2009 I created a print for the Passport Required print exchange, a project I coordinated for the Arizona Print Group.  I submitted my print, La Ruta/The Route, for the "SB1070 - An Artist's Point of View" exhibition at ALAC as I wrote about in previous posts.  Well, CNN picked up the story of the exhibition and as a result is showing 9 pieces from the show on their website, including mine and Marlys's.  Check it out here

Artists were invited to submit work on either side of the issue.  When I looked more closely, on my second visit to the gallery, there weren't really any pieces in support of SB1070.  Marlys' print was the most balanced as it considered both sides of the immigration problem. 

Dolce, Annie, Roberto, Daniel
At the second reception, the day after SB1070 went into effect, Annie Loyd introduced me to two kids about whom the Dream Act was envisioned.  Children whose parents brought them illegally into the US as very small children, who learned the language, excelled at school, and now are faced with obstacles to attending college.   Imagine if you lived your first 16 or 17 years here and then learn you can't continue your education or get a good job because of something beyond your control.  To learn more about the Dream Act click here.

 I appreciate all the supportive comments I have gotten since the CNN piece came out.  Thank you all.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Camouflage" - a 9 Color Reduction Linocut

Here it is.  My latest baby.  I have named it Camouflage.  I will be shipping some off to Reno for my students at Oxbow Press.  It needs a little more time to dry but it is well on its way.

My friends are asking me what I am going to do next.  There are so many things I want to do.  After having printed 3 multi-colored reduction linocuts in a row, I am feeling the need for speed so I think some monotypes are in order.  But I also want to play around with carving borco board to see how it prints.  I want to print more on some of the diffused relief prints I made back in May.  I have another print exchange due in November I could start working on and I would like to make something new for an exhibition I am in which opens in November.  It  feels luxurious to have time not allocated right now and deadlines that feel far away.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Last Supper/Color6/SB1070

We said goodbye to our Chinese kids this morning at the airport.  Marlys' older girl kept turning around and waving goodbye as their leader took them away.  Everyone was exhausted after swimming last night and their favorite dinner - Cincinnati Chili!  I grew up on Skyline Chili and buy the packets of seasoning mix to indulge my chili addiction.  Who knew the kids would like it over all the other meals they enjoyed?  But 3 out of 4 had second helpings. 
After we dropped them off at 7:45am I went home and took a two hour nap then went back to the studio to print my 6th color on my current reduction linocut.  The little fish is starting to come out more and more.  Two or three more colors.  I was happy to learn my deadline in Reno has been extended two weeks.  I now feel the luxury of time and in our new expanded studio space, life is good!

Marlys and Joan Thompson and I are going to the next "SB1070 - An Artist's Point of View" exhibition reception tomorrow night at the Arizona Latino Arts and Culture Center.  After all the events of today, it should get a big turnout.  It is from 6 to 9 pm at 147 E. Adams in downtown Phoenix.  Come by and check out our art.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Lino/Student Exchange

A week ago, I started a reduction linocut.  It is one I will share with my students from my workshop at Oxbow Press in Reno, and with my current class at the Phoenix Center.  The first three colors were printed with etching ink which I had at our studio.  My relief inks were locked up at the Phoenix Center and I didn't have access to them.  When I was able to use my relief inks, I noticed that they were much easier to use, more creamy and easy to rollout evenly.  (I have Daniel Smith oil based inks.)  I am also now using a little bit of Miracle Gel, also a Daniel Smith product, to help release the ink from the plate.  I am still happy with the Gomuban plates (from IMcClain's).  I wish they came in large sizes. 
With our visitors from China I haven't had much time to blog so here are images of the first 5 colors.  You will see a little fish emerging from the kelp.  I hope to print 3 more colors and get the Reno prints mailed off in time for the exchange party. 


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Foreign Exchange

We have been hosting two Chinese boys (15 and 16) in our home the past week.  Marlys has been hosting two girls (14 and 16).  We have spent all of our evenings together with the kids, feeding them American food and playing Chinese card games after dinner.  They love our food, barbecue chicken and pot roast, ice cream, scrambled eggs with ham cut up in it... They are happy kids from 4 different cities in China who didn't know each other before this trip.  One of the girls speaks English very well, and the boys not so much. But the more we are together the more comfortable they feel trying to speak.  The boys have loved swimming and playing basketball.  The girls loved swimming and shopping.  Saturday we took them to our studio and introduced them to linocut.  They loved the skeleton prints of Artemio Rodriguez, so they used parts of his images learn the printmaking process.  They were engaged and encouraging to each other.  And they were proud of their accomplishments. 
Saturday night we took them to the exhibition opening at the Arizona Latino Arts and Culture Center "SB1070 - An Artist's Point of View".  We tried to explain the new law and why people were upset about it.  They took it all in but preferred to hang out at the US Airways Center where the Suns play.  Marlys said, you never know what they will remember from this trip, 20 years from now.  It has been wonderful having them here and getting to know them.