Paper, Paint and My Favorites

Paper, Paint and My Favorites, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

BooksbyStephen was kind enough to include my Dragonfly print in his Treasury entitled " Paper, Paint, and My Favorites." Thanks BooksbyStephen! If you get a chance stop by his shop for some wonderful hand-bound books. He also has vintage illustrations cut straight out of old books, not digital reproductions.


Oak Crest Printing Demonstration/Lecture

Oak Crest Printing Demonstration/Lecture, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

Tonight I was honored to meet my host, Sally, and all the residents at Oak Crest Retirement Center in DeKalb. They welcomed me with a fine dinner and great conversation.

Then it was down to business: I started with a brief history of printmaking starting with the eastern traditions, moving to the west and then finally how Commodore Matthew Perry's travels influenced to two in the mid to late 1800s.

I spoke about why I like woodblock prints and gave a demonstration showing each stage–Blocks using the same sketch were prepared at different stages so I could easily show each step quickly.

After the print was made I answered a few questions and told the stories behind the pieces. The participants seemed to like this part best and they invited me back sometime to show my work again!

Using a microphone wasn't as difficult as I imagined. There was a delay like I was expecting and it wasn't overly loud.

I think next time I would talk less about the history - there is just too much to say - either that or give just a few sentence overview. The demonstration part went smoothly and I don't know that I would change anything there. I had a great time and would enjoy the opportunity to give another "show."

A BIG thank you to Jacob for helping me set-up and clean-up and for taking photographs.


Study of "Bird on Berry Tree"

Study of "Bird on Berry Tree", originally uploaded by pejnolan.

Tomorrow night I'm scheduled to give a demonstration/lecture about printmaking at Oakcrest Senior Center. I worked up the same block at different stages to show them quickly how a print is made. I'll be cutting that last little bit during the demonstration, then printing the block for them for the first time there. The block is a black and white study of the color print by K. Koizumi entitled "Bird on Berry Tree."

I'm nervous, but that is a good thing, right? That adrenalin will empwer me to do my best. I'll be wearing a microphone, which I've never done before. I hope that will help everyone to hear me because my voice is naturally soft.

Wish me luck! I'll let you all know how it goes.


Bees on Paper

Bees on Paper, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

It was the strangest thing this morning. I took Grace on her walk and she kept stopping and digging, then I noticed that she had picked up something.

I ordered her away and it was a honey bee. I looked around and there was another and another. Possible a hundred bees in small holes in the snow next to the tree where the raccoon lives. I could find them for about half a block.

I thought that maybe the bees had died in the late fall and the raccoon was digging in the tree and dislodged them, but then I noticed that all the bees were whole and all the wings were still attached. I would have thought that if they were dug out that some would be broken. A mystery!

The small holes could be accounted for because they warmed up more in the sun than the surrounding snow and so the snow had melted around them forming the holes.

Finding bees in northern Illinois in the middle of February?!? - it must be global warming... or the bad economy... lol.

UPDATE: I was doing some research and came across this blogger's post.

If you read that person's post, he mentions a brownish liquid around the dead bees. That same liquid was found with most of my dead bees. According to him, bees will take defecation flights in winter, but it was too cold for them and they died. This also explains the burrows in the snow.


So much has happened!

Blue Heron, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

We had an earthquake last week here in Illinois! I woke up at about 4am. Normally I am a very heavy sleeper and to wake up in the middle of the night is very unusual for me. The entire house was shaking. The objects on my dresser were rattling. Then I heard the very low rumble. I kept trying to think of what it might be. A passing train? No. A snow plow? No. Then I heard a loud, but muffled BOOM! I thought a snow plow had hit the curb or something. Then in my sleepy state I thought, "I wonder if this is what an earthquake would feel like? Maybe I should do something..." Zonk... just like that I went back to sleep. I didn't find out it actually was an earthquake until the next morning when it was on the news.

The Blue Heron print was created by request specifically for fellow Etsy shop owner KimWheatonCeramics as a trade. She wanted a heron print for her husband's birthday. I traded for a beautiful small pottery pitcher. So cool.

My "Earth Goddess" print was accepted into the "Art Woman" national show in Woodstock, IL and I sold "Coy Pond" from the showing at the Rockford Midwestern at the Rockford Art Museum.

My computer died and so my family was off the internet for a week - AH!!!! I had no idea how this tool has become interwoven into our everyday lives. I couldn't balance my checkbook, I couldn't pay bills, I couldn't communicate with my friends or run my Etsy shop. It was horrible! But we ended up buying a Dell quad processor, one terabyte computer and are live. YAY!

Finally, I completed the monochromatic portion of the UCC church painting and started placing colored glazes. I'm really liking the progress being made on that painting. It will be something I am very proud of for a long time!