A Sneak Peek at "Crow's Claw"

This will be my effort toward the 50th international print exchange by Barenforum.org
  • Medium: Woodblock print (I'll be using shina wood and watercolor on washi)
  • Theme: Open-Celebrate the 50th Baren Exchange with whatever image you choose to create!
  • Paper: 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches (This is a standard artist trading card size)
  • Paper type: No restriction (I'll be using Kozoshi)
The Baren Forum is a place where anyone with an interest in the fascinating world of woodblock printmaking is welcome. Its main purpose is to encourage a flow of information among printmakers, to allow them to share their knowledge and experience, and to provide a place where they can get to know each other.

Think of [Baren] as being a 'convention of woodblock printmakers–but a convention with a difference: held in cyberspace and thus easily accessible to all, and with never a closing speech to signify that it is time for all the participants to end the discussions and go home.

Come join us! 


Rejection, Acceptance, and Equilibrium

Bad news first: I did not receive the Fall 2011 artist residency at Spudnik Press in Chicago.

The good news: the Spudnik board graciously critiqued my application. They gave three points to work on and three points that were strengths.

They suggested that I work on the originality of my concept and wanted to see completed work which shows the proposed concept. This was an eye opener because I naively thought that the proposed idea was supposed to be a new series. Apparently it should be a continuation of previous themed work. The originality of concept was a bit of a surprise. Perhaps I needed to communicate the idea more fully. The final point was that they were not sure how I would be able to form a professional relationship at Spudnik since I live so far away. They want someone who lives in Chicago and who can spend a great deal of time in the Spudnik Studios. Fair enough. I don't have the same opportunities because I live in a rural Midwestern town. I'll just have to work harder to form these relationships despite the distance. I consider it a challenge, not a negative.

Abandoned nest at Afton Forest Preserve.
The praise went to quality of technique, strength of images, and quality of documentation. Those attributes make me feel better!

Black block for Crow's Foot print
In the meantime, I've started printing all 100 of the 2.5" x 3.5" prints for the 50th Barenforum exchange. It isn't due for awhile, but since I have the time now I didn't want to wait. It is of a crow's claw.

I was walking Gracie and came across just the one foot of a crow. My guess is that an owl had a tasty meal the night before in Mr. Mustari's old pine tree and dropped the foot. It was kind of creepy. Images of voodoo and hexes came to mind. It created an interesting, dark composition.

I'm also working on a new benefit project. A fellow artist and parishioner emailed me asking if I could donate work to ImaBridge Africa for their September 11 fundraiser. They will be trying to raise monies to build a well. The communities they assist will have fresh drinking water for the first time. If you would like to donate please visit ImaBridge Africa.

"ImaBridge Africa is a faith-based charity dedicated to building transformational relationships between people from dissimilar communities, the privileged and the underprivileged. We are called to aid the rural poor in developing skills, knowledge, attitudes and experience for self-reliance and the capacity to work together to solve their problems. Guided by the worldwide 2015 UN Millennium Development Goals, our mission is to provide financial and human resources to empower the poor to eradicate extreme poverty, promote gender equity, reduce child and maternal mortality, and ensure environmental sustainability."

I am very honored to be a small part of both this and the Barenforum's Inspired by Japan project to help those affected by the tsunami and earthquake.
What type of butterfly is this?

Art for social change! Helping others through art is my "little thing."

"It is not the magnitude of our actions that matters, but the love that we put into them, and that our successes do not depend on doing great things, but in doing little things with great love"
- Mother Teresa
Cicada newly emerged from it's shell.

My car is still broken, so I haven't been able to get out and walk the forest preserves. This weekend was an exception. I had so much untapped anxious energy that I asked my husband to drive me out to Afton. We walked and walked. Gradually that stress lessened and I was able to see the world around me with new eyes… just like the newly emerged cicada. I need to take these breathers more often to maintain my equilibrium.