4th Fridays at the Starline Gallery

Fourth Fridays from Corry Wiens on Vimeo.

October 26th's "4th Fridays" at The Starline Gallery's GRAND FINALE OF 2012 event is all about remembering. Our 3 standard installations { art exhibit, featured artist solo show and photo contest } are being joined with a 4th exhibit of shoes altered in to art for Creative Soles. Shoes are auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds being donated to McHenry County PADS as we REMEMBER that there are people without homes who need help. Also remember that "4th Fridays" breaks in Nov + Dec so we can spend time with family and friends over the holiday season.

Be sure to mark the calendar for October 26th | 6:00 - 9:00 for an event to REMEMBER! I'll be there will you?


Ellwood House Museum Art Exhibit

The following woodblock prints created in 2012 will be shown:
"Largemouth Bass", "Clearing at the Ridges", and "Tree Fungus"
The Ellwood House Muesem in  DeKalb, Illinois presents
a fine art exhibit curated by Dan Grych of the The DeKalb Gallery.

October 21, 2 - 4 p.m.
An exhibit of artwork from members of the DeKalb Gallery will be held in the second floor Brauer Gallery at the Ellwood House Visitor Center on Sunday, October 21 from 2 - 4 pm.

The DeKalb Gallery presents the visual arts from gifted individuals using a variety of medium, such as: ceramic, acrylic, color pencil, photography, dry pigment pastels, conte crayon, charcoal, stone lithography, mixed media, oil painting, oil pastel, paper pulp sculptures, silver point, wood block,  wood carving, watercolor and weaving.

Meet the artists and join fellow art lovers during the opening reception.
Complimentary refreshments will be served. 
 The following woodblock prints created in 2012 will be shown:
"Largemouth Bass", "Clearing at the Ridges", and "Tree Fungus"

 Hope to see you there!


438: Project 2 Portrait with type: John Muir proof (4)

This is due tomorrow… er… I mean today. At 1:44am it is as finished as it's going to get!


Illustration 437 Project 2: Reimagined Narrative

What if Dr. Seuss' Sneetches went into the Star-On machine and found out it was actually skin graft surgery from a cut-rate physician?

C'mon… $3 each? You can't even buy a McDonalds Southern Fried Chicken sandwich for that. but what can you expect from a guy who arrives on the beach claiming to be able to put stars on your belly?

For the Sneetche's backstory visit www.barnabasministry.com/quotes-sneeches.html

The illustration was a huge success! (Yay!) The only suggestions were to revisit the kearning of the type - expecially between the "ma" and "chine"... that detail was completely overlooked on my part due to my giggling the entire time I was drawing this** I was asked to revisit values for a more delineated look between the strong light of the operation and the natural light of the rest of the room. Oh, and to print it out larger so they could see the details better.

It was created entirely digitally using Photoshop and a Wacom (a pressure-sentitive drawing tablet).

Note to self:
• Have Sylvester McMonkey McBean (the doctor) holding 3 dollar bills.
• Have a ventilation tube stage left
• Make the circle in the lower right a star shape instead

**The Cat in the Hat is the insignia on the diploma in the background.
** The company is an LLC or limited liability company.
** The salline solution is 100% guaranteed.


Progression of an illustration

Progression of an illustration, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

At 45 I went back to college. I have 5 classes to take before I graduate from Northern Illinois University's Illustration program. The classes are 437, 438a, 438b, 2D animation, and 406. Hopefully I will graduate in December of 2013, unless the Apocalypse happens on 12-21-2012, then I guess I'll never have that diploma for all eternity. Heh.

The project shown above is my first for 438a - Advanced Illustration. It is based on the word "epic." I chose to portray the epic struggle of personal revelation. The imagery is rooted in the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. Sure, there aren't the right number of horns and there aren't any crowns; but that was irrelevant to the meaning and emotion to the piece, so it wasn't important for me to have an exact representation.

There is so much to our thoughts, emotions and experiences - of which we are not aware until we take the time to slow down, put away the distractions of this day and age and sit quietly - listening to our inner voice. Too often that voice is drown out from our everyday life.

Recently I was blessed enough to purchase a car! It is a 2002 Honda Civic with 134,000 miles on it. Having this new found freedom after a year and half of asking for rides or riding my bicycle is heaven! This car doesn't have a radio, though. There isn't any distraction other than the act of driving.

I have to admit the quietness is uncomfortable. I am forced to listen to that quietness. Not that it is a bad thing, usually I'm thinking to myself how beautiful that tree is or "pay attention to that guy in front of me" - nothing earth shattering . But even then, I want to turn away and not listen. I reach for the radio button that is not there.

A struggle I have been going through over the past many months has my inner thoughts, fears and insecurities going overtime. They turn and jumble, twisting in and around themselves. I haven't been able to tame them. I question the logic of them and find there is no logic to interject. This creates a perpetual circle of thought which needs to be broken through an extended break and time for quiet to enter into my life.

The profile is looking up and to the right - looking towards good and better days. The light is coming from the mouth - because it is what our inner dialog tells us that creates our perception. Hopefully that perception will bring light to the experience.
There is only a profile and not a face because who we are is not what others see on the outside, but our thoughts, memories and experiences.

Above shows the progression of an illustration and also an illustration showing my progression through life.
"EPIC" 438a-Project I


This, my friend, is freedom!

This, my friend, is freedom!, originally uploaded by pejnolan.


Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron, originally uploaded by pejnolan.
My husband and I went on a trip into Chicago today. We are getting pretty knowledgeable about public transportation options and decided to use the water taxi to and from Navy Pier.

I like using the boats because it feels cooler down by the water and I can get some interesting shots of the buildings from a different perspective than the street. 

As we stepped off the boat on the way back, we spotted an endangered Black-crested Night Heron on a pylon right next to the Michigan Avenue bridge. He wasn't shy at all and didn't might be getting very close to take photos. As long as I stayed on the stair well, he was fine, but I tried getting even closer by shooting through a wire fence. He knew that wasn't wear most people are and he took flight. As he did so, he navigated around all the boats on the river.

We went to the McCormick Bridgehouse Museum. We were lucky because today the museum was free! It shows the gears, motors and history of the bridge.

That's All Folks!


The anticipation of printing builds

Usually I will carve, print, and package a single block at a time. I'm going about the process a bit differently because this time I'll be carving a number of blocks all at once.

Since I moved into my apartment, space is at a premium. I am only able to set up one work station. That station will be rotating between the stages of woodblock printing. Already I like this better. I get to enjoy the clean, un-inked blocks a bit longer. 

Every time a block is created, it starts from an idea. The idea develops into a drawing and continues to change a grow until the block is carved, the it leaps onto the washi as its own fully developed person as it is printed. Instead of only having a single "child," this process will allow me to have a "family" of prints.

Each print will be unique, but the same for the editions and the editions will mirror the colors of one another.

If you would like to see these finished prints, come to Art of the Land in Harvard, IL this September 21–22, or visit Plum Bottom Pottery in Egg Harbor, WI later in the year. (Plum Bottom has a website where you can view my work for sale under the "Featured Artist" tab.)


I spent my 45th birthday at work.

My son brought me Fushi Yami sushi.
My coworkers provided Thai delicacies and a gift of sound dampening headphones.
My husband purchased a month of international ancestry.com and a dinner at Mediterrano.
My parents gave me a card and gift that I will use to purchase a goodie or two.
My mother-in-law gave me a card and gift that I will use to purchase clothing.
My sister-in-law and brother took me to 4th Fridays at the Starline in Harvard, Illinois.
Jumpshots.biz gave me a huge smile. (OK, maybe part of it was the complimentary wine.)
God gave me one heck of a great day!



You know that deep ache in you your heart that makes you stop breathing from the pain? Yeah, me, too. But that is ok. That is life: Life is precious and I choose to be happy and full of joy while I am here.
Compassion literally means to feel with, to suffer with. Everyone is capable of compassion, and yet people tend to avoid it because it's uncomfortable. I choose to meet that uncomfortableness because the more you care, the stronger you will be.

We fallen human beings are capable such goodness and, at the same time, capable of pure evil. We must carry our daily struggles along in order that we become more forgiving, compassionate, loving, and above all joyful.

Our individual struggle changes us: either towards good or for bad. Towards construction or destruction. Towards lifting up others or tearing them down.
What do you choose to do today?
Yeah. I wrote this. No copy and pasting on this one.
Erin K. Nolan


Double Door County II

The second trip to Door County, in just as many weekends, was a getaway for our family: Paul, Jacob and I—along with our dog Gracie. It was a time to reacquaint ourselves with one another without extraneous thoughts in our minds. We had time to focus on us, how we feel, what we need for ourselves & for one another, and where we are going from this point forward.
It was a salve sent by the graciousness of God.
We were able to see the American Folklore Theatre's production of "Victory Farm." It is always a great treat to see such professionally written and executed musicals, but this one was especially touching. The characters were well developed and passionately portrayed.

I know it is a good storyline when I am left wanting more. Did he come back? Did they marry? What happened to him after the war? Did his heart soften after this experience. Just, really, so very wonderful. Plus, the one of the actors is Chad Luberger, owner of Plum Bottom Pottery where I am honored to show my woodblock prints.

The remainder of the trip was filled with Washington Island, beaches, sunsets, s'mores, parks, good food, swimming, and many laughs and surprises along the way. Here are some of the things we saw:

The rare and elusive wild Wheaten Sand Dog of the Door
History: A wild sand dog of the door was captured in 1872. Three men lost their lives during the outing. Gradually this killer dog was domesticated. Although the wild gene has never been fully flushed from the breed, the modern "floofy tail" is a direct descendent of its wild cousin.

Gracie's self-assigned job was to grab hold of the boogie-board handle and carry it to shore for us. Lake Michigan was so low that Grace could walk out a good 25 yards before having to actually swim!

 Blue Skies
The jaunty overlord of the Maritime Museum on Washington Island watched us closely from above.

Green Rocks
As always I am captivated and inspired by the naturally rough textures of Door County.

Golden Light
Starting two years ago, a new tradition: watching the sunset from the bluffs of Peninsula State Park.

Periwinkle Sunsets
Hearing the water gently lap against the shore as the sun sets is the perfect sound to calm the mind, relax the body and settle the spirit before sleeping.

Red Walls
Francis Hardy Gallery on Anderson Dock in Ephraim. There was a cute little muskrat playing in the warm waters by between the dock and the shore.

 White Rocks
The smooth, white stones of Schoolhouse beach on Washington Island make it difficult to walk, but they color the water a turquoise blue-green and looks more like the tropics than Wisconsin.

Lovely Yahts
The passengers looking like they were having fun!

Most importantly:
Together and Smiling!
Mission accomplished!

Double Door County I

With natural beauty like this,
how could I not be inspired?

I have been very blessed these last two weeks! I was able to go to Door County two weekends in a row. The first visit I traveled with my brother, sister-in-law, and mother. It was only overnight, but we filled every minute. "It is all about the journey." 

The pond with beautiful water lilies at The Flying Pig in Algoma was one of the highlights of the drive up to Bailey's Harbor. I had never been there before, but I found a fuzzy new friend. She allowed be to photograph her and she promised not to sting me.  She continued drinking nectar while I sipped my spiced warm chai.

The journey was made in order to attend the Plum Bottom Pottery Summer FEAST. We arrived too late to help plate the food or set up. For some reason, a five-hour trip takes at least eight by the time we stop here and there for food and photos. 

It was just lovely… as always. Savory Cajun delights such as jambalaya, etouffee, smoked salmon and bread pudding entertained our tastebuds; but the wonder of the evening was Chad Luberger's latest ceramics and Angela Lensch's new bead work inspired by her trip to India. I was able to talk with Davide Toffolon, a talented pen and ink artist who uses salt in his wonderfully detailed pieces. I found he was a passionate professional cheese maker! Who knew?

Chad is a member of the American Folklore Theatre and after their performance at Peninsula State Park, the troupe arrived one by one. I stood right next to "Doc" Heide, but couldn't bring myself to say, "Hi." I was too afraid my mouth wouldn't work and it would come out like a bad Saturday Night Live skit. So I just stood there feeling my face flush. I was definitely starstruck having seen him perform for 20-some years.

All good times comes to and end. We left just after midnight and I felt like Cinderella. Torches lit our way through the darkness as we followed the winding, painted path created by Dylan Lauger. We passed ceramic and cement sculptures in the flickering light. When the path ended billions of stars greeted our eyes. Each of us saw a shooting star before we drove back to the motel room at Journey's End.

 The next day we stopped at The Ridges Sanctuary where they were setting up for a Raptor Exhibit. There was the small, parrot-like kestrel (above), a snowy white barn owl, an intense red-tailed hawk, a turkey vulture who showed off by stretching out his wings and a rather cross screech owl who preferred to stay within his crate and hiss at people walking past. They were each wonderful in their own way and it was a rare treat to be able to photograph them up close and personal.

"It is all about the journey."


Feast your eyes on the new website!

Featured Artist at Plum Bottom Pottery in Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, USA

Feast Your Eyes Upon PB's New Website and Celebrate!

Don't you love it when hard work and diligence come together to form something wonderful?  Chad at Plum Bottom Pottery Studio and Gallery has persevered and a fantastic new website is the result. He showcases his pottery, jewelry by Angela Lensch, and a gallery-featured artist—in this case, me!
"Residing on 20 acres in the heart of Wisconsin's Door Peninsula, Plum Bottom Pottery offers visitors a first look at the newest creations of resident porcelain artist Chad Luberger and jewelry artist Angela Lensch. Luberger specializes in one of a kind sculptural and functional porcelain pottery. Lensch weaves gold, silver and gemstones to create breathtaking wearable art pieces.

Luberger began Plum Bottom Pottery with the idea of creating and offering his one of a kind porcelain work from a single location. Plum Bottom Pottery soon expanded and welcomed resident jewelry artist, Angela Lensch into Plum Bottom Studios. It is here, where Lensch's background in sculpture, led her to create her signature woven jewelry designs.

This Door County art destination has continued to expand, offering contemporary art in a variety of mediums, including printmaking, painting and sculpture. Luberger and Lensch continue to make their work on-site and invite you to come to Plum Bottom to explore in person or online and experience art, finely crafted."
I'll be at the gallery for their annual summer art extravaganza entitled, "FEAST!" which will be held this Friday, July 13th, 2012 from 6–9pm at the gallery on Plum Bottom Road in Egg Harbor. We will not only be celebrating new work, the return of Angela from India, and a new website, it is the 5th Anniversary of Plum Bottom Studio and Gallery! Congratulations, Chad!

Bring your best Cajun appetite, quench your thirst and experience art, finely crafted. Please stop by. I'd love to see you and say, "hey" in person!


my new studio: a picnic table in the park.


Tree Fungus

I have two careers. One as a graphic designer and the other as a fine art print maker. The day job has taken priority for the last several months, but that has only given me time to decide what direction I want to go in regarding prints.
I started this adventure in 2006 with a group of friends called "The Makers." We met every week or so to cheer one another on, give critiques and suggestions, go on field trips together and basically just be there for one another artistically. That year was one of searching. I was doing pen and ink, acrylic, oils, graphite, pastel. Then, through the group and through my brother, I fell in love with woodblock prints.

The following year was playing with the possibilities. My work grew in complexity and skill.
Then I started selling work on Etsy, entering shows and becoming much more serious. It was becoming less of a hobby and more a part of me. I started the business, PEJ Nolan Studios in 2010 because I had finally found my passion. This is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: I wanted to explore my personal relationship to nature and the revelations I received from observing it.
At the end of that year, a life-long goal was achieved. I was welcomed into Plum Bottom Pottery's gallery in Door County, Wisconsin. Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of seeing my work hanging in Door County.
The idea of not pleasing myself, but working toward the tastes of clients altered the make-up of the work. It became less about my personal relationship with the energy and spirit of the natural world and more about specific things: a chick, a squirrel, etc. So, I had to go back to the beginning and find my voice.

The upcoming work is more abstract. It shows more purely the energy, movement, composition and linework of the objects I see. It is less about the accurate depiction of an object and more about emotion. I'm really proud to see this type of growth in my work. I'm working larger as well, so it is more environmental. It fills the viewer's peripheral vision similar to a landscape. My goal is for the viewer to see what I see, feel what I feel, and be humbled by the complexity and beauty of nature. 

Let me know what you think about the new direction and about past pieces.


new carving!

new carving!, originally uploaded by pejnolan.


This is what spring looks like

 A lot has happened this amazing 2012 Spring.

 \This is what spring looks like, originally uploaded by pejnolan.