Block Printing at the Studio

The studio is open but we aren’t having a party this year. I decided to do a block printing project and also to have open studio hours when I will be working on the printing. So far I have completed 3/4 of the prints. I’m doing a reduction print which means that after I carve and print a series, I then continue carving on the block and do subsequent prints. It takes a bit of planning to figure out what to carve. Also, you have to draw your design in reverse. Many tricky components but also lots of fun. A good challenge.

Back to Flowers

The late summer/early fall flowers are blooming around the studio and in my neighborhood. The colors range from lilac to bright orange to pastel pink to deep yellow. The lanky stalks often are bent down with the weight of the flowers. They liven up the scenery, especially on these clear blue sky days. These paintings are oil on primed paper which has been attached to a stretcher bar frame (22″ x 30″).

Reworking and playing with a motif

I completed a number of drawings of fresh or dried sunflowers. In order to push the work in a different direction, away from solely observational drawing, I used a variety of media (watercolor, marker, mixed media) on top of the drawing or I cut up the images and rearranged. These works feel more personal, more about my natural tendencies.

Sunflowers II

As the sunflowers age the leaves and petals curl into interesting shapes. I’m using a bamboo handle and sumi ink. It’s really not possible to get the ink to flow smoothly so the line has lots of variation in size and tone.


IMG_3393Sunflowers with blueI love both fresh and dried sunflowers.  Of course the model for both is Van Gogh’s drawings and paintings.  I did one drawing in pen and ink using one freshly cut flower and two somewhat dried flowers.  Then I used a paint program to add some color.  I’m still working on ideas about how to work with this subject.  I’ve also now added watercolor, ink and colored pencil to the original line drawing.SunflowersSunflower Study

Portrait of Charlie

I had a great time creating a portrait of my daughter’s good friend’s 14 month old baby.  I took pictures of the painting in progress and made a short video that shows the painting as it transitions from beginning color blocking to finished work with details.  It was crucial to me that I get a perfect or close enough likeness of this child.  Charlie’s parents were kind enough to say it was acceptable.  I relied on friends at the studio to give me suggestions about color, value and planes and this made a big difference.  I also used a linen panel which gave me the fine texture and firm support for the brushstrokes.

Sasha in the dog days of summer

Our dog Sasha has always been very easy-going and chill.  She loves to follow me around the house and hang out, waiting for something interesting to happen.  Here are a few recent sketches of Sasha.