Water Paper Paint

Friends and Water Paper Paint

My friend Bailey (a metal smith and high school art teacher) sent a painting to share a preview of the work she and her students were making. They worked on the Masking and Stencil project from my book Water Paper Paint. I like the line work they added. It's so fun to see this and hear how others are exploring the projects in the book. Thanks Bailey!

Geninne, who has work featured in the gallery section of Water Paper Paint, is hosting a giveaway of the book. Go drop your name in the hat! Thanks Geninne!

Working from a Photograph

Last March one of the projects I was preparing for Water Paper Paint was this one, Captured Images: Working from a Photograph. I remember at the time wondering what kind of photograph to source, and as Rachel and I were working closely with all the documenting for the book, she inspired the idea of working from a polaroid. I chose this polaroid I had taken because of its abstract nature, with areas of color and movement suggesting a landscape. I wanted to encourage the reader to look at things in terms of light, value, and shapes of color rather than thinking about what is represented; or to look for the structure within the image rather than focusing on the subject itself.

And I just want to say thank you for sharing that you have bought my book and how you are finding inspiration within its pages. I am so pleased.

Drawing from Nature

March is greeting us today with mild temperatures, sunshine, and the tulip and daffodil bulbs are peering from the quiet ground. Over the weekend I was looking through my photo archives, thinking about the coming spring and recalling that last March I was in the throws of finishing projects for Water Paper Paint. And this particular one, Botanical Painting: Drawing from Nature has been in my thoughts lately. So I thought I'd show you a few snaps of its process.
When I first started drawing the piece I was looking at botanical engravings commissioned by Giovanni Battista Ferrari, (scroll down to Nurnbergische Hesperides, the ones with the lemons). The giant fruits hovering over city scenes and landscapes, and the baroque ribbons intrigued me. I liked the idea of including other ideas and scenes around the flora and drew patterns along the margins of the paper. As a way to portray a scene or story from my own every day, I wrote "Sunday afternoon, he dug up a couple tulip bulbs that had been forgotten". The combined imagery and writing reflects my interest in conveying ideas that occur throughout the working process and suggest the process itself. Sometimes the images are congruent with one another and at times introduce a different notion entirely, one that may give the viewer something to ponder. At least, that is my hope.
You can see another view of the piece as it was in process here.

Interview in Review Magazine

Early last week, Sean Rosner a freelance writer here in Lawrence contacted me about doing an interview. Then we chatted (well, I blabbed) on the phone for a while about Water Paper Paint, the exhibition, and my creative process. So thank you Sean for turning my run-on sentences into a descriptive article at Review Magazine. And thank you Tracy Abeln, editor at Review Publishing. I really appreciate it!

Read the piece here.

A beautiful start to the new year

The new year has been fantastic, from spending New Year's Eve with Rachel, Alicia, and all the husbands, to being with so many friends this weekend. Let me try to summarize, beginning with Friday, the day of the Water Paper Paint show opening.

outside the gallery looking in

While I was teaching that morning a beautiful bouquet from Shari was delivered to the classroom. It was so adorable as all the children clapped and when I saw Shari sent them to Rachel and I, my eyes welled up. And the flowers of blue and white, with roses, lilies and blue hydrangea look beautiful in the gallery.

the reception was so fun

So many friends from Lawrence were there, Aimee, Christy, Amanda, Robin, Kristin, Josie and Eric, Ginevra and Matthew, Daniel, Darin and Shannon, Alica, Jessica, the Thomases, Julie, all the teachers I work with, Margie Kuhn whose work is in the Gallery section of the book, and many more friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. It was so great to see each and every one of them.
Then, not only were Alicia and Rachel at the reception with their husbands, and sweet Chris, but Erin, Emily, and Martha traveled to attend! We had all been looking forward to seeing Erin and Emily with much anticipation, yet they all kept Martha's visit a complete surprise. I was so floored when she stepped out of the car with them, and while I knew it was Martha standing there smiling her dimpled smile, I couldn't imagine how it was happening. Then the whole evening at the reception and dinner afterward were so fun. I didn't get many photos because I was floating around but thankfully everyone else did.

at the Bloch

Saturday we went to the Nelson Atkins Museum so Martha could see the Bloch building. Each of us walked around with at least two cameras, taking photos of each other taking photos. We ate lunch together before everyone had to travel back. While saying goodbye wasn't easy I do feel we'll meet up again. Being together was a special occurrence and yet it also seemed like something we do all the time. I loved it.
Anyway, all of this is to say it has been an amazing past few days, one in which I am recalling moments, images, voices, laughter, hugs, tears and am joyful. I am really grateful for all these fantastic people and am realizing the year is off to a beautiful beginning.