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watchers 3s

The pass is
wordless, but it
waits, alert–
watch and ward,
ancient, before and behind–
weathering all storms

Poem and art for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  I’m enamored with monoprints at the moment; and I always do multiple prints from each painted piece of plastic, although sometimes I’ll add a bit of color along the way.

watchers 2s

I also try different paper, both color and texture.  You can see how things evolved for this one.  The paint was quite thick on the first one, as was the texture of the handmade paper.  I used acrylic since it’s much less expensive than gouache, and I wanted to use a lot of paint.  The second print, above, was done on light grey drawing paper, which also has a bit of texture.

watchers 1s

The third one is done on a very lightweight black handmade paper–I don’t know what the fiber is, maybe bamboo or mulberry?  I have a pack of different colors, but I don’t remember how or when I acquired them.

Lots of the later prints don’t have much color; I’ll save those to use in some other fashion.  Maybe print again on top, or cut up to use in collage, or stitch over.  They will all find a use!


windmill s

Horizon of air
this point where sky meets earth
sun of glowing fire

Day ending with fire
clouds dancing in light and air
shade darkening earth

Wind sails around earth
reflected through rays of fire
that swallow the air

Through spiraling air the rotating earth encircling the fire

windmill at sunset, Brill, Buckinghamshire. Image: Sue Vincent

A tritina for Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above.  I was taken by the interaction of air, earth, and fire.

Artwork is a monoprint.

Self-Portrait #17: block print after Vanessa Bell


I’ve been wanting to do some printing, and since Vanessa Bell, my current artist reference in “100 Self Portraits”, did woodcuts as illustrations for many of her sister Virginia Woolf’s books, I had the perfect excuse.  I used one of the prints that I embellished with paint and embroidery for “Straw Hat”, but here’s the original print in two versions with the print from Bell that I used as a reference.


Of course, I can never leave well enough alone.  So I painted, embroidered, and collaged on some of the prints I made.


I also have another embroidery idea that I haven’t had time to do yet.  It’s on the list.

You can see all of the self-portraits in this series here.


bull comp

Your own
image scattered
the points shine like a star
caught in the branches of a tree

I only had to add a few lines to this monoprint/drip painting.

The poem uses the words from the secret keeper’s writing prompt this week.

I have to admit to stealing the word “constellated” from a Charles Olson poem.  Over all, I’m not that fond of his work, but there are words, sentences, and phrases that always stand out.

Degas: A Strange Beauty Indeed

ballerina close up s

My dentist’s office is just a few blocks from the Museum of Modern Art, so after my appointment yesterday I spent some time there before I went home.  I wanted to see the Dada exhibit, and it was fun, but the Degas exhibit overshadowed and overwhelmed it.

monotype comp 1

The exhibit explored Degas’ process, starting with his extensive use of monotype printing.  He was able to get quite a lot of detail using copper plates.

monoprint celluloid s

He also did some prints using celluloid, the photography film of the day.

dancer comp

But then he started adding color to his monoprints with both pastel and watercolor.  Wow!  It’s impossible to fully control this type of printing, so maybe that’s the secret to the other-worldliness of so many of his pastel works.

drawing comp

The exhibit then went on to talking about how all this work influenced his drawing and painting.  This is a good lesson for all of us perfectionists.

sketchbook s

A page from a sketchbook shows Degas exploring.

dancers comp 2

And here’s a look at how a sketch became a painting.

monotype landscape color oil s

My favorite part of this show was the room of landscapes though.  Here Degas used oil paints when printing, in colors this time.

landscape w pastel comp

He used pastels over the printing on some of these as well.

accident comp

The labeling for this exhibit was also excellent.  It’s only there a few more weeks, but if you happen to be in NYC…be prepared for the crowds, but highly recommended.

degas quote

Grid and a Quilt

Being totally uninspired I made a grid out of all the colors in my watercolor box. Being somewhat befuddled today I lost track of where I was placing the colors (I was trying to keep them in order of the paintbox) and wound up just putting them where they looked good. I made some color copies of it with some different effects and put them down on a larger piece of paper. This is the closest I’ll ever get to digital art. I am rather pleased with the look of it. 

This was the original painted grid. I’m thinking of doing something further, maybe some hieroglyphics over it? 

This World Will Still

leaf print 2s

The light is gone has rippled dark
wide open now it radiates
hidden riddles guide our way

Decayed in blood our cells depart
with flames turned brown by endless wait
for whispered sleep by phantom’s shade

The flood forgets to fill the ark
all sense of form evaporates
perspective bends begins to fade

And if we drown combine dissolve
this world will still ferment revolve


Jane Dougherty’s challenge this week had a few parts.  First, the photo, above; then the form, trilonnet; and then the beginning words “the light is gone”.

leaf print 1s

Once again, I tried some monoprints, this time over an old piece of digital art with leaves that I printed out a few times.  I’m still not sure what I’m trying to do with this technique, so I’m also not sure what I think about the results.  They do seem to suit the theme though.

leaf paint print s

The one above I didn’t like at all, so I painted on top of the printing.  I may end up cutting it up for a collage.


printed geese 2s

winter wanes
the year quickens
clouds sparkle the sea
awakening stories
following imprinted light
profound murmurings of feathers
caravan reaching for horizons

questing spirits shifted beyond form
aerial synchronicity
opening splintered paths
gathered into song
returned to the earth
wayfarers all
nourished by

printed geese 1s

Claudia McGill has been doing some monoprints, which reminded me I wanted to try some myself…it’s been a long time.  You may remember my crow series, which actually I never finished; there are still some printed pieces I haven’t collaged or stitched on yet.

For the snow geese I had the idea to print out some of my photos from the beach and make images on top of them.  These are the two I liked best…I wasn’t that happy with the results.  Although I like the idea.  What happened wasn’t what I had in mind, but if I had less in mind to start, it could go somewhere interesting.

snow geese

Above is the inspiration image, from Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge this week, which also included the words:  Aerial, profound, murmur, splintering, spark

Snow goose is the animal totem for the Earth Renewal Moon of the winter solstice on the Native American Medicine wheel.  Nina may be interested in the fact that the birch tree is also associated with the Earth Renewal Moon, as well as the Turtle Clan.

These beautiful birds appear in stories and myths from many cultures.


Fierce Fossils

predator rorschach s

life has been troubled
jaws and sharp teeth
collected in death

An hourglass poem, from Jane Dougherty’s challenge this week.

As usual, I have explanations for both the art and the words.

I was looking for a collage I thought I had started in my “ideas” bin, which is full of things I thought about and did a little bit to start (so I didn’t forget about the idea), with the intent to go back and complete them at some future date.  It’s full, needless to say, as I have many more thoughts than I have time to realize them.

I didn’t find the collage, but I found about 15 “Rorschachs” that I’ve been doing for awhile with leftover paint.  Most of them need a lot of fleshing out–I was mostly thinking of stitching over them–but this one stood out for me as being complete in itself.  Found Art, really, as all I did was drip the leftover colors onto the paper and fold it to see what would happen.  Looks like a predator to me…of course, you may see something different…

Since the art was “found”, I constructed the poem in a “found” method I’ve used before.  I looked for an article on predators online, pulled out words and phrases I liked, and mashed them together in the syllable sequence Jane suggested.  The article I used (“What was Earth’s first predator and when did it live?” by Colin Barras) was quite interesting, so I also learned a bit while I was borrowing words.  You can read it here.

There’s a Crow Flying (#4)

crow flying #4s

I feel like that black crow
In a blue sky

–Joni Mitchell

crow flying #4 close up s

It’s been almost a year since I finished the third one in this group.  You could say Time flies too…

I’ve been working on this on and off for awhile, but seeing that it’s printoctober as well as inktober and drawlloween this month, it’s appropriate that I finally completed stitching the trees.  Originally I did quite a few monoprints from one base that I kept adding colors to, all with a crow series in mind.  I think there are still a few left in my partly-started ideas bin as well.

You can see the rest of the series here.