Loose Tooth Studio holiday deal on Etsy

December greetings!  Cooler weather has finally come to Clemson.  The lovely banner to the right is courtesy of the Indie Craft Parade.  On Tuesday, Steven and I will pack up the car and make the ten hour drive to Ohio to visit with my family.  I'm excited to show him around my hometown!

I am offering a special holiday promotion in my Etsy shop!  Until Monday, Dec 12th at midnight, use the code 'THANKU1' for 10% off any purchase!  All art is original, framed and ready to brighten up your corner of the world!  I am accepting orders until Monday night for holiday delivery...after that, all orders will be shipped out on Dec. 23rd when I return from the holidays.  


New art on Etsy!

Hello all!  Today is Thursday, November is just flying by.   I give an art history lecture this afternoon on Cubism-Futurism and then it is the weekend! Steven and I will enjoy the Saturday football game in Greenville and I'm looking forward to it.  Go Tigers!  Next weekend we'll be off to Florence (SC, not Italy) to spend the holiday with my family.

I've begun uploading all of my newest collage work to Etsy...check back often because there is still a lot more coming!  I'm running a special for the next few days for free shipping from my shop, just use the coupon code 'FBfree' at checkout.  Lots of unique little original works of art with sweet sentiments; spread the love this holiday season with artwork, framed and ready to display.  (Plus, shopping handmade is good for you)


Handmade Market in Raleigh NC

 The Handmade Market was a juried, one day art market in downtown Raleigh NC at Cobblestone Hall. There were 2-D & 3-D artists, lots of jewelry, soaps & other delightful things. It was a really neat space, with huge windows and doors flung wide open to let in light and fresh air.  There were a little over 50 vendors at the fair, and I was brand new to the area.  People began pouring in right at 11 am, and the crowds were steady until we closed at 5.
The Handmaidens did a great job organizing the event!  Steven was a great support for me that day, driving me at the crack of dawn to Raleigh, helping me unload, set up & keeping me updated on the score of the Clemson game.  Thank you boyfriend!

Organizing some last minute details before the crowds arrived.
 The majority of the work I brought was brand new & made specifically for the Handmade Market.  I also presented my mixed media drawings in frames this time around, hoping to entice some buyers (like last time, the collages were most popular.)  I had a nice big table that I adorned with a dusty aqua table cloth.  It worked perfectly to complement the color schemes in my work & I was pleased with how the setup looked.  The table was about 6 feet long, so I had some space to spread out and arrange everything.  There were a few familiar faces from the Indie Craft Parade in Greenville. I traded a collage for a nifty new handbag by Sally at SewFew.  Be jealous!

This was my favorite new piece that I made for the art fair, combining a reductive relief in green, gold ink, type, thread & cutout parrots in a vintage gold frame.  The frame had some red running through it, which complemented the green background & mirrored the red in the chest of the birds.  I made it the night Steven came home from Texas.  'It's not the same without you here' found a good home with an older couple, whose conversation prior to purchasing went something like this:

Woman: ooh, I like this one. Do you like it?
Man:  Yea, it's nice.
Woman:  I'll take it!
Man: Well I meant I liked it, I didn't mean you should buy it!
Woman: Oh, but we're getting it.
Man:  I've got to go outside, I'm about to have a coronary.

Now it's back to work in the studio & time to relax a little!  Today I introduced the self-portrait final project to my drawing class & tomorrow I begin my modern art lecture series with the art appreciation courses.  The semester will be ending soon, it's hard to believe. Time flies.



Today I stopped by my favorite local used bookstore before heading off to work.  I picked up  an awesome 12th edition of Gardner's Art Through the Ages,  Brunelleschi's Dome and a stack of discounted aquarium & bird handbooks.  The colors are so saturated and unreal in the lovebird & parrakeet guide (not to be confused with parakeets as the author politely warned in the preface). I cut out a few of the images for collage material but am leaving the rest intact for a drawing resource & color scheme inspiration.

While I was studying abroad in 2006, there were green parrots that used to fly around behind the villa where we lived in Italy.  I'd see them every once in awhile out the window of my bedroom & it seemed like a dream.  The collage to the left is nostalgic & brand new for Saturday's art fair.  It is a carborundum monoprint with found paper, type, ink & foil seals.  I've had this little container of gold foil seals for years now, purchased for a mere 25 cents in South Dakota.  It should be noted that every semester after I give the Byzantine lecture to my art history classes, I tend to use lots of gold in my art for the following weeks...


Love & Loss at Sea

My pet fish of nearly four years recently passed on to the next life.  He was a hearty fellow, who survived many trials and tribulations in his life (most involving bumpy holiday trips to Ohio from SC).  He was purchased on February 14 at Wal-Mart...he was encased in a hot pink cardboard box with a heart-shaped cutout so you could look in to see the fish.  When I walked by, I couldn't bear the thought of him sitting there alone and so of course I brought him home.

In my studio I have a wonderfully dated book, The Guide to Breeding Aquarium Fish, that I purchased a long time ago for collage material....within the pages are some bizarrely tinted & grainy photos of fish getting romantic and I was instantly drawn to it.  Perhaps because Professor Soggybottoms has been on my mind lately, and also because I was also craving a change in subject matter, I pulled it off the shelf and started cutting away.  Last night I began my new angelfish series (did you know, in the case of angelfish, the males are nice to the females during courtship & form long term relationships?  Once they've mated, if one of them dies or is removed from the tank, apparently they refuse to pair up again...)

 Here's a glimpse of the 'brand-new, fresh from the studio table mixed media works' (printmaking, painting, thread, type & found images).  They'll be exhibited for the first time on Saturday at the Handmade Market in Raleigh, NC.  Check out the artist featurette on their blog for Loose Tooth Studio!


Handmade Market

One week of studio time left until the Handmade Market in Raleigh, NC.  I'm looking forward to my second art fair!  The first was such a great experience. I am spending my nights feverishly making art to bring along. Lots of text, polka dots and party banners in the new work.  

My friend Ann feautured my studio in her blog, A Beautiful Party.  She is one of my contemporary art heroes, and I'm lucky to have such creative & inspiring friends!


Bump-it Portfolio Exchange

Finished up my edition for the Bump-It Mafia Portfolio.  Since I lack a drying rack they are taped to my closet doors; this also makes it easier to curate with limited space.  The exchange is being organized by my friend Katy Seals along with Cat Snapp & Linda Santana.  They pulled together a list of lady printmakers to make editions expressing their femininity.  It will be shown at UNT in Denton, Texas.

My image is about dreaming of becoming an artist when I grew up (though for a brief period I also wanted to be a cake decorator, truck driver & veterinarian) The background pattern of my print is inspired by the wallpaper in my old bedroom.  I picked it out as a pink-loving fourth grader when we moved to our new house on Squirrel Hill Dr.  The nest my chickadee is perched upon is derived from pixie tails, care of Lady Lovely Locks, a favorite toy and subtle nod to playing dress-up in the past.  The playful colors feel like a pleasant dream, and the text 'buona fortuna'  (Italian for good luck) links this image to the present; my travels abroad have shaped who I am and what I create.  I can't wait to get back the collated exchange and check out everyone else's interpretation of this theme!


Visiting Artist at MTSU

Meghan's students made the letterpress posters
for my visit.
I spent the past week as the visiting artist in the printmaking department at Middle Tennesse State University (MTSU).  My friend Meghan is a professor there & invited me to come to Murfreesboro to lecture about my art, hold critiques with the advanced printmakers & print a few editions with students assistants. In my artist lecture I talked about my creative inspiration, studio process & the evolution of my art over the past few years.   With the help of some hardworking students, in five days we printed four total editions, two 15" x 20" combining litho with silkscreen (ed. 30) & two 8" x 10" CMYK color separation silkscreens (ed. 25).  We printed about 20 extra of each litho edition, so I have plenty of proofs that will eventually become collage material.  For the large editions, the key was a lithograph with silkscreen layered on top for the five color flats.   I drew on the limestones using colored pencil instead of litho crayons; with the wisdom of Meghan & the Tamarind book of lithography, they etched beautifully.

While I was in school at Ohio University, I was a print assistant for my professors Art Werger & Mary Manusos in their studios.  I learned so much about printmaking from them & the visiting artists they brought in, so this was a really thrilling, rewarding experience for me!

Below is a video of my assistant Josh & I tandem silkscreening, along with some photo highlights from the trip.


Rolling up the stone to print the key image for my second edition, 'hurry up let's go!'
Maegan & Evie took turns sponging & registering paper.  On the right are the stencils we shot onto the screens.

Mixing & pulling down inks for the 1st color.
'We go down together' lithograph & silkscreen, 15" x 20", ed. 30.  2011.
Thanks to MTSU, Meghan O'Connor & my wonderful printer's assistants (Amanda, Josh, Betsy, Evan, Kelsey, Nichole, Meagan, Evie, Wesley & Calvin).  Happy printing!
Kelsey painting on screen filler to mask
 inconsistencies in the emulsion.
Josh assisting with silkscreen.
Betsy drying the prints after the last color run. 
Evan registered the paper for color.


Indie Craft Parade 2011

The Indie Craft Parade in Greenville SC has come and gone...5,000 people came out to browse & buy lots of handmade goods from the local artists.  It was my first experience participating as a vendor and I really loved it.   Dad built the shelves for my table and brought them down from Ohio.  Standing at my booth, I interacted with the public as they looked at my artwork & got a great response to the new pieces.  There was such a wonderful creative energy there & I connected with some lovely artists who made the weekend even better.
I also found that my mom is the perfect spokeswoman for my art!  I am going to hire her as my assistant full time and we shall tour the country's art festivals and become a great success...


 At the VIP gala Friday night (the opening event for the craft parade) my brother Ronnie won a little grab bag of local art.  He started walking up to the front before they even called his ticket number, confident that he would win.  When they called his number by chance, he had a spring in his step as he scooted to the front to claim his goodie bag which included a Chesire cat illustration, a small felted owl, handmade dog collar and fancy yellow flower necklace that became property of me.  Woohoo!
I had a great location in the fair on the corner, so my shoppers (and me) had some breathing room with a wonderful view of the Reedy River out the window.  I am grateful to my friend & gallery owner/curator Teresa for introducing me to this event.  Thanks to everyone who came out and supported local art!


the night before...

Last working night in the studio before the Indie Craft Parade kicks off tomorrow in Greenville!  I've had a productive few weeks and am excited to take part in my very first art fair!  I have a little booth in the corner of the Huguenot Mill, and will set up tomorrow in the early afternoon.  Friday is the VIP gala, with free food, drinks and music for the price of a $25 ticket.  Saturday (9-7) & Sunday (11-5) admission is free all day long.  If you're in the upstate, come by & check it out!

My faithful cat Clementine has sat in the same spot every night watching me draw & collage.

Here is a quote about the event from their site: Indie Craft Parade is a public market that brings together the best artists and their handmade goods from across the Southeast. For three days, you'll enjoy quality crafts, local food, and the opportunity to make friends and connections with the artists themselves.  This event welcomes independent artists and anyone interested in purchasing unique handcrafted goods from within their own communities.  The location: held indoors at the historic Huguenot Mill at the Peace Center in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. The mill is located at 101 W. Broad Street.


Getting ready for the Indie Craft Parade

Typing, sewing, drawing & printing away in my studio today...  Lots of new work is ready to be seen by the public for the first time during the Indie Craft Parade on September 9th.  Over the next few days I'll be busy building my inventory for my booth for Loose Tooth Studio.  Here's a sneak peak at the new collage work.  Hide & Seek (type, monotype & hand-colored linocut) is matted in a vintage hinged gold frame, each side measuring 5" x 7". 


sweet-tweet studio process

Images of the newest sweet-tweet in my petite love story series...The first picture is of my sketch for 'Up in the Air'.  I build the image & arrange the composition on tracing paper  & gridded paper to piece in the pattern.  The final image is then transferred to Stonehenge paper, a heavy & smooth drawing surface.  Using colored pencils, graphite & acrylic ink I fill in the image, adding value and detail to the finished work of art.


bring it on home to me

Another Sunday, another all-day studio day. Today I worked on drawings about home; one about leaving home & the other about making a new one.  On the left is the beginning sketch for a drawing commission.  My friend's parents will be celebrating a wedding anniversary & she asked me to design an image for them using similar colors & patterns from their house, along with their wedding date.  The background will be tricky, I'm going to use colored pencil to block in the plaid and then use acrylic drawing inks & illustration markers for the thin lines running  between the squares.  Earlier today I also finished the drawing below, Remember Me. A good luck charm for the newly relocated and the constant traveler.  I'm having fun coming up with new wallpaper patterns and color combinations.  I wish I had walls that looked like this....  


maiden voyage of the Nolan

Tacked to the wall above the press is a letter from my friend John in TX & a color sample chart with names like 'cupid's dart' & 'secret rendezvous'.....

Back in June I drove up to Ohio to visit the family with my brother Jason.  While there, I went a few extra miles to Pittsburgh where I bought my first printing press, a tabletop Nolan proof press.  I used one in a letterpress & wood engraving workshop in South Dakota about 5 years ago, and have been on the hunt at antique shops ever since.  No luck.  I stumbled across a site called briarpress, a printmaker's classified & discussion forum dream come true.  Periodically I peruse the site (mainly just window shopping for presses I can't afford) and it was by chance that I saw an ad for the exact press I'd been searching for, 45 minutes from my hometown.  It now proudly sits in my studio and tonight I printed a small linocut edition.  After receiving some advice from my friend Emily about printing surfaces (the roller is set at type high so the woodblock has to be a certain height) I picked up some mounted linoleum at the local Michael's on Tuesday afternoon.  I carved a little test block with some text & patterns.  Tomorrow, Steven begins his solo trip into the wild (he goes into the Boundary Waters with a canoe and backpack for ten days), so I thought it was fitting to set the scene in an abstract forest with some four leaf clovers for good luck.  The block was rolled up in black relief ink and printed on lightly dampened Kitakata paper, using 2 scraps of mat board as packing to lift the block to meet the roller.  I am ever so pleased with the consistency of the prints!  The ink release was smooth & solid, on the rice paper and even on a sheet of thicker Stonehenge paper.  The press is in perfect condition, with a 15" x 34" flat bed & dent-free roller.  After two years of printing by hand with a wooden spoon, it's so nice to use a press again.  The familiar scent of printing ink & paper filled the studio & the wet prints were taped on the closet door to dry for the night.  I'm going to experiment hand-coloring these prints later & try a reductive color print this weekend.