Sunday, December 21, 2008

Botanical Sute 2008

Plants illustrated: Trout Lily, Jewel Weed, Fiddlehead Fern, Milkweed and Roundleaf Sundew

Portfolio, Title Page, Hand-tinted Prints, and Colophon

This December Briony released her third, annual Botanical Suite. Every year Briony creates a collection of 5 botanical images, package them in a nice portfolio and gather them with a letter-pressed title page and colophon. This year the images focus on plants that are native to Vermont. The suite can either remain as a whole, in the portfolio, or be divided, the images framed and hung individually. As in previous years, there will only be 20 copies of the suite available.

2008 Botanical Suite Details: The suite will consist of 5 hand-colored etchings on white Magnani Pescia paper. The images will be a little larger this year, 4” x 4” images on sheets of 8” x 10” paper. Each suite will come in a lightweight portfolio with a letterpress printed title page and Colophon (printed by Rollin Milroy of Heavenly Monkey Press). The price is $300 per suite. The suite will be a limited edition of 20. I still have a few left so contact me if you are interested!

Please e-mail Briony at or call Briony's cell: 802-236-7697

Edition: 20 per etching
Etchings hand-colored with watercolor
4” x 4” prints on 8” x 10” paper.
Price: $300 per suite

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Open Studio Class

After our last Beginning Etching class we decided that it would be great to have one evening a week where we would open our studio up to our students. The idea is that the Open Studio Class allows printmakers to use the studio and facilites as well as have fellow printmakers around to converse with. This is what we came up with:

The Open Studio Class will be an opportunity for printmakers to work independently on their own work with full access to the press and equipment of the print studio. Each student will be required to take an introductory class at Twin Vixen Press or attend a one-hour introduction to the Twin Vixen Press studio. During the class, Briony and Helen will be available for questions and technical support in the studio. The class may choose to do group critiques and discussions on individual work.

The Open Studio Class will meet for 15 weeks from December 3rd to the last week in March (taking 2 weeks off for Christmas and New Years). We will meet Wednesday nights from 6 to 9 pm. Students have a choice of purchasing a 10-class card or a 5-class card (or both). There will be a drop in fee option as well. If we have to cancel a class for any reason (weather, vacation etc.) we will offer make up classes.

10 Class Card:

5 Class Card:

Drop in Fee:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Toxic Blue Green Algae

Just last week I finished my last plant illustration for my 'Wicked Plants' book project. The 40 botanical illustrations took me nearly 8 months to complete. The project has been a huge learning experience for me in so many ways. It's probably been the hardest thing I have done in my life so far but it has also been extremely rewarding. The book, written by Amy Stewart and published by Algonquin of Chapel Hill, will be on the shelves sometime in May.

The last plate I worked on for the book was Toxic Blue Green Algae. This plate was by far the most challenging to figure out how to illustrate. I also ended up doing a fair amount of research to complete the plate. Finding a whole fish in Vermont is a lot harder than I thought it would be...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wooden Dinosaur Album Cover

This summer Twin Vixen Press had the chance to collaborate with Wooden Dinosaur to create a CD cover for the first release of "The Hum of Your Valved Voice". The Album cover was created by both Helen and Briony (simultaneously drawn) and was printed in a limited edition of 50. The project was a great learning experience and turned out really well. The press is currently working on two more album covers: one for Sudan, titled "Edo No Hana" and another for Heavy Winged, titled "Spreading Center". Both albums should be finished by early December.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fall at Twin Vixen Press

Helen and I have had an exciting, action-packed fall so far. For Halloween we decided to momentarily change our name to Twin Skeleton Press and dress up as glow-in-the-dark dancing skeletons. It was quite fun but by Saturday we ready to return to our normal Vixen roles.

This weekend Twin Vixen Press put on its second Beginning Etching Workshop. The class was absolutely a blast. From ten to three both Saturday and Sunday we prepared plates, etched and then printed like mad. There were 7 students and they turned out to be a great group of artists who all made beautiful prints. We had a great time and now have a few new friends who are obsessed with etching like ourselves!

This last class was so great we've started thinking about hosting an 'open studio' class on Wednesday evenings from 6 to 9 so that people can keep working in the studio. Stay tuned for more details. . .

Things are moving along. We finished a CD design this late summer and are working on two more designs that will be finished by the end of November. We will post them when they are complete.

We are gearing up for this December's Gallery Walk where the Whetstone Studio Building will be featured. Our studio will be open for a party, with music, friends, and some framed prints.

A few photos from our weekend workshop:

Lauren and Ruth discussing their plates Helen helping Terri register her plate on the press

Joan stopping out her aquatint Lunchtime!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Beginning Etching Workshop

We had such a great time teaching our etching class last spring and are going to teach a similar class again this November. For all those who couldn't make the last class, please sign up for this one, it is a lot of fun! This time we will be using our new Aquatint Box and teach the authentic aquatint etching process.

Etching Workshop
$160 (includes material fee)
Saturday, November 15th and Sunday, November 16th 10 am – 3 pm

In this class, students will learn the various techniques of etching on copper, including Hardground etching and Aquatint (with our new Aquatint Box)! Students will also try various printing techniques. This class is open to all levels, including experienced printmakers. Please sign up, it is fun!

November shows in Vermont

This Holiday season Helen and Briony will both be participating in a number of shows. Here are a few coming up this month:

On Friday, November 7th, during Brattleboro's Gallery Walk, Helen will be showing her etchings and some small paintings at Amy's Bakery and Arts Café with her friend and painter Jill Auerbach. The show will be up for the month of November. Please come and check it out.

On Saturday, November 1st, Briony will be participating in a miniature show at Haymaker Card & Gift in Morrisville, Vermont (just a few miles north of Montpelier). Some of her smaller prints will be on display. If you are in the area, come check it out through the holiday season.

Holiday Miniature Exhibition:
A Group show of five artists working in small sizes

November 1 - December 24, 2008

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 8th, 5-8 pm

• Autumn Fahey (abstract acrylics, Morrisville, VT)
• Briony Morrow-Cribbs (etchings, Brattleboro, VT)
• Omri Parsons (mixed media, Peacham, VT)
• Jennifer Ranz (pottery, Greensboro, VT)
• Julie Ruth (oils on canvas, Montgomery Center, VT)

Haymaker Card and Gift Gallery: 84 Lower Main St., Morrisville, VT. For information call 802-888-2309 or visit Haymaker Press on the web.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Twin Vixen Press at the Langdon Street Café

You are invited to join us for an artists' reception and musical performance on September 13th in Montpelier Vermont at the Langdon Street Café.

On display will be works by Briony Morrow-Cribbs and Helen O'Donnell. Briony will be displaying prints from her Wicked Plants illustration project and Helen will be showing paintings and prints from the past winter and spring.

Musical performances include Magdyn Osh, a five piece psych folk band from Brooklyn, NY followed by Wooden Dinosaur celebrating the release of a new CD "The Hum Of Your Valved Voice." The new CD features limited edition hand printed sleeves done by Twin Vixen Press. Knotty Pine, a northern Vermont new time old time band finishes up the evening with raucous fiddle tunes and sweet ballads.

The Langdon Street Café is a live music hub located in downtown Montpelier with beer, wine and food available.

When: 7pm Artists' Reception
8:30pm Music by Magdyn Osh, Wooden Dinosaur and Knotty Pine

Where: Langdon Street Cafe, 4 Langdon St., Montpelier, VT

For more information on the Langdon Street Café visit

Thursday, August 14, 2008

'Bellingham Bay'

'Bellingham Bay' by Helen O'Donnell

Hey to all the loyal Twin Vixen Press fans. This is my newest three color etching! This came about because my dear friend Terry Turville got married to my dear friend Gary Hallowell. Terry was trying to figure out what kind of present to get for her wedding party and she came up with this great idea... She commissioned me to make a brand new piece of art work and she gave it to her people. This was the print that I came up with and luckily she was happy with it.
I also got to deliver it in person and join in the celebration. It was a terrific wedding and I got to see all my people on the West Coast. It was the best.

There have been lots of things happening this summer, lots of changes in the air, projects, work, moving to a new apartment, teaching art camp, getting ready to coach soccer in the fall and to teach a printmaking class during the upcoming school year. Vermont is beautiful and I think that I am sticking around for awhile! Briony and I are still great friends and business partners and we think that our studio is the greatest place on earth.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dentated and Dentiguated teeth

It’s hard to believe that Twin Vixen Press has been up and running for six months. At times it feels like we’ve hardly gotten going and then we have moments where we look back and realize what we’ve accomplished. The studio is in great form right now (and fairly tidy since we just did our 6th Brattleboro Gallery Walk). Tools seem to have found their resting spots and, for the most part, we have everything we need to maintain a fully-functioning etching studio.

These days I manage to get up early enough to get to the studio before 9am. And then…I jump right into my etchings. So far I have completed 15 plates out of 40 for my “Wicked Plants” book project. My goal has been to etch at least 2 plates every week (and this is just minimum...I should be doing 3!). Mostly, this plan has worked just fine but it’s hard sometimes to stay exactly on schedule every moment of the day: to have breakfast, go on a bike ride and be on top of sketching and etching for the rest of the day.

I’ve had a funny sensation the last couple of weeks: Every time I make my walk down to the studio I can’t help noticing the leaves and flowers on the plants I pass by. I often find myself thinking, “Well look at that! A leaf with Doubly Serrated teeth next to one with Denticulated teeth! I must pick both for my collection.” Unfortunately the Latin names have a hard time sticking. I kind of love being a pretend botanist. Maybe I should go back to school.

I have also started to hand-tint some of the botanical etchings for a few shows I have in Washington at the beginning of August. This is a print of Rosary Pea. It's an awfully sneaky and malicious little thing.

This Friday Helen, Jesse and I will head out to the West coast for our collection of art and wedding events. If anyone is around, the Froggwell art show will be held on Whidbey Island from 10 am til 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday August 2nd and 3rd. The show will feature the work of 14 printmakers, sculptors and bookbinders and will be held in the beautiful Froggwell gardens. I’ll also be exhibiting my work in the Karlson/Gray Gallery in Langley, WA for the “1st Annual Handpulled Print Show” which will open the whole month of August ( And lastly I will have a small show in conjunction with the RISE Benefit for Hedgebrook on the 7th of August. The evening will be a fancy evening of cocktails and probably a several-course dinner. It will also be the unveiling of the Hedgebrook wine for which I made the label! Wahoo. If you want to come to the dinner, tickets are $1000 per person.

That’s about it. We’re all trying to stay cool in this intense humidity. What a shift from the dry air of Washington coast summers! It will be good to visit my home and parents for a few weeks but I can also imagine missing the studio and Vermont in such an intense time of beauty. Well, actually, I haven’t yet experienced a time where it hasn’t been knock-your-socks-off beautiful. This is an amazing place.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pluto Comes 'Round Again

So it’s been a while since our last blog posting but things have been moving along at quite a clip at Twin Vixen Press. Since the beginning of May the vixens traveled to Maine for a little work and play, I started to pack in the hours on my Wicked Plants illustrations, Helen began to paint like a fiend for her show in September, a beginning etching class was taught and the Aquatint box finally arrived.

The etching class, which was held last weekend, June 19th and 20th, was a huge success. We managed to fit 5 students in the studio with plenty of room. The class started with a hardground project and from there moved onto spray-paint aquatint and softground techniques. Everyone finished at least two plates and came out with a handful of prints. Helen and I found out that we taught well together and only contradicted each other once in a while. We’re looking forward to our next class, which will most likely take place in the fall.

The Aquatint box showed up on our doorstep on Monday morning. Since the box had traveled from the Netherlands to Boston to Chicago and back to Vermont we really weren’t expecting it to arrive so soon. Our upstairs studio neighbor helped us move it into place. We haven’t yet had a chance to use it but we’ve already started to practice turning the handle.

Helen and I have also finished our Aquatint box fundraiser plates, which we are calling our ‘Spring’ plates. We’ll spend the next week or two printing these up so that we can send them out to all of you who have contributed. The plates were executed in the usual manner: Helen went wild and turned out a beautiful, lively plate and I spent hours drawing miniature circles. We’re both very proud and excited to share them with you all.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tulips and Sombreros

Today Briony and I are sitting on the porch making plates and writing emails and we decided to take some lovely shots of us with the tulips. We are working on a plate together and when one of us gets tired the other one picks up the slack. It is going very well. A pheonix rising out of invasive weeds.... you'll see.

We had a lovely walk in the retreat woods in the early morning and came out onto a dew drenched corn field....
We had a good weekend that started off with a good Gallery Walk. Briony and I both sold a thing or two and I sold a small painting that Briony quickly photographed before the new owners took it to its new home. It was painted at Hart's Pass, Washington when Briony and I went camping with Tom and Pam.
Unfortunately we do not have any photographs of our exciting adventures with our new buddies at the Motorcycle Swap, a trip to Margaritas (where we won free sombreros), the leather store, and a terrific gas station called Mort's, but I am sure no one can imagine a more perfect Sunday.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Aquatint Box Project. We have officially ordered one and it is on its way from the Netherlands... yeah!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Crooked House

While Briony has been up North, I have been working hard in southern Vermont. Since she has been gone I have learned to shoot a gun and operate a sawmill. I have also started some gardening jobs and it has been good to get back in the dirt. It never seems to take very long for gardening to find me again. I am working on some botanical illustrations for a friends book of trout lily and bloodroot (and blood root happens to be unfurling its sweet little leaves outside my doorstep as we speak). The weather has been amazing, I already went swimming in a very cold rushing brook. Life is pretty terrific these days, hope you are all finding spring sweet.

Here is one of my newest prints with spray paint aquatint. Thanks to all that have donated to our Aquatint Box Project- I am very excited to be acquiring a real box in the near future.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Hard at Work

I'm still up at the Vermont Studio Center. I've had a great time so far and have met a lot of new friends as well as getting a lot of plates done... It will be hard to leave VSC on friday and all the awesome people I've just met but I'm also starting to really miss my dear little business partner, Helen, and Jesse and my new home in Brattleboro. I can't wait to see what summer is like in Vermont!

Hard at work in my studio

Filling the plate in with numb fingers

Close up of "Castor Bean" proof

Friday, April 11, 2008

Briony at the Vermont Studio Center

Since March 29th I've been staying at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT as an artist in residence. There are about 50 artists/writers staying for a full month at VSC. Basically we eat all our meals together (which are DELICIOUS. Yes, the meals are so good that they deserve both capitals and italics) and in between we scurry off to our various studios to spend time on our paintings/prints/poems. Everyone is incredibly kind and curious about each other's work. Last night the artists opened the doors to their studios and marched around to each other's spaces to see what had been produced in the last two weeks. The best part was matching people's work to what you knew of them already, matching their work to what you knew of their character.

So far I have been focusing on the 'Wicked Plants' project, an illustration project for Algonquin Books, written by Amy Stewart. The first illustration, to the left, is an etching on an 8" x 9" plate of Monkshood or Aconitum napellus. My intention is to make the illustrations look menacing or somehow a little dark and haunting. It's hard however, to make some of these beautiful plants look anything but delicate and sweet.

My studio is located in the Barbra White Building which used to be an old school house. There are about 5 studio buildings for artists and I think there are another 3 studios for writers. Upstairs in the Barbra White building there are about 8 painting studios and downstairs there are 4 studios, three of which adjoin the Printmaking room and are reserved for the three resident printmakers. There are also a few studios in the basement which are for resident staff members - residents who decide they like it so much that they work at VSC in exchange for room/board and a studio space.

The Print Studio is a lovely space to work in. There are two beautiful presses to work on, a Charles Brand press and the other is a Martech Etching press (a brand of press that I've never heard of before but works very well). The space has good light and my studio mates, Jacklyn from Wisconsin and Catherine from NYC, are very charming and easy to share the space with.

My personal studio is also quite comfortable. There's way more space than I would ever need but I'm quite content.

I've lined my walls with copper plates ready to be etched. It's a little intimidating to have them all stare down at me throughout the day, but I know I'll eventually get them all done. Tomorrow I will start in on an etching of Ricinus communis! Wahoo!

There is so much more to tell about this place and the awesome people I've met but I'll have to do it in future blog postings. This place is wonderful. I imagine it will be a time in my life where I look back and think, "Holy Cow, that was one cool experience."I promise to post more etchings as I make them.

Off to dinner. Cod with Red Pepper Pesto. Yum.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


This is Helen's most recent print.

Spring/Summer Etching Classes!

Here is all the information on the classes that we are teaching this spring and summer. We hope you all can make it and get your friends to sign up too!

Beginning Etching Class
$160 (includes material fee) Saturdays 1 pm – 4 pm (3 week session, May 24, 31 and June 7)

This class will be an introduction to the basic techniques and concepts of intaglio printing. Students will cover the basic steps of monoprinting, making a drypoint plate, applying hard ground, etching a copper plate, and making a proof. This class is open to all levels, no previous experience is required.

Beginning Etching Workshop
$160 (includes material fee) Saturday, June 21st and Sunday, June 22nd, 10 am – 3 pm

In this class, students will learn the various techniques of etching on copper, including Sugar lift, Softground etching and Hardground etching. Students will also try various printing techniques. This class is open to all levels, however, prior printing experience will be helpful.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

First Friday

So tomorrow is First Friday of the month which means it is Gallery Walk. Twin Vixen Press will be open from 5 to 9 pm and would love for all those in the area to stop by! We will have some new work on the walls and will be recruiting students for our etching class in May.

I spent this week working out two new etchings- one is a three plate color etching and the other is a single plate with lots of spray paint aquatint. I am excited because they are the first etchings made since I moved to Vermont. I will post the images when they are dry.

I think today officially marks the first day of spring (it was so beautiful) and who cares if it supposed to snow tomorrow....
I am missing Briony and hoping that she is having a terrific time up north at the Vermont Studio Center. Making lots of work and eating well!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Yellow Ochre Blues

Yesterday we were working on our print job for Tom Wood. The only thing that is a little tricky is trying to match the color to the original print. The original print has a lovely warm and creamy golden yellow and so we are mixing yellow ochre with white, raw sienna, hansa yellow, easy wipe, and transparent base. (Don't worry Tom, we are really close!) To help us along, we were listening to a cd of old and rare American folk and blues music, and we got inspired to write a little blues song of our own.... This is the first (and probably the last) song from Twin Vixen Press. We think it is pretty hilarious and hopefully you will too....

Today it is snowing like the devil, we have quite a few inches on the ground. Briony heads to Johnson on Saturday to begin her artist in residence at Vermont Studio Center. We are preparing ourselves for the month long separation.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Studio Shots

Here are a few photos we took this morning at the studio. Happy Easter!

Flat files, Presses and Shelves, oh my!
(Our fabulous new shelving unit was made by Daniel Wheeler)

Ms. Helen O'Donnell in her Pre-print Power Stance

Our Awesome Work Benches

Ms. Briony Morrow-Cribbs
Check out the new Muck boots!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Helen's Etchings

So this is the prelude to a website and a way for all those curious to see my most recent prints. The color prints (with the exception of Orcas Tree's) are multiple plate etchings (each color has its own plate) and most are done using aquatint. Thanks for looking.

"Under the Persimmon Tree"

"Il Duomo"

"Egg Yolk Sun"

"Late August"

"Orcas Trees"

Briony's Etchings

for more images visit

"Beetle Fish"


"Cricket Meeting"

"Two Fish" From 'Iskandariya'

"Buzz McCain"