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!