Day 120: Pucker up!

In honor of today’s milestone- having made it 1/3 of the way through this project- I thought today’s art piece should be celebratory. Enter a linocut of the lemon (or lime) squeezer! This thing is a really essential invention if you enjoy margaritas like I do, which is why it’s pictured with my green squeezer. 🙂

Instead of paper, I tried this linocut on a pretty yellow cotton print and the detail came out well. I added another layer of fabric behind it- this awesome Mexican-blanket-esque vintage linen- and sewed it all to one of my brand new cardblanks that just arrived today. The card factory is about to open over here. I’ve been making linocut blocks like mad, and I’ll have card sets for sale in my Etsy shop any day now, so keep an eye out.

I think this card would be great to cheer up a buddy as an invitation for drinks. The inside could read:  “Let’s call in sick to work for Cinco de Drinko!” or “When life gives you lemons, order tequila.”  What do you think? Am I on to something? 😉 Thanks for sticking with me through this journey, friends!


Day 119: It’s that time again

Ah, the classic timepiece. I think pocket watches are swell. Today’s piece is a linocut test-printed on to the dictionary page for “query”. I thought this was an interesting choice since “what time is it?” is such a ubiquitous question. All you have to do is the looking-at-your-wrist-hand-mime and people know what you’re asking. In fact, what time is it right now, I wonder? IT’S TIME FOR GAME 1 OF ROUND 2- SHARKS VS. RED WINGS, BABY! Which means today’s post is a brief one, since I’m needed in front of the TV. Woohoo! Go Sharks!!!Have a great evening everyone!

Day 118: Beat it, Bub

I see this linocut on a break-up card- this image on the front and a simple “Beat It, Bub” for wording on the inside. It would get the message across, right? 😉

Better ideas include a bake sale announcement, potluck invite or flyer for a “Backyard Bitch Bake-off”, which I have just invented right this very moment but which probably exist already in towns all across the Midwest under more polite titles like “Block Party BBQ”. If TLC or Lifetime or the Food Network steal that alliterative gem for their next series, all I ask in return are samples of the baked goods.

Rob & I had a chicken pot pie from Whole Foods (they prepare them there in their kitchen of all things wonderful) tonight with a salad and some pear slices, and it was FABULOUS! Whoever said “you know, this fruit inside of pie crust thing is lovely, but here’s an idea…” and then created this amazing melee of peas, carrots, potatoes, chicken and gravy is a beautiful person. Thank you, inventor of the chicken pot pie. An even bigger thank you to the recipe master for Whole Foods- SO GOOD. I can’t even tell you. It’s pure yummyness.

While I don’t love cooking, I do love baking. It’s really as if every ingredient is saturated with love. This is why people insist you try something they’ve baked even if you’re insanely full. And baking’s been popular for ages- even back in the day when eggbeaters looked suspiciously like medieval pleasure implements (thanks, History channel!). See, baking is mingled with love no matter how you slice it! Today’s linocut is pictured on my modern-day persimmon KitchenAid, which my awesome mom got us for Christmas. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. Now, go bake something! To get you started, here’s my favorite cookie recipe as of late- melt in your mouth (they aren’t kidding) shortbread cookies from I added Ghirardelli chocolate chips. AMAZING!

Day 117: Spin a yarn!

Enjoying the rainy day (I know, I’m weird, I like drizzly days), I set to work on the commission project this morning. Things were going well and when I stopped for lunch, Rob had a live broadcast of Goldman Sachs’ CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, giving testimony to the senate on the tv. Even though this guy and presumably everyone on Wall Street that helped fubar the economy have fiery-hot tickets straight to hell burning holes through their pockets and everyone with half a brain knows they’re guilty of SOME fiscal misconduct, this guy sat there denying all wrongdoing.

Well, to be more accurate, he did a lot of fumbling and pausing and changing of sentences. After a couple minutes of it, Rob & I simultaneously realized that he was essentially portraying Fred Armisen of SNL’s character Nicholas Fehn- a political commentator who is incapable of finishing a sentence without starting a new one. (You can watch a clip of this character here on hulu. You might have to watch a 20 second toilet paper commercial first though. So just a heads-up.)

I was hoping that one of the Senators would lose it and say what all of America watching was thinking, which would have been “Hi, yes, I was just wondering what it’s like to be a TOTAL LIAR?”. Since that didn’t happen, I’m hoping someone at NBC was watching and will have Fred Armisen do a skit as this guy next week. Ball’s in your court, NBC. That’s some perfect funny on a plate right there. SERVE IT UP.

Anyway, when it got around to the daily art project, I decided to do another old-timey linocut. Since I watched this dude spin yarns for a good hour or so, I picked a spinning wheel for today’s piece. 🙂 I tried printing it on some heavy canvas and that came out pretty light, but the paper one ended up a little better. I used the “vermeil” page from the dictionary. One part of the testimony revealed that Goldman Sachs can essentially have the Fed print money to help them maintain a clean balance sheet. The combination of the spinning wheel image on the “vermeil” page amused me because Blankfein seemed so separate and oblivious from the common man’s money troubles, I could imagine him saying “let them spin gold” ala “let them eat cake”. I mean, if they can make money out of nothing, why can’t we?

P.S. You may notice lots of links in today’s post. Unlike this guy, who couldn’t seem to remember any vital details he was being asked about and didn’t have any reference material to jog his memory, I cite my sources. This link is a hilarious play-by-play of the testimony at

Day 116: Gramafunk

DISCLAIMER: If you’re a guy, you might not want to read today’s post. You’ve been warned. Lady stuff. Click away now. Last chance.

So, it’s “that time of the month”, except that I, like 1 out of every 10 women, have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This condition essentially causes fertility problems due to a hormonal imbalance. I don’t ovulate normally, so I don’t have normal menstrual times either. I may not have even discovered this since I’ve been on birth control pills for 13 years- I discovered I had this condition just a few years ago- and I found out only very recently that PCOS is also closely linked with diabetes. While I’m kind of pissed off that my OBGYNs never bothered to mention this minor detail to me, I’m kind of pissed off about everything right now. That’s how it is. My body doesn’t naturally deliver the hormonal spike to signal ovulation, but it surely delivers whatever hormone causes everything on the planet to irritate me.

Since you can only get reasonably affordable health benefits in this country through an employer (this pre-existing condition of mine makes independent insurance pretty costly), I now have to decide if I stop taking the pills altogether or pay a whole lot to keep getting them until my prescription expires. I can’t rely on the rhythm method since my natural rhythm is off-kilter, I tried a non-hormonal IUD which didn’t work (that’s how they found the PCOS)… it’s enough to make me want to haul a megaphone to the top of a mountain and scream expletives into it. Oddly enough, I don’t have a megaphone or mountain laying around. So, failing that, I decided to do a linocut of a gramophone.

This test print is on the “noise” page from an old dictionary. I photographed it next to my iPod and headphones (real ones, not those stupid uncomfortable earbud things that my ears reject) to reflect on how things have changed. When these things were around, you got married and had babies and ate butter and that was that. These days, girls are put on the pill train when they barely have boobies and taught to suck the tit of big Pharma from then on. You can clearly see I’m a little bitter. If you’re making wrinkly face right now and asking yourself “why? Why did I tune into the blog for this TMI moment?”, I’d like to first refer you to the disclaimer at the top, and second, assure you that I usually don’t yammer about these things here. Hey- at least it’s not a linocut of a uterus. It could be worse.

Day 115: Pow, right in the kisser!

First, I know that this image doesn’t have an obvious connection with its title. However, I’m a big fan of words. I enjoy antiquated phrases and rarely used figures of speech. I also love old typewriters. Wait, I should clarify that- I love how old typewriters LOOK. Typing with one is an entirely different matter. The clickety-clack tapping of the metal keys and the ding-zip! of the platen (the interwebs tell me that’s what it’s called) are certainly romantic. When I see a typewriter like this, I think of fedoras with cards tucked into them, men holding doors open for ladies in fabulous outfits with impeccable hair and makeup, and everyone talking like Jimmy Stewart saying stuff like “Vaudeville’s dead, see!”. So that’s where the “Pow, right in the kisser!” bit comes from. 😉

This test print is on a dictionary page and came out very well with a light ink application. You’ll notice I carved this on the other half of a single block of lino; the sewing machine’s on the other end.

To stick with “the parlance of our times*” for a moment, this linocut came out “Sharp, I tell you! Just dandy!”. Or “Real slick! That’s a fine image there, printmaker!”. Or “Golly, lady! Shouldn’t you be baking a pie instead of getting caught up in this sort of thing? You don’t want to spill the inkwell on your nice dress!”. 😉 Ah, the 2010s. Nostalgia has its place now and then until it gets out of line, I guess. This one will be good for some nice “keep in touch” cards, don’t you think?

*Oh yeah. That’s a Big Lebowski reference, alright. Enjoy.

Day 114: Sing a Song of Sewing

Okay, so my Sharks game is starting right about now, so not to rush this blog post or anything, but I really need to get in there and cheer because it’s crucial to their success. Really, when you think about quantum physics, it’s totally possible that me believing they can do it will actually help them do it, so there.

Today’s piece is a linocut of an old-timey sewing machine! This test print is on an old, yellowing piece of paper. I thought it was appropriate to imprint an old machine on old paper. They seem happy together.

I saw one of these in a thrift store awhile ago. Despite the fact that I already have a great sewing machine that I adore, I almost got it. It was old and black with floral detail, and apparently made of solid iron, because it would have taken a forklift to haul that puppy up off the floor. There is something beautiful and fulfilling about making items from cloth. I do enjoy embroidering things, but sewing all items by hand would be insanity. I think the sewing machine is one of the best products of the industrial revolution. I’m going to use this linocut for some cards and other small fabric art pieces. Love it!  🙂

Also, happy birthday to my little sister, Ashley!

Day 113: Pods

I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t use acrylic paint without acrylic matte medium. It’s a clear extender for regular paint, which is really important if you want the paint to be anything other than globby and opaque. (Globby is a technical art term, btw 😉 )

You can use water, but if you use too much water, it will run. The thing about acrylic matte medium is that it dries clear. I ALWAYS get paint all over my hands (and usually on whatever clothing and floors/walls I’m near), medium notwithstanding. Sometimes I can’t tell if I’m scraping dry medium or dry skin off my oft-washed hands. It’s a little creepy.

I’m pleased that today’s painting, “Pods”, despite the potentially creepy title (i.e. facehugger hatching pods from Alien), is pretty cheery. I think it’s a great finish for this set of 4 organic abstracts. Coming soon to a card set near you! Okay, that doesn’t make perfect sense, but you get the picture. I’m making cards. Sigh. Happy Friday everyone!

Day 112: Rays

I’m currently working on both my daily pieces for the art project and a commission piece. The commission piece is large- 4 feet square- and it’s really awoken all the parts of my brain that remember painting murals. I’m going to be converting some of the mixed media and text-incorporation I’ve been doing on small scale pieces to this larger one. I’m thankful to be able to do it and I’m excited about it, because doing new things is what really keeps me going. I have to stress how valuable it is to an artist to keep MAKING things, and making different things at that. I often wonder if I’m going to settle into one kind of artmaking someday, where all my pieces will be successive permutations of one another.

For example, today’s piece, “Rays”, is the 3rd in a small series of these organic abstracts. I can’t imagine myself just making things that look like these forever, you know? I’d get bored with them eventually. But I like these three in a happy little bunch on the wall together, that’s for sure. And I think it’s a nice set of images to celebrate Earth Day. 🙂

Now that I’ve broken the barrier of my first prints, I’m starting to think about other options for bringing my artwork to different formats. Namely, I’m planning on making some card sets that I’ll have available sometime in May or June. So I’d love some feedback on how you feel about art cards/stationery. Do you use blank cards or custom stationery? Would you be more likely to just frame the cards as small format art? Are there any images from the art project you’d like to see in a card set specifically? Let me know in the comments! Thanks everyone.

Day 111: Drops

Something I’ve found to be really interesting about making art daily is that I’m much more inclined to make series pieces. It’s actually fun for me to develop a concept or idea or painting style by approaching it in different ways through different pieces- something I thought would be mad boring when I was a teenager and could barely keep my attention focused on a single piece from start to finish. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still massively impatient, but somehow I think having worked day jobs and making myself not run screaming out of the room when boredom creeps in has trained me to be a better painter.

It was raining this morning when I went into the studio, and suddenly it occurred to me to make today’s piece- “Drops”-which is very much like yesterday’s painting, “Buds”, except that instead of sprouting upward and being connected, these circles with lines are falling downward independently. I know- the creativity meter is off the charts. A rain painting… on a rainy day. Wow. Please, try to contain your amazement. 😉

I can think of at least one other way just changing the line direction and the color could work for another painting (that’s my attempt at a tv-style cliffhanger to keep you tuned in for tomorrow’s post), so find out if I’m successful when we return. 🙂