creative process

I had planned to make this a three color moku hanga print, but I didn’t like the way it was coming out. So for this print I decided just to print the black and loosely watercolor the rest by hand. Each print will be variations on a theme.

size: 3.5 x 2.5 inches

ink: Akua lamp black printed moku hanga style with steel ball baring baren. Handpainted watercolor.

paper: hot pressed 150 lib. watercolor paper


Since I had so much fun doing the last tiny print, I decided to try another one. This one is a three-color print. Although this is much more challenging than the previous one-color print, the way it is designed will not require much registration precision (at least that’s the hope). I’m not sure about color schemes yet. This is just a Photoshop idea. I am still working on some color tests with real pigments.

As I have begun carving this, I am starting to think that it may be better suited to a larger size print. I recently read a recommendation that when scaling up a work one should adhere to the simplicity of the smaller work, so if I do make it bigger I will try to follow this advice.

Tree sketches by Serendipity Artist
Tree sketches, a photo by Serendipity Artist on Flickr.

Sketching out ideas for my next print. I liked working in the tiny 2.5 x 3.5 inch format so much that I decided to do another print this size – this time with color. I’ll be coloring outside of the lines, so to speak with this print and not fussing about registration. The lower left sketch is the one I am developing now.

It’s a mini print exchange to celebrate Baren’s 50th print exchange – 101 prints, each 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. I’m making this easy on myself by doing a one color print. I will be spreading the color (Akua) with a roller and printing on dry Nishinouchi paper. You can see a hint of the block in the background here. More to come later . . .

Softly Dreaming by Serendipity Artist
Softly Dreaming, a photo by Serendipity Artist on Flickr.

I have recently started a sketchbook to help me play with some imagery using collage and watercolor. Keeping a sketchbook gives me the freedom to explore simple ideas without having to worry about creating a finished work of art. I am hoping to also incorporate some printing into these sketches.


One of challenges of being a field librarian at the School of Art & Design is getting to know everyone in this constantly changing sea of creativity. Librarians, like most business people, typically hand out business cards as a way to leave their mark, but in a school where the students, faculty and staff do the mark-making, this just didn’t seem like quite the right approach. I started handing out my business cards and asking people to use the card to create a drawing or some type of artwork that I could include in an artist book. This usually led to a longer conversation and later, when the card was returned, I felt like we had started to know one another. I handed out many more cards than I got back, but the ones that did come back were fabulous expressions that wove their way nicely into this book. I am a librarian, so what better way to document this interaction?

This book is currently being exhibited at the Work Gallery in Ann Arbor. The Exhibition runs from August 12 through September 2, 2011.
Closing Reception: Friday, September 2 from 6 – 9 pm.

After making the Birches print, I got inspired to change it up a bit with a night sky and a bit more detail. The image is based loosely on a photo, with a lot of imagination thrown in. I also checked a star chart to get the stars more or less correctly placed. I was happy to see the wood grain coming through as it gives it a sort of Aurora Borealis look.

Next Page »