Thursday, July 8, 2010

Graphic Book Design

My friend Kate and I made a book using only printmaking techniques and our graphic design and drawing abilities. The above design I created on my computer and then we printed it out and transferred it onto an inked sheet of heavy paper. There were seven pages in all and each was a reference to different stages of a student's daily life at Colorado College. This page is entitled "interaction."

And then Conor and I marched ourselves to the church and got married! That took a chunk out of my blogging life. I also the same week we got married. I hardly remember graduation, and I would really have a hard time remembering the wedding if there weren't a zillion pictures of it. We didn't hire a photographer, but my friend, Summer, who is a photographer decided to take our pictures as her gift to us. My brother also took a ton, so it worked out very well in the end.

Life happens a lot faster now. Not being obligated to a school schedule really opens up opportunities, but somehow makes the days seem shorter. Where does the time go? I used to think the days went by so slowly.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Painting Walls-Decorative Art

I have been working on painting the entryway between the living and dining rooms at Conor's house. I painted on all the sunflowers first. There are 7 total, and now I am filling in the empty space with whatever shape comes out of my paintbrush.

The colors seem to vary depending on how I am feeling that day, which is a strange concept to me, and the shapes alter from day to day as well. Some areas have a certain feel to them and others have a different type of energy. It is good to be painting again.

Note: the print you see in the background is indeed mine. I gave it to Conor for Christmas this last year.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I was proud of myself for being so careful with the white background of this composition. I get so messy when I am working most of the time, but I was on it that day.

I am also very pleased with the colors that came out in these two pieces. They are quite different from anything else I have done. A little more earthy. They remind me of "autumn colors".

The first piece is 22"x 30". The second is a 13" square. Both are embossed with the visible image.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Colorful Monoprints

How about a little color? The blue monoprints are each 13"x13" and the yellow and green are 15"x15". These were part of a series of ten I had hanging in my show. Each is embossed with the image.

The texture you see in the background of the brighter blue and the yellow pieces is the result of inking two plates and then "kissing" them together. Sometimes I also placed stencils between the two plates to better preserve one of the colors. This process took place before running anything through the press.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Art Exhibition: Monoprints

These are a few images from my show, "A Certain Resemblance," which were exhibited in Packard Hall during the week of February 22-26.

The actual hanging of my works was the most difficult part of this process for me. I spent 14 hours the Saturday before the opening of the show trying to figure out how to display everything...well really not everything. What I ended up putting on the walls was probably 1/4 of the amount of work I produced during the previous 5 weeks. It was a difficult weeding process.

However, now that it is all over with, I have been spending some time documenting everything, both the work in the show and the stuff that didn't fit in. I will continue to upload photos of these images.

A note about my prints:

Each is an original, matchless, one-of-a-kind work of art. I made up a technique using stencils that I created (by collaging found images together) in order to imprint an embossed image onto the paper. So, if you were to flip over any of these prints, you would see and be able to feel the raised area where the image is printed on the reverse side.

The smaller square prints are generally about 13" square and the larger are full sheets 22"x30".

Friday, March 26, 2010


Finally I have finished photo documentation of the last 200 works or so I have done in the last few months. Here are the first 3 for your viewing pleasure. These monoprints are 22x30" and were all a part of my thesis show.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Custom Wall Mural

I painted this mural over the summer (2009). I had five days to do this 30'x10' mural on the side of a house- so the lines you see are shadows from the side paneling. I used house paint, which was a total trip since it changes colors (dramatically) when it dries! Not like a mood ring or anything, but a light spring green, for example, turned into army green when it dried. Once I got the hang of it though, it wasn't so bad.

But seriously, this was a marathon mural. The owner of the Dale Street Cafe wanted this new patio area to be finished for the "Night of Art" dinner and wine tasting event. The walls inside the cafe are filled with beautiful pieces from local artists and the event was meant to showcase their works. So I ended up working on the mural for 14 hours on some days, but it was fun to just get into it. I was 'living and breathing' this mural that week (or maybe just huffing paint fumes by default).

Hui Yon, the owner and head chef, really likes flowers so she said to do something green with flowers- and beautiful. So, I went back to my favorite Costa Rica pictures to make up some sketches. I did a small drawing and a small painting of the middle scene (between the two windows) before I started and then made up the side panels as I went. Hui Yon's husband, Dave came out one day and told me he wanted a waterfall. I told him "then a waterfall is what you shall have." The tiger was part of the original plan and is meant to represent Colorado College tiger spirit since the cafe is just off campus.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Art Reception

The show's opening on Monday was a lot of fun. I think I talked my lips off but I was excited to have so many people interested in what I have been dedicating myself to for the last month. A lot of people came and Conor filmed the whole thing so there will be a video clip or two later. I am also putting together photos of the actual artworks so that you can see them close up.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Art Show!

This is the invitation for my art show.

If you are in town I would love to see you there!

Mountains Drawing

This is one of the views from the road just near the Mt. Princeton hot springs resort. I think I've just about got up all of my drawings from that class. This drawing was a quick 15-20 minute ink and brush moment on 11"x15" paper.

This blog is about to be bombarded by my thesis show work. I am in the last week. Home stretch! The show opens Monday the 22nd!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rocks Drawing

I did this 6.5"x11" ink drawing with reed pen on paper on my day off in Buena Vista last month. I wanted to do a "medium" length drawing meaning that it is neither a quick 15 minute drawing or a 2 day long drawing. I took about five or six hours on it.

I was up at my friend Holly's house that weekend with some other people from the Winter Landscape drawing class. We drove about 15 minutes to get away from the tiny-for-seven-people cabin we were staying in at the Mt. Princeton hot springs.
We had Sunday off so we drove only 15 minutes to stay at Holly's and enjoyed having a full kitchen and our own beds for 2 nights.

It is beautiful up there in the mountains just above Buena Vista and the views are amazing of course. The collegiate peaks are part of the Sawatch Range of massive mountains (all above 14,000 ft.) just outside of town.

Below: where I sat to observe the above drawing. I came up with the idea for the composition from sitting in the hot tub earlier that morning...yeah, life is rough.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pen and Ink Drawing

Another piece from the Winter Landscape drawing class I took in January. The second picture is a photo of the area but not from the same spot where I sat to draw the scene. I am pretty sure that is Mt. Antero drawn in the background since it is the one just south of Mt. Princeton.

Anyway, this was a nice setting to draw in since it was exposed to the sun all day and I could sit comfortably in the snow...better than rocks or a wet log, ya know.

The tree was the most fun. I drew (well it felt more like painting) with diluted india ink and a brush. At the end I touched it up with a reed pen to give it some sharper lines.

The drawing is 15"x11" on paper.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Contemporary Landscape Art

After I built this 3ft. square canvas stretcher, I painted the scene with oil paints.

I began working from a photo I took while camping near Monarch Mountain last summer (09). It was about 5:30am and the misty light was just beginning to come up through the trees. My brother and I were standing in the sun to get warm when I snapped this picture.

After working on this piece for a couple weeks, I ditched the photo and started getting a little more stylistic (meaning: painting from my imagination, or just putting paint where it felt good).

My main focus for this piece was to learn how to paint light. In terms of subject matter, this was a new type of landscape for me. It was interesting to paint something that felt like a more enclosed space rather than a sprawling stretch of land. I am pleased with the results.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fine Art Printmaking

...and another. This is actually the first print on Rives BFK paper (13"x13") I did for the senior thesis project series I am currently working on. I am a sucker for the traditional complementary color schemes and as red is my favorite color, I really enjoy this piece.

Every day I print seems to get better but I am always scared that I am going to lose my touch or forget how I made something. It's dumb because the prints always turn out better when I invent new ways to make them, but the anxiety and adrenaline comes just the same. I feel like I am competing with myself, with my work from the days before. Everyday I try to make better artwork. We'll see how this week goes.

22 days until my show opens...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Flowers Stencil

Here is another example of the type of work I have been doing on Rives BFK paper (15"x8"). I pulled this one off the press on Monday and was very pleased. I have been trying to vary the levels of ink saturation in each piece. It seems like the more varied, the better.

Each print is embossed meaning the paper is "punched" with the design. If you were to look at the back of each piece or run your fingers over the top of it, you would feel the indentions made by the stencils.

Lately the stencils have been falling apart. I have to fix them practically every day. Time to find some better glue.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Stone Lithograph

This is another litho (7"x10") but I drew the image onto a stone this time.

When you etch a litho stone, which is limestone (rather than an aluminum plate), you have to use nitric acid. It's crazy stuff and I became so fascinated with it when I was learning the process that I kinda scared my professor. She had to take me aside later and make sure I understood how dangerous of a chemical it was. Haha! I never did any damage with it besides burn a small hole through the toe of my boots...

Anyway, this is a little house just downtown Colorado Springs. I sketched it from life on paper first and then redrew it onto the stone, without breathing too closely or touching the edges. The litho stones are so touchy. You can't let any foreign grease get on it or it will print that way. And they weigh like 40 pounds! I seriously got a little work out every time I had to move it. The results were worth it though... cause now I'm jacked!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Printmaking Artist

Making prints really just blows my mind some days. I still don't know how to "look" at the prints I make. I still see them from a painter's perspective. I have been learning how to critique a painting since I was a kid but I didn't know what monoprints* were until this last semester!

Aside from the fact that I still feel brand new at this, I had a great talk with my professor today about my most current work (meaning the stuff I did today-depicted in this post). She said something about how I approach my work in the printshop. That "painter's perspective" I was talking about actually seems to be working to my advantage. It could just be my incapability to perform perfection, but I can't control exactly how each print is going to come off the press, no matter how well I compose it on the plate. It does make the process exciting and unpredictable at times.

So I look at what I like about the prints I have done and then I try to recreate those elements in another composition. Then something else happens that I wasn't planning...and on it goes.

These prints are 13" squares on Rives BFK paper.

*monoprint: a single, one of a kind print unlike an edition print that is one of a number of identical prints

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fine Art Lithograph

When I discovered I could make unique, original artwork using printmaking techniques, I became fascinated with the new range of art-making possibilities available to me.

I was afraid for the last 3 years to take a printmaking class at Colorado College. All I ever heard were horror stories about how time consuming, technical and difficult the classes were. And I just wasn't very interested in printing as an art form. I held painting as the ultimate form of "high art." Everything else was just messing around (but what is art anyway? I make my best discoveries when I am "messing" with stuff).

This last semester I sucked it up and decided to learn about printmaking just so I could say I could do it, and then I would go on my with my artistic life and have it as a skill listed on my resume.

One day I was playing around with some stencils I had made, which were images I found in magazines and collaged together to make their combined shape resemble a flower. I "rolled up" meaning I applied ink to the stencils and placed them on the aluminum plate and then ran it all through a press to stamp the image onto the plate.

After going through the lithographic etching process, which includes the application of phosphoric acid in various quantities (among other things), I printed ten editions of the above image (16"x24").

So, I am a converted print maker. It's an interesting way to make art and I believe in it so much that I am currently creating my senior thesis art show using these techniques. I am learning that some of the same "rules" apply to prints as they do to painting. My lesson from this week is a recurring lesson. You'd think I would have it down by now but here it is: Simple is better. Duh!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flower Still Life Painting

I began painting this 4'x3' acrylic painting on paper at my grandparents house this last November. They had a vase of flowers on the hearth in their living room.

I had lugged this enormous drawing board to their 60 acre property in Cedaredge, CO thinking I may or may not get anything done that weekend as it was a little family reunion. However, by 9pm everyone was just sitting around reading or looking at pictures and that blank piece of paper in the car was pressing on my mind. So, I set up shop on their living room floor and started painting these flowers. I stayed up until 4am trying to get enough done so that I could bring it home and finish it in my studio.

I brought it back after taking a few pictures and it sat in the corner for about a month. I basically hated it. Then I got the idea to redo the whole thing in oil paints. The entire color scheme changed and the background went from a rusty orange color to the bluish purple it is now. The flowers themselves changed a lot too as I lost the photos I had taken of them.

The final product is more from my imagination than most paintings I have done. I like it a lot better now. I think there are at least 6 or 7 layers of paint on the thing since I repainted it so many's kinda heavy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting Sketchy: India Ink Drawing

I now look at quick drawings as a type of test for my perceptive abilities.

When you draw, there is so much to think about all at once: line, shape, form, value, depth, style etc. When you do a longer, like 8-10 hour drawing, there is time to think of everything and go about it in a systematic thing at a time (and even then I mess it up). But with quick drawings I usually give myself 15-20 minutes. Half an hour at the most but I usually start to screw it up at that point.

While I draw I try to think of every concept about drawing that I have ever learned. It forces me to make decisions quickly and the shapes are reactions to what I am looking at, filtering through me and about 2 seconds later there is a line or four on my paper.

I like using straight india ink and a brush (as used in the drawing above). It forces me to make bold lines and be confident about my composition. Once you make a mark in dark ink-that's it, you gotta let it stand.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Commissioned Artwork

I just finished this 26"x32" (roughly) oil painting on a wood panel. It was a commission so I'll have to let it go as soon as it dries.

The client wanted a painting of something that represented change and transformation or a journey. I started thinking online i.e. and somehow got into the phases of planets.

The twilight zone came up, also known as the terminator line, which is the boundary between the illuminated and unilluminated hemispheres of a planet...basically sunrise and sunset. It was interesting to read that the sun may rise or set, in flat land conditions, at a speed of 1,000 mph (faster at high altitude because if there's a mountain in the way the horizon line is a lot higher) and as slow as 0 mph at the poles creating full days of sunlight or darkness. Pretty sweet.

I wanted this painting to ambiguously represent both sunrise and sunset.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Love and Marriage

I don't know if there's a lot more I can say about this picture. It kind of speaks for itself. What I can't believe is how perfect of an engagement ring it is for me. It is white topaz and there are diamonds on the prongs in a silver setting. I love it!

The Scoop:
Conor proposed last night at the Broadmoor. He told me when I got back (from that drawing class in the mountains) that he wanted to take me out for a nice dinner to celebrate me coming home. Ok, Conor and I have been talking about getting married for a while, but I didn't think this was all gonna happen last night. I was just excited to be going out on a sweet date!

We got to the restaurant, Charles Court, half an hour early. He said we could just walk around for a bit. I was like, ok I'm starving- but how often do you get to go on a date at the Broadmoor? 5 Star hotels really get me going. Funny.

We came into this decked out room with a mongo fireplace and a fountain. It was like a living room from...well, nowhere I've ever been or imagined. I sat down in one of the chairs and Conor came over and sat down beside me. He pulled out a letter he had written about 6 months ago when we first started dating. It was still sealed. It was a letter to God and he had written down all of the things he wanted for our relationship and for me (I wrote one too but it's a rambling, tangent riddled entry in my personal journal. Not quite so smooth).

It is the most perfect letter a girl could ever receive. Made me want to cry, well I kinda did about 5 seconds later when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. As I was saying "Yes, yes, of course! Conor, You!" gushing basically, he pulled out this ring from his pocket (designer: Stephen Webster). I was speechless. Really I didn't know what to say for a minute. There was a lot of gasping.

Then we went to dinner and he told me all about where he got the ring and when he went to talk to my dad about marrying me etc. It was an awesome night. I will never forget it. I never knew "happy" could be this good.

Landscape Drawing

This is the final drawing I did for the Landscape Drawing class. I used diluted india ink and a brush. I had never drawn rushing water before so it was definitely a challenge.

When I picked this spot it was somewhat strategic because I was completely hidden down by the river. We were staying in these cabins at the Mt. Princeton hot springs resort in Colorado, and as my friend Kate said, I have a crazy knack for picking up the sketchiest guys. So...I was hiding.

I am glad I was kinda forced to go down there since I usually don't pick this type of imagery to draw or paint. I generally pick more open spaces. I really enjoyed doing the bushes and trees in the back and the water turned out but I struggled with it the most. My butt was frozen by the end since I was sitting in the snow...there are worse things I suppose.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Artistic t-shirts

These images are designs I created for a t-shirt I took the original logo (above) and redrew it in a more loose/abstract way. I came up with the idea after writing down words that described what bombbomb does. Among them I wrote the words "exciting and easy," as bombbomb is an online resource that helps businesses build, track, send and measure email marketing campaigns. It's pretty sweet. mmm hmmm!

So what comes to mind when you think exciting and easy? For me it was the chick to the left. Sassy. For the shirt, the figure would be on the back and my handwritten would be on the front across the chest.

Then, what appear to be phases of the moon (below) are phases of the bomb! I drew them on a piece of paper and then edited them a bit using photoshop. I imagine them to be printed on a black t-shirt. email since day one baby.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Drawing the Winter Landscape

Hey ya! I am currently in Nathrop, CO taking a class called "Drawing the Winter Landscape." This is my first drawing in progress with a picture of the actual scene below. I will be here with 12 other students and our professor for another 4 days. The class is short, just 10 days total, but I am learning a lot!

This drawing is a combination of both ink and brush as well as reed pen. A reed pen is a thin twig of bamboo that I carve the tip of to make it work like an old fashioned quill pen that you dip in ink. The textures you can make with it are fabulous! I used it most in the foreground (the bottom of the paper). A lot of the lighter areas are done using a brush and diluted ink.