Great fun printing at Washburn Library

It was a wild time at the nature-printing demo and sale yesterday at the library. If you made time to stop by, thank you. If you kindly purchased some of my note cards, please know I really appreciate that. And if you bid on a print, or purchased a print—yes, some of the 8×10 matted prints sold!—I am honored and grateful.

The two volunteer Friends of Washburn Library sold more of my work (not counting the auction bids) than during the three previous years the library has hosted the demo and sale. I attribute this to your support & enthusiasm, and also to savvy librarian Gloria, who posted a note on Nextdoor (a neighborhood-centric social media platform). Several people arrived at about 10:40 in anticipation of the 11 a.m. demo. They received extra credit for watching, and helping, me set up.

As for the demo, I wish I’d thought to have the video capability on my phone or camera engaged when people pulled their first prints. The crowd of 10-12 people made a spontaneous “Ahhh” sound. It was really fun.

People made very nice prints. More adults than kids printed yesterday. Usually it’s the other way around at the library. 

Valuable lessons learned from the silent auction:

Most people start with the minimum bid, which frequently becomes the only bid. Thus I sold quite a few prints for $15—which I was prepared to do.

Works sold quite ecumenically, i.e., works I really like as well as those I don’t, all sold. This is a lesson for me in letting go. We talk about this during yoga practice, but actually allowing one of your “children” (prints) to go to a “good home” takes some resolve.

One work had a bid of $20. That dismayed me. It’s not my favorite work, but technically it’s the best. It’s also done in a style I no longer do and don’t plan to resume doing. What did I do? Bid $25. I will pay the library $12.50 for my own work, but I will keep that one for myself. Another good lesson learned.

One print had four bids, from which I learned which piece, of all of them, appealed to the most people. I will bear that in mind as I go forward with my creative pursuits.

Shown here is the work of Lisa, an enthusiastic—and artistic—kindergarten teacher in an environmental school within the Minneapolis Public Schools system. The beautiful leaf is common milkweed on which Monarch butterflies lay their eggs.

Nature printing at Washburn Library

This Saturday, August 19, 2017, please stop by the Washburn Library in south Minneapolis to print a leaf to frame—or stick to your refrigerator!

The fun runs from 11 until 2. In case you’ve got any cash left over from enjoying nearby farmers’ markets, my note cards will be available at $3 each or 6 for $15.

And, the framed prints on exhibit in the library are all part of a silent auction that ends at 2 p.m. Sizes range from 10×13” to 16×20”. The minimum bid is $15.

All money from sales will be shared equally between me and the Friends of the Washburn Library. They, along with librarian Gloria Olson, make this event possible.


If you’re booked this weekend, please put these other creative events (listed below) on your calendar for the coming months.

Fresh Art Studio Tour
Site 12, western Wisconsin
October 6–8
10 a.m.–5 p.m. each day 

Boutique by the Creek
Saturday, November 11, 10–5
5012-12th Avenue South, Minneapolis

Women’s Art Festival
Saturday, Dec. 9, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center
2924-4th Ave So. (just north of Lake St.)


My blog was hacked. Thankfully, a friend notified me so my husband could work with our internet service provider to delete foul, disgusting images and columns of comments in French. Also removed were two years of posts due to my not knowing—or forgetting—to back up my posts. Believe me, I am wiser now.

Meanwhile, let’s go forward to the next event about which I’m all perked up. It is Paul and Susan Damon’s 10th garden tour and art sale at their dazzling, pollinator-friendly garden and home. Dates are Friday, July 14, from 5–8 p.m., and Saturday, July 15, from 11 a.m– 5 p.m. Their address is 355 Cleveland Avenue North in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their 1920’s bungalow is located just slightly east and north of the Lake Street bridge that crosses the mighty Mississippi River.

Paul’s compelling, mostly landscape paintings will beckon you from their posts throughout their home. Susan will lead you through an impressive and artistic array of native plants in their bountiful garden that was designated as a Monarch Waystation more than 20 years ago. My original nature prints and note cards will be for sale in the cool shadow of Damon’s garage where you can also print a plant and take the print home to frame, or proclaim as refrigerator art!

Here’s a quote from Paul and Susan’s postcard about the art sale and garden tour: “Dogs welcome. Your family and friends, too. Come and help us celebrate our tenth year.” Please stop by!

Paul and Susan’s home and garden, the site of their 10th-annual Art Sale and Garden Tour.


Happily printing in the driveway

In this most splendid, least-humid summer of my fairly long lifetime, I’ve been pulling weeds, printing, & thinking of you. I’ve also been heartened to see Monarch butterflies wafting around the common milkweed plants that are finally blooming in our backyard.

Please join me this Friday & Saturday, July 24 & 25, 2015, at my favorite outdoor art-related event: the eighth-annual art sale & garden tour hosted by Paul and Susan Damon.

355 Cleveland Avenue North, St. Paul, 55104
(Conveniently located between I-94 and Marshall Ave./Lake St.)

Friday: 5–9 p.m.
Saturday: Noon–5

For more than 20 years, Susan & Paul have planted native plants and tended the corner lot that surrounds their sweet Craftsman home. Their garden is now a designated Monarch Waystation—#447. Last year butterflies, bees, and other pollinators joined guests as we all flitted around and admired our surroundings.

There will be plenty of art to admire, too. On exhibit and for sale will be Paul Damon’s oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings. Paintings, collages, and mixed media by Liz Carlson will also be displayed and for sale in the Damon’s home. You can view Liz’s work on Facebook and Twitter.

You will find me in the backyard, in the welcome shade of the garage, where prints and note cards will be for sale, and where you can print a leaf selected from the Damon’s bountiful gardens. We’ll be using Speedball water-soluble printmaking inks and printing on the Sprinkle Gold Oriental paper I learned about from Liz—and purchased at Wet Paint!

If Paul and Liz’s names are familiar, it may be because they’re longtime staff members at art supply shop Wet Paint, located on Grand Avenue in St. Paul. I met Liz and Paul while shopping there and am thrilled to join them in this annual event.

Please pack your car with your artistic, horticultural pals, or gather on your bicycles, and stop by! I look forward to seeing you!

One of Paul Damon's paintings on a postcard invites you to the 8th-annual art sale & garden tour hosted by Paul and his gardener wife, Susan.

Welcome to summer

It’s been a prolonged, leisurely spring, conducive to transplanting ferns and perennials, pulling weeds from long-neglected gardens, and replacing the storm windows on the porch with screens.

Meanwhile, it’s also printing season! I look forward to seeing you in class or at a demo or event. Please join me and my friend Lynn on Saturday, June 5, at the lively Landscape Revival. Twelve native plant nurseries bring their sturdy local stock to this enjoyable, educational event where you’ll also learn about pollinators and gardening. Please stop by to print a leaf and say hello.

Illuminating mistakes

On Saturday, at the reception for an exhibition of my nature prints combined with lettering, my friend, Linda, asked how I’d created one of the collages. The one to which she referred (shown below) was the most complicated. I wasn’t sure I could explain the process of putting it together. It’s not a matter of being cagey; not an unwillingness to share “the family recipe.” No, it’s more a matter of being so absorbed in—or dazzled by—the colorful, patterned possibilities of the prints that I lose track of tangible factors such as time, process, sequence, and decisions.

In fact, the method I use is to make copies of the original prints, then tear them apart and position them onto the substrate (support surface). When I’m satisfied with the composition, I take a picture of it. I then unassemble the collage, numbering each piece. When I start to assemble the actual collage in which I use the original artwork, I follow the numbers, putting piece number one in place first, followed by the second piece, and so on.

Do you wonder why I came up with this plan? Naturally it’s due to another lesson learned “the hard way.” Of course, I pasted a piece to the substrate that I’d intended to place on top of something else. The piece had this lovely, ragged torn edge that was now never going to be seen because it would be covered by something else. I mourned my foolishness for a minute, then got going. Hey, there are more illuminating mistakes in my future!

Two distinct prints came together to create this collage. You’re seeing the whole, “raw” collage here. I cropped it to make A-2-sized note cards, and it’s exhibited in a square frame. The translation of the rubber-stamp seal is “Wisdom,” a quality for which I’m always longing for more. • Yoga sutra IV.22 from Bernard Bouanchaud’s book “The Essence of Yoga.”

It’s my party…

Do you remember the hit rock and roll hit It’s My Party by the late Leslie Gore? Some of the lyrics are, “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to…?” (I thought there were also some lyrics about laughing, but I’m mistaken.) Well, at the reception last night for my nature prints that are combined with lettering of some of my favorite yoga sutras, I didn’t cry—but I sure laughed a lot!

Thank you for stopping by. It’s not often the host of a party can say they had a good time, but I’ll tell you that I had a really good time. The main reasons are because people dear to me helped me, and people dear to me came to the event.

My guests left their cozy homes to drive in dark, damp, cold weather and search—and search—for a parking spot, just to see my recent work. In fact, my friend, Shannon, observed that it was a coming together of friends from activities I most enjoy: nature printing, yoga, lettering, gardening, and writing. What’s extra exciting is that among my friends, many share several of these interests!

After Dan and I got home and unloaded the van, as I was reading Fred Vargas’ book, An Uncertain Place, one of the characters chose to open a bottle of wine to accompany the dinner he’d just made for Chief Inspector Adamsberg. The character explains his rationale by saying something like, “Drinking wine on one’s own is like having a birthday party with no guests.” Such was not the case for me at the reception for “Breathing in the Universe.” Thank you so much for your interest in my work!

Yoga sutra II.38 from Bernard Bouanchaud’s book “The Essence of Yoga.”

Peripatetic: traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods; a person influenced by Aristotle. The Peripatetic School was a school of philosophy founded by Greek philosopher Aristotle. (Chief Inspector Adamsberg was been described as “peripatetic.”)

Making supper

While making supper tonight, I heard Garrison Keillor on public radio’s Writer’s Almanac program. Keillor was reading this quote from the late Steve Jobs on the Apple co-founder’s birthday (Feb. 24): “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Strawberry leaves

An exhibition of my prints with lettering

From now until April 10, 2015, many of my prints are on display in the serene space at One Yoga Studio in south Minneapolis. During the year since One Yoga Studio’s art curator invited me to show my work, I continued to explore the beauty of nature’s shapes, sizes, and patterns.

Ten of the pieces are collages that are the result of combining portions of prints and some of my favorite yoga sutras. The lettering created a focal point for the print—and unity occurred. Focus and unity are some of the tenets of my own yoga practice.

I’m honored and pleased to present my work at One Yoga Studio and am grateful to the community there. I’m also grateful to curator Katherine Pohlman; my friend, fiber artist, Sandra Brick, who introduced me to Katherine; my nature printing teacher, Sonja Larsen; my Viniyoga teacher, Laurie LoPesio; my husband, Dan; and my family, friends, fellow artists, customers, and students. A reception for viewing and visiting will take place on Saturday, March 7, from 6:45 to 8:15 P.M. Please stop by.

I’m beginning to combine lettering with some of my nature prints.

Risking adding more clutter

As I think about clutter, I’m reminded of two quotes. One is from a black, bound, blank book in which I recorded pages of favorite quotes while I was in college. This is from page 272 in Cancer Ward by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: “Order in affairs maintains peace of mind.”

The other inspiring comment is from Susy Pilgrim Waters, a mixed-media, collage, paint, and paper artist whose work I admire. You can see her comment on her blog: “My brain feels much better when my desk is TIDY! So I dream on….” Susy’s quote.

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