Workshops Coming Up In Australia

I have just short of five weeks to spend with students and friends in Australia this coming Spring….Spring here, Fall there. It is going to be a very good time for me. There are four workshops planned to fill the time.

It all starts here at the door to the studio at Baldessin Press in St. Andrews, VIC.

March 4th and 5th we will do as many book bindings as possible. Here are some examples of what can be achieved. Register at

Next stop is Beautiful Silks in Allansford, Vic.

This is a very intimate setting for a small group to meet up and explore the possible forms and placement of Memory Vessels. We will start with making paints from soils of places of memory to use on the works made in class and later in the students’ studios. Here is an excerpt from the description for the class taking place March 10, 11, 12. Contact Beautiful Silks above for more details.

This is a three day class that delves into how we can physically contain a memory. Our goal is to create an individual vessel that can be held, positioned and put away whenever there is a need to either keep it handy, look at it another way or keep it safe. There are memories that simply need to be cast off altogether and the vessel form might need to be dispatched in a flurry of ash or floated down a stream. Often one memory leads to another and only a series of vessels that are either tied/placed together in a particular order or piled into another larger container will hold the collective flood of memories. And maybe they simply need to stop coming and this is a way of saying, “Enough!”

These can take so many forms but here are some ideas……


On March 18th through the 23rd I will be teaching a masters class on white line printmaking for stitching into books and sculpture at Grampians Texture in Halls Gap, Vic. This class has been full for some time and there is likely a waiting list. But here is a bit of what we will be doing with paint making, printing and stitching.

Then after spending a few days working together in a large house with friends and ideas, I move on to Goolwa in SA to repeat the Memory Vessels from April 1 – 3 before flying home the following day.

Contact for that workshop is

I hope to see some of you in class or on my travels in Australia.


A New Direction on an Old Path

The Christmas evidence is all taken down and gifts put away. Our company of family and friends leave tomorrow for home. But while here they encouraged me to start on something new, something that could be a series and be exciting. They even contributed opinions and parts for the new work.

I am still continuing with the “collection” watercolor paintings on old gessoed boards and am planning on using all the ones I prepared for egg temperas for this series. I will post a picture of one of the first ones done here.

To continue with the boards, I am now taking parts of the things I collect and stash in the studio and adding them together. Much like I did for The Expedition to Elsewhere: the Evidence. See some below.

But now they are assembled only to be used as the model for the painting on gessoed boards. I really like returning to my fabricated beings. And I am going to especially like documenting these specimens with carefully rendered watercolors on panels.

The goal is to have an exhibition of them. Some framed on a wall just over a large open drawer of the various sized boards placed inside like the specimens themselves. The viewer would have the sensation of having just slid the drawer open to inspect the things inside.

So the last few days I have rummaged, selected, cut and glued parts to make some things quite magical. Here are a few.



Bogon Moth:



And a small bug in progress:

Now I will carefully and very lightly draw each on on its board and then slowly bring it to life with light layers of watercolors. This is going to be fun!

More pictures as I progress…..



Meandering Thoughts at Holiday Time

I finished five houses and will stop there until I figure out what to do with them next. And it is the holiday season.  So my mind is on incoming company, Christmas dinner, presents, wrapping, getting last cards out. This year I resurrected an old undergraduate etched plate to use for our card. We have, or rather I have, always made our Christmas cards. And they have always said, “Happy Holidays” inside.

This year there seems to be an extreme sensitivity to using that phrase over “Merry Christmas”. The other day I heard two people congratulating themselves for saying, “Merry Christmas” to each other and indicated they were protesting some left wing conspiracy by doing so. This latest election has brought out the worst in us and an amazing amount of pride in ignorance. I would just like to hide out until education becomes an important goal again. But with the things the way they are right now, especially in states like North Carolina, I might be under wraps for quite some time.

But onto other things about the holidays. My not so traditional tree is up again this year with an oil can theme. It does lack the smell of pine and all the age old ornaments full of memories, but I like doing this….featuring a collection each year on the tree.

Also sharing part of the living is my answer to the lack of a fireplace in our house. A very old basket that my father and I picked peaches in while living in Michigan. I filled it with some local apples from a neighbor, my collection of African monkey balls, twigs from our corkscrew willows, some Eucalyptus branches, a large wooden bird, some mementos from Australia and twinkling lights to make me feel like I am sitting near some small glowing embers.

Here are some detail of the Australian Aboriginal carved goannas and in keeping with the pyrography of the bird and those animals are Toni Rogers’ sticks of driftwood. Whenever I am in Australia and I see Toni, I buy her sticks when I can. They are magical and fit in my non burning fireplace just perfectly. Here are some details of the fireplace basket.

On the front door this year I have another nod to Australia…

In 2011 I put this on the front door. A coil of barbed wire with an old rusted calf muzzle attached. I thought filling it with holly and a bit of honeysuckle vine sort of made it a bit festive. A neighbor questioned my holiday spirit. Now it hangs minus dead and dying plants up high in the foyer. I still like it.

I think one of the best things about blogs are the pictures. And I just don’t have any more for this one. It is a dark and dreary day here with ongoing showers. I think I will go back to the studio and find something to do.

If I am not back here before please have a Wonderful and Happy Holiday Season. I will be keeping the company of family and friends where we all can say “Happy Holiday” and discuss the new and less than happy outcome our election has brought into each of our homes and hearts. We will do this over some single malt, excellent bourbon and lovely Australian wines.

Be back in 2017.


Playing Around with Collographs – Part 2


I don’t know what it is about when you ink a plate that makes you think, “Ahh, this could be good.” Such incredibly false hopes for such a limited knowledge of what I am doing. It’s amazing how easily I think it will be so much better than it really is. Collographs just might not be my thing.

Well that was pitiful I had carved out around the wave and the hill with the road. Thought that the ink would catch in there and give me some definition.  The ink has too much extender in it I think. And the print lacks definition where it is needed, around the camel, boat, sharks, anchor, you name it. So I decide to gesso all the good parts to elevate them and create more of a separation between them and the background.



I increase the amount of ink in the mix and print again.

Believe it or not, I even attempt another collograph with the camel being dragged up the hill to a house. Just the bow of the boat is in the foreground. It is a vertical image. It was embarrassingly bad. So I wonder if the story is so important, go back to etching. There is just too much texture in these collographs. Which is fine if you want what you did in undergraduate school. When you were trying to avoid “wedding cake” plates. Here are some I still have framed and stashed here in the office and and storage room behind me.

The one above my instructor let me use all the packing materials off the latest delivery box of inks for the studio. I liked it rolled with two different inks. I thought it was “mysterious”. Actually it is rather weak by any standard in printmaking.

Here is another one that this one inspired. I was heavily into textures at the time with weaving and basketry.

On this one I was pushing the limits and patience of my professor because I was not only draping cords and fabrics all over the plate, but was printing on a textures surface as well!!! And using two different colors of ink really does not take it out of the realm of what a twelve year old can do.

And one last observation on my early work in this technique. I found a very large framed collograph in the storage room that not only had all these threads, etc draped all over but was printed in the chine colle technique of adding textured and colored papers and even cloth before printing. And if that was not enough texture for me, I actually stitched around the image with varying embroidery threads and stitches. This has not been an affirming visit into the storage room. I need to get rid of that stuff!

I really don’t know why I felt the need to revisit this technique. All it has done is point out its limitations and my own. So in the few days I have spent time, ink, paper and false hopes, I have decided that it is the story of the camel that matters. Me and my camel. I think maybe illustrations (etched of course) of my encouraging the camel to help me get him up the hill. So I am heading back in there with my etching tools and small plates to tell a story.  More about the results later but here is an image of a recent etching and our Christmas card this year which was actually a tiny etching done as part of a series in the same class I was playing around with collographs.