Little Experiments

  • Making Books Again

    I had a renewed interest at the end of last year to make some books again. It started with a carousel book that I exhibited at the Bennington Museum, and then I got some momentum going in the month of December with a very loooong accordion that I used for a monthly challenge, with prompts related to the Advent. I'm working almost daily on collages which makes me so happy. I forgot how much I enjoy piecing together little bits of things that make a cohesive whole. 

  • Artist Book at Bennington Museum

    I made a new artist book for a show at the Bennington Museum. It's a carousel book, inspired by poems by Robert Frost. Here's the cover, which is all done in colored pencil. It felt really good to make a "real" piece of art for a "real" show! It's for sale as a part of the museum's gala event fundraiser. It can also be viewed in the galleries for the entire month of December. Let me know what you think if you see it!

  • More Food and Drawing

    For some time, I've been meaning to submit recipes to the They Draw and Cook website. I finally got two finished for a recent food geometry challenge. I submitted the recipe above, along with another. It was a really fun project for me. Especially challenging was getting the piece in the correct format and size (my Photoshop skills are still lacking), and doing some digital touch up work to make them look their best. I was ultimately happy with how they turned out, and proud of myself for getting it done!

  • Food + Drawing

    I don't know why it took me so long to start drawing food. I always had in the back of my mind that I wanted to combine my two interests somehow. In the last eight months, I've done lots of food drawings, beginning back in October with my Inktober recipes. I wanted to illustrate for someone other than myself, so I reached out to friends who have a coffee business. I'm working on a series of illustrations for different methods of brewing coffee. It's so much fun for me, and I find it satisfying to be working for "clients" other than myself.  

  • Chickens

    These chickens were modeled on my own chickens, Duck and Cluck. I took an online class from Anita Lehman through Carla Sonheim's website that was a very thoughtful look at composition. Sometimes it's nice to get back to basics and see how structure influences outcome. And, on a side note, it's been nice to have fresh eggs to eat and use in baked goods!

  • A New (Old) Way of Working

    I don't know why it took so long for me to go back to making collage and mixed media pieces. Maybe I didn't think they were "serious" enough, or I forgot how much fun it was for me to work this way, or maybe I just forgot how to do it. Recently, I found some fruit that I painted simply on canvas paper. I took out cheap, thin acrylics, poured green and yellow on top, and pushed the paint around the paper. After it dried, I tore out the fruit and saved them for a collage. That's where my playing around with fruit bowls began the other day. For a slight change of pace, I took a yellow piece of painted paper and turned it into a French press. I've mainly been using really smushy media, like a soft pencil, conte crayons, and Faber Castell gelatos. These collaged pieces really feel like me, and I'm loving all the color!

  • New Things!

    I'm test driving some new products at the market this Saturday. It's so much fun to play with color and shape on functional bags and totes. I like the simplicity of playing with fabric, paint, and potatoes. Yes, potatoes! That's what I used to make my stamps......and, they're compostable!

  • Stretching

    I decided to challenge myself with an online course, Explore Florals, taught by Victoria Johnson. It was three weeks of design briefs, each focusing on a different way to think about florals, with an accompanying palette. It was harder than I thought to get out of my own way of doing things and try something new. Just like life, I suppose.

  • Creative Thinking


    I am so thrilled to have my very first drawn illustration in the current issue of UPPERCASE Magazine! 

    I drew this on Thanksgiving, 2017. We decided to stay home and celebrate, just the three of us. I wanted my daughter to feel like that even though we weren't going anywhere, it was going to be a special day. So, I let her pick the drinks!

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Little Experiments

As always, there are new things to try preserving, encasing in batter, or drying. Right now I'm mainly working on the first and third of those techniques. The left photo is my first attempt at rose petal jam (here on bread and goat cheese, and yes, that's my man thumb holding it). I was at a friend's house for dinner and we were sitting outside, just about next to this beautiful shrub rose with bright fuchsia blooms. Of course, I didn't hesitate to ask if I could literally deflower it for my selfish needs. I had a recipe from these crazy guys, who put everything that grows in northern MD, central DE, and southeastern PA in jars and serve it as cheese plate accompaniments. I had a vague idea of how it would turn out, definitely floral, maybe sickeningly sweet, and colored a barely-there hue of pink. I was drastically wrong about the flavor and color; it is floral, but in a delicate way, showing more nuance than I expected. And the color is unbelievable! I wish I could have caught glistening in the sun, but sadly, there was none by this afternoon. Take my word that it is a glorious bright shade of deep pink, lovely to look at and quite delicious.

Oh, and the other photo is something I took from those same friends (bet they're real glad they asked me over! now their yard is bare). I planted chamomile from seed this year, but apparently those tiny seeds drowned or blew away or just never germinated. They had lots of it, so I am drying some to use in future pastries, along with lavender, which actually is from my garden. I've found that chamomile is good in shortbread, infused in the butter, and ground and blended with turbinado sugar to be sprinkled on top. It's funny–as much as I love tea, I've never been fond of drinking a tisane of chamomile (it's not a tea since it's not made from the actual tea plant)...but I do like its flavor in a flaky, buttery cookie!