Making Monotypes: Printing and Sketching

I have been working on Monotype Printing.  More of the seaweed saga I started at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine.  Seaweed intrigues by the tangles, squiggles and lines it makes.  It moves under the ocean water.  It covers the sand in various colors of brown, greens and magenta.  I walk to the beach and collect a bag of dried seaweed to put into Monotypes.



Seaweed in the water.


Getting ready to print at Shary’s Studio in Laguna Beach

Printing in studio.  I made several small studies with seaweed I had collected.  The first color on the print is yellow.  The small sketches come later.  The Monotype below was a larger print I like.



The printing ink was placed on plexiglass plate.  Seaweed placed on top of ink.  Paper covering the inked plate and put through the printing press.


Tangled II

Plenty of ink still on the plexiglass plate above,  so I put another paper on the  plate and ran it through the printing press.  This second print is called a ghost print.  The second print often seems to hold mystery.


Sea World

I also used 2 plexiglass plates one yellow and one blue.  Different sized plates go through the printing press 2 times.  Yellow first than blue ink the second time.  The bubbles are rubbing alcohol sprayed into the ink on the plexiglass plate.P1050541

I have fun drawing my character with the printing press.  I am adjusting the pressure of the press in this cartoon.


Seaweed Swirl


Another trip to the beach.  IMG_6780

Drama at the beach.  The seagulls plan an attack on Target Bag!  How do they  know what’s in it????  I’m painting in my small sketchbook.P1050536 2Meeting my Friend

I am always happy to paint at Sherman Library and Gardens.  It’s a happy peaceful place.P1050539

I’m Getting ready to teach a Watercolor class at Sherman Gardens on Sat. October 28.  Teaching watercolor is fun in this ideal setting.


Heading West on I-70



Leaving Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania I headed west to Ohio.   I love being on the road, in my head I review all that I did this summer from Maine to North Carolina, Connecticut to Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania’s  beautiful farm land starts me singing. “This Land is your land, this land is my land, From California to the New York Island.”   Thank you Woodie Guthrie for writing this song in 1944.

 372 miles on my speedmeter to a KOA at Buckeye Lake in Ohio.  It starts to rain just as I am registering.  I grab my umbrella, bathing suit and head for the swimming pool.  Umbrella and swimming pool, no wonder I am the only one there.  I look across the pool and see cows.  Are they real?  No they are cow sculptures.

Early the next morning and full of energy the next landmark is   Columbus, Ohio and then to Indianapolis, Indiana.   I stop at the Illinois Welcome Center.  They are preparing for the Solar Eclipse on Aug. 21.  The woman tells me there will be an Ozzie Osborne concert.  I’m glad to miss that one.

399 miles to Mulberry Grove, Illinois.  The campground is next to the pavilion.  No events right now so I have my own bathroom, refrigerator, stove and roof.

Morning comes and I’m on my way to St. Louis, Missouri, a coyote crosses Highway 70 as the fog was lifting.

 Endless skyway through Missouri to Kansas.  There was a lot going on in Missouri.  Signs on the highway posted Solar Eclipse, August 21, Expect Delays,  Heavy Traffic.  Highway 70 was also closed at one point.  I started making a list of all the unusual church names.

Element Church, Faith Church Family Church, FCFC,  Liberty Church, Reach Church, Victory Baptist Church and Praise Assembly of God.

398 miles landing in Paxco Kansas!

The man that checked me in at the campground in Paxico, Kansas said he didn’t like any people from California.  I said, “There are all kinds of people in California.”  He had no use for any of them.  BUT, he took my $25. and gave me a nice campsite.  He told me about the storm shelter in case of ??

I’m still trying to figure out what it would be like to live in Kansas.

And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling, ,This land was made for you and me.

“Don’t I get tired?” people ask.   I did driving through Kansas!!  I had finished my book on tape “little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Kansas seemed so big.  I  kept driving.  I pulled into a rest area and listened to my power nap app on my phone.  Drinking lots of water, coffee and tea and stopping often.  I started a new book.


429 miles from Paxico, Kansas to Limon, Colorado.  I wan’t sure what my next step was but I was still in flat eastern Colorado.  I went for a swim at the KOA and decided to head the next morning for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

When the sun came shining and I was strolling.

 253 miles from Limon, Colorado to the KOA in the town of Gunnison, Colorado.  I stopped at a Safeway to load up on groceries.  I had a space in the campground all to myself with a pavilion right beside it.  It had tables, a stove, sink and roof over my head.

IMG_662579 miles to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  Kansas was straight and flat and now Colorado was curvy and high. Be careful what you wish for,  my sister often says to me.  It was a challenge for Vanna and me around and around the mountain curves.


Mountain sketch


Campground in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  I went to a Ranger Program that night and learned more about the dark skies.  This Park and the Grand Canyon are dark skies National Parks.



The canyon was dark and deep.  One picture shows the empire state building at the bottom of the canyon.IMG_6659

 208 miles to Mesa Verde National Park.   I find a nice campsite.  4 drives around the campground to pick just the right spot.   Many spots were available.  Why weren’t more people camping here.  I had a tour for  Cliff Palace Dwelling at 3 p.m.  More curvy winding roads to the Cliff Palace.  It was a great tour.  The Park Ranger was full of information and interesting stories.P1050442

I’m currently working on paintings of the Cliff Dwellings.  The ancestral Pueblo people is the term used now.  Anasazi name is no longer correct.

Polishing off the best burrito breakfast at 9a.m. sent me on my way to the East entrance of the Grand Canyon past the 4 Corners.

I found a campsite and took a trail to the canyon.  I was happy to return here.  It felt like a good place.  I loved the dark sky at night.  It was wonderful looking up at the milky way.


I love the Grand Canyon


P1050475This Land is your land, this land is my land

From California to the New York Island  (and all that’s in between)

From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream water

This land was made for you and me.

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine

WOW!  The whole experience was overwhelming in a good way.  90 creative people gathered together in a beautiful landscape.  The classes were drawing, metals, glass, wood and fabric. I was in the drawing class with a fantastic teacher and artist Claire Sherman.   My roommate was in the glass class.  I loved it all!    This blog will show mostly my art work.  It will take another post or 2 to talk about the food and other things I did.

I am standing by my work for the showing of  students’ work on Thursday night before we left Friday am.  Claire Sherman the teacher was wonderful.  She does large oil paintings and exhibits at the D.C. Moore Gallery in NYC.   She teaches at Drew University. We started our class with Claire showing slides by artists throughout history working in landscape.  Then we went outside to the rocks.  Painting and drawing everyday using watercolor, pens, crayons, and pencils I quickly worked on my small studies.  “Do 6 sketches before lunch”, Claire would say.  Use good paper and good paint.  What are you saving paper for?

I got quite involved with the idea of seaweed creeping around the rocks and into the sea. Seaweed became a fascinating subject for me.P1050180

The small sketches evolved into larger mixed media watercolor paintings.  Claire encouraged us to take leaps pushing our ideas along.  “There should be a difference between a photograph and a painting” she said.  We looked at slides of work by Turner, Charles Birchfield , Hooper and Diog among a few.  We also had reading homework every evening.


Night Painting Cabin 18 and 19

We read about VanGogh before we did a night painting.  I started this night painting outside my cabin but the mosquitos attacked me so I went inside with the lights out to paint some more.  I finished it the next day in the studio.

Lots and lots of painting of Deer Isle. Lots of climbing steps.  Steps to my cabin, steps to the bathroom, steps to the studio, steps to the dining hall and steps to the parking lot.  The 2 weeks spent here was a step into paradise.  The paradise did include ants, mosquitos and laundry that would never quite dry.P1040993

Foggy days, sunny days and 1 rainy day.

I feel like I learned new things and had a great time.  On my way home I visited an exhibit of watercolors by John Marin.  He painted on Deer Isle, Maine.  These are 2 of his paintings of Deer Isle.


North Carolina the Outer Banks

How did I get to North Carolina I asked myself?  I left Pennsyvania and drove through Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.  On the way back from North Carolina through Virginia, then Maryland, over long stretches of bridges and tunnels into Delaware, on to New Jersey and the George Washington bridge to NYC.  Wow!  What a trip.  The Outer Banks is a beautiful wild place.  It was a fun week.


Driving to Cape Hatteras I stopped at Kill Devil Hill to see the site that the Wright Brothers launched their first flight.

Another stop at The Bodie Lighthouse.

Arriving at Cape Hatteras and the house my daughter-in-law, son, 3 grandchildren, her parents, her niece, her brother and his child were staying in this week.  A swimming pool was right beside the house.  It was perfect for a week of great times.


I forgot to take a picture of the large seasoned shrimp as I couldn’t wait to bite into it.  Grits and pulled pork for lunch at Grill and Grits.  Soft vanilla ice cream swirled with fresh peaches!  Breakfast was made every morning by my son.  Life was good.


Driving through the sand in the 4 wheel SUV that my daughter-in-law and son rented we have fun on the beach.  Rip tides, rough surf, sand castles, fishing, painting on the beach, boogie boards, sand crabs and shells make us all happy.

We take the ferry to Ocracoke Island.  My grandson draws the ferry while crossing the inlet.


Painting on the ferry.

We cross the channel to the new Shelly Island Beach at low tide and hear about it the next day on National News ABC.  They warn people not to visit the island as they have had a lot of rescues.  We time it just right and get back with loads of awesome shells.


We found so many shells with Hermit Crabs living in them.  It was nice wading through the water on the bay site hunting for shells, fishing, playing with the hermit crab, painting and watching the ferries crossing.

It was a wonderful time!

Drawing on the Edge – the Grand Canyon


Fun sketching all day. The Grand Canyon is a challenge to draw! 


I wish we had this sign at The Overlook by the Ocean in Corona del Mar!

P1040533I arrived for my drawing class at the Grand Canyon  once again drawn by the mysteries of the Canyon.IMG_5978



Looking at the Colorado River and wishing to be on one of the boats at Hermit Falls.


The instructor Allen Petersen doing a demonstration  on drawing the canyon.


AT Last I have GOOD WIFI.  I’m in Amarillo, Texas.  Sitting under a tree, just went swimming in the pool and now I’m waiting for a shuttle to go to the Big Texan Steak Ranch.  Life is good.  Oh, I also have a glass of vino and a fan by my side. More to come!

Before I left on my trip I saw the beautiful glass sculptures at Sherman Library and Gardens.  Be sure to see them this summer if you live near-by.  I loved them!


Coming on June 17, 2017, Happy Anniversary 50 Wonderful Years! I love you Both and Wish you the Best!

The Best of Southern Arizona

Postcards from South of Tucson.

Over One of several Margaritas on our trip.  We picked the Best of the Best. The Top Ten!  These are the highlights of the trip not the order of the sights.

The Top TenP1040159

1. Sandhill Cranes

What a wonderful sight.  We arrived via dirt roads and strange gps routes to Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area in SE Arizona.  20,000 to 30,000 birds flew in as we walked to the water’s edge.  They fly from as far both as Siberia to spend the winter.  It was a spectacular noisy sight to see them.  We thought they might have already gone north to Nebraska as it was March 1 the day we arrived. These are pictures Diane took.  She’s an excellent photographer.

2. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument


Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument is the only place in the United States where you can see large stands of organ pipe cacti growing naturally.  Diane, Colin and I joined a Road Scholar Hiking Group for the week.  We met 15 people from all over the United States to hike in the Sonoran Desert.  At Organ Pipe we hiked for 3 days.  Drink lots of water, drink more water and then drink some more water.

8 miles to the border of Mexico.  Lots and lots of border patrol!  More on that later.

3. Kartchner Caverns State Park

The Cave Tour at Kartchner Caverns was at the end of our trip but one of the highlights. Ranger Joe gave a wonderful almost 2 hour tour through The Great Room in the cave.  We also learned about the bats that will return to the cave in April.  I took some pictures in the museum.  No pictures allowed in the cave.  It was amazing.  They even found sloth bones.  IMG_5593

The campsite was very nice until the third day . It was still nice but windy.

4.  Saguaro National Park East and West

We hiked  with the Road Scholar hiking group to Bridal Wreath falls in East Saguaro National Park.  It was a huffing and puffing, I think I can, drink more water and then more water hike.  Diane and Colin were in front and I was at the rear.  I made it.

The hiking group hiked in Saguaro Park West the next day.  A nice hike up the wash, no huffing and puffing.  We see rock art and hear bird song.  If you hear the Cactus Wren it means you are in a beautiful spot said out guide.

Saguaro Park West trail we hiked before we met the hiking group.

5.  Arizona Sonora Desert Museum

Wonderful things to see in the Desert Museum.  The Hummingbird garden was amazing. The Ocotillo Cafe had great food too.


Tamale and Black Beans

The end of Part One in the Top Ten Best of Southern Arizona.  Next post will be More of the Best starting at #6.  I have so much to tell.


Bryce Canyon

Heading for Bryce Canyon.  My first stop was Yuba State Park in Utah.


Bryce Canyon

 I had a wonderful campsite overlooking the Yuba Dam lake.  The workers that built the Dam in 1906 named it. They would say U.B. dammed if you work and U.B. dammed if you don’t work, from this the town was named Yuba.  I enjoyed the campsite so much I stayed another night.


Yuba Lake

Tuesday morning  I headed for Bryce Canyon.  I got a great campsite at North Campground in Bryce Canyon and headed to Inspiration Point to look at the HooDoo’s.  I forgot how BEAUTIFUL Bryce Canyon is. I was in awe of the red rock formations.  The next day I started my hike to the Queen’s Garden.  It’s down into the Canyon to see a HooDoo that looks like Queen Victoria.  I made a booklet of sketches of views along the way.


Hoodoo (hoo” doo) n. 1. A pinnacle or odd shaped force of erosion. 2. To cast a spell. v. 3.Voodoo


“Silence alone is worthy to be heard.”  Henry David Thoreau, Journal- Jan.21, 1853

I drove to Rainbow Point the next day and hiked the BristleCone Pine Loop trail.

I wanted to see the Utah BristleCone Pine.  Utah Bristlecone Pines are 1500 years old while the California BristleCone Pines are 5000 years old.  I figured that trees  in Utah are like teenagers compared to the middle-aged trees in California.  It was quite windy at the point and the trees looked almost dead.  I enjoyed the views along the way and made another  booklet of sketches.

“I need solitude.  I have come forth to this hill to see the forms of the mountains on the horizon- to behold and commune with something grander than man.”  Henry ThoreauAugust 14, 1854  I liked this sign posted along the trail.


As I hiked the Queen’s Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon.  I started to work on this poem.

Hoodoo Voodoo

Hoodoo Voodoo

329 feet downward
pinnacles of weathered red rock
Erosion carved heads, torsos, limbs
Red rock crinkled into forms
Stop! Breathe! Voodoo!
A language I try to see!

129 feet closer to the edge
Freezing ice chipping 
Frost wedging Hoodoos
German, Chinese, Italian
Listen! Snap! Voodoo!
A language I try to hear!

Switchbacks lead to hoodoo
A Sandstone Queen Victoria
A crown, a face, majestic cape
Voices whirl in piñon pines
Stop! Snap! Breathe!
A language I try to touch!

Upward on the labyrinth
110 feet to the shade of Juniper tree
Hoodoo shadows shift
Clusters of red rock facing East
Pause! Sip! Breathe!
A Language I try to understand!