Saturday, March 25, 2017

Red drawing (dancer)

This drawing was done with micron pens on a make-shift sketch pad.  I like to work on heavy weight smooth paper so that I can combine micron pen and watercolor. The Strathmore Mixed Media is my favorite. The paper is very durable and erasable. I buy whatever I can find in stock either in stores or online because I have trouble locating them.

Floating dress...

For some reason, this image came into play.  Maybe I've been think that I was in limbo.  Moving really takes away your security or maybe a sense of belonging.

Blue portrait

Trying to adjust to a temporary sketchbook during out move to Indiana.  Hard to get into drawing when the surface of the paper isn't what I'm used to.

Hair portrait

I love to draw floating faces sometimes and these small spikes just happened.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I'll be juroring the 36th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition...

Drawing from my sketchbook...

This year I have been asked to juror the 36th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition! I love both drawing and printmaking and it is a great honor to have been invited to juror this year's exhibit.  I really look forward to seeing the submissions from artists around the world.

The Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition is the second-longest running juried print and drawing competition in the country. Every two years it features the best contemporary graphic artwork from around the globe.  This year’s exhibition will be held at five prominent Peoria Illinois Galleries, The Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, Prairie Center of the Arts, Studios on Sheridan, and on campus at Bradley University at Heuser Art Gallery and Hartmann Center Gallery.  The 36th Bradley International will be juried by Kathryn Polk.  Polk (born 1952) studied at the Memphis Art Academy and The University of Memphis. She lives and works in Tucson, Arizona where she is the co-owner of L VIS Press, a lithography print studio.  Polk will present a visual voices lecture March 9th at 5pm in Horowitz Auditorium, Caterpillar Global Communications Center.  Three substantial awards will be selected by the juror and announced at the lecture.
Apply Online Here
1st Place – $3,000
2nd Place – $1,750
3rd Place- $750
The 36th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition
The Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, Prairie Center of the Arts, Studios on Sheridan, Heuser Art Center, Hartmann Center Gallery
Exhibition Dates: March 11th – April 17th
Lecture: March 9th, 5pm – Horowitz Auditorium, Caterpillar Global Communications Center

Am I Blue?

It feels like I'm making up for lost time.  The prickly pear is indigenous to Arizona and the idea of leaving the state seems somewhat sad not to be able to see it all around in my everyday landscape.  I've always thought that the southwest was a harsh environment and produced some of the strangest vegetation on earth.  But over time I have learned to appreciate the survival nature of the indigenous cacti.


The past 5 months have been a major disruption for making my art.  We are in the process of moving our home and studio (LVIS Press) to Bloomington, Indiana.  After living in Tucson since 1983 this move to Bloomington will be a huge change for us but we are looking forward to hanging out with the art communities there. I had no idea how much we had accumulated over the course of 30+ years.   We donated a lot to the University of Arizona print department (chemicals and things we didn't feel good about putting in the POD.

Just a few weeks ago there was a jack hammer right outside the studio door (7:00 am).  Hard to concentrate.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

"Burning Sage", Lithograph

My apologies for the terrible photograph but the studio has been turned upside down and I grabbed this with my IPhone. Rushed to get this print done, way past deadline.  I felt so guilty to be late but they were understanding.  This is an edition I created for the Appalachian Elegy, Bell Hooks portfolio curated by Nicole Hand.  The image and symbols represent my paternal grandmother.  She was born in Appalachia (Southeast Tennessee) and lived on a farm in the hills.  It was a very hard-working Irish immigrant family clan.

"The Innate Thread", Lithogrpah

This is the final print from the edition I printed with the help of students at The University of Akron.  Hard work for about 4 days, the students and printmaking faculty were so fantastic!!!!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Blind Faith", Lithograph

This is the final print from an edition during my visit to East Carolina University.  The title is "Blind Faith". The students helped me print the black key from the stone there at ECU and later I printed the remaining colors at L VIS Press using photo litho plates and tintbase inks.

"Ever After", lithograph

This is the print that I recently made with the help of WPA (Wildcat Print Association) at University of Arizona.  It has 6 printed colors and 1 spot blue hand tint on the eyes.  The "key" was printed with black ink (GC#2244) from the stone.  For the background was I counter etched the stone and printed a tab tintbase ink.  The red lips were hand burnished polyester plate. The remaining colors were drawn on velvet tone mylar and rubylith masks exposed to a photolitho plate. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

David Hughes, Artist

I believe this picture is a self portrait of David Hughes.  According to Wikipedia he was born in Twickenham, UK. I love to see his work.  Beautiful lines with pen and ink, watercolor (I'm guessing) or gouache.  My guess is that he draws with whatever he pleases and more often than not gets exquisite results.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Ever feel over extended?...

I need to develop a new image for a print portfolio due NOW!  Need more red in my work.  Chances are that this won't be the image but up in arms seems appropriate right now.


Haven't had much time to draw lately.  A lot of printing at L VIS Press.  Need to get back to my sketchbook!!!!!!!! Argh. SGCI was a lot of fun though...

Monday, February 1, 2016

Valentine 3

I've been going through some old drawings and modifying them to indicate Valentine's.  Has turned into a challenge with some of the existing images but this one was fun to play with.  I actually think it looks better than before..

Valentine 2

Added a tiny heart in the center of this speech balloon.

Valentine 1

Old drawing made new with the add on hearts for eyes.  I only have eyes for litho.

Lithography is a fickle Muse...

The plan was to print today...  Calendared my paper and mixed my ink.  Thought I would print the key in dark blue.  The final drawing looks slightly different from this mockup.

Disaster!!!!!!! after Disaster!

Because I used different techniques for the sky, my etch posed a major problem.

Out of frustration I moved the stone outside and grained the image off the stone.  I do this sometimes as a knee jerk reaction when I don't like something.  Wasn't meant to be I suppose.  Litho kicked my A_s today...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Lithography Workshop at Penland!!!!!!

Penland Summer Session 2016 Catalog

I am so EXCITED that Andy and I will be co-teaching at Penland during Summer Session I, May 29th-June 10, 2016.  I've heard incredible things about Penland for most of my artist-life.  What's the plan?.. to have a love fest with stone litho. Andy's an incredible teacher/master lithographer (he taught me, and I'm the worst student ever!).  I also noticed that ALL of the summer sessions have cool printmakers teaching, too (Sage Perrott, Althea Murphy-Price, Lisa Bulaswsky and some others).  Can't wait to get back to the North Carolina landscape (I used to live in Winston-Salem).  Check out Penland campus and print studio go to Can't wait to hang out with all these artists!

New Litho...

Drawing on stone so far...MUST print ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This image is based on a UFO sighting that happening in the late 80s in Texas.  We were camped at a KOA camp near Midland and Odessa.

Teaching litho this semester...

Starting with some easier steps for lithography class. The plan is to cover polyester plate for about 3 weeks and then start on stone lithography.  I'm hoping this keeps them from being overwhelmed by everything.  This way they learn about the equipment, paper, registration, mixing ink and the basic print shop materials.  I was always so overwhelmed by all of these things and on top of that having to learn stone lithography (etching the stone, and tusche washes, etc).

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New stone drawing...

I just got a month long extention for this portfolio!!!!! Yippee!!!!! Need to redo my red oxide transfer paper.  Too thick.  Too late but tried to lesson the thickness of it with wiping lightly with a webril wipe.  Need to draw some age into her, she's supposed to be a wild crone.

Crazy profiles...

Think I'm going to play with these.  Will try some Smart plate prints maybe black key drawing and then add color with flats (sharpie) and some fused toner using tint based color ink.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sketch for Bell Hooks portfolio

The original sketchbook image was drawn with micron pen and watercolor. 
I have to think about how I am going to add the white dots.
Really need to get going on this one.  It's  due Jan 15th.  Based on this drawing I will probably have 7-8 print runs.  Maybe I'll do some spot printing with polyester plate process for speed. If I do silkscreen for the white dots I need to get someone to help me set up that process in the studio.  I usually leave a white margin around my image area because of several reasons.  If I use polyester plates for extra color runs the plate-drawing does not hold up at the edge of a bleed image. Also I have a composite roller that I prefer to work with that won't print longer than 18".  I have two larger rollers that would work with larger image areas but it is more difficult for me to roll and sponge my own edition by myself and with editions of 60+ prints it can be exhausting.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Quick sketch of my Mother

Every time I visit my Mother in Memphis I try to sketch her.  When she's watching Jeopardy is the best time. She's 97 and will be 98 in February.


Watercolor with sepia micron line drawing.

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Getting ready for the holidays.  Procrastinating on 2 portfolios...but sketching.  Can't decide on a final image.  Did something pretty decadent... hired a former litho student to grain some stones for me. So no excuses now.  Thinking of changing the landscape of this one.  Researching civil war and the graves of soldiers in Appalachia. Remnants of war past, present and future. 

Working on sketch for "Bell Hooks" Portfolio

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Litho can be a "tough love"...testing testing, 1..2

Great trip to Minnesota as a guest artist of "Bohemian Press".  Worked with two ultra fabulous printmakers at the University of Minnesota, Edie Overturf and Jenny Schmid!!! Great group of undergrad printmakers and two very special grad students (Brittany and Dillon).

Had a strange thing happen in the middle of pulling the "key" stone drawing.  Decided to change the image somewhat and ended up splitting the edition.  I brought home one half of the prints to finish up before the end of this semester.  The problem is that I can't decided how I want to finish up this print.  This past two years I have been loving "plaid".  So option one is plaid and option two is a solid tint base background.  I keep changing my mind but have decided that I will decide one way or another tomorrow!  Someone commented on Instagram that the plaid was too busy.  I think I agree with that.  Maybe there's a time and a place for place and perhaps I should hold off until the right opportunity comes to use it again.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


More watercolor/drawings in that large format sketchbook.  The paper is so thick, I need to adjust to the nice paper. I've been working on lightweight paper for years and am feeling spoiled by this new book.  I did order 2 more books to have when I finish with this one.  It's nice to have the same sized "perfect bound" sketchbooks for storage.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Ghost Dance

Drawing for "Ghost".  Hopefully I will be able to translate this onto a stone and combine Smart Plates with Photo litho plates for color.  Processing...

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sometimes I wish I could go back...

Sometimes I make a decision to change a print edition or drawing and I wish that I could go back to the original state.  This is one of those times.  When "less" is "more"... keep it simple ... the vertical to horizontal lines work much better without the color.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Don't Play with Fire...

Having fun with this red to yellow color palette.  It's always about the hair.

Blue drawing...

Purchased a new batch of micron pens.  I love working with the .005 blue.  Accidentally bought a watercolor sketchbook (didn't check the paper).  Meant to purchase the 500 Mixed Media Strathmore book.  So playing around with washes.  I always think accidents happen for a reason.  So far I don't totally dislike the textured paper.

Not sure where she came from.  This floating girdle petticoat woman... those wadded up floating paper pieces are representing"mistakes".

Boo Day...

Having difficulty developing a "ghost" concept. So I started playing with the idea of masks.A side note... I'm going to print 45 prints today (my second color) so I'm conserving my energy until the print session begins... otherwise know as procrastinating.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Recent lithograph...

This print has been shipped.  It's headed to DeKalb first, then on to China.  Part of an international portfolio curated by Paul Croft from Wales.

Big tip, don't give anything a long long title unless you don't mind writing a lot.  The title of this piece is "The Eye Does Not See What the Mind Does Not Know".  I had to write it 35 times for this edition of 35.

Even though it is too subtle to see in my photograph, there are 3 colors in this print.  I started with the ball-grain key (black).  Next I printed a soft tint-based blue and then the big flat square cut to the background.

I made textures on the plate with gum arabic, tusche and rolled up cheesecloth and black ink. Wasn't sure what I would get because of all the layers in the original drawing.  So fingers crossed I forced myself to let go and embrace the unknown.  I think I might like the more tactile result.  However time will tell.

Taliesin West detour

Last week when we were in Phoenix we decided to take a quick tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West despite the heat (don't forget it's Arizona). 
Check out how the glass window is cut to accommodate the shape of this ceramic piece!  Wild.
One thing that became very clear to me was that the height of almost all of the rooms were designed for people under 5'8" height.  How tour guide said that Wright was very short.  The furniture was pretty cool to see, we saw most of the original chairs, tables, and furniture designed for the space. There were still people working in the classroom/studio...probably my favorite area.  We weren't able to stay long in there so I don't have a good photo to show you.
Pretty cool bathroom even though it was a bit cramped.  He seemed more into the gathering areas and less about the individual sleeping and bath accommodations.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Pinocchio watercolor...

It's fun to do quick stuff.  When my brain is tired and I can't think of any "incredibly-clever" (haha) concepts I just paint or draw anything that's nearby. 

It was nice to find this little sketchbook I had stashed away a while ago after a trip to Italy. I gave this little watercolor to Eliot.