Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Fine Points Drawing Exhibit at Bristol Art Museum

I am really excited to have been asked to guest curate this drawing exhibit at the Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, Rhode Island. I invited six artists who are proficient in their mediums and profound in their works of art. They are Deborah Friedman, Holly Bedrosian, Elizabeth A. Patterson and Susan Tait Porcaro (colored pencil), Kathie Miranda (colored pencil, silverpoint) and Tatiana Flis (graphite, colored pencil). You can click on their names to see more of their works on the individual websites. 
I am also exhibiting some of my handmade books containing colored pencil drawings. 

The exhibit opening reception is Friday, July 26 from 6-8 pm. I am hosting a Curator's Chat at 5:30 mp just before the opening on July 26th. 

The exhibit is open for preview Bristol/Warren Art Night Thursday July 25 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. See the flyer below for more information and all of the Art Night stops.

The works of art in this exhibit are amazing, please stop in and you will surely be impressed by the wonderful drawings! Five of us are members of the Colored Pencil Society of America.

The exhibit runs through September 1.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Collecting Shells - Handmade Book in a Handmade Box

I just finished this handmade accordion book that folds up into a handmade box. I drew the seashell and sea life illustrations with black and white Faber Castell Polychromos colored pencils and Caran d'Ache Supracolor watercolor pencils on Strathmore Toned Tan drawing paper. I wanted to create this artwork using only tones of black, white and grays.

I built the box using book board and made the book cloth with this lovely fabric I found at a local fabric shop. The accordion book folds up into the box but can be displayed on it's side with the pages fanning out.

I enjoy creating small sketches and drawings and looking for new ways to present them instead of just in a sketchbook. I decided that I can create the drawings into handmade books and display them. This piece is going to be exhibited at the Bristol Art Museum, Bristol, RI. I am the guest curator of an upcoming drawing exhibit that opens Friday, July 26. More about that in my next post!

Saturday, June 29, 2019

My Colored Pencil Drawing Book

 I'm really excited to announce that my book about drawing with colored pencils is available for preorder on Amazon – just follow this link. The book is written and illustrated by me with the help of a variety of editors and designers who work with the publisher GMC Publications in London, England. It was such an exciting project to work on, much thought and hard work.

The beginning of the book consists of information about materials, techniques, color theory, sketching and composition. The remainder of the book has ten step-by-step projects and three focus projects to help the reader learn all about drawing with colored pencil and refining their skill.

The publish date is September 2019 and I look forward to book signings/demos and teaching workshops in colored pencil in collaboration with the book. Please contact me for any additional information at

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Three New Folded Books

Here are three new folded books that I created last week. I'm teaching an altered book workshop at Providence Art Club in a few weeks so I decided to sit down, fold a few more books and write down all the instructions for my students. 

I will credit Johwey Redington's website for the instructional videos to create these three sculptures. Click on the link and you can see the different folded books on her website. I added my own ideas to the books I created. The Yin-Yang book (middle) was a colorful book containing some maps and map images on the inside covers. I tore out a few pages so I would have just enough to fold so the end inside cover illustrations would show. 

I did the same for the last book here with the red end pages, I tore out a few pages so the red would show at either end.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Altered & Handmade Book Talk Tomorrow

Everyone is invited to my book talk tomorrow Monday June 17 at 3 pm at the Providence Art Club, 11 Thomas Street, Providence, Rhode Island. It is free and open to the public. I will be talking about my process of altering used books and turning them into book sculptures. I will also be talking about my handmade books that incorporate mediums such as colored pencil, watercolor, printmaking and collage into the illustrated pages. I will also be showing a PowerPoint presentation of my works and examples of other artists' works to show just what can be done with the art of books!

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Handmade Book & Book Sculpture Exhibit

I had an incredibly exciting and well attended opening reception at the Providence Art Club last Sunday afternoon. I have been working so hard on writing the book on colored pencil (coming out in October!) and preparing for this exhibit, plus doing commission work for clients - so I haven't had my own art exhibit in quite some time.

This exhibit of my handmade books and books sculptures allowed me to talk about my work and interact with all of my guests at the opening reception. I had forgotten how much I enjoy connecting with people, talking about the exhibit and listening to their stories, their comments and feedback on my work. I talked continually to guests for two hours straight and never even left the gallery for a glass of water! Here are a few pictures of my work in the Castelnovo Gallery at the Providence Art Club. For those of you unfamiliar with this gallery, it is a small, intimate gallery upstairs at the Art Club and a perfect space for exhibiting my works of art.

I was also thrilled to already have sold 8 of the 15 exhibiting works of art!

For anyone who is reading this and in the RI area, I will be giving an artist talk at the Providence Art Club on Monday, June 17 at 3 pm. I will be talking about my work and my process as well as showing a short presentation of other book artists' work that I have seen. The talk is free and open to the public, so please come if able!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Handmade Accordion Book With Etchings

Last fall my husband and I took a trip to Amsterdam Holland and I was really intrigued by the wonderful characteristics of the Amsterdam canal houses; colors, shapes and how many are leaning forward or against each other. It was explained to us that property is taxed on its width not height - thus the reason the houses are so narrow and so tall. We were also told that canal houses were built on swampy land along the canals many years ago. Time has passed and many are starting to sink into the wet land as well as their support beams are decaying causing them to begin to lean. We saw construction on many houses that foundations were being replaced and newer support beams were being added for support.

I took many photos of the different houses and returned home thinking of how I could create art  with images of these wonderful houses. I decided to create an accordion book illustrated with colored intaglio etchings. I enrolled in a solar plate etching class and created six etching plates from graphite drawings that I had done of the Amsterdam canal houses. I even added a car, mini bus and some bikes. I experimented by printing the plates with different colored inks and on different types of papers. I created some with  chine-collé rice papers (glued) onto the printmaking paper as I ran the etching through the press.

I took the finished prints and cut out the canal house shapes and hand colored some of the windows, door and facades of the houses for added interest. I then decided on an arrangement and glued the canal houses onto a house-shaped accordion paper. The top photo shows the many cutouts I worked with as I decided on a layout for the pages.

The final step was to create a "house" shaped box in which to fit the accordion book. I shaped and glued book board into the box and covered it with handmade book cloth. I added a little door knob to the box.

I worked on this project from January though April of this year. It took me a while to create and execute the concept but I really enjoyed it and probably have enough prints for another book. 

I hope you like it also! It will be part of my upcoming exhibit at the Providence Art Club, Providence, RI opening Sunday, June 2nd in the Castelnovo Gallery.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Handmade Books & Book Sculpture Exhibit

I'm really excited to be exhibiting just my handmade books and book sculptures in an exhibit titled Bound and Unbound at the Providence Art Club, Providence, Rhode Island from June 2-21, 2019. I have my own small exhibit upstairs in the Castelnovo Gallery, which is a small intimate space perfect for my books.

Other exhibiting artists are Marilyn Saabye and Roberta Segal in the Maxwell Mays Gallery and Donato Beauchaine and Lorraine Bromley in the Dodge House Gallery. It will be a lovely exhibit of all the different artworks!

Please join us Sunday, June 2 from 2-4 pm for the artist reception. I would love to hear comments and feedback on my book sculptures!

I named this book Inner Circle. I created it from a book I purchased in Prague that is in another language and I'm not quite sure what language. The shapes of the letters intrigued me to create a sculpture in which the type could still be read. I folded pages, punched large circles and added buttons to create this hanging sculpture. I had great fun creating it over the last several weeks. I hung it and added pieces and took away pieces until I liked the finished result. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

One Handmade Book & One Book Sculpture

Here is a book sculpture I created from this book on butterflies that I found in a used book store. I liked the large butterfly image on the cover of the book as well as the colorful illustrations of the butterflies inside of the book.

First step, I tore out all the pages containing the butterfly illustrations so I could use them later. Next I glued all the edges of the pages so they would form a "block". After the glue was dried, I cut out the inside of the book by cutting through all of the pages (as neatly as I could) with a sharp utility knife.

At this point I spent many hours cutting out all the butterflies with small scissors. I would do this in the evenings while watching TV to make the task more fun .... I started by inserting and gluing the edges of butterfly wings between pages of the book starting at the back and working forward. Butterflies in the center were glued to bits of paper to make them stand out. Finally my husband looked at the book and said "stop! you have enough butterflies in there." I was just having so much fun inserting more butterflies!

My final step was to create butterflies that would pop out when the book opened but would fold up when it was closed. I glued backing paper to folded butterflies in order to give them additional support and to allow me to glue a few together.

It takes patience and time to cut and glue. I had the idea when I started but the book just evolved as I began working on it!

This second creation is a handmade book in which the idea had been in my head for a long time. I was taking a handmade book making class at the Providence Art Club. We created several small handmade books and in the last few classes we created a box in which to hold our books.

I took the project one step further and decided to use my box in which to hold a handmade accordion book of my own and make it into a sculptural piece of art. I chose the theme of local birds partly because I had a beautiful nest I could add to the top of the box.

I drew the birds on tan toned drawing paper using only black and white watercolor pencils both dry and wet using a brush. I chose to create a variety of drawings of local birds, feathers and parts of nests.

The box I created is with book board and book cloth that I made myself. I spray painted parts of the birds nest on top with black and added the feather. The box opens and the accordion drawings of the birds fits inside when closed.

I am working toward my art exhibit featuring my handmade and upcycled book sculptures at the Providence Art Club opening Sunday, June 2, 2019.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Boys in Surf

I have finished this commission drawing of the little boys running in the ocean surf. I added the boys to the drawing focusing first on each piece of clothing, it's folds and highlights to make it look realistic and form around the contours of their bodies. The details in the bathing suits took a little bit of time to add – I didn't want it to be overly busy and detract from the picture so I kept the marks simple. Next I added their hair in various shades of light browns and finally the skin tones and shadows in the skin tones.

For skin tones, I used Prismacolor pinks, warm yellows, Pumpkin Orange,  Burnt Ochre, Imperial Violet and Luminance Manganese Violet & Ultramarine Violet. I wanted to create highlights and shadows on glowing skin, making it look realistic in flesh tones.

After I finished the boys I went back and adjusted the tones in the water, making some of the waves in the water darker. I added colors such as Prismacolor Clay Rose, Nectar and Burnt Ochre and the Luminance violets to the sanded area in the foreground. I burnished the sand and the waves with a bristle brush to smooth out texture.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Boys in Surf - Beginning

I have been asked to create a colored pencil commission piece of the two little brothers jumping into the surf at the beach. The reference photo is below and the top photo is step 1. The drawing is approximately 11x14" and I am working on Legion brand Stonehenge paper in Pearl Gray. I chose a neutral for the paper, I thought white might be too bright underneath for the boys' skin tones. The Pearl Gray will be a nice tone for under the waves and beach and I can add the amount of white on the foam that I wish. The paper is beautifully soft and builds layers of the pencil nicely.

My first step is created with Prismacolor, Caran d'Ache Luminance and one of the new Derwent Lightfast pencils in Deep Blue. I received this pencil from the Colored Pencil Society of America convention in 2018, the color is perfect and I like that this pencil is lightfast. I may choose to add another brand of colored pencil also but these three are working fine for now.

The waves, the surf, reflections and beach are somewhat daunting so I decided to tackle them first before the figures. I have laid in colors and shapes first and will surely go back in and adjust contrast, tone and color. I will want the boys to be the main focus so I will have to be sure the water and surf doesn't overpower the figures.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Harmony, Colored Pencil

 I began  working on this piece back in the summer and posted the top image previously on my blog. While I was working on writing the colored pencil book, I was also learning or brushing up on the structures of artworks such as composition, design and color theory. I was intrigued to try working on some colored pencil drawing in harmonious colors. Harmonious or analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel. I had taken this photo of cabbages growing several summers ago and was curious to give it a try using only harmonious colors – green – blue  violet. I began by layering colors to create a blue/violet underpainting. I added various greens over the blues and violets but not covering up all of the blues and violets or allowing them to show through layers of green.

I am thrilled to say this finished piece received a Merit Award in the Providence Art Club Winter Members' Exhibit going on through February 15, 2019. Approximately 175 pieces were submitted and only thirteen awards were given out so I consider myself very fortunate!

Scroll down to see the piece in various stages and also one photo of my color notes on the borders.  I layered Faber Castell Polychromos under and over Prismacolor and Caran d'Ache Luminance colored pencils. The Polychromos are a harder pencil and mix nicely with the softer Prismacolor and Luminance pencils. Polychromos will help to fill color so less of the paper will show through. I burnished with a bristle brush and also a Prismacolor colorless blender pencil. This drawing is on Strathmore Drawing paper.

I used a mixture of different brands of colored pencils: Prismacolor, Faber Castell Polychromos and Caran d'Ache Luminance and made color notes to choose colors and help me remember which colors I had used.

Monday, January 28, 2019

My Newest Book Sculptures

 I have been negligent about writing on my blog this past year. In May I was contacted by GMC Publications in London asking me to write a book on colored pencil for beginners. This book will consist of basic colored pencil information, step-by-step projects and a few focus features and should be published sometime by the end of 2019. In a period of six month, I have written all of the content, drawn all of the illustrations and diagrams which was quite a lot of work. But I was really excited to have been asked to write the book on colored pencil for GMC's fine art series of books! And will be more excited to see the finished project so bear with me as we are still in the editing phase.

Meanwhile ... I have also been working on a different sort of books ... recycled book sculptures.The top two photos are a sculpture (front and back) that I created from a sportfishing book I found in a flea market in Maine. I was intrigued by the illustrations of all of the different fish. I cut out fish from the pages and then folded the remaining pages and glued the fish back onto the sculpture with a few added extras including fishing line, netting, bobbers, flyfishing flies.

I am very excited because this book sculpture was accepted into the Newport Art Museum Annual Member Exhibit 2019. Only 90 entries were accepted out of 265 entered. The opening is Friday February 1 from 5-7 pm and I am excited to attend and see all of the works.

 This book sculpture is created from a book I found that is all about growing fruits in the garden. I liked the colorful illustrations of the different fruits. I cut out many of the fruit and leaves and folded the pages then glued the fruit back onto the pages.

I exhibited this book at Imago Gallery's Community Exhibit in January and was thrilled that it won a Recognition Award. 

 The two sculptures above, lady bugs and butterflies were created for two different ladies in memories of each one's mother. Every time Judy sees a lady bug it reminds her of her mother and every time Ann sees a butterfly it reminds her of her mother. These two books will be permanent memories to be displayed in their homes. Both the ladybugs and the butterflies were cut from book pages that I had watercolored in various colors. I added the black paper and cut out spots with a hole punch for the ladybugs. Some of the bugs and butterflies are suspended on wire and some are glued onto the pages.

If you look closely in this cabinet you will see my two masted sailing ship book sculpture (on the left). I created this book sculpture of a ship riding the waves and a whale diving into the waves. My customer who purchased the book sculpture is displaying it in this cabinet and I think it looks perfect with all of her lovely curios!