Art Camp for Big Kids

This week, I’m attending one of the Art Educator Workshops at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).  The class is being taught by Val Jenkins (see her work here).   To start with, we watched the John Cage documentary.  I’m not a huge fan of the work, but I get it for the most part.  It served as a springboard for the class; Experimental Drawing.

We did some individual work, some paired work and a group collaborative drawing.

Unknown object drawing.

Work based on description of an unknown object given by my partner Ti Besonen. Some of her descriptors were bumps, burnt sienna, bullet hole like area with some string things, gently spiraling and brittle.

Collaborative drawing.

The collaborative drawing about midway through being finished.


Collaborative drawing.

More developed version of the collaborative drawing.

Collaborative drawing.

Nearly finished work. I have a feeling we will be going back into this piece. We rearranged the panel to explore the composition and areas that needed to be edited.



Individual drawings. The work had to include four views of the object. Other than that it was an exploration of space, addressing the space as a form, unity and balance The drawing located on the upper left is Ti Besonen’s.


More individual drawings. Mine is on the far left.

Beef Calamari.

Beef Calamari. That’s my title and I’m sticking to it. Mine was based on the horn from a steer. The oval shape proved to be wanting to play the dominant role, so I let it. At some point some of they reminded me of calamari. About two minutes before we were to finish up, I took the Char-Kole and placed the large central one on the upper layer. It was a risk, but I think it worked.

Helen – No longer lost.


This is a story I wrote for an English Composition class in 1995.  The story is factual, with the exception of my “thought” interjections.  I have been looking for this written work well over a decade and probably close to 15 years.  Today, I found it stored among other important papers.   The essay was turned upside down and stored carefully away apparently waiting for just the right moment to be found.  As a preface, Helen is my grandmother.  Betty Lou, is my mother and never knew Helen as her mother.  Read the paper and then read my comments after the images.




I was extremely moved when I read the comments by the prof.  I just re-read The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins, less than three days ago.  My daughter and I attended her father’s funeral 2 weeks ago.  She never knew him.  Life beyond what we know it has some forces that are so strong.

Off to the presses!

Having just finished a portfolio print, I’m now on to creating two more.  The first one will be for this project and I’ll be printing this afternoon.  The second one is in the incubation stage as I was just invited to participate in that one.  Looking forward to again being a part of  a print portfolio exchange.

If you’re not familiar with printmaking in terms of the fine arts, here’s what some of the tools and equipment I’ll be working with today.

Half Pram Press

The press has a bed that is 6″ wide and about twice as long.  It’s a very small press in terms of printing presses and there are few and far between.  I believe I have one of the last ones made.  I’ve tested out several prints on it and so far so good.  The beauty of it is that is so portable, so maybe this summer, I’ll take it on the road with me.  Somewhere.

Resingrave Block

Additionally, I’ve taken up engraving and will post a photo later of the print.  Engraving is definitely an art form that takes patience and skill to master.  Out of let’s say 10 Levels of Mastery, I’m a .5.   Regardless, I’m enjoying the process. I’ve only done one before and love the overall look that can be created with the engraving tools.

Ready to Ink

I’m hoping to run the entire edition this morning yet.  Ink is ready, press is ready, paper is ready…time to print.




The above image titled, “Who’s Holding the Strings” puts things back into perspective for me.  Painted in 2009, this represented a chaotic time in my life where I felt betrayed, manipulated and out of control.  Not that I’m in any more control, but I was able to take the symbolic scissors and cut the cord to allow some sense of freedom.  Tornadoes keep coming into my work as well when I feel out of control or overwhelmed.  I just posted a response on facebook and realized that I have too many irons in the fire again.

In addition to that, I’m trying to control the process of etching using non-toxic processes and find I am not getting the results I want.  A couple more works with tornadoes.  “Blow Me Out of the Chaos…please,” which is a collage of prints and an untitled monoprint.Blow Me  OUt Chaos


Artist Date – Week 1

I took my artist self to Bluegrass, MN. Population unknown. It’s the epitome of “The Middle of Nowhere” but I’ve driven through it so many times and always slapped myself upside the head for not having a camera along. It’s inhabited, but today was the first time in the 15 years of going through that town that I’ve actually seen anyone. Probably because I was there long enough to take photos.

Anyway, the slide show here is my adventure for Week 1.

Bluegrass, MN slideshow