Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Experimenting and Refreshing My Soul

print flea market 2

Flea Market Baskets #1

This is one of the pieces I did when I was experimenting last week.  I've posted more at the end of my blabbering about my week.  You have choices, read about my week or just go straight to the end and see the monoprints I've posted.  I'm offering them for sale at $35.00 ea.  That includes postage if you're in the U.S.  Now about my week....

Last week I traveled north for my annual art retreat with good friend and fellow artist, Terry Brancheau.  We've been doing this for about 15 years give or take.  Just the two of us, our art supplies, some art reading material, our favorite cd's and our bathing suits.  Those are the essentials.  Other things like clothes and food come along but we don't pay a lot of attention to them.  Making art is the priority for both of us; 3 swims daily is also a priority for me.

small bay panorama

I'm a water person and more specifically, an inland lake water person.  I live close to Lake Michigan and it's soothing to hear the waves which are fun to play in and it's a great fun sailing on the big lake. However, it just isn't the same as being able to dive in and feel the water, to be able to actually swim, not just play in the surf.  Being able to do that 3 times a day every day for a week soothes my soul.  I would be willing to give up a lot of things before I'd give up my week at Spider Lake.

Terry and I started doing this after spending a week at Oxbow (summer school for the School at the Art Institute of Chicago.)  It was a good experience and we decided we could do something like that every year if we just got away by ourselves with nothing to do but work on our art... no distractions.  The first year Terry arranged for us to have a cottage on an island in the middle of Lake Fenton.  That's when I determined that adding a swimming to the mix was perfect.  The island cottage was sold that winter but my brother and sister-in-law bought a cottage on Spider Lake that same year.  They offered it to us for the week and we've been going there since. 

Each year we do some experimenting, try some new subjects, techniques or sizes.  I believe trying new things keeps my mind more alive and when I go back to my watercolors it shows.  This year Terry, who usually works very large, worked on postcard size pastels.  I decided to try my hand at watercolor mono-prints.  I'd taken a one day class a few years back and liked the result but never went any further with it.  This year I decided that was what I would experiment with, especially in a small size.  I started doing them the way they were done in the class with so so results, then the experiments started.  I probably did 20 prints and of those I got 7 that are acceptable.  Well actually 9 but one of them is going to my son and his wife... that's this one.

print mf and jamie

And one went to our hosts... that's this one

print woodie

All of them are 4x6 or 4x5 images matted.

Bert's Boat

print berts boat

Tools #5

print create


print pedestrian

Still Useful

print beths tin cans

Flea Market Baskets #1

print flea market 1

Mission Bells

print bells


print blue pots

It was a great week and I'm enjoyed doing the       mono-prints.  I'll be doing more of these and intend to try the technique using a press too.  If you're interested in one of these prints you can send an e-mail to


1 comment:

Paulette said...

I am glad I followed your comment to your blog. You have beautiful work and I enjoyed reading along the way.
The lake time sounds blissful!