Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, 2013

Morning over Portland
Great Patterns in Our Hotel

We Met a New Friend at the Museum

Another New Friend at PAM

And Another
Our Beautiful and Delicious Thanksgiving Dinner

The End of a Great Day

Sunday, October 27, 2013


A Delicious Cactus Fruit
Split Open on a Beautiful Plate

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Joe's Recent Sculptural Finds

Joe has been busy at the swap! Here are some beautiful sculptural works, ranging in size from three to twenty-five inches in height.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Calm After the Storm

Relaxing at my favorite beachside patio restaurant, BBC's

Last weekend's Open Studio was a big success! Lots of visitors, sales, and good conversations. Many thanks go to Susan, Chisa, Joe, Carol and Roger for significant help and food contributions. It would not have happened without them.

And now, I'm looking forward to focusing on new creative work and new directions. See you later...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Newly UPdated Website and UPcoming Open Studio Event!

Withering (from The Memory Loss Series), 2013
ink, watercolor, relief, screenprint, collage, and
paraffin on paper
19 1/2" x 8"

Please check out my fresh website by clicking on the link in the upper left corner of my blog. All my latest work is now represented there as well as additional works from earlier years I'd not had up before. I've also added artwork resulting from classroom technique demos. Often, I used those demos to experiment with different styles - a nice stretch for me that provided new directions for artistic  thinking.

And a big THANKS to my webmaster, Karyn Carpenter!! She's terrific. You can see more of what she does on her website.

And for those of you in Southern California, I hope you'll give thought to stopping by my studio during the weekend of October 12th and 13th. Thirty artists from all over the city will open their studios to visiters during the Long Beach Open Studio Tour. You can read more about the artists and their work on the Tour website where you can also print out a map for your self-guided tour.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Meet Our New Neighbor

This guy is 13 years old and lives in the fenced yard of a neighbor. He weighs 90 pounds now and will double his size in time. When Cynthia and I were taking a walk this afternoon, Mr. Turtle wandered over on the other side of his fence to say hello... or something. Actually, he just smiled.

He is a cutie-pie.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Eating the Color Theory Way

Friday Night's Dinner on the Stove

I generally think any meal that looks good tastes good and last night's black bean fajitas with chicken and brown rice was a case in point. This recipe comes from Mark Bittman's new book, VB6, which stands for Vegan Before Six. Almost the whole color wheel was represented: red peppers, orange peppers, green jalapenos, yellow onions, black beans, brown rice. It was delicious!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Screenprinting Adventure

Last weekend, I screenprinted eight layers of a trial print for the first in the My Garden series. Doing a trial version lets me evaluate color choices, the effectiveness of transparent inks, and how the whole idea is shaping up. At this point, I can make adjustments and begin again or continue with what I've got. Eventually, there will be more detail and structure in the leaves and a semi-abstract night sky for the background. At least, that's the plan at this point, but half the fun is taking time to think through all possibilities. Making art is an adventure.

Here are the first eight layers of My Garden, #1 (trial) in sequence:

Friday, August 2, 2013

Making Art, Then and Now

Arkansas, II   1977
Marian Shuff

9" x 6"

I've recently returned from a trip to Arkansas, timed to catch a group exhibition at the Arts Center in Arkadelphia, my Mother's home town, which included a great sampling of her prints and paintings.

My brother and niece joined me. While we were in the area, we decided it was time to clear out the storage unit where a bulk of my Mother's artwork had been kept for quite some time. We hoped to sort everything out and divvy it up among us. My Mother died almost two years ago. Had we tried to do this task any sooner, it might have been overwhelmingly sad. But at this point, going through those treasures felt like a joyful act of rediscovery.

Among all the familiar finished artworks, we found a big box of many of her wood blocks, linoleum blocks and etching plates, which she had wrapped well for the long sleep. I was thrilled to see that they were all still in great shape.

One of the wood blocks I brought home with me had the carved image you see above. In 1977, my Mother printed an edition of only four. I have one of those prints and it has always been my favorite from her work. I love the way she depicted the sun shining from the left side and the shadows in the bottom right corner. I love the expressiveness of the leaves and the roughness of the bark. There is such an engaging interplay between depth and flatness of space. All that created from a simple block of wood!

I decided to print more prints from this wood block, which I did yesterday and today, finishing a group of 20 that will be labeled as a second edition. What pleasure I had in the studio doing this. And as I worked, I realized that the age she was when she printed this block for the first time is the age I am now as I print the second edition.

Here is the block, itself. Probably walnut. Beautiful, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

PAM's Artist & Book Exhibition

On our recent trip to Portland, Oregon, we saw the Artist & Book show at the Portland Art Museum. To see in the real so many works I love was a thrill. Several original screenprints comprising Joseph Albers' book of color studies, Formulation: Articulation, were there, as well as the seven woodcuts by Martin Puryear that accompany a new edition of Jean Toomer's 1922 novel, Cane

a screenprint from Joseph Albers' Formulation: Articulation

a woodcut by Martin Puryear

a woodcut by Martin Puryear
a woodcut by Martin Puryear

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Amy Uyeki's Award Winning Animation "Searchlight Serenade"

Join me at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles this Saturday, July 13th at 2 p.m!

cell from Amy Uyeki's animated film created from woodcuts and drawings

I'll be there to see the award winning documentary, Searchlight Serenade: An Animated Tale Told in Song, which features the accounts of World War II Japanese American internees who created big bands while incarcerated. The bands played for dance events inside the camps and also travelled outside to dance halls around the area. The documentary includes interviews with 9 detainees about their music and experience at that time. It also features an evocative animation created from woodcuts and drawings by Northern California artist, Amy Uyeki. Get more information about the event here.

The new documentary won an award at the Big Island Film Festival in Honolulu this summer.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Composition with Cat

Sophie stars in this post, as is his due.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A New Series Begins

Eight screens... count 'em... EIGHT screens with newly burned photo-emulsion stencils  and sides taped off,  READY TO GO!!!

I'm beginning a new series of mixed media works on paper featuring plants and patterned backgrounds. These eight screens will serve as a trial: I'll print them, each printed on top of the others to build up a very transparent set of abstracted plant leaves. If I like what I end up with, I've got a direction. If I don't, then I'll start all over.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Book As Art

Joe has been helping me prepare for a book project down the road by collecting old, tattered books with interesting titles and old-style covers. I'm not quit sure how this project will evolve, but I'm taking as inspiration Joseph Cornell's Manual of Marvels, recently published by Thames & Hudson in as accurate a copy as possible.

Here is Joseph Cornell's book, outside and inside:

What is instructive to me is that Cornell created his own art book of collaged pages from a found book written in French, which he did not speak. He seemed to like the elegance of the column design, the black and white illustrations intermixed with the text, the beauty of the typeface. So, his interest was the use of the book as a visual jumping off point, not in terms of written content as a connection. He used the columns of text as background elements and added found imagery and line work to the illustrations to create his own small tableaus.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Know That You Are Lucky by Kathan Brown

I recently finished this newly published book and loved it. It is the autobiography of Kathan Brown, founder of Crown Point Press in San Francisco, who writes about her experiences with the Press, with artists who've created editions with her there, and the ups and downs of "putting one foot in front of the other."

Brown writes so openly and warmly - as if she is in a room and having a conversation with the reader. I came away from it with huge admiration for her and for her kind of creative world.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Think Like a Mathematician

The recent edition of Mathematics Magazine, published by the Mathematics Association of America, features my cover art! It is the fourth cover I've done for the MM and I'm proud. The milk carton, clock and hot cup of coffee refer to one of the articles published inside and the background grid with dots refers to another.

I enjoy the challenges of creating these covers. I'm forced to think and envision in ways that are different from my usual artistic practice and, since I'm creating mostly with photoshop, I learn more about that way of working, too.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Resuming My Saturday Morning Walk-About

It's been a long time and I don't know why I stopped. This morning's walk in the neighborhood was delightful.

A red hot poker plant stars in this neighbor's new native garden. 

Friend Loren is out with Brooklyn and Rita, supposedly on a walk...

Scott's new picket fence is stunning, even before completion. In the background, Loren and pals have headed to a yard sale down the way.

Friday, June 21, 2013

First-Day-of-Summer Dinner

Can't beat this! Fresh tomatoes and basil from our garden, hot red pepper flakes and feta over wheat pasta to commemorate summer. And why not gin and tonics, too? We'll eat in our courtyard surrounded by blooms and a perfect SoCal evening of blue skies, gentle sun and winsome breeze. Cheers to all!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tomatoes, Art and Art Tomatoes

Add a bit of salt and eat!

Inspired by the beautiful tomato, I created a quick mixed media piece as an exercise in the studio:

Homage to the Tomato, 2013
mixed media on paper
7" x 8"

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Another Layer, Drying in the Sun

Joe has painted another layer of black on the edges of the presentation boxes for the Memory Loss series... the last layer for the sides. Now, the tops. The life of an artist's husband is not all glamour.