Row Row Row your Boat

We are such lucky ducks, surrounded by this kind of beauty every day- do you notice how these beautiful moments in nature feel like therapy? I don’t know what the science is behind it, but I sure feel it! Duke took these snaps while out for a Christmas holiday row the other day.


Work in Progress

I started working on a new linocut piece a few weeks ago, based on an old photograph of the wharves in Wesleyville. I’ve been doing a bit a research and sizing up where exactly the picture was taken, and my amateur historian guess is that this is the area where the ‘pound’ is at the Wesleyville Marine Service Centre looking to the right of that at around 1900.

From The Sea, Our Life-Blood by the Ocean View Senior Citizens
First, I drew the image onto a piece of linoleum using a Sharpie. The image has to be mirrored in order to print correctly onto paper.
I carved the image using v and u shaped blades.
I have an awful habit of doubting my ability with every image I make, and earlier today I was suggesting to Duke that the whole thing might not work out and that perhaps I was just wasting my time with the carving this close to the Craft Fair (main sales event of the year for me). He scoffed at the idea. But my confidence is still pretty shaky, despite being a professional artist for 27 years already.
And so here is the carved plate, ready to be washed, inked, and proofed tonight. If you’d like to see some printmaking in action, please do stop by and keep me company! Let’s see if this image turns out to be a treasure or trash!


Later the same night… the inked lino on the press bed
The first proof fresh off the press
And with a bit of watercolour added to really get an idea of what it’ll look like finished.

So now that I have my first proof pulled, I can see that there are a couple of areas that I need to change with the carving. Once that’s done, I’ll cut all my paper to size, about 50 sheets, tidy up the studio (have to sweep up Jack hair before laying out ink!), and away I go! I’ll be editioning very soon- please feel free to drop in to see how it’s done in person!

I’m pretty happy with the image at first look- what do you think? Treasure or trash?

The Wesleyville Book Project

I’m at Flatrock, at Walking Bird Press, with my partner in crime, Tara Bryan.  We’re continuing work on an edition of 100 books about Wesleyville.  They are coming along very nicely, and it’s getting pretty exciting to see our efforts turn into something- not just proofs, but final printing!



Walking Bird Press

I’m spending some time in Flatrock with my friend and artist extraordinaire, Tara Bryan. We are working on a little art book together, to be titled Wesleyville. This morning, I set type for the first time, and really enjoyed it- a bit like playing word games

I got some basic instructions on how to operate the Vandercook press, and made a first proof. There were lots of typos to fix. Another word game.

Once we got the type set correctly, however, we started to play with layout. Perhaps the type will be reset to form around the shapes of our images…

Throw Back Thursday

I found this image of Georgina Bishop’s class on my old desktop… I think this is 2018’s graduating class, and many of these young ones are now 17 & 18 year old visitors to the café on a pretty regular basis.

2014 Pearson Visit
Mrs. Bishop’s Class, 2014

I love having school groups visit the studio- each group is different.  Some are quiet, shy, not wanting to ask questions; others are rambunctious and full of excellent queries.  I appreciate the teachers wanting to show these kids what is happening just three doors down from their school, Pearson Academy, and I feel really special when the kids come back on their own time, bringing their families with them, or just popping in to see what’s on the go.  It really makes me feel like I have a role in this community, rather than just working in my studio by myself most of the time until the tourist season starts!

I wonder who will show up this spring?

RIP Clifford Andrews

Clifford and me with Clifford’s Education Fund at The Rooms Provincial Museum, 2007
When I first started working on my old shop, taking the boards off the broken windows, clearing out the rocks and dirt, Clifford Andrews dropped in to introduce himself to Duke and me. 
He told us that he had old pictures and fond memories of the place, and that we were welcome to drop by his house in Wesleyville anytime to chat. He informed us that he took tea on the hour, every hour. We showed up at his house that night after work, met his wife Joan, and were completely enveloped in warmth and local history lessons.

Clifford has been a source of inspiration to me and my artwork, including (I think) my best piece which is named for him.

Clifford, thank you for caring to pass on your knowledge, your patience in answering all my foolish questions, and your friendship.

David Blackwood at The Rooms

David Blackwood was born and spent his formative years in Wesleyville.  He has been practicing the art of etching for longer than I’ve been alive, and he’s an outstanding creator of moving images.  When I look at David’s work, I see my own culture and heritage, my own hometown, and the ancestors of my family and friends.  I will enjoy going to see these exhibits to the fullest.