Saturday, November 20, 2021


Wow! Where did the time go?! It's been over two years since my last post. I often feel like there is not enough time, and then when there is, I'm easily distracted. There have been many distractions these past two years, and unfortunately, many worries that occupied my mind. However, it is time to post once again and to keep moving forward despite the many worries in the world today. 

One of the highlights of the past two years was participating in the Mackinac State Historic Parks Artist-in-Residence Program. It was a much-needed break from my food systems work and it provided me with the opportunity to work with new invasive plant species and reflect on other project ideas for the future. 

My goal for the residency was to create a print that was specific to Mackinac Island, made solely from materials found on the island. During my two-week stay, I gathered seven invasive plant species with which to make paper: wall hawkweed (Hieracium murorum), wall lettuce (Mycelis muralis), periwinkle (Vinca minor), Common St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum), wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis), and spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe).

I decided not to make paper with the spotted knapweed since I have used that before. Out of the other 6 species, only 2 resulted in usable paper: wild parsnip (top) and Lily of the Valley (bottom).

When it came time to do the image transfers, only wild parsnip worked. The transfers I tried to make onto Lily of the Valley paper were unsuccessful. My only guess is that the waxiness of the leaves somehow interferes with the ink sticking to the paper. 

For the shadow image, I was hoping to photograph an endangered or threatened plant species such as small round-leaved orchis (Amerorchis rotundifolia) or Houghton’s goldenrod (Solidago houghtonii). However, I was unable to locate either one during the residency. Park staff recommended that I photograph Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum), a native plant species that is becoming harder to find on the island due to the encroachment of invasive plant species. Sometimes you just have to work with what you've got.

In the end, I created a print using the shadow image of Maidenhair fern printed on wild parsnip paper. Thanks to park staff, I was also able to secure logs from a Norway Maple (Acer platanoides), an invasive tree species on the island, with which my husband made the frame, making this piece especially unique. 

To see a presentation and more pictures and information about the residency, please visit my Facebook page at

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Upcoming Presentations & Classes

It has been just as much fun sharing the process behind the Foreshadowing project as it has been working on it! I've been giving presentations to various groups over the past few months and have more exciting events coming up this spring.

On Saturday, March 23rd, I'll be heading to Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (701 Cloverdale Rd, Hastings, MI) for the Barry County Science Festival. If you're in that neck of the woods, stop by between 10-3 and try your hand at pulling a piece of phragmites paper with me.

On Saturday, April 13th, Erin Pavloski (Regional Invasive Species Coordinator at Ingham Conservation District) and I are doing a two-part presentation at the MSU Science Festival. Erin will be talking about Invasive Plant Species found in Michigan backyards (12:30 - 1:00 PM) and I'll be sharing my process for harvesting and making them into paper (1:30 - 2 PM)

If you'd like to experience a complete hands-on process in making paper from invasive plant species, I'll be teaching a class at Ludington Area Center for the Arts on May 3 and 4. It's a two-day class in which we'll get down and dirty - picking, cutting, boiling, and beating garlic mustard - and turning it into paper! More details coming soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Presentations, Exhibits, and a Paper-Making Class

It's been a wonderful winter, but spring is always a welcome sight!

I've been busy with various projects (art and non) and am fortunate to have had the opportunity to give artist talks about the Foreshadowing series to garden clubs in Webberville, Mason, and Chelsea. Prints from this series were also selected for inclusion in the 56th Annual Greater Michigan Art Exhibition at the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art and the 32nd Annual Lowell Arts West Michigan Art Competition.

Currently, Foreshadowing prints are included in a two-person show with Justin Kellner at the Baber Room at Central Michigan University. Justin paints these beautiful, seemingly abstract scenes, but hidden within are the tiniest details of threatened bird species. Our work fits amazingly well together and it has been such an honor exhibiting with him and getting to know more about his process.

Upcoming shows include the Boardman River Nature Center (June 2 - end of Aug.) where I'll be teaching my first paper-making class (June 2nd), as well as a group show with Linda Beeman, Carolyn Damstra, Lynn Uhlmann, Cathy VanVoorhis, and Thomas Tomasek at the Oliver Art Center from Oct. 19 to Nov. 23.

In the meantime, I hope to capture more shadows and to finally finish processing some baby's breath and Japanese lyme grass I've had in my laundry room all winter! Back to work!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The End of Summer, Experiment Results, & Upcoming Events

In between visiting family in Minnesota, a trip to Europe, and other art/non-art related projects, another summer has whizzed by! However, I was able to give presentations about Foreshadowing at the For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum and the Herrick District Library, as well as participate in an exhibit at Keeler Gallery in Grand Rapids. I was also honored to have had my proposal to speak about how art can foster civic engagement in science and sustainability accepted to the Global Sustainability Conference in Stockholm, though I was unable to attend. And while my attempts to photograph some of the endangered plant species on this summer's "to do" list weren't very successful, I did manage to make a few batches of paper from narrow-leaf cattail that I collected last summer at MSU's Kellogg Biological Station. It's a beautiful, strong paper and I'm anxious to start making some new prints!

On to the experiment - at one of my presentations, someone had asked if the paper I make from invasive plant species would take root if planted, so I decided to put it to the test. I planted pieces of phragmites, reed canarygrass, and garlic mustard paper and after two months of keeping the soil moist and setting them in the sun......nothing grew. The paper pieces had simply turned to mush. If anyone has suggestions for another method or experiment, I'm all ears.

Over the next few weeks I'll be participating in the following events. If you're in that neck of the woods, drop by and say hello!

Sept. 18 - Presentation to the Huron Valley Botanical Club, 7:30 p.m. at Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor

Oct. 9 - Dessert with Discussion, 7 - 9 p.m., at Kellogg Biological Station in Hickory Corners

Oct. 21 & 22 - Arts & Eats Tour at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in Augusta - details below

Thursday, February 23, 2017

An Experiment & A Show

First the show! If you're in the Kerrytown District of Ann Arbor between February 24 to March 19, stop by Found Gallery and check out some of the new prints in the Foreshadowing series. I'll be at there this Sunday, February 26th for a Meet-the-Artist event from 12:00 - 5:00 which will feature a slideshow presentation and a demonstration of an alcohol gel transfer onto invasive plant species paper at 1:30 p.m.

Here are two of the newest prints for the show.

compass plant (Silphium laciniatum) on reed canarygrass paper w/ a reclaimed cherry wood frame

 Queen-of-the-prairie (Filipendula rubra) on garlic mustard paper w/ a reclaimed walnut wood frame

You'll have to go to the show to see the rest. :)

Now for the experiment - someone recently asked if it's possible for invasive plant species to grow once they've been turned into paper. As I only use the stalks and leaves, while removing all seeds and roots, I don't think it's possible. However, I'm going to put it to the test regardless. I've planted three pieces of invasive plant species paper - phragmites, reed canarygrass, and garlic mustard. If they do take root, it will be miraculous! 

So now we wait.....

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Black Swallow-wort (Cynanchum louiseae)

I've been a little preoccupied lately, but I did manage to make some black swallow-wort paper. It was made from a batch I collected on the MSU campus - thanks to Frank Telewski. It came out too dark at first, so I lightened it with bleach.

Unfortunately, it's not taking ink transfers, so it won't be making an appearance in the Foreshadowing series. However, it does make beautiful paper!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Fall "To Do" List

The exhibit at Matthaei Botanical Gardens is winding down, but I've still got a lot of paper to make for the show starting in February at Found Gallery in Ann Arbor.

Over the past month, I've been collecting and cutting phragmites,

boiling black swallow wort, 

cutting narrow leaf cattail, 

and reboiling and re-chopping Dame's rocket and spotted knapweed. These last two plants didn't accept image transfers very well, so I'm giving them another round of processing.

Happy fall!