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. I honestly don't know, so I'm putting it to the test. I've torn off bits from three invasive plant species paper (phragmites, reed canarygrass, and garlic mustard) and have planted them to see what happens. The paper is made from stalks and leaves, but no seeds or roots. If these bits of paper do take root, they will prove that these are unbelievably hardy species as they have been cut, dried, boiled, and chopped in a blender. :/

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!

Monday, September 26, 2016

ArtPrize 8!

I am so honored to be a part of the wonderful ArtPrize exhibition at Women's City Club.
Thank you Fred Bivins for putting together such an amazing collection of work! It's located in a beautiful building at 254 East Fulton St.  Open M-Sat 10-8 & Sun 10-6.

My shadow image of cream wild indigo is printed on invasive phragmites paper and framed in reclaimed cherry.

If you've never been to ArtPrize, you definitely need to check it out! A few of my favorites from yesterday's visit are Embrace by Marc Sijan, Museum Anatomy by Chadwick & Spector, Higher Ground by Hillerbrand & Magsamen, Sweepers Clock by Maarten BaasOne Thousand Shacks by Tracey Snelling,

and Swing by Dana Freeman!!! Love it!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Shows and Invasives

Catch up time! This past week I delivered 30 prints to the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens for my exhibit which runs September 17 - November 13, 2016. Thank you to David Betz and Joseph Mooney for all your help! More information about that exhibit, including an interview, can be viewed on the Matthaei blog.

I also delivered a print of cream wild indigo to the Women's City Club in Grand Rapids for ArtPrize!! Opening day is September 21st!

I was able to sneak in two outings to collect invasive plant species as well. Special thanks to Frank Telewski, professor of Plant Biology and curator of the W. J. Beal Garden and Campus Arboretum, for giving me a permit and helping me collect black swallow-wort (Cynanchum louiseae) on the MSU campus. I haven't made paper from this plant before and I'm anxious to see what happens!

I also collected more reed canarygrass in Washtenaw County. It makes such beautiful paper!
Thank you Matthew H.!

Lastly, I posted on Facebook a few weeks ago my disappointment with how narrow-leaf cattail was not accepting alcohol gel transfers. The plant fibers kept peeling up whenever I lifted the transfer film. However, last week I had a successful transfer! Here is a print of Michigan monkey flower on cattail paper. I'm starting to wonder if the high humidity a few weeks back was affecting the alcohol and ink. Hmmmm..... This print is on exhibit at Matthaei.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Frames, Frames, and MORE Frames!

Thirty, to be exact. That may not sound like a lot, but when they're made by hand with as much attention to detail as my husband puts into them, it becomes a very big job. To date, he's made over 60 frames for this project, and it's not like he doesn't have other things to do! Dan is a professor at Michigan State University with a joint appointment between James Madison College and the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. I CAN'T THANK HIM ENOUGH for all the hard work he has done and for being forever supportive of all my crazy photography projects. I couldn't have done any of them without him!

The walnut and cherry frames, some of which I'm still applying tung oil to, will be heading to the University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens for my exhibit which runs September 16th -  November 13th.