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