The Year of Firsts!

What can I say about 2017? For a while, it could go straight to hell. It started off not-so-great, with several sad personal events happening in the first couple of months. I am happy to report that by the middle of June, the year began correcting itself in terms of my personal life. That is a huge relief.

But in most ways, it was amazing! Professionally, I think I can honestly say that it was my best year ever. It was the first year I more than doubled my sales, which I hope to repeat in 2018. It was the first year I had a booth at the IgNight Markets in Green Bay and The Artery Holiday event in Kimberly.

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My booth at The Artery holiday market in Kimberly, Wisconsin, in December

It was the first year I worked almost exclusively in series, and I absolutely LOVE IT.  Looking back, I have no idea why I constantly limited myself by only doing one-offs. But I’ve done three series this year (Painted Desert, The Collagraph in Miniature, and The Detritus Project), and one mini-series (Color Collages), and a few others here and there for a total of 152 pieces (YIKES! I guess it was just a feeling that I was busy this year!). I’m working on a new series for my solo exhibit at ArtSpace Collective in Oshkosh – another first for me, as I just joined ArtSpace in October! It’s a group of 14 artists in and around the Oshkosh area, and they’re just lovely people. I’m so excited to be a part of this group!

I’ve already talked about my amazing Treehaven experience, and some of my teaching experiences, and I had three fabulous residencies this year – the first two were one-day school residencies where I either demonstrated a reduction linocut (at Friendship Elementary in North Fond du Lac), or led a day-long collage workshop for some art club students (at Brandon Middle School). I also had my two month-long library residency at the Appleton Public Library, where I showed my Detritus Project exhibit and had a class, demo and lecture about The Detritus Project (more about that project, here!).

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This past summer I was invited by printmaker extraordinaire Christine Style to participate in The Wisconsin Idea Alphabet, which was a group of about 50 or so printmakers, each assigned a letter of the alphabet.  I got the letter “Y”, which I entitled “Yessiree Bob!”, a tribute to that great Wisconsin statesman, “Fighting” Bob LaFollette.  You can see my block in the photo below, with the remainder of the alphabet!  It was such a wonderful weekend and I’m so honored to have been asked to be a part of such a great project.  I didn’t mention the best part – it was a steamroller print!  We printed right on the dock by the Hardy Gallery in Egg Harbor, Door County!  So great.

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I also was accepted into Issue 35 of my favorite magazine, UPPERCASE! It was all about data-driven art, and I made it with a few of my collagraphs! This is my fourth time in the magazine and it’s always an honor! Thank you, Janine!  🙂

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Another unique experience this year was being a part of a design team with Kevin Rau of Rauhaus Design + Letterpress to create the invitation for one of my sister’s friend’s daughter’s wedding. I drew the tree image and Kevin made a photopolymer plate of it and also letterpressed the entire invite! It was such a cool project, and I’m happy to have been a part of it!  😀

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I was commissioned by my in-laws to do a grouping of pieces to complement their living room decor. As is ALWAYS the case, I freeze when asked to do commissions, and starting this year I decided to limit my commission work only to those people who I know or who know my work well enough to know how I work and what they’ll get. It’s a process that’s fraught with peril for me, but in early November I finally finished the project! It’s a nine-piece set of monoprints in the same colors as their furniture. I have to say, I was really pleased with how they turned out but more importantly, my in-laws were thrilled. That meant so much to me! I was sort of possessed when making these pieces and they’re in a style I never work in, so I’m very glad they were happy.  🙂

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A series of nine monoprints made for Brian’s parents

One amazingly positive event that happened personally was the addition of our sweet twin puppers, Peggy and Maude! (Yes, it is a given that any pups who are part of our family will have their own Facebook page.)  🙂 They are twin Pommies and we love them dearly. We adopted them on October 4 and they have added so much to our lives.  They’re our sweet babies and we love them so. It’s so nice to have puppers in the house again, and these ladies are only two, so we hope to have them for many years to come.

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Maudie (left) and Peggy, hoarding their squirrels and other stuffies. 😀

I don’t know how I can top this year – I mean, there’s really only one time that one can be immortalized in a bobblehead!

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Brian surprised me with this amazing gift for my 49th birthday!  🙂

Happy 2018, everyone! Here’s to a fresh start with lots of art!

 

 

 

 

 

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