Category Archives: Photo

Arrowmont Inspired Project

I finished embroidering the printing plate for my Arrowmont project.  (See below…and read THIS post to see collage inspiration for this embroidery.)  So, during my Reunion at Arrowmont, I will take this stitching on fabric and create prints on paper using a printing press.  (Using a real press for my printing process is unexplored territory.)  I plan to run this through several times on the same piece of paper, creating multiple layers on top of each other.  Before I leave for my trip (which is next weekend),  I plan to print this at home using the method I’ve already developed to get a couple of layers started to take with me.  I think I’ll go start now! 😉


Embroidered Printing Plate – Size: 30″ x 22″



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Filed under Artwork in Progress, Inspiration, Memory, Photo, Studio Practice, Trace

Collage pick #1 – Arrowmont Reunion

I started my collages today for the Arrowmont Resident Artist Reunion.  It took more than a week and a half to filter through and download all the pictures I thought were good enough to pull information from.  All of my collages are put together in the computer using Photoshop.  Since I’m just trying to achieve a composition, I’m not worried too much about edge detail, so forgive the roughness of the collage image.  Here is the most successful one for the day.

Mrs. Profitt, Me as a child, Mrs. Reagan (Aunt Lizzie)

I made the above collage using the following photos:

Gatlinburg's first health clinic. Also, where I lived when I was a resident artist at Arrowmont in 1994-95.


Mrs. Profitt was the housekeeper for the Boy's Dorm (left) Mrs. Reagan (also know as Aunt Lizzie) was the Housekeeper of Teacher's Dorm and also an accomplished weaver.


Aunt Lizzie spinning yarn most likely for her weaving.

Me as a child.


Filed under Artwork in Progress, Collage, Inspiration, Memory, Photo, Sketchbook, Studio Practice, Trace

Arrowmont School of Arts And Crafts – 20th Anniversary Reunion/Retreat

I have a new adventure, fast approaching, that I’m very excited about! Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is having a 20 year anniversary of the Artist-in-Residence program that they offer.  To celebrate, they have invited ALL of the previous residents over the past 20 years to participate in a reunion/retreat!  (Yes, that’s right, I was invited because I participated in their program as a resident artist from 1994-95.)  Arrowmont is hosting 5 days of creative collaboration and full use of their studios!  They are even housing and feeding all of us!  How generous is THAT?  (very)  It looks like it will be just above 50 participants according to the last count of attendees.

Arrowmont has organized several different collaborative ideas for us, as a place to start from, and we are asked to choose our top 2 choices.  My choices are:

1.  Create a large format print project. Or a print edition.

2.  Each resident to bring a small personal hand-made object (size restriction) to be embellished and or responded to by other participating residents and staff.

Most (or at least the successful ones?) of these collaborative projects will be donated to Arrowmont and either be sold at fund raising auctions, or added to their permanent collection.

My personal goal for this experience is EXPERIMENTATION using a printmaking press.

Even though I have taken a printmaking class in the past, at the time, I was not using my current process of mono-printing.  Since I’m using stitched fabric as my printing plate, and I work in my home studio (which doesn’t have a print press), I had to develop a way to print without a press.  (I create the pressure using bricks and books.)  My printing plate (stitched fabric) sits under pressure with the paper substrate for days.  This helps to achieve some of the texture in my prints.  I am also printing with inks used for drawing and painting instead of traditional printmaking ink.

Taking this process to a printmaking press will change what mediums I can use for my mark making….I know this.  This is what I’m most excited about! 

Inspiration for my Arrowmont project has begun!

In most of my work, I use old photographs for my inspiration.  I have mostly worked with family photos, and I usually create collages with them to create a new composition.  You can see some of the collages I’ve done in an old post here.  Doing these collages lead me to my current working process, which you can also read more about here.

The history of Arrowmont is interesting and goes way back.  You can read more about it here.  ” Thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Arrowmont’s rich history has been preserved in digital format with fully searchable archival materials including letters, diaries, photographs, and scrapbooks.” (from Arrowmont’s website) These can be found here.   When I discovered this resource, I was ecstatic!  What a wonderful way to begin my research for my print edition!

OK, that is it for now, but I will be posting some ideas in more detail in future posts leading up to the retreat, which will take place from May 14th – 18th.  (next month!) Thanks for stopping in to see what I’m up too!   Here is a little eye candy taken from the scrapbook section of this website:


Filed under Inspiration, Memory, Photo, Studio Practice, Trace

Studio: My past with my family’s past

I’ve decided to imagine my own history by bring photos of me into the collage.  I’m not trying to rewrite to forget.  I have very fond memories.  I’m only trying to connect to a history that intrigues me, the past of my family.  Sewing myself into my family’s memories makes me feel closer to them and connects me further.



Filed under Artwork in Progress, Inspiration, Memory, Photo, Studio Practice, Trace

Studio: More organizing and analyzing

It is time to finally organize all my family photos into collections that go together. My goal here is see if I can learn more information about these experiences by looking at all the photos of the same event, rather than looking at each photo individually.

What has taken me so long to do this? Honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t done it sooner. However, a part of the reason why is because I do not have the whole collection of photos to work with. My brother and sister have a good bit of the collection too. However, I have my part of the collection, and a collection of photos that we have not gone through to divide yet. (the “undivided collection”)

So, the first thing I did is mark the backs of the “undivided collection” with blue tape, since I would need to mix this collection with my own.

Then, I looked at each picture and put it in a pile according the their size and shape. There were small, medium and large, square and rectangle, and some with or without a serrated edge. Also, I had two separate piles for photo booth portraits and studio portraits.

I took each pile and looked on the back. Most of them were unmarked, but some of them had numbers stamped or written on them. I quickly realized that this told me for sure which pictures came from the same roll of film. Since some of the photos did not have numbers, I looked for the clothing that people were wearing to see if the photos were taken at the same event or on the same day.

Now I’m working on putting xeroxes of each group of photos in my notebook. I will use these copies for drawing on, looking at, and analyzing with notes and ideas. I’ll post notebook pictures later.


Filed under Artwork in Progress, Inspiration, Memory, Photo, Studio Practice, Trace

Studio: Conceptual Thoughts

It is now time to write more about what I am thinking of while I am creating this new work that I am sharing with you.


MEMORY: The need or ability to recall what has happened in the past.

EXPERIENCE: When a moment happens and more than one person is involved, there can be many interpretations of the same experience.

TRACE: That which is left behind. The memory. The evidence. The perspective of the moment.

ERASURE: Details forgotten in an experience. Getting rid of the evidence.

It is the difference in perspective of the same memory that I am interested in capturing in my artwork. I’m am interested in the trace of a moment that is left behind, and the ability (or lack of) to interpret what happened by the evidence left behind. Truth or Fiction? Can we tell what is true and what is fiction by this trace of evidence?

My starting point is working with my family photographs. The trace and evidence of my family of their past times and memories. These photographs are moments captured. They have a natural truth in that the moment happened, but we do not know the details of the moment. In this evidence, we still do not know if the moment was real. I am taking these moments (truth?) and making collages out of them. (fiction) This transformation expresses that the trace of evidence left behind does not have the ability to be proof of anything, except of it’s existence. It can tell us nothing else. It only expresses the mystery of the moment. We do not really know what happened.

When looking at photographs, we must consider that there are many perspectives going on at once. We are seeing the perspective of the cameraman, but we need to also consider the perspectives of the people in the photograph. If you had the opportunity to hear to the story about the memory in the photograph, you would more than likely get a different version of the same experience from each individual in the moment. With this in mind, I have set up some conditions in my process that mimics this idea.


1. I create a collage using my old family photographs.

2. I trace my collage (pun intended) onto old fabric. I use old fabric because it is also has a trace of a past life.

3. I then stitch the fabric by following the tracing. (tracing again.) The finished image is used as the TOOL. It is not the finished piece.

4. I take a sheet of paper and lay it down. I place the tool on top of the paper, and paint on it using various inks, and then place another sheet of paper on top of the tool. These two sheets of paper are experiencing the same moment with the TOOL. Yet, when they are taken away from the TOOL (the moment) they express a different perspective.

5. The RESULT: Multiple perspectives: (the cameraman – the image), (me – the artist), (the paper – 2 perspectives of the same moment), and (the TOOL).

6. The PAPER (print): 2 perspectives of the same moment: The 2 images are very different, and tend to express some opposition: mirror images of each other, color differences, reflect the front and back of the TOOL, placement of the paper with the tool (top, bottom).

NEXT STEP with the TOOL for more prints:

After making a few prints with the TOOL, I take the tool and ERASE the details of the memory, by taking some of the stitching out, and make new prints with the new tool. This expresses how over time, the details of a memory become vague.

The TOOL and IMPRESSIONS:  (comments welcome!)





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Filed under Finished Artwork, Memory, Photo, Studio Practice, Trace

Research: Outline

These past few weeks I’ve been collecting a lot of articles and resources on my topic idea with the ultimate goal of narrowing down my idea. I felt like I needed to see what sort of information was out there before I could really settle on a final idea. Since my outline is due tomorrow, I must make my final decisions today.

The approach I took worked really well for me. As I’ve been reading my articles and books, I’ve been writing down some of the basic ideas I’m interested in on post-it-notes and taping them to my wall. It has always helped me to see all options in front of me, so I can organize and edit as I go. Having the ideas on a separate piece of paper makes it easy to organize and group related information. These are all of my notes grouped together by idea:

It was finally time to sit down and gather my ideas in a uniform manner and come up with a final idea. After careful consideration, editing, and adding, I came up with my rough draft of an outline:

While translating the wall outline to paper, I edited and added again. Finally, the final edit was translating the written outline to the computer. I highly recommend this approach. It made the editing easier and really helped me realize the gaps in my research and where to go from here.

Here is my final outline. (WordPress will not show the original outline formatting.)

Residual Memory and Our Place in the World: Will we be remembered when we are gone?

I. Introduction
A. Mortality
1. Our need to remember and be remembered
2. Connecting with memories and family
II. Truth & Reality: Believing in the past
A. Myth
1. Stories passed down from generation to generation
2. The beginning of memory
B. Reality
1. Evidence of existence
2. Traces left behind
III. Memory & Time
A. Non-linear time
1. The “aura” of trace
2. Genetic likeness
B. Linear time
1. Evidence
2. Collection
a. Questioning existence
b. Organizing
1. Family photos
IV. How photography changed our reality and memory
A. Portraits
1. Painted portraits
a. Formal
b. Informal
2. Photographic Portraits
a. Formal
b. Informal
B. Photography as evidence
1. Evidence of existence
2. Testimony of time
C. Photography manipulated
1. Context of photo
2. Untold stories
a. Who took the photo?
b. What can’t be seen
3. Anti-memory
4. Photo-editing software and technology
V. Our trace today
A. Digital Photography
1. How we collect and share photos today
B. Influence of the world wide web
1. Genealogical websites
2. Blogging
VI. Conclusion
A. Collecting and passing on family history
1. Technology has influenced multiplicity of old family photos.
2. Digital photography and sharing photos
a. Advantages
b. Disadvantages

I welcome any feedback on organization, content, further research, or anything else you can think of.

I hope this post isn’t too boring! It’s just what I am focusing on right now. I am getting a little done in the studio, but I’m not ready to post about that yet. I will try and share in the coming weeks while I’m writing this paper. Thanks for visiting!


Filed under Inspiration, Memory, Photo, Trace