December 13, 2010

Simple Beauty Blooming Again

Just in time for last minute gifts, I've issued a new larger print edition. At 20"x20" these are the largest prints I have available. The edition size is only 50 prints and available on Etsy.

There are six images in the Lenten Rose series. In this series, I studied every inch of the shape of many plants. This flower is know as a Lenten Rose, although not a rose at all, it is known to bloom around the time of Lent. Many people view this simple beauty as a symbol of new beginnings.

The Lenten Rose or Helleborus Orientalis may be the first flower of the season in the very early spring. The sepals are extremely long lasting and may persist throughout the summer. These perennials have an evergreen foliage that stands up well to the early spring temperatures.

Lenten Rose No. 2

Lenten Rose No. 4

Lenten Rose No. 5

Lenten Rose No. 1

Lenten Rose No. 3

Lenten Rose No. 6
Thank you for visiting!

November 28, 2010

New Craspedia Original Paintings

Drawn directly from nature, these two paintings reveal the details in the shape of the craspedia plant. They 6"x6" on mounted board 7/8" deep and ready to hang. Available on Etsy.

$50 each on Etsy

November 25, 2010

Being Thankful

I'll keep it simple and say I am thankful to live. A list of the things I am thankful for will always be incomplete. Instead, I will take life at each moment it comes and appreciate all the things it has to offer, good and bad. 

November 24, 2010

Book Gift Guide for Nature Types

National parks, meditations on wood, bunnies and birds are just a couple of the subjects covered in these books. I can imagine any nature enthusiast cuddling up this winter with a good book and thoughts of getting outside soon.

National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways by National Geographic Society
For those who enjoy time in the car and taking the long way, there are 275 drives to tackle in this book. We've enjoyed making notes in the margins and sticking in menus, receipts and leaves we find along the way. Each time we open this book it is filled with memories of beautiful sites and fun journeys. A GPS is recommend!

Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin
Ideally you want to be sitting under your favorite tree when you read this book but a nice window will also do.  This book is for the person who loves trees and nature writing. It will inspire and deepen your appreciation for the outdoors.

Watership Down by Richard Adams
In this classic, the reader peaks into the lives of rabbits, where we can read their words and experience their hardships.  This book is full of excitement and imagination. After reading this book, you just might look at the rabbits in the yard a bit differently. You may even say hi.

Flights of Imagination: Extraordinary Writing About Birds edited by Richard Cannings
Most bird lovers have a great story about a pursuit of a rare bird or their first memory of finding appreciation for our winged friends. This collection of short stories will relate with anyone who has a passion for birds.

Gift Guide for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Bird watching, hiking, gardening, nature writing, and everything outdoors! I put together a couple Etsy Treasuries to help you in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush for gifts. Good luck in the rush!

Gifts for Bird Lovers Under $25
Gifts for Nature Lovers Under $25
Gifts for Nature Lovers Under $50

Happy shopping!

November 22, 2010

Rugged and Shabby Frames

I love frames! I've found some really great frames lately and paired them with some of my new prints. My new favorite frame maker is ArtCityFrames on Etsy. Her frames are solid wood and have great details. If your looking for something salvaged and even more rugged, than Foundre Frames is awesome. You won't get the same frame twice. His frames are only available wholesale, unless you can find them at retail shops.

I've paired some special frames with prints that will make great ready-to-hang gifts for outdoor enthusiasts and gardeners. Check out my Etsy shop for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Eucalyptus 8x10 botanical print framed in Foundre frame

Clover 8x10 botanical print framed in cottage style frame from ArtCityFrames

Lenten Rose No. 6 botanical print framed in cottage style frame from ArtCityFrames

November 21, 2010

Save an additional 10% until November 30

Tis the season for deals! Etsy has rolled out new coupon codes unique to each shop. Use the code madebykim10 to save 10% in addition to the 10-20% already marked down on many individual items in my Esty shop. All 8x10 and 11x14 unframed prints include free FedEx ground shipping in the United States. Hurry this deal only lasts until November 30, 2010!

Framed Original Geranium Painting (on sale $85)

Eucalyptus: 8x10 botanical silhouette print (free shipping)

Lenten Rose 3: Framed Mini Botanical Print (on sale $20)

September 13, 2010

3 new 8x10 prints

These 8x10 archival, ultra-high quality giclee prints are on Hahnemuhle smooth watercolor paper, 308 gsm, printed with pigment inks said to last 200 years. All imaging for print preparation, as well as printing is done by me at the professional print shop I work at. I insist that the my print editions stand apart from the original artworks and have a life of there own.


September 1, 2010

Giclée Prints Part 1: A Great Giclee

Most buyers and artists have an idea of what a giclee print is but most don't realize there are significant differences between an acceptable giclee and a great giclee. This post will be the first in a series of posts on the details of making, selling, and buying giclee prints.

There are four basic things to consider when making or buying a giclee print. I will go into more detail in future posts.

Printer/Ink: Giclée is a high-quality archival inkjet print. Printers vary in dot size and inks vary in longevity. Be careful, because even the best printer can be run at a more economical setting, resulting in a soft and dull print. The key is to ask a lot of questions if you're buying prints, and provide a lot of information if you're selling prints. In a later post, I will list questions to ask your printer.

Paper: The best option is 100% rag paper without optical brightener agents (OBA). Optical brighteners make paper look bright white but can react with atmospheric pollutants and yellow over time. The paper must also be compatible with the printer and ink for optimal longevity.

Image: This is the part hardest to get right. Great photography of artwork for reproduction can really only be done by a professional. Getting a high-resolution, color-correct digital file will ensure your print has depth, saturation, detail and sharpness. Many professional photographers who specialize in fine art reproduction are using digital scanning backs that create files many hundreds of megabits or even gigabits. 

Matting and/or Framing: Giclee prints, like other works on paper, should be protected from UV light, moisture and atmospheric pollutants. Always use 100% acid-free materials. Avoid adhesives and use polyethylene bags to protect your print before it is framed.

In the end, you can have the best printer and paper, but what's the point if your digital file is just okay. And why put that great print in a frame that is going to ruin it in a couple years. In my next couple posts I will go into further detail in each of these categories and explain some of my experiences over the past ten years of making giclee prints.

Giclée Prints Part 2: Printer and Ink

Giclée Prints Part 3: Paper

Below are details of some of my paintings taken with a BetterLight scanning back.

August 21, 2010

Two Books to Inspire

First, I just finished "Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds", which I wrote about in an earlier post. I picked this book up because I wanted to read about birding but instead found myself much more interested in the life of Phoebe Snetsinger and her never ending energy, power and zest for life. Upon finishing, I was reminded of Lynne Cox and her book "Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long Distance Swimmer". This is another almost unbelievable tale in which Lynne Cox archives what seems impossible. Both risked their life and much more for the passion of doing what they love and doing it well.

We can think of Lynne and Phoebe almost as superhuman but we all have a piece of them in us some where. Lynne and Phoebe both had goals that no one had ever achieved but they didn't archive them overnight. They reached their huge goals by taking small steps. 

August 20, 2010

Two New Original Paintings

I haven't had too many new original artworks for sale recently. These two are a pair but sold separately. I love the colors the best which was hard to capture in the photo. The frame is a dark brown wood-like color. The archival matte is a cream and the paper behind the oval is a nice sightly warm gray. The artwork is a gradient from cream to light green (with very slight iridescence) to light brown. I am almost tempted to keep these! Well, before I do here they are. They are drawn from geraniums planted for Mother's Day. Available on Etsy.

August 9, 2010

New Linocut Block Prints

The new linocut edition is titled Clear Existence: Sunshine. Clear Existence is a series of artwork inspired by silhouettes of trees. This series is about calmness and beauty in simplicity. As humans we consume ourselves with finding purpose in life. Trees, plants and most other life forms have that big question pretty well worked out and keep it simple.

The leaves on the silhouette on this print where those high above an open area. The tree stretched out its branches to reach the sunshine. Simply working calmly towards its goal.

Each print is made from a hand carved linoleum block and printed by hand, one at a time, using two colors, warm yellow and gold, mixed on the block. The result is a unique print that looks hand painted.

 The prints are currently available on Etsy as cards printed on three different colored papers, grass green, sunshine yellow and papaya red. They are also available on Etsy framed.

July 4, 2010

Life List

Does anyone keep lists? And of what?

I am reading Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds by Olivia Gentile and that's what got me started on the subject of lists. I've been interested in birds for awhile but this book has brought me into the whole world of birding and list keeping and now I am making a life list of birds I have seen.

I am including with each bird, the situation, day, thoughts, etc. Whatever it takes to remember that moment. It's not easy to catch a photograph of a bird and often while trying you while miss seeing the action all together. I've decided to stop trying to catch photos of anything in action and take in the moment the best I can by paying attention and as soon as I can writing it down. Most of our memories are made through telling a story.

So what is the purpose of the list? It's not so much about the end result, but rather to remind myself to keep looking. It's about all the things I will notice that I may have missed; things that might not even be on the list.

If you want to start a list, I recommend starting with a good notebook. My first bird list is in The Paper Apartment's Feathers Notebook. Then find a list for your area to follow. In Chicago visit the Chicago Ornithological Society and download their Chicago Area Birds Checklist on the homepage.  

Happy Birding!

July 3, 2010

Handmade One-of-a-Kind Wedding Invitations

Rhonda and Nick pretty much (re)built their home from scratch, with help from family and friends. They are truly the do-it-yourself types. They live and will be married by the a river, trees and lots of nature. The inspiration for this card came directly from them.

Using block printing, I handmade each individual invitation to ensure a unique quality in each one. Mixing two colors of ink directly on the block, no two prints are exactly the same.
There is so much to do when preparing for a wedding, so I put together the entire wedding invitation suite including addressing and stamping the RSVP cards. This this the final result in a vellum petal envelope. The outside envelope is the same textured cream as the scallop card and all the other enclosed cards.

Each invitation is marked with "made by kim" just as my handmade cards are.
Most of the paper I used came from the Paper Source. Although there are cheaper places to find paper, the quality and convenience is well worth it. I bought the velvet ribbon online at Paper Mart. The ribbon is a good price but the shipping is overpriced. The vellum petal cards came from Paper and More online. This is also a good source for paper and card stock. You can order samples on most items. All of my block printing supplies came from the Blick Store and/or JoAnn Fabric, just because of convenience. I am sure there are better resources for these materials so I am not linking to these widely known shops.

Thanks for visiting. Please let me know what you think.

June 23, 2010

Dreamy Skies after the Storm

We just had a big storm. I should say another big storm. Very high winds, tornadoes, hail, flooding, all of it. But after the storm moved on, there were rainbows and strange greenish-yellow skies. Not just the sky was green though, everything was green. As the sun set, everything began to turn orange and pink. Although it was close to dark, my flowers were the most vibrant colors I had ever seen them. I took a few shoots as the sky changed.

 It's still raining a little in these above shots. The greenish-yellow light was so unique.

That's our backyard and our favorite place! The light was so soft and warm tonight. Perfect for taking pictures.

Hope everyone made it through the storm okay!

June 10, 2010

New Glarus: writing reviews

Does anyone else write reviews of shops and restaurants? I've been using Yelp just as a way to bookmark places I like. My boyfriend, Matt, writes amazing reviews of pubs, restaurants and beer. You can read his reviews on Beer Mapping.

One of our favorite places to visit is New Glarus in Wisconsin. It is a small Swiss town with a brewery.

This is a photo from our Christmas break visit. We always stay at the Chalet Landhaus Inn.
Puempel's Olde Tarven is always a good place to get a pint of New Glarus beer and throw a dollar on the ceiling. Puempel's walls are covered in hand painted murals from 1913. This place has a lot of history and even more character.

In addition to pubs, the pizza at the New Glarus Hotel Restaurant is some of the best pizza I have ever had, but I like simple things. You can stock up on Wisconsin cheese at Maple Leaf and get awesome baked goods for your coworkers at the New Glarus Bakery. Everything is within a two block radius and you can leave the car at the hotel. There are many gift and antique type boutiques, but my favorite is the antique store Glarnerladen Antiques on 6th Avenue and 1st Street/Main Street (the main intersection downtown).

Just as great as New Glarus is the drive to New Glarus, even in the winter! You can camp in New Glarus Woods in the warmer months. We have always visited in the winter and might swing by this summer to see the leaves on the trees!