In My Printing Apron

debbie little wilson

My Next Show


Hope you can come to Round Top, TX to see my new work…. It is all about PIES.

And if you get to come to the opening, there will be PIES from Royers… Now that is a treat!!!

RE Writing History…. to include Women…..

I was asked by the Hill Country Arts Foundation to take part in an upcoming exhibit on Altered Books. I have always thought it would be fun to do an altered book so I agreed to take part.

But then what to do????…. It happens that I am also going through my huge (HUGE) collection of books in order to cut them back by 1/4… I ended up using one of the books that I planned to get rid of so that I wouldn’t have a personal attachment to it. I chose a 1898 History text book… I wasn’t sure if I was going to paint some of the pages together with gesso and then draw and paint on it or bend the pages… or what.???

After looking at the book closer, I realized that there were only a couple of pages that talked about women.. I thought, Okay, so this was written in 1898, what did I expect ?? But  WAIT, Women were around doing things in the 1800s, right?… I made a list of women I knew of who contributed to our history during that time and then did some research…. I made sticky notes with their names and dates on them and then added them into the book during the time that they did their accomplishments





NOW .. my next step will be to adhere some of the pages together so that I can sort of block out what the men were doing so I can focus on the women. (NOTE TO MEN…. this is only one book.. there are hundreds more books devoted to how men built the world on their own… so don’t freak out!!! LOL)

I want to draw the women and write their stories on the appropriate pages but I would like to keep the beautiful aged color of the pages … Does anyone have any suggestions  how I need to tackle this?????  Should I paint out part of the pages first with tinted gesso? HELP


There is No Place Like Home…

Well, I have been traveling and I got home at the beginning of this week. Whew… I just did two art shows in Kansas but before that Ken and I spent two weeks in France…. (Paris and the South of France).
Right now, I have so much inspiration that my head is about to explode but I need to revamp my studio so that I will have room to work more efficiently. UGH.

I have decided that I am going to take a break from doing art shows and see what kind of work I will make without the pressure of having to get ready for hitting the road with a van load of art. Coming back from Paris, my urge to work large is intensified. Coming back from Kansas, my passion for rural women and their toughness is confirmed. So I sort of have a plan….

While in Kansas, doing my last two shows (at least for the next year), I was quite pleased to have won two awards…. IN the Prairie Village Art show near Kansas City, I won Best of Show…. quite the honor since I have never had that happen before.



And then in Salina, Kansas at the Smoky Hill River Festival, I won a $500 Merit Award.… I loved the idea that I was backing away from the Art Show world on a high note….


I will talk about Paris in my next post but right now, I need to undertake a massive revamping of my studio…. I left it in a mess when I rushed off to Kansas.

Next Step


So I made solar plates from my three of my drawings. I made templates of certain areas so that I can use them to cut out handmade Japanese papers for the chine cole’ part of my etching.

And then I inked the plates and prepared the chine cole’ papers. And printed them… These are just a few of this next step... Next, I am going to hand color  certain areas with my prismacolor pencils …. I have seven more plates of women in hats to make…. yikes and to PRINT !!!!!

I will give you a closer look once they are finished..


What is Cluttering my Drawing Table…..

Well, I got into a drawing frenzy and started drawing 8×8 images of women in hats.

The deal is that I am doing an art exhibit at the Gallery at Round Top in Round Top, TX. with the exquisite painter, John Pinkerton. I love this man’s work. Here is a link to his website…  ….Our show is going to be called He Said/She Said… So in some emails with John, we discussed what we were going to “say”… We had no idea. LOL. We went our separate ways to see what we were inclined to do.

He came back with 8 or so small paintings of nude (or more appropriately, shirtless) men in hats. Since I have been wanting to do women in hats for quite some time, I felt like now would be a good time to “answer” him back with etchings of  prudish women in hats (with clothing)

So I have rough sketched about 10 women and now I need to figure out how I want to finish them with chine colle’ and the etching process. They won’t always be hanging with John’s happy, shirtless men so these women need to be able to stand alone, as well. Now, I am in the process of  treating each one individually and trying to decide if more detail needs to go into their clothing or into the background.

This may seem like a chaotic way to work and it is… but it is the way these are coming about …

basically, I am a chaotic mess anyway….

You can see that by what is cluttering up my drawing table.






Time to Get Back to Work….

Well, it occurred to me that I have not blogged for a while so I came down here to the studio and thought I would see when the last time I posted something…. OCTOBER….. well.. HELLO… where have I been???  Well, not in my printing apron that is for sure. I feel like I have been lazy or uninspired. or off kilter….

In my defense, Ken and I did travel a bit in November….
2012-11-11 13.48.10 We went to New York City and bought and sold postcards at the Metro Postcard show….

2012-11-12 20.29.03

We stayed with our dear friend Susan Lane for several days and then stayed in Manhattan at the New Yorker Hotel where Tesla lived and died. This is the door to his room…. We  stayed on the same 33rd floor!!!!

2012-11-12 16.11.03 We explored the City and took a walk on the High Line… it was extraordinary…

2012-11-12 14.59.37 We saw the Statue of Liberty from the ferry (that’s our friend Charlie who spent the day with us)… We couldn’t dock on the island and look around because Hurricane Sandy took out the dock.

2012-11-13 15.24.13 We went up to Rochester, New York to visit with relatives and on our way there we went through Seneca Falls, the birthplace of the Suffrage Movement and saw the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel where in 1848, Elizabeth Cady Stanton first spoke at the Women’s Right Convention calling for all women to take responsibility of the cause and read the Declaration of Sentiments. And we toured the Women’s Museum there. It was my first pass through that place and I have to go back….

2012-11-14 19.12.20In Rochester, Ken and I  visited my cousins.2012-11-15 07.13.54and stayed with my Aunt Judie and Uncle Jay….

2012-11-16 09.10.07 From there we went on to York, Pennsylvania to another postcard show…. We bought and sold more postcards and ate a lot of good food.

2012-11-19 16.34.55Then on to State College, PA, where we visited with Ken’s sister, Joanne, her husband, Paul and our two cutie nephews, Matt and Jon.
2012-11-23 07.49.49 On our way home we spent Thanksgiving with our hilarious friend Brian in Branson, Missouri…2012-11-23 09.03.03

And in Arkansas, we got into the  Christmas spirit by feasting our eyes on these feathered Christmas trees…

and of course, in December, there was Christmas….

okay, Christmas wasn’t all month but for some reason, my brain shut down like it was on a month long holiday… Most of my artist friends were doing loads of art shows, trying to sell what they could to the last minute Christmas buyers.

What did I do? I sat at home, reading their frenzied Facebook entries and pondering the lint in my navel. Well, that is not entirely true either… I can hardly see my navel, which caused me to join the Y and start working out at their gym. You can look at me and know that I am not the athletic type but I am giving it a go. I would like to live longer and be able to do more physical things with my family, like going on a kayaking trip with our grandsons… So I am doing cardio and weight resistance training…

But about my WORK..

My brain has collected images, as well as I collected some great images on postcards at those two shows. So my plan today is to get back to work and burn a couple of  solar etching plates for an idea I have about a series on America the Beautiful …

more on that, if it works out.

The Beauty of Chine Colle’

I just finished 27 different versions of my chicken etchings using the technique of chine colle’… The beauty of chine colle’ is that by cutting out different papers, I can make a huge variation in the etchings that I print.

Here are a few of my new 27 chicken etchings… I have 5 different etchings and had fun playing with the different papers… it was like having a whole new box of crayons to color with…

First some versions of “Free Ride”






And then “the Lucky Black Chicken”





Here are some “Don’t Chicken Out”





These are variations of “Ain’t Nobody Here but Us Chickens”


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And last but not least…. “Chicken Pot Pie”

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As you can see, each one has it’s own look. A spot of color or an added element of pattern…

well, that is the Beauty of Chine Colle’

It Starts with a Drawing……

Okay, ever since I had a strange visit from a stray black chicken, I have wanted to make some chicken drawings with plans to turn them into etchings with chine colle’…..

So I finally sat down and drew that chicken and about 4 more….. Here are my chicken drawings…










I have played around with some different papers and they still need more work but these are a few of the etchings after I have printed and hand colored them… What I love about these is that I can play with different colored papers and change them up…. These will probably end up being one of a kind prints…















I am still working on the one I call Chicken Pot Pie…. and will post photos when I figure it out….

Before Woodstock…. and Before Cherry Creek Arts Festival……

Well, it was brought to my attention how neglectful I have been of my blog… so this is for you, Earnie….

I thought I would post some photos of what has kept me so busy…

I did some drawings and then transferred them to a sheet of plexiglas.. With a dremel tool, I etched the drawing onto the plexiglas…

After I inked and wiped my plate.. this is what it looked like….

inked and wiped

detail of wiped plate

Next I painted the background with printers ink and scratched around on it and spattered … Then I laid it on my printing press bed….

on the press bed

Then I  put glue on the back of the pieces of handmade papers that I had cut out to fit onto the plate…..

the chine colle process of gluing down handmade papers

Then I placed the pieces of paper onto the plate with the glue side up…. This is a booger to do because you want the papers placed just right..

notice the fork that I use to delicately nudge a piece of paper into it’s correct spot…

Then I place a dampened piece of printing paper over the whole thing…. lay the blankets on top of it all and run it through the press. The pressure of the rollers will transfer what is on the plate onto the paper….

the paper is on…

After I pull the paper off of the plate, I let it dry under blotters.. Once it is completely dry, I hand color it to finish it off…

and this one ended up looking like this…..

finished etching with monoprint background and handmade papers.

I titled this piece Before Woodstock.… mainly because the logo from Woodstock had a bird on the tip of a guitar… Oh, the paper on the banjo is from a vintage sheet of music… The total size of the image is 18 inches by 18 inches…

After I get back from doing the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, Colorado…..It is my plan to work even BIGGER

that is it for now….

Switching Gears just a tad

I started “Cowgirling Up” for my Fort Worth show and it just didn’t feel quite right yet…. so I decided to switch gears just a tad but still work large.

Here is one that is not quite finished yet but I thought I would post it up so you could see…. this is a combination of a monoprint with an etching plate that I made of a woman juggler…