In My Printing Apron

debbie little wilson

Tag Archives: Salina Kansas

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.

The Salina Project…. FINISHED….

Well I did it….. I finished the edition…. Here is what 250 etchings looks like…. well with a piece of foamcore separating each group of 50….

250 solar etching

close up

So they are now packed in the box to ship them to Salina Kansas tomorrow.  And then on to monoprinting….. woo hoo…

my commute to work….

Every morning, I have a short walk from our house to the studio I share with Ken … This morning the air was crisp and chilly and I felt lucky to be here for it…

 … my stack of etchings were waiting for me to color… I am a little more than half done… yahoo.

the path

the studio

The Salina Project… brief intermission, now back to work

So,  for the last two days, Ken and I drove with our brother in law, Joe and our niece, Mary and her soon to be husband, Tyler to listen to a talk that Joe had to give at the Victoria College in Victoria Texas. It was about the influence of the oil business on music… it was quite riveting as are most lectures by Joe ..

here are a few of  the more “tame”  photos taken on the trip…

Joe Specht lecturing

Joe and Mary... Happy Birthday sweet Mary

Ken and Tyler looking at the "good" photos...

So now that we are home, it is back to coloring the etchings for the Salina project…. they seemed to have grown while I was gone… Actually, I have done 70 so far…

Gotta get after it before two of our grandsons, Ben and Ian get here to spend the night. Break time is over…

all 250 etchings...

ready and waiting

my coloring table....

“And Mary Campbell led the Band”…. coloring

I deliberated yesterday on how to color this etching and finally I came up with how to do it. Generally, I used some of the same colors of the hand tinted photo. They just seemed to work…. 

colored version


 I use Prismacolor pencils and after I spot color, I take cotton swabs dipped in turpenoid and dab at the area to tear down the color . It blends into the paper . There are a few spots of color that I don’t touch to keep the color on top of the paper and look more bright. 

applying the turpenoid

Here are a few of my stacks… I estimate it will take me at least 20 hours to completely color and sign my whole edition…

a couple of stacks

The Salina Project…. Printing Accomplished…

I finished, or I should say Ken and I finished the printing part of the project and they are all weighted down and drying.

Today, I am going to start figuring out how I want to color them… I have an idea but I need to experiment a little…  I have only 5 extra and I may play around with coloring in photoshop first to get a nice color combination.. I feel like it would be fun to use some sort of muted primary color pattern… I will show you what I come up with… 

The Salina Project… in the last stretch

I can’t believe it… I counted how many etchings I have done so far… 225…. I am over the moon.

Ken is going to help me once again today and we will bat out what is left in a couple of hours… I really can not believe how much easier it is to have an assistant … Ken has been a dream assistant and kept up a good pace.. I might need to think about how I could afford hiring a part time assistant…. 

And they can all be drying this weekend and I will start coloring by Monday… I am so relieved… I mean, I always knew I could do it but guess what?????? I really CAN…. LOL… 

Okay, off to do the next batch… I think I have 30 more sheets so that I will have some extra in case I need to switch some out…. and I will need some to experiment on the coloring… 

I love my job….

The Salina Project… still?????

Really, I don’t mean to complain but this still seems like a lot of paper left… and I have about 45 wet  sheets in my paper pack right now and 20 soaking in my water vat… I have got to stop measuring this stack… yes, it has gone down but it really appears unchanging… I swear… It is still BIG

maybe 2 inches but that still is a lot.... trust me

The Salina Project… I love my assistant…

Like I told you yesterday, my husband Ken became my printing assistant… After he made some minor adjustments to my studio (rearranging some obstacles in his way), we went into full swing… We were able to print out 50 etchings..

It was great not to have to wash my hands constantly but my arms got quite a work out with all that wiping… and my BACK … oh, dear, I must say, it has been a long time since I have printed this hard… At one point, yesterday, I had to laugh because I was wondering what Nellie would say if she saw us working in tandem that way…. She would have loved it and I would have enjoyed telling her about it… Later, I will tell you about my mentor and friend, Nellie Buel.

But for now….. back to work… Ken has gone to a doctor’s appointment and when he comes back, we start our team printing but I need to print some before he gets here…

The Salina Project…. Help to the Rescue

This month has been a strange month… Things, like life, just happen and before you know it time has sped up and is gone. Every day this month had something  crop up … I have been printing in between these “life events” but that means my project is not going as quickly as I thought it would… 

My sweet husband has volunteered  to help me print…. Because this edition is so large, I have two identical plates in case one wears down because of the wiping. To keep everything consistent, I will wipe a plate and he will blot the paper, place the paper over the plate and run it through the printing press while I am inking and wiping the next plate… Our thought is that it will speed things up if I don’t have to take the time out to wash my hands in between each inking and printing, which I am constantly having to do… 

Here is Ken doing something he would rather do …. Kayaking… so this is huge that he is helping me…. 

Ken and Mom at Inks Lake 2011