April/May Zines

May’s Zine was quite late this month. My printer broke the day I was going to print and send it. I have been anticipating my printer dying at some point and decided I would not replace it since I am not making fine art prints any longer. But, I thought I would be able to print at a local print and ship shop expediently and that did not work out. My first draft through MagCloud looked good but I hadn’t aligned things correctly so I had to reprint. I was happy to put it out for the post on Monday but they didn’t get picked up! Finally yesterday they went out! Thanks for you patience! Here is the poem:

Songs

Yesterday the mud on the trail around the lake was soft while the dusty, green trees held each passing conversation in confidence. I walked in the shadows under their boughs listening to the song sparrows hop about in the ferns and twigs. For once I did not have any complaints to mull over in the calm solitude of the woods.

I stopped on the bridge to watch the geese shifting about on the water, just blurry shapes in the distance until they all lifted off and flew overhead. The sunlight rippled across their wings like it ripples across waves in the lake. The songs of the geese rang through the first days of Spring like they ring through the last days of Autumn—staggered, harsh and magnetic.

May Postcard Delay

Hi! My printer broke and I can’t seem to fix it. I was planning to move on to having my work printed for me when this happened, but the timing was inconvenient since I was going to mail the May Poetry postcard today. I went to the local print and ship store and was stunned at how bad the color turned out. The shop keeper indicated that printing with laser printers wasn’t great for color matching. So I decided, rather than fiddle endlessly with adjustments, I would give MagCould a go since I like how my books print through their service. It will be a week or two before I receive the prints, fingers crossed it looks alright! Thanks for your patience!

– Alexandra

Poetry Postcard Zine: February and March 2024

Hi! This is Walking By.
I was walking home from the grocery store, through the wooded neighborhood, past the old craftsman’s & bungalows, Past the mossy winter trees & unruly gardens when I saw a poem attached to a fence in a special wooden box with a glass face. I stopped to read it. And it was beautiful & also awkwardly poetic. “Good for you,” I thought, “write from your own heart Fence Poet! Don’t worry about judgy folks like myself, just walking by, no courage to post their own poems out on the street.

At home I sit down on the burgundy leather couch that was long-ago wrecked by cats and search for this poet on-line. I’m going all-in now: supporting my neighborhood poets even if they’re a bit heavy-handed. Perhaps she has a blog to follow or a chapbook to buy. I find this is actually an accomplished poet. Who doesn’t own that particular fence. Whose words only sound over-done now because of all who came after who employed the phrase, the attitude, the trick. But either way our opinions are just shirts that keep us warm and make us feel a certain way.”

New poem next month! Sign-up here!

February Studio Chat: The Simple Art Journal

Here is my first Studio Chat! Now that I am going gray I want to share what I have learned about creativity but I don’t want teaching classes or making instructional videos to compete with my art practice for time. I decided informal studio chats about creative practices would be the way to go. This first one is about how to keep a simple art journal. It also discusses how to tailor your art journal practice to your own needs and inspirations. I hope you enjoy it!

https://youtu.be/SMFESDx-CXA

Simple and Spontaneous Book Illustration Technique.

This isn’t a tutorial, it’s just a video of me making a book by starting with a large sheet of paper. I loosely paint elements from my story or poem, divide the paper up into folios and then I have pages with the illustrations started already. I add more painting and then the text. I learned this in a workshop by the renowned book artist Timothy Ely. I used it a lot when I first started illustrating books and was intimidated by the process. I still use it sometimes to generate new and unique composition ideas. Enjoy!

Postcard Poetry Zine

My postcard newsletter has inspired me to publish an illustrated postcard zine. I’ve always wanted to publish an illustrated magazine but it’s a big project for one artist who wants to publish a lot of content regularly. My best attempt was Lovejoy News, a micro-news report I blogged when I lived near Lovejoy street in NW Portland. I was always in a rush to meet my deadlines so my illustrations were questionable. When I made the first printed copy I felt a little embarrassed. Also I had no idea how to gather any sort of following so I moved on to other art projects. I’m very excited now to return to this dream via a scaled down version: Just one postcard a month. Above is January’s postcard image made into two parts, I’m not sending it out as issues since my audience has already seen it, this is just the inspirational template. You’ll have to subscribe or tune in to this blog in February to see the first issue! Here’s the poem from the postcards!

Stretch

All the leaves are on the ground now.

The beautiful crow swoops out of the bare branches 

toward my window then past. 

Spiky brown seed pods dot the otherwise bare brush.

Rain begins to hit the window as crows 

fly though the back yards below the roof lines 

to perch in a fir. 

I used to worry that one day 

I wouldn’t be able to walk in the woods

And I have stretched 

ever since 

to hold each of the moments;

To plant them inside like trees.

Fall 2023

I had a wonderful time at Newport Autumn Fest. I appreciate everyone who came to my booth and enjoyed my books. I finished Rust this season and was happy to share it at a show. Thanks to everyone who took a copy home!

Here are the moments I captured in pictures this season. I’ve been cleaning out my studio to make room for new work while also making lots of watercolor experiments.

This winter I’ll be working on Landscape Diaries and illustrating a compilation of poems too small to be their own books. Sign up for my newsletter if you would like to get updates, thanks!