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  • Writer's pictureApril Gavin

Autumn Wonder

This is my favorite time of year in the Bay Area. The light shifts to a more golden hue. The fog hangs around longer and gives an extra snap to the air. The colors are more colorful.

I re-worked the above drawing from my daily drawing journal for a contest hosted by SCBWI called Tiny Wonders. The contest required a few things: I had to choose between full color or black and white. The illustrations had to be three or four panels and tell a story without text. I believe the below meets the call.

Being included in the exhibition would be great, but failure also offers an award. Earlier this year, I was juried into a show by artist M. Louise Stanley. She said something along the lines of, "I love rejection. It means that I'm trying." I've adopted that attitude as well. As long as I feel that I've answered the call honestly and to the best of my ability, I will try.

Speaking of re-working. I attempted "All that Remains" in a four color wood cut print. Revisiting this theme in a different medium was interesting in ways that I'm still working out. At first, I was hung up on comparing the original textile piece with this work on paper. I still feel hung up, but I don't know why. I'd be curious what you all think or if you ever revisited a theme in a different medium.

I used the Japanese method of mokuhanga. Above is an image of the four different blocks I carved to create the print. This was hard and I know why it takes twenty years of effort to gain mastery! The ink is liquid, the paper is damp and must remain damp until the printing is done, registering damp paper is hard. Getting the right amount of liquid-y ink at the right consistency is hard. It was all hard work, but I did get a few prints that were worth the effort.

I'm not sure if I'll continue with this method of printmaking. I've always wanted to try white-line printmaking. This technique was created in the United States in the early 1900s as a response to the beautiful Japanese prints. In this technique, you only carve your block once. The paper remains dry and steady in one spot as does your block. You apply one color at a time to the block and then transfer to the paper with a baren or wooden spoon.

My initial book dummy is in process for Scout and the Space Cats. The group that I met in August in the children's book class I mentioned last time has decided to keep meeting once a month. Karima generously offered us her studio space for our meetings and her incredibly valuable time. The women are all very talented and I look forward to seeing what they bring to the next meeting.

The last few times I rode BART into the city, I decided to draw people. It's great life-drawing experience. I pick folks who are very still and usually engrossed in something. No one has yet notice that they were a model. In the second, I even attempt to draw how grungy BART looks.





2140 Acton Street (x-street Allston Way) Berkeley

Walking distance from North Berkeley BART

Street Parking Available

Original art * Hand made journals * Note cards * Fun holiday gifts

If you can come, I'd love to see you. If you can't come, I'll miss you.


Two positive legislative things happened that you might have missed:

1. After 2027, anyone who dies in California can choose to be composted. Why donate your body to science, take up valuable real estate, or increase air pollution, when you can provide food for trees and your favorite nature spot. Makes sense to me.

2. Gun purchases made with a credit card now have their own code. Prior to the credit card companies enacting this, all purchases of guns, ammunition, or purchases from a gun store were labeled as either sporting goods or other merchandise. All sorts of things we buy have a merchant code including shoes, towels, and gasoline. Law enforcement is hoping that this will curb gun violence. Everyone is skeptical, but let's see how it goes.

Take care everyone and hope to see you very soon!


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