Friday, September 26, 2008


       This is a papercut of Blackrock on the southern shore of the Great Salt Lake several miles west of Saltair. John and I several times this summer dragged our children out into the great outdoors to run around while we sketched. The first time it was out in the middle of sagebrush. The kids didn't like that too much. Betsy spent most of the time hiding in the car. She didn't like the bugs, and she was afraid of snakes. They liked going to Blackrock, however. Here was a great big rock just begging to have someone climb it. So, while John and I sketched, the kids clambered their way to the top.
     Blackrock  was once the sight of a popular beach along the lake shore. On top of the rock, you can still see part of the posts that held a big sign that said "Blackrock" on it. Being there now it is hard to imagine anyone wanting to swim in the water  around Blackrock. The lake stinks and is covered with a layer of brine flies along the shoreline. Yes, the dark brown in the picture below is not dirt, but thousands upon thousands of flies packed tightly together. Yuck!
  Blackrock was not as easy to sketch as I thought it would be. It looked so much less complicated from the freeway.  Going from real life to a papercut was harder than I thought it would be also. I found that I had to separate the real thing and the papercut with several different sketches. This is not my actual sketch but a sketch of my sketch as I tried to simplify the shadows and highlights of the rock in order to translate it into a papercut. 
    I really enjoyed the sketching that we did this summer. Hopefully, there will be more of that in the future. My goal is to become a plein air artist who uses papercuts as a medium. Is that even possible?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On The Wharf

 This cut is based on an old snapshot. I love old snapshots and the view of the past that they offer. What are all those kids looking at?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Santaquin Canyon

    My family went camping last month up Santaquin canyon with my parents last month. It is a pretty little canyon. While there I did a quick sketch of the canyon wall opposite of where we were camping. I loved how the pine trees stood on top of the cliffs like the hair on someone's head.  I based this papercut on that sketch.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September's ATC

     I belong to a group that trades ATCs (artist trading cards) every month. This month's theme was lighthouses. Since I live in a sagebrush covered desert far from the ocean and we have no need for lighthouses, my experience with them has been extremely limited. In fact, I don't think I have ever seen one in person. Then I remembered that one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world was a lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt. I liked ancient history, so there you go! Everyone will be getting a papercut of a really old lighthouse.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Father and Daughter

     I just finished this cut. It is of my husband and our daughter, Eliza, hiking in Zion. Three years ago I did a papercut of the two of them in Arches National Park. I thought that it would be nice to do an update of the two of them together.
     I am sure that John was glad that he didn't have to carry her on his shoulders this time.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nell Creer

    This is a picture of Nell Creer sitting on a cliff above the valley floor of Zion canyon in southern Utah. In 1920, 5 coeds from the University of Utah took a trip to Zion National Park. They were the first official tourists to the park after it became a national park in November  1919. The 5 girls along with a dancer from Los Angeles, a chaperone and several press photographers explored  the canyon for a week before the official opening of the gate on May 15, 1920. The photographers had them doing all kinds of stunts for the pictures which were published in newspapers all over the world. Looking at the photos, you can tell that they were having the time of their lives.
     I created this papercut based on the photo of Nell above. It wasn't real easy to figure out how to do the shadows since I did it all freehand. I have entered it into the fine art competition at the State Fair. It will be interesting to see  how it does. I have no big expectations. It just was  a fun challenge to do. My husband and have been somewhat obsessed with this story the past month.