As i’m wrapping up this grant, i’d like to thank Danny and Chris of Creative Pinellas for their support and dedication to the arts–you guys rock! I’d also like to thank my mentor Holly Bird for her phenomenal guidance and endless shared knowledge–you’re a printmaking queen! I truly learned and grew more during this process than I could have imagined. I’m truly excited about continuing on this path and expanding the scope of work I created during this time. It was my goal to take a different approach to my printmaking repertoire and push myself out of my comfort zone. I’m feeling vulnerable so i’m certain I achieved this. This grant offered the perfect opportunity to not only highlight my passion for Florida’s natural heritage, while, more importantly, provided a space to advocate for the preservation of it. I’m looking forward to the opening and everything after. All and nothing.




As well as highlighting iconic trees of Florida–trees that are central to several of Florida’s diverse ecosystems, I was compelled to bring attention to the 11 endangered and threatened endemic species of Florida. The reason I chose endemic species is because I realize how little attention is placed on these specific species. It was through my research I learned that not only are most of these species found inland and in south Florida, but all of these species are incredibly small– only a few grow to be as big as 18″. With much of conservation efforts placed on larger mammals such as the manatee and Florida Panther, I couldn’t help but think about size being a factor here… like, “Out of sight of mind”…

To get to the number 11, I reached out to a biologist from ‘Landscape Florida’.

“LandScope America is an online resource for the land-protection community and the public. Developed in collaboration by NatureServe, the National Geographic Society, and many partner organizations, LandScope America is designed to increase the pace and effectiveness of conservation action and investment throughout the United States.”

The biologist provided two lists (vertebrate and invertebrate), each of which had global, federal, legal, and state listings for each animal. From the codes I was able to narrow down which animals are listed threatened and endangered. This process in and of itself was completely eye opening. Once I compiled my list, I began my research of each animal and understand why they are imperiled. The reason being – habitat loss and destruction due to human development and agriculture. After my research, I began my sketches and studies of each animal with intent of framing their prints inside antique frames. One of the goals I had for this grouping of prints was to push myself into the design realm. I didn’t want to place these animals in the center of the frames for multiple reasons–design wise and conceptually. These animals aren’t found anywhere else on this planet. They are on the brink of extinction…Fleeting, but still here. Below are scans of the sketches I did of each animal to scale. The sketches are what I developed my plexi-etching prints from and have since been framed and will be in the grant show. 

Short-tailed snake

Rim rock crowned snake

Squirrel chimney cave shrimp

Sand skink

Florida bonneted bat

Schaus’ swallowtail

Okaloosa darter

Miami blue

Stock island tree snail

Blackmouth shiner

Florida scrub jay





Like many artists, i’m heavily reliant on my sketchbook. I was in 3rd grade when I started my 1st sketchbook. Back then, I strictly used them as a book of drawings. I was very keen on only using it for illustrating, and these illustrations had to be complete and perfect. As I got older, I became less rigid about this device and now I use my sketchbook for just about everything. Within the pages you’ll find poorly handwritten notes, ideas, sketches, plans, etc. All of these elements are conductive to my process and serve as a transparent form of record keeping that I can accurately reflect back on.


Experimenting w/ Monotype Texture

Experimenting w/ Monotype Texture

After spending a full weekend devoted to pulling single plate prints from my etchings, I decided to try and experiment with texture and color. In keeping with my goals for this grant, I wanted to try something different by being more experimental in my approach to these processes.

Typically my prints, relief and intaglio, are black and white. I don’t have a particular disdain for color, I’ve just never had a good enough reason to incorporate it. My prints are particularly illustratively and it’s always been my intent to keep them stark and dramatic by exploiting the positive and negative areas of my narratives. I think it was four years ago, during my sophomore year of college, I was sitting in an artist talk. A painter, I can’t recall his name, said something along the lines of “Color should only be used when it serves a purpose. Color has meaning–using it without intent is counterproductive.” This resonated with me.

This past year i’ve slowly incorporated color into my intaglio prints using watercolor. Lately i’m become increasing more interested in combining various printmaking processes to achieve color. Below are images of my process in adding color to plexi-etching prints using monotype plate textures. Monotype meaning, a single print taken from a design created in ink on a plate. 


Mixing and rolling out the sepia and umber colored ink.

Various rags and cloth I use to create texture and to wipe ink away from plate.

I use a copy of the original sketch (placed under plexi) to give me a general idea of where to take away ink, and what areas need to be balanced.

Ink evenly rolled out on the texture plate which is also placed over the sketch.

Wiping away ink from the plate just enough that I can see the image underneath.I wipe and add texture until i’m happy with it.

The final print reveal. The original print was placed on top of the texture plate and put through the press.




Preparation for Pulling a Plexi-Etching Print

Preparation for Pulling a Plexi-Etching Print

In a previous post I highlighted the process of creating a plexi plate etching. Since then, i’ve created 11 different plates–each highlighting a threatened and/or endangered endemic species of Florida. Once I completed the plates, my next step was to then prepare for the process the pulling prints. Below is pictures depicting the various aspects of prep required before producing an actual print.

1st. I have to cut my large pieces of Rives BFK down to the appropriate size to fit my plate. I usually cut these pieces to have about a 1-2″ inch margin around the outside edges of the plate.

2nd. This is the paper soaking area. To the left is a tray filled with water that my paper will be soaked in. To the right is a towel I use to blot the paper before laying it on the plate.

3rd.Materials used for applying and wiping ink to & from plate. I use cut matte board to carve ink into the crevices of the plate and use tissue paper to carefully wipe ink away from the plate.

4th. Intaglio ink and burnt plate oil #2. I use about a 3:1 mixing ratio being 3 parts ink and 1 part oil. I work them together using a putty knife until I achieve an idea viscosity.

5th. My press with the pressure gauges set appropriately. I also lay a piece of newsprint paper down on the press bed which is where ill set my plate on.

Proofs a.k.a Artist Working Prints



Press Pulling Large Scale Prints–Video

Press Pulling Large Scale Prints–Video

Below is the link to a video of moi pulling my four large scale woodblock prints at the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Print studio. The video was filmed and edited by my mentor, printmaking extraordinaire, and all around inspiring human, Holly Bird. Despite not smiling through the entirety of this video (I was concentrating okay), I was truly enjoying the company of Holly and was completely stoked by how little to no hiccups I experienced throughout my five hour session of pulling prints. In the video you’ll see me rolling ink onto the block with a large brayer, then proceeding to place the block onto the press under felt blankets and thus slowly revealing the print. I am  undoubtably pleased with my final prints and look forward to hanging them side by side for the big night! 



Dry Point Etching on Plexi-Glass

Dry Point Etching on Plexi-Glass

While i’m in the process of wrapping up the carving portion of large scale wood blocks, i’ve been working on a separate series of small format portraits of threatened and endangered species of Florida. I’m producing these via the dry-point etching on plexi-glass method.Typically I use the intaglio process for images that require more detail but I wanted to try a new method, especially a more economical method that doesn’t require dips in ferric acid. This is the first time i’ve used this method so I had to do plenty of research and experiment with the process. Needless to say, it’s been a refreshing change of pace and i’m looking forward to pulling proofs of what I have etched so far. Below are images that illustrate my process, minus pulling the print. 

To the right is the final drawing I used as a key image to place under the acrylic and etch on top. To the left is a reference photo I used to accurately render proportions and patterns of the Florida short-tailed snake.

An in process capture of etching the acrylic with an etching tool. Typically I use this same tool while etching a copper plate during the intaglio process. The drawing to the left is under the plexi during carving, but I momentarily moved it to the side so that I could see the etched lines more clearly.

The finished etching of the short-tailed snake. Next step is to the pull a print from this and decide if more lines need to be added.



“The Mangrove”

“The Mangrove”

In my last post I highlighted the completion of carving the 1st large scale woodblock, “The cypress”. This past week I finished the 2nd panel, “The Mangrove” which is also 2×3′. It will hang side by side with the cypress and two other iconic Florida trees- the pine,and the palm, which i’ll start carving this week. I’ll pull prints of all four panels once I finish carving the last two. For now, I carve, repeat & carve some more….


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