Downsize or Expand

No, matter how tough things may feel,

there’s always something good waiting around the corner.

Karen Salmansohn

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Texas Paintbrush in the south of Texas, my backyard in April, not bad for inspiration!

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Texas Paintbrush in the south of Texas, my backyard in April, not bad for inspiration!

Last January, when a certain practical side of life interrupted art, I cancelled a few visits in Florida. Since then, I re-communicated with Dorothy Simpson Krause, a local artist and book maker from Ft. Lauderdale, whom I had planned on visiting. In response, Dorothy was generous in emailing me images of her atelier and art work to share with all of you.

In my creative world, a zone, a sacred space is missing — a studio. I identified with my last workroom in Boise, Idaho, as 1/2 Measure Studio, since my space was a third of the square footage of my studio in Utah, but it was comfortable. Now, my atelier has shrunk again! Should I call it 1/16 Measure Studio?

© 2017 Louise Levergneux. Working on my artists’ book “Shadow Me” in my 1/2 Measure Studio in Boise, Idaho.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux. Working on my artists’ book “Shadow Me” in my 1/2 Measure Studio in Boise, Idaho.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Without a physical space to call my own, here I’m working on my artists’ book “Surveillance” in Natalie Freed’s studio in Austin, Texas.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Without a physical space to call my own, here I’m working on my artists’ book “Surveillance” in Natalie Freed’s studio in Austin, Texas.

As artists, we learn how to downsize or expand our space depending on our situation. In 2013 Dorothy sold her home of 35 years and gave up her 3,200 square foot studio in New England to move full-time into a condo in South Florida.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Dorothy’s studio in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Dorothy’s studio in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.

Dorothy explains her space and how it has not prevented her from creating wonderful large scale mixed media pieces, artist books and book-like objects that bridge between these two forms.

I occupy a compact office/studio. It has adequate counter and storage for minor projects, an Apple Power Tower Pro with 30″ monitor, a 17″ MacBook Pro, an Epson RX680 duplex printer and a 13″ Epson Stylus Pro 3880.

The condo has a considerable storage space for necessary supplies and ephemera and an outside storage unit for larger art.

I use the counter/bar in the kitchen when I need to spread out. For larger projects, I am fortunate to have access to the workspaces at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts http://www.library.fau.edu/depts/spc/jaffe.htm at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. It is a excellent resource for inspiration and support.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Dorothy’s many filing cabinets.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Dorothy’s many filing cabinets.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Making a book for her Alaska trip.

© 2019 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Making a book for her Alaska trip.

Although my art background is traditional, the computer has become a primary art-making media, a repository of my records and my lifeline to the world.

My work embeds archetypal symbols and fragments of image and text in multiple layers of texture and meaning. It combines the humblest of materials, plaster, tar, wax and pigment, with the latest in technology to evoke the past and herald the future. My art-making is an integrated mode of inquiry that links concept and media in an ongoing dialogue — a visible means of exploring meaning.

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  Ancient Mysteries , a pyramid shaped structure was created after Dorothy had an opportunity to work with  Karen Hanmer .  Ancient Mysteries  can be folded in a virtually infinite number of ways, and is housed in a leather slipcase embellished with two triangular pieces of metal.6''x6''x1.5'' 36 pages

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Ancient Mysteries, a pyramid shaped structure was created after Dorothy had an opportunity to work with Karen Hanmer. Ancient Mysteries can be folded in a virtually infinite number of ways, and is housed in a leather slipcase embellished with two triangular pieces of metal.6''x6''x1.5'' 36 pages

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  Explorations  was created during a trip to Egypt in 2010. Dorothy carried with her, a small book made with paper aged by crumpling and staining with tea, coffee and walnut ink. 6"x5.5", 24 pages.

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Explorations was created during a trip to Egypt in 2010. Dorothy carried with her, a small book made with paper aged by crumpling and staining with tea, coffee and walnut ink. 6"x5.5", 24 pages.

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  Explorations  was bound with a heavy paper, embossed with symbols resembling heiroglyphics, and was pamphlet stitched with three beads in the spine.

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Explorations was bound with a heavy paper, embossed with symbols resembling heiroglyphics, and was pamphlet stitched with three beads in the spine.

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Vintage photographs of Egypt were collaged into the pages of  Explorations .

© 2010 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Vintage photographs of Egypt were collaged into the pages of Explorations.

© 2018 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  Apache  began on a trip to Arizona, this small book explores our appalling treatment of Native Americans. Vintage photos of Apache Indians are collaged onto small eco printed tags which are placed into a pocket accordion, designed to fit into a well-worn leather pouch. Closed 5.5″x 3.75″x 1.75″, opened (5.5″x 28″).

© 2018 Dorothy Simpson Krause. Apache began on a trip to Arizona, this small book explores our appalling treatment of Native Americans. Vintage photos of Apache Indians are collaged onto small eco printed tags which are placed into a pocket accordion, designed to fit into a well-worn leather pouch. Closed 5.5″x 3.75″x 1.75″, opened (5.5″x 28″).

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  River of Grass  created as part of the Helen M. Salzberg Inaugural Artist in Residence at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Wimberly Library, Florida Atlantic University.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause. River of Grass created as part of the Helen M. Salzberg Inaugural Artist in Residence at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Wimberly Library, Florida Atlantic University.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  River of Grass.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause. River of Grass.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  River of Grass.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause. River of Grass.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause.  River of Grass.

© 2012 Dorothy Simpson Krause. River of Grass.

Dorothy eloquently explains her proposal for this prestigious residency and how her production paid homage to Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ seminal book, “The Everglades: River of Grass.


Through our mutual communication and after viewing Dorothy’s website, I’m looking forward to a visit, when life’s magnificent path escorts me back in that corner of the world.

Meanwhile, I’m dreaming of a new set-up in our travel trailer to work anytime a wave of creativity comes along. I have a picture of what is needed using a lift-top with an adjustable lift platform for under our bed. If anyone knows of someone that is handy with tools that can build me an under the bed worktable, please let me know. I will be spending another two weeks in the Phoenix, Tucson, Gila Bend area of Arizona.

I would love to visit some artists’ book makers in the area, if anyone is interested in meeting with me, please email me at louiselevergneux (at) gmail (dot) com. Looking forward in meeting you!

Example of my dream workstation!! but under the bed storage area instead of a pouf!

Example of my dream workstation!! but under the bed storage area instead of a pouf!


Works In Progress

It has already been a month since my last blog post. Short but sweet, this period has given me time to progress with my artists’ book Surveillance, a tunnel book structure. I’m absolutely thrilled with the results and look forward to meeting with Natalie Freed in Austin in April for integrating the electronics part of the book. It did require some patience and time to get back into detail work for this publication and applying glue again! The month gave me pause for reflection and the time spent on the creation of new publications was fantastic. You know who you are when you are creating what you love. 

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Prints of the cover for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Prints of the cover for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Prints of the pages for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Prints of the pages for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Remembering registration on an Epson R3000.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Remembering registration on an Epson R3000.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Back page for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Back page for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Cutting details for the cover for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Cutting details for the cover for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Measuring for the accordion side for Surveillance.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Measuring for the accordion side for Surveillance.


Last January, in Florida, I meticulously planned a few studio and contact visits. When a problem with our travel trailer arose, another disappointment interrupted art. As plans changed, I could no longer meet with John Cutrone, at the Jaffe Center and a studio visit with Dorothy Krause had to be cancelled. I also proposed to meet Merike van Zanten during her residency at The Arthur & Mata Jaffe Center for Book Arts. With Le Château’s problem, this stopover was also annulled.

Back in September 2017, I wrote a post entitled Pennsylvania. This post featured artists’ books with the theme of war after touring Gettysburg. One of the artists’ book featured in this post was A Soldier of the Second World War by Merike van Zanten. So, knowing I would be in Florida, I arranged a get together. Unable to view Merike’s creative work in person, I thought you might join me and look at what Merike is accomplishing during her time at the JCBA’s as part of the Helen M. Salzberg Artist in Residence for the 2018/2019 academic year. 

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. John1, eco print on paper.

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. John1, eco print on paper.

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. Hibiscus and fern print on paper from Merike’s residency.

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. Hibiscus and fern print on paper from Merike’s residency.

Merike, a book artist, comes to the residency from the Netherlands, where she founded Double Dutch Design. Her artists' books focus on nature among other things and she incorporates found materials, utilizing a variety of techniques. Some of her books are quite sculptural. 

Merike’s proposed Salzberg Residency creative project begins with substantive research and experiments in eco printing, a technique of extracting color and images from plants and metals through steam, without the use of inks. She uses paper, fabric, and leather as substrates, and these experiments will be bound into an artists’ book unified by technique.

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. Gerbera Daisy, coptic bound notebook with eco printed leather cover from Merike’s residency,

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. Gerbera Daisy, coptic bound notebook with eco printed leather cover from Merike’s residency,

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. John8, eco print eucalyptus on silk.

© 2019 Merike van Zanten. John8, eco print eucalyptus on silk.

During the residency Merike also conducted a series of workshops on eco printing at The Jaffe Center, as well as at outside venues.

Merike van Zanten is getting lots of publicity for her residency. Here is a link to an article by Judith Klau, Reflections from the Jaffe Center: Wednesdays with Arthur #7 who explains Merike’s work in progress.

© 2019 Helen Edmunds. Merike at work at the Jaffe Center during her residency.

© 2019 Helen Edmunds. Merike at work at the Jaffe Center during her residency.

The South of Florida is one stop I wish I had not missed, but as Carre Otis said “Life inevitably throws us curve balls, unexpected circumstances that remind us to expect the unexpected”. 

Talk to you in May!

Austin.6

I wish you all a Happy New Year—create and be prosperous.

I’m in Florida at the moment, trying to catch up on organizing my databases, going through photos to make room on my external hard drives... You know the new year cleansing!

Will talk about clearing and cleansing later... For now let’s get back to business after a couple of weeks off for the holidays! Last Fall while in Texas, I visited Flatbed Press with Mary Braughman from Austin Book Arts Center.

© Louise Levergneux. I enjoyed the four legged creates of Texas.

© Louise Levergneux. I enjoyed the four legged creates of Texas.

Flatbed is located on Boggy Creek, near the University of Texas. This Spring, Flatbed will be moving to 3701 Drossett Drive in Austin. Flatbed is comprised of two divisions, the Flatbed Press, a publishing workshop collaborating with artists to produce limited editions of original etchings, lithographs, woodcuts and monoprints. And the second division is Flatbed Gallery—a private art gallery, which specializes in original prints.

I had the privilege of meeting Annalise Natasha Gratovich who was working diligently on her own new series, her largest series to date. The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home, is co-published by Flatbed Press. The remarkable series includes eight 3 x 5.5 foot hand-dyed chine collé woodcuts.

© Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich working on her new series, The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home.

© Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich working on her new series, The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home.

© Louise Levergneux. © Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich at Flatbed Press.

© Louise Levergneux. © Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich at Flatbed Press.

So, what does “chine collé woodcuts” mean, you ask? Chine-collé roughly translates from French as “chine” meaning tissue, and “collé” is glue or paste. The paper, usually in pre-cut shapes, is actually bonded to the heavier support paper of the print in the printmaking process. The over-all effect of collé is that the paper is actually bonded, not just glued, to the print. It can, at times, look like it is embossed. The word chine was adopted because the thin paper traditionally used was imported into Europe from China, India and Japan. One of the commonly applied techniques includes dampening the thin paper and placing it on the inked plate. What makes collé different from collage is that it is then run through a printing press where the pressure of the press adheres and bonds the collé paper to the print.

This process is how Annalise applies the colour to her work and she carefully hand dyes the coloured papers.

© Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich’s chine collé woodcuts drying at Flatbed Press.

© Louise Levergneux. Annalise Natasha Gratovich’s chine collé woodcuts drying at Flatbed Press.

Annalise says thoughtfully of her creative work —

“The Journey. Searching. Longing/Belonging. Home identity. Personhood… Where are you? Where am I? Can we, will we, be together? My work explores themes of displacement, self and cultural identity, intention and accountability as well as burden and regret. The figures are based on matryoshka dolls (Russian stacking dolls) and the textile patterns are derived from Ukrainian embroidery, either in patterning or stylistic outline. This nod to the traditional and folk arts of the lands of my heritage, Ukraine and the American South, is important and used to invoke feelings of nostalgia- memories or fantasies of far away places lost or cannot be returned to. I consider my work most successful when a viewer is compelled to dream of these memories and places, when they relate to my characters, and in that way I consider my work a visual continuation of what is shared through the rich and important art of storytelling.”

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. The Builder, part of The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. The Builder, part of The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. The Musician, part of The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. The Musician, part of The Villagers, Carrying Things From Home by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.

Gratovich is the Associate Gallery Director of the fine art print publisher Flatbed Press and a member of the Board of Directors of PrintAustin, a month-long, city-wide printmaking event for which she has helped organize exhibitions and special events, curate the PrintAustin Invitational, and has participated in artist and curator talks, and panel discussions.

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. To Awaken In Paradise an etching with hand dyed chine collé by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.

© 2018 Annalise Natasha Gratovich. To Awaken In Paradise an etching with hand dyed chine collé by Annalise Natasha Gratovich.


I’m around the Tampa area of Florida for the next 3 weeks, then I’m visiting The Florida Atlantic University Wimberly Library and the Jaffe Collection at the end of January in Boca Raton. If you are interested in a visit to your studio, please, let me know. I would love to be introduced to your artists’ books.

Austin.5

There is a considerable amount of art to see and visit in Austin, Texas. A few weeks ago I was at the Austin Book Arts Center located in studio #114 in Flatbed Press building. While I was meeting with Linda Anderson, Mary Baughman stopped by to say hello. We met last year, when she created introduction opportunities to other artists in the area.

© 2018 Linda Anderson. Michael Sutton, Louise Levergneux, Mary Baughman, outside the Austin Book Art Center, Austin, Texas.

© 2018 Linda Anderson. Michael Sutton, Louise Levergneux, Mary Baughman, outside the Austin Book Art Center, Austin, Texas.

Mary’s career spanned 40 years at the University of Texas, most of that time caring for unique books at the Ransom Center. Teaching book arts for children has convinced her that children who learn to love books continue to treasure reading and writing, and will support the libraries of the future. Mary is additionally a associate of the Lone Star chapter of the Guild of Book Workers, a founding member of Austin Book Workers, and one of the originators of the Book Arts Fair held for 20+ years at Laguna Gloria Art Museum.

If you are a conservator you might be interested in reading on how Mary spearheaded the effort at the Ransom Center by creating insect ID flashcards.

After my time with Linda, Mary accompanied me around Flatbeb Press, founded in 1989 by Katherine Brimberry and Mark L. Smith. The facility includes not only Flatbeb’s shop, offices, and galleries, but also eleven tenants. The mix of visual-arts professionals provides a "24/7" creative synergy in the building.

Gallery Shoal Creek, CAMIBA Art,

Austin Book Arts Center,

L_A_N D Architects,

Hubbard Birchler Studio,

Daniel Arredondo Studio,

Smith and Hawley, NJ Weaver Studio,

Recspec Design Studio,

Jacqueline May Studio and Troy Brauntuch Studio.


© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Ericka Walker, exhibition of lithographs and screen prints.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Ericka Walker, exhibition of lithographs and screen prints.

While walking around the galleries, I witnessed Influence an exhibition of recent works by Nova Scotia based artist Ericka Walker, who was born in Hartford, Wisconsin, US.

Her large-scale multi-color lithographs draw on the vibrant history of propaganda, printed ephemera, and advertising from twentieth century Europe and North America. Ericka's work exposes nostalgia as an ongoing rhetorical device in a contemporary sociopolitical climate that clings savagely to destructive birthrights and colonial residues. As a self described “Daughter of Colonialism,” Walker considers the history of her parent nation, her host country, and to her own family’s involvement in settlement, agriculture, industry, and military service as enterprises that are far more complex than any slogan or advertisement can acclaim.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.

© 2018 Ericka Walker, lithograph and screen print.


As I roamed the hallways the exhibition Language of Flowers engaged my eye. This show presents Brooklyn based, West Virginia native, Martin Mazorra’s botanical woodcut and letterpress prints that maintain the Victorian tradition of the language of flowers. Historically, flowers were a means to send coded messages that were otherwise unspoken in public. Specific flowers communicated distinct postures or sentiments. In Mazorra’s Language of Flowers, the choices of particular flowers or bouquets, along with provocative text are a contemporary interpretation to this tradition of cautious exchange.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux. Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

Martin Mazorra is a Brooklyn based artist originally from West Virginia. He works chiefly in the medium of woodcut and letterpress, in a range of scales from small books, prints on paper, and on canvas, to site specific print-based installations.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

© 2018 Martin Mazorra, woodcut with movable type.

Whenever you can, join me in visiting exhibition in your area.