Monday, February 10, 2014


I've made valentines every year for at least 40. This year I started with a monoprinting project with my preschool-age granddaughter when we spent a week together in California in January. On walks, we picked up "specimens" and "treasures". We rolled out red ink and transferred leaf and seaweed impressions to 3-1/2" x 4-1/2" rectangles of mulberry paper. My set of hand-carved rubber stamp hearts added to the fun. When our time together was over, we divided up our prints.

Once home, I embellished mine. I added colored pencil. I collaged in snippets cut from the slick Howard Hughes Medical Institute Bulletin, placing them behind and on top of the semi-translucent paper. I poked pinholes. I tore or cut the mulberry paper.

I hope you enjoy this collaboration. Here are all 15 of the 2014 batch. Each original was mailed by snail mail to a special someone.

Monday, February 13, 2012


I've made valentines every year for close to 40 years. Here's this year's batch. There usually is a theme or a commonality. This year, they all use black paper, Neocolor II wax pastels, and frisket film. Some have acrylic white ink, too. All have been sent to one of my special some ones.

Black Hole Heart

Blizzard Heart

Blue Valentine

Butterfly Hearts

Curlycue Heart

Distressed Heart

Extended Family Hearts

Fancy Schmancy Heart

Jump Up and Down Heart

Noble Heart

Pink Underbelly Heart

Tweedy Heart

Yellow Heart

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More Valentines

When Mary Huber, the director of the the Hearst Center for the Arts here in Cedar Falls, Iowa, saw my February 8th post, Valentines 2009, she invited me to put up a spur-of-the-moment show. 

With just a 2-day lead time, I excavated from portfolios valentines spanning my past three decades.  John found ones I had given him, stashed in drawers and books; my mother Betty Milner had a file marked "Marci's Valentines"; my Minneapolis friend Marjorie, a clairvoyant, recently returned to my keeping the ones I made for her in the 1970s and 1980s; and then the ones that never got sent.

So if you weren't able to get over to the Hearst Center for the week-long duration of My Handmade Valentines, here are a few:



This was for Marjorie in 1977.

Jules & I worked on this one together when he was in elementary school & gave it to Baboo & Grandpa

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Valentines 2009

I have made hand-drawn valentines over the past 30+ years.  Here are some from this year's batch:


This one is called, "An Evolution of Character".  Or alternatively, "Aging".  The heart on the far left--the eldest--is by far the most interesting, don't you think?

This one is titled "Self and Other".  My daughter-in-law is a microbiologist.  Her research is with bacteria.  These organisms have the ability to recognize other bacteria as being like themselves or unlike themselves.  This process protects the cohesion of the like community.  Do they determine self and other through direct physical contact or through chemical signals?  This is, as I understand it, central to what Karine is working to determine.

Life and love is complicated and messy.  And beautiful.  This one is called "Love Tangle".    I really enjoyed using my new 6XO Rapidograph pen.

 "Brainy  Heart"
Besides Rapidograph pens, also colored drawing ink.

"Prickly Heart"
(for those hard to handle Valentines) Here's to the imperfections of love!

"Color Blind Heart"
Just pencil and watercolor. For those of you who can't see this one, I'm sorry.  I hope you enjoy the others. 

Make valentines!  Make love!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Why Self-Portrait with Assumption

In 1979, I sat transfixed by Titian's Assumption of the Virgin, the altarpiece in the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice.  I sketched it from a pew and later tacked the postcard image onto my studio wall.  In 1981, this pastel self-portrait led me to understand my deep connection to this image.  Mary reaches up into the Godly realm.  She connects earth and heaven, worldly pursuits and the spiritual.  I, with my arms reaching downward to the drawing-in-progress, realize my own transcendence.  This is what art-making is for me:  a vechicle to discover myself, my world, and glimmers of the divine.