Working on a free birthday print



I was hoping I would have these all printed by yesterday in order to give them away, but it has honestly taken me longer than I thought, so I’m going to post the progress of the whole the process from sketching to carving to printing. Then likely you’d know what you are getting yourself into.

Here is the sketch 75% done



The final sketch is now ready to be transferred to a linoleum platethat I will start carving right after.



Carving the plate…


Covid-19 birthday print trade celebration.

A 3 day storytelling/art-sharing celebration

Every year in April I celebrate my birthday with gratitude by giving away prints, saying thanks, and throwing a dancing party.

This year we are learning the dimensions of our need for connection and simple acts like waving at our neighbors during walks or exchanging looks at the store can save us from our yearning for human contact. The visions of the past when we all dance next to each other and exchange hugs and kisses now would feel like such a social overindulgence, such an act of transgression. This pandemic will remind us all of the things we take for granted and hopefully make us more grateful and present.

At least for now we have the internet and the Postal Service, so in an effort to learn to adapt I’m celebrating my birthday Covid-19 style with an online party and hoping for hugging, kissing and dancing some time in the future.

A pre-pandemic celebration usually goes like this: you come to my studio, write or draw a story and trade it for one of my prints hanging on a clothesline. Now, in times of social distancing this exchange will be indirect, but hopefully still fun to do. I’m sure that with all the introspection we all have been forced to experience, there are incredible stories to share.

For this event I am creating a special print and trading it for “Pandemic-quarantine-social distancing” stories.

I really hope we overcome our akwardness and free ourselves to share and connect, here are 3 different ways we can trade.

1. A story for a Bday print.

Share a story on the comments, go to my shop and “buy” a Bday print for $1 and pay for shipping costs. I wish I can just give it to you but sadly, I’m struggling too. The price is just to cover material costs.

2. Stories for discounted prints

Share a story in the comments of this page (very bottom of this page), go to my shop  or Etsy store and enter the code “45bday” to get a coupon for 20% off on any print, I will send you a birthday print as well.

3. Stories for postcards

If you don’t wish to buy a print then just share a story in the comments (very bottom of this page) and I will send you a postcard.

I believe that we show our humanity during times of adversity and we remind each other that there is room for hope in the future. If you have a story that made you feel good during this Pandemic and would like to share it.  Let’s trade!!!

The event will run from April 19 to April 21 (my birthday)

Check out the Submitted Stories Below, or Submit your own in the comments box at the very bottom of the page:

Seed starting during “Shelter in place” time

Nothing makes me more hopeful for the future than watching seedlings bursting from seeds and emerging from the soil; this  process has become more meaningful this year under the constant feeling of uncertainty we are all experiencing during this pandemic. Even more powerful because I have had success with seeds that were 6 years old!

I no longer have access to a greenhouse so at first I used a few store-bought trays with domes, but then I realized I could just use whatever I had around and avoid a trip to the store. Here is one technique I came up with.

Egg cartons make great seed starting trays! My favorite are the 3 part plastic ones, but I have used all kinds.

I cut off the part that goes over the eggs ( I used as the water catching tray) and left the other two parts attached.

Then I punctured a 1/4 inch draining hole under each egg holder


I filled up each egg holder with soil and sowed 2-3 seeds since they were really old and there was a chance they wouldn’t germinate; then I “labeled” them by writing on the cover with a sharpie. I placed the part I initially cut off under the tray with the soil and the holes, this will be my water catching tray (this one has no holes)

I watered my seeds and placed them by the window sill.


Then I ran out of room and found out about “grow” lights; I’m experimenting with that right now. Luckily I have plenty of time.

First batch grown under lights.


Holiday Open Studio Sale

Friday November 22nd 5-10 PM

This year the holiday open studio sale is happening on the Friday before Thanksgiving.

At this year’s sale you will find the work of three artists:

Alynn Guerra: Block-prints on paper, framed work, large format prints (available only at the studio), buttons, cards, stickers and old discontinued prints.

Rebecca Rodriguez: Wood cut prints, color prints, one-of-a-kind prints.

Jonathan Kloote: Assemblage art and hand crafted metal jewelry.

Fun fact: Rebecca, Jonathan and I used to converse at cool art events in the past,  now we do at our kid’s school.



Transplants Bloom Too

This reduction print was the fruit of a long internal creative process that began when I bought some dahlias at the market. What a gorgeous flower, with its collection of perfectly-designed laid out in geometrical spirals and the delicate addition of color, always a variation of two near-complements fading into one another for a beautiful effect.

Woodblock print plate for "Transplants Bloom Too" reduction print
An early shot of the pen drawing on MDF board and the initial plate starting to take shape.

It didn’t take my mind long to move to the amazing science of transplantation, cross-pollination, plant hybridization and the like that have been practiced in the plant kingdom long long before they were practiced by humans. I fascinated by the way plants can quickly assimilate themselves to different climates and habitat with beautiful results. We see proof of this all the time in the plant kingdom, and in humans as well. How wonderful to behold how well we humans do when transplanted far far from home and into communities that may look nothing like the ones we are used to.

While conceptualizing what the text on this piece would look like in my head I originally was visualizing a more handwritten-style font. But then while experimenting with fonts this classical “Times”-style serif caught my eye and I liked it immediately for its appearance and weight. The letters were hand-carved in linoleum and printed in a separate pass, bringing the total color count on this print to five.


Holiday Season 2018 Sales

There are still plenty of chances to find us around town for a Michigan-made creative gift or two. Here are the upcoming shows. Schedule tight? Drop me an email any time to set up an appointment at the studio.

Saturday, 12/1/2o18
UICA Holiday Artists’ Market

Sunday, 12/23/2018
Last Chance Holiday Art Market | The Pyramid Scheme
Facebook Page:

Fall and Winter 2018-19 Shows and Events

August 17, 18 & 19
Hoxeyville Music Festival
Event Website:

September 7, 8 & 9
Wheatland Music Festival
Event Website:

September 15 & 16
Fallasburg Art Festival – Lowell, MI
Event Website:

September 30 – October 21
Printmaking Class: Fall ’18 Printmaking 101
Sundays September 30th through October 21st, 2018 – 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Click for More Info >

November 16 & 18
27th Annual Tanglefoot Open Studio Sale

December 9
Printmaking Class: Monotype Day Session
December 9 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Click for More Info >

January 14 – February 4 2019
Printmaking Class: Winter ’19 Printmaking 101
Sundays January 14 through February 4 2019  – 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Click for More Info >


Summer & Fall 2018 Shows and Events

June 23
Bizarre Bazaar – Eastown Grand Rapids
Event on Facebook:

July 6 & 7
Lakeshore Art Fest – Muskegon, MI
Event Website:

July 14 & 15
KRASL Art Fair – St. Joseph, MI
Event Website:

August 17, 18 & 19
Hoxeyville Music Festival
Event Website:

September 7, 8 & 9
Wheatland Music Festival
Event Website:

September 15 & 16
Fallasburg Art Festival – Lowell, MI


Some Recent Press

Last week my friend and fellow artist Mandy Cano Villalobos came over to my studio to “interview” me, but really it was more like hanging out like we used to, a long time ago… before we had children. She has three and gets shit done, I sometimes do too and only have one. We didn’t talk long, and she didn’t ask painful personal questions, yet the story is a good insight into my  life as an artist as a person still figuring things out.

Next Eric Bowens came over to take pictures… ugh, that is always painful, and he was so patient. Eric is a doctor at a community clinic serving the hispanic population in Grand Rapids, I have secretly admired him for using his profession as an other form of activism and also for being an active supporter of the arts.

Huge thanks to Holly Bechiri, for supporting artists by having their voices be heard, for finding amazing writers and photographers to tell the stories.

Goodbye “crow” print!

“Wishing my worries away”

We’ve got to the last of this print edition. Numbers 42, 43, 44 and 45 are all that’s left of the edition. If you would like to get one of them come to our anual studio sale coming up November 17 and 19; or get it at the online shop and I’ll ship it for free.