December 31, 2012

So Near and Yet So Far

"Legs," digital photograph, Ithaca, NY by E. Trespas
With merely a few days until I return to teaching on January 3, 2013, I am grateful and eager, as well as, a little nervous to return to requirements, schedules and a swift change-of-pace. My time away from full-time teaching permitted me to do so many wonderful things, travel, grow and gain perspective, especially. I could go on about all of those things and more...and I probably will in time...but this short post has one main goal: THANKS.

Thank you to all of the people who made it possible for me to take sabbatical and helped me accomplish my goals (and then some) during these months from June through December, 2012.

Thank you and Thank you and Thank you...
"Bird in a Hand," digital photograph, Ithaca, NY, by E Trespas

December 23, 2012

My Etsy Shop is OPEN!

Ringing, bringing, singing and sewing in 2013 with my Etsy Shop grand opening:

I hope you enjoy it and visit often. Over the next weeks I will add many more things I created during the past months, as well as new items I am busy designing.

Please Note:
  • Trail Pixie Studios will be out of town December 23 - 28. All orders placed during this time will ship between December 29 and 31.
  • Did you know that USPS shipping will increase on January 27, 2013? if you want to save on shipping consider purchasing before the rates increase.
  • Special for the Phillips Academy Andover campus: If you work at/attend Andover, please send me a message (through the Etsy Shop) before ordering to save on shipping… your purchase may be hand delivered! 

 I am so excited to share what I make with you. 
Happy New Year

December 20, 2012


.....Checking lists, making resolutions, wrapping up 2012
xo, trail pixie trespas

December 14, 2012

DC No.87: Shelter

This week's drawing challenge theme was difficult for me, which made for wrestling thoughts and pressed choices. Shelter one of our basic needs—along with food and love—is not only structure but concept. 

I keep a box of old print pieces for times like these. I knew I had the woodcut teepee but was surprised to uncover the reindeer scrap, hiding beneath layers of printed matter. Finally freed to leap into the composition, I composed, embellished and drew onto these old prints to build this "renovated" shelter:
"two teepees"
silkscreen, wood cut, chine colle, silver thread and fabric trim

I've missed pen and ink this fall so I dipped my nib with an homage to Vincent Van Gogh, my pen and ink muse. After looking at many of his drawings, I developed my own versions and interpretations versus direct copy:
pen and ink wash on bristol
Shelter can be something many take for granted.  My thoughts meander to an opposite of the concept "shelter"—e x p o s u r e. There are so many homeless people in the world. And there are also individuals who are sheltered in life, by thought-process and fears. Above my peasant woman advances with trepidation, into an open space.  The smaller fellow herds his sheep, sheltering them from harm, protected by the forest.

This weeks theme was hosted by: Renilde
for more visual interpretations visit her blog. Thank you for this thought-provoking theme,  Renilde!
And thank you to Ariane, keeper of TDC theme archives.

December 08, 2012

DC No. 86: Cactus

"above the choya" m/m on paper.

I am a prickly pear. I hover above the choya.

This week's drawing challenge was hosted by TinyWOOLF. I have been down with the flu this week and had some time to think about this week's drawing challenge laying in bed between shiver and chill. I remembered the breadth of character of a cactus. . .  while defensive on the outside—with her needles and pins —she is supple and fragile on the inside. A delicate flower.

It took these photos when hiking Guadalupe Mesa in  Jemez, New Mexico in June 2003. It was nice to go back, thank you tinyWOOLF.

 This is the beautiful Guadalupe Mesa.

December 02, 2012

"All Pi-Ed Up" Prints on Exhibit at SAC

This Friday (12.7.12) at the SAC art opening, I hope to connect with two of the artists I met in the Museum of Printing's Letterpress Broadside workshop last month. Amy and Devin told me about this timely opportunity and for that I am thankful. I believe their work is full text while other artists, like myself, chose to combine image and text. In co-curating the show with Kate Lenahan, Zach Green  looked for a range of responses that included conversations between word and image—as well as direct messages.

PR for the Exhibit!
Artscope Magazine mention: artscope magazine .
A link to the Facebook Event is HERE.

All Pi-Ed Up: Experiments in Letterpress Broadsides.
Some of my prints in my thesis exhibit in graduate school included setting symbolic type on the letterpress and printing the quotes without ink. By omitting ink, the embossing of the letters was deeply present while the traditional relief impression from inked type was absent. This dialogue between presence and absence is a recurring thread through my work—though not always obvious.  

I have Jim Tyler, Larch Tree Press, to thank for my early fondness for the font. When I saw Jim in October, after 16 years, our visit rekindled my fascination with letterpress. We enjoyed  Steve Miller's talk, "Why Books? Why Not?" at Wells College in Aurora, NY, before which I admired the college's highly specialized Book Arts Center.
The convergence of these events might be the start of a new direction in my visual work.

November 28, 2012

DC No.85 : State of Mind

Following a creative cookie-crumb trail, I delighted to find The Drawing Challenge. I've always admired Kristen's vision and creativity and follow her blog, A Sunny Spot, so it made sense after enjoying her posts that I would soon seek indulgence. Thanks to Elisabeth—whom I learn founded TDC and 85 creative prompts ago—for TDC this week. State of Mind. For more states visit garnapa, Elisabeth's blog.

Here is my state-of-mind:
Emily Trespas, foggy notion,
collography, m/m on paper, 2012

Pieces. many scattered, collected, gathered and organized, but not touching. Hold them in. Layering, fiddling, seeking— free through peek holes. Muses emerge, whistling, whirling and foggy.

November 24, 2012

Broadside Basic Letterpress at the Museum of Printing

Today I treated myself to a letterpress workshop focusing on the Broadside, led by Ted Leigh (Red Squirrel Press) and Katey Corrigan both of the Museum of Printing in North Andover, MA.

This one-day workshop provided and excellent opportunity to finish carving my relief plate of a Shadowgraph and get inky. The wooden and metal type from which to choose was limited and pushed my concept for the better. 
 Scrapping haiku poems, I went for one encompassing word:  Shadow. My hope was to echo its meaning visually through my selection of font/type style, scale and arrangement, and to gesture towards narrative via smaller words/sounds/shapes within the larger word.  

 "Shadow." This is a detail from the broadside.
I was especially delighted that the small "o" didn't solidly ink. 

Organizing the wood/metal type as I did—in a non-linear, sideways and graphic composition—took more time to finish because of the uneven spaces between the letters. My friend Sally poked that this is what happens when artists and the  letterpress meet— A systematic and organized method is turned on its head. 

 I call this image:"Font settling score with Artist."
Above is my finished/carved relief plate in the galley with type. 
Notice anything funny? Neither did I— until I proofed the plate:

ShaBow. That little "d" or a "p" was a "b."

Proofed again & Much better after the correction.

 Devin, Katey, Amy (at press) and Sally. 

 Aron at the Vandercook.

 Katey: type in hand.

 Devin's broadside on the Vandercook.

Ted Leigh, Red Squirrel Press, rolls up a baren.

Devin composes..

 Aron organizes the type.

The stained type is so beautiful.

My broadsides drying at home.
Before trimming paper scale is 24 inches high and 15 inches wide. 
I will probably scale print down to 17 h x 14 w.

MANY THANKS to the MoP, Paparazzi Di Frank R., and especially to Katey and Ted for their volunteered time and dedication. Sally for her inspiration and help with the puzzle that was my word. Sorry about the tympan today!

Shop Locally! Local Shops Selling My Makings

Bird-image cowl 2-color jersey and Infinity double-wrap, 2-color Jersey

Since my return from an art retreat in upstate New York, I am pinned to my sewing tables and sergers. I have a love of textiles that I am no longer willing to curb. So it's about time to find places that will kindly help me sell what I make and share this textile love-affair with others. I am also hard at work on uploading goodies to my Etsy Shop: Trail Pixie Studios, which is forthcoming.

I am still busy making a new collection of long and short infinity scarves and cowls, as well as some Malden Mills Polartec© fleece hats and mittens. As I would rather be designing and creating instead of tending a fair booth, I pursued local shops to consign my wares or *buy them outright (thank you Nest of Andover).

This winter my scarves, hats, mittens, small zip bags, and stuffed animals and jewelry are available for purchase at the four locations below, as well as directly from me. If you can't make it to any these locations (or events listed), it would be my pleasure to arrange a viewing (send me an email

Accents with Style
37 Wilton Road @ The Pine Valley Mill
Milford, NH (603) 654-9868
Infinity scarves and cowls, fleece hats/mittens, stuffed animals (photo is from their FB page)

4 Slip Road, Greenfield, NH
(603) 547-2850
Infinity scarves and cowls, fleece hats/mittens, bags
3 Barnard Street, Andover, MA
(978) 474-1995
Plushy fur cowls and infinities
Thank Taylor, shop co-owner, and ask her to  you my makings.

 Sharon Art Center by Hand Shop 
457 NewHampshire
Route 123, Sharon, NH
(603) 924-7256
Infinity scarves in velvet, jersey and plushy fur fleece.


My Gizzlegorps© for adoption at  
Accents with Style, Milford, NH

Velvety cowls, fleece running hats and mittens and crocheted scarves.

Phew. Now I am off to a Broadside Letterpress Workshop 

October 13, 2012

Week 2 at Constance Saltonstall Art Colony: Chance of Hail

Deer Me, This Can't Be. 9 x 12, vine charcoal

Today in Ellis Hollow the weather proved to be a plein air painter's dilemma. Staccato sky improv— rainsunovercast-nimbusgraycloudsun—bird in flight—cirrussunshade. By 3 p.m. I felt cooped up (probably like those pheasants down the street feel in their  *chicken goggles) so out I ventured—into the windy range, across fields—to free roam. 
Tastes Like Chicken

I wandered. I found Discoveries in the cat tails. Where are those infamous leeches in October? The frogs are silent. This pond is very sheltered compared to 16 years ago. Just as well, I love cat tails and bull frogs. Chirps yesterday. Squarish hoof prints along water's edge. Deer.
Clouds Above & Below. 
But today I am not a *Student of Clouds
(Reference Billy Collins on Constable's work)

Discovery 1, 2 (10.12.12).  
small, charcoal, conte
I move on. Around the field, hop over puddle and pause, look back, consider a sketch, nope...furiously fleeting light. There it is. Yes. Over there, by the horses who flip-flop itch-scratch on the field. Or are they expressing horse joy like falling to the ground from laughing so solar-plexus hard? It is clear to me; 
i know not the language of horses. I balance on my travel tripod above the pond. It is not the water that attracts. Behold, that slime color—dull green—and its demarcating straight-edge. THis lures me: lentil soup meets ruler. Not sure what will become of it, snared nonetheless.
Discovery 3,4, 5 (10.12.12).
 In process. smaller still. charcoal, conte

Some things are not quite right. Still, they are. Unapologetic  in their being. This is what is breaking through my work. The deer resting (top). This is not normal, is it? The squirrel who paused and looked back at me like he'd just been busted trying to sneak back to his room. And those birds who fly into my windows like it is some prehistoric fledge week—an open mic. slam from the poems of mourning doves and mocking birds. The torquing of nature—animals and the land. Open field becomes woods. Pond grows to wetland. Invasive vine with extensive passport grabbing at a better view like an anaconda around Big Ben.

Square Pond (detail in process)  (10.12.12).
8 x 10-ish. charcoal, conte

*A thank you to David Coester for the chicken specs.

All images except for the "Anti-Pixs" are my own.


Student of Clouds
by Billy Collins

The emotion is to be found in clouds,
not in the green solids of the sloping hills
or even in the gray signatures of rivers,
according to Constable, who was a student of clouds
and filled shelves of notebooks with their motion,
their lofty gesturing and sudden implication of weather.

Outdoor, he must have looked up thousands of times,
his pencil trying to keep pace with their high voyaging
and the silent commotion of the eddying and flow.
Clouds would move beyond the outlines he would draw
as they moved within themselves, tumbling into their centers
and swirling off at the burning edges in vapors
to dissipate into the universal blue of the sky.

In photographs we can stop all this movement now
long enough to tag them with their Latin names.
Cirrus, nimbus, stratocumulus -
dizzying, romantic, authoritarian -
they bear their titles over the schoolhouses below
where their shapes and meanings are memorized.

High on the soft blue canvases of Constable
they are stuck in pigment but his clouds appear
to be moving still in the wind of his brush,
inching out of England and the nineteenth century
and sailing over these meadows where I am walking,
bareheaded beneath the cupola of motion,
my thoughts arranged like paint on a high blue ceiling.

October 10, 2012

Week 1 at Constance Saltonstall Art Colony: Headbangers

This robin flew into the studio window. Poor feller, fortunate me. 
(charcoal on paper, 9 x 11 inches, 10.10.12)

A week ago today I arrived at the Constance Saltonstall Art Colony in Ellis Hollow, Ithaca, NY.  Attending artists' retreats can expose one's weaknesses and strengths, change one's perceptions and shift incoming expectations ... among many other quips of being a woodsyflower.

In jest I title this first retreat week, An Extrovert in Captivity. Not really. But it has challenged me to adjust to silence, to freedom, to restraint in materials. 

Concerning "freedom,"  I have nothing to pit what I hope to accomplish against what must be done, if anything at all. Where do these intangible pressures come from—not these woods. Not the bird in beak-meets-glass shock. 

At times, I accomplish things throughout my life by means of a term I coined "productive procrastination." This is when I select to work on something than generally needs to be done instead of diving in to what must be done. Regardless of where they fall into line—or out of, they both get completed on time. I am productively procrastinating here, as well, even with freedom to do/make whatever I choose. So to my incoming ideals—to the compost pile! 

I came to this retreat with a goal—to paint larger. To this end I limited my supplies as a fighting tactic. Alas. So when I feel like banging my head against the quiet walls of blank canvases....what do I do? Draw. And what have I found? Drawing gets me out of the mud. The painterly mud. I will paint but for now...

I plunked down along the gravel road (no traffic up here) and made some palm sketches (larger than thumbnail sketches, about the size of my palm). Today I began the bird drawing (above)...Birds here...they fly into the windows despite the deterring stickers. The sound arrests.

(watersoluble pencil fasties (1-2 minute compositions)

September 18, 2012


This week I noticed a lot of things that were very BIG. Bigger than usual, actually. I started to wonder about their counterparts, the things that appear small by comparison—and how these need each other to be mammoth or miniscule.
Tremendous Tomatoes.

Mini Milkweed.

 Small Square in Surroundings.

Great Greens.

Bitty Beets.

Bulky Bumble Bee with Petite Pollen.