A deep yearning …

Quiet Freedom (2007) Color monotype on BFK Rives (White) paper.

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Change is in the air

I seem to have no interest in making visual art at this point in time with COVID-19 safety measures sapping spontaneity. I depend on spontaneity to keep my creative juices flowing. Ideas keep popping up yet I lack the energy to bring these ideas to life. This, too, shall pass. Still, I have been and continue to be knitting up a storm, more than usual. It seems all I want to do is knit and read.

Katie’s Kep pattern hand knit in Portsmouth, New Hampshire (April 2020)

Just finished knitting “Katie’s Kep” (above) designed by Wilma Malcolmson for Shetland Wool Week 2020 (cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Such fun and so beautiful! Knitting is relaxing, meditative and rhythmic. Making visual art is relaxing, meditative, rhythmic. This year I’m knitting lots of Fair Isle and colorwork patterns using 100% Shetland wool. Totally absorbing. I love it!

This week I came across a photo (below) of some hand built clay pieces I made at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine.

Clay sculptures hand built in Deer Isle, Maine (August 2017)

Interestingly enough, the colors in my first Katie’s Kep are similar to those in the clay pieces I made three years ago.

One day at a time. Stay tuned.



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This year it’s all about process

As yet untitled white line linoleum block

This week’s experiments in the studio involve printing a linoleum block (unframed) which I carved using the white line technique. I’m playing around with a different papers (BFK Rives and Hahnemuhle Copperplate), different printing tools (etching press, brayer and Japanese baren), and different colors (Hansa Yellow, Scarlet Red and Ultramarine Blue). All colors are Akua Intaglio Water-Based inks. Each print is 10″ H x 8″ W. I love the process of printmaking as much as (and often even more than) the finished print. Being totally in The Zone is always one of the best feelings ever. Working in a medium I’ve not touched for many years makes being in The Zone sweeter still.

Prints from untitled white line linoleum block made thus far this week

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New year, new writing project

Today the classified ad I placed in the “Antiques and Collectibles” section of Minnesota’s Star Tribune newspaper was published. This ad will continue in the print edition for two more days and in the online edition for six more days.

Seeking information about oil on canvas portraits painted in or near St. Paul by my grandfather, Carl Van Buskirk (1886-1930), during an extended 1923 to 1925. Family records indicate approximately 40 portraits were painted . Reply via email to .

A seed has been planted. Am hoping something will sprout.


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Early Winter

Early Winter actually is a vertical color monotype which sold several years ago. Still, I love this piece and have been playing around with seeing what it looks like horizontally and upside down and turned around. I’m thrilled to see Early Winter looks wonderful every which way!

Early Winter (2014). Color monotype. Private Collection.

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Autumn is my favorite season and it shows

Stunningly beautiful autumn colors are reflected in the fun I’m having making collages this week.

As yet untitled collage: Monotype and watercolor on paper.

As yet untitled collage: Paper embossed with crocheted flowers, monotype
and watercolor on paper.

Autumn leaves blanketing The Button Factory in Portsmouth today are inspiring.

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Printing with the white line woodblock technique

Making my first white line woodblock print at Arundel Farm Gallery

Earlier this week I returned home from a long weekend in Maine which included a stay and workshop at Arundel Farm Gallery near Kennebunkport. The workshop, “White Line Woodblock Printmaking,” was taught by Lisa Houck whose 40 year career as an artist includes working in a variety of media. My entire experience was absolutely wonderful and guess what? I had the same feeling while making my first white line woodcut print that I had when I made my first monotype: LOVE. I can hardly wait to see how my next series develops using the white line woodblock printmaking technique. Stay tuned.

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“Art in Bloom” exhibit inspires creativity

I stopped in at Portsmouth Public Library yesterday morning to take a much anticipated look at Portsmouth Garden Club’s “Art in Bloom” exhibit. It is spectacular! Portsmouth Garden Club members created floral arrangements based on a work of art.

A month or so ago my friend Janet Hugi, who is a member of the Portsmouth Garden Club, asked if I would be willing to loan her a piece of my art as a base from which to create her floral arrangement for the upcoming “Art in Bloom” exhibit. I was flattered and thrilled to participate. In the end, Janet selected two pieces of my artwork for the show: “Silence” (above), watercolor and monotype collage,  and “Peace on Earth” (below), mixed media on wood panel. You can see here the beautiful results of Janet’s keen eye, green thumb, extraordinary talent and expressiveness. Creativity blooms in so many different ways.

“Art in Bloom” continues at Portsmouth Public Library FREE and open to all until 3 p.m. tomorrow, May 18, 2019.

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Solo show continues through April 29

Pictured here is Zerrisseneheit (IIa), one of 12 monotype collages now on view.
Photo by Michael Sterling.

TORN-TO-PIECES-HOOD: A series of monotype collages by Barbara van Buskirk is on view at Ceres Bakery, 51 Penhallow Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, through Monday, April 29, 2019. Open Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll stop in and enjoy the show!

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Looking forward to seeing you

A series of monotype collages by Barbara van Buskirk

April 2 – 29, 2019

Ceres Bakery
51 Penhallow Street
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

I will be at Ceres Bakery

Thursday, April 4, 2019, at 10 a.m.


Saturday, April 27, 2019, at 1 p.m.

and look forward to seeing you!

Zerrissenheit (XII) (2018) by Barbara van Buskirk

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