Monday, October 7, 2013

2014 Calendars!

2014 Landscape Calendars are ready!

After *gasp* 5 years, you all know what you'll get:

      - 12 high-quality digital prints of original oil paintings.

      - Unbound pages perfect for framing for a month or a lifetime.*

      - A new, colorful landscape to enjoy each month!

Just like last year, this calendar is on a matte paper so you can write down all the parties, birthdays, holidays and art openings you need to remember.

Again, there are two sizes - the traditional 8.5" x 11" for $35 and a mini 5" x 7" version for only $18.

Here's where you can get yours:

My Square store
  (This is my favorite online option, but don't tell the

Or pick one up at the following events (more info in the sidebar):

   - Windswept Studios during NH Open Doors
     November 2&3

   - Art in Action November 9&10

Want more options? Contact me and we will work something out!

*Either calendar will fit in standard frames. If you would like a folded plexiglass frame for your 8.5" x 11" Calendar, you can get one from me for $12.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Artists Buying Art

Benson I, painted from life by Karen McLain
© Karen McLain, posted with permission of the artist

I went to the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Fair yesterday. I go with my husband every year and we usually buy things. 

One year, we didn't buy anything - not one thing! And I felt very sad on the drive home. I don't let that happen anymore. This year, we more than made up for that sad year.

I am on a buying kick, I guess. A couple of weeks ago I bought myself the present you see at the top of the post.

It is a painting by an artist named Karen McLain. I have known of her work for a few years now, and when I had a chance to buy something, I kinda jumped on it. Since I ask all of you to buy my art all the time, you should know that I am a collector too. And I will treasure this piece for a long, long time.

Back to Karen and the painting I just bought - she pre-sold some pieces for a trip she took into the wilderness to paint wild horses from life. You read that right. She lived in a camper and set up an easel near these animals and painted them. 

Karen sent me some links to video she shot out there:

Honestly, capturing these animals in paint from life seems like magic to me. The horses in her pieces are breathing and alive and have individual personalities. Only a huge amount of technical skill and knowledge could produce paintings that seem this deceptively free and loose.

Karen is my “Painting from Life Hero”. (I told her that on facebook once.)

I could probably write more about Karen and her horses, but the best way to experience these paintings is by going to her multiple online sites and marveling at them yourself. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Update on the Auctions

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Bright Marsh
4" x 6", oil on canvas
SOLD to a lucky bidder in a Facebook auction

For about six weeks, I have been running auctions on the Hannah Phelps Fine Art Facebook page. Before I get too far into this, I would like to thank everyone who participated in those auctions and bought paintings! 

The auctions have gone so well, that I am going to continue to do them. 

Here is what will stay the same:

* The paintings will come from the HP Brushworks blog. The Brushworks paintings are basically daily paintings - small pieces that were probably completed in one day.

* The auction will last about a day on Facebook and then go to Daily Paintworks, so Facebook fans get a chance to buy them without joining Daily Paintworks.

* Bid by typing your price in the comments section under the post. You can bid as much as you want, but each bid must be in whole dollars. Any thing less than $1 will be considered a non-bid.

* Winning bidders have to email me ( so I can send them a Pay Pal invoice. I can't assume that Facebook will allow me to send folks private messages - EVEN if I am replying to something that was sent to me first.

* Domestic shipping is an additional $7. International shipping is $25.

* The paintings are not framed.

I am changing a few things:

* The minimum bid is going up. You knew $1 per square inch wouldn't last forever! The minimum bid will be in each post.

* I am going to post whenever I want, which will include weekends. 

Thanks again everyone! If you have any questions, please ask me! You could post inquiries in the comments section here or on the HP Brushworks blog or on an auction post on facebook or email me.

Let the bidding continue!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Do Red Dots Make You Green with Envy?

Art pieces that recently found forever homes.
These paintings and prints were recently purchased by some astute and sophisticated folks with very good taste. 

Thank you collectors!

If you are thinking, "Hey, I wanted that!" about one of the prints, you can have one too! Contact me to talk about adding one to your home.

If you are thinking that same thing about a painting, well, you can't have that exact one. But you could have an original of your very own. Join the auctions on facebook or Daily Paintworks to see what paintings are available for you.

(You can see a preview of upcoming paintings on the HP Brushworks blog.)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Jigsaw That Came Together

Marsh Spring
© 2013 Hannah Phelps
jigsaw relief, edition of 10, 4.5" x 11"

After another couple of days of work, this edition is done!

I tweaked some of the colors and if you compare the print above with the proof I showed you in the last post, you can see that I adjusted some of the shapes too.

I am using a different type of paper than I usually do. This is a Japanese paper called Kinwashi. It is nice and thin, so it was easy to transfer the image with my trusty wooden spoon. It also has small, stiff fibers in it. I don’t know why, but it does give an extra texture to a design that might end up looking a bit flat. I had to watch out when I printed it though - a couple of them gave me splinters!

From a painting I created long ago - maybe 2009 - to this print. Not a quick process, but a worthwhile one!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Grey Matter, Now In Color

Block and proof on newsprint.

Remember the weird pile of grey stuff I showed you a few weeks ago? I can now show you what it is and what I am doing with it.

The substance itself is a very pliable relief printmaking material called soft kut. I don’t know exactly what it is - it feels rubbery.

The softness is great for two things. First of all, it takes less strength to carve an image into soft kut than in wood or even linoleum. So if you, say, have an arm injury, maybe you can still make some prints.

 Block pulled apart so you can see that each color is a little piece.

It is also ridiculously easy to cut a block into pieces. A zillion little tiny pieces. Plus, the stuff bends and stretches, which means it can be finagled back together again.

  Close up of block pieces.

The first jigsaw I ever printed was using this stuff. It was a jigsaw and a reduction color print.

But for this one (and a print I showed you a few weeks ago), I kept them to one layer and added a white-line element to the design.

Traditional white-lines use woodblocks and watercolor and are “inked” with a brush. (Remember this post about how I make white-line woodcuts?)

For the soft kut white-lines, I use rollers and waterbased printmaking inks. (Specifically, I use Akua intaglio, in case you are interested.)

The little shapes are individually inked and then reassembled. Then the entire image is printed at one time by laying a piece of paper on the block and rubbing it with a wooden spoon.
Each color needs its own roller. I took this photo after 
I cleaned up and put plastic wrap over the ink and rollers.

This print isn’t finished. Because of all the little pieces, it has already taken two solid days of mixing ink and "proofing", or making test prints. Now I am in the evaluation stage - I have the proofs and I am deciding what to do next. I will post the final version of the print once I have one!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Well Armed, Part Deux

© 2013 Hannah Phelps
oil on canvas, 4" x 6"
(translates to a $24 reserve bid....)

Last week, I told a little sob story about how my arm was in bad shape for a few months.  I ended by telling you that I started painting daily.

Sometimes I finish a piece in one session, but usually I work on it again sometime within the week. If I am having trouble with something, that is ok - I put it away and paint something else.

The guidelines I told you about last week helped me just paint. Since I was relaxed and having fun, some of these paintings turned out quite nice. Better than nice, really. Many of them are great little paintings. Some of them even seemed ready to share.

So I started a new blog for them, After a few weeks of successfully posting dailies there, I joined a site called Daily Paintworks and offered them for auction.

Then I realized "AHHHHH! What about all the folks who have been following me here and on facebook who might want them? Shouldn't they get first crack at them? And why make them join a whole new website like Daily Paintworks?!"

So I thought up a new plan, just for you:

From now on, before I post a painting on Daily Paintworks, I will post it on my facebook page

For the next month or so, it will be available for auction for 24 hours with a reserve price of $1 per square inch (that is 20% of my normal price for a painting). You all bid in the comment section and the winning bidder will be determined at the end of the 24 hour period.

$1 minimum increments for bidding are required. Anything less than a dollar will be considered a non-bid.

That winning bidder will need to email me with their email address so I can send a pay pal invoice (or discuss other payment options) and their shipping address. If they don’t within three days, the next highest bidder will be contacted and on down the line. 

Note that domestic shipping is $7. If I see you often and can just hand you your painting (you know who you are) we can wave the shipping fee.

All of these paintings are unframed.

If no one buys it on facebook that day, it will go to Daily Paintworks with a higher price tag.

The Brushworks blog is a little ahead of us, so you can go there and see a preview of what is available. We will catch up by mixing existing paintings with brand new ones for a little while.

Any questions? 
Ask here in the comment section below; or
Ask in the facebook comment section; or

Ready?....We will start on Monday, June 3 at 8 am.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Well Armed, Part I

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

oil on canvas, 6" x 9"

Many of you know that my right arm stopped working correctly just before Christmas. I still don’t know why - all any expert could come up with was “overuse injury."

To which I maturely roll my eyes and say, "whatever." As a right-handed artist, I am going to continue to use and over-use as necessary. 

But maybe not at first.

After a few months away from painting, blogging, printmaking, and other activities I enjoy but aren’t art related, I am feeling better. My right hand is no longer numb and my elbow rarely hurts. My shoulder still hurts sometimes. I am trying to be careful. I don't always know what that means.

For instance, there was a period during recovery when I knew I could a start working again, but I was a little scared. What if I relapse? What if I discover that I can’t make art without re-injury or pain? 

I avoided my easel and carving tools and a possibly painful answer. Plus, there was this monster of a question:

What if I have lost all my skills and only produce junk?

I admit that I let these fears control me for a few weeks and I’m not really ashamed of that.

But eventually, I had to climb back on the horse, jump into the pool, take the first swing....

Stop talking about it and pick up a brush, dip it into paint and swipe it at some canvas. Just to see what would happen.

So I did. And it was bad. Really, really bad. And I stepped away again for just a bit.

When I returned a second time, I set some boundaries: 

Paint small.

Work for an hour at most and then stop for a while.

When I feel tired, just put the brushes down and leave the studio - there is no need to clean up right away.

If I want to paint more later, do it.

Armed with these rules, good things started to happen. After a few bad little paintings, I started creating some good ones.....

That is enough reading for now. Enjoy this little seascape for a few days and I will tell you the rest of the story later!



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Painting to Print

 Energy Channel 2
© 2013 Hannah Phelps
oil on canvas, 12" x 6"

Almost all of my prints are from paintings. Usually unfinished paintings. 

I do this is because I know that I made decisions about shapes, compositions and color relationships that will make a print successful. 

The way that I paint makes it a good medium for working stuff out. If something isn't right, I can wipe it out or paint over it. I smoosh the paint around and let it mix with surrounding colors and the underlayers. 

For my most recent print, I cropped the composition of a plein air piece. I drew a large version of that sliver in charcoal and fell in love with the drawing. I immediately transferred it to a block and started carving and printed a layer. 

Then I got stuck. I didn't know what to do next. The little painting was a great inspiration, but it lacked some crucial info.

So I painted the scene again. And again. And I copied the whole original tiny painting too.

Here is one of the little paintings. 

Now mixing colors and carving shapes should go a little easier. 

This painting is available! For more information about how to get it, contact me by clicking here.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Small Paintings From Big Paintings

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Printmaking is going slowly. I did put another layer on the larger print, but since I added just a little white, I don't think a photo will be too exciting.

The paper for the jumbled mess I showed you last week is here and that will be done soon.

In the meantime, I am painting and painting. This is very good. My arm is doing great and I am having a lot of fun. 

I am kind of on a kick now - I am taking plein air paintings that I always loved but never really finished and painting from them. In the photo above, the older painting is the larger one on the left and the new one (brand new, juicy and wet!) is the small square on the right. 

As you can see, I cropped just a piece out of the bigger painting as the composition for the smaller one. 

I posted the new one on Daily Paintworks. And it is for sale.... 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What's Going On Here?

© Hannah Phelps

This is a mystery photo for you - the third step in a fun process. Step 4 is coming soon...

I am impatiently waiting for some supplies to arrive before I can go on with this. I'll share when I can!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Done? Not Done?..... Done!

© 2013 Hannah Phelps
 Wave in Green and Blue
7.5" x 10.5", multi-block relief print

I thought this print wasn't finished and it needed another layer or twelve.

But now I think it is finished. I put it away for a few months to think about it. Recently, I dug it out again and I feel good about it. So it is done. 


It is a woodblock printed on an etching press with oil ink, like Dawn Wave, Maine Wave and Private Wave, but it is not a jigsaw and it is not a reduction.

This print was created with four (or maybe five) blocks that were cut to the same size. Each color was printed with a different block. 

This wasn't a "better" way to do it - just different. Right now, I think I prefer the reduction jigsaw thing, but I might do this again sometime.

If you love this, you can have one!

Either with pay pal (redirects to Daily Paintworks).


Click to go to the etsy store.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Prints Online

Prints drying on the new clothesline

I have started a new print even though I am painting all the time and have 3 (or more) other prints that really need finishing. 
I just couldn't help myself. I made a charcoal drawing from a plein air painting and I got too excited to quit there.

The first layer is done, as you can see. I will probably work on it more tomorrow. I am trying something new that I really hope works. Fingers crossed.

The block looks like this with the whites carved out:

You can also see the marks that will guide me when I make more cuts. Soon.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sales at the Continuing Education Graduation Exhibit!

© 2009 Hannah Phelps
 Low Tide
white-line woodcut print, 4.5" x 6.5"

I just found out today that a one of these prints sold in the exhibit at the New Hampshire Institute of Art's Amherst Street Gallery in Manchester. 

There are a bunch of other prints hanging with it, along with the block from which it sprouted. Plus, there are paintings and photographs by the other graduates. You have another week if you want to see this great show. Details in the sidebar!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dawn Wave

© 2013 Hannah Phelps

Here, at long last, is the latest finished jigsaw reduction relief. It took longer to finish than I planned - by a few months!

The good news is that it is done now and one of these is hanging in the Amherst St Gallery at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. I am graduating from my certificate program in a few weeks and this is the celebratory exhibit. There are details in the sidebar.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Brushworks in the Studio

plein air sketch and studio work in progress

I am very excited to be painting again after a few months off due to a shoulder injury. I have to take it slowly, so I am just doing little things. 
There is really no better way to get back in the groove than to just pick up a brush everyday for a short amount of time.

Instead of working from photographs, I am taking older plein air paintings and using them as inspiration. The photo above shows an example - the old painting, on the left, is a small sketch from Monhegan Island and the new studio painting is on the right.

I am not done with it yet. While I am painting daily, I am not forcing myself to finish anything if I get too tired. I can go back later and figure out what it needs.
I have started a new blog for these paintings - Hannah Phelps Brushworks. You should see the finished version of this painting there very soon.

Monday, April 1, 2013

White-line and Jigsaw in a New Way

© Hannah Phelps
Wave on a Bright Day
jigsaw relief,  9" x 12"

This print is a jigsaw AND a white-line. I completed it a few weeks ago from drawings in my sketchbook. 

I don't know how many pieces I ended up with after I cut up the block - you can try to count them if you want to. But there isn't a prize for the right answer or anything. This time.

Something exciting happened while I was making this print. Aside from getting this cool image, I had a little revelation.

My mother is a crazily avid knitter (I swear this is relevant), but she doesn't like to do small projects with lots of little ends to tie in at the finish. I got her the book Knit Your Own Royal Wedding a few years ago as a Mother's Day gift and she certainly laughed as she looked through it, but I knew she wouldn't actually knit any of the projects. "These characters are full of little fussy bits," she told me. 

I used to think I was the same way - not interested in "little fussy bits". But now I am not so sure.

This block seems like a messy, logistical nightmare to print - there are a lot of pieces and some of them are small enough to worry that they might end up lost down the drain during clean up - but I really loved every minute I was making it. Even snuggling the tiny pieces together when they were covered with ink and one tiny slip of a finger meant pulling it apart and re-inking.

This was created in one layer, just like a traditional white-line woodcut. So I didn't have to worry about registering the paper on the block properly over and over again. 

So I am trying this again, while I try to finish up the big one I told you about two months ago. And a little one. And starting to paint again a little too. 

Basically, all is going well.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Just Split

© Hannah Phelps
Print in Progress
jigsaw reduction woodcut, 18" x 24"

**Luckily for my arm, I wrote most of this blog post a while ago. I might as well share it now. Enjoy!**

I haven’t had a lot of new work to share with you because, while I was creating at a mad pace for the entire autumn, I didn’t finish much. I started 5 new prints and exactly one is completed.

I thought I would post the works in progress anyway. The first one is big - 18”x24”. I have to use the big French Tool Press at the New Hampshire Institute of Art to print it.

When I started this print, I was excited AND nervous. I have recently learned that making reduction prints is often called “the Suicide Method”, because you can’t go back and make more once you’ve carved the block (Remember the reduction method?)

So here I was with a huge block of wood, full sheets of Stonehenge paper and absolute gobs of ink, knowing that once I had completed layer one, there was no going back. 

Scary stuff. On the edge of panicky stuff.

I didn’t panic - this isn’t truly life or death after all. Instead, after making 12 large blue rectangles and carving out some white highlights, I “went back” and created 12 large yellow rectangles with some white highlights. Now I had two distinct prints I on which to play and experiment and learn.

This is called “splitting the edition”. 

If you clicked the link above, you know that I have done this before. It always feels a little like an act of cowardice. Really, I know I am taking full advantage of the present project. I like making new things and learning the absolute most from one piece of wood. A huge benefit to this choice was that each print got two weeks to dry between layers because I had two to work on at the same time.

The prints aren’t finished and I am not sure when they will be. I am really deciding what to do with each layer as they come up. That is the painter in me at work. Many pure printmakers plan all the layers and colors out ahead of time. I mean to do that, I really do. Then I end up changing the plan as I go anyway.

Hopefully, I will work on one set this week. We'll have to see....

What about the other 4 prints I mentioned earlier? I will share those soon!


Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Thaw

© Hannah Phelps
Rocky Marsh
oil on canvas, 12" x 12"

A little warmer today, but not as hot as it was when I painted this marsh scene in July!

Tomorrow is the opening of Love, Lust and Desire. My prints hang among dozens of other affordable pieces. Hope to see you there - information in the sidebar!

**This painting is available. For more information, contact me **

PS. the shoulder is improving everyday, new stuff in the works...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Injured Reserve

© Hannah Phelps
Snowy Evening
oil on canvas, 12" x 12"

It is time to come clean about something. I am just going to say it as quickly and painlessly as I can.

I have hurt my shoulder. My right shoulder. I am right handed, and this injury is severely limiting my abilities to paint, make prints, type and almost everything else involved with creating art and sharing it with all of you.

Thankfully, there are two places to see some of my prints in shows in New Hampshire. The information is in the side bar.

While I recover,  I will share the work I was doing in the months leading up to all this, with little to no commentary.

If the pieces are available, I will note that in the post. I will also do my best to answer any questions about them.

Of course, your thoughts about these paintings and prints are always welcome!

**This painting is available. For more information, contact me **