Sunday, December 13, 2009


Bark House

I recently donated my idea of a gingerbread house to the Durango Arts Center on the ocassion of a fundraiser for the children's art program at the Center. The base was actual gingerbread and after gluing together the walls and roof, the house was covered with ponderosa pine bark, other tree bark, lichen, nature-altered papers, and porcupine quills. This house along with others is being auctioned off at the Center during December.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Artists in Durango, CO are making art out of all kinds of shoes and recycled materials for a benefit fashion show and auction this coming weekend, November 21st and 22nd at the Strater Hotel. I have created a kimono-style garment from handmade paper from Thailand. Sumi ink-dipped tea bags hang on the back. Collage elements which include Japanese antique schoolbook fragments and gold Joss paper decorate the inside. Shodo (Japanese calligraphy) is featured on the front of the kimono and symbolizes "peace". The event supports the Alternative Horizons, a local non-profit that provides resources, services, and alternatives to victims/survivors of domestic violence.


Kimono collage interior


My Japan Journal Journey Box is shown in a hands-on installation in the Friends of the Art Library (FOAL) Group exhibit at the Durango Arts Center. The opening reception is this coming Friday, November 20, 5-7 PM. The exhibit runs through December. The Box contains small books of photographs taken from my journey through rural Japan one year ago. Japanese-style bindings are used and memorabilia is included. In an interesting serendipity, I photographed a red box in an antique shop in Kurashiki and realized I had an almost identical box at home which was a perfect containment for my accordian-style journal and accompanying books.

Japan Journal Journey Box Installation

Monday, November 16, 2009


This month nine pieces of my work and the art of other Durango artists was purchased by Terry Bacon, SMI Real Estate Ventures. The art has been installed in a recently remodeled historic building in Durango, Colorado that houses the international company Korn-Ferry (formerly Lore International Institute, founded by Mr. Bacon). "Spirit of Place" is one of a series of three in the collection. The text in this aerial photograph of mountainous terrain adjacent to Durango, uses words from "Practice of the Wild" by writer-poet Gary Snyder. A drawing, "Primal" is part of the purchase and "Winter Pressing, 2008-09" (see blog entry June 10, 2009), is a five piece work that is also included.

Spirit of Place

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Here are a few images of new work that was exhibited at my Open Studio event last weekend. I am still open by appointment till year's end for Durango folks.
Indigo Root

Japan Package

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Language: Africa

My mixed media piece is being auctioned off at the Africa Art Market at the Durango Arts Center this week. The reception last Friday night was exciting with drums, color, and costume. A rich market filled with a myriad of beads, baskets, woven fabrics, jewelry, sculpture, and much more continues this week.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Peace Leaf. 2009

Lots of preparations are happening for my annual Open Studio event this weekend. New work will be exhibited as well as art over many years.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Workshops

Studio during a past Papermaking workshop

There is still room in my fall Durango workshops:
October 3 - Book Arts
October 17 - Collage
for information:


During the past weekend, I participated in the Co-Lab art show at Three Springs in Durango, Colorado. This art exhibit was part of the Open Studios weekend in and around Durango. Three Springs is a new development adjacent to Durango's Mercy Hospital and the raw and empty commercial spaces in the Mercado District where the artists exhibited their work, were an interesting and unusual venue for art. My Aspen graphite drawings, not often exhibited because of their size, are approximately ten feet in height and fit well in the space. The floor installation, titled "Forest Walk" or "Detritus" in past exhibits. is made up of cast paper tree sculptures with a central book sculpture "Detritus I". Leaves and lichens create a path through the installation. "Forest Walk" was recently shown in a larger form called "Detritus" at the Long Beach Museum as documented in a May 10th post this year.

FLASH! This installation has been left in the space for a few more weeks. It can be viewed quite well thru the north window. It is at the opposite end of the building where the popular cafe, "Digs" is located. 125 Mercado St, Suite 119. It is also possible to be viewed in the space by contacting the artist at

Aspen drawings and Forest Walk

Monday, September 7, 2009




Shrine Path

In Durango, the Open Doors exhibit at the Durango Arts Center opens Tuesday. September 8. There will be a reception on September 18, Gallery Walk night. As part of this exhibit I have collages that were inspired by my journey to Japan last year and one box sculpture - a shrine to the traditional book form and text.


Winter Pressing 2005-06

One of my Winter Pressings, works that evolve from my ritual (over 25 years) of placing paper under winter snows, is being shown at the Art Students League of Denver - in the show "Boundless Transformations: The Book as Art" curated by Alicia McKim. The exhibit has a reception on Friday, September 11 (5:30-8) and runs from September 4 to October 28. The League's gallery is at 200 Grant Street in Denver.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Wave Field by Maya Lin

Wendell at Andy Goldsworthy's Stone Wall

After our visit in Santa Fe, we flew to New York and drove up the Hudson River Valley with friends Leslie and Richard to Storm King Sculpture Park, the site of Maya Lin's newest land work, "Wave Field" and "Stone Wall" by Andy Goldsworthy.

Water Run Farm, West Chesterfield, New Hampshire

Todd-Long Family Picnic

The Long Family East

The trip ended with five days at Water Run Farm, home of the Todd-Long family (Mark and Rebecca and grandchildren Nathaniel and Ellinore). We stayed in the remodeled sugar shack with our own outhouse down large stone steps. Lots of swims in the pond, blueberry picking, a rural theater experience seeing "Art", watching Ellie at her horseback riding lesson, ping pong in the barn, watching the rams butt heads, and daily delicious meals out of the expansive garden.


Gail Rieke, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Zenos and his Grand-ME

Summer has been a full time with hiking and gardening, maintaining my environmental sites at Edgemont Highlands, a visit from Zenos, our grandson who lives in Copenhagen, and a drive to Santa Fe for the Japan Journal Journey tour reunion with a visit to the studio exhibit of Gail Rieke.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

20/20 VISION: A Retrospective+

Japan Quartet (mixed media collage)

Exorcism (mixed media) and Sando Sign (willow and handmade paper)

Sands, Signs, Symbols: Western Journeys (handmade paper installation)

The Durango Arts Center is presenting work of 20+ artists with 20+ years of involvement with DAC. Everyone submitted 3 older works and 1 new work. My older works have been shown in the three previous locations of the Arts Center starting in 1983. The Japan Quartet is dated 2009. The exhibit opened August 7 with a reception and continues till September 4, 2009.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Language Bound (artists'book)

The above work is included in this invitational exhibition featuring 2 & 3-dimensional works on or of paper by artists concerned with narrative as both a visual & a conceptual element of their work.

Curated by Alicia Bailey at The Abecedarian Gallery in Denver's Art District on Santa Fe. July 30-September 5...first Friday reception August 7, 6-8 p.m.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I enjoyed the workshop "Artist's Sketchbooks: Classic and Contemporary" given by artist Meredith Nemirov this past Saturday. Meredith is exhibiting in the Art Library at the Durango Arts Center this summer. Lots of drawing and inspiration for me as I embark on a new direction in my art. Link to Meredith's website to see her interpretations of nature and the aspen tree in particular.

Barbara and Janet confer with Meredith Nemirov (right)

Monday, June 29, 2009


Thinking back on happenings in June, the Friends of the Art Library at the Durango Arts Center sponsored a very "happening" workshop on paper engineering, given by Carol Barton of Glen Echo, Maryland. All kinds of pop-up and movable paper structures were taught and everyone in the workshop went home loaded with lots of models, ideas and inspiration. For more information link to Carol's blog.

Participants Deborah and Amy

Carol Barton

Sunday, June 28, 2009


A review by Shirle Gottlie from Art Scene, California

"Novel Constructions" (through August 16 at Long Beach Museum of Art) consists of eight large scale constructions by six female artists who work within in the "book art" genre. Yes, these are essentially books, but no, you cannot grab any off the shelf to hold them in your hands. Most literally, you will encounter an oversized book. But then there is a room papered over with diary pages, pages formed into a large sacred ring, the text of the "Odyssey" cut up and reshaped into a labyrinth. Lots of "Wow" in this show.

Excerpt from the review in July newsletter of Art Scene, California

You have to see "Detritus" to believe it, only to discover that the facts behind Mary Ellen Long's installation are as exciting as the finished project. Using essential ingredients from nature, Long has created a faux forest that stretches the length of the gallery. Lying on the floor of this make-believe wilderness are seven handmade paper books constructed from decomposing paper. Displayed among fallen leaves, they lay opened at the base of cast-paper trees that range from 1 to 7 feet tall. Every year for the past 18 years, Long stacked pages of handmade paper outside her Colorado studio before it snowed. In the spring, after the snow has melted, she retrieves the paper and goes to work. Noting the transformation that has taken place due to nature, time, and decay. Long uses the paper as material to recreate her forest scene, time, and decay. Now, almost two decades later, "Detritus" culminates her annual ritual, as well as an exceptional exhibition.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Books from the Japan Journal Journey Box, 2009

JULY AND AUGUST WORKSHOPS in my home studio.

July 18 - Papermaking - basic "kitchen " techniques, western and eastern style methods, emphasis on local fibers

August 1 - Collage - basic techniques, understanding of adhesives

August 8 - Book Arts - review of all styles, bindings and sculptural forms with hands-on learning

August 22 - Eco-Art - visualizing environmental at, tour of artist's outdoor art, opportunity to create your own "nature art" 9-3 - $50.

The first three workshops are from 10-4 and cost $65. which includes all materials. The workshops are for beginning to experienced. Small classes will allow consultation on individual projects.

sign-up through my email

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Winter Pressing 08-09: Writing

This year's exhibit was juried by Shelley Horton-Trippe of Santa Fe, New Mexico. My accepted work used a variety of media (charcoal, sand, sumi ink, conte crayon, and scorch on natural-altered paper). The theme refers to nature's markings, automatic writing and written language: emergence, development, and disappearance. The reception was Friday, June 5. The show runs until June 27.

Thursday, June 4, 2009



One of my handmade paper-wrapped books from the Encyclopedia series is part of the exhibit HIGH FIBER at the Conrad Wilde Gallery in Tucson, Arizona. The show runs from June 6th to July 25th. The reception is Saturday, June 6th from 6-9 p.m. The Guest Curator was Catherine Nash. I am sorry not be be able to attend the reception. A catalog will be available and can be purchased by calling 520-622-8997.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Winter Pressing 03-04

Language Found

Pages Flying

Three of my book works were chosen by Lin Fife, curator for "The Book: Wide Open". The exhibit will be held in the Hagnauer Gallery at the Business of Art Center in Manitou Springs ( adjacent to Colorado Springs), Colorado. It runs May 22 to June 27 with the opening reception May 22.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Trinidad, Colorado

Located south of Wasenberg on I-25 near the New Mexico border, known for the Gender Reassignment Surgery Department in the local hospital

Leaving Durango for Trinidad

A van full of nomads: (l to r) Karen Pittman, Ron Ozaki, Carol Ozaki, Mary Ellen

Carol at reception

We registered at the First Street Gallery, in downtown Trinidad where a reception took place that featured Santa Fe, NM artists responding to the theme of Sex & Sensibility. The resident artists, part of Colorado Art Ranch program, exhibited their work also.

Sculpture garment of Christine Comeau

Carol and Ron and 2 others were part of the fun, wearing Christine's creation.

Resident artists

(l to r) Christine Comeau, Quebec, Sculpture; Greg Larson, Michigan, painter; Kristen Iverson, Memphis, writer; Zoe Childerly, UK, photography.

The artposium featured presenters/speakers, Charles Baxter, writer from Minneapolis; Dr. Marci Bowers, Trans-gender Surgeon of Trinidad; Mark Newport, fiber artist from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan; Laura Pritchett, author/editor, Northern Colorado; Joe Quirk, author of "It's Not You, It's Biology" from California.

Saturday we listened to a talk by Joe Quirk, "Sperm-Spreaders vs. Egg-Protectors", followed by Mark Newport's "Alter Egos" that focused on his knitted super heroes. The afternoon contained breakout sessions making wire sculptures with Katy Haas, Writing Sex Well with Laura Pritchett, and a follow-up "Sex with Joe". That evening we viewed "Trinidad, the Film" followed by music at the La Quinta. Sunday featured Dr. Marci Bowers "A Transgender Natural History" talk which provided insight into the transgender experience. This was a very informative and impressive presentation. Charlie Baxter talked about his work weaving sex, love, etc. throughout his novels and stories. I have attended 4 other Artposiums, presented by Colorado Art Ranch and presented at the Durango spot. All in all this Artsposium was one of the best yet relative to the quality of the presenters and uniqueness of the subject.

For more information on the Colorado Art Ranch and future artposiums and residencies, please use the link on this blog.


"Gradations of Grey"

My book "Gradations of Grey" was selected for this exhibit.
The juror was Stanley Strauss, Curator Emeritus of the Artists' Books Collection, Cerritos Library. It runs May 16-June 20 in the main gallery at the Athenaeum, 1008 Wall Street, La Jolla, CA. The reception was May 15 which I was not able to attend.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Mitchell and Mom (at the Long Beach Museum reception)

Friend Julie Mullin (at the Long Beach Museum reception)

The primary reason for this trip was my participation in the exhibit at the Long Beach Museum of Art - NOVEL CONSTRUCTIIONS: CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS CREATE MONUMENTAL BOOKS. Below are a few images of work in the show. (My installation photos follow in the last post.)

Genie Shenk's "Ring"

Carol Shaw-Sutton's "Longitude"

Sue Ann Robinson, Director of Collections at the Museum with husband Wendell

Along the way we visited Balboa Island.

Lunch with cousins Bill Crawford and Lois Bub

A great day was spent with Julie in Santa Monica which included an appointment at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery in Bergamot Station, where 7 of my new collages were consigned and a visit to "Obsolete", an amazing gallery of antiquity - construction, collage, and photography. Time was spent on long beach walks in Del Mar and Encinitas. Water still too cold for dipping. California in the springtime was rich with many tones of green.

The succulent garden of Genie and Al Shenk, Solana Beach


My installation "DETRITUS" (9'x 35'x 5') at the
LONG BEACH MUSEUM OF ART (May 1-August 16, 2009)

"Detritus" installation (cast paper aspen trees, artists' book made of handmade paper with flowers, created in San Juan Mountains, Colorado)

"Detritus" installation (cast paper aspen trees, book with imported papers, natural elements, created in Telluride, Colorado meadow)

"Detritus" installation (cast paper aspen trees, collage, natural elements, artists' books)

I am happy to be part of this exceptional exhibit, curated by Jean Clad in California. The reception was attended by a large appreciative crowd and I was excited to greet son Mitchell and dear friend Julie Mullin from Mill Valley. Two of my favorite pieces in the show are the "Ring" by Genie Shenk and "Longitude" by Carol Shaw-Sutton. Other artists participating are Cheryl Sorg, Edith Abeyta, and Beatriz Mejia-Krumbein. Sue Ann Robinson, Director of Collections was our host and helpmate throughout this challenging installation.