The artist refining the second impression of a large monotype

of a herd of alpacas.

Photo: Hana Mendel

The Thinking Woman's Almanac


Thanks to Susan Brand, Instigator and Inviter, I’m being included in an invitational monotype exhibition coming up next week at the Spring Bull Studio and Gallery in Newport, RI; 55 Bellevue Avenue, Newport 02840; exhibition opening Friday, August 4, through Labor Day. Since the revival of monotype at the Salmagundi Club of New York under the guidance of our President-emeritus, Robert Pillsbury and our former Curator Robert Mueller, and now being carried forward by Susan Brand, Patricia Wynne, and other experienced printmaker-members, monotype neophytes like myself have discovered the joys of making these very limited editions of prints in good company. 

The medium differs from most other popular printmaking techniques in that the inked plates are run through a press once, or, if the artist is lucky, perhaps twice. Unlike intaglio processes like engraving or etching, in which lines are either cut or etched with acid directly into a matrix, the plates used in monotype – commonly copper, zinc or Plexiglass – are not damaged by mark-making and can be reused many times. Because second impressions are generally fainter than firsts, they’re often referred to as “ghosts,” and can possess their own more delicate charms.

The two printmaking Roberts, whom I nicknamed “the lefthanded Bobs,” seen here in a photo I took a few years back (Pillsbury on the left, Mueller on the right) have been generous in the extreme with their expertise, time and general guidance in the exploration of the medium. The Newport exhibition would not be happening without the body of work they helped to foster, or those to whom the Salmagundi monotype torch has been passed, especially Patricia Wynne and Susan Brand.


Robert Pillsbury (left) and Robert Meuller (right) at a monotype party at Salmagundi Club (ca. 2018)

photo: AESC

Patricia Wynne (left) and Susan Brand (right) in Patricia’s Manhattan studio,

home of The Tiny Printshop

Photo: AESC, summer 2023

The following is a quote from a recent Instagram post by Robert Mueller: 

“It was my great privilege to serve as head curator of the Salmagundi Club from 2007-2016. In that time I strove to educate members about the rich legacy of Salmagundi through thoughtful exhibitions and informative panels about the art hanging on the walls. But most significantly for me on a personal level was the reestablishment, in partnership with my brother from another mother, Robert Pillsbury, of the monotype party tradition. The growth from biannual, to quarterly, to monthly events was amazingly rapid as more and more converts to the medium were made.

It was also a tradition that the participating members would select a print to become part of the club’s collection, Those shown here are all recipients of that honor. Each of these artists will be participating, with others, in “Unique Impressions” at the Spring Bull Gallery in Newport, RI this August. The exhibition opens August 5 and runs through Labor Day. The opening reception will be on August 4 from 2-5pm, where you’ll have an opportunity to meet many of the artists, myself included!”

These three animal monotypes of mine are included in the show. Two Sheep and Rattitude are first impressions, while Earth Mother’s Birthday Portrait is a ghost.

Earth Mother’s Birthday Portrait, monotype, 2/2, 6” x 8,” 2019. 

Rattitude, monotype, 1/2, 6" x 8," 2020

Two Sheep, monotype, 1/3, 6” x 6.15,” 2022.

East Village Garden Exhibition (awaiting judge’s decision…)

Artist in Liz Christy Garden, watercolor, 11” x 14 ⅞,” 2022. 

I’ve recently applied to an exhibition entitled

  • All Tomorrow’s Gardens: A Celebration of NYC Community Gardens
  • EV Gallery, 621 East 11th St. NYC. On view August 4-13, 2023. Opening Reception: August 4, 6-9pm.
  • The context of the exhibition is best explained in its prospectus, cited here:
  •  “This exhibition honors the past, present and future of one of NYC’s vital resources, our community gardens. The modern age of urban community gardening began in the 1970’s and 80’s. These gardens grew out of burnt out and abandoned lots after years of neglect, quite often due to the purposeful destruction of properties by unethical landlords. In marginalized areas of the city, people banded together to reclaim unused land for the betterment of their communities. They created beautiful and safe spaces for children to play and learn about nature, and for neighbors to plant, grow a garden, and gather together. Every year there are hundreds of events, educational workshops, and food distribution initiatives in the many gardens that dot our urban landscape. Community gardens by nature are activist spaces and the fight continues to protect and preserve these spaces that are constantly under threat by urban development. This show is an artistic exploration and expression to celebrate what is possible through solidarity, commitment and love.”

The pieces with which I’ve applied are two versions in watercolor of some of the hydrangeas at the Liz Christy from the summer of 2022. 

Hydrangeas Triptych: Liz Christy Garden, July, watercolor, 15 ¼” x 13 ½,” 2022.

Hydrangeas, Liz Christy Garden, watercolor, 10 ⅞” x 13 ⅞,” 2022. 

As this group exhibition has a size limitation for submissions, I thought I’d also like to share some of my earlier pieces, as well as a handful of smaller ones done during the recent pandemic, when access to the oasis of the Liz Christy helped to keep me sane. 

Green Wall and Bench, Liz Christy Garden, watercolor and oil pastel,

27 ¾” x 21,” 2014.

Nocturne with Birch Trees: Liz Christy Garden, oil pastel and watercolor on rice paper, 22 ¼” x 34,” 2003.

Hose at Dusk: Liz Christy Garden, watercolor and oil pastel on rice paper,

34 ¾” x 21,” 2003.

Garden Path in Spring: Liz Christy Garden, watercolor,

11” x 11,” 2020.

Grape Arbor and Hose, Liz Christy Garden,

 8” x 8,” 2021.

Pink Astilbe, Liz Christy Garden, watercolor on Aquabord, 8” x 8,” 2020.


Two pieces of mine, as well as work by most of my Bond St. studio group, are included in the Senior Center Show at Greenwich House (Center on the Square, 20 Washington Sq. N.). The show will be up July 13th through October 6th, 2023, and the Center on the Square is open Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm.

Flaubert the Carousel Frog, watercolor, 

11” x 11,” 2021.

Carousel Horse, watercolor,

11” x 11,” 2021.

Left-hand column: watercolor and monotype by Joan Dworkin. To the right of them, two watercolors by AESC.

Right-hand column: watercolors by Kyle Ericksen

Left-hand column: acrylics by Judy Schiff

Monotypes by Andrew Flynn.

I am extremely proud of what my students are discovering that they can do, and are definitely doing it.


In addition, two pieces, Narcissus: Cat on Car Roof, and Empress and Her Retinue: Washington Square Park, have won recognition in the LightSpaceTime 13th Annual Animal” Online Art Competition July 2023. Click here to view the show.

Special Merit Award

Narcissus: Cat on Car Roof, oil on canvas, 9” x 12,” 2020.

Special Recognition

Empress and Her Retinue: Washington Square Park, acrylic on canvas,

24” x 24,” 2022.



These two monotypes are part of an ongoing series of works depicting tools that I consider exceptionally useful in appropriate circumstances. As a sometime horsewoman, I became well acquainted with the value of a good pitchfork in a stable, and as a loft-dweller in later years involved with occasional household demolitions and reconstructions, I also appreciate the value of a crowbar in leveraging necessary change.

Pitchfork, monotype, 2/2, 9 ¾” x 4 ¾,” 2023.

Agent of Change, monotype, 1/2, 9 ¾” x 4 ¾,” 2023.

Yarrow in Yellow Vase is part of a recent series of small watercolors of seasonal flowers in which I’ve been more interested in color harmonies than in botanical accuracy. Also, as yarrow does not necessarily smell too great as it ages in captivity, it lends itself to rapidly executed paintings

Yarrow in Yellow Vase, watercolor, 11” x 11,” 2023.


This experiment with all the 14 watercolor pigments in a special issue box acquired from Kremer Pigments has ended up in a collection in a household where animals are treasured.

Four Red Rabbits Installation photos

And this homage to hard work shared is now in a home where that value has prevailed throughout a long partnership.

Barrows on Belgian Block: NoHo, oil on linen, 12” x 24,” 2018.

Barrow on Belgian Block: NoHo installation photo

I’m always extra-pleased when a long-time collector ad ds something new to join work already treasured. San Francisco Parlorand Broccoli: Ménage à Trois now keep company around a corner from each other. What these works have in common thematically is a particular sensitivity to delicate relationships.

Broccoli: Ménage à Trois and San Francisco Parlor installation photo

Classes at Bond Street Studio

Watercolor classes continue at the Bond Street studio, on the same schedule as usual: Mondays 12-3:00 pm, Wednesdays 2:00-5:00 pm. Contact me at [email protected] if interested in joining us.


Golden Unicorn, watercolor on Aquabord, 8” x 8," 2022.

Link to purchase

Homage to Mary Delany, watercolor, 11" x 11," 2023

Link to purchase


Annie Shaver-Crandell products at


Facebook  Instagram

Annie Shaver-Crandell