logo_ballI am a mixed-media textile artist, a photographer who prints her photos as cyanotypes, an urban wildflower gardener and eco-dyer, and a cross-cultural advocate and mediator. I do what I do because I believe art heals. The natural world gives me hope and sharing art helps me navigate the pain and chaos  rampant in the world today. My art is my attempt to bridge the best of the past with all that is new and good in the present.

As an artist and activist, I decided to set up this space to connect with others—photographers (especially you who also make cyanotypes and/or use alternative photographic processes), rust printers, eco-dyers, gardeners, and environmentalists. All you who use art to heal and bridge cultures. And anyone who loves art and/or enjoys talking and/or writing about it. Let’s share. Learn from one another. Heal.

Please LIKE this page and SHARE it with anyone whom you think would like to join. Let’s begin a conversation!

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No matter the season, my gardens inspire me—and for at least three seasons, are an abundant resource for natural dyeing and eco-printing. I started gardening 35 years ago just because I loved it. Growing up in the Dakotas with farming as my heritage, planting a small urban garden was a logical hobby choice after buying my home in south Minneapolis. I planted raspberries and some vegetables—just like back home.

Then I got interested in the envInspirationironment and the garden grew. ¾ of the back yard was tilled and planted—but this time with “natives.” As the years passed and I learned about natural dyeing and eco-printing, even more grass disappeared and gardens evolved. Now, while most of what is intended for dyeing is still “native,” some plants/flowers found in traditional gardens have been added—like hibiscus which makes gorgeous prints. (I’ll be finding room for several more hibiscus plants this spring.) The southside of the house is now home to several varieties of day lilies. Most of the front yard is planted—even the boulevard. There are two smoke trees, sumac (unfortunately the kind that doesn’t dye), wild roses, and other “natives” blended with traditional favorites like zinnias, marigolds, and cosmos. During three seasons, I can just walk out the door and collect what I need to dye or eco-print. There’s also plenty to share. 

And winter? It just snowed and the entire yard is colored in hues of brown and gold with snow glistening as if sprinkled with diamonds. Good for dyeing? No. But still an inspiration!

What’s your garden story? Please share.

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How Do We Love Country?

May 28, 2017

I’ve always had a complicated relationship with patriotism; it feels embedded in my DNA. My father fought in World War I and uncles and cousins in every war since. Memorial Day was an important holiday in my small community in the Dakotas in the 50s. My father marched in the parade in his uniform, and […]

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Home Studio

May 19, 2017

Once upon a time, I rented a studio from an art mentor in an old warehouse filled with artists. It was a great space but I had a full-time day job and I never used it. By the time I got home, walked the dog, and had dinner, the last thing I wanted to do […]

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