April 13, 2017

Returning to the studio in 1986 after a week long workshop in making artists’ books with Erica Van Horn at the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale NY I was amazing prolific. Among the many things Erica taught me was how to use book board, book cloth and glue to make a simple and sturdy accordion book structure. My eyes were opened to possibilities of creating an intimate and subversively powerful world through the form of the artists’ book.

Featuring two of my favorite subjects placed together in the first of my Vocabulary Book series, here is Hand Leaf ©1986.

More info about Erica:



Hand Leaf in the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County artists’ book collection:


February 3, 2017

As I glued the glossy rayon threads around each of these ovals – that make up my piece Tree of Knowledge ©2010- I thought of the dark red fringe around the Blessed Heart medals in the desk drawer of my second-grade teacher, Sister John Rochelle. I don’t remember why I was standing there as she opened the drawer, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t to provide me with what turned out to be an indelible vision of neatly arranged objects of desire- all possible rewards for goodness in the classroom (I think). Most interesting to me now – is the power of that attraction and the sense that I felt it as a call, as if the object was calling to me.


January 12, 2017

On a spring afternoon in 1992, my 6 year old daughter came up the stairs to my 3rd floor studio as I was finishing this drawing. Neil Young’s song Only Love Can Break Your Heart was playing on the radio. A line from this song captured my attention. I wrote I was always thinking across the top of the drawing, and asked my daughter, as she stood next to the drawing board, What am I always thinking about?. Without hesitation, she answered About me. and then about school and about playing. And so, the full title became: I was Always Thinking (about Aurora and about School and Playing) .



March 16, 2016

 As you’re reading this it may sound as if I always know exactly what I am doing, what it means, how it connects to past work, what future it leads to.....When  the opposite is true.

I don’t know and making the work while not knowing seems to be important to the process.

Looking back on  this artists' book,  Beauty and Sadness Vol II, ©1987, two categories of images float –across 4 panels. Above a gold outlined elephant ear leaf turns to a new position as it hovers over a series of rosy colored furniture pieces- not unlike a halo .





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SECOND SIGHT is a 24 month project to revisit, reconnect, and share 30+ years of my own studio work (drawing, works on paper, artists books, installations) and featuring work, ephemera and  projects of other artists that have enriched my personal and working life over this time period.


Via weekly posts that move forward by linking some aspect of the previous post to the current one and using tags as a creative way to search the ongoing entries – Second Sight will grow into an alternative archive.


I invite you to join me at any and all points during this probably odd but hopefully compelling voyage.

Finding Connections in a Drawn World

KATE KERN  Visual Artist