Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Caged Beauty Song

beneath the earth
where souls rest
the fiery haired goddess
sings her midnight song
48" x 32" chromogenic film print


Monday, April 29, 2013

The Divine Comedy

In the middle of the 
journey of our life
I found myself
in a dark wood
where the straight way was lost.

Ah! how hard a thing it is
to tell what a wild, and rough,
and stubborn wood this was,
which the very thought 
renews the fear!

The Divine Comedy
by Dante Alighieri
Inferno, Canto I

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Masks, printmaking on handmade papers, 2013
надо проще
надо чище
без эмоций
пусть искусство говорит
пусть образы самовыражаются
не надо на личности
не надо за кулисы
не надо  пота
не надо слез
не надо боли
не надо жизни
давай -- художественно
давай -- разноцветно
давай -- потише
давай --покрасивее

творю -- как творят поэты

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Yellow Jazz

more inspiration from Botticelli,
mythology, allegories
and my visits to the Uffizi

Dithyramb, a page from Yellow Jazz by Suzanne Coley
The goat song
of life and death

Origin: Goat Song
Greek tragōidía,  equivalent totrág os goat + ōidḗ  song or ode

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Jeweled Spring

entering the great Uffizi
to see Botticelli's 
allegory of spring
I sit on the bench
azul Zephyrus blows at Flora
I sit and sketch
viewers come and go
I sit and imagine
Venus and the Graces
 Italian tempera paints of 1482

I look around the ornate hall
my hands sketch memories 
from another storyteller
goddesses I have only
read in books
act iv, scene i
Juno, queen of the gods
fertile and feminine 
summoned by magical Ariel
I know what my
 Jeweled Spring
will look like

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stories we can't tell

by Suzanne Coley
Photo: Suzanne Coley      Red Chair. Eastern State Penitentiary
Taking photos at Eastern State Penitentiary, PA
They Say
keep it simple
keep it clean
don't get emotional
let your art do the talking
let your images tell the stories
don't get personal
don't show behind the scenes
don't show the sweat
don't show the tears
don't show the pain
don't show life
keep it artsy
keep it colorful
keep it calm
keep it pretty

I Say
i do as poets do

Monday, April 22, 2013


A box of Ooks please.

A box of Ooks.  
When I was director of a 
New York City art program
I would "serve Ooks" at 
art functions instead
of chocolates.  
Each Ook is 2.5"(h) x 15"(w) opened.
I would open a box of Ooks
and instruct everyone
to take one and pass it on.

Everyone enjoyed receiving 
a one-of-a kind book.
Each Ook is 2.5"(h) x 2"(w) closed.  
Layered with imagery
and meaning, the accordion
structure of the Ooks allows for
the creation of 
interesting designs on the
 front and back. 
Ooks: Texturized covers
I decided to create Ooks 
from all the leftover
 scrap papers whenever
I was commissioned 
to make a
Life Book or livre d'artiste.

Ooks are tiny visual narratives
that allow the reader to 
detail page
play with the engaging 
accordion structured 
visual poetry.

Wonderful gifts.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

60 minutes in the life of an artist

And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.
Wm. Shakespeare
Sonnet LX

Hope from upcoming Monster Series

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Inside Out

hope : noun
1. a desire accompanied with expectation of
obtaining what is desired or belief
that it is obtainable
hope: verb
1. to cherish a desire with expectation
2. archaic: to place confidence or trust 
- usually used with in
Inside Out
Today I planned to write
a poem about
hope and hopelessness, and
post a print of a cityscape
swollen with poverty.

One day at the homeless shelter
when I was doing arts and crafts
with mothers and their children,
the subject of "hope"
 and what it meant came up.
All the children and their
moms wanted to talk
about what "hope"
meant to them, and they 
said some interesting things.

But, one 6 year-old boy 
touched us all.
He said, "Hope is 
something you wish for
but know you are never
gonna get." And, he
began to tell us 
why hope is hopeless.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Work my mind: Sonnet 27

Sonnet XXVII
A2L from Coco Looks Good
Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
The dear repose for limbs with travel tired,
But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body's work's expired;
For then my thoughts (from far where I abide)
Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,
And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,
Looking on darkness which the blind do see;
Save that my soul's imaginary sight
Presents [thy] shadow to my sightless view,
Which like a jewel hung in ghastly night,
Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new,
  Lo thus by day my limbs, by night my mind,
  For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.
Wm Shakespeare

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Macbeth's language

 facial expressions
as powerful and 
complex as words
especially when 
emotion is paralyzed
Linocut by Suzanne Coley
There's no art 
To find the mind's construction in the face
Act I, Scene iv

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

He Listened

 Monster Series
First print on 
handmade paper from
100% post-consumer fibers
for new series.
Violet: He listened on handmade paper 
I covered too much of the
embedded text by accident.
I wanted to leave
He listened. He heard. 
but all you see is
He listened. He h

detail of Violet: He Listened
 Charbonnel black ink
worked best for the
handmade papers I made.
(see detail image above)

Charbonnel Inks
 Charbonnel is an oil based ink
usually used with etchings.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Lady of Letters, Part V

A Stamp's Silent Song
what stories do 
you bring?
The back of one of my postcards
A postage stamp
can be the most
stunning image on 
a letter sometimes.

When I began my postcard
series I wanted to use my
own art work for 
the postage stamps.
I ordered mine online from

A selection of international postage stamps I used for my handmade papers
I have been collecting 
postage stamps
for years and I have been
looking for ways to incorporate
them into my art.

Handmade papers with postage stamps and thread
has a really nice selection
of cancelled stamps 
from all over the world.
They are reasonably priced!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Season of Hyacinths

O' Jealous wind of Zephyrus

The last discus throw for Hyacinthus and Apollo by Suzanne Coley
    new life
    old tales

how one wind 
can change it all

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My mother tongue

is form and color
acrylic on paper and board by Suzanne Coley
my mother visited me
this week and I realized
I could paint and draw
before I could 
speak a language

mother tongue

Friday, April 12, 2013

Grey Matter

Queen Shasha stepped over 
the 59th street bridge 
right before getting caught in 
a bureaucratic tapestry that even 
Arachne couldn't weave.

No kids to remove.
Queen Shasha was one step ahead.
The story she told the 
pretty friendly lady dressed in 
a stiff blue suit at Bellevue was
rehearsed and believed.

Queen Shasha welcomed experimental
cocktails of blues, whites, and greens.
Took her mind off the unknown man
with false teeth telling half truths
on the corner of 5th.
Bright blue spandex tights 
and gold halter.
Her best Mommy outfit.

(excerpt of one of the poems
 from my upcoming Monster Series)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Venusberg came to life
in the most unexpected place

linocut on antique opera program
one Friday morning 
before the sun rose,
on a  New York City street
two stacks of antique
Metropolitan Opera House
programs and magazines
were thrown in the garbage
with other discarded 
paper products

Divas in the trash
so many stories to tell
so many dramas to act
so many lyrics to sing
this was not their 
final curtain call

I took a stack and
another passerby 
took the other

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lady of Letters, Part IV

I am shy, and it
was difficult to send
postcards to people
I admire, but had never met.
This image appeared on the first postcard
exquisite postcards made
with love and many hours
in the studio

Two recipients contacted me.
One, with a lovely card.
The other, through e-mail.
Thank you both!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Unveiling Emotions

Carving at the 
speed of life
Monster Series 
my core 

carving through the layers
to the world

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sundays in Brooklyn

on sundays i miss brooklyn
la bodega on broadway
cafe con leche 
in white porcelain cups

linoleum cut proof for Monster Series 
on sundays broadway in 
brooklyn takes you 

suspended in air for 2.3 miles
all steel, metal and dreams 
trains, bikes and reality
as i walk toward delancey street
to the lower east side

on sundays i miss . . .

*poem and linocut are 
works in progress for new
Monster series

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Beautiful Forms

100% post-consumer fibers
handmade paper from glossy magazines leave tiny circles

handmade paper from glossy papers
paper specimens
beautiful forms

Friday, April 5, 2013

Paper archaeology

permanent traces of things 
that don't exist anymore
uncovering stories
of lives once lived
Handmade pulp and paper:  Front view

exposing the past
sheet by sheet
Handmade pulp and paper. Back view
mysterious molds 
whisper secrets

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Paper like Lace

Antique lace is so beautiful
that I wanted to make
paper that resembled it.

The process:
"Blow out" is the name of
the handmade
paper process I used to
make these sheets of paper.

When the pulp is on the mould,
I placed a plastic lace doily 
on top of the pulp.  Then,
using a water hose, I sprayed
the excess pulp off the mould
leaving only the silhouette 
of the lace.

Sshh.... here's the secret:
I kept blowing all the pulp 
off the mould, leaving only
bits and pieces of the silhouette.

After two hours of ruining
everything I touched, I finally
was able to perfect the 
blow out process.  
The secret was controlling the 
water when you spray!

Photo credit: The City of Baltimore
I am currently experimenting
with creating translucent papers
from recycled paper products.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


The yellow sheets are 
handmade paper I created
in a papermaking class 
in New York City

Telescope  (handmade paper, linocut, collage)
I didn't have enough handmade
paper to cover the whole linocut,
so I hand marbled the paper,
cut it up and glued 
the pieces in different places
on a large sheet of 
Somerset paper.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Brooklyn Public Library, Part II

As a book artist and printmaker
one of the best places to 
display one-of-a-kind
and limited edition books
is the library

gave a wonderful reception.
I was invited to talk about
my printmaking process
and why book arts is
my primary 
visual medium.

Book arts allows me to 
write poetry,
draw, illustrate,
and incorporate various
printmaking techniques
 (silkscreen, lithography, 
woodcuts, and linocuts)
and paint (the covers).

The finished books
are complete and offer
 interesting visual narratives.

My exhibit had over 50 handmade books
in addition to my sketches, diaries, and journals.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Brooklyn Public Library, Part I

Exhibiting at 
was a dream come true.

BPL allowed me
to design the display
cabinets for my exhibition.
I used 5 yards of fabric to decorate all the cabinets.
New York City
Winter 2011
snowy, wet, dreary

I wanted to brighten the
space with gold and red
Silkscreened prints  drying in the studio
I silkscreened images from my 
sketchbooks and 
handmade books
on fabric.

detail of one silkscreen scroll
The images took two days 
to thoroughly dry.

The little books are made from left over paper from my larger books.
I love making tiny accordion 
visual books I call "OOKS".  
I remove the B from books 
and call them OOKS
because they are so tiny. 

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