Frogman’s 2013

close-up of toad face

Toad, not frog

litho of hog holding platter with a ham on it. Background letters read: 'Jambons...Le Porc....100% de porc americain.

Final print, “Jambons (Hams)” 9in x 6in, 5-color lithograph (polyester plate litho). CLICK TO ENLARGE

This year at Frogman’s printmaking workshops I’m taking polyester plate lithography with one of my alltime favorite artists: Katherine Polk and Andy Polk. They are great instructors too!

JULY 9: Today I got the keyline color (black) down in a small edition of 10. With this process, the Polks print the black or dark color keyline first.

Tomorrow we start adding color in transparent layers over the black. Very exciting.

All the other colors are primarily a transparent tint base with just a smidgeon of color added. It’s like painting watercolors or dyes over an ink drawing. The effect is translucent, rich, glowing color. It can be magical.

JULY 11: Here are some of the steps below, in order of printing:

black on white prints of hog carrying platter of ham

Jabons prints drying on rack, first layer of ink: black.

2-color print of hog carrying platter of ham

Color 2: salmon.

3-color print of hog carrying platter of ham

Color 3: slightly green cyan.

print of hog carrying platter of ham

Color 4: subtle cream-colored overlay (over whole sheet of paper), to sort of antique the image.

full-color litho print of hog carrying platter of ham

Color 5: Golden orange-yellow layer added to hog/platter/ham section of print.


…is not just printmaking. They have lectures, artists’ talks, museum/gallery walk, karaoke, bowling, open portfolio…all scheduled on different days/eves. Basically, it’s nonstop printmaking by day and night, with social events most eves.

The other night, after midnight, coming home from bowling, I chanced upon this little critter:

side-view, toad on pavement, night sky behind

Someone told me this is a Buffo toad.

And here we are, at the bowling alley/bar near the dorm where we stay…. For bowling, your team has to wear a costume. You’re limited to $5 per costume, and so, many folks head to the local thrift shop to find their costumes. We happened upon plastic flower pots and creepy little rubber human heads, which of course gave us the team name of Pot Heads. Green lace and string for capes…

dark interior of bowling alley, people with flower pots on heads

Meet Team Pothead.

And a close-up of our awesome hats:

Before and After (berries to pie)

All the rain we had this spring and early summer has made it an amazing year for mulberries. Finally got around to taking the truck around the perimeter of the farm and climbed on top to gather the best berries. What a treat.

top photo: red and purple mulberries. Bottom photo: golden pie with slice removed, dark berry filling

CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE. Mulberry rhubarb pie with mulberries from our trees, rhubarb from Galpaca Farm next door, and lard in the crust from our hogs. Yum.

Spring Art Tour coming soon!

8ft chicken, Market Weight Studios, woodcuts, Great Pyrenees

Come see the 8ft chicken! The 8ft pulltoy pig! And lots more (including that Skip Johnson patriotic chicken in the foreground). Here are a few students from a visiting art class in front of Market Weight Press Studios

Now in it’s 7th year, the Spring Art Tour features 20 artists who will open their studios to the public June 7, 8, 9 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), 10-5 daily.

**NOTE: Sue will be in studio daily 10-5, EXCEPT Saturday absent 3:30-5p

S.V. Medaris’ studio will have printing demos, prints (unframed and framed), cards, pillows, t-shirts and more for sale. She is currently carving the first in a new series of Alphonse Mucha poster-inspired prints, as well as a 4ft hog woodcut, a flying (sort of) chicken linocut, and block-printing pillow covers, t-shirts and ? Lots of fun stuff.

Maps, artist profiles and more at the Mount Horeb Spring Art Tour site.

This Saturday night: Farm to Fork (to Fabulous!)

Opening reception Saturday, March 16, 7-10pm.

Showing with my friend and fellow artist Alicia Rheal in our From Farm to Fork (to Fabulous!) exhibit. The opening reception is a gala celebration and benefit for the Walls of Wittenberg. More info, and the poster, below. Highlight? Why Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats of course.

Poster for 'Farm to Fork (to Fabulous)' show, featuring artwork of S.V. Medaris and Alicia Rheal

This is going to be a really fun (and delicious) opening reception! (Click on poster to enlarge) And, if you drive up early, you can visit Nueske’s Company Store in Wittenberg (Sat. hours: 8-4).

The WowSpace is located at 114 Vinal St – Wittenberg, WI. Easy to find…Just look for the 8ft hanging hog carcasses and the giant pull-toy pig (cuts) in the front windows along the main street of downtown Wittenberg!

And here’s more info about the Walls of Wittenberg ongoing mural project.

One section of the wall installed for now….

Installing…. That’s an 18ft long Hampshire stud boar on right (the model, Pioneer is owned by Monson Show Pigs in Richland Center). And that’s an 8ft pull-toy pig in front window.

New paintings

Painting of Great Pyrenees approaches viewer, alpaca mama and cria in background

‘My Work Here is Done’ • oil on panel • 10in x 8in (click to enlarge)

Showing this Friday at Artisan Gallery’s Painting Invitational….

(Opening this Friday, March 1, 5-9pm, Artisan Gallery in Paoli, WI)

If this big white dog–the Great Pyrenees–looks at all familiar, it’s because she’s Betty, our neighbor dog who guards her herd of alpacas. I photographed her in action helping with the birth of that baby alpaca (cria). You can see the photo sequence of ‘Alpaca gives birth’ here. The Mama alpaca is Maggie, and the cria is T-cup. This scene is from Galpaca farm, the place just down the road, to the southeast of us.

painting by s.v. medaris of yorkshire cross hog

‘Getting Close’ • oil on paper • 4in x 6in

Yep, I finally picked up the brushes and started painting with oils again, after a 4-year hiatus, while I went to grad school and learned how to do relief printmaking, then spent last year perfecting the print extravaganza that was the Tunnel of Mortality.

Last month I was invited to take part in Artisan’s Painting invitational, and just figured it’s time to get back to it. It was a little slow going at first, but sort of a relief–just color, you know? And not having to think too much about it–just mixing up hues and values that work immediately. No planning out layers of colors for print.

painting by s.v. medaris of dog under tractor

‘Constant Companion’ • oil on panel • 5in x 7in

Roughed out 4 paintings to work on simultaneously, so I could keep working without stopping and waiting for something to dry…. I started out really small with 3 little oils (before finishing Betty and the gang, at top). Here are 2 of them… above, one of our hogs from last year, ‘getting close’ to that time. And a portrait of Oreo, this great, faithful companion of a farmer on hwy 78. Oreo could often be seen patiently waiting beside the driveway entrance whenever his master went away. And here, in this shot, he lay with a very watchful eye, in the closest spot of shade, while his master worked on one of the farm vehicles.

Sausage making!

This is turning into an annual event…. Making sausages with Bryan (and Alicia). This year we made 3 kinds: a Longuiza one, a southwestern (hot) one, and a mild apple/herb one.

Made them this past weekend so that they could “rest” and the flavors meld (in the fridge, and now in freezer) for a “Handmade” gathering this upcoming weekend. This pork is from last year’s (2011) hogs.

Here’s the hot one:

a pile of freshly made sausages

Porkert sausage maker

Porkert brand sausage maker


This year’s hogs are still in the pasture. Butcher date coming up in September :-(

Why the sad face? Because this year’s pigs-now-hogs are super-cute and friendly–always talking and happy to see you (and your food gifts)….

But, I guess that means happy meat too. :-)

We used Bryan’s Porkert sausage maker, from the Czech Republic (here’s a link to what looks like the all-metal version). I want one!