Toe River Arts | Books, Paper & Printmaking
Silkscreened prints & notecards
“Layers of blue mountains, the thin smile of a crescent moon, a pair of bunnies playing in a meadow, the elusive mystery of a black bear, the heart-touching beauty of a small blue violet are a few of the things that inspire me to create pictures.
The medium I use to express the beauty I see in the mountains is screen printing, also known as serigraphy. First, I hike, daydream, read, look at photos and sketch, then simplify the design into flat areas of color. I prepare a screen by stretching a fine mesh fabric (traditionally silk) across a wooden or metal frame. For each color in my design I make a stencil by hand-cutting a special film and attaching it to the mesh, or by painting directly onto the mesh with screen filler, leaving open the areas through which I want a color to be printed. After the stencils (from three to fifteen) are attached I place paper beneath the screen, lining it up with the stencil. I push ink across the screen through the stencil opening and onto the paper below. I print one color, let the ink dry, clean my screen and repeat this process for each color in my design.
Because all my prints are handmade, they are limited to editions of 200 or less. I also have note cards which are reproductions of my larger hand screened prints.
I was born and grew up in the mountains of North Carolina and except for two years of my life I have lived, played and loved somewhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Since early childhood I have been drawn to the woods, creeks and mountaintops for peace, strength and joy. Also, since childhood I have loved to draw and paint. Much of my inspiration and encouragement in art came from my parents. My father would draw pictures for me and share his grown-up art supplies. My mother helped keep alive my sense of imagination, creativity and play. As I grew up, I kept journals full of drawings and writings. At Mars Hill College, NC, I studied art and in 1980 graduated cum laude with a BA in Studio Art and Art History. After graduating I worked at various craft shops, a library, and as an arts and crafts instructor for children. I started screen printing fulltime in 1986 and have been a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild ever since. I have also studied at Penland School of Craft and John C. Campbell Folk School. My work is sold in many galleries and craft shops in the southeastern U.S.
I feel blessed and grateful to make my living by creating pictures of the beautiful mountains surrounding me and the whimsical fantasies that dance through my imagination.” – Debbie Littledeer