Tag Archives: Sherrie York

Art Views – Sherrie York

We are delighted to introduce a new series in our Taking Flight blog, Art Views, a fascinating collection of personal perspectives. Artists, collectors, MABA staff and other art enthusiasts have generously agreed to write about bird art that is meaningful to them. Posts may be about how an artist approaches their work, profiles of artworks in MABA’s collection, or whatever catches our guest bloggers’ fancy. Keep reading, share your comments, and enjoy!
~ Amy Montague, Museum Director of the Museum of American Bird Art

Trunk Show by Sherrie York

Trunk Show, Sherrie York

I’ve always been a fan of the “shoulder” seasons. Each day of spring and autumn is dynamic and exciting; migratory birds come and go, flowers and trees blossom and seed, and the balance of day and night waxes and wanes.

Although I now live in Maine, I grew up and spent most transitional seasons in Colorado, where spring is slow to arrive and high country autumns are intense and fleeting. In September, acres-wide stands of aspen trees quake with color as they turn from bright green to brilliant gold (and sometimes red!), but their show can be over with one strong wind or an early snow.

One of my favorite haunts during Colorado autumns was an area called, appropriately, Aspen Ridge. Every time I explored the ridge I was drawn to the cluster of large-trunked trees depicted in my linocut, “Trunk Show.” In fact, these same trees have been the subject of several sketches, paintings, and linocuts over the years.

Of course I’m not the only one who liked to visit this grove. Aspen stands are important in the west because they support a greater diversity of bird species than the surrounding coniferous forests. Woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, warblers, flycatchers… they all rely on aspen.

When I moved to Maine just over two years ago I looked forward to discovering the rhythms and colors of seasons in the northern hardwood forest. I was delighted to find a few familiar aspen trees in between the oak, birch, and spruce behind my house, but even more comforted by the presence of some of the same bird species common to aspen groves. The woodpeckers and chickadees in particular are constant companions. 

As a printmaker my first quest is always for a strong composition and graphic elements. These must be decided upon and resolved before block carving or ink rolling can begin, because carved areas can’t be erased or painted over. The vertical white trunks and dark “eyes” of the aspen tree are just such elements, and the shapes and patterns of the leaves offer a great opportunity to play with color and texture. 

In the world of fashion, a trunk show provides an opportunity for designers and wearers to meet in a more personal and intimate way. In the larger world of nature, time spent with tree trunks allows to meet our neighbors and discover all the ways in which we are connected.

My linocuts are most often developed using a process called reduction printing. All of the colors in an image are printed from a single block of linoleum in successive stages of carving and printing. “Trunk Show” required 14 individual stages of carving and printing. It’s too much to share in a single post, but if you’d like to see how the entire piece developed, I documented all the stages on my blog, Brush and Baren.  The series begins here: https://brushandbaren.blogspot.com/2016/09/linocut-in-progress-autumnal-endeavor.html

Where’s Milly? Admiring Trunk Show, by Sherrie York

Where’s Milly today? She spent today inside with one of her favorite work’s of art, Trunk Show, by the amazing artist and wonderful friend of MABA, Sherrie York. This piece is hanging in our recent acquisition’s gallery at the Museum of American Bird Art.

Sherrie will be at MABA this summer for the Wild at Art summer camp and a printmaking workshop. At the summer camp, Sherrie will be traveling with our travel camp, teaching sketching, painting, and more to young artists in the field. You can also learn from Sherrie this summer at her two day printmaking workshop at the Museum of American Bird Art. Lastly, check out Sherrie’s website and her wonderful artwork.

Home and Away

We are thrilled to have a guest post by the amazingly talented artist Sherrie York. She will be visiting the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon between July 28 to July 30 to display her art, lead several programs, and give an illustrated talk about her printmaking. She will be doing a workshop with our summer camp on July 28th, giving an illustrated talk and reception for her artwork on July 29th, and giving an all day printmaking workshop on July 30th.

Home and Away by Sherrie York

Travel and art-making have often gone hand-in-hand. (Or perhaps that’s brush-in-hand.) John Singer Sargent’s watercolors of Morocco revealed an intriguing faraway culture. John James Audubon’s journeys recorded North America’s flora and fauna and Albert Bierstadt’s romantic western landscapes helped inspire the first national parks.

I enjoy travel, too, and will be traveling from my Colorado stomping grounds to MABA this summer. In July I will exhibit some of my linoleum block prints in the estate house and present both a printmaking workshop and presentation about my work. Of course it doesn’t always take a passport, a suitcase, or a new frontier to find subject matter. Familiar places close to home are inspiring, too.


This is Sands Lake. It’s a scruffy little body of water next to the Arkansas River in the town of Salida, where I live. They call it a lake, but it’s really a settling pond for the fish hatchery upstream. Water flows from hatchery to lake via underground culverts, then spills out the far bank in to the river.

During the day the trail around the lake is filled with fishing enthusiasts, dog-walkers, joggers, bicyclists, and birders. More than one elicit teenager party has taken place there after dark. Pristine, exotic wilderness it’s not.

But for me this humble corner provides a wealth of inspiration and stories year-round, and no small number of linocuts, too.


Pas de Ducks: All year

At the upriver end of the lake, next to the inflow culvert, is a concrete fishing pier. The remains of cliff swallow nests were still attached when it was installed, a good indicator of its provenance as repurposed bridge. Hopeful mallards congregate below the pier looking for handouts, and from my elevated vantage point I enjoy watching the tracery they create in the reflection of the railing.


Cruisin’: Spring

Forget the robin as a harbinger of spring! Local birders know that spring migrants begin to appear weeks before the pelicans turn up at the lake, but their sheer size and brilliant whiteness assure that even the most bird-ambivalent will notice this sign of winter’s demise.

EPSON scanner image

EPSON scanner image

Usurper: Summer

Three species of bluebird are present in the area around the lake, but the mountain bluebird’s cobalt shimmer and soft call is the most common. Bluebird enthusiasts abound, too, as evidenced by nest boxes peppering the edges of yards, pastures, and the municipal golf course. Of course tree swallows don’t know they aren’t the intended occupants…


Coot du Jour: Autumn through Spring

Like mushrooms after rain, American coots sprout on the surface of the lake in early autumn. The antics of 70 or 80 over-wintering birds amuse me until spring, but before the trees have finished leafing out they are gone. I never see them arrive, and I never see them leave.


No Time Like the Present: Winter

Winter is the time for waterfowl on Sands Lake. Because so much water moves through from the hatchery the lake remains open even in the coldest days of winter. Common and Barrow’s goldeneye, buffleheads, scaup, wigeon, and more fill the lake with noise and motion and offer consolation for the absence of warblers and swallows.



Connecting art with nature: Top moments from the Take Flight (Week 2) Camp Session

Campers have been having a great week during the Take Flight session. We’ve been having lots of fun learning about birds, creating bird inspired art, and exploring the sanctuary. During the week, campers loved our visit from the internationally renowned Caterpillar Lab from Keene, New Hampshire, and printmaking workshop with the amazing Sherrie York. Here are the top moments from the week:

Moment #1: Fantastic Charcoal Drawings with our artist Katie Buchanan

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Moment #2: Collecting natural materials for leaf prints in their nature journal

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Moment #3: Nature Hikes and Scavenger Hunts

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Moment #4: Creating art using the process of suminagashi

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Moment #5: Visit from Sherrie York

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Moment #6: Excitement with the Caterpillar Lab

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Printmaking with Sherrie York at the Wild at Art Summer Camp

Excitement permeated through the Wild at Art Summer Camp on Thursday July 17 because artist Sherrie York, an internationally renowned printmaker, stopped by and taught all the campers a little about the art of printmaking.

Since this was during the Take Flight week, all the campers made prints that were inspired by the different textures of bird feathers. Each group of campers started off in our fantastic exhibition “The Birds of Trinidad and Tobago” and looked at the different types of feathers found on the different birds. Next, they created a relief print on foam board and then created ink prints. Check out all the fun.

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Campers with Sherrie York checking out the different types of feathers

Creating Relief Prints

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Creating Prints

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The Finished Product!

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