Flaming Book Lino

While I was searching through my early prints for one of my first linocuts, I came across the print in this post that I made in the mid 1980s. (It’s not the print I was originally looking for.)  The linocut here was an illustration for an article in the Canadian literary magazine Quill and Quire. Somewhere, I may have the actual page from the journal, but I haven’t located it yet. From what I recall, the article had to do with censorship and political repression. In that sense, it definitely fits with the mood of these times of political unrest to out and out war. Being born right after World War II and hearing many stories of it while growing up, the image also evokes shadows of the history of that war for me. The initials “SB” are from my birth name that I was still using at the time.



Ocean Sky Interior

I took this photo at a friend’s place.  I liked the reflections of sky in the glass that reminded me of water.  There’s an ambiguous air to the scene as though various elements or realms are merging.


Scratchboard and Masks

I’ve been enjoying working on a series of scratchboard drawings to go with writing I did a few years ago. I hit upon scratchboard drawings because they can bear some resemblance to lino and woodcuts which I love but gave up making because of repetitive strain from carving. I made the three papier mache masks shown here in the 1990s. They’re the latest subjects of the drawings. When I’ve completed the project, I’ll show it to you. 



Healing Power of Autumn

This is a linocut I made in the 1970s under my previous married name, Susan Barsel-Herman, to express my love of autumn.  I called the print The Healing Power of Autumn.


The Unveiling of the Heart

Oil Pastel ©2009, Lily S. May

Oil pastel in a sketchbook, ©2009, Lily S. May

We are walking in a garden

we are blind to

though it bears our names.

And the suffering,

the suffering is great,

but the unveiling of the heart

is greater.

© 2015 Lily S. May

It’s Minus Seventeen But We Can Still Dream

Felt Flower Square, ©2014 Lily S. May

Felt Flower Square, ©2014 Lily S. May

Dreaming of flowers on a day when there’s an extreme cold weather alert in Toronto. This small felt appliqué is one I  made at the end of last year with merino wool felt.  I enjoyed contrasting machine die cut flowers with hand embroidery. Keep warm, people, and dream on!

Appliqué for Peace of Mind

Here’s another embroidered appliqué I made recently–this one with merino wool felt. I sewed in the evenings, this time to calm myself from the dreadful news of wars, racism, illness and sexual assaults of women that have all been in the forefront recently. The idea for this design grew out of a recent trip to Algonquin Park in Ontario just as the last leaves were falling. One beautiful sight was a hill of golden tamarack trees reflected in a lake. I am always drawn to reflections in water and realized I want to use symmetry in my work more often. This appliqué began on its side, loosely expressing the memory of the scene in Algonquin Park. However, as is often the case, I adapted the work as I went along. And so the hill and reflection turned into a leaf shape. I finished the wall hanging with three ceramic buttons I bought this summer at a studio tour of artists on the Bruce Peninsula in Ontario.

Leaf, wool felt wall hanging, ©2014 Lily S. May

Leaf, wool felt wall hanging, ©2014 Lily S. May