Uppercase Magazine "Inserts"

Last week, I teased you about the special project I was working on by posting a photo of papers I said were marbled backgrounds. The next step was to overmarble those backgrounds and here are some of them drying in the sun:


These little gems are for the next issue of Uppercase Magazine, which is inserting the work of featured artists into it. And while all 4,500 subscribers won’t be getting one of my inserts, a lucky 150 will!


In my case, these aren’t simply “inserts.” Each marbled paper is an original piece of art, signed and numbered. They measure 4″x6″ and are on a lovely, creamy, soft 100% cotton rag paper that I am so in love with. (I don’t know the brand…I got a ton of it on a closeout and sadly I’ll never find it again.)


There’s a part of me that is having a hard time letting go of these beauties. I had a magnificent three days in the studio making them and got sort of attached. But I’m also excited to know that they are going to new homes, especially to those of Uppercase Magazine readers.

Uppercase Magazine

I am THRILLED beyond thrilled to announce that I will be in the next issue of Uppercase Magazine coming out in April!

The most recent issue of Uppercase is about textile and fiber arts ~ contemporary weavers, quilters, fabric designers, and more!

The most recent issue of Uppercase is about textile and fiber arts ~ contemporary weavers, quilters, fabric designers, and more!

Uppercase Magazine has been one of my favorites since it launched in 2009. Gorgeously printed, beautifully laid out, with well-written features, the quarterly magazine is "for the creative and curious." It is eye and soul candy for inspiration! Whenever an issue arrives, I always, always, always pour a glass of wine and sit in my favorite comfy chair and indulge in every page.

A peek inside the current issue of Uppercase Magazine.

A peek inside the current issue of Uppercase Magazine.

The theme of the April issue is printmaking. And since marbling is a type of printmaking called monoprint ~ or aqueous monoprint, as it is sometimes referred to ~ I submitted some samples of my work and a write up about marbling and my process to the editor of Uppercase. I didn't have high hopes of being included in the issue ~ after all, it is an international magazine with a subscription base of 4,000  AND there are so many great printmakers out there! So when the editor contacted me and said I would be included in the issue, I was overjoyed and so honored.

The pringmaking issue (Spring #25) will be out in April. You can get a $15 discount off subscriptions with the code "imaprintmaker." Sales for individual copies will be available after the issue comes out.

Best Headline for Marbling EVER

Barb Skoog Marbling article in the South Pasadena Patch

Okay, so I may be a little biased and the headline is more about *me* and less about marbling as a whole...but still ~ it's pretty cool.

A few weeks ago, the editor of the South Pasadena Patch dropped by my open studio. I wasn't expecting a full on interview, with video and images and lots of questions about my beginnings as a marbler. I just thought he wanted to come see what this marbling thing was all about to decide whether or not to even write a story about it. Next thing I know, I'm in the Patch!

Perhaps it was better that I didn't expect a story to come from his initial visit. The piece he wrote really communicates my love for the art form ~ and I probably would have been way more historical and technical than personal if I had thought he was writing an article on what I was saying. In the end, I'm thrilled with the angle he took.

You can check out the piece here: http://southpasadena.patch.com/groups/arts-and-entertainment/p/cloud-artist-marbles-her-way-to-happiness

Happy New Year everyone! Hope it's a "marble-ous" one!


Dry, as seen in Taproot One of the things I was most thrilled about with the Taproot editors was that they selected a wide variety of styles of my work to publish ~ and the above piece is a perfect example of that.

This is definitely not your traditional pattern. It is solely my personal spin on the art form. Actually, I really can't take credit for COMING UP with the idea for this image. I was simply reacting to what the bath was (or, more appropriately, wasn't) allowing me to do.

It was a hot, hot day. My bath was old. The wind was picking up. Humidity was nonexistent. Wildfires filled the air with ash. The conditions could not have been worse for marbling. But I just had to get into the studio despite the fact that Mother Nature was not on my side.

With nothing at all but the desire to create something ~ anything ~ I stepped up to the tank, tossed all expectations and ideas aside, and just did what the bath allowed me to do that day. It turned out to be one of my favorite moments in the studio.

Dry, up close.

Up close, this piece feels like a relief map of a secret world ~ I see rivers and valleys and mountains and roads and islands and lakes and forests. Step back and the there are suggestions (hints? clues?) of....something. I see a shape ~ but I'm not gonna share. I don't want to taint your perspective. You'll have to discover your own "something."

"Dry" is featured in the Summer 2013 issue of Taproot magazine (Issue 6: Water). The piece measures 10"x13" and is created on my favorite paper, Arches Text Wove from France. Brilliant Purple, Cad Red, Payne's gray, Indian Yellow Hue, and Light Blue make up the show. You can purchase "Dry" here.

It is also part of my Favorites postcard set:

Postcards ~ Images from Taproot

Yellow + Red = a Giveaway!

Untitled 383 from my Miniature 24 series I love the colors red and yellow together. As a kid, I used to pull out the yellow and red M&Ms and make a little pile of them off to the side. I'd then greedily eat all the other colors while saving the yellow-red pile for as long as I could.

I have always wanted my bedroom walls to be painted in bright yellow and the door a bright red. (And I will someday. I just haven't found the right house to do it in yet.)

Back in Minnesota, every year I grew a wildflower bed that included yellow and red Japanese poppies.

Red and yellow beet ravioli? Yes, please.

Sadly one of the hardest colors to achieve in marbling is a pure, robust red. It has to do with the pigments that make up the color, which do not do well when diluted nor when spread across the top of the bath. However, there are two ways to work around this. The first is to marble on red paper. While this is an effective technique, it 1) sort of feels like cheating, and 2) makes it very difficult to spot color ~ that is, place your color exactly where you want it to be and no where else.

The second way around the red challenge is to compress the paint in the bath so much, it has no choice to be red. And that's what I did with this piece.

Untitled 383 is one of several pieces in my "Miniature 24" series. As I mentioned in my previous post, and as the series name implies, all were created in my "mini tank" which measures 5" x 7" (I normally marble in a 20" x 25" tank). One of the advantages with the mini tank is that is allows you to fill your tank with paint quickly (sometimes too quickly, which is the disadvantage), giving you those bright, bold vibrant colors without your design starting to degrade. You see, as soon as the paint hits your bath, it starts to disintegrate. So the longer you work on a piece, the more the paints break up and do funky things (an effect one can use to one's advantage, of course...but only if the intention is to do so. Otherwise, it's just frustrating!). It can take less than a minute to fill a mini-tank where as it takes three to four minutes to fill the big tank to create the same vibrancy.

Those precious few minutes make a huge difference.

Untitled 383 is one of my favorites ~ not just in the "Miniature 24" series, but of all the pieces I've created. When I found out Taproot magazine was using it as their opening page, I couldn't have been happier.

This image is available in the Miniature 24 postcard set:

Miniature 24 Postcard Set available at BarbSkoog.BigCartel.com

GIVEAWAY!! Tell me what you see or like in the images above and you'll be entered into a drawing to receive your own Miniature 24 postcard set! Leave your thoughts in the comments by midnight on Friday, June 7.

~ Comments now closed...and the winner is Annika! ~

New June Header

Untitled 371 from the "Miniature 24" series. I figured it was only appropriate that the header for this month comes from one of my images that appeared in the recent issue of Taproot magazine.

Untitled 371 is one of several pieces in my "Miniature 24" series. Just as the series name implies, all were created in my "mini tank" which measures 5" x 7" (final piece sizes are 4" x 6"). Since I normally marble in a 20" x 25" tank, there was a lot of adjusting going on, to say the least. It was an adventure in patience, discovery, steady hands, and determination. I was truly surprised at how much you can do in a small tank that you can't do in a large tank. And I was just as surprised that I couldn't do things in the small tank that I could do in the big tank. It took my marbling to a whole new level.

The piece above was such fun to create. I've played around with concentric circles in my larger tank in the past but in the mini one, you not only get many more circles in, you have greater ability to control how tight (or not tight) they are. As a result, I think you can create a more dramatic sense of movement ~ which I find totally exhilarating.

I have to admit, when I first saw this piece blown up to fill an 8.5"x11" page, I was a little astounded. It seemed so, well, LARGE. But it also allowed me to see new images in the piece ~ new ways to interpret the pattern and patterns. I've always been a big fan of using scale as a tool during the creative process ~ but it never occurred to me to use it AFTER the process as well.

What a game changer. My mind is already racing with new ideas.

Taproot Magazine and Me

Taproot ~ Issue 6 (water)

I am beyond thrilled to announce that my work is featured in the latest issue of Taproot ~ a gorgeous, full-color, art and lifestyle magazine filled with thoughtful personal and photo essays, alluring projects and delicious recipes, engaging poetry, and art that makes you swoon. (Gee, you can't tell that I'm head-over-heels about this publication, can you?)

Taproot is one of those magazines you want to sit down with, a cup of coffee or glass of wine in hand, and read from cover to cover. Immediately. At first, it's all eye candy. You turn page after page after page, excited to see what images and headlines pop out at you. After that, you settle into a few of the essays, finding yourself right there where stories want to take you. Then, you go back to the beginning and comb through the rest of the issue, dog-earing pages that have websites, people, or ideas you want to come back to. Next thing you know, you're a changed person. I hate using the word "inspired" as I think it's overused these days but seriously, after reading Taproot, that's exactly what I am: inspired. Two future projects of mine were conceived and modeled after a few Taproot articles. And I love the way they describe their audience as people who strive to live their lives "closer to the ground."

Taproot is also ad free. That, People, is the bee's knees.

This issue's theme (Issue 6) is WATER and, well, it only seems appropriate that the centuries-old art form of floating paint on water graces the pages. Three of my pieces are full-page section dividers, such as the one below:

Taproot ~ Issue 6 ~ section divider

I am also excited that they let me ramble on a bit about the art form, giving me a few pages to talk about my marbling experience and showcase some of my other work.


It was a beautiful process working with the Taproot team. I've worked with several editors and graphic designers over the years and by far this was the most pleasant experience. Helpful, responsive, supportive, enthusiastic, open...what a difference it made. If the people BEHIND the scenes behave this way, just imagine what the pages IN the magazine are like.

So go subscribe now (you can also buy single issues...but trust me, you'll want more).

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll talk about some of the pieces featured in Taproot and the stories behind them ~ stay tuned!