Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I was invited to be part of the Hindsight 20/20 exhibition at the Kent Museum, Calais VT from Sept 10 – October 10th, 2021. Continuing the work I made for the Rokeby Museum in the Mending Fences project, I once again returned to history to find a thread to follow at the Kent Museum.

Looking out the window to the barn and labyrinth.

The term footprint has a far different meaning to us in contemporary society than it did to Abdiel Kent in the 1820’s. As an entrepreneur in his 20’s he learned to make shoes in Massachusetts and returned to VT to start his own shoemaking business and to open a general store in, what is now Kents’ Corner. He ran the shoemaking operation, making handmade shoes and boots into the mid 1840’s. He employed a number of men and women from the community in this enterprise. His shoes were sold locally and when shoemaking became mechanized he could no longer compete price wise and he closed down that business. This story is interesting as we face the same issues today, as technology and robots replace people. In those days a footprint was literally the mark in the soil or dirt brought in from muddy boots.

What constitutes a footprint in contemporary terms? “Today it‘s less likely to refer to the tread mark your sneaker leaves in the dirt, and more to the imprint you’ll leave on the planet”, writes William Safire, NY Times, 2008.

Footprint: Garden Clogs, Footprint: Dress Up, Footprint: Sandals with Jackie Abrams and Deidre Scherer baskets.

Today we think about our footprint in a far larger context as it refers to the impact we have on the earth. We think about our carbon footprint related to air travel or the gas burned up in driving. The impact of our daily choices in such things as hanging out the clothes on a clothes line to dry vs throwing them into the dryer. I am always trying to buy things that have less plastic packaging. How do the choices I make contribute to the solution rather than the problem? Should I order online or support a local store? Where do I continue to walk over things, that could make a difference?

The other interesting thing about literal footprints is how the soles of shoes have changed. What once consisted of a piece of leather nailed or sewn onto the heel and footpad is now made of many different materials including rubber, foam, polyurethane, plastic or cork, to name just a few. The treads make fascinating patterns. Some are fern like, some geometrical, some worn from wear or fresh and bold. Velcro has also become part of shoes replacing laces.

Over 30 years ago when my children were being born, I did a series of metaphorical portraits of my clothing. Thinking about my different identities, I drew and painted images of my art making clothes covered with paint and ink, my dress up jackets and skirts, mother and daughter coats, etc. These morphed into clothes stacks and laundry baskets full of a family of clothing.

Returning to this idea, (it’s interesting that after making images for over 50 years old ideas take on new forms) I created the Footprint Series. A collection of nine portraits of my shoes, choosing the ones I wear the most and have a distinctive use and form. I wanted both the form of the shoes with the footprints they create as a vehicle to bring us to consider our individual and collective impact on the earth. As I’ve been primarily working on black paper since the start of 2021, I decided to continue that. Dirt was collected from the trails I walk on, my gardens and pathways and ground separately. This was added to an ink base that would print. After each colored pencil drawing was done. I rolled out my ink, put on my shoes, stamped my feet in the ink and walked onto the paper, making the patterns I was interested in.

Footprint: Red Boots and Footprint: Hiking Boots

My two granddaughters are six and three years old. Thinking about how our footprints will affect the next generation I wanted to include them. On one of my visits, I brought my materials and did the process with them.

Izzy grinding dirt for the ink
Amelia rolling out the ink
Amelia printing her sandals.
Footprint: Izzy’s Shoes and Footprint: Amelia’s Sandals

Our shoes are a connecting point to this beautiful planet we life on. This series has made me think more deeply about the materials the shoes are made of, how I acquired them and how or where they were made. I am conscious of the millions of decisions that we make in our lives and how they impact the earth. Although no one decision will change the trajectory we are on, collectively we may be able to change the tide one small decision at a time.

Antique Child’s Boot Project

Antique boot with my etching Child’s Boot

Nel, one of the curators of the show, brought me an antique child’s boot that she had found in the wall of an old house where she lived in Kents’ Corner. It was about the size of my three year old granddaughters’ shoes. The idea of her running around in this boot was mind boggling. I decided to make a dry point etching that was virtually life size. The image was drawn into a piece of plexiglass with a very sharp needle. I inked it with a deep brown ink so as to capture the actual tone of the leather. As I was considering which paper to print on, I remembered some old paper I had inherited from my father. I pulled it out of my flat files and the synchronicity was amazing.

57 sheets of Hayle’s Handmade paper – written I believe in my step great grandfather’s hand. (Watermark Insignia) written in my fathers hand. Hayle’s Mill was located in Maidstone, Kent, England. The mill operated from 1805-1987. In 1815 it was purchased by John Green and his family continued to make hand paper there until 1987. I was able to research the paper marks and I believe my paper was made around 1920-1930. So here we have a child’s boot made in Kents’ Corner, VT around 1825-1845, and paper made in Kent, England from around 1920-1930 coming together in an etching made for an exhibition in Kents’ Corner, VT in 2021!

Installation shots of work in the exhibition:

Nel Emlen, Allyson Evans and David Schutz curated this show of over 250 works by 18 artists. I love how they group work together and seek out the perfect place in this old historic building to install them. Here is a taste of the many wonderful curatorial moments in the show.

My monotype Cello II with Tom Leytham watercolors, Jackie Abrams teapot and Cindy Blakeslee cello
Orb Cycle VI and K1, P1, K1 with Chris Curtis cut stones on second shelf
Mark Heitzman graphite drawings with my Pleated Skirt sewn monotype.
Heidi Broner painting looking into a room with Mark Heitzman drawing and Trevor Corp collage.
Toussaint St. Negritude poem and handmade hats.


After seeing my Woven Fence at the Rokeby Museum last year, the curators asked me to create an outside installation. In looking around the property, I was drawn to a cedar grove. For the last two or three years I have been knitting and printing pieces with big holes in them. I made a series of prints where I overlayed the knitting so that at they created portholes into what was beneath. The holes related to the feeling of isolation and social distancing that we have been experiencing through the pandemic. I thought about suspending these knit pieces into the crooks of trees thus making portholes into the woods.

As it was coming into the fall I decided to use orange, yellow orange and red polyester rope. I had used the same rope at the Rokeby Museum in 2020. I also wanted to bring more light into this relatively dark grove. The knitting was fun as I worked with large #35 needles. I had measured each crook and made patterns so was able to knit to spec.

It took three days to install the pieces. Installation is a relatively new form of working for me. Making visual conversations and relationships between the trees and knit pieces was exciting.

photo by Susan Teare

After it was done, David Schutz told me that the cedar grove was planted, where the old shoemaking shop had been, after the building was torn down! I love it when my intuition leads me.

Knit Vision IIphoto by Susan Teare

The other tree that called out for a piece was the apple tree that had been recently pruned. I wanted to bring red into the tree which was devoid of apples.

Knit Vision I, photo by Susan Teare
Knit Vision I detail – photo by Susan Teare

If you are able to visit the show information can be found at www.kentscorner.org. It is open Friday – Sunday through October 10th, 2021 from 10 – 5 and by appointment. Free tickets are required and can be arranged through the website. It is worth the drive especially as the foliage in Vermont brightens and changes. For those of you who cannot get there, I hope this post gives you a peak into my process and a chance to experience some of what this exhibition has to offer.

  • Carol MacDonald 9/29/2021

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Art Lab at the Rokeby Museum

This fall I attended the Art Lab program which was masterminded and run by Ric Kasini Kadour as part of his two year Contemporary Art at the Rokeby program. I joined 11 artists from California, New York, Montreal and the northeast in a four day program designed to foster the integration of history and contemporary art into one’s artistic practice.  We learned about accessing archives and special collections as well as the history of Rokeby, which was farmed and homesteaded for four generations by the Robinsons and was a stop on the underground railroad. We then were asked to write a proposal for an exhibition at Rokeby.

The idea of repair showed up for me and the more I thought about it the more it seemed to fit the history of Rokeby and their mission, while also being a contemporary issue that needs addressing. Repair is also something that I have practiced and worked on in many phases of my life both physically and psychologically. As you can maybe guess, my proposal was accepted and will be the show for the 2020 season at the Rokeby Museum.  I have spent the last six weeks steeped in work making monotypes, repairing objects, learning how to fix nets,chairs and rugs. There is still  much work to complete.

I am excited to announce that on Friday, March 13th, the New York Times will run an article about the Rokeby Museum and my exhibit in their special musem section.  This is a career first for me! A link to the article is: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/08/arts/rokeby-underground-railroad.html

There is also more about my show on the Rokeby Museum site at Rokeby.org under exhibitions > Mending Fences.  I will keep you updated with news as the show comes together.  I am also excited about the workshops and talks that are being programmed.

The exhibition will open in mid May. I will start to blog more regularly about this project and ere are a few working photos: IMG_1353.JPG

monotype with stitching detail


repaired porcelain bowl detail

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Dialogue II2018 Studio Show & Sale

Saturday, Nov. 17, 10 – 4 • Sunday, Nov. 18, 1 – 4

Carol MacDonald’s Studio, 614 Macrae Road, Colchester, VT 05446

The birds have been actively engaging in constructive conversation and dialogue in my studio this fall. Come for a sneak preview of this new body of work and visit some of your old favorites. Monoprints, Limited Edition Prints, Cards and Sketchbooks will be for sale.  10% of sales will benefit Frog Hollow.

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I have been interested in the iconography of the knit Pussy Hats that became a symbol of unity at the Women’s March. Hundreds of thousands of these hats were knit from a simple pattern that someone put up on the internet. Yarn stores ran out of pink yarn, and  the image continues to have power.

I chose the word PERSIST as a positive affirmation.  To continue firmly in the face of  opposition or difficulty, to be insistent, to endure and keep moving forward with our goals and dreams. It is a contradiction to giving up or putting ourselves aside for others.

PERSIST is my newest limited edition linoleum block print. It is available on my website and I will donate a percentage of profits to nonprofits that support women in moving forward in the world. Tell me what you think! How are you moving forward?


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Anatomy of a Print

Autumnal Orb

Autumnal Orb is the lead image for

Studio Sale 2015

Sat, Nov. 21 • 10 – 4 & Sun. Nov. 22 • 1-4 

614 Macrae Road, Colchester, VT. 802-862-9037 for more info.

Here is a sneak peak of how this limited edition print was made. I started with two printings of a linoleum block ,printing first with yellow and then rotating the block and over printing with a paynes gray mix to get this. FullSizeRender

I then inked and wiped two drypoint etching plates. One with orange ink and the other with a magenta.IMG_2168

I printed the orange etching plate first over the linoleum prints

stage 3 print

and then the magenta plate to make the initial image on this blog. Then I repeated this process over 40 times to create a final edition of 35 limited edition prints.

Come out to the studio and see where the work is made and what I have been up to artistically for the last year. best, Carol

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Exuberance I, Monotype by Carol MacDonald

Saturday, Dec. 6  10:00 – 4:00

Sunday, Dec. 7  1:00 – 4:00

 Please join me for some holiday cheer.

Shop for gifts and get a sneak peek at some of the new work that is rolling off my press! 

Monoprints, Limited Edition Prints,

Cards, Gift Tags, Sketchbook Journals,

Raku Clay Birds


  10% of all sales will be donated to Frog Hollow

614 Macrae Rd. Colchester, VT 

From Burlington: N. Champlain St. to Rt 127 N, at the 2nd light go right onto Macrae Rd. 1/2 mile on right.
From Exit 16: North on Rt 7; left on Blakely Rd, Straight on Lakeshore Dr; Left on Prim Rd; Left on Macrae Rd; 1/2 mile on right.

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I am pleased to be featured in this exhibit at Frog Hollow in Burlington, VT. I started playing the cello as an adult about 10 years ago and I love how the practice of music enriches my life on so many levels. This image has been used as the graphic for the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival.  The Festival is one of the high points of my summer.

Cello I


Poetry In Music

Frog Hollow Presents a Group Exhibition in Support of

The Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival

From Sculptors to Printmakers to Painters and Jewelers, Vermont artists were asked to respond to this year’s LCCMF theme Poetry in Music.

The result is a variety of unique responses by:

Carol MacDonald, Suzanne LeGault,
Judith Rey, Barbara Hoke, Lynn Rupe,
Denis Versweyveld, Irene Lederer LaCroix

Opening Reception
Thursday, July 31 from 6-8
Frog Hollow

185 Church St., Burlington, VT

Free and Open to the Public


The Frog Hollow exhibit is run in support of the festival and will run through the month of August. Throughout the month there will be opportunities to purchase tickets to the Festival. Frog Hollow will be hosting an informational tent on Church St. on August 2nd and 16th with festival representatives on hand to answer questions as well as mini concerts at 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm each day.


The Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival is a nine-day event running August 23 – 31 and will be exploring poetic music, both instrumental and vocal. The Festival will include four major concerts, two noon vocal recitals, two free solo Bach recitals, instrumental and chamber music classes, premiere of works by its Young Composer Seminar participants, three seminars on music, and a concert by the Festival’s Young Quartet-in-Residence.

The Festival has many opportunities to meet the artists, including pre-concert talks, post-concert Meet the Musicians discussions and post-concert receptions.  The Festival takes place at the Elley-Long Music Center at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT. Information available at www.lccmf.org

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Moss IV

Master printmaker Carol E.S. MacDonald focuses a fine eye on the interwoven world of knitting and how it’s sometimes tangled web mimics everyday life.

June 6 – 28, 2014

Opening Reception

Friday, June 6th from 6:30 – 8:30

Etui Fiber Arts

2016 Boston Post Road, Larchmont, NY 10538


Hours: Tues – Thurs 10-5 / Fri – Sat 10-4

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Spiritual Threads

Spiritual Threads.

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Pattern I

I am honored to install my work in the sanctuary of the Waterbury Congregational Church.

Art making is, for me, a form of spiritual practice. A way that I come into myself and make sense of the world and connect on a soul level to a greater purpose. So to have my work in this beautiful New England Meeting House brings the thread full circle! There are lovely stained glass windows whose designs play off the knitted stitches that I explore in my images.

I will speak tomorrow, March 30th at 10:00 during the service.

A reception will follow at 11:15 where I will speak again and be available for comments and questions. Please join us.

The work will be on display through April 30th.

The White Meeting House, 8 North Main St., Waterbury, VT.

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