Welcome, 2016

The holiday season is my time for reflection and clearing out cobwebs.

While sifting through my online images, I was pleased to find this blog entry by a poet who was inspired to write a poem based on one of my pictures during the exhibit in Hickory NC last summer. Here’s the link.

The Art of Poetry

Linda, my exhibit partner, and I are now thinking about how we could collaborate with written word artists in the future.

Trettin_Mountain Shaman



I’ve been working on my coloring calendar. It’s somewhat humbling, because I’m a better draftsperson than colorist, and I tend to favor black. I know of five friends who are madly coloring away, and I hope to have an on-line exhibit in the near future, just because the versions are all going to be so creatively different.

Here (above) are an image from The Obidian Interval, my illuminated novel, and another  of fantastic critters.

For the month of January, I  have a tiny blank book (1 ½ by 3 inches, 40 pages) that I work in each day, aiming to finish in time for an exhibit at Surface Gallery in Charleston SC the beginning of  February. Thirty nine artists plan to exhibit, and each one’s book will be entirely different from all the others.

Trettin_Black thoughts_1

Here’s the start to my book (above). As an exercise, I am using only negative-space cut outs from my Tyvek paper cuts. The book will be called “Black Thoughts.”

Lillian Trettin_Kids and Dogs

Kids and Dogs at the Beach

I am also starting a new series of papercuts. After living in the Lowcountry for over 20 years, I have finally discovered the barrier islands as a source of inspiration, primarily because of Edgar Allan Poe.


Lillian Trettin_Beach chair in Winter

Beach Chair in Winter

I work from photographs, my memories of many many trips to the beach at Sullivan’s Island, and also my fantasy that Edgar Allan Poe and some of his characters are lurking there, somewhere, during the “off” months.

Lillian Trettin_Beach with Dogs

Beach with Dogs (first cut)

Lillian Trettin_Beach with Dogs

Beach with Dogs in Black

A beachcomber and one of the dogs, above,  also appear in my narrative papercut,  “The Gold Bug.”  For some reason this is satisfying to me.


About Lillian-Trettin

I grew up in the Appalachian "Bible Belt" of East Tennessee in the southern United States, listening to banjo music and gospel lyrics as well as the Beatles. As a kid, I was curious about religious rituals like speaking in tongues and snake handling but resistant to the fundamentalist thinking they involved. Flannery O'Connor's tales of religious fanatics, con men, bigots, and the spiritually bereft or ambivalent resonate for me. Despite having traveled widely and lived in other places, I am (as so many Southerners claim to be) permanently "South haunted." I returned to making art full time in 2011, following a career as a teacher, researcher, and consultant and after raising two sons. I’m convinced the delay enriched rather than impeded my growth as an artist.
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1 Response to Welcome, 2016

  1. Marley says:

    I absolutely love the negative-space cuts, and the source of inspiration is intriguing. I cannot wait to see more!

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