Astra Velum

Beauty is only skin deep. But ah! me; freckles go to the bone.
~Mark Twain


April, a freckled woman in this series, told me a story from her childhood: One day after playing outside, her grandmother asked her to go wash up. She went to the bathroom and did so, but grandma wasn’t satisfied. “Your face isn’t clean! Go scrub it some more!” The young girl was distraught, for all that was left on her skin were her freckles, and no amount of scrubbing would make them go away.

In a world that flaunts flawlessness as the ideal, can we find real beauty in the blemishes?  More than once, while photographing for this series, women thanked me for making something beautiful out of what they often viewed as an imperfection.

At its essence, Astra Velum explores the beauty of flawed human skin, with its freckles and scars, overlaid upon us like a thin veil of stars.


This series is hand-printed by the artist as a limited edition set of photogravures with a chin collé of Japanese paper. As Melanie McWhorter of Photo-Eye Books wrote, “These lovely, luminescent, one-of-a-kind prints really must be seen to be appreciated.” For a better understanding of the process of photogravure, my specific process in creating these unique prints, an artist statement, and more information about the limited edition portfolio, read this PDF: Astra Velum Introduction.

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Individual prints are available, in a limited edition of 30 per image, at $900 each.  Prints are on 11×14 Rives BFK with the image approximately 6×8″.  Purchase now.

Astra Velum is also available as a limited-edition portfolio of 12 photogravures, in a custom clamshell box, at $5500. The portfolio is limited to an edition of 12. (Learn more about it here.) Pricing for both the portfolio and prints escalate as the edition sells out.   Purchase now.

View the new limited edition artist book of the Astra Velum series here.