Strange Tales From My Little Black Book

Artwork in progress, studio mishaps, and a Strange Tale

So… after months of drawing, painting, sewing, and beading, I am happy to be nearing the end of my current drawing with only a few milliliters of blood here and there (thanks to sewing needles and X-actos), and only one major mishap.  For the most part, it has come together beautifully…. Ah, the best laid plans of mice and men. Apparently, paper is not always as predictable as I want it to be and can have a mind of its own, so one of the last steps of my drawing fell to pieces – or, rather, it did not work as well as it should have, so I tore it to pieces – and I had to rethink on my feet.  Fortunately, my two favorite studio pastimes are 1) drawing and 2) figuring out a problem, so the mishap turned into a breakthrough.

I am really enjoying the process of finishing this piece, but I am resisting the urge to post full pictures until the piece is done (there could always be another mishap).  In the meantime, here are some snapshots of the beading and stitching throughout parts of the drawing (click to see these pictures larger):





The good thing about working with paper is that if my current solution does not work, I can always tear it apart and start again.


The False Mirror show at Artworks in Trenton continues through this Saturday, February 22. Here is a review of the show.


And, lastly, a Strange Tale that was completed in December, "Equinox" graphite on Moleskine sketch paper, 8.25 x 10.5 inches:



The higher quality jpeg is on flickr.

Well, here’s to the prospect of finishing a drawing and being very thankful that I do not work under deadlines…hopefully I will be posting the completed drawing soon.

Lead and Leaf

The end of summer is approaching - so time for a quick studio update!

I will be exhibiting work at the McGraw Gallery at Newark Academy during the month of September:


The reception is Thursday, September 12 from 6 - 7:30 PM

More details are on the Newark Academy website.


I have been busy in the studio this summer and a trip to the art photographer is scheduled for next week, so new work will be posted soon! A quick detail view of one of the pieces that I will have photographed next week:

"Selfie (We Create Our Own Mythologies)"


Detail snapshot of "Selfie (We Create Our Own Mythologies)" graphite, acrylic, color pencil, and gold leaf on paper 30 x 22 inches

My snapshots of the two most recently completed works are a bit lousy - thanks to the highly reflective gold leaf on both drawings - so I will wait to post the finished pieces until I have nice photos available.

For now, here are a couple of new Strange Tales ...

Strange Tale #40: Dancing With The Ever-Elusive Muse

Pencil and glass beads on Moleskine sketchbook paper, stitched onto Arches hot press, 10 x 10 inches (a much better flickr view is here)


Strange Tale #41: The Snake Charmer Realized That She Had Met Her Match

Pencil and glass beads on Moleskine sketchbook paper, stitched onto Arches hot press, 10 x 8 inches (a much better flickr view is here)



Strange Tales #37, #38, and #39

The South Orange Maplewood Artists Studio Tour is a little over a week away and I am just starting to organize and prepare some of the pieces that I will have on display. In addition to drawings completed over the past year, I will also have current works in progress, giclée prints of many of my drawings, and an assortment of my sketchbook drawings.  Here are a few of my recently completed Strange Tales sketchbook drawings:

Strange Tale #37: Theodora kept her wicked words precariously balanced at the tip of her tongue

Pencil on Moleskine sketch paper, 5.25 x 3 inches (For the flickr view click here.)


Strange Tale #38: She Could Think of Ten Reasons to Celebrate

Pencil and glass beads on Moleskine sketchbook paper, stitched onto  Arches hot press paper, 8.75 x 8.75 inches. (For the flickr view click here.)

This drawing will be part of TEN: The Soul of SOMA, a group installation piece by artists who have participated in the South Orange & Maplewood studio tour. This will be on display at the Pierro Gallery in South Orange as part of SOMA: Engaging Art, which runs from May 23 – June 22.  The gallery opening for this event is this evening, Thursday, May 23, from 7 - 9 PM.



Strange Tale #39: The Death of an Artist (for A.)

Pencil and glass beads on Moleskine sketchbook paper, stitched onto Arches hot press, 14 x 12 inches. (For the flickr view click here.)



The 10th Annual South Orange Maplewood Artists Studio Tour is Sunday, June 2nd, from 11 AM – 5 PM. This self-guided tour is free and open to the public. A map, as well as more information about the event is available at the Studio Tour website. If you are in the area, drop by and say hello!

Strange Tales From My Little Black Book #36

A new Strange Tale is finished; this one is in pencil on Moleskine sketchbook paper (with stitching at the fold), 8.25 x 10.5 inches. Strange Tale #36: Later that evening, she found herself entangled within her own creation

Later that evening, she found herself entangled within her own creation

The flickr version (always much nicer detail) is here.


The catalog for the Beautifully Strange exhibition that will be opening in late March is now available for presale.  Profiles on artists in the show and details about purchasing the catalog are here.

Still drawing...a studio update

Still drawing… Generally, if I am not blogging it is because I am fully engaged with my studio work and not stepping back to process and reflect. It is a good place to be creatively, but in the virtual world, it looks like I have dropped off the planet. In fact, I think my feedburner does not even recognize me anymore.

So, in a meager attempt to nurture a virtual presence, a little studio update is in order:

For the first time in ages, I am working on four simultaneous pieces; the large 5 x 3 foot Sybil, plus three smaller pieces (around 18 x 24). I have spent most of the summer on the Sybil and have completed the figure:

This piece also involves drawing a typewriter and for a reference I am using a 1930s Remington that belonged to my great aunt Sara during her WWII typing years. Oh, typewriter, in you I have met my drawing match: mechanical objects are not my passion – I can draw fabric and veins without much effort, but the angles and planes of the typewriter are a nice new challenge:

In addition to the Sybil, I have three smaller drawings that I want to have completed by November for a show scheduled for early next year. Pragmatic thinking about the time that would be involved for finishing the Sybil made me realize that I had to put her aside for a while. I have at least 200 more hours of drawing ahead on that piece (perhaps more…I seem to be drawing slower and slower as time goes by). Oh, just as well…

The three smaller drawings are based on Strange Tales from earlier this year (one of which is still unfinished). For the most part, I consider the Strange Tales terminal pieces and not studies: these are sketch ideas that were never intended as larger drawings, rather ideas that were interesting enough to engage me so I fleshed them out into little sketchbook drawings. But, something about these three Strange Tales compelled me to make them bigger, each of them embodying a mystical southern quality that harks back to my love of narrative. Plus, I want more detail and refinement and a larger scale so I can embellish them with gold leaf and beading. The first is Leora which now has its gold leaf and is ready for beading:

The second is based on Beatrice, still in progress:

And, at some point in the next month, I will start the third…detail pictures to come as that one is underway.

Oh, and here are my beads - laid out and ready for stitching into the separate drawings (each drawing will have slightly different beadwork):

(Needless to say, I have a nice little stash of beads left over after finishing each of the beaded drawings, so I have taken up beading necklaces with the excess.)

Although I am eager to work on the large Sybil drawing, I don’t mind having a more attainable sense gratification from finishing a few smaller pieces in the span of 4 - 5 months, particularly since over half of 2011 and a fair chunk of 2012 was spent on one drawing.

As stated in my favorite out-of-context line of poetry: “art is long and time is fleeting…” (with sincere apologies to Longfellow for hijacking of original intent).