SOMA Artists Studio Tour

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!

Spring Odds and Ends

South Orange Maplewood Studio Tour It is hard to believe that it is nearly time for the Studio Tour! The 10th Annual South Orange Maplewood Studio Tour is happening from 11 AM - 5 PM on Sunday, June 2ndThe event is free and my studio will be one of many open to the public. It is a fantastic event and a fun, art-filled way to spend the day. If you are in the area, please come by, say hello and see my studio and new drawings!

Courtesy of the SOMA Studio Tour, here is a short video interview with me talking about my self-portraits and being a part of the South Orange – Maplewood arts community: More artist videos and information about the tour can be seen at the studio tour website.



INDA 7, Manifest Gallery’s drawing annual is now available. I just received my copy in the mail and it is a beautiful book. My image Coelacanth is one of 126 works included in this edition. (I was excited to find out that I will also have a drawing included in next year’s INDA 8!)


Last, but not least…TEDxUGA

I was invited to participate in TEDxUGA – an independently organized TED event at the University of Georgia (my alma mater in my beloved hometown of Athens, GA). My video from the event has been posted here.  Every presenter had such vibrant ideas to share; there was energy from simply being in the room during the presentations that was inspiring! I recommend attending a TEDx if you have the opportunity.

I feel somehow centered and refocused right now, when I had been feeling a bit adrift a few months ago. I came home after TEDx and started a new drawing the next day – impulsively and ardently - and I am thrilled about what I am working on in the studio. I am nearly finished with this new self-portrait drawing – I should be able to post a picture sometime next week.

And, after nearly a year of on-and-off working on a large drawing (my 5 x 3 foot “Sybil”), this will likely be done within a month or so, too. This piece has been difficult, not only for technical demands, but because something was lacking. I have really been passionate about the idea since the beginning, however the drawing felt unresolved until last week: while discussing the piece with a fellow artist/mentor, the solution came to me in such an Aha-Erlebnis! moment that it took me by surprise. Now, I cannot wait for this one to be done, too! 

One thing at a time, though…and the studio has to be clean and ready for the studio tour which is only about three weeks away…


Virtual Studio Tour 2012

The 2012 South Orange Maplewood Studio a day.  It took me all of Monday to recover.  Someone mentioned to me that it had to be a sort of studio tour zeitgeist, someone else mentioned that it had to be the fact that the studio tour was free; regardless, there was a steady stream of visitors (the usual crowd of regional artists, neighbors and art enthusiasts, plus over 50 people that I did not know).  I think I was a bit loopy by the end: explaining materials and techniques I can do by rote, but explaining why or where the ideas come from is more difficult - particularly when it is never exactly the same question - and 6 hours of thinking on my toes is exhausting.  But, I have to say that this year brought a lot of really serious art enthusiasts with good questions and a high level of interest, so the day was fantastic.  And, the studio tour always reinforces the fact that I love where I live. Okay, enough of my are the pics for the 2012 Virtual Studio Tour.

The newly designed yard signs (to coordinate with the newly designed studio tour website):

In my entry way are the gold leaf portraits of my sons (the one above the cabinet is of my youngest son; the other drawing that hangs to the immediate right is not photographed here) and the drawing on the floor to the left is an older work titled The Ultimate Risk:

My studio is on the first floor of my home and for the studio tour I also take over the living room and my husband's record collection room (also on the first floor)...first up are the Strange Tales on the left wall of the living room, then a view of the whole living room with (l-r) the gold leaf drawing Fourteen, and the graphite drawings Coelacanths, and The Vigil:

And, to the immediate right in this room is the drawing Cottonmouth and Magnolia and my print bin (just out of camera shot on bottom left):

The record room was for the bigger pieces, including the four-part drawing Snowblind that I only recently framed...I have never used white for the big drawings, but these had to be white on white for the glacial, frigid feel:

The newest large-scale drawing, titled Home (The Sleep of Reason):

And there I am:

And onward to the is dark in this pic because I had to wait until evening to take a photo (there is a lot of natural light from the windows that makes the day photos too glaring):

The drawing currently in progress (approximately 5 x 3 feet):

The drawing taboret:

My art bookcase and studio curio shelf:

Before and after clean up pics...the Studio Tour compels me to put stuff away:

So, that ends the 2012 Virtual Studio Tour and it is now time to get back to drawing in my studio. Which means I have to [quickly] get my studio messy again so it feels just right for drawing...and that last thought brings to mind the White Stripes' Little Room:

Odds, Ends, and Strange Tale #32

Kickin' it old in 15th century old school... I now have my newest series of paintings and drawings on my website. These are works that are based in the botanical illustrations of the 16th and 17th centuries, but with a sexualized twist: certainly not suitable for all viewers, the Botanicae Amatorius are both erotic and humorous (granted, I have a dark sense of humor). The final paintings are done with gouache on calfskin parchment that has been stretched onto birch board: the calfskin is an exquisite surface for gouache - similar to the vellum used in 14th and 15th century manuscript pieces.  Vellum, to be technical, is the skin from a stillborn calf, and it is available -  but very expensive.  The calfskin is similar, with a few more flaws on the surface (which I like), still a bit pricey, but not so rare to come by and most specialty calligraphy supply outlets have it available.  I always gripe about reproductions, but I scanned the images on the site directly from the paintings and they are fairly accurate as far as color.  What is lost is the subtle depth of space created by the calfskin - the gouache sits on the surface and light reflects through the layers of skin making the gouache quite luminous (the pigment does not sink into the surface like it would on paper). I recommend the calfskin highly for gouache aficionados; some of the most beautiful works of art, from the Book of Kells to Albrecht Dürer's studies were executed on vellum - not a medium to be missed (I will write more about the botanical artists at a later date - the juncture of science and art is a passion of mine).

If you are interested in seeing the new paintings and drawings, click the link below:

Quite a busy month ahead (aren't they all):

In conjunction with the South Orange Maplewood Studio Tour, the Pierro Gallery is holding its Preview / Post View exhibit.  The opening is on Thursday, May 24th from 6 - 8 PM.  Speaking of gouache, in the Preview / Post View, I will be showing a painting that I rarely exhibit:

Ah yes, this one is on paper, not as luminous as the calfskin pieces, but a little jewel of a painting nonetheless.

The studio tour is on Sunday, June 3rd, from 11 AM - 5 PM; everyone is welcome to attend and this year the tour is free...not a bad deal for seeing 60+ artists in their studios.

Still Drawing...

In the studio, I have started my first of two (maybe three) sybils:

This will be a 5 x 3 foot pencil drawing, the figure is slightly smaller than life size.

Last, but not least...

The latest Strange Tale, pencil on Moleskine sketch paper, 5.5 x 7 inches (this is on a double page of a smaller Moleskine sketchbook):

The Sisters and the Serpent

As always, the jpeg reproduction is on the flickr stream as well.  For the studio tour, I am finishing up 5 of these that have been patiently waiting to emerge, and I will post them as they are completed.

Virtual Studio Tour 2011

The SOMA studio tour was quite enjoyable this year - thanks to all who made it out last Sunday to say hello and look at my new drawings, as well as visit the rest of the artists on the tour. It really is an annual reminder of how thankful I am to be in a community with such support for the arts.  There were a lot of new (to me) visitors, and some of the familiar faces who make it out to do the tour nearly every year.  This year's virtual studio tour is below (2009 is here and 2010 is here). 


Well, that is all for the virtual studio tour 2011.  On the agenda this week is to get the next piece finished (the work in progress above - this involves gold leaf, pencil, watercolor, and garnet and peridot beads).  Next up on the drawing board is to start the 4 x 6 foot drawing using the War Paint portraits  - over a year in the planning and making - it is finally time to get it all pieced together.