Monday, November 26, 2012

My Work/Live Studio Space in Pilsen

Installation view of "Houndstooth Series (orange loops, red squares and landscape)" with "Abstract Studies (purple) and (yellow)" in back corridor. "Untitled" painting and "figure study" on left by lamp.

"Houndstooth Series (blue bird)" and "Repurposed Failure Series"

I recently opened my studio as a planned 3 day event during a weekend in November. By the way, I am ALWAYS open by appointment. Just contact me by email at to set one up. Having this scheduled event gave me a chance to finish several projects and to do some much needed cleaning and organizing – oh joy!

I'm on an angle street somewhat off the beaten path, even though I am conveniently located very close to Chinatown and the South Loop. Angle streets are funny that way. There are no numbers on my building so I hung a battery operated wreath with multicolored lights on my front door.  Location marker and holiday decorating done in one fell swoop. I have much hope that the wreath will remain on my door throughout the holidays and not get swiped. This may be misplaced hope - but so far so good. It's such a friendly little guiding light. Who would ever steal something like that? Nobody I hope, but this is the city after all.

Smiley and Chukwu
The dogs got an invigorating and exhausting 3 day stint of "play and stay" at the kennel. They get boarded together in the same room and are crazy about going - every single time. Best Friends Pet Care sends me emails with pictures of them at playtime and a note about what a great time they are having. Their report cards this time indicated that Chukwu was hilarious and a social butterfly - that Smiley is an old soul - and that they are both champion eaters. Yep, that sounds about right.

"Sitting Cat 1 & 2" variable edition series

I had a really beautiful turnout for my open studio weekend and am so grateful for the generosity of support that I received through words and actions. Thank you to all who took time out of your very busy schedules to come and see me and in some cases purchase my work!

"Camp" on left, "Houndstooth Series (red purse)" in center and "Spring Dream" on right.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Acquisition News - Vanderbilt University

Installation View of "Abstract Study (lamp)", "Abstract Study (smoke and arrows)" and "Abstract Study (tree)"

I am happy to announce that Vanderbilt University's Finance Department just acquired several of my paintings and  mixed media collages. I'm really excited to be able to share these installation photos with you. So often I send my artwork out into the world and I never get to see it again in its new home. Receiving these images was a real treat and I feel proud of my babies! This is why I do what I do. It is my hope that these works will be edifying to their new family – enhancing the environment and fostering creativity. That's what artwork does for me and I hope that is what my art does for others. So many thanks to my Nashville art advisor for making this project possible.

Installation View of "Study 2", "Study 8" and "Study 13"

Installation View of "Tropical Landscape", "Twist", "Landscape", "Dark Landscape" and "Splash"

Installation View of "Nature Abstraction 1" and "Nature Abstraction 2"

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Chihuahua Makes it in the Picture

"Figure in Landscape with Dog" 2012, Oil on canvas, 26 1/2 x 64 1/2 framed size (framed in wood floater with silver leaf finish)


Cuteness Overload
Cuteness Overload

Exhibit A: The Site Visit
In early June of this year I met with my dog loving client and her hugely talented designer/architect to take a spin through my portfolio, view the location and discuss the ins and outs of this commission. I took measurements and photos. I took notes. I answered questions and gave assurances. While organizing my thoughts, notes and photographs I realized that I had captured a curled up bundle of furry cuteness sleeping on a bright orange blanket on the sofa back. This was a stroke of good fortune -- the Chihuahua was definitely going to make it into the painting. I did feel a little guilty however, as the Pug and Jack Russell Terrier just weren't in the right place at the right time.... such is life.

Sketch Studies

Exhibit B: The Sketch Studies
I created 3 digital sketches to start the ball rolling. I wanted my client to have several diverse and solid options for selection making. Options are good. Even better - I can and did at this point make several changes - mixing and matching elements and tweaking color. I think I went through 2 revisions in all before getting final approval on the 3rd image to the right. This took around 2 weeks - no big thing. 

Exhibit C: The Painting Process 
I wanted to keep my client updated as I made progress on the commission. I sent JPEGs and encouraged studio visits. This is what I calmly and affectionately refer to as the "DON'T FREAK OUT THIS IS JUST THE UNDER PAINTING" stage of development. I mean it - no freaking.

The Under Painting

Exhibit D: She is Finished Framed and Installed (anthropomorphizing of the painting object is optimal and in fact encouraged - enjoy!)

Installation View of "Figure in Landscape with Dog"

Installation View of "Figure in Landscape with Dog"

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Collage + Screen Print = Awesome

Untitled mock-up for mixed media screen print

I've been experimenting with different print processes to add another element to my mixed media work. I took a screen printing class this summer at the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative, which was kind of awesome. I am totally intrigued with the possibilities of this medium. On the left is a mock-up of my first project. I am collaging vinyl & patent wall covering material and screen printing over the top of it. This is going to be an edition piece. The green and pearl white areas are the patent material so they have a shine to them and the ink over the top is matte so there will be a nice push and pull between the different surfaces. I will be offering this piece as well as a few others from this series in my upcoming newsletter so please sign up for my list at the link below!

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dots are happening

"Abstract Study (tree)"

I go back and forth between working with all color all the time and practicing with a completely monochromatic palette. Sometimes I need to take color out of the equation to simplify my process and focus my thinking. I enjoy these limitations. Structural constraints paradoxically allow for more creativity and even an occasional breakthrough.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Artwork or To-Do List?

Yes, this is one of my to-do lists. It is utilitarian - if I want to get something done I have to write it down, end of story. But this configuration is also pleasing to my eye. I like the hodge-podge aspect of it and the really bad handwriting and the different colored inks and the overall contained messiness of it all. As I critique my to-do list, I realize that improvements could be made. For instance, incorporating different colored posties...or maybe adding some objects...and also a couple of small dog drawings...

FYI, The image you see on the iPad is a mock-up for a commission painting that I am currently working on. More updates on that later.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

I did it

"Spring Dream"

I finally launched my first "I'm out on my own and a full time working artist" email!  Check it out  here.

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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Newsletter

"Figure Study (high heels)"

The PS Art Projects inaugural newsletter is almost ready to fly! It will include new artworks and exciting special deals for my subscribers. On left is a preview of the new work. If you would like to receive my announcements please sign up via the below link.

On a different note, it is definitely springtime in Chicago - my allergies are at an all time high. I am thankful today for lots of benadryl and my neti pot. 

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Fresh Start

The first week in my new adventure began with a computer virus that devastated my system. Seemed like a bad omen. I was not happy. I had to set my computer back to its factory settings. Around a hundred and fifty windows updates later and with all my programs reinstalled I realized that I felt free. I was starting with a perfectly clean slate. Everything prior to last week had been cleared away. I now have room for a fresh start.

My studio is in a similar state. For a year I have been clearing every unused or unwanted object to make space for new work. This is not painless. I have attachments to these things. There is a reason I collected them in the first place. I look at an antique crutch or a cooler full of beeswax and am sure I will think of a brilliant way to use them. I had a five year rule - if I have not used the item in five years then I should get rid of it. After five years that turned into a ten year rule and so on. I do not like to be parted from my stuff. I have discovered, however, that accumulating clutter of any kind impedes my growth.

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

New in the Studio

"Study 12"
For the past 9 years I have been working a full time job and making my artwork at night and on the weekends. Most artists need to live this way to survive and after a while it's exhausting. Today I'm making a change to full-time artist. I am giving myself the gift of time. Time to focus on my art practice. Time to put my energy towards developing ideas. Time to grow. Time to find out where the work will take me next.

I'm an abstract painter and I love color, shape, and gestural mark making. Here we go!

For show announcements, studio news, special offers, and new work work previews.