Just Keep Swimming

With an entire day ahead of me in my studio this past Sunday, I started a painting inspired by our recent househounting venture.  We are just beginning our search and it is a daunting task to find that perfect place within the seventh largest city in America.  My concept is simple; the birds, perched outside a beautiful house, are looking for their place to belong.  The fish school above them in a dream, representing an ideal community.

My work for the past few years has been very illustrative, evolving from the first few drawings made during my Italian residency.   I enjoy the process of narrating these scenes of adventure, homecoming and love in saturated color and playful patterns.  Lately, I have been working a lot with acrylic paint; my job as a painting instructor inspires me to keep the spark alive in my own studio.

I documented my entire day, from first cup of coffee to last glass of wine, for my friend Ann.  She is an amazing artist living in Illinois, owner and blogger of A Beautiful Party.  She is starting a new feauture called "A Day in the Studio Life,' where she asks other artists to document a typical day in the studio-what our space is like, what we make, what we eat, what we get distracted by...

Below are a few highlights of the project I began for the feature, an acrylic painting on 12" x 12" x 2" cradleboard.  My husband paid me the biggest complement when he came in to check out what I was working on..."your painting looks like Lisa Frank's binder."  Yes.


Check out the first "A Day in the Studio Life" on Ann's blog, featuring Oklahoma artist Katy Seals!


A Midwest Visit with Kahlo, Rivera, Judd & Benton

We spent a wonderful Fourth of July weekend in Kansas City!  Steven's parents hosted a lovely post-wedding celebration with friends and family at their home.  My mother-in-law Joy set out vases filled with big sunflowers & decorated with a few of the papel picado flags I made for our wedding reception.  

On my first visit to KC with Steven, when we first began dating, he took me to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  It is in my top three favorite museums in the US, along with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Warhol in Pittsburgh.  We spent an afternoon in the Modern Mexico special exhibition.  All of the artwork in the show is part of the Gelman collection, which has an interesting history & was even hidden for a number of years due to questions of ownership.  There were a handful of self-portraits and still-life paintings by Frida, displayed alongside works by her husband Diego.  There was also an unfinished charcoal sketch of Frida's sister Christine by Rivera;  knowing his history with her sister made the piece hard to look at.  

The sculpture to the left is Large Stack by Donald Judd, 1968.  It is absolutely massive and I love it!  Sunlight pours in from above and the amber colored plexi casts a subtle tint on the walls.  
  On the final day of our visit, we drove past the home & studio of Thomas Hart Benton.  The Bower family has a link to this modern   
                                                  American artist, as Steven's Grandma was his secretary!