Blog

 

A Blue Motel

Zion, Utah. Monumental. Magnificent. Magical. Lofty words woefully insufficient to describe the landscape surrounding me. Rich bands of burnt orange, pink, and yellow reveal the architecture of time, weather, and water. In the cracks and along ridge tops, feisty bands of green define contours like stripes on a zebra. Every quarter mile or so, I […]

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The Color Pink

What do you think about pink? It gets mixed reviews. Some regard it as sickeningly sweet and associated with Pepto Bismol, princesses, ballerinas, and Barbie dolls. On the other hand, it’s bright, playful, and upbeat. Too much could drive a person mad, while the right amount makes us smile. Maybe it’s all about proportion. I’m […]

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About a Mural

What so special about a mural? It’s not decisions regarding color or line—those are the same as in a traditional painting. The rules of composition remain constant—creating an eye path, establishing focal points, addressing the edges, distribution of light. Similar tools are employed: paint, brushes, rags, gloves, mixing knives. So what’s different? Your first guess […]

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Art in a Time of Anxiety

Above: “The GOP” 2017 The most profound lesson I learned in studying art history, is that art reflects the time in which it is made. It speaks to popular culture, economic shifts, historic events, and political winds. Art is not created in a vacuum, nor is it contained within studio or gallery walls. Artists often […]

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About Drawing

I sat cross legged on the studio floor surrounded by drawings. Whenever I begin a new cycle of work, I sort through the “stacks” to check in on current pursuits, search for inspiration, and revisit the good old days. While reviewing hundreds of drawings, it suddenly hit me just how profoundly these works on paper […]

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What’s in a Studio?

A few days ago, I moved into a new studio. Before my arrival, the space was entirely devoid of furniture, not to mention signs of life. The floor lay bare, the walls barren. Any muses lingering in the vicinity remained silent. But not for long. By the end of the first day, chaos ensued. Paints, […]

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Studio dream (nightmare)

  I had my first studio nightmare. Panic-inducing dreams usually come in the form of being the student who forgot to go to class or a teacher who neglected to write the final exam. Other variations include the actress who didn’t study her lines and the harried waitress who lost all the orders in a restaurant […]

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The Devil in the Details

“Shrine” oil on canvas 36″x 60″ Twelve days from now, my paintings will be rolled up and stashed in the belly of an airplane. Traveling from Thailand to the US, our arrival gets us in on July 3rd, just in time for fireworks. Unlike me, the paintings will not suffer jet lag or need adjusting to […]

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Scheduling Inspiration

The countdown has seriously begun. For the past eight months, I’ve been creating new work for a solo exhibit scheduled for September. While that might seem a long way off, believe me, it’s not. I have 23 workdays left, excluding Sundays. There are 7 blank canvases in the studio, 5 pieces in the middle stage, 17 […]

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On Posting Work in Progress: why the heck not?

Recently, I came across a web article dealing with the pros and cons of posting “work in progress” or WIP. Aside from piquing my interest in how acronyms are designated, and who decides, I was quite interested in the topic. After all, I’ve made it my mission to post my own work in progress over […]

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Changes

“The whole must be greater than the sum of the parts”  -Herman Keys What do you do when you’re attached to a painting in progress, but know it’s got problems? Like having a bad friend or troubled child, you might be tempted to overlook the flaws, perhaps even feel a greater affection because of them. […]

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Making a Racket

The studio is getting noisy. Paintings lay on the floor, lean against walls, chattering to each other. And to me. Today’s chosen one, propped up on the bamboo chair/easel, holds court in the designated place of honor. Sketches, tacked up with painter’s tape and fluttering with the movement of the ceiling fan, lend voices to the choir. Or […]

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Brushstroke

It may take hours, sometimes days. But eventually, it kicks in. The painting is wet, alive. Perfume of linseed oil and pigment waft up from the palette where mature, complex colors await my bidding. The body warm, the dance underway, I approach the canvas with the precision a samurai.

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Permission

Without knowing the outcome, the painting begins. A general idea is helpful. In this case, I work from a drawing, an image too tall for a single piece of paper, so I used two. Greenery spirals upward amidst blocks of orange, blue gray, and what I’ve dubbed dirty white. With permission, my brush skates around the arena […]

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Going Through a Phase: a painting process

“A work of art is the trace of a magnificent struggle” -Robert Henri   Phase one: the honeymoon The blank canvas. Empty. Stark. Daunting. It’s got a bad reputation, but honestly, we’re good. I show it who’s boss with a single stroke of Egyptian violet. My brush sambas across the surface, loaded with loose and drippy paint, […]

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Fragile: Work in Progress

A friend of mine asked to visit the studio. I said no. I feel protective of the work right now. Drawings scattered on the floor form an obstacle course of images. The chosen ones are stuck to the wall with a bit of blue tape, their edges curling towards me as if in need of […]

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Searching for Subject Matter

“It’s not what you paint. It’s how you paint it.” -Helen Van Wyk There’s truth in that statement. Van Gogh transformed worn leather and scruffy boot laces into swirling masses of sensual paint, playful silhouettes backlit by a golden field. Pop artist, Wayne Thiebaud, chose pastry as his motif, laying down luscious impasto, thick as frosting. Mark Rothko gave us fields […]

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Freedom Within a Harness: A Studio in Chiang Mai

“When you’re in the studio painting, there are a lot of people in there with you – your teachers, friends, painters from history, critics… and one by one if you’re really painting, they walk out. And if you’re really painting YOU walk out.” -Phillip Guston My newly acquired space, a studio apartment, minus the bed […]

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GPS

We stared at the blue dot pulsating on the GPS. Oh. There we are. Not helpful at all. Distrustful of navigational systems, I’ve witnessed first hand the blind trust of others leading to construction sites and impassable brick walls. It’s especially annoying when they talk, rudely interrupting human conversation, reminding the driver to turn right […]

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Chedi at Wat Pan Tao

  “Chedi at Wat Pan Tao” size, mixed media,* 28″ x 42′ The pra chedi of Wat Pan Tao was under repair. Bamboo scaffolding echoed its elegant shape pointing up to the heavens. From around the corner, the chedi appeared unexpectedly, towering over buildings and businesses. It was my favorite view. I returned to the […]

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About Nancy: How to fix a drawing

The evening proved lively: wine and appetizers on the patio, playing badminton in our cocktail dresses, dinner, and then drawing. In her studio/office/workout space, Nancy and I crouched on the floor, sketching ourselves in the mirror. My piece started out fine, but soon ran into trouble. For me, drawing balances wild abandon with careful consideration. Without some measure […]

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Website Revamp

Hello dear friends! I’ve been busy revamping the website and am ready to share it with the world. It is a work in progress and new images are being added daily. Stay tuned and keep in touch! Ta Da!! (you are here) Old Site! Please join me in a virtual celebration and wander through the galleries. […]

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Black Dress: A tale of two paintings

Standing amidst the guests at the art gallery, I felt criminal. Everyone had received an invitation – a 4 x 6 inch color postcard featuring my painting, Black Dress. Ordinarily this is considered an honor, but there was a slight problem. The painting hanging on the wall was an imposter. Is it technically a forgery […]

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The Old and New

In Thailand, the old and the new are layered like a patchwork quilt. Many days I passed this scene, at scooter speed, failing to notice the northern Thai dwelling hidden between more contemporary elements: hotel, water tower, fence. A magnificent drawing challenge, I crouched in the shade across the road, head bobbing up and down, […]

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How to Hold a Pencil

“A drawing is simply a line going for a walk”-
Paul Klee Why this lesson? You already know how to hold a pencil right?  Maybe not. Holding a pencil to draw is not the same as if you are writing. It is important to re-evaluate how you hold your pencil and learn some new strategies. When you hold […]

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In the Mirror: Portraits of Place and Self

  Time was running out and I had a mission. Positioning myself across from the long mirror covering the wardrobe, I examined the finite universe within its borders. The reflection showed a slice of doorway on the right, curtains over windows, a framed picture hung on the wall, and me. At the bottom, a night […]

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Bowing at the Shan Temple

  Bowing at the Shan Temple I hadn’t planned on drawing today; there were too many other things on the agenda. But it called me, the city so inviting, my body longing for the physical. Lately I’d been spending far too many hours in front of the computer.  Stuffing my pack with art supplies, folding stool, […]

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Announcing the Henry J. Williams Residency of Writing

The selected writer will be provided a spacious workroom, desk, chair, computer, and other writing tools. There is access to a full kitchen as well as sleeping place. In the surrounding neighborhood, there are numerous restaurants, as well as cheap massage parlors. Terms of Residency: write full time for 30 days and see what you […]

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Atlantic City

Note from Amy: The following is an excerpt from my memoir, “Honey.” Mother had given me the precious photograph, and I lost it. Many things disappear from the life of a gypsy. Mother remarked she had used up an entire page of her address book just for me. The photograph was long gone. Maybe that’s why the image […]

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Vegetable Vendor at Warorot

Note from Amy:  My piece of writing “The Little Burmese Tout in Training,” was published online just a few days ago. Check it out! http://www.yourlifeisatrip.com/home/the-little-burmese-tout-in-training.html She sat in a nest of vegetables, her white hair tied up in a bun at the very center. Peering down at her from my spot on the second floor, […]

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