Here is a new diptych, meaning partner pieces that will always be shown together. Diptychs can also be framed or otherwise physically linked together, too, but in this case I am framing them separately. These are mixed media pieces including sycamore leaves, methylcellulose, toner, and acrylic on artisanal handmade papers. The first paper is a very eco-friendly renewable dyed banana paper that I collaboratively made on a former residency in Peru, and the second is a handmade silk paper from Ato Menegazzo Papeles in Buenos Aires.
Here are two partner pieces I created to donate and install permanently in Buenos Aires after I leave with the help of BROTA! They are both mixed media pieces including acrylic, methylcellulose, toner, and marine varnish on a tree trunk cross-section, and will be diagonally mounted on wooden poles outdoors when installed. The institution that will host these works is yet to be determined. The two pieces are part of my Garden Memories series.
I’ve been working on two different series of artwork from the start using the new-to-me methylcellulose and chromatography papers, but both are very experimental and I’m not sure exactly what the finished products should even look like at this point. That’s why I’ve yet to reveal much in terms of production other than a couple early test images from the chromatography papers.
However, I started feeling anxious about how experimental I’m being - of course it’s good to experiment, but I wanted the comfort of completing a more traditionally “me” type of piece with a clear end point. Plus, I bought those artisanal handmade papers from Ato Menegazzo Papeles, and it would be a shame not to even work on some while here!
So while this isn’t the first artwork I’ve created here, it’s the first I am declaring finished! The painting is of a dwarf water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes. The common names in Spanish for this plant are (as per Wikipedia): jacinto de agua, flor de bora, camalote, aguapey, lechuguín, tarope, tarulla o reyna. I chose this plant in particular because I love how graphic and full of character it is, and the fact that it’s an aquatic plant means that the whole of the plant, including its root system, can be shown in a figure-ground relationship that also celebrates the handmade paper. Water hyacinth is an ornamental plant that is occasionally consumed and used medicinally, but is also highly invasive in warm climates and is often illegal to own or sell. An interesting dichotomy that inspired my current tentative title: Adrift.
Two of my pieces, Stool Pigeon and Street Smart, were selected for publication in Fearsome Critters Volume 2. Fearsome Critters is an arts journal originally founded in association with Northwest Missouri State University but now independently run.
I also don’t think I’ve yet shared that in December my oil pastel on panel Flight was chosen for Arkana’s Issue 5. Arkana is a magazine run out of the University of Central Arkansas. I had three or four publications come out all at once and I just realized that posting about Arkana accidentally fell through the cracks - until now!
Two of my pieces of artwork, Balancing Act and Camelflage, were selected at the end of November for inclusion in the Fall 2018 edition of the Tulane Review. I was waiting to post about it until I could share some pictures of the actual magazine since they mentioned sending me a contributor’s copy, but it’s been a little while without seeing it in the mail and I wanted to share the news so I’ll just update if/when I receive it!
Here’s some new artwork to kick off a new year! This piece was inspired by my encounter with two octopi on my last scuba dive this summer with Silviu in Arinaga while on residency at La Pedrada de Noemí. It’s pretty unusual to see the common octopus, Octopus vulgaris, out and about during the day as they are typically nocturnal predators, but it was a very windy day with a lot of churning water and that must have drawn them out.
I have titled this piece Catalyst. It is mixed media including QuickCure Clay, aquabord panel, acrylic, and QuickCure Glaze Coating. Catalyst is capable of being displayed on a pedestal or installed on a wall. It is 13.5x14.5x6.25".
If you’re curious about the sculptural process with QCC, here are a few photos I took along the way. The first two are still in the uncured, sculpting stage and the second two are post-curing but pre-painting. I was actually quite drawn to the piece in its unpainted state, but I had to paint the panel at the very least due to its own mixed media, multicolored composition so I decided to go ahead with painting the whole piece. I might do a different version at some point that’s completely monotone, though, since I liked that quite a lot too.
I’m pretty excited about this - my artwork will be in the upcoming Spring 2019 issue of The Penn Review! All work is blindly selected (submissions are explicitly not to include identifying information about the creator). The fact that I’m a Penn alumna does make me extra pleased, though!
More information to follow as the publication date nears!
When I began to paint Camelflage, I actually had envisioned a “white on white” concept. However, that painting rapidly began to change direction and I liked where it was going so I let it ride and am happy with how it turned out. I still wanted to paint my original idea, though, so I ordered the same panel size again for continuity and mirrored the camel for a little variation.
This is Dreamedary, acrylic on basswood panel, 12x12x1.5”.
I’m happy with how this turned out! Camelflage is acrylic on basswood panel, 12x12x1.5”.
I haven't actually added paint to this piece in a couple months, but I also hadn't decided it was done either. I'm finally willing to call it and say it's officially finished!
This piece is acrylic on birch panel, 20x10", and is titled Puffinry.
Here's a new painting I just finished; I started it during my La Pedrada de Noemi residency, but I didn't get a chance to finish it there so I've been working on it since arriving back home. It's actually the first painting I began while on residency, so given that you might wonder why it took so long to complete - the answer is that the support is an aluminum panel, and I've never worked on aluminum before. What I wanted to do on the aluminum kind of clashed with what the aluminum wanted me to do with it, so we had a prolonged battle. I didn't want to prime or even sand the aluminum, because I feel like the whole point of painting on aluminum is the luminosity of the material. But not priming it meant that the paint wouldn't evenly stick. I feel like I eventually came out the victor, though!
The painting is acrylic on aluminum panel, 18x14", and is titled Convergence. It features a luna moth (Actias luna) atop a barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo).
And another one - I've done a piece on a very similar frog in relief before (The Slightest Disturbance), and now here's a painting from a different angle of a marsh frog, Rana ridibunda and/or Pelophylax ridibundus, from the Jardín Botánico Canario Viera y Clavijo. This piece is acrylic on gessobord, 5x7", and is titled Comfort Zone.
Here's a portrait of a lagarto, the Gran Canaria giant lizard Gallotia stehlini! It's acrylic on aquabord, 12x16", titled Volcanic.
This piece is rather quiet, even though it features a loud subject - the Ornate Wrasse, Thalassoma pavo. I am particularly pleased with the background, which is in keeping with my overall style but also references the refraction patterns of the ocean. I also think this painting shows that though the Ornate Wrasse is brightly colored, it can blend in surprisingly well.
It is acrylic on pastelbord, 9x12", and I'm still wrestling with the title.
This acrylic on gessobord is quite small - only 5x7" - and purposefully awkward. To me it's simultaneously uncomfortable and amusing. The subject is a redlip or horseface blenny, Ophioblennius atlanticus. I'm titling it Stage Left. This painting also uses iridescent gold in both the background and the eyes, so it too is more arresting in person than in photo.
Here's the first finished piece of artwork from my residency! It features two Canary damselfish, Similiparma lurida and/or Abudefduf luridus. There are a lot of this species in the Zoco Negro where I went snorkeling and had my scuba diving "baptism." The males are territorial, and this species is occasionally called sergeant major (though the name more commonly applies to a different damselfish species). I've decided to name this painting Reconnaissance. It is acrylic on pastelbord, 11x14", and looks even nicer in person because the water and the eyes of the fish have iridescent silver and gold paint on them, respectively, and so they shine intensely depending on viewer angle and interior light levels.
Here are a few more photos from my Finding Light exhibition currently up in USM's Goppert Gallery! I'm taking photos in batches (it is very hard to get good photos in low-light settings, so I take some, see if I have any good ones, post, and repeat!). It's not hard to take photos of the non-interactive parts of the show, so I haven't been focusing on those just yet since it's more important to figure out the photography for the interactive pieces since they're so tough to capture! So first up - here are some additional photos of All That I See. The algae that is growing on the sculpture is a local species - I took water from USM's pond and have been cycling it and keeping it alive and flourishing for several months now within the sculpture's glass container.
I just completed a new piece of artwork - the second companion piece to Pilgrim. I had intended to do at least two from the start, but it took a while to find the studio time to devote to the second piece.
In this one, I wanted to achieve a real sense of depth in my relief without being cartoonish. My aim was to maintain the possibility of illusionism from some angles - particularly that of the shallower sections. With Pilgrim, there is a relatively shallow relief over the entirety of the sloth's body. In this new piece, the sloth's body contains an area that is solely painted with no relief at all and then extremely shallow through rather bold relief.
I'm considering titling this one Outreach. It's Quick Cure Clay and acrylic on basswood panel, 12x6x1.75", 2018. Due to the dimensions of the piece, it shows up quite large below; if you click on it though it will open up in an overlay that depending on your monitor and settings will probably be smaller and more of a gestalt.
Below you can see a couple in-progress photos of the relief work before I applied paint.
As part of a campus-wide interdisciplinary focus on social justice, immigration, and human rights, with events centering on on these topics will take place throughout the month of September, we in the Art Program brought A K M Jabed Rashel and Tajreen Shupti Akter to USM's Goppert Gallery with their show The Rashel's Immigration & Community Engagement Exhibition. Here's their press release!
If you're in the area, you should not only come and check it out but consider buying - all proceeds will be donated to the relief efforts supporting Rohingya refugees. The show will be up through October 6th.
I started this piece in Madrid at the Intercambiador ACART residency, but I unfortunately didn't have time to finish it there. So I've been working at it here at home, and recently finished it!
Greylag, acrylic on paper, 11.5 x 15.5".