Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hot Summer

Well, it's not too hot yet here in Georgia, but things are heating up.  We have had some beautiful days of temps in the low 80s with a gently cooling breeze.  This photograph of the sun was from an afternoon of pic-nic-ing with Ian at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia after a long lie in the grass and getting a wee little sunburn.

It has been a productive month in the studio.  The month has been solid painting, exercising (running, swimming, visits to the Y) and a few social outings sprinkled in here and there.  It has been a very nice break from teaching and am feeling recharged for teaching this summer semester, which commenced Friday.   

A number of 20-50" paintings are in the works  (and a forthcoming show at GIFA in February 2013...details to come).  Playing around with thicker paint and a palette knife, just for kicks.  Hey, it's summer.  Feels like time to experiment.

A recent project (also on the playful side) is this skate board deck that I painted for a show titled "The Board Room" which is opening Thursday night June 14 from 6:30-9:30pm.  The walls will be "boarded up" with 55 skate decks, each individually imagined and hand-painted by local artists.  The show takes place at our Hotel Indigo Art Gallery in Athens.  Curated by Didi Dunphy, this gallery has an ongoing lineup of lively, beautifully curated, thoughtful shows featuring many local Athens artists, is open 24 hours so you can see art whenever you want!  

Of course, I painted the main design on the seemed a logical place for a design to go....can you tell that I have never been much of a skater?  Or does this count; a brief stint at age 7 where my "Joe Cool" Snoopy board (won at a Chucky Cheese) attempted our gravel driveway at my family's Ohio farm house? Ya, I didn't think so.

Happy summer to you!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bike Race, Indie Craft & April Flowers

It's one on my favorite weekends in Athens, Georgia.  Tonight is the big pro-cycling race, The Twilight Criterium!  People will be gathered by the thousands in our vibrant downtown, being merry and feeling the wind from a swoosh of cyclists going by as the racers circle our downtown blocks the distance of 80K.  I think that is nearly 80 laps!  The big race begins at 9p.m.

The other thing happening is The Athens Indie Craftstraveganzaa spring market!  This bi-yearly market of hand-made wares is in its 5th year and it is sure to be a good one.  With nearly 40 vendors, it is an intimately-scaled market with lots of variety.  Check out booths like this one: Rachel Pepper's KiNFLY Design.

And lastly, tomorrow, I will be installing a show of new paintings at one of my favorite places to get a really nice meal, Heirloom Cafe and Market.  The show is titled: "April Flowers."  You can expect to see vibrantly filled canvases of flowers and a few, more abstract surprises.  The show will be up through May 26th.

Oh, and, my website is now updated!  It is re-organized for (hopefully) easier navigation and tighter presentation of my different series of works.  It includes a number of new recent paintings and drawings, such as watercolors, like this one:

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Art Cake!

Check it out, a feature on my paintings just went live on The Art Cake blog.  If you haven't visited this blog before, it is fantastic!  Christi from Portland, Oregon keeps us up to date on great art and design finds.  I have been enjoying following Christi on her art finding adventures and am so appreciative and honored to her for featuring my work here.  Thank you to The Art Cake!!  Feel free to share away!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Art Arrived in the Mail

I am excited to share my first Etsy purchase with you.  It is hard to believe I have been working on my Etsy shop for about eight months and have not bought anything until now (all that intensive ballet class I grew up doing, if it taught me anything, it taught me discipline!).  But, it has finally happened, I have finally made a purchase!

There are sooo many wonderful artists and makers on Etsy, it can be overwhelming (in a most truly wonderful way!).  I made a deal with myself that I would save money earned on Etsy (as tempting as it can be to spend it as soon as I make it, like the time in college when I worked at a book store, hmm, enough said).

Like many artists on a tight budget, naturally I would love to buy something, then don't because I probably just bought a $20 tube of paint, right?! and then have probably just ran out of Cadmium Yellow.  And then Cobalt Teal.  You get the picture.

So the other day, I was reading the Etsy blog and came across a Fresh Shops feature on this wonderful new shop: Totem Color Blocks!  Look...

Immediately, I must admit, I was hooked, taken in by the inviting photos of these darling structural neckpieces.  Drawn in by their minimal form and elegant, yet simple color palette, they shouted at me with their wonderfully coordinated hand-painted hues.

Then I read a little more about these charming wooden blocks in an interview of their maker, Pamela Foeckler, from California, who worked as an art conservator.  She states:

"The titles for my pieces are mostly dramatic landscapes.  I take an image and distill it down to the most elemental colors.  It's a reductive process, but it helps me absorb and understand the true beauty of a place."

which she learned from her experiences painting museum objects, "breaking down complicated colors and patterns into their essential components."

Read more about these wearable structures on this Etsy Fresh Shop Feature:

...and, here is a peek at my new favorite piece of wearable art!  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Artist Feature: Stephanie Pierce

I love this painting by Stephanie Pierce whom I found on  Here is an interview of her by Neil Plotkin featured on the blog Painting Perceptions:commentary on perceptual painting, moderated by artist, Larry Groff , a landscape painter out of San Diego.  Stephanie talks about the impact of location on her work, her process of painting, and shifting perspective.  Good stuff!

The longer I look, the more I am completely blown away by her paintings!  As I gaze I feel I can take a breath in the space she presents us with (and I am imagining how much more incredible this experience would be in person).  Her ability to depict the atmospheric conditions of a room and the way she captures the shifting light within a space as a day flutters by, is what, to me, makes these so remarkable.    

Pierce's paintings are really something special.  Of course, many others have taken notice.  You can see and read more about Stephanie and her work on her website and on other blogs too, like this one, Arrested Motion.  

Monday, April 2, 2012


This past weekend, I had the urge to paint flowers.  Every now and then, I enjoy painting from observation and today was the day to give myself permission to do something that I don't normally do.  I am approaching these as quick, one-day paintings.  This is number two in (what maybe) a new series.  What do you make when you change up what you're doing in the studio?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

In the works...

March has been a really productive month in the studio.  This spring I have been feeling very settled into my (relatively) new space located in the Chase Street Park Warehouses in Athens, Georgia.  Here is a peek at what has been going on in there lately... 

I currently have about 30 canvases going,  all at different stages of progress, and am bouncing in between all of them, working them up together.  I have found this way of working to suit me best.  This way, the paintings all feed off one another and if I get an idea for a new painting in the midst of painting, I have a place to immediately get the idea down.   

It has been serious fun painting this past month.  Color has been a primary area of focus, trying to explore new color relationships and challenge my palette.  

I have also recently discovered the beauty of mining through older work for new source material.  This process has lead to my recent series of watercolor paintings, of paintings.  The above is one made recently based on this painting:

Right now, I am getting ready to hang new work at our Athens local Heirloom Cafe (LOVE their FOOD! If you haven't eaten there yet, eat there soon!!).  Paintings will go up in early May.  More details to come!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Five Artists for Friday

Greetings!  Thursday nights are always a favorite night of the week.  Tonight, it was a little jog in this beautiful weather, watching 30 Rock, take-out from Chengo's Noodle House, and looking forward to a long weekend in the studio.  Also, Thursday's mean a little down time to look at art online.  Here are some things I have been looking at this week...

"The Cape" 
60x60 cm 
mixed media on canvas

"Hole V"
5 ' x 6'
oil on canvas

"A Few Hours of Sunlight"
Acrylic on Canvas

"It All Relates"
Acrylic on paper

oil on panel

Damien Kamholtz's work I have admired for a while.  He is an Australian artist I got to know working at a summer camp nearly a decade ago (Camp Gwynn Valley in Brevard, N.C).  We actually did a small number of collaborative drawings together one summer.  

Claire Sherman's work I stumbled upon while perusing the blog The Jealous Curator.  If you haven't already, check this blog out, it's great!  ("Damn,  I wish I thought of that!")

Misato Suzuki's work quietly shouted out at me on Pinterest tonight.

Ky Anderson, hmm...not exactly sure where I came across these paintings, but I think it was Pinterest too.

Carole Marine I stumbled upon while visiting this blog Visual Composing recommended by a potter friend (whom I recently reconnected with) Judi Isaak, who has a studio at Tannery Row Artist Colony in historic Buford, Georgia.  I was excited to see many richly painted still life paintings by Ms. Marine on her "Painting a Day" blog.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


photo credit:  Neest blog

Simple.  I love simple things.  In browsing virtual-land, I came across this company out of France called Neest.  (I am desperately trying to remember how I found them, it may have been another blog, or Pinterest but eek, can't remember!) Their products for the home are designed with elegance and simplicity in mind and are influenced by both Japanese and Scandinavian design.   Check out their blog for more home inspiration!

In a hectic world full of constant motion and stress inducers, our visual surroundings can play a part in how we take in the day.  I love finding objects that visually remind me to stop for a moment and take a breath.   

Simplicity and taking a moment to breath are what I had in mind in this new series of drawings only available through my Etsy shop.  Here is one from the series:

watercolor and graphite on paper

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New work going to Gregg Irby Fine Art

In just a few days I will be bringing new work to GIFA in Atlanta.  I have been making acrylic paintings on canvas and more watercolors.  Here is a preview of what will be there...

acrylic on canvas

acrylic on canvas

"Connect no. 47"
watercolor on paper

"Connect no. 39" 
watercolor on paper

"Connect no. 43"
watercolor on paper

"Connect no. 41"
watercolor on paper

Gregg will be taking the gallery to Charlotte, N.C. next week!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pretty dresses

What do you do when your mind is so busy you can't sleep?  Go on pinterest of course!  I am always overwhelmed by the many, many beautiful things out there that people design such as this dress by Paul & Joe Sister available on NET - A - PORTER.   Also found this...

I love the colors and love the patterns.  Yum.

Monday, March 12, 2012

In the works...

Good morning.

It's morning, the birds are chirping and the coffee is hot (a pretty darn good way to start the day).  I am getting ready to head off to the studio!  It is spring break here and I am a teacher, so bet you can guess what that means...all day painting!  The above photo is a little peek at what is going on in there right now.

Not only am I happy because I will spend the rest of this day (or at least the better portion of it) painting, I am happy that spring has arrived (although it seems a bit early, which may or may not be entirely well and good, another matter all together).  

With everything coming into bloom, I have decided to take on a new venture: blogging.  Now, this is not the first time I have started down this road.  My former blog, "stack layer stitch" had potential (well, maybe), but a short little life because I didn't keep it up.  It mainly contained photographs from my travels in Italy.  Once I returned stateside, you guessed it, no more blogging.

So here we go, take two.  Spring is all about starting, again.

This watercolor (above) of an old, modest-scaled, lovely, pale yellow Italian building, with a garland of wisteria welcoming you to the entrance, is where I was this time last year.  On a teaching assignment in Cortona, Italy I watched spring come into bloom within the Etruscan walls of this quiet Italian town upon a mountain top. This is the studio art building located on The University of Georgia's campus, abroad.  The watercolor is in my sketchbook (hence the seam down the middle).

This is that entrance I was telling you about.  Simply lovely.  Ah...memories.

Any favorite things about spring you'd like to share?  Please do, I'd love to hear!