Monday, March 29, 2010

Southern Weeds

Poke Berries, oil on panel, 8" x 8"

I've been working on a little something...  Here's my Artist Statement for this new series.

Southern Weeds
As a recent transplant to the South, I have been struggling to find how I belong here, especially as an artist.  I grew up in New England, just south of Boston yet, I have spent the last thirteen years in California.  Our recent relocation to North Carolina has markedly skewed my sense of identity.  I am now acutely aware of how foreign I am in this place where terms like Yankee still mingle freely in conversation; where even still, segregation is a reoccurring and prominent subject.  It is through the nature of my new home state, that I have been able to find peace and a sense of place. 

While in California I studied and developed my career as a fine artist.  I received wonderful classical figurative painting training from Laguna College of Art and Design.  There, I focused on representing the figure and still life in paint.  In retrospect, it seems odd that I never was interested in painting that Western landscape.  It is such an iconic setting for plein air work, and yet I never felt connected enough to want to represent it.  Over the years, I slowly became less aware of my desire for a more familiar landscape.  This desire wasn’t re-ignited until I took a quick trip to visit Chapel Hill, NC which reminded me of the rich greens, dark woods and rolling pastures that I craved from my youth.

The natural surroundings of my new backyard are at once familiar and shockingly different than that of my childhood.  There are of course, many familiar plants that flourish in both areas, but then there are also some species that are unique to the South.  It is these new to me, but common to the South plants that I find so interesting.  As a continuation of previous bodies of work that explored the idea of representing the mundane as extraordinary, I hope to share the beauty that I find in these common, and often overlooked, southern weeds.  Through my research and painting of these specimens, I’ve also learned some of the history of the area.  As I’ve discovered how these plants were used as medicine or ink or even in Anti Slavery protests, I have found a deeper connection to my new setting.  It’s a connection safely explored through beauty and history, beyond any stigmas or political agendas.   It is an artistic connection rooted to the natural history here that has helped me find my place.

Water Oak, oil on panel, 8" x 10" 

 Persimmon, oil on panel, 8" x 8"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Art for Haiti

I am pleased to announce that Reflecting Image, a painting that was included in my 2006 solo exhibition titled 'Perceptions of Beauty', will be included in the Live Auction portion of a charitable event sponsored by Jerry's Artarama benefiting Habitat for Humanity's relief efforts in Haiti. The Art for Haiti Auction and Gala event will be on Saturday, April 10, 2010 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Raleigh Convention Center located in Raleigh, North Carolina.  

Ticket Information:
Tickets for the event are only $45 which includes dinner catered by Centerplate and a live and silent art auction.  Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Art for Haiti website, by clicking HERE or by contacting Heather Goldstein: 

Artists there is STILL time to participate!

For more information about the event visit: the Art Auction and Gala For Haiti at or contact Heather Goldstein at 919-878-6782 ext# 115 or heather(at)jerrysartarama(dot)com.
Reflecting Image, oil on panel, 30" x 20", 2006

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Works Exhibition

I'm happy to announce that two of my pieces were excepted into ArtSpace's annual juried exhibition for AAA artists called New Works.  The exhibition will be in Gallery One from March 13 – May 1, 2010 with the Opening Reception: April 2nd, 6 - 10pm and an Awards Presentation at 8pm.  Harriett Green was the juror for this year’s New Works exhibition. Among other things, Green is the Visual Arts Director of the South Carolina Arts Commission.  You can find more information about Ms. Green and the show by clicking here

The two pieces that were selected were Artist Proof, Julie as well as the Portrait Study of Wyeth.  If you are in the area, I hope you will come out for the First Friday opening reception.  Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


It's taken me a long time to get this painting to just this point (in grisaille).  I think I started this painting about a month ago but I have had other projects to wrap up.  So, although I've really wanted to be working on this all the time, it has been slowly developing in bits and pieces, as I found 'extra' time.  I'm excited by this new painting.  I've been painting so small since our move to North Carolina, so it is immensely freeing and exhilarating to be painting life size once again.  It feels like I've found a bit of my old self to be working this large again.

 Susan at Kitchen Table, 36" x 48" oil on panel (working title and in progress)

So, you may remember my Scattered post, about trying to find inspiration amidst distractions and frustrations.  Well, because of that snow storm, I got the idea for this painting and another (which hopefully will surface beyond the image in my head).  I asked a neighbor who not only is a lovely person, but also has a lovely view from her kitchen, if she would be willing to model for me.  Amazingly, I didn't scare her off, or at least she feels she owes me since I rescued her from that Copperhead snake in her garage last fall (that's another story).  This grisaille is nearly done, but I can't wait any longer... I'm dying to get into the color...  Wish me luck!
 Susan at Kitchen Table, Detail (working title and in progress)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Artist Proof

Artist Proof, Julie
charcoal on layered vellum
38" x 25"

I just finished this drawing of my lovely printmaker friend Julie Niskanen.  It is one of my layered drawings on vellum.  What I like so much about working on vellum is the semi-transparent nature of the material as well as the ease of erasing all the way back to white.  This drawing only has two layers (figure on top and tatoo below), but sometimes I will do several layers and the further the layer back is, the further ghosted it is.  It's a nice physical representation of the deeper layers we all have obscured with in us.  

 Artist Proof, Julie (detail)

You can read a previous post I did about Julie's work by clicking here.