Taking Stock: How was your 2011... and how will your 2012 be?


Ah, December. A time for reflection in between holiday preparations and carting the kid to events.

Did I try something new in my practice?
2012 was the year of finding my voice, trying linen (and I'm now addicted), and drilling holes in paintings and shoving a rope through the openings. I still need to regularly set aside time to paint, but I got better at dedicating time to be in the studio.

Did I try for different venues or shake up my proposals? 

Yes, and I'm happy to report that spring 2013 will be mighty busy! A few of my crazier proposals got rejected, which of course makes me that much more determined to get something going with those thoughts.

What am I planning to do differently when promoting my work in 2012?
Blog more often, not necessarily for the public, but for myself. Writing about my own work validates it on a different level and makes me think about process and intentions even more. I need to get out to others' openings more. I hope to print a small catalog of my work and send it out. 

Have I sent New Year greetings to all my collectors yet? 
Not all, but they'll be out the door soon.

Are you ready for a fresh year of making new art, getting organized, and promoting your work?

Opportunities for the New Year: 2012


Sugarloaf Craft Festivals Accepting Applications for Spring 2012 -- Sugarloaf Craft Festivals is seeking artists for juried art festivals in Chantilly, VA; Somerset, NJ; Oaks, PA; Gaithersburg, MD; Timonium, MD. Work must be original design, artist must be present all three days at show to sell their work in person. Last year artists sold more than $15.6 million in handmade items to more than 178,000 visitors at Sugarloaf shows. Deadline: January 13, 2012. Visit website at http://www.sugarloafcrafts.com/ for application information. Questions? Contact Lorrie Staley at apply@sugarloaffest.com or call 800-210-9900.

4th Annual Mountain Maryland Plein Air -- call for entries
The Allegany Arts Council announces a call to artists for a plein air painting juried exhibition and art competition, May 29 - June 10, 2012 at The Saville Gallery in Cumberland, Maryland. Awards: $5,000 ($1,500 Best of Show). Juror: Steve Doherty, Editor, PleinAir magazine. Open to all Plein Air painters over the age of 18. $30 entry fee. Deadline: March 2, 2012. Visit website at http://www.alleganyartscouncil.org/event.php?eventid=4424 for more info, or send SASE to: Allegany Arts Council, 9 N. Center St., Cumberland, MD 21502. Questions? Contact Emily Thomas at ethomas@allconet.org or call 301-777-ARTS (2787). 

35th Annual Art on Paper - Maryland Federation of Art invites artists to enter its annual Art on Paper National Juried Exhibition. Juror: Susan Badder adjunct professor Maryland Institute College of Art and former Senior Curator the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Any 2D/3D original work created on or of paper will be considered. Deadline: January 11, 2012. Works selected will be exhibited at the MFA's Circle Gallery in Annapolis, MD, March 23 - April 22, 2012. Visit website at http://www.mdfedart.com/pages/call_for_artists.php for prospectus. Questions? Send an email to info@mdfedart.org

23rd National Drawing and Print Competitive Exhibition Awards: A minimum of $1,500 available in purchase prize money. Juror: Sue Spaid Executive Director, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD
Eligibility and media: Drawings and prints (not photography) in any medium are eligible with no limitations as to color, surface or materials. All drawings and prints must be original works of art. Each artist may submit up to 3 works on online only. No mailed or emailed entries will be accepted.
Enter online at: https://artndm.slideroom.com Entry fee: $35 for three entries.
www.ndm.edu/gormleygallery Deadline: January 31, 2012

The Appalachian Film Festival is accepting submissions for its 2012 festival to be held Feb. 25-26 at the historic Keith Albee Theater in Huntington. Deadline: January 1, 2012. For entry forms and submission guidelines, visit www.appyfilmfest.com, or enter your work at https://www.withoutabox.com. Questions? Contact festival director, Christopher Lusher, at cdlusher@gmail.com or 304-690-2500.

Artist Interview: Michelle Blades



While traveling in the Cincinnati area for work this past spring, I had the chance to pop into a co-op gallery where I saw the most amazing tableaux of figures, painstakingly crafted, going about their business in a way that made me stop in my tracks to watch and wonder what they would do next. But I only could get a peek into their world, a momentary glimpse of what had to be a more elaborate narrative that, as the viewer, I had to determine on my own. These pieces still haunt me. The artist is Michelle Blades, and I was delighted when she agreed to let me interview her. 

Michelle Blades lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, Brent Naughton, and two ape-dogs, Chimp and Baboon. Working with stories, words, polymer clay, cotton, wood, fabric, found objects and other mixed media, she creates curious little figures and environments to please, delight and creep out the crowd. Welcome to her tiny and expansive universe.

Share a little bit about you and your work. What is your background? How long does it take to make a piece, and where do you find your materials?
I've been creating environments for my dolls and toys for as long as I can remember. This play-work led me to The University of Cincinnati where I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2001. Since then, I've been creating a tiny universe of my own dolls and kinetic dioramas, promoting interaction from the viewer and engaging folks young and old. Many of the materials that I use are found while digging through boxes of rusty stuff at antique fairs, cruising through the aisles of the craft and hardware stores, reading or watching archetypal fairy tale stories and listening to music. I don't really know how long it takes to create each piece - a lifetime? I know that's an open-ended answer. I suppose in the context of days and hours, I would guessitmate that the smaller work takes a few hours and the bigger work take s a few days. Inspiration generally comes from words and phrases that I read or hear, and sometimes the image comes really quick, but the execution might take a lot longer. This is especially true if I am using a new material in the work - I can get a little intimidated with trying out a new mechanism in a kinetic piece as well.

What's the one thing you'd like people who aren't familiar with you/your work to know about you? 
Along Came a Spider
The one thing I would like people to know about me is that yes, my work can get a little creepy. But I swear, it's harmless. Some of the pieces have an 'edge,' but I've found that so does most of life. And it's up to us if we want to fall off that edge, or tap dance on it. I choose to dance and flirt. Sometimes, even I can think the work gets a little too banal and saccharine. Then along comes a wild viewer that mumbles to me, 'this is creepy,' and subsequently, I feel validation about where I've pushed the image visually and contextually.

Who is your biggest influence and why? 

My biggest influence... that is tough. The gestalt of my influence lies in the workings of the universe as a whole, and the power of observing those interactions. Sometimes, I feel like I spend more time on the sidelines watching how things and people move with or against each other than I do participating in the action. Being a spectator is a great thing for me -  it's rife with the probability of good storytelling. I believe my job is to collect the story in a mason jar terrarium, let it grow into its own species and then show it to the viewer. How vague it all of that?! I guess in a more literal sense, my dad's influence is really strong because of his quirky sense of humor /observation and the fact that he showed me how to use power tools at a young age. I still ask him how to build stuff now. He's been a great resource for all things mechanical and electrical.

Tell us about your local art scene. What makes it great? What are the challenges?
There are a lot of really creative people in Cincinnati. A LOT. However, I often hear folks lamenting the conservative nature of our city - which, no question, the suburbs surrounding Cincy proper are. And I think this fact might lead some folks to feel 'held back' creatively. Thankfully, I've not had any real issue in that regard. I just tend to focus on what I can accomplish here, and search out other venues regionally where the work will also be celebrated.

A lot of artists have that one piece in their studio that they would never ever sell. Tell us about yours.

I don't know that I have a piece that I would not sell. My feeling is that the story came from the universe, and it is okay to give my version of the story back to the universe, and know that the universe will take care of it. The only piece that comes close is 'Hivehead' - the little gal doll with a bee hive on her head and tiny bees buzzing around it. That piece was based on a hive hat I made to wear in a Halloween 5K race I made a few years ago. While a lot of my work has been autobiographical, this piece in particular felt special to me. However, my sister-in-law recently wanted to purchase the doll, and I was pleased with that, so I let her go. I know she's in a good home, and I've been promised visiting hours.

Thanks, Michelle, for sharing insights into your creative world! For more images of her work and process, visit her website and Facebook page.

Artomatic @ Frederick Top Ten (Part Two)


Sorry to be so slow in getting the rest of faves list together, but it's been a hectic month. My first four are here, and these six round out the list:

Kristin Partridge - Gorgeous photographic prints on vellum. I think she made quite a few top ten lists.

Claire of Synesthia Art - Things referencing synesthia are of particular interest to me because of a current series of paintings I'm working on. Her photos have a lyrical quality that I enjoy. Striking color. Wish I had her eye.

Jennifer Bernhard Hatfield -Delightful, whimsical sculpture. There was work at Artomatic that isn't on her website, which is under construction.

And now for a two-fer: Jeff Bohlander and Kristin Bohlander. Great to see another artist couple! Stephen and I saw an exhibit of Kristin's at Delaplaine a while back, and I loved her organic fiber forms. I was particularly struck by the miniature ones--a catalog of curiosities to ponder. Jeff's elegant collages include painted elements. Jeff's website is under construction, but I hope it goes live soon.

And the last star of Artomatic @ Frederick? I hope this isn't goofy, but it's.... the city of Frederick, which continues to wow me with it's support of the arts community. Of course, this includes the people behind Artomatic like Steven Dobbin and Jennifer Finley, plus all the volunteers who showed for their shifts.

Today is the last day to see this well organized, fun event. This year was too busy with the day job for me to participate, but I hope to be a part of it next go-round!

New Work: October 2011


Four Corners
40 x 50 inches
Acrylic & Charcoal on Canvas
Manifest Landscape
40 x 50 inches
Acrylic & Charcoal on Canvas
Map of an Imperfect Soul
38 x 28 inches
Acrylic & Charcoal on Linen

Remembering the Body
38 x 28 inches
Acrylic & Charcoal on Linen

Artomatic @ Frederick Top Ten (Part One)


A lot of quality work here, folks, so please go see this event before it ends November 6th. If you're looking to expand your collection, or are a beginning collector, there is ample opportunity to buy solid work at reasonable prices.

Caveat: A few artists I wanted to list here didn't have a take-away (business card, info sheet, postcard, etc.). And I didn't have a pen. That's why I'm splitting the list.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, my first four:

Rhonda J. Smith - Technical finesse and gorgeous surfaces in her reuse of scarred-up plexi she prints on using intaglio monotype. See a piece here.  

Roberta Staat - Lovely, languid use of line in her images of cows and sheep. Large or small, every piece had presence. I want to see her work spread out in a white cube space. I don't think her drawings in the show are on her website, but you can get a feel for the quality of her draftsmanship here.

Shamus Ian Fatzinger - I don't see the work on exhibit on his website but I loved his photos of people in Africa mounted on time-worn wood. In some pieces, he painted around the photo to continue the image.

Andrea McCluskey - Projected video on newspaper strips. Great use of her space.

Including my husband Stephen on here would be a conflict of interest, but check him out in space 34A. He writes about each piece included and using projection in painting here.

Math and Art


My new series Beautiful Equations uses physics and mathematical concepts or simply numbers as object to explore emotions and perceptions -- check it out here -- so I'm on the lookout for other artists doing the same. There's Alfred Jensen and Jasper Johns of course, but where I sometimes use numbers to create chaos, Ursus Wehrli makes order out of the universe (in one instance, literally). NPR's science feature did an interesting article on him: Extreme Tidying Up.

If he came over to my studio, I wonder if he'd run screaming from the room or stay for hours straightening up. If A&E ever does a Hoarders: The Artist Studio special, I'm so in.

Lottery (Painting for Synesthetes 2)
Acrylic & Charcoal on Canvas
38 x 26 inches

New Art, New Article


Many thanks to Topher Forhecz at the Gazette for his wonderful feature on Adah Rose Gallery, Elizabeth Grusin-Howe and myself! To celebrate, here's some new work...

The Sum of All Your Parts
60 x 50 inches

Long Division
36 x 24 inches
  Down for the Count
12 x 12 inches 
Tragic Math
12 x 12 inches 
12 x 12 inches

Split This Rock @ Studio Gallery for the 9/11 Arts Project

Sunday September 11, 4 - 6 pm: Studio Gallery and Split This Rock collaborate for a special September 11th Reception with poetry and music.

Artists everywhere have been moved to create work in response to the events of 9/11, both immediately afterwards and over the past 10 years. By bringing together past and present work, we hope to illuminate ways in which art can help us to process catastrophe and its aftermath. The participating artists have been asked to reflect on their work in this regard, and their observations and insights will be included in the exhibition. For more happenings in this massive citywide collaboration, visit the 9/11 Arts Project calendar of events.

After You by Lori Anne Boocks
70 x 48 inches

New Works on Paper: Summer 2011


For my new series of textscapes called Evidence, I'm omitting geometric shapes and keeping the focus on writing. Each one is 22 x 17 inches, and acrylic and charcoal on Annigoni cotton-wool blend paper.

In the Midnight Garden
Smoke and Lilacs (by your side)
Summer Came In (all heat and promise like your first kiss)
Under My Skin

New Space for Metro DC Art: Adah Rose Gallery


Adah Rose Bitterbaum, independent curator and former director of Studio Gallery in Dupont Circle, is launching Adah Rose Gallery in Kensington's Antique Row, and she's featuring Elizabeth Grusin-Howe and me in her inaugural exhibition.  Joan Belmar and Mei Mei Chang's duo show will be up after ours. Antique Row also has Third Thursdays, and Adah Rose looks forward to hosting music and literary events and, in the future, she hopes to offer art classes for children and adults. The Montgomery County arts scene is evolving, and I'm excited about being a part of this new venue. Showing with Elizabeth is great because even though we work in different mediums, we have similar processes of applying and removing layers and layers of color in our works.

The Mysteries of Place and Space
September 7 - October 9, 2011
Opening Reception: September 10, 6-9pm
Music by Walker Road
Catering by "Cookies"

Adah Rose Gallery
3766 Howard Ave
Kensington, Maryland 20895
Hours: Friday through Sunday 12-6pm and by appointment.

The inaugural show at Adah Rose Gallery features the work of artists Lori Anne Boocks and Elizabeth Grusin-Howe. Ms Boocks, a painter, is the keeper of stories. The act of remembering and sharing stories is a powerful influence on her work. Just as the passage of time creates layers of experiencing -- the remembering of an event, the misremembering of it, the distancing, the forgetting -- are all important pieces in her process and thinking. In her paintings, text serves as both subject matter and the basis for mark-making. Texture for each piece comes from her hands, brushwork, and a subtractive process where layers of poured washes are added to the surface, then partially removed with cloth. Ms Grusin-Howe, a printmaker, also uses layering in her one of a kind prints that revel in the splendor, decay and serenity of Venice. In layers of paint, metallic pigments and waxes, she builds layer upon layer reflecting the experiences of the city itself and the intrigue and stories implicit in such a mysterious place.

New Work: August 2011


 After You
48 x 70 inches
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas

Made for the Studio Gallery member show as part of the citywide 9/11 Arts Project launched by the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery. Stories that grow out of tragedy last a long time, sometimes forever, but some stories from this particular event we can only imagine: The last words of the dying as the planes went down and the towers disintegrated. The unspoken prayers of the grieving. The heroic acts buried in flame and ash. Fragments of over 20 possible stories are documented in this piece about altruism, survivor's guilt, and how life has changed after 9/11.

August 31 - September 24, 2011
First Friday Reception: September 2, 6-8pm
Special 9/11 Event: Sunday, September 11, 4-6pm
Artists Reception: Saturday, September 17, 4-6pm
Studio Gallery, 2108 R St. NW, Washington, DC

28 x 22 inches
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas

28 x 22 inches
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas

Round-up: Solo opportunities due fall 2011


Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) Call for Exhibition Proposals, 2013 Season: Artists living or working in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia are invited to submit proposals that experiment and expand their work in an open, contemporary space in Reston, Virginia. The arts center is now accepting proposals for periods of approximately 4 – 6 weeks from November 2012 through September of 2013. Six solo artists will be grouped into two Focus Exhibitions, each featuring three artists in separate areas of the gallery. Group exhibition proposals are also welcomed. View prospectus  Deadline: October 16, 2011

Dumbo Arts Center Open Call for Submissions: We invite artists and curators from all levels of experience to submit proposals for 2012. 3-4 exhibitions will be chosen for production in our gallery space at 111 Front St. in Dumbo, Brooklyn. For 2012, DAC will be organizing exhibitions around the theme of "Focus." Artists and curators are encouraged to interpret the theme as they see fit. We will consider all proposals, though we will admit a bias to installation, video, the very loud, the very quiet and/or the very small. Proposals can be for solo or group exhibitions. As DAC is a small (and nimble!) institution, artists and curators will have a very hands-on role in developing and installing the show. Proposals that include elements of public programming are encouraged. View prospectus for Exhibition Proposals to be realized in 2012. Deadline: September 12, 2011

BlackRock Center For the Arts is now accepting entries for the October 2012 - August 2013 exhibit season. BlackRock Center for the Arts gallery is 1500 square feet of exquisite gallery space located in Germantown, Maryland. With its high neutral walls and beautiful windows strategically placed it allows in just the right amount of natural light. The windows are located above the walls making it an ideal space for fiber art. BlackRock Center for the Arts takes pride in the eclectic group of artists we have exhibited in the gallery since 2002. View prospectus Deadline October, 28, 2011

Interview with The Frederick News-Post


Thanks to Lauren LaRocca for this article on my Delaplaine installation, The Distance Between, which ends August 21. There's a First Saturday reception on the 6th from 3-5pm, plus it's the big dog days event downtown. A lot of fun!

Tomorrow from 6-8pm is the First Friday reception for the all members show Unseen at Studio Gallery in Dupont Circle. My new painting, Evidence of an Unstoppable Heart, (below) is on view.

Stop by. Pet a dog. Have some wine. See lots of art.

Small Wonders Opp at MFA

December 1 - December 28, 2011

Prospectus Now Available at www.mfedart.org
Submit online today at:
Juror: Georgia Deal, Professor and Printmaking Chair at
Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington DC
Entry Fees: 1 or 2 entries=$30, MFA members $20
$5 for each additional entry up to 6
Awards total $1500 inclusive of a $500 Caruso Award for Painting designated for an MFA artist member.
Small Wonders Size Limitations
2D measurements must include the outside edges of the frame,
or work if unframed, and cannot exceed 11" on any one side. 
3D measurements cannot exceed 7" in any one direction.

Writing & Talking about Art... art21 and 100 Artists of Washington, DC


If you're new to writing artist statements or talking about your work, or if you want to refine what you've already got, these two resources may help... plus you'll learn more about artists in the process.

Stephen and I came late to this party but have been enjoying catching up on watching art21: Art in the Twenty-First Century from PBS in which artists talk about their work, process, influences, past, present, future... And we were struck during the same episode, almost at the same time, by how differently men and women tend to talk about their work, with women often looking inward, following the personal first, then bringing it outward. Maya Lin was the exception. It'll be interesting to see if this holds true as we move through the series. (On a side note, Stephen and I are working on a proposal for a two-person show called He Said/She Said that will present our different ways of tackling stuff - mark-making, titles, composition, etc. - and I wonder how much of the male/female stereotypes will hold up.)

The feature on Michael Ray Charles is my favorite so far.  His studio is in his home, and the video showed him with his family as he talked about his work. A familiar scene here at the Boocks house.

On a related note, 100 Artists of Washington, DC from Lenny Campello is now out. The Metro DC area has such a vibrant art scene, and this new book captures the diversity of both established and emerging artists from the area or working in this area and beyond. Whether you want to know more about the DC area scene, or use it as a tool to start or build your collection, this is an essential text. But I also recommend it for artists new to assembling a portfolio or writing or talking about their work. Consider how the work depicted supports the narrative. If you could have the same amount of pieces represent what you do, what would they be?

And take this a step further... What is your "elevator speech" - when you say to someone new that you're an artist, and they ask, What do you do?, what is your quick reply (with a visual like a business card or postcard) that gets right to what you do and why it's worth a second look from them?

More on Cy, and Process


"It's more like I'm having an experience than making a picture." - Cy Twombly

Stephen and I often talk about how the paining process is so different for each of us. He's more detached and analytical in his approach. My work is capturing past and present and sometimes future and I'm in the moment, hashing out emotions as they course through me. I'm reacting to a fresh mark on the fly even though I have a solid idea of what I want the final look and feel of the piece to be. And there's a tension between planning and this final knowing of a painting in my head and how I get there. Will I veer off-course? If so, will it be a happy accident or will I have a dud on my hands?

The New York Times has a nice, quickie slideshow overview of his life and work. I heartily recommend the book Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons, although it's currently out of print and the price has been jacked up considerably.

Fraser Gallery Moves to Gaithersburg


Very cool to read in the Gazette that the Fraser Gallery is moving to 438 N. Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg. Between this venue, BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, and the arts scene in Frederick, I don't have to Metro or drive into the city to feed my art viewing jones.

New Work: July 2011


Evidence of an Unstoppable Heart
Acrylic & Charcoal on Canvas
30 x 40 inches
July 2011

In That Soft Green Place
Acrylic & Charcoal on Linen
28 x 38 inches
July 2011

Evidence of an Unstoppable Heart is specifically for Unseen, the summer upcoming all-members show at Studio Gallery. Self-contained (Breach) will be entered into a local juried show. I usually don't let national or international events influence my work, but In That Soft Green Place is for Caylee Anthony. I had started this piece and was thinking of doing squares in memoriam to echo Berlin's Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, but the Anthony trial ended and I thought about all the small voices silenced by a blanket of earth, the close of a suitcase, or layers of water. Stories ignored by someone who should've asked or helped. Stories swept up in a media frenzy or buried on page 8 by the press. Kids deserve to know love. Caylee deserves to feel peace.

Buggin' for Some New Opps?


"Masks" @ Torpedo Factory Art Center's Target Gallery
Show dates: October 1-30, 2011
Juror: Brittany Yam, Director Project 4 Gallery, Washington DC. Masks is an all media exhibition that is open to all artists, nationally and internationally. Masks have long served as a symbol and a tool for concealment, protection, amusement and performance. Artists are being asked to create work based on the theme of masks, literally and conceptually. Deadline: August 1, 2011. $35 entry fee. Prospectus>>
Eye of the Beholder: The Fine Art of the Found Object -- The Maryland Federation of Art invites all artists residing in the US and Canada to enter any two or three dimensional work that includes at least one or more found objects. The selected work will be on exhibit at the MFA Circle Gallery in Annapolis, MD from Oct. 30 - Nov. 26, 2011. $1000 in awards. Juror: Janet Maher, Associate Professor of Art at Loyola University Maryland. 1 or 2 entries = $35 ($20 for MFA members); $5 each for any additional up to 6. Artists can submit online or send CD to Attn. Found Objects, MFA, 18 State Circle, Annapolis MD 21401. Deadline: August 28, 2011.

Utrecht Art Supplies Third Annual Art Competition 2011
Deadline September 1, 2011. No fee. Enter at www.utrecht.com/contest, where complete entry instructions are posted. Entries will consist of one (1) digital file of each original work of art, no larger than 800 pixels tall or wide and not to exceed 4 MB, that is being entered in the Competition. There is a limit of 3 total entries per entrant, 1 per category. Winner Selection : On or about November 1, 2011. 

Utopias at Anne Arundel Community College's Cade Art Gallery - new visions and better places in contemporary art, an all-media show juried by Jeffrey Cudlin, Professor of Curatorial Studies at Md. Institute, College of Art, and freelance writer for the Washington Post and the Washington City Paper. All artists working with themes in the show title are invited to submit up to six jpegs on CD and the entry form available at www.aacc.edu/cadegallery (click on "national juried show") along with a $20 entry fee by the postmark deadline of October 6, 2011.



Enjoy writing on the clouds in the big studio in the sky...

Panorama, 1955

Strokes of Genius @ MFA


A Beautiful Gravity (Falling) was accepted in this Annapolis show.  I usually don't make my text this legible (except the pieces in The Distance Between) but it's a love letter to my husband and I wanted to share it with the world.

Strokes of Genius
July 14 - August 7, 2011
Reception: Sunday, July 24, 3 - 6pm
Maryland Federation of Art


A Beautiful Gravity (Falling)
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
36 x 36 inches

I know what it feels like to fall and I'm falling hard, harder than ever,  and there's nothing
I can do about it, nothing that I want to do but just give in to this beautiful gravity.

Happy Father's Day!


If you're a dad, have an awesome day! If you're an artist-dad, also check out this thoughtful post by Marty Coleman on Alyssa B. Stanfield's uber-wonderful blog: 6 Steps for the Artist-Father to Help Grow Creative Kids. Applies to moms too!

Speaking of artists parenting, the kiddo put down her bass for a little while to make this cool poster for my solo at Delaplaine.

The Distance Between: July 2 - August 21 at Delaplaine


Opening Reception: Saturday, July 2, 3 - 5 pm
Show Dates: July 2 - August 21, 2011 

This is a long time coming, over five years evolving in my head.  I'm looking forward to installing it the last week of June. 

For people who see the world in black and white, in absolutes, the distance between is irrelevant. You either are or you aren’t. You either do or do not. A white lie is just as bad as life in prison. They can’t appreciate the gradual descent, the slow, silent slide into a different state of being.

For those of us who can see the grays, the distance between is viewed as a continuum where one can shift left or right, up or down. We may not realize our movement along the line, between the planes, until we reach a different spot.

These works in acrylic and charcoal on wood panels represent my personal distances between two or more concepts fixed in time. Using rope to tether paintings closely together or to force a large space between other pairings creates a concrete, physical measurement of the emotional distances between each word in my life and invites viewers to consider where these intersections occur in their own. Read the press release

WPA Options 2011 Show for Emerging & Unrepresented Artists


Curator: Stefanie Fedor, Assistant Director, American University Museum at the Katzen Art Center
Deadline: Monday, June 20, 2011 at midnight
Show dates: September 15 – October 29, 2011
Location: Downtown DC, exact address TBA
Details on WPA's call for entries web page

OPTIONS 2011 is the fifteenth WPA biennial exhibition of emerging and unrepresented artists from the Mid-Atlantic region. OPTIONS presents visitors with a glimpse into the breadth and diversity of contemporary art practice in the area and showcases work in any medium by artists without gallery representation. WPA began the OPTIONS biennial series in 1981 with legendary artist Gene Davis and Washington Review Managing Editor Mary Swift as curators. Stefanie Fedor, the curator for OPTIONS 2011, encourages the submission of work in all media, including installation, performance and new media. A catalogue will be produced to accompany the exhibition. Participating artists will receive a $300 stipend.

• All artists residing in DC, Maryland, and Virginia are eligible.
• Artists must not have gallery represenation or have had representation within the past year.
• You do not have to be a WPA member to apply and there is no submission fee.
• All work must have been produced within the past 3 years.
• Submissions from artists working in all media are welcome.

artdc Patron Art Show


The artdc.org forum has been a great source of info for me, and the artdc Gallery offers artists with patron status the opportunity to be a part of the annual patron show. It only costs $35 to become a patron... learn more here.



The UMUC Arts program invites entries of works by artists in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C., for the first Biennial Maryland Regional Juried Art Exhibit, August 1 through October 16, 2011, in the Arts Program Gallery at the UMUC Inn and Conference Center, Adelphi, Maryland.

Jurors for the exhibition will be Helen Frederick, professor, George Mason University; Helen Jackson, independent art consultant/curator; and Evangeline J. Montgomery, artist, retired program development officer, United States Department for the Arts American Program.

Prizes will be awarded for accepted works in four categories:

- President's Best of Show
- Jurors Choice Award
- Award of Merit
- Arts Program Honorable Mention

A full-color catalog of works by all participants will accompany the exhibit. All participating artists will receive 20 copies of the catalog to be provided at the opening reception.

The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2011. There is a $20 application fee, which covers up to four entries.

For more information and to apply, visit

Fire & Brimstone Floor (Saving Her Soul)


Fire & Brimstone Floor (Saving Her Soul)
Acrylic & Charcoal on Canvas
60 x 70 inches

Show Your Stuff Opps


NY Gallery owner to jury National Small Works at WPG 
Washington Printmakers Gallery seeks entries for a juried printmaking exhibition, August 3-28, 2011 in Silver Spring, MD. First Prize: Solo exhibition, 2012, Second Prize: $200 Purchase Award from Graphic Chemical & Ink Co., other prizes awarded. Juror: Robert K. Newman, owner, Old Print Shop, New York, NY.

Open to artists nationwide age 18 years+ who are creating traditional, hand-pulled prints (no digital or photographic processes accepted). Work must be no larger than 170 square inches.

Early bird online special: $20/4 images. Regular Online: $30/4 images. CD: $40/4 images. Deadline: April 15 for reduced fee; May 15 for all entries. Visit http://washingtonprintmakers.com/programs/small-works-exhibition for prospectus, or send a SASE to: WPG, Attn: NSW, 8230 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Questions? Please contact Annie Turner at info@washingtonprintmakers.com or call 301.273.3660.

Call for Exhibition Proposals: “Intersections: Where Art Meets Science”
In collaboration with a college-wide initiative to celebrate the intersection of arts and science, the Department of Visual Arts and Design is calling for exhibition proposals for the Annex Gallery in The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center that address this theme. These exhibitions will be scheduled for the 2011–2012 academic year. Proposals are welcomed from individual artists, artist groups, and curators. Eligibility: Applicants must be at least 21 years of age. Current Montgomery College students are not eligible to submit proposals. Eligible works: The Annex Gallery is primarily linear wall space that can accommodate two-dimensional works up to 54” tall. Freestanding, pedestal, and wall hung three-dimensional works up to 75lbs. will also be considered. Video projections are not eligible.

Application procedure: Visit http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/Departments/artstp/exhibitions for proposal form and instructions. Submit the completed proposal form along with the requested materials to the Department of Visual Arts on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Mail or deliver all proposal materials in one envelope to: Lincoln Mudd Montgomery College, TP/SS Campus 7600 Takoma Avenue, CF-134 Takoma Park, MD 20912 Deadline: April 15, 2011

Strokes of Genius: A Fine Art Painting National Juried Exhibition: The Maryland Federation of Art invites all artists residing in the US and Canada to enter its all painting competition. Awards total $1500, inclusive of a $500 Caruso Painting Award for MFA members only. Juror: Daniel Shay, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Exhibit will be on view July 14 - August 7, 2011 at MFA Circle Gallery in Annapolis, MD. Any original work created through any painting media (inc. oil, acrylic, watercolor, encaustic, etc) will be considered. 1 or 2 entries: $35 (MFA members $20); additional entries $5 each. Up to 6 max. Deadline: May 4, 2011. Visit http://www.mdfedart.com/ for prospectus, or send a SASE to: MFA Circle Gallery, 18 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401. Questions? Please contact Tiffany Jordan at info@mdfedart.org or call 410-268-4566.

Strictly Painting 8: McLean Project for the Arts

Due April 11, 2011, 5pm; Juror: Jayme McLellan is an artist and curator living and working in Washington, DC. She is the founding director of Civilian Art Projects, a gallery representing emerging and established artists located in downtown Washington just north of Chinatown.

Exhibition Dates:  Jun 16 - Jul 30, 2011
Rules and entry form here

Living Gallery Reception at Annmarie Arts Center


I have three pieces in this show. If you live nearby, I'd love to see you there!

Friday, March 18, 6-9pm
Featured Exhibits: Calvert Artists' Guild Annual Spring Show & Sale and Living Gallery Exhibition & Sale
Directions to Annmarie in Solomons, MD
Appetizers by: Dream Weaver Events & Catering
Live Music by: Folk Salad Trio

Explore the work of the seventeen artists who participated in the Living Gallery program. Fiber, jewelry, sculpture, painting, and more - this exhibit and sale will brighten a cold winter evening. The Calvert Artists' Guild will also open their annual spring show featuring the work of their members. Enjoy wine, light hors d'oeurves, and live music - and don't forget to visit the Gift Shop for some retail therapy!

Material World Opening Tonite @ artdc


Material World, an exhibition at artdc Gallery from Saturday, March 12 to Sunday, April 3, 2011 will feature works by Sherill Anne Gross, Michael Janis, J. T. Kirkland, Matthew Langley, Katherine Mann, and Marie Ringwald.

“The commitment these artists have for their materials and craft lets their processes inform the content of the work, not overwhelm it,” notes curator Stephen Boocks. “While viewers will inevitably wonder how the works were made and will marvel at the technical prowess, the pieces selected ultimately transcend the materials used, allowing each finished object to stand on its own.”

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. Two artists talks will be held: Michael Janis, Sherill Anne Gross,  and Marie Ringwald on Saturday, March 19, and Matt Langley on Saturday, April 2. Gallery hours are Saturdays from 12 to 4 p.m. and by appointment. The gallery is located at The Lustine Center, 5710 Baltimore Avenue in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Material World features exceptional work diverse in style and serves as a testament to the rich pool of talented artists from or with close ties to the DC area,” adds Boocks. “These six artists at varying stages of their careers all have a clear vision of what they’re trying to achieve with their preferred media.”

View a detailed catalog of the show here.

Artist websites:

artdc Gallery – 5710 Baltimore Avenue Hyattsville, MD 20781
Contact the gallery for appointments here.

New Work: March 2011


Counting Coup is a definite nod to Miquel Barcelo's La Solitude Organisative. It's about a lot of things: painting oneself into a corner, my stint working at the prison, chaos in the midst of physical or emotional structure... organization that still can't make sense of it all, just attempt to impose some boundaries to contain something wild and unpredictable.

A Beautiful Gravity (Full Tilt) continues the theme of 'beautiful equations' where I reinterpret math formulas into emotions/something I can understand.

Counting Coup
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
60 x 50 inches

A Beautiful Gravity (Full Tilt)
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
42 x 30 inches
Sedona Love Poem (somehow it was enough)
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
36 x 36 inches

Living the Artist's Life: My Spring 2011 Residency


Here it is March already and I haven't written about the wonderful gift of a week to paint. Just paint. No day job. No ugly commute. Just paint, and me and a lovely short walk from the artist's house to the Annmarie Arts Center...

Sunday: Dropped off my groceries and light luggage, then unloaded the gear. I felt like Dexter, wrapping tables and floors in plastic and drop cloths. Being a pretty shy gal, it was awkward at first to start 'doing my thing' in front of people. Cherished private rituals turned inside-out for all to see. The idea of the Living Gallery is that the process is the product. The act is the art. There weren't many visitors throughout the week, but the majority of the conversations I did have were great. A 6-year-old with his wonderful grandparents showing me his drawings of the sculptures outside. Many people thinking I worked in oils or encaustic from the looks of my work instead of that red-headed stepchild acrylics.

Monday: Many of the canvases were marked up with charcoal. My personal challenges were to 1) explore blue, mix it better, use it more; 2) learn better how to dole out my paint for less waste but enough to make the amount of mixed colors I need in one session; 3) better understand my process--it can be so intuitive I lose the 'how' while losing myself; and 4) play around with a few new directions tempting me. It was a good, full day. A bit draining but solid.

Tuesday: Time has slowed down considerably. No Internet. No TV. No highway noises outside my window in the early morning hours. I'm slowing down too, in my head, with less monkey mind and scattered thoughts. I get a bittersweet glimpse of who I would really be if I were an artist full-time. I'm soaking things in--the crisp smell of winter air, the way the light from the huge windows hits my palette, and how I feel inside, really calm, as if I can wait for things to happen and not have to cram a painting session into 1 hour at night. I resolved to not regret that this is not my reality and instead think of this week as a gift.

Wednesday: The artist house is very cool. Simple. There are neat murals. Staying there reinforces the simplicity I'm feeling. It's very cold outside, and my joints are on fire. Painting stalls out a bit today, and I worry that I've bitten off too much. Self-doubt hits me like a brick wall but I get back on track, one small goal at a time.

Thursday: I'm feeling really good about the work I've done so far, but as a whole, the pieces don't seem too related. I start rushing a bit. Then at lunch I take a leisurely walk around the sculpture garden, my first since I arrived. One raised, spiraling walkway bears messages for the observant. Memory is a form of renewal, it offers a second chance. You never know how much you've done until you look back.  Since my work relies heavily on my memories, the words resonate, almost physically. I feel so lucky to be here, fully engaged in the moment. Even though I'm the only one there, I feel surrounded by friends from my past and I vow (once again) to reconnect and let people know how much they have meant to me. The afternoon painting goes well, though not quite in the directions I had expected. I let the paintings take me where they want me to go, a willing passenger.

Friday: My last day. I've been thinking more about my total inability to understand the language of math although its formulas are like a code I desperately want to crack. I am finishing up A Beautiful Gravity. It's a different work for me--the text is visible. It's a love poem. Even though I can't grasp math and physics, I know what it's like to fall. To lose your grip on something solid.

If you're an artist, particularly if you work full-time at a day job, look for a short-term residency where you can give yourself the gift of time and interact with other artists. Lose yourself. You never know where you'll land.