Honeybees and Me

Besides the Artist Opening of Nature’s Blueprints at the NM Museum of Natural History and Science (May 4, 2-4), I am also pleased to have my beeswax sculptures included in the Morris Museum’s (Morristown, NJ)

Exhibit: The Honey and the Hive: The Sweet Story of Honeybees, which will be presented May 5-August 15, 2014. http://www.morrismuseum.org/future-exhibitions-2/. To say it is a ‘sweet exhibit’ is too obvious a pun but the intention of the exhibit is worth paying attention to as is the art represented.

Vapors, my wax sculptures were created for my GREEN touring exhibit and mimic in my loose interpretation Asian wrapped food—but my wax food is empty!

The Museum’s description of the exhibit is: Honeybees are responsible for at least 30% of the foods we eat every day! Busy bees are the great pollinators of the world and are essential to so many aspects of our lives and culture. Celebrate the sweet story of these incredible insects and learn how vital they are to our survival and how you can help to protect and conserve bees and their habitats. Learn about the life cycle of a bee and how different cultures revere this tiny architect. Artists that will be featured in the exhibit includes: Josie Rodriguez, Katja Loher, Marietta Patricial Leis, and Rose-Lynn Fisher, among others.

They have planned programs throughout the exhibit period that can be signed up for on their website above.

Nature’s Blueprints

a cyanotype exhibit at the NM Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque

April 26-August 31, 2004

Cyanotypes are a magical form of photography. As a child you may have made “sunprints” or “nature prints” by placing objects on photosensitive paper and exposing it to light to produce imagery of white with a cyan blue background. Think blueprint.

1.Wellspring 3For several years I have been talking to the NM Museum of Natural History and Science in Albuquerque about doing a cyanotype exhibition. This seemed a perfect fit as cyanotypes do require a chemistry that allows an impression to record and print. The theme of the exhibit originally was flowers so we cover the natural science aspect with that and of course, the sun. I had made a series of cyanotype flowers at an Artist Residency in the Azores, Portugal a couple of years earlier.

Photographer, teacher and colleague, Betty Hahn, was instrumental in the revival of this early non-silver technique and introduced me to cyanotypes. The year I was to visit Flores (flower in Portuguese), the island in the Azores I came upon a reference to an 1843 book, British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, by Anna Atkins, an English botanist. The book is reputed to be the first illustrated botany book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Atkins.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAInspired, I decided to follow Atkins’ tradition and record my impressions of the wide variety of flowers on Flores making cyanotype photographs. In addition, I wanted to pay homage to my Grandmother Fiore (Italian for flower), who instilled in me her love of flowers. I planned that I would incorporate some of the photos I would take while in residency into a book.

3. StudioThe color blue had been prominent in my paintings since 2001 and was one of the reasons I applied for this Island residency. Cyanotypes were perfect when I was working in my Flores studio, a renovated stone barn with large windows facing the Atlantic. The blue sea and sky saturated every working and non-working minute that I spent on the Island. I was in blue heaven!

I made many photographs on fabric and paper. The process fascinates me because of all the spontaneous, unexpected elements it involves. A flower placed on paper outdoors can move in the wind as it is exposed to the sun and a ‘ghost’ appears. If the temperature of the rinse water that ‘sets’ the image is not consistent the blue can intensify or fade. If the fabric or paper wrinkles, texture is added. These surprises appeal to me as they prevent the imagery from becoming too controlled. The spontaneity is a gift of the medium.

6.GalleryThe cyanotypes further evolve in the editing decisions I make, what to keep, what to discard, how to fine-tune the images with inks and watercolors— all critical steps in expressing my artistic vision. In preparation for my book production I needed to select the cyan photos, determine size and choices of paper for the archival printing. Finally, voilà, all the magic and wonder of Flores comes alive in “Moonlit Memories” and my impressions of that special place are secured forever. This group of work was initially shown at Koelsch Gallery in Houston.

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My talks with the Museum of Natural History were started, stopped and stalled as there were administrative changes. However, one thing that began to be included in the conversation is a “what if” I were also to make cyanotypes of the Museum’s specimen collection. That was a titillating idea! Among my other work and exhibits I continued to use cyanotypes as a quick and easy way to record ‘impressions’ of the environments where I traveled, and also to have some fun!

7. ThailandOne experience I found delightful was teaching a cyanotype workshop in a school in Northern Thailand close to where I was an Artist in Residence. It was a joy for me that the 120 children were so enthusiastic and thrilled with the “art” they made. Art is a terrific way to share and communicate when there are language barriers. Then last summer  at the Ionian Center for Culture and the Arts I felt compelled to make cyanotypes using octopi, squid and shrimp for my models. The blue cyans just resonated with Kefalonia, the Greek island that is surrounded with luscious blue seas. It was very hot and the octopus was slimy and heavy but I was rewarded by its tentacles making the most wonderful sun-ray markings. So the Octo prints were exhibited in all the Octo’s beauty in the lovely marble Greek gallery of the Center.

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When I returned from Greece in November the Museum of Natural History and Science called to tell me that they had a slot to do the cyanotype exhibit in the spring-summer 2014. Well, I had to consider what that would entail in regard to making the cyanotypes in the unreliable winter months and also how much new work would need to be created. Remember I needed the SUN to make sunprints—well, truthfully I could use artificial light but I wanted to be true to the ‘Natural History and Science’ mission of the Museum. Also I needed to consider that the exhibit would inhabit a large gallery and would need to be entertaining and instructive for children and adults while resonating my cohesive artistic aesthetics—wow a tall order!

What persuaded me to move along and do what was necessary to produce an exhibit was visiting the Museum’s incredible specimen room where bones, feathers, stuffed animals and much more hang out in drawers, and cabinets—an unimaginable resource that couldn’t help but light my enthusiasm. 10. bonesI wasn’t sure how my minimal abstract penchant would manage all the rather figurative forms of the collection but as an artist I always welcome challenges. And, truthfully as the work began challenges mounted. The cloudy, cold days made each cyanotype a hit or miss event. I tested a dozen chemically treated papers to see which ones would work best and that took the month of December with very little resolved results. Then January had to be the cloudiest January I have ever experienced or maybe it was my need for sunny days that makes my biased perception. But little happened during that month except my obligation for an exhibit at an out-of-state gallery where I had to travel twice that month besides the preparation for the exhibit.

11. PansFebruary was more productive and my assistants and I had to turn my entire studio into a large darkroom with very large rinsing pans—it felt like a laboratory and we were the mad scientists working with cadavers. So on it went working long days of preparing images and carrying them out to the sun, rinsing them, drying them and pressing them. I started to loose track of my intention as I became more robotic in the process. 13. FishIn, out, rinse, dry. So what was the vision—well it was to make work that was beautiful and inspiring and also maybe help people to see things a different way. Also I wanted kids to think ‘wow maybe I can do that’ and run to the gift store for kits and then home to begin their art.

The exhibit committee and I and my husband David met many times to envision the exhibit but without knowing what images would be successful we had to keep loose parameters. I should mention that along the way I enlisted David, a photographer and a great organizer to come aboard to both document the work process and help with all the things that putting together from scratch an exhibit of this size in a short time entails. Thanks David. As time unfolded some of David’s photos and video would become part of the exhibit that became known around now as Natures Blueprints.

So in spite of the usual distractions of life and other professional obligations intruding on my studio practice we persisted and somehow slowly we began to inventory the over 100 cyanotype images of 14. example cyansome different sizes and subject matter. Now installation ideas began to flow. Curator, Mary Anne Redding joined our Museum’s team of exhibit, specimen and biology committees to plan and execute the gallery’s installation. This went on simultaneously with completing all the necessary details; making inventory lists, photographing the completed work, preparing the delivery of work, framing, writing text plates, artist statement, publicity, press releases, confirming dates for openings and workshops et al…

The exhibit dates are set—the opening is settled and we hope to see you April 26-August 31 wandering through Natures Blueprints. We’re not disclosing any more here because we hope to meet you there at the Artist Opening May 4, 2-4 for the final results. I hope you enjoy it!

Click here to watch a video of the making of cyanotypes.

A March Exhibit in Albuquerque

Going Green – March 15-May 15 – at Snapp Price Projects, Albuquerque

Opening Reception – a St. Pat’s Celebration – Saturday March 15, 5-8 pm

Color is central to my art. Color startles, it stimulates. Color reels us backwards into memories and it teases out emotions. Color has the power to move us influencing how we view the world. My GREEN series of work is intended to reveal the deep nature of green and its associations to place, to spirit and to the planet. When painting, taking photos and videos or sculpting using green I want to ‘feel’ the earth’s grounded-ness.

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The Japanese have an expression, “bathing in the forest” when they walk in nature. They believe the walk will cleanse and refresh them. It was in that mood that I began the GREEN work in 2011. This work has been touring different venues since 2012 projecting and hopefully stimulating thoughts of our green planet’s abundant gifts.

***St Pat's-DEVNow I have been invited to exhibit the GREEN work at Snapp Price Projects, Albuquerque March 15, 2014 – May 15, 2014. Entitled, Going Green, the exhibit will have its opening reception the Saturday evening of St. Patrick’s weekend. So naturally other connotations regarding green besides the inherent eco-ness will stretch the out-reach of this exhibition. Last year I saw the infamous St. Patty’s Parade in Manhattan for the first time (and I’m a former New Yorker) so that experience is greatly influencing the visions I have been having of green beards, green puppets, green tartans, shamrocks, green beer and whimsical tall green hats. (photo right: by David E Vogel)

Maybe the exhibit will encourage viewers to have a sensory recall and even more associations about the color green. How about peas, mint juleps’, crème de menthe, green tea, the Northern Lights, malachite, jade, lizards, chlorophyll, algae, lichen, peacocks, fungus, tourmaline, verdigris and garden snakes. Explore, dream, imagine and play with color.

Fertility 1-4*-webnews**Insights-webnewsWe can be all inclusive! It’ll be such fun and will invite viewers to become embedded in verdancy while thinking of shamrocks and also contemplating our bountiful natural world and eco-ness. We won’t slight eco-ness as recent studies report that people are “nature deprived”. The result and cost of this deprivation is the diminishing of our senses, a loss of our connection to where we live and a distancing from our stewardship of the Earth. Reconnection is therefore life saving for our planet and us. But fun and laughter are important also so we can luxuriate in GREEN while looking at my art and toasting St. Patrick!

GOING GREEN will be a fun celebration and will include some new green paintings not before shown with my touring GREEN series. There will be sculptures, a video and some photographs. I hope it will be a raucous party providing an opportunity to expand awareness as we savor our planet with gratitude and maybe also grieve/change the inequities of the distribution of nature’s resources. We can extend our hearts to breathe in our love for Mother Nature and our fellow man through the gracious umbrella of our natural green world also celebrating the aesthetics of color and yes, even St. Pat.

SNAPP PRICE PROJECTS GALLERY

201 Third Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

505.247.0073

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Convergence

Convergence at Gallery Sonja Roesch closes March 1, 2014.

 

Convergence is on view until March 1 at Gallery Sonja Roesch, Houston.  Influenced by my travels you will see oil paintings, Japanese ink scrolls, reductive watercolor paintings and ink drawings. Hoping you will see this exciting exhibit at this wonderful gallery. Read more at: www.gallerysonjaroesch.com.

See opening night Artist Reception photos below by David Vogel and enjoy the event as I did. Thanks to Sonja Roesch and Ariane Roesch, the staff at Gallery Sonja Roesch and the terrific Houston art devotees that gave the Convergence exhibit such a great welcome.

 

New Work to Exhibit at Gallery Sonja Roesch

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Gallery Sonja Roesch, Houston will be the first place to exhibit a few paintings inspired by my expedition to the Antarctic. My graphite and white shaped paintings were inspired by the glaciers and the black continent. Also showing will be my Japanese ink scrolls and artist book from my recent Greece Artist Residency as well as Black Matter oil paintings, ink drawings and watercolors—a survey of exciting recent work for your viewing. I hope you can be there as I would love to introduce you to this experience. The other artist showing with me, Ruth Pastine, will have her lovely pastel drawings on exhibit.

Opening Reception of Convergence: Saturday, January 18, 2014, 5 – 7pm
Exhibition closes March 1, 2014
For more information call 713.659.5424
www.gallerysonjaroesch.com
2309 Caroline Street
Houston, TX 77004

Read from the gallery’s newsletter below:
Convergence, work by Marietta Patricia Leis and Ruth Pastine 

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Gallery Sonja Roesch is pleased to announce an exhibition featuring works by Marietta Patricia Leis and Ruth Pastine. The exhibition will open January 18, 2014, and will close March 1, 2014.

Marietta Patricia Leis will be showing luminous oil paintings and work on paper including ink drawings of night skies, reductive landscape watercolors and Japanese ink paintings on Japanese washi paper. Inspired by the translucent light, blue skies and sea, Leis initiated her work with Japanese ink and paper during an artist residency with the Valparaiso Foundation on Spanish Mediterranean. Leis’ most recent artist residency on a Greek island at the Ionian Center for the Arts expanded her exploration of the medium to 10-foot long scrolls. The process allows a very short window of time to paint with the inks as the color transfuses with the paper.

Drawing on her extensive travel experience and her deep encounters with nature, Leis’ oil paintings are rendered with a minimalist’s palette through nuanced layers of textures, subtle gradations of color and luminous glazes. The late New York Times critic William Zimmer noted that Leis’ paintings follow in the abstract sublime tradition of Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Her work investigates the phenomenon of color, which is ingrained in our everyday experiences. Leis’ ten-year survey in 2013 prompted Huffington Post critic Peter Frank to write, “Leis has translated the essences of places into non-objective icons that extol and focus the divine magic of such places. These are more than mere delights; they are quietly ecstatic revelations.“

Accompanying Leis’ tranquil ink and watercolors, the exhibition will also feature pastel works on paper from Ruth Pastine. Focused intently on the process of working serially, Pastine creates works using complementary color systems providing investigation into the phenomenological and perceptual experience of color, light, and temperature. Although the appearance of brushwork remains almost indiscernible, the eye detects the vitality of the hand informing the nuanced shifting of color and light and engaging the viewer in the present tense of discovery.

Marietta Patricia Leis has been awarded numerous Artist Residencies throughout the world, which have facilitated her deep immersion into diverse cultures and environments. Her work is shown internationally and is in many public collections. Leis has lived and worked in New York and Los Angeles, has a MFA from the University of New Mexico and currently lives in Albuquerque. Her multimedia touring exhibition, GREEN, premiered in Fort Worth in 2012 and has since shown in 6 Venues including currently the Las Cruces Art Museum (NM).

Pastine was born and raised in New York City and currently lives and works in Ojai, California. She received her B.F.A. from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, NY in painting and art history and her M.F.A. from Hunter College of the City University of New York in painting, critical theory, and color theory and her work is exhibited and collected internationally.

Greece Residency and Exhibit

As many of you know the Artist Residencies I do reflect where I think I need to be for my work or life, or both. The Ionian Greek island of Kefalonia called to me this year as I felt after a respite of painting green I needed blue again. Having lived by the Jersey Shore growing up and then living in Los blue-greenAngeles for 20 years I confess to occasionally feeling water deprived in New Mexico. In Albuquerque our West Mesa has that open horizontal expanse but lacks the accompanying water element. When a field of water dominates my horizon view it makes the world seem without obstacles, endless and open. A place to dream!

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After doing my research the Ionian Center for Arts and Culture on Kefalonia intrigued me. The Center is a hub of advanced education that encourages projects of science and art. It also hosts workshops, exhibitions and Residencies. Moreover Kefalonia is  known as the “Green Island” but is also surrounded by the Blue Ionian Sea. In that setting I would have the distinct luxury of both blue and green inspiration. Furthermore the writer Homer and the poet Byron both found muses there so I would be in excellent company.

04.Ionian CTRLuckily my application was accepted and my photographer-husband, David Vogel also applied and was accepted. We then wrote a joint proposal for our work and exhibit. All this was done a year in advance but that year sped by and we found ourselves in the Kefalonia village Metaxáta soon enough. The Center is a white marble columned building of impressive architecture. Our rooms had a balcony with views of the surrounding red tile house roofs, the olive trees and the sea—bliss. To top this off my studio had plenty of natural light, ample tables and facilities.

The closest town, Argostoli has a port, plaza, resources for supplies and cafés for coffee and people 05. Rockswatching—a great place to hang out. The Island is relatively large so at the first opportunity a kind new Greek friend took us on an introductory day trip of the West side of the Island. He brought us to a monastery overlooking an emerald sea housing a monk of an ancient age. Michael also showed us a lovely beach accessed by a hairpin road with white 06.Slabssensually worn smooth rocks. As a rock lover I had to select a couple to add to my collection at home. I believe that rocks hold the energy of ‘place’.

Next we visited a rock quarry—the island does after—all, sit on rock. I’m sure a form of this will show up in my art one day…piles of slabs and fossils. We were then guests at the quarry owner’s home where his wife prepared a wonderful and typical Kefalonia meal. Everything we ate was from their garden, their cow or chicken. Such a treat and typical we found of Greek hospitality and generosity.

07.studioThe beautiful turquoise and blue waters and the storm laden skies soon sent me indoors to my studio where I worked on a group of sea/sky 9’ long scrolls with Japanese inks and Washi paper. I should mention that the first weeks we were in Kefalonia we had rain—lots and lots of rain. Not just rain but rainstorms accompanied by violent winds and incredible lightning storms that lit the night skies to daylight. The weather was really a Drama Queen demanding attention and getting it from us.

While working in the studio during the days I was also doing some digital drawings in the apartment on my iPad in the evenings trying several drawing and paintings apps. Also I was making ink drawings In accordion books. One book would evolve to be called Ionian EKG and would reflect my impressions of the dramatic fickled weather and the other would be called Continuum as the island is a steady presence regardless of being plagued with earthquakes (1953) and foreign occupations— the Venetians, English, Italians, Germans—and financial downturns.

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08.Books

09.Fish buyingWhile my work continued David was taking gazillion photographs and editing them totally wrapped up in the stimulus surrounding us. There came a time fairly soon though when I solicited him to help me do a series of cyanotypes—or sun prints. I had it in mind to photograph an octopus with the cyanotype process so he and I went down to Argostoli and bought a ten-pound frozen octopus that in solid form did not intimidate me. 10.OctoExcited we also bought a squid and some shrimp as well. We put them in the refrigerator at the Center for the octopus to thaw. I had the octopus in mind from the beginning of our residency acceptance. That form came to my mind in a dream and I saw white tentacle shapes dancing in fields of blue.

In a day and a half Octo (as he became affectionately known) thawed and my affection for him dimmed somewhat as I handled the slimy mass that had eyes and suckers. I kept telling myself how privileged I was to hold such a primordial sentient being in my hands—but my reptilian brain kept urging me to drop the critter and flee. There was no chance of that happening however because I had to put up a brave front for the husband that I had enlisted to help me with this project.

OK—here’s the cyanotype process—we began with the smaller creatures—squid and shrimp and the chemically treated paper. In a semi dark room (made so with newspapers covering the windows and glass door) we placed the objects (yes I’m objectifying the critters) in a composition on the paper placed on a board. We lifted the board and carefully carry our sandwiched package outside and lay it down on the sunny driveway. Note that this required many squats and resultant sore muscles. I watched the paper intensely and when I determine it has turned a gray-blue we hurriedly lifted our passenger up and swiftly carry it inside the darkened space to rinse in water quickly revealing the white image and blue background—then off to drying. Now to rearrange the composition and do the 11.squidritual again and again and again. With squid and shrimp and shrimp and squid. Finally we feel the ‘opening act’ served it’s purpose and we’re ready for big time except we’re too tired and need to rest and do Octo the next day.

12.OctoThe next day came and squishy Octo became our leading man. After some shots we were handling Octo like pros placing his tentacle’s this way and that and getting good images. Cyanotypes are magical. It’s an ‘alive’ process because you witness the developing happening before your eyes and the results are not predictable which is sometimes a disaster but always a thrill. Oh, and confession to be made—we prepared and ate the octopus and squid after they were our loyal models. Sad but true and delicious!

With my scrolls completed and the cyanotypes drying David and I turned our focus to preparing our exhibit and talk event which was happening in a week’s time. We decided to call the event, “The Artist’s Mind” and talk about our life, travels, work and our impressions of Kefalonia. We outlined our talk and compiled illustrative slides. David made a slide show of his wonderful photography of Kefalonia and also one of his work in the Antarctic as the Center’s curator, Sophie Kagadis, felt strongly that people on the Island would want to see and hear about our trip there last January. He also made one of our making the cyanotypes as he thought people would be interested and amused in that process and lastly a slide show of the images I created on my iPad. I truly enjoyed being able to quickly sketch with the software and find out all the variables possible.

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14. DyeingWhile we were installing the work with some trusty helpers I found time to do another project. I wanted to try to dye some large sheets of fabric with BLUE “sea and sky”. I did this outside with tubs and drying racks. Although a novice I liked the results enough to use these panels in the exhibit. At another time in my future I would like to use indigo and try this again. I once did a brief indigo dyeing stint with a master in Japan and was impressed by the process, beauty and history. It has stuck with me ever since and will probably come to fruition in the future.

15. RadioSo our “The Artist’s Mind” became a multimedia event of photography, paintings, cyanotypes, dyed painting and slide discussion. We had an adventure setting up all the media—projectors in two areas and a TV screen in another. Luckily we had experienced help converting our US Apple projects to Greek PC—more complex than it should be methinks.

We had a fabulous time doing a radio interview with two wonderful ladies at the local station. We found ourselves 16. Mayorlaughing and carrying on a bit and extending our interview to all areas of life and art and telling people to come to the event.

“The Artist’s Mind” was a wonderful night and came off beautifully. The attendees were so enthusiastic, interested and welcoming. We had a translator but didn’t need her as everyone that attended had a command of English. The Vice Mayor of the Island attended and opened our talk by saying that we were now Kefalonians.

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20. Exhibit

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21.MykonosBefore we left we had a couple of days to wonder and visited the North and East of the island and ate some wonderful food, sat on beaches and celebrated David’s birthday. Then we headed to Mykonos just to see the “white town”, windmills and sea. A picture postcard Island. Then on to Athens.

Athens is such a gift, steeped in a long history and civilization and yes, democracy. The energy of the city is still very much present and it was apparent at every turn. Our arrival date coincided with their Independence holiday. It was very festive in the streets and perhaps forgotten for a while were the economic difficulties the Greeks are experiencing that otherwise is very much a point of discussion.

22. MuseumWe loved having the Acropolis view from our Plaka hotel balcony. The Acropolis Museum was a breathtaking architecturally and complimented and honored the Acropolis that could be seen from its windows and restaurant terrace. We were so fortunate to be able to view and be next to the Acropolis at every turn. The visit to the Acropolis was astounding but it was the brushing up against it in unexpected ways that made it, for our brief visit, memorable. At the Museum you actually entered walking on top of archeological ruins peering down upon them through glass walkways leading into the Museum. The displays were monumental.

Walking in Athens was easy and there was something 23. Guardsto see at every turn like when we came upon the changing of the guards at the tomb of the unknown soldier—tradition and choreography at play. The other thing we found compelling was the jewel-box Museum of Cycladic Art. The objects were so minimal, classical and beautiful and made in 2000 or so BC—very inspiring and humbling to this artist.

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Residencies bring me to many places I would not otherwise visit. They provide me with a bit of immersion into a country and it’s people giving me insights and appreciation I would not otherwise have. Not being engaged in my everyday tasks of life gives me an opportunity to focus and dream about my art. All these and more are gifts that I bring home with me to my studio and then the gifts keep on giving. As sorry as I was to leave Greece I’m excited to be back in my world again with new ideas. I feel blessed to have these opportunities. So where shall I apply next?

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GREEN Abundance at Las Cruces Museum of Art

06. Seed 13GREEN Abundance, my multimedia exhibition of paintings, videos, photographs, sculpture and poetry, will be a solo exhibition at the Las Cruces Museum of Art (NM) November 23rd until January 18, 2014. There will be an artist reception December 6 at 5-7pm that I plan to attend.

This work was influenced by my Artist Residency in the verdant North of Thailand. My studio was a veranda with a thatch roof that looked out to vegetation of all colors so my palette was ever-changing. The color linchpin, however, was GREEN—the living, breathing color of life. Around me were rice paddies and ponds and food, food, food. Sights, smells, taste and tactility assaulted my sensory system in ah such a good way. Even now I can arouse my sense memories of that experience without 05effort and feel the Thai heat, sunshine and GREEN. My media grew in an effort to express all the imagery and ideas flooding me during my stay.

The paradox of this bliss is that the surrounding countries as well as the hillside people of Thailand have a different experience—one of far less generousity in many ways. That painful knowledge lead me to the poems and empty food sculptures to express seed the idea of the inequality that we face on our planet.

This series of work has been embraced by a group of supporters (I call them the Green Team) that rallied and donated to the GREEN Kickstarter campaign—an internet crowd sourcing funding. Their support for shipping the exhibit has made it possible for GREEN to exhibit at several venues and more to come.

I hope this location—The Las Cruces Museum of Art, is one that you will be able to visit.

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Miniatures & More at the Abq Museum

minimoreFor the past 22 years the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History has produced Miniatures & More, an invitational exhibit and sale of small paintings. This year I have been extended an invitation to exhibit my paintings and I am thrilled to be part of this time-honored tradition of my home town Museum. Three paintings from my oil on wood reductive Pixels series will be on display. This work inspired by skies and seas from my travels will be shown for the first time locally.

The quality of work in Miniatures is superb and represents terrific artists from the area. Many people look forward to attending and this year the exhibit opens with a Collector’s Dinner Saturday evening, October 25th followed by a Gala Saturday, October 26th. The exhibit will run until closing Sunday, December 8.

I hope everyone has a chance to visit the Museum during Miniatures. Unfortunately, I will miss the October activities as I will be in Greece for an Artist Residency but I’ll catch up to the exhibit in November.

Exhibiting Charcoal Drawings

"Traversing #1", Charcoal/paper, 7x7.25”, framed 14.5x14.5”
“Traversing #1”, Charcoal/paper, 7×7.25”, framed 14.5×14.5”

You’ll be able to see my charcoal drawings at the Leich Lathrop Gallery in downtown Albuquerque beginning September 5th. 

When my husband and I drove around the U.S. in our RV called Harvey, which we did for several years, I always brought my charcoals and paper and set about recording my impressions of our travels. This has always been one of my favorite mediums because as I push and pull and smear and erase the charcoal with my hands it feels like painting.

Below is my “Artist Statement” describing how I think about and execute my drawings. I hope you’re able to see the work in person.

My Drawings

I draw from my direct observation of nature and the phenomenon that surrounds it. I primarily use charcoal with erasure markings. Erasing helps me to find the dialectical tension of fidelity to the image and departure from it. Drawing is very important to me as it helps me to observe and understand my world.

The observations that I record have as much to do with how I feel, the sensations that I experience in the environment where I am drawing, as with the visual information. This self-consciousness of my sensory responses evokes memories of other times and places where I have had similar feelings. The work goes back and forth, past and present. It is the gap in-between that is the final drawing.

PS: I was also delighted to be featured on the Saatchi Online Homepage for New Paintings of the Week 8/20/13. Saatchi Online was started by the renown Saatchi Gallery in London showing terrific international artists. Ballad 4, an oil on canvas paintings and part of my Atmospheres Series was shown as well as a link to my page on their site http://www.saatchionline.com/mleis.

‘Dark Matter’ Inspiration

I’m intrigued with the ‘dark matter’ in our universe. An astronomer whose lecture I attended stated that more answers, information and “stuff’ lies in the ‘dark matter’ than in what is lit and visible”. With my current black paintings I am trying to peer into that seemingly black void and be enlightened but do not have the extreme night vision required. There is something grand and ironic about the fact that where knowledge and illuminating facts might reside is mysterious and unavailable to us.

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My black 24″ reductive oil on wood square paintings, that hover off the wall six inches, align with my Shades series aesthetically but they additionally pay tribute to mystery and the unknown. Do we really want to know everything? That seems like no fun to me. My reflections on ‘dark matter’ have luckily inspired paintings that are elegant, dramatic and a bit noir. There is a lot more to this color than meets the eye in science and in art. Enjoy.