Yearly Archives: 2014

A Road Trip and A New Gallery…

01. Still. JPG“Long time a-coming” is the subtitle to this story. I have had the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver on my bucket list for too long a time. There was also my curiosity about the burgeoning art gallery scene in Denver—rumor had it that ‘First Friday‘ art crawls draw upwards to 10,000 people on Santa Fe Dr.  A New York Times article about Denver galleries hosting “events” to increase their exposure and even about one having innovative and popular ‘pot parties with art’ got my attention as well.

The clincher was that my new Subaru car (Subby II) needed a road trip and I needed to practice using its GPS and other electronics—yes folks I have computer robot-like thing in my car and a steep learning curve. So after making a few appointments with targeted galleries David and I set off from our Albuquerque homebase with some of my art and a giddy mood listening to “On the Road Again” trying to learn how to ‘set’ radio stations. Many hours later we arrive at our downtown Denver hotel just a block from the 16th Street Mall.

The next days found us moving around Denver experiencing it’s energy and easy mobility—it is truly a visionary approach in re-invigorating an urban city. Santa Fe Rd did get a lot of our attention as we visited the galleries whose spaces could rival Chelsea, NYC. Friendly enthusiastic directors actively engage with prospectus clients expressing palatable excitement.

02. Michael WarrenMichael Warren Contemporary occupies the same space where the legendary Sandy Carson opened one of the first galleries on that street some years ago when I was on her roster.  It has been reinvigorated by Mike McClung and Warren Campbell and that’s the gallery I ultimately decided to 03. Leis_Insights_23align myself after spending 3 hours with Mike (an artist himself) who effusively loves art and more importantly my art! I’m excited to be represented  by this wonderful gallery in this market of art lovers! Make sure you check out my work at Michael Warren and an upcoming exhibit in the fall.

A couple of distinctive Santa Fe Rd  galleries among others to explore are Space with it’s slick contemporary architecture and Point helmed by 2 wonderful artists. Definitely a happening scene with some great restaurants and boutiques thrown into the mix.

Of course the Clyfford Still Museum was a destination point for us and it didn’t disappoint. What a wonderful educational and awesome facility it is. The exhibit we experienced described and displayed Still’s early work and how it evolved into the masterpieces we know. Seeing some wonderful examples of his mature work—the earlier work and the story of the development of the museum itself were fascinating.

04.Still Mus

05An “abstract art” class that I taught was instructed by my using B&W xerox’ of Still’s work. The  students painted the xerox’ guided by the structure of Still’s work. Doing thisexercise illuminated for them how abstract art is not about plopping paint down randomly but a deliberate and educated craft with a structural basis. Besides using his masterful art to teach I also try to emulate his integrity of developing his art regardless of commercial trends to guide my own studio practice.

06A.JChilhuly06B. Chilhuly Before leaving Denver we visited the Botanical Gardens which had Dale Chilhuly’s glass works displayed throughout the gardens making a fantastical illusion. Then we drove to Aspen to visit the new 07. Aspen MuseumAspen Museum designed by Shigeru Ban,  which blew my mind. His intention of sustainability and common materials transformed elegantly speaks to my aesthetics. An exhibit of his designs for disaster victims and for refuge camps is extraordinary. Hooray to his genius and humanity. Also seeing Yves Klein’s blue paintings always inspire me.

We stayed at the Aspen Institute that was originally designed by Herbert Bayer, (1900-1985) a painter, sculptor, photographer, interior designer and architect who adhered to the ethos of the Bauhaus ideals. It’s rather extraordinary in its concept. The landscape especially delighted me and gave me some contemplative pauses.

08. Institute 08B. 08C.Institute

09B. Sand09. SandThe 2 additional stops we made on the return trip to New Mexico were Crestone to connect with artist friends who recently relocated from Brooklyn and then on to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Which was a soulful and extraordinary experience that you will detect from the photos. 

Now I’m back in my home studio working. Meanwhile Mike McClung of Michael Warren Contemporary is ready to show my just unpacked art in the gallery. Mike weaves a wonderful experience for my collectors and prospective collectors with his deep knowledge and understanding of my art. He can also represent anything that is on my website and will be getting new work of mine in the gallery periodically. Look for our announcements of my exhibition in the fall. Can’t wait to revisit Denver then as being a part of that exhilarating art scene. Perhaps it’s time for you to plan a trip and join me there!

11. unpacking 11B. unpacking

Yearly Archives: 2014

“Nature’s Blueprints” Draws Crowds at Museum!

In April I wrote about Nature’s Blueprints’ pending exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. I told about the origins of the exhibit and the process of making the cyanotypes (or sunprints) of the Museum’s specimens. This month I want to share photos of the exhibit and the opening with you as I believe that the images will speak best of the elegant installation, the appreciative crowds and the realization of the intention of the exhibition.


I also want to give a shout-out to all that made this possible:

NM Museum of Natural History and Science, Charles Walter, Executive Director
Staff: Chris Elison, Patti Gegick an Ayesha Burdett
My Studio Assistants: Natasha Ribeiro, Joni Tobin, Heidi Pollard
Video Editor, Bruce Shortz, 10,000 Cranes
All the attendees—children, parents, art aficionados, science buffs and teachers etc…
Also David Vogel with his exceptional documentation of the cyanotype process and his elegant photos.

 Also much appreciation for a couple of well done articles that I would like to share with you:
“Artist’s Cyanotypes Are Blueprints Of The Natural World,” by Kathaleen Roberts, Albuquerque Journal
“Nature’s Blueprints,” by Mike English, Local IQ

I hope you have a wonderful July. I will catch up to you in August and share my summer adventures with you then.


Yearly Archives: 2014

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. 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.

Yearly Archives: 2014

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

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.


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.


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.

Yearly Archives: 2014

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.


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.


201 Third Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102



Yearly Archives: 2014


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:

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.


Yearly Archives: 2014

New Work to Exhibit at Gallery Sonja Roesch


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
2309 Caroline Street
Houston, TX 77004

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


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.