Tag: black and white

Speed, Multiples, Density, Layering

I’m currently preparing for a new semester of classes, which includes preparing to write my thesis…which is crazy. At this point last year, I had no idea what my thesis would look like or if I would be prepared for it when the time came. When I compare all the work I’ve made in just the past few months, let alone the past few years, it seems as if I don’t know what I’m doing. And sometimes I truly don’t. At times I couldn’t decide which medium to use, whose advice to listen to, or what to make. What I’ve learned recently is actually something that I already knew. I had to work through all that uncertainty to get where I am now. I had to try out different mediums and follow up on advice I was given and make a bunch of stuff that I wasn’t satisfied with.  And now I feel a lot more certain of the work I’m making.

Anyway, the images below are documentation of one of those paths I ventured down. I experimented with layering, manipulating, and mechanical reproduction via photocopier. The process was incredibly satisfying and I’m very happy I spent last summer creating these pieces. One day I might return to them…we’ll see.



The next few images were taken as I prepared for our summer open studios. You can see the number of pieces on the wall dwindling as I removed the less successful ones.









I played around a lot with the density feature on the photocopier. And I say ‘played’ because it was surprisingly a lot of fun to just stand at the copier like a scientist adjusting different parts of the process and layering random materials on my drawings.







Until next time! xoxo


John Paul Caponigro Lecture

Recently at the Taubman Museum of Art here in Roanoke, we had an exhibition featuring the work of father and son photographers Paul Caponigro and John Paul Caponigro. I taught several art lessons inspired by their work and came to really love the photographs.

Right before the show was deinstalled, John Paul came to do a lecture on his creative process and I was fortunately able to attend. He is a wonderful speaker and so positive and encouraging. Something that especially resonated with me were his thoughts on planning and–ready for it?–attention. I mentioned earlier this week that I would bring this up again. The theme for my first summer residency in Chicago was Attention and since then I hear about it everywhere and all the time!

From the SAIC website…

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John Paul brought up the theme of planning and noticing as he talked about the way he works. Basically, once he knows what he’s looking for (he used waves as an example), he notices them everywhere: waves in the sand, waves in the water, waves in the sky. When you pay attention you notice patterns.
jpc notes


John Paul also signed some copies of this book, which showcases his work and his father’s work. Had to get one!

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I can’t stress enough how valuable it is to hear an artist talk about their work and their practice. Take the time to listen and I can almost guarantee that you’ll appreciate the work more afterwards. As always, thanks for reading! xoxo


From the Vault: Oil Stick Portraits




I was cleaning my studio area the other day and I stumbled across some drawings that I had completely forgotten about. I did them a few years ago when I first discovered and fell in love with oil sticks (the big ones). They lie somewhere between oil pastels and oil paint and they’re a lot of fun to use. Anyway, I was just playing around with them when I drew these quick made up portraits of somewhat creepy-looking girls with pale skin, black hair and bright red lips. I only had black, white, and cream oil sticks because they’re kind of pricey. I used regular oil pastels to add some color.

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Thanks for reading!


Small Sketches

Something I’ve noticed in the past few years is that I really like grouping lots of small pieces together to sort of create a larger piece of art. I haven’t done it very much myself, but I’m drawn to work like that. Last year when I took the online class Practice Based Research in the Arts, I stumbled upon a series of drawings, paintings, and prints titled “The Lost Boys” by Eduardo Nasi. Individually, some of the pieces are very good, but I think the series as a whole is much stronger. I love the repetition of the characters and the variations in style and media.


Anyway, I want to incorporate that into my own work about diabetes. I think it will help me explore new ways of portraying that theme and it will be beneficial to have a larger body of work to refer to and be inspired by in the future.

I haven’t really started this process, but I’ve been making small ink pen sketches recently and there are elements in those that I plan to use again.


Thanks for reading and have a great weekend! :]


Inspiration: Texture + Pattern

One of the things I enjoy the most about my new DSLR camera is that I can take pictures of things up close without the image becoming fuzzy. I like focusing on interesting textures and patterns, and lately it has been giving me ideas for new artwork.

Woven Bag

Here are some images I took of my various bags. Most of them are from thrift stores. Any bag with an interesting texture or pattern always grabs my attention first :]

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I love the look of mixing different patterns and textures. I think I’ll incorporate that more into my own work. Thanks for reading :]


Happy Diabetes Art Day 2012!


Most people can’t tell that I have diabetes just by looking at me because it’s an invisible illness. In other words, all the damage is being done inside me. But even when people know that I have diabetes, they assume I’m fine because I don’t look sick (at least not usually). I feel defeated by my diabetes more than I let people know because I don’t want them to worry about me or feel sorry for me. It’s been hard for me to put diabetes first, especially when there are so many other things that I feel I  need to dedicate a lot of time to as well because they’re also very important (school, art, relationships…). I made this drawing for a variety of reasons. I made it primarily to show that diabetes is a huge part of my life (and always will be), but it’s not the only thing that defines me. Diabetes is 24/7, but other things occasionally occupy my mind, naturally. I also made it to remind myself of my priorities. Good health makes everything else a little easier, so I’m keeping that in mind.. :]

Check out the official website to see all the amazing art!




Two weekends ago, I experienced my first power outage that lasted more than a few hours–this one lasted almost 3 days for my family and I, and up to a week for others. It was definitely humbling and I realized how easy it was for me to feel hopeless without my precious electricity. Eventually I took advantage of the lack of power and drew for a few hours in my sister’s air-conditioned apartment. I titled to above drawing “Energy” in honor of that memorable weekend :] Here’s to not taking energy for granted!