italian intensive

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Late 2015 marked a time of change, freedom, release. By the end of the year, dust settled from several unexpected life shifts and I was ready to grab life by the … you get my point. Last year, I felt charged – hungry to explore and learn. I began writing my goals on little post-its and sticking them to the inside of my closet so that, when I dressed each morning, the hot pink pieces of paper would act as motivators. Pink bursts of positivity. One post-it read “2+ week sabbatical to work on my art“. I began speaking outwardly about my creative goal, looking for places to stay in regions like West Texas, New Mexico or the Atlantic NE. As long as I was learning and creating, I was open to what the “sabbatical” or time away looked like. The more I opened up about it, the more suggestions I got. And a beautiful offer fell into my lap.

I was accepted into an artist residency in Terni, Italy. SCORE. For over two weeks, I was away from Austin, working alongside a group of talented and passionate women, focusing on printmaking and exploration.

My lack of knowledge of anything Italian (aside from a deep love for pasta, cheese & wine), plus the fact that I hadn’t practiced printmaking regularly since 2001, was the combo that excited me most. It was an open field. No expectations. My plan was to go and be and make (and eat).

 

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Watercolor of the Colosseum, Rome

I flew to Rome for some quick site-seeing before attending a two-week printmaking workshop at La Romita School of Art, located in the hills above Terni in central Italy. The workshop was taught by Katherine Brimberry (Co-Founder, Director & Master Printer of Flatbed Press) and Susan Davidoff (accomplished Artist based in the Chihuahuan desert of west Texas).

La Romita was once a monk’s monastery established in 1548 (so dreamy!). It remained an active monastery until the early 19th century after the monks left, when the grandparents of signora Amina Quargnali purchased it as the family’s summer home and farm. Some of the olive trees at La Romita are still living it up at over 300 years old! La Romita School of Art first opened in the mid-1960s, under the guidance of Enza Quargnali. For 50+ years, artists have stayed at La Romita, painting and writing in the beautiful Umbrian hill country, “whose radiant golden light has charmed artists since the days of Perugino and his famous pupil, Rafael”. Much of the original structures remain intact, including the Chapel-Studio.

 

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Chapel – Studio at La Romita

 

Our small group spent the majority of our time focusing on individual work or exploring Umbria and Tuscany. During the residency, I focused on my “Undercurrents” figure series. Getting my hands dirty in a different, but familiar, medium released some new ideas. I crept into a direction to further explore. Initially, it was intimidating to work alongside some of these artists who are grounded in their lifelong creative career, women with years of experience. It was energizing and humbling. More than a few times I wished my mother, also an artist, was there to experience and create. I quickly settled in and absorbed as much as possible, valuing each moment. I am nuts about the printmaking process and have a lot to learn. My dreams at night were lively and intense, my subconscious working hard to digest everything. It is rare for an artist to be given sustained time and space to create. I was in heaven.

 

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We visited over 14 towns and historic locations and spent no less than 5 hours a day in the studio or press room: “Italian Intensive”. Below is a slideshow of artwork and various moments. Flatbed Press will be having an exhibition of our work next Spring, including some pieces created in Italy. I will also have a few prints hanging in my studio during EAST this coming November. I value my companionship with these creative people from around the globe and look forward to staying connected.

 

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Thank you to everyone at La Romita for your warm hosting, to Kathy & Suzi for your knowledge and encouragement, to Mike for your support, to Momzie & Dad for being you. And to Italy, for lighting my fire.

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essential qi

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Watercolor and design … what a stellar combination for branding. Last fall, I was hired by Essential Qi to create an identity for their company as well as packaging for their line of Chinese Medicine Inspired Acupoint Aromatherapy. The company was started by two professional acupuncture therapists based here in Austin. They created three essential oil blends: Shielding, Restful, Soothing. Included within each roller bottle is a stone pertaining to the blend’s function. Each blend smells super yum.

Below you will find the logo I created as well as the finished packaging that I designed, illustrated and produced (using a local printer). The colors are pulled from the 5 elements in Chinese Medicine and the look is an ethereal, balanced and healing one. The packaging includes the box, roller bottle with label, and an informative insert complete with application illustration.

 

Full and Reverse Logos:

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With Jenny Hoger and Phyllis Kung at the Essential Qi launch party held at BFree Yoga in Austin.

 

To learn more about this new line of traditional medicine inspired aromatherapy blends, created in Austin, click HERE.

undercurrents

dance & drawing. movement. cycles.

i switched majors in college when i was 19 from ballet pedagogy (university of oklahoma at norman) to visual art (university of arkansas at fayetteville). ballet was a passion of mine but i found that it may not have been my calling. i love dancing … tap, modern, theatre, lyrical, ballet. i wasn’t too shabby at it, but i felt my heart pulling towards working creatively with my hands.

diving into painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and everything else was very therapeutic and natural. however, i missed dance like crazy. after all, i danced from when i was 4 to 18. i ended up taking instruction at a local dance studio, which satisfied that need. while finishing up my BFA, i decided to challenge myself with finding a unique way to express the melding of dance and drawing. i researched various dance photographers and took several figure study courses. figure study from professor ken stout was an inspiring set of courses that pushed me further towards my interests.

at the time, i ended up painting a few pieces that i felt achieved the goal i was going for. but after college, the project was put on hold.

last year, i was inspired by a motivated friend to do a little clean-out of ye ole soul. time leaves its baggage piled up in your chest and sometimes you have to get in there and clean it out. you also have to take time to appreciate all the goodness. it is a great favor to do for yourself. so i began to find a healthy path toward focusing on emotional, physical, spiritual clarity. it’s not something to cross off of your “to do” list, but it’s nice to shift your lifestyle just a bit to gain clarity and let go of some aging hook-ups.

during this process of journaling, sketching, reading, pacing, analyzing, resting (and a little bit of dancing), i began my “undercurrents” series. i’m a pretty private person and have been wanting to challenge myself by exposing a more emotional side in a tasteful, expressive manner. i worked with dear friend and talented photographer Lily Darragh back home in little rock to shoot a couple of dancers. i shared with her my goals, we painted a backdrop and did some planning on how this would best play out.

Working with a dancer during the Little Rock photo shoot.
working with a dancer during the little rock photo shoot.

after spending quite some time narrowing down the emotions/narratives i intended to convey, i built playlists to correlate with each narrative. we met one afternoon with two dancers that ended up really pushing the idea. as the dancers listened to the music, i loosely “choreographed” the shoot and encouraged them to improvise and tap into their own forms of expression. it was a pretty incredible experience watching these talented girls put my description into action.

the photos turned out better than imagined: i now have a beautiful custom library of photographs to create from. and they all tell a personal story. i am currently in the process of organizing the photos, sketching from them and creating mixed-media paintings while also creating from live models. more to come …

DO NOT COPY - PHOTO PRIVATELY OWNED DO NOT COPY - PHOTO PRIVATELY OWNED

DO NOT COPY - PHOTO PRIVATELY OWNED

 

 

 

 

thank you to jenny wittenberg, georgia & ashton, lily and momzie. 

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[dancing to the bangles, of course.]

these days are numbered.

literally … these days are numbered. i had the honor of designing the bar bc ranch calendar again this year. last year’s was a success and, according to the bossman, this year’s “is fabulous, well done!  Maybe the best yet?” 

Bar BC Calendar Cover

this year, i was asked to not only design the calendar and handle pre-production/production, but they wanted me to paint a series of watercolors to accompany each months “hero” photograph. the series consists of 3 insects, 3 fish, 3 trees and 3 plants. again, this was one of my most favorite jobs. i love large, intense projects that i can get lost in. this satisfied both my overly-organized self as well as the creative daydreamer in me. thanks again to mj for a great experience.

i work with a great partner on the project, which makes it that much more enjoyable (mj, you know i’m talking about you). the organizing, research, working with wyoming photographers, etc, went smoothly with the hillwood team. printing went smoothly, which is always good news. capital printing here in austin does a fantastic job of being technically on-it as well as accommodating and pleasurable to do business with (high five, mickey!). the production side of it can be a headache (and backache and eyeball ache) but they run it smoothly and kink free.

which is your favorite?me, i’m partial to jackson hole in september …

 

photography with the accompanying watercolor:
it’s easiest to click on the first one then scroll through them with the arrows once the image is open large.

 

 

production with capital printing co, austin.

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2013 recap

THANK YOU to all who posted, liked, commented, shared and supported in 2013. lots of love.
i’m ready for another great year, full to the brim.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

new site!

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well, a website redesign was due, so i’m happy to share my new site, eegcreative.com. it focuses on graphic design work as well as my visual artwork (drawing/painting/mixed media). this is a good excuse to turn your phone on silent, grab your laptop and do some surfing.

this blog (the page you’re on right now) will still have updates on what i’m working on and all of that good stuff (drawings, photos, projects) … and facebook/twitter/pinterest are also awesome time suckers. so enjoy yourself and go play.

new website link   :   www.eegcreative.com

e.e.g. creative music mix

a big ole thank you to the Man upstairs and to everyone who supports artists, designers, creators and those with fantastic ideas. you are greatly appreciated.

bourbon & boots

i’m proud to announce that bourbonandboots.com will be selling my southern wares. today, they posted the first item for sale, a pistol illustration. i’m super excited as these guys have a good-lookin’ site with unique stuff to buy.
boots & bourbon says:
“This is who we think you might be.

  • You love the South
  • You are from the South or are a Southern Expat (livin’ up in yankeeland or maybe Texas)
  • You might even be a Carpetbagger who realizes how awesome Southern culture is
  • You value small producers
  • You value quality craftsmanship
  • You like vintage and handmade things
  • You value family and hospitality”

take a look here!

 

e.a.s.t.

the east austin studio tour is a big deal here in austin. artists, galleries and some retail/restaurants collaborate for the sake of being creative. i was fortunate enough to be hosted by the fabulous east side showroom, a depression-era set restaurant with all locally grown and raised food. my pieces fit well, which was a bonus. big thanks to mickie spencer for having me show during such a great event. e.a.s.t. took place during october and since then the pieces that are still for sale have made it to gallery 26 in little rock and to grayDUCK gallery in austin. i also have a few here at the studio for sale. take a lookie!

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11.11.11

first off, happy veterans day. i don’t think there’s anyone out there who is not connected to someone who has served.  my uncle, cousin, grandfather … salut!

secondly, i am proud to announce the opening of the current art exhibit at the historic arkansas museum’s trinity gallery. continuing the series inspired by natural southern beauty, antique pistols, heartache, travel and the like, the walls are filled with my multi-media works. i share the exhibit with brett anderston, who’s sculptures are organic and strong. they scatter the floors with a heavy presence and are well constructed. the balance between he and myself works well. please come and support the show! during the opening tonight there will be dancers performing from ballet arkansas, blacksmithing demonstrations and lark in the morning playing their sweet tunes.

please come! here is a preview for you:

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11.11.11
5-8pm
historic arkansas museum : 200 e 3rd st, little rock 72201
free admission
the show is up through february 5, 2012. i’d love to hear how you liked it so feel free to email.

austin art interview!

i’m excited to announce my interview with metroseeker.com!

this site is an “online residential guidebook, but it’s much more than that: unlike traditional living-shopping-culture guides, MetroSeeker uncovers the essence of the place and of the people. If you’re going to make a life somewhere, you’ll want to go beyond the obvious.” the site “features a variety of aspects that are not covered in traditional guidebooks.”

i was selected to be a featured austin artist!
read it HERE!