Monday, January 26, 2015

An update, and a favor to ask


First of all, an update on the Still Life with Lemons that I’m (slowly) working on:


I am at a bit of an impasse on the bottle. I can’t quite determine how the label should be done. I have a couple of options – I can either attempt to cut incredibly thin pieces for the lettering, or I can leave grout spaces where the lettering is, coloring it later with india ink. I’m also not sure whether I want you to actually be able to read the label or not. In the photo I took when I set up the still life, you can actually read it.


But I kinda think I’d prefer that the letters just suggest the name of the winemaker. Not sure exactly how I’d do that anyway, though.

And now for the favor….

Things change so very quickly in the virtual world, it’s a little hard to keep up with it unless you’re in the tech industry. I think it’s time for me to reevaluate the ways I’m trying to reach people to let them know what’s new and newsworthy in the studio. I’ve gotten into a bit of a rut. So if you would PLEASE PLEASE take just a couple of moments to fill out a survey for me I’d be ever so grateful! I promise it won’t take long and doesn’t ask any difficult questions. And of course it’s anonymous, so you can give me hell if you want to. Winking smile

Thank you in advance.

Take survey now

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A little spring fever, maybe?

OK, so the basket did need some adjustment. I scraped off some of the upper right side and reworked it. Now I’m much happier. However, my photography skills still suck. Slightly blurry photo, but it’s all I managed today, so take it or leave it.


Moving on to the loaf of bread next, and already stressing out over the background. I need to let it go until I get there, because I have plenty of other challenges ahead of me on this one.

I have never let myself work on more than one mosaic at a time, partly because I was afraid pieces would languish and never actually get finished, and partly because of the amount of space the glass I’m using takes up on the table. I take that back – I have two unfinished mosaics in the studio, but they are both more or less ‘abandoned’ for the time being. Unless I get an amazing bolt-of-lightning-style inspiration on how to move forward with them, I don’t like them well enough to finish. But I think I’m going to start another and have something to work on when I feel overwhelmed by the still life (above).Ode on a Dogwood

You may have seen the Facebook thing making the rounds – nominating artists to post pictures of their work for 5 days, and they then nominate others. I was nominated by Dee Ruff and today’s share was my Ode on a Dogwood from several years ago. I miss that piece. I didn’t have a very good camera back then, and the colors came out a little wonky – it’s actually prettier in person than in that photo. Anyway, I believe I’ll do another dogwood mosaic, this time of pink dogwoods.

Many years ago (none of your business how many!) I used to go to the American Quilter’s Society annual convention in Paducah, KY with my grandmother. They don’t have it there anymore, which is a shame, because it coincided with their annual Dogwood Festival. The entire city is full of dogwoods of every color, and they even light them up at night – it looks like something out of a fairy tale! The pink ones were my favorites, because at the time, there were few (or none) near my home in central Indiana. Lots of white ones, but the pinks were really rare.

So after fixing my issues with the still life, the remainder of today was spent sketching a composition for the dogwood blossoms and choosing colors, some of which I’ll have to order.

No pics for you! You must have been bad this week.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Who knew it’d be so hard?

Ugh. It just gets harder with each passing year, doesn’t it? Take a little time off at my age, and your body says “Whoo hoo!!! Retirement! Nap time……wait, what? Back to work?!? *#&$&%”

That, in itself, I can deal with. This nasty chest cold, not so much. Today was supposed to be the day I got back in the studio and got my groove back. Instead I have taken two naps.

However, I never did show you the current progress on the still life I’m working on. I was really annoyed with myself for not finishing the grapes before the holidays (I was so freakin’ close!) but why get all bent out of shape over a silly arbitrary deadline, anyway, right?


It annoys the crap out of me that I couldn’t see the crookedness of the basket when there was nothing else on there yet – in fact, looking back at an old pic, I still don’t see it (maybe just a touch). I don’t know if I took the photo from an odd angle, or if there are some adjustments to be made. (I do know that I drew the basket rim lopsided and will fix that when I put the glass on it.)

Now if I could just stop coughing long enough to take a shower without drowning….

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Free Beer!

OK, now that I have your attention….

Tomorrow (Friday, Dec 5) is the very first Riverview Station Holiday Market!!! From 4 – 8 pm over 20 artist studios will be open to help with your holiday shopping and to share a little holiday cheer with you. I will have homemade cookies and Wassail in my studio (#221) and Christmas tunes on the stereo (I am, literally, the Queen of Christmas tunes. Don’t believe me? Ask my kids)

Ready for Santa in the studio – and YES he’ll be around the building!

And even though we’re starting a little early, the El Kimchi food truck (Yum!) will be out front to calm the beast in the belly.

OK, so there’s not really any free beer, but there will be spiced rum in the wassail so maybe that’s better, eh?

Don’t miss it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A protest, of sorts.

I went to Old Navy yesterday. At checkout, the cashier gave me detailed instructions on how to be a part of their early Black Friday extravaganza – if I remember correctly they’re even giving away a million dollars to one of the first customers that arrives on 4 pm Thanksgiving Day. Lottery-style, I believe.

After she finished (she didn’t even take a breath in the middle) I said “I’m sorry. I don’t play that game. I don’t ‘do’ Black Friday”. In fact, for the whole holiday weekend I avoid shopping malls and their vicinities as I would plague-infested brothels.

I find the whole Black Friday thing a bizarre and depressing tradition. There is nothing in those stores that I want badly enough to fight crazed, sleep-deprived shoppers racing to see who can max out their credit cards first. Not even at 50% off. And now one day isn’t enough – we have to leech into Thanksgiving Day. There is nothing in those stores that I want badly enough to take me away from the company of my family that I don’t see nearly enough anymore and to fight crazed, sleep-deprived … (etc., see above).

Now obviously I can’t fight American consumerism. And when I told the cashier I don’t shop on Black Friday I remember thinking to myself “So what? How is your measly little self making a difference by taking this stand?”10661682_780358862029281_410216697854931409_o

Today I ran across something I think does make a difference. I was invited to participate in Flood the Streets With Art (part II) which asks artists to drop a free piece of art on the streets in their communities for a random stranger to find, take home and love. I love this idea – I’m all in! I will be in Greenfield, IN on Friday, so that is where to look if you’d like to be the one to find it.

I don’t think this is the kind of thing that will stem the tide of our gorging on consumer goods that are worn out or obsolete by next Thanksgiving. But maybe it shifts the balance. Maybe whoever finds my contribution will stop a moment to think.



Friday, November 21, 2014

Craving stillness

The cardinal is finished, and I am ready to ship it off to it’s new home right after Thanksgiving. I’ve become rather fond of this little bird (Notecuz every little thing - gonna be alright ) and I will miss him, but he will be cherished in his new home as a reminder to the family of a loved one they lost a few years ago. It’s wonderful to hear the stories that make up the connection behind why someone loves and wants your artwork.

Berry Christmas NickBerry Christmas
12” x 12”
smalti, stained glass, garnet beads and Carrera marble

Prints will be available very soon – I’ll let you know when they are in. Also, this is the design that will be featured on my annual Christmas ornament. Details on that very soon too!

With the rush to finish the cardinal, planning for travel to visit my family for Thanksgiving and my husband’s for Christmas, not to mention preparing for the Holiday Market on December 5, I find that I am craving stillness. I want to sit in a chair and not move. Not even my brain.

I can’t do that, so I figured the next best thing was to make my next project a still life. Not my usual fare, but this will be enough of a challenge to keep the juices flowing. When preparing to stage the still life, the first item I thought of and wanted to include was a basket by an artist friend of mine, Diane McEachen. She owns Brook Village Basketry and has a studio just down the hall from me. I really hesitated to do that, because the prospect of rendering a woven basket in mosaic was pretty daunting. But I think it’s going to work:


In the interest of saving my sanity, I will leave off the wooden beads and the metal bail handle.

I will keep some of the table top and fade it out chiaroscuro style into the background.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Please welcome my new intern!

Today’s post is by a guest blogger – my new intern! Esteban Gonzalez is working with me two days a week, learning the art of mosaic and helping with studio and online tasks. Hope you’ll say hi and welcome him in!



I am a Colombian born, emerging, artist. Recent graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio. Currently working at the Asheville Art museum as a Gallery Attendant. Have been making art since Batman, & other super heroes, passed by my 3 year old eyes. Love painting, drawing, and woodworking- and, I guess, now  mosaics! I also lived and went to high school in Charlotte, N.C. Very happy to be working with Lee Ann, and living in Asheville.

Monday, November 10, 2014

No rest for the wicked.

By the end of this week I was so tired I wasn’t thinking straight – I failed to take photos, either of the progress I’ve made on the cardinal mosaic or of the people milling about the Studio Stroll, enjoying the art and refreshments and occasionally even buying some art. If you didn’t make it to the Studio Stroll this weekend, you missed a wonderful event. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, and at least in Riverview Station, the atmosphere was almost carnival-like.

I’m so pleased with our little corner of the River Arts District – nearly every week a new and exciting artist moves in, and those who are there are committed to promoting our building and letting people know what fascinating art lives inside. For example, this crow sculpture by the awesome Lois Steele lived there until yesterday, when he then moved to my home to keep my cats in line.

IMG_0266 (1)

As exhausting as it’s been to push through 3 major events in 10 days, I can’t rest now! I’ve got lots of plans in the development stage that I’m anxious to share with you, but right now I need to get busy with preparations for our next big event – the Holiday Market at Riverview Station. This is the first of what we hope will be an annual event. There will be a food truck on the premises (a little bird told me it will be El Kimchi), a Santa roaming the halls, and lots of open studios with great holiday gift options for you. So save the date – December 5 from 4 – 8 pm.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Would somebody please stop the world? I need a nap.

Good Lord, I’m exhausted. Tomorrow and the next day are the River Arts District Studio Stroll and I’m not ready. I’m trying to plan for the Holiday Market December 5 and having trouble devoting any real brain power to it.

And in the last week I’ve had two big events and a visit from my brother in law that kept us hopping.

JCCC nov 6

At the Johnson City Country Club last night. Lots of wonderful people showed up to view my work, and the work of the other five Women of the Palette. Best part of the evening? Coming home with an original by Monique Carr!

monique edit

This has slowed down my work on the new mosaic, but it didn’t stop me from selling it! Yay! I’ll have prints of this for the Holiday Market, and it will be the design for this year’s Limited Edition Christmas Ornament.

nov 1 copy

So please, if you could just manage to make the world stop turning for about 12 hours, I’d  be ever so grateful.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Life is good :)

I finished the final clean up on The Three Graces, and the frame should arrive tomorrow. This photo is of the finished piece, but I’ll get another one with better lighting soon. I was just in a hurry to share it with you.


Also, I’m very excited to announce that I have selected an intern! Esteban Gonzales, who recently graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design will be joining me in the studio two days a week beginning November 11.

One other thing…I started this new piece because I was feeling nostalgic about Christmases when my kids were little. It’s entirely too cheesy, but I might call this one Berry Christmas.


The background will be split white Carrera marble which sparkles like fresh snow.


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