Friday, December 31, 2010

Yard Art

Came across this photo recently. It's me. As I walked up to the Art Department in my first semester, I find this stuck in the ground. First thing I notice is the HAIR, then that it's on a FLAMINGO, then that it's not pink so what is that on the body MY ART. I felt extremely welcomed to my new job. I find it hard to believe that was 5 years ago. Thanks, MSSU art students.

Travel PhotoLogs II

Travel PhotoLogs

Future Art Educators

So proud of my art education majors. They not only are on their way to student teaching and teacher certification, but they are accomplished artists and fantastic people. Congrats: Melanie, Amber, Whitney, Karalee, Danna, Lacey, and Rachel.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Not My Grandma's Quilt

It's my birthday. I got some new, sexy paint. I'm in a naughty mood; time to make new things. I'm thinking of the traditional quilt patterns I've been working with, like "Puss in a Corner", puss as in "cat". Why not make a new pattern and call it "Pussy in a Corner", in the great feminist tradition of non-traditional reinvention? Definitely not my Grandmother's quilt. Hee hee. I am reminded of Egyptian artist Ghada Amer and her show I saw at Brooklyn Museum in 2008. Shown here is And the Beast (2004). She stitched right onto the canvas. I started painting with my sexy tubes of Golden acrylic onto a giant blue tarp (by the way, why are tarps blue? Why not pink?). It feels great to start something new, but this something can't remain decorative pattern for me, even if it's already not traditional quilting materials. Maybe I'll keep you posted...wink wink.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Visiting Artist, Matt Dehaemers

Tuesday, friend and artist Matt Dehaemers accepted my invitation to come to MSSU and share his art with students and area artists. It was fantastic. Last year he completed a mural at the I-44 visitors center in Joplin, and this week he completed a public art piece called Catalyst at the corner of 31st and Troost in KCMO. We were honored to host him. He was on KCUR 89.3 Central Standard, interviewed about the KC piece here:

Thanks for your time and your art, Matt!

Book of Anton

I'm thrilled to announce the self-publication of a book I have been working on with a dear friend, the Book of Anton. I did the art and book design, and Kevin Still wrote the magical stories.

You can download the PDF for a buck, or buy the paperback book, or both. Just in time for the holidays! Please consider the gift of art this year for your family and friends. If sales go well, I might hike up the price so we can actually make a measly profit. But for now, we wanted to offer it to you at production cost to get it into your hands.

Happy reading.

PDF format:

Book format:

Saturday, September 25, 2010


World English Dictionary
icon (ˈaɪkɒn)
— n
1. Also: ikon a representation of Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint, esp one painted in oil on a wooden panel, depicted in a traditional Byzantine style and venerated in the Eastern Church
2. an image, picture, representation, etc
3. a person or thing regarded as a symbol of a belief, nation, community, or cultural movement
4. a person regarded as a sex symbol or as a symbol of the latest fashion trends
5. a pictorial representation of a facility available on a computer system, that enables the facility to be activated by means of a screen cursor rather than by a textual instruction

[C16: from Latin, from Greek eikōn image, from eikenai to be like]

Friday, September 17, 2010

Webb City Art and Food

Another great year at the Webb City Farmers Market Arts in the Park event. I volunteered at Spiva's table to help kids make creatures out of the veggies. Always fun.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Leedy-Voulkos in KC

The opening was fantastic. After putting up the show Thursday and Friday, I changed clothes and put on my chatty face and enjoyed the onslaught of the First Fridays crowd in the Crossroads of Kansas City. Literally hundreds of folks flooded the streets on an absolutely beautiful evening. Felt like it was a "this is your life" moment; past colleagues and friends I hadn't seen in years showed up, many just on their usual artwalk path and just happened upon my show. Sold a couple pieces. Lots of great discussions about the work, since I asked people what they thought about the work and introduced myself. Will be going back first friday of October; my MSSU art department students have planned to go to the galleries that night. I want to get some crowd shots then. This is it, this is the artist's life!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Sense of Order

Leedy-Voulkos Art Center
Kansas City, Missouri
Sept 3-Oct 30th 2010

Opening First Friday Sept 3rd 6-9pm

I make art because it is a tangible, immediate way to process my life and what interests me visually and intuitively. Author Joanne Harris in the book Chocolat describes "a way of mapping out the random patterns of our trajectory". This is what my art does for me, it creates a sense of order to a nonsensical existence.
A range of color and value and texture reflects my changing moods.
Materials mixed, accessible and affordable, mirror my modus operandi.
Pattern calms me. It is a familiar meditation to center my soul, focus my mind, and relax my body.
Images of iconic, universal, striking, labyrinthine women: that’s who I am.
Small, intimate drawings within large, graphic installations. That’s me, too.
These are elements and subjects that I continue to explore even as I travel, see more art, meet more artists, and develop my web of experiences and relationships.
All the work is ultimately self-exploration, self-portrait.
I could pretend that I make art for causes, for other people, to further the field. But it’s for me. If you know me, you know I’m not much of an actor.
I believe life is luscious and to be explored through every pore, in a very visceral way, no regrets. And so art.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Hold me now, oh hold me now
Till this hour has gone around
And I gone, on the rising tide
For to face Van Diemen's land.

It's a bitter pill I swallow here
To be rent from one so dear.
We fought for justice and not for gain
But the magistrate sent me away.

Now kings will rule and the poor will toil
And tear their hands as they tear the soil
But a day will come in this dawning age
When an honest man sees an honest wage. -U2


Amsterdam was a great surprise to me. I had always thought of Venice as the city of canals; it had never entered my mind that I should find similar conditions in a Dutch town.
James Weldon Johnson

In Amsterdam the water is the mistress and the land the vassal. Throughout the city there are as many canals and drawbridges as bracelets on a Gypsy's bronzed arms.
Felix Marti-Ibanez


The Ghent Festival promises "pop music, folkrock, rock 'n' roll, hiphop, jazz, R'n'B and lots more on all the squares in the city centre." There's theatre, comedy, sightseeing, exhibitions, boat trips on the river Lys. And there's always that fine food (and beer!) that Belgians are famous for...


As an artist, a man has no home in Europe save in Paris. -Friedrich Nietzsche

To err is human. To loaf is Parisian. -Victor Hugo

I love Paris in the summer, when it sizzles. -Cole Porter

Friday, July 2, 2010

Symbolic Installations at MFAA 2010

Course Description:
Variations on Your Symbolic Theme: Creating a Visual Identity
Students will make a hand-bound journal to document the creative exploration of a personal symbolic theme reflecting a student’s individual values and identity. Historical, contemporary, individual and communal signs and symbols will be explored and documented. Next, planning and the creation of 5-7 personal symbols will result in a site-specific installation of various two-dimensional works reflecting the personal symbolic theme. Mediums include drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, cut paper, and projection. Minimal experience with these materials required.

Missouri Fine Arts Academy Faculty Show

June 2010, Missouri State's Student Exhibition Center

These pieces are about work. They are about women's work, about meditation and staying sane through hours of work, about sharing the load. The art is labor intensive, much like the lives of working women all around the world. Created on paper with weaving, collage, crayon, markers, oil pastel, acrylic paint, graphite, and electrical tape. They include traditional American quilt patterns, creating a local grid to hold the global woman, bursting with color and order.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Not so Still Life

Art teachers often have to teach this idea of "still life", you know, oranges and lemons in bowls, piles of seemingly random junk cleverly arranged on wooden tables, flowery table cloths, or chipped-paint shelves.
One of my missions as an artist and teacher is to take old (OK, "traditional") ideas and try new mediums and processes in order to put my own spin on the idea. I was stuck one day in my studio, and first looked for a surface to play on. I found a piece of plexiglass. I had a sharpie in my hand, as I walked back to my table, I saw my shelf full of art supplies through the plexiglass. So I stopped in my tracks, propped the plexi on my hip, and traced my stuff as I saw it THROUGH the plexi directly ONTO the plexi with black sharpie. I next considered painting with acrylics, but wanted something more tactile and time-consuming. I turned to a big box of yarn and went crazy, first gluing down the contours with black yarn, then filling in with whatever colors I felt called to me.
I am excited by what is happening. The lines give these usually lifeless objects some intense energy. It is taking many hours to complete, but the process has been both a design challenge and a meditative exercise for me in this over-scheduled spring. And bonus, a happy accident! I noticed that the yarn was starting to peel off the plexiglass, intact because the glue was holding it all together. I am hoping that when it's finished, I'll be able to peel the whole piece off like a band-aid and tack it up on the wall.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pieces of Portland II

Inherent in the local is the concept of place--a portion of land/town/cityscape seen from the inside, the resonance of a specific location that is known and familiar. Most often place applies to our own "local"--entwined with personal memory, known or unknown histories, marks made in the land that provoke and evoke. Place is latitudinal and longitudinal within the map of a person's life. It is temporal and spatial, personal and political. A layered location replete with human histories and memories, place has width as well as depth. It is about connections, what surrounds it, what formed it, what happened there, what will happen there.
Lucy Lippard, The Lure of the Local

Pieces of Portland

The intersections of nature, culture, history, and ideology form the ground on which we stand--our land, our place, the local. The lure of the local is the pull of place that operates on each of us, exposing our politics and our spiritual legacies. It is the geographical component of the psychological need to belong somewhere, one antidote to prevailing alienation. The lure of the local is that undertone to modern life that connects it to the past we know so little and the future we are aimlessly concocting.
Lucy Lippard, The Lure of the Local

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Acquisitions

Natalia Zubko

Jen Waters

Artists are naturally collectors of art. While we don't usually make the big bucks, it is important to have work of our friends, of artists we admire and are connected to for usually personal reasons more than professional ones. I went to grad school at Parsons in NYC with these two artists. I consider them close friends, and admire their work greatly. During a recent visit to NYC where they both live and work, I was able to get these pieces. I saw Natalia's a year ago in her studio, and started lusting after it then. Over the past year, she looked at my website and found a piece of mine she was interested in. So we swapped. Jen extended the offer of a piece after I helped her with some official paperwork, vouching for her as she applied for her greencard. To thank me, she gave me artwork. So I visited her studio, and poured through her work, and got to talk through her process, what she was thinking about. I narrowed it down to two pieces she was willing to give up, and this is the one I chose for many reasons that will remain private between her and me. They are fantastic artists and people. See more of their work at their websites:

New Body of Work, Literally

So this is a new piece. And it's essentially me, not just by my hand, but me. This is a big deal. I've dealt with the figure, with the female form, but more as the general idea, not me specifically. The piece is about journey, about a focused energy, about emanating that energy. I am experiencing a new season, some priorities are shifting, I have a new lens, and it's wonderful. I feel better, I feel loved, I feel sexy, I feel more in my body than ever. And that kind of power is intoxicating. As an artist, that is the kind of season to explore visually. How much you share with the world as an artist is another issue; sharing this image is risky and perhaps premature. But that's never stopped me before. I have no clue what's next, if this is a jumping-off place or a one-time deal. Time will tell.

The Soldiers Creed

Melinda is my student. She is a lovely spirit, an artist, a gentle communicator, and smart as a whip. And she's leaving to serve in Afghanistan today. Yesterday I went to her company's send off. 150 soldiers in the gymnasium. Packed house with their families, and flags, and speeches. The air in the room was simultaneously sad and proud. Veterans were asked to stand and be acknowledged, and about a quarter of the room rose to its feet. I was stunned. With all my worldly experience and education, I have not been this close personally to our country's involvement in the middle east. It's a huge conundrum; I sat on the gym floor yesterday on the verge of tears the whole time, because I'm mad that we are the world's police, I am fundamentally opposed to our presence there, I'm sad that young people like Melinda who have such a promising future are the ones that go, for whatever reasons. Melinda, be safe. I am proud of you. This was the creed she recited with her company:

I am an American Soldier.
I am a Warrior and a member of a team.
I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.
I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.
I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.
I am an expert and I am a professional.
I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.
I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.
I am an American Soldier.