Jan 11, 2015


In November I had my first gallery solo show.  I’m still processing the experience of making the work, putting it out there, and seeing where things will go in my studio next. I’m looking inward. Quieting down. Listening as best as I can.

This picture of my sweet husband holding up the marigolds he strung up before the first big frost is my favorite of last year.  Whenever I am unsure, insecure, or scared about anything related to being an artist he always says, "Just go make paintings, Mel."  

Oct 2, 2014

calumet artist residency

In August I spent two weeks working at Calumet Artist Residency, located in a small house on top of a dune in Gary, IN. 

"Founded in 2012, The Calumet Artist Residency strives to accentuate the significant local natural beauty while acknowledging the troubling relationship between industry and nature."    

I spent a lot of time walking and exploring this contrast between the gorgeous Indiana National Lake Shore, which is a short walk from the residency, and the half empty industrial town of Gary. I was glad to get the chance to  meet the good folks of Gary at the farmer’s market, on the beach, at the local brewery, and at an art opening - all  people staying and working to make Gary a more livable and beautiful place. 

I had planned on making a few day trips to Chicago but I couldn't tear myself away, so I just took the hour train ride in once to go to the Art Institute. Being in a quiet new space where I spent most of my days working outside cleared my head and gave me a sense of perspective on where I am as an artist.  If I consistently make work then evolution slowly happens - but in day to day life it can be hard to see the subtle shifts, ebbs, and flows.  Having two weeks of uninterrupted time to make art in such a different place was a gift to my studio life back home in Memphis.

Thanks, Kate and Corey, for sharing  part of your special world with artists and writers, and thanks for all you do for Gary.  The world needs more people like you. 

Aug 27, 2014

more black, red, orange, white

The lines from my grandmother's afghan up against lines of my shirt, with a splash of flesh is meaning enough for me. 

Jun 30, 2014

the beauty in a back

I keep thinking about Leigh Bowery's back. (see previous post) It had to be very strong to support the weight of all those costumes.  He showed it off a lot and Lucien Freud painted it every last plane. 

What a pair. 

It brought to mind a drawing I did in a figure class at Flicker Street Studio a couple of years ago.  The model's back was exquisitely wonderful to navigate.  I want to make a painting based on the shape of her back. 

This is a revisiting of source material because I believe I actually posted this soon after I drew it.  It's been tucked away in a pile but recently I pulled out all my drawings and flipped through them.  A rediscovery of a shape.   

Jun 9, 2014

It's fine with me not having a dishwasher because I get a lot of good thinking done standing at the sink and staring off into what we call the 'bird bath bed'. 

Jun 5, 2014

Thank you, John Waters.  I always appreciate hearing your voice in my head, seeing your colors, breaking it down, and putting it back together again.