Dec 28, 2011


In order to stitch together biography and art, it meant pulling out every single photo and having a look. 

I gave my first ‘artist talk’ at The Dixon last week, power point and all.  A variety of people showed up - family, old friends, art world friends, and strangers. (Thank you!)  I basically told my story, which like most people’s is not a straight line that goes from one thing to the next, but a looping experience of going backwards, coming forward, moving sideways, coming forward, falling down, coming forward.

I explained how and why I make paintings - how my eyes take in information and how I abstract what I see.  I talked about influences, discoveries and taste.  I was admittedly nervous, especially while planning it, but once I started it felt natural and comfortable to explain my process from the beginning. 

We all have a story.


Dec 8, 2011


 This book is full of rooms with details that find their way into my paintings. 
I've been admiring this room for a long time.  Considering the beige palette Pottery Barn has inflicted on us, it’s hard to imagine that in the sixties the average person (woman) was encouraged by mainstream ‘Better Homes and Gardens’ to actually live with bold color! I decided to do a painting based on this room of primaries, one that pays homage to the pleasures of this partiicular version of domesticity.

The Living Room, 36" x 36",  acrylic and graphite on canvas, 2011

Another spread in this book I keep coming back to is this yellow and gray room. 

It reminds me of Shelley Duvall's apartment in 3 Women

With these two interiors in mind I made a painting of yellow and gray.

Nothing Troubled Us, acrylic on canvas, 2011

Nov 22, 2011

The november sky with power lines.

Nov 16, 2011

This speaks to my lifelong innate desire to twirl around in circles by myself.

It clears my head. 


Oct 31, 2011

Here's the banner at The Dixon on the corner of Park and Cherry. This show has been a great experience!  It will be up through January 16.   Here's the review

at the abbey

I stayed in a Benedictine Abbey in Cullman, Alabama over the weekend. I could have used a few more days there reading, drawing, and sleeping.  This odd painting was on the wall in my room.

Oct 26, 2011

occupy keokuk

Like Memphis, Keokuk, Iowa is a Mississippi river town nestled in a tri-state area. It use to be a thriving working class town with lots of factories. They've mostly all closed now, although my husband’s Dad still works in one of the few remaining. It’s sad to see the repercussions of the extinction of American manufacturing. The population of Keokuk is dwindling and many buildings are empty. Despite this, the Iowa, Illinois, Missouri region is beautiful. There are lots of woods to romp around in close by. The river is wide and full with a massive lock and dam. The river roads are windy and tree lined, and the people keep on living.

Oct 19, 2011

Dear Dad, Thanks for sending me this quote.  You're right, I can relate.  Love, Sis


Sep 27, 2011

In August I saw this piece at the Arkansas Arts Center in an exhibit of their permanent collection.  Afterward, I couldn't stop thinging about it. First, it's Iggy Pop, who I love and adore and try to channel when need be. Then there's the Staple Singers, which have been in steady rotation on my life's soundtrack for many years now. Moving to the bottom of the piece, there's Iowa City, a place my husband spent many formative years.  And finally, December 18 is his birthday!  I wanted to look at it again but couldn't remember the title or artist.  I contacted the museum and they gave me the information and even sent me the catalog for the show it was originally in called "Stitches".  They are nice folks over there in Little Rock. The artist is Jenny Hart

Sep 19, 2011

yard sale stripes and agnes martin

When I saw a hanger full of very fancy ties lying on the couch after one of James' Saturday yard sale outings I thought, what is about the stripe that I'm so atrracted to? I think about stripes a lot and draw them over and over.  I could easily slip into to painting only stripes for the rest of my days. 

My friend, who is not an artist but indeed loves art, saw a link to this Agnes Martin video  and sent it my way. She said she thought of me because of   "1. abstraction, 2. stripes, 3. how she talks about art".  It felt good to have someone not familiar with Agnes Martin see her work and say 'i see you in here somewhere'. 

I've watched this many times over the years and every time I take away a new gem. For example, this  'vacant mind' idea she speaks of is a place I spend a lot of time trying to get to. Thinking is important in the studio, but not thinking is equally as important.

Agnes Martin Interview (20:00 version, 1997) from Chuck Smith on Vimeo.

Sep 12, 2011

To see

is to forget

the name


the thing

one sees.

Paul Valery

Sep 11, 2011

the light house

This is a visual record of a home I spent a lot of time in.  Recently, I had the opportunity to walk through before it was sold to take pictures of the details that are important to me.  This is memory.  

Every afternoon as the sun sets light pours in.  People who had spent years in the house would comment on the magnificence of this light, as though each time was the first time. Beyond the architecture and the light, there was something transcendent about the space.   Whenever I walked onto the porch it was like going through a worm hole into another dimension, a place just beyond this reality. There was a vibe to it, a peacefulness, that was so resonant you could almost hear it.  Granted, my friend who lived here was the type of person who welcomed everyone with open arms and brought out your best self. But there was more to it than just her kind nature.  Even she acknowledged the house held an inexplicable spell.  

I miss my friend every day.  I’ll miss this house.  I’m sharing these deeply personal photos in honor of her memory and the future artwork they'll inspire.