Steve, contemplating his drawing 1.21.09

I'm figuring out the focus of the blog. Thus far, I envision it as a diary of my studio life and artistic process, as well as place to post images I like and may one day use in a painting.

This photo provides context. Steve is my husband and studiomate, and we often work alongside each other. Occasionally we collaborate on drawings, but our painting process is sufficiently different that we've not yet dared to attempt a painting together.


Walking buddies

Snow pics, Loyola Beach, Chicago 1.22.09

It's good to have a walking buddy. Meltem and I have decided to walk regularly in the mornings to our neighborhood beach. It's in part for the exercise and in part to counter the solitary nature of painting in our studios most of the day.

But the real value in it is to get our creative juices flowing early in the day. 

I swear, I wasn't going to bring my camera. This was to be about walking and talking. But Meltem brought hers on our first day and I couldn't stand it. My fingers were itching and impatient. I wanted to grab it and take my own photos.

So my camera comes along too.

The light is beautiful in the morning. It'll be good to watch winter begin its gradual decline into spring.


Southern Exposure, light through curtains, paintings in progress, 8:01am 1.22.09


Inaugural Poem by Elizabeth Alexander

This poem reminds me why I became a painter--to spin beauty from the most basic elements.

Praise song for the day.

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of. 

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by Love thy neighbor as thyself, others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.What if the mightiest word is love? 

Love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.


Sketch for a new painting 1.19.09
Watercolor and oil pastel 
image size 7.5" x 9"


Pratt Pier 12.17.08

Back in December, my dear friend and artistic collaborator, Meltem Aktas and I went to the lakefront to shoot photos. I uploaded my pics onto flickr and a cropped version of this one was selected as WBEZ Public Radio's daily photo for 12/20/08.


Works in Progress 1.14.09

I will have four new paintings on exhibit at Packer Schopf Gallery in mid-February.

Packer Schopf Gallery
942 West Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60607
312 . 226 . 8984


Loyola Beach, Chicago 1.5.09