Much of my time over the last few months of this past semester were spent here:
This was my studio space in the Advanced Painting room at Tulane. I shared this room with several other pretty cool people (and pretty awesome artists). Our end goal was to produce a body of work for our end-of-the-year, Bachelor of Arts Exhibition. Our exhibition was up in the Carroll Gallery at Tulane from May 9th-May 17th.
It was a really awesome experience to have my work shown in a gallery. Here is my final exhibition, a quilt series of twenty-four (I actually did more, these were just the ones I ended up showing) abstract landscape paintings, painted on cotton quilting fabric, some fabrics sewn together, and some including machine and hand embroidery.
My artist statement:
I grew up in rural Southern Illinois on land that has been passed down through my family for generations. Before I started school, I spent every day with my grandmother, who encouraged my love of watercolor painting and being creative and who established the foundation for my personality and moral beliefs. My grandpa wrote stories, fished everyday, and grew a huge garden that I helped him harvest. I loved snapping off the ripe asparagus, helping my grandma cook, and laying in the hammock in their backyard. Just down the road was my own house, where I climbed trees and ran through the creek with my sisters and brother, helped my dad work in the yard and feed our chickens, and helped my mom plant flowers and herbs, cook and bake. Throughout my childhood, my mom imparted to me her creative knowledge – sewing, hand embroidery, cross-stitch, smocking, machine embroidery, knitting, crocheting, and basket weaving.
After moving to New Orleans for college, I started thinking more about my own childhood and the different backgrounds of those around me. I began to really question the idea around our sense of place—how people live, where they live, why they live there—the spaces people create for themselves. How do these places impact our personalities and our interests? During this time, I also developed a love for interior design—a way to carve out a space for myself that felt comfortable and familiar, a place where I could mix my former and current worlds in a way that was also beautiful and intriguing.
My art aims to capture a sense of personal history, exploring both the past and the present, questioning the differences in the city and the country, and highlighting domestic pursuits and interior spaces and exploring their connection with the natural world. I’m interested in the juxtaposition of interior and exterior spaces—nature and domesticity, home and homestead, city and country—but also interested in how they work together and are innately connected. Because of my upbringing, I’m very interested in the use of sewing, embroidery, quilting, fabric and pattern and how those elements can intertwine with paint to create images. I’m also interested in the elements that make up interiors—paint, fabric and textiles, wood textures, natural elements, metal finishes—and how many of those elements find their roots in the natural—cotton, linen, wood, and minerals. One of my aesthetic and conceptual goals is to somehow marry interior and natural elements into a single image, developing a quilt of sorts, that evokes a feeling of comfort, sentiment, and history that an interior of a home or a familiar natural setting provides.
If you want to check out more of my artwork, you can visit my portfolio website, here.
To check out work from the other artists showing with me, visit our exhibition website, here.
After being so inspired by these abstract paintings and our TNASA (Tulane Newcomb Art Student Association) painting workshop, I finally decided it was time I quit telling myself that I didn’t have the time to paint and just get out my paints and get to it. I already had a canvas that I had ready for a painting for my office, so I didn’t have to do any prep work. I just sat down and started painting. I had a good idea of what I wanted to do and the final product went in almost a totally different direction, but I really like the way it turned out. Here is what my office looks like now with the addition of my painting:
I figured this was also a good time to share more updates about my office. I think the last time I shared anything about it was when I shared staining my desk, here. It has definitely changed since then! I love this room and it is such a great place for me to be able to work in. I still love my desk. It is the perfect size to spread out my papers and books on to study, to clear off and be able to work on drawings or art projects for school, and it functions wonderfully as a sewing table as well. I love the way it looks and I haven’t had any problems with it or complaints. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a great (and inexpensive) desk. You can find it at IKEA, here.
I love, love, love my tufted linen office chair. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and knew it would one day be mine. Unfortunately, World Market happened to be out of stock with them all across this half of the country and I had to wait over 3 months for them to get any more in. I stalked them rather frequently just to see if maybe more had arrived. They did finally come in and I brought mine home (with some discounts too for using a coupon that they had e-mailed out). I absolutely love the look of it, the fabric, the tufting, everything. It is also so much more comfortable than my old wooden office chair as well. You can find it online, here. (Although online you can only buy them in sets of two, in the store you can buy them individually)
Last, but not least, I am really pleased with my white shelving unit from IKEA as well. It was inexpensive, easy to put together, and is well made and looks really nice. It is the perfect size for what I needed and it is great for holding all my office supplies and other crafty stuff. I originally wanted some kind of a wooden dresser for storage in here, but I am so happy with this instead. I love that it is lightweight and will be so much more practical to move out of this second story apartment whenever we move. A big wooden dresser would not be so much fun to move. Plus with a wooden desk, I’m happy with the white shelves. You can find it at IKEA, here. The baskets are from Target and I really like that they carry over the wood tones from my desk and I love that they came with linen fabric liners already in them.
We also put up some wall shelves on the other wall for additional storage, although you can’t see them in the pictures above. We also added a longer curtain rod. It bothers me that the curtains I have in here are too short, they were from my dorm room, but they work for now. We added the shelves to the closet in here, and we also put up a towel rod on the back of the door for me to hang my scarves on. We’ve still got a few more things to do, but so far I love this space! :)
This weekend, I was in charge of organizing T/NASA’s first painting workshop. (Tulane/Newcomb Art Student Association) It was for abstract acrylic painting and one of Tulane’s grad students taught us many different tips and techniques for achieving different looks and textures in our artwork. It was a great day spent painting with friends.
Everyone seemed to have a really great time and lots of inspiring artwork was produced. It was so nice to be painting again! Especially after being so inspired by abstract art lately!
A big thanks to Tim for bringing his camera and taking pictures and for letting me use it to take a million pictures as well.