Where My Okies At

ok_56_600 I lived in Oklahoma for seven outta-sight years. It's where my art career really began. I'm in Austin now, but Oklahoma will always have a cherished place in my heart.

That's why I have a special message for my Okie supporters and collectors. (Hi, guys! Lookin' good!)

I've lived in Austin for three years now, and I work with two excellent Texas galleries:

Cerulean Gallery in Amarillo Ro2 Art in Dallas

I have a show coming up soon at Cerulean. On Edge opens on Friday, 16 September 2016, and runs through 28 October. I've been working very hard this year to present you with the best paintings I've ever created.

On September 16th, I'll be at the opening with a big big smile on my face.

You know who I would love to see there? You.

Would you consider making the trip?

I'm asking two months in advance so you'll have time to make travel plans. Amarillo is about 3.5 to 4 hours by car from Oklahoma City. You won't believe how that time flies when you're carpooling with friends.

In addition to the amazing art show at Cerulean Gallery (wink), here are some other things to do during your visit:

Diner2

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

Have chicken fried steak at Lucille's Roadhouse

Visit Palo Duro Canyon

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Take selfies at Cadillac Ranch

Indulge with wine & cheese at OHMS Cafe & Bar

Wake up to Roasters Coffee

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Take in two great exhibitions at the Amarillo Museum of Art: Light on the Plains: Frank Reaugh pastels from the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum Side by Side: Larry Bell and Gabriel Dawe

Take the challenge at The Big Texan

Hope to see you there!

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A Harvest Already At Hand

Harvest. Acrylic on unstretched canvas, 24 x 24 inches by Sarah Atlee.Harvest. Acrylic on unstretched canvas, 24 x 24 inches by Sarah Atlee.

Art is recuperation from time. I lie back convalescing upon the prospect of a harvest already at hand. - R. S. Thomas

The summer of 2006 was a hot, dry one - my first in Oklahoma. While I was busy napping and otherwise taking respite from the heat, our vegetable garden was busy producing its bounty. That year we had green chiles, Thai chilies, zucchini, lots of tomatoes, a watermelon or two, and one giant sweet potato (pictured at top). My mother and I thought those sweet potato vines were just ornamental - we didn't realize they were attached to such a prodigious root.

Other Bountiful Harvests (and Summer Heat) in Art

Fest in the Garden, Corneille, 1971. Click image to view source. Corneille, 1971. Click image to view source.

Hello Harvest. Kateryna Bilokur, 1946. Click image to view source. Kateryna Bilokur, 1946. Click image to view source.

Golden Harvest. Ronnie Landfield, 1981. Click image to view source. Ronnie Landfield, 1981. Click image to view source.

Harvest at La Crau, with Montmajour in the Background. Vincent Van Gogh, 1888. Click image to view source. Vincent Van Gogh, 1888. Click image to view source.

Grape Harvest at Arles. Paul Gauguin, 1888. Click image to view source. Paul Gauguin, 1888. Click image to view source.

The Harvest. George Saru, 1988. Click image to view source. George Saru, 1988. Click image to view source.

Harvest. Natalia Goncharova, 1911. Click image to view source. Natalia Goncharova, 1911. Click image to view source.

See Harvest in Person

Harvest will be available for purchase in February 2015 at Ro2 Art in Dallas. Join us at For Real featuring Sarah Atlee and James Zamora. Contact Ro2 Art for more details.

UPDATE: For Real has been reviewed by Jenny Block for The Huffington Post! Read the full review here: "A Hyperrealism That Questions Reality With James Zamora and Sarah Atlee at RO2 Art"

Bingo and Yahtzee at DNA's Anniverskully 2014.11.14

Bingo and Yahtzee, acrylic on canvas, 6x6" each, 2014 by Sarah Atlee. Bingo & Yahtzee, acrylic on canvas, 6 x 6 inches each, by Sarah Atlee

Oklahoma City art fans: Join DNA Galleries in celebrating their 6th anniversary as part of November's Live on the Plaza art walk!

When: 2014.11.14 7-11 pm

Where: DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73106 (map link)

What: A skull-themed art show! RSVP to the Facebook event here.

Bingo and Yahtzee: Bingo, acrylic on canvas, 6x6", 2014 by Sarah Atlee.

Bingo and Yahtzee: Yahtzee, acrylic on canvas, 6x6", 2014 by Sarah Atlee.

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Eggs (I Only Gave You Some) for Shopper!

Eggs (I Only Gave You Some), graphite on archival digital print,Eggs (I Only Gave You Some) Graphite on archival digital print 20 x 16 inches framed, $895 2014 by Sarah Atlee - some rights reserved

Shopper! The Art Show A Curious Collection of Found Shopping Lists & Artists' Renditions of Those Who Made Them

Curated by Tessa Raven Bayne

When: 16 August - 14 September 2014 Where: Hancock Creative Shop, 116 S 2nd St., Guthrie, Oklahoma (map link)

Take a decade's worth of found shopping lists, add visual artists to reimagine the lists' authors, mix with writers spinning colorful tales of these shoppers, and you get a collaborative summer art show that's sure to deliver.

The shopping list that inspired Eggs. The shopping list that prompted my imagined portrait.

Eggs (I Only Gave You Some), detail view, graphite on archival d A closer look at Eggs.

I created Eggs using an experimental process. I began by taking hi-res scans of ledger paper, moving the paper around during scanning to achieve interesting distortions. I printed the resulting scan onto several different high-quality inkjet papers. Using a range of soft pencils from 3B to 9B, I tested the tooth of each paper to see which surface held up best. I settled on Hahnemuehle Museum Etching.

The drawing is based on a collage sketch:

Eggs (I Only Gave You Some), collage sketch, 2014 by Sarah Atlee

Many different sources went into this conceptual mockup. Photographs of Evelyn Nesbit (who inspired the Gibson Girl image), the New York Public Library's Maps archive, and postcards from Google Earth, just to name a few.

As I predicted, the distorded grid of the ledger paper background image informed and melded with the shapes I drew. I'm very pleased with the results and will repeat this process for future drawings.

Three Lucky Pennies at JRB Art Gallery 2010.11.05

Self Portrait: Three Lucky Pennies, acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 x 1.5 inches, 2010 Self Portrait: Three Lucky Pennies, acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 x 1.5 inches, 2010

Three Lucky Pennies will be in the annual Small Works show at JRB Art Gallery at the Elms in Oklahoma City (map link) for the month of November 2010. The opening reception is Friday, November 5th, 6-10 pm.

The Small Works show at JRB will feature 100 8x8-inch canvases by 100 artists, each piece priced at $180.00. Artists Skip Hill, Nick Wu, Carlos Tello and Sohail Sheheda will be featured in the gallery's other spaces.

Here's a look at how I created this piece.

Self Portrait: Three Lucky Pennies, graphite underdrawing on canvas, 2010 by Sarah Atlee

The idea for this self portrait popped into my head a couple of weeks ago. I imagined a ratty, thrift-store leopard-print coat, but that item seems to be missing from my closet. I took reference photos of myself wearing this wonderful purple kimono that my Mom has had for years. I settled on the two best shots, and spliced them together in PhotoShop.

I always enjoy painting the edges of a canvas. Luckily, the canvases this gallery provides for the Small Works show have lovely 1.5" edges. Using Adobe InDesign, I created a grid and placed my reference photo under it. This is a useful tool when working from a single reference.

This is an unofficial companion to my painting for 2009's Small Works show. I like to see what I can squeeze onto the edge.

Self Portrait: Three Lucky Pennies, graphite underdrawing on canvas, 2010 by Sarah Atlee

I had to turn this painting around in just a couple of days, so I knew that a good underdrawing would be key. I couldn't afford to take time working all the shadows out in paint alone. I often do underdrawings in graphite, and I prefer not to use spray fixative because it's water-resistant and stinky. Here I've blended the shadows using my finger, from which a small amount of skin oil helps the graphite adhere to the canvas. When I put the first wash down, I do it gently, so as not to smear the drawing. One acrylic wash seals it.

Self Portrait: Three Lucky Pennies, first underpainting, 2010 by Sarah Atlee

Usually I put down a burnt sienna or pepto-bismol-pink wash for figure painting, but I pictured this piece with yellow undertones. The wash here is a mixture of Naples yellow and a cadmium-based pale pink.

When painting patterns, I prefer a loose interpretation to a slavish reproduction. I drew the pattern on the canvas in pencil, mostly not looking at what I was drawing. (I love drawing blind.) I went over the lines using Payne's gray and a #1 liner brush.

Self Portrait: Three Lucky Pennies, second underpainting, 2010 by Sarah Atlee

I put in the big shadows with Payne's gray (how I love thee), and began blocking in the skin tones with quinacradone violet, napthol red, titanium white, Indian yellow, Naples yellow, Pyrrole red, light umber, and burnt sienna. These days I'm using a lot of Golden Fluid Acrylics, recommended to me by professor Bob Dorsey for their high pigment concentration and versatility. He also recommends Windsor Newton Series 7 brushes, which are indeed "worth every penny."

Self Portrait: Three Lucky Pennies, third underpainting, 2010 by Sarah Atlee

Here I've added washes of quinacradone violet and more Payne's gray to the robe. Continuing to block in the skin tones. The background is tinanium white with just a drop of Payne's gray to cool it off, and contrast with the warmth of the figure. I laid it on thick, allowing hints of the yellow underpainting to show through.

Self Portrait: Three Lucky Pennies, edge view, 2010 by Sarah Atlee

To finish, I overglazed the skin with more titanium white, napthol red tint, and Naples yellow, using some Golden glazing medium in yellow ochre and iridescent red. More glazes of quinacradone violet were added to the robe.