Current Blocks for Art of the Month at Current Studio

04-eccentric-orbit-72-500 Current Block 4: Eccentric Orbit Various fabrics and thread, machine pieced and quilted, 8.5" x 8" 2016 by Sarah Atlee

Available exclusively through the Art of the Month Club at Current Studio.


Sarah Atlee is the January 2017 Featured Artist for Art of the Month at Current Studio!



I am making a series of unique improvisational quilts, 8 to 9 inches square, exclusively for Current Studio.




Current Studio features a different artist each month for their subscribers. Join by 20 December to get Sarah Atlee's art in January 2017.







A Mini Quilt for Refreshing the Palette

Well, I've finally done it. I worked up the courage to submit a quilt to an art show! Hendry Unoaked Chardonnay, machine-pieced quilt, 2015 by Sarah Atlee. Hendry Unoaked Chardonnay. Machine-pieced and hand-embroidered quilt, 10 x 10 inches, 2015 by Sarah Atlee. $275 (buy-it-now price)

What: Refreshing the Palette, an art show, silent auction and wine tasting event benefiting the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. (Facebook event page)

When: Sunday 8 November 2015, 4-6 pm

Where: Metro Wine Bar & Bistro, 6418 N. Western Ave, OKC OK  73116 (map link)

Tickets are $40 per person, including wine and hors d'oeuvres. For reservations contact The Metro at 405-840-9463.

Hendry chardonnay strips 72 500

A little bit of everything, strip-pieced.

Join The Metro Wine Bar & Bistro for a special wine tasting and art show event benefiting the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition.

How it works: Twenty artists are creating original works of art based on the wine labels. Each artwork will be auctioned during the event, with silent bidding beginning at $125. Guests who fear losing a piece in the auction can also trump the bidding process by purchasing an artwork at the “Buy It Now” price.

Hendry chardonnay pieces 72 500

The pieces are coming together.

This is one of my favorite annual shows, and I'm always excited when I get to participate. See my previous entries Titus and Veritable Quandary.

This year my wine label was Hendry Unoaked Chardonnay (Napa Valley 2013). From the winery's tasting notes:

"Aromatically delicate.  Peach and nectarine on the palate. Tangy, with a slight citrus-pith edge.  Rounded mid-palate and moderate acid. A tasty wine well-chilled on a hot summer day, best with lighter foods. This would be well-suited to a citrus-dressed cold chicken breast, pasta primavera, or a bay shrimp salad."

Doesn't that sound delightful?

Hendry chardonnay detail 72 500

Detail of machine stitching.

About OVAC

The Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) helps artists realize their potential through education, exposure and funding. Organized in 1988, OVAC is a non-profit organization that supports visual artists living and working in Oklahoma. OVAC promotes public interest in the arts and helps people of all ages understand the visual arts.

Sadly, I am not able to attend this year's event in person, so you'll have to go taste lots of wonderful things on my behalf. Cheers!

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.



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.