Monkeys, Quilts, and Toilet Art - In Gratitude, Part 3

It's November, home of my favorite holiday! This month I'm spending a few minutes each day writing about something for which I am thankful. Batch number three. Color!

The Crayon-Bow Crayola Color Chart, 1903-2010 The Crayon-Bow Crayola Color Chart, 1903-2010. Click image to view source in its original interactive glory.

I may have a touch of synaesthesia, because I want to treat the above chart like a mix between a koto and the wallpaper from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Seeing Art in Person

Austin art lovers after an evening out, November 2014 Austin art lovers enjoying an evening out.

Anyone who's been in an art history class will have heard a professor bemoan the fact that we learn about art by looking at slides, textbooks, and, horror of horrors, the Internet. Now I don't think these media (or the professors) should be thrown into the sea. But experiencing a work of art in person really is a horse of a different color.

I live in a place where I have a lot of opportunity to do just that. I recently attended Art Night EAST, a special preview event for the annual East Austin Studio Tour.

Living With Art

I have seven pieces of art in my bathroom. I have seven pieces installed in my bathroom.

Artists don't just make art - we're collectors, too. My art collection began with small pieces given as gifts or in trade with my fellow art students. It has grown to include significant purchases and even commissions.

You know what I love? Going to someone's house and seeing art in their bathroom. Think about it - how many rooms in your home do you use every day without fail? If my art ends up over a collector's toilet or kitchen sink, my heart swells because I know that person wants to look at it every single day.

pretty in pink photo by romy owens

Pretty In Pink, photographic print by romy owens. Three guesses where this one hangs.

The Austin Modern Quilt Guild

You may know that when I'm not painting, I'm quilting. After moving to Austin, I googled local quilting groups and discovered the Austin chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild. I didn't know it yet, but I was already a modern quilter!

The AMQG deserves a whole post just to list all the cool things they do. I'll just say that I'm eagerly anticipating QuiltCon.

Seeing Artists at Work

Palette Peelin's Palette Peelins.

Imagine a masterpiece, centuries old, on a pedestal at a museum. It looks as though it appeared there by magic. We don't get to see all the mistakes the artist ever made before they got that one right. Unless the artist lets us peek behind the curtain.


Whenever I get to see the inside of an artist's studio or sketchbook, I know I'm learning something.

Art Blogs

The power of the Internet as a tool of communication still amazes me. It's my primary source for new contemporary art, and historical art that's new to me. If you'd like to start reading some excellent art blogs, I recommend Beautiful Decay, Illustration Art, Lines and Colors, Bibliodyssey, Robert Lange Studios, and especially:

The Near-Sighted Monkey

Do you know Lynda Barry? Wow. I mean, she's just so awesome. Want to learn things about creativity, drawing, writing, comics, and yourself? Follow along at The Near-Sighted Monkey. Barry has also published a handful of books, all of which I recommend.

What are you thankful for? Express your gratitude in the comments below.

Read Coffee, Sleep, Paper - In Gratitude, Part 1 Read Boundaries, Bracelets, and Biz Coaches - In Gratitude, Part 2 Read It's the Little Things - In Gratitude, Part 4 Read Bonus Gratitude!

Artsy Shark Interview - Welcome, New Readers!

Go There Got Here, ink and colored pencil on Stonehenge paper, 6.5 x 6.5 inches, 2012 by Sarah Atlee


I am thrilled to be featured on Carolyn Edlund's Artsy Shark blog. Click here to read the interview and learn more about my process and techniques.

Did you arrive here from Artsy Shark?

Welcome! I'm so happy you're visiting my website. I recommend you browse the Images section.

I bet you'll find something you like here on the blog, too. How about a few tags to get you started: language, creativity, tools, sketchbook.

My most-read post explains how to make an acrylic gel transfer.

Last but not least, I would be honored to have you as a subscriber to my quarterly newsletter. I'll keep you up-to-date on exhibitions, news, and new website content. The signup form is just to the right.

Thanks for visiting!

Some Thoughts on Blogging: NaBloPoMo

Woman working on an airplane motor at North American Aviation, Inc., plant in Calif. (LOC)
Woman working on an airplane motor at North American Aviation, Inc., plant in California. From the Library of Congress collection in the Flickr Commons. Click image to view source.

The curious abbreviation NaBloPoMo refers to National Blog Posting Month, which began a couple of years ago as a call for bloggers to post something every day for a month. (It's a spinoff of National Novel Writing Month.) Thanks to the efforts of people like Eden, NaBloPoMo is now celebrated every month of the year. There is a theme suggestion for each month, but blogging on the theme is always optional. It lives on as an exercise in developing the habit of regular blog posting.

I jumped on board NaBloPoMo for the month of July. It was a good time for me, as I had finished up work for my current solo show (Back to Normal at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum, through September 19). I always have more ideas than I have time to write about (or paint about), so I had a stack of blog topics saved up. I diligently released one post a day for three weeks. Then I stopped.

During those three weeks, I noticed my blogging behavior adapt like a small fish put into a bigger pond. The more blogging I did, the more topics I found worthy of blogging about. I could do it all day, every day. It was a rewarding experience, though limiting in other ways (my time, a valuable resource, was depleted).

Around the fourth week of July, daily blogging lost its importance for me. I had three shows open, my car had been totaled, etc etc; my blog slipped down my list of priorities. My readership had increased during daily posting (mostly via Facebook), but not dramatically. So I let myself off the hook.

I'll continue blogging, of course, but I don't plan to hold myself to a stringent timetable. Quality, not quantity. It's time for me to focus on being a painter, especially now that I have a new studio. Stay tuned.

Thank you, folks out in internetland, for reading this.