For Real reviewed in The Huffington Post

Lunch at Sakagura. Acrylic and prismacolor pencil on paper, 22 x 22" (26 x 26" framed), by Sarah Atlee.Lunch at Sakagura. Acrylic and prismacolor pencil on paper, 22 x 22" (26 x 26" framed), by Sarah Atlee. $1,550.00

For Real, a two-person exhibition of contemporary realism featuring Sarah Atlee and James Zamora, has been reviewed by Jenny Block for The Huffington Post! Snip:

"Atlee paints food that seems like it's coming on to you. The avocados peer at you in one painting, and, in another, their meat is so slick and glossy, it lures your fingers to dip inside. The tomatoes suggestively roll toward you. The orange appears to peel itself. The tuna looks as if it might anthropomorphize and slink away."

It's hard to describe just how thrilled and honored I am by Ms. Block's review. A thousand thank-yous to her and to Ro2 Art, my hosts for this exhibition.

Read the full review here: "A Hyperrealism That Questions Reality With James Zamora and Sarah Atlee at RO2 Art"

See Lunch at Sakagura in Person

Lunch at Sakagura is available for purchase through 8 March 2015 at Ro2 Art in Dallas. Join us at For Real featuring Sarah Atlee and James Zamora. Contact Ro2 Art for more details.

Tools I Use: My Favorite Pens

The Pen Drawer. The Pen Drawer.

Oh, pens, how I love each and every one of you. Below are some of my favorites.

Sharpie Ultra Fine Point, the Old Standby

The Old Standby: Sharpie Ultra-Fine Point. Pros: Long-lasting as long as they stay capped between uses. Writes on a variety of porous and non-porous surfaces. Inexpensive and easy to find in bulk. Very durable tip, will stand up to quite a bit of abuse. Decent color selection. Cons: Smelly. Bleeds on paper. They will write on top of acrylic paint, but as the ink is solvent-based, the acrylic will dissolve and clog the pen tip. This solvent will also make paper turn yellow after a few weeks, sooner if the drawing is exposed to air and sun.

Pilot Razor Point and Papermate

My water-based friends: Pilot Razor Point and the Papermate Flair black felt tip pens.

Pros: Very durable. Both deliver black lines with reliably uniform thickness. Easy to find at office supply stores. Good for ink wash drawings (this one was made with the aid of a Niji Waterbrush). I also use them to write down loud thoughts. Cons: They only write on porous surfaces, not good for mixed-media work. Limited range of colors available.

Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen and Staedtler Pigment Liner

Not So Much: the Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen and Staedtler Pigment Liner. I tried these while in search of alternatives to the Pigma Micron (why, I can't remember). Pros: Archival ink. Durable tips. Waterproof, writes on a variety of surfaces. The Faber-Castell pens come in Sepia, which is not bad, but the ink is almost indistinguishable from black. Cons: Both pens are fairly expensive for felt tips. I find the tips, for all their durability, are not flexible enough to produce satisfying lines, especially with the larger sizes.

Champs: Pigma Micron 01 and Bic Round Stic Grip Fine

The Champs: Pigma Micron 01 and Bic Round Stic Grip Fine.

Micron pros: Microns have a flexible tip that will produce strong lines and fine detail if treated gently. They come in many sizes, though I stick to the 005, 01, and sometimes the 02. Multiple colors available. Will write on porous and non-porous surfaces. Waterproof when dry. The ink does not bleed on most papers. Microns have a strong fan base: check out this Flickr group, for instance. Micron cons: Expensive if you buy them one at a time. I buy them in boxes of twelve from Dick Blick. The tips wear out fairly quickly, and can be ruined easily by dropping the pen or leaving the cap off. The ink takes a few minutes to dry, and when wet, will smear on surfaces like acrylic.

Bic Stic pros: Oh my goodness, I love drawing with this pen. Incredible tonal range. Stands up to plenty of abuse, including leaving the cap off indefinitely, storing them in my hot or cold car, dropping them, shoving them through my ponytail for safe-keeping, etc. Long-lasting. The ink is gel-based but not entirely waterproof. Bic Stic cons: Very non-archival. I get around this problem by turning my drawings into acrylic gel transfers. The Medium-point Bic Stic is prone to clumping and smearing (arg!), and unfortunately, the Fine-point is not easy to find in office-supply stores. I order them by the dozen.

For more pen reviews, browse the links below. Happy drawing.

The Pen Addict The Tools Artists Use Doodlers Anonymous Flickr group Doodlers Anonymous website Karo: The Quest for the Perfect Pen

This post is part of NaBloPoMo for July 2009.

Art 365 Named Best Tulsa Show in 2008

Brick Snow, acrylic on found panel, 2008 by Sarah Atlee Brick Snow, acrylic on found panel, 2008. Click image to view full-size.

Holly Wall of the Urban Tulsa Weekly has named Art 365 the best gallery show in Tulsa this year. Thanks, everybody!

Best Art Exhibitions of the Year: Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition's "Art 365," exhibited simultaneously at Liggett Studios and at the University of Tulsa's Alexandre Hogue Gallery. Six projects by Oklahoma artists were chosen to each receive a $10,000 honorarium and a year of curatorial guidance, and the resulting exhibits were displayed in Tulsa and in Oklahoma City. We definitely think more artists should be given opportunities like this one. The resulting work was quite spectacular.

My series Normal, OK was part of the Art 365 exhibit. The show opened last March in Oklahoma City and is about to come down from its last venue in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I feel so lucky and honored to have been a part of this great opportunity. I look forward to seeing the next one!

"Know Thyself" Reviewed in Daily Oklahoman

Know Thyself, a show of self portraits by Oklahoma artists, is showing at the IAO Gallery in OKC through October 10. Here is a review by John Brandenberg for the Daily Oklahoman. Snip:

Sarah Atlee pokes fun at herself by exaggerating her laughing teeth to the point viewers may think she's going to come out of the picture plane and bite them in her acrylic "Self Portrait: For the Record.”

Self Portrait (For The Record), acrylic on canvas, 2005 by Sarah Atlee


Special thanks to Romy Owens for inviting me to participate in this show.