Events & Happenings

I'm in! Pushing your Sketching Boundaries - Oxford UK July 7 - 11

I am registered for the Urban Sketchers workshop in Oxford next month. Hoping to get a lot of sketching done, explore my new city some more, learn a lot about drawing on location and improve drawing with speed and accuracy while focusing on the core essentials. And of course meeting people!  I am super excited and am feeling super lucky to be living in Oxford so I can attend events like this one. 

Pushing your Sketching Boundaries Oxford

The Saturday following the workshop USk London will be in Oxford for the sketchcrawl and all are welcome. I am planning on attending with my seven year old mini me sketcher by my side on that day. 

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My next art studio...

Will sadly not have an outdoor space to draw and paint in while I sip my afternoon tea. But it will be significantly larger than my last well loved space and I will learn from the mistakes I made setting up space the last two times when I set it up for creativity. 

After nearly twelve happy years in Boston mLee art has to Oxford UK with her family and couldn't be more thrilled. Sad to be leaving behind so many connections and friends in Boston. Boston has been a good home and a great place for our children and my art but excited for this adventure and the many adventures to follow.

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An Inky Challenge for 2015

I have been debating this idea for awhile now but I have decided to go for a daily ink challenge for 2015. I am still working out the details but I think the big things are that every day I need to make something with ink in 30 minutes or less. The #inktober challenge started off slow and difficult but midway through I hit a groove and ended up learning and growing through the challenge and missing it when it was over. My biggest artistic goal for 2015 is to improve my drawing skills and this should do the trick nicely. A year of daily ink is likely to be even more challenging than a month, but hopefully even more rewarding as well! I am excited to start and keeping it up during our travels should be interesting.

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Moving to England!

Sometime in January I will be packing up my art studio and moving it to the UK along with my family. Feeling very blessed and excited about this next adventure. Boston has been a wonderful place to live for nearly twelve years but I think we are all ready for a change. I think Oxford will be an inspiring city and I am excited about this next step. 

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Blast off!

Heading out to Deer Isle Maine for the annual Mass Art Haystack retreat. So ready to be among fellow creatives in the deep pines next to the ocean. Internet is spotty up there, just how I like it. I am so ready to disconnect from regular life for a few days. I have a couple of sketchbooks, some paint, a bunch of pens and my creativity ready to take some workshops and connect with others and draw everything I see. I even packed my running shoes. Be back blogging about the experience on Monday!

perfect size for travel and no big loss if I lose it.

perfect size for travel and no big loss if I lose it.

Oil vs Water

One more sleep at home in Boston. On Wednesday morning I leave for Maine and will get to spend five days at Haystack. But my art life has been full since before Haystack. Just this past weekend I got to take a Japanese Printmaking workshop at the local Elliot school and it was great fun, intense work going from sketch to block to print all in a too short weekend. But I learned so much and I do want to do more with it now that I understand the basics of the technique. Carving the block was basically the same as I now it, but printing was completely different. Very painterly and flexible which was great fun. But with the ticking clock of the water based inks quickly drying out stressing me out. I came home exhausted both physically and mentally both nights. I have six original prints to show for the weekend and an itch to make more. The woodblock printing that I am much more familiar with is western style printing on various papers with oil based ink and a printing press. No painterly fun like the Japanese moku hanga, but also once I lay out the oil based ink to work with it is good all day long with little risk of it drying out. I would love to print these blocks with my oily methods to compare, but then I wouldn't be able to go back to the waterbased inks.

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New Starts!

Now that Open Studios is over with I can start planning for the next big event(s) in my art life. On Monday I completed sketchbook #6 and started sketchbook #7 and them almost immediately felt sketchbook paralysis. Not on the first page since I start the first page the same every time with a collection of colors, my name and number and a quote to inspire me. But after page number three or four I started to feel blocked. The perfect cure was a walk around the Arnold Arboretum here in JP collecting fallen leaves. Now I need to paint them and their gorgeous fall colors in my sketchbook before they all turn brown! Following that is a workshop on Moku Hanga Japanese printmaking workshop at the Elliot School here in JP this weekend. Back to printmaking I go but with a big change in learning a new technique that I have been interested in for years now. In a week I will be in Maine...

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Market Testing

I took about a dozen watercolors  to Open Studios and I sold about half of them. JP Open Studios was a market test for the watercolors to figure out if I should keep at them and how to price them and the answer was yes keep going! JP Open Studios was fabulous fun this weekend as I love connecting with my community. And I love sending original artwork out in the world. Thank you to all those that have supported my fresh start these past months by reading my blog, offering feedback and buying artwork. I will be putting watercolors up on my Etsy shop as soon as I can get new work made, scanned and listed.

The fantastic carousel on the Boston Greenway opened last year and is a delight for both children and adults. This little painting went to a very good home this weekend.

The fantastic carousel on the Boston Greenway opened last year and is a delight for both children and adults. This little painting went to a very good home this weekend.

Jamaica Plain Open Studios this Weekend!

The JP Open Studios are this weekend September 20th and 21st all around the JP neighborhood that I and work in. You can find me with my work inside at the UU church by the JP monument in Central JP and some of my work will still be hanging at Hatched until the end of the month. I will be be sketching and painting, will have my woodblock prints along with a couple of carved blocks for demos throughout the weekend. I have been looking forward to this weekend for months now. There will be some fresh prints, including new collagraphs, but this is the year that I decided to teach myself watercolor and became smitten with the medium.

About six months ago I decided to teach myself watercolor. Feeling ready to go outside the sketchbook and onto good paper just in time for JP Open Studios.

About six months ago I decided to teach myself watercolor. Feeling ready to go outside the sketchbook and onto good paper just in time for JP Open Studios.

Upcoming Events for August, September and October

August is filled with my kids being both home full time for summer and carting them all over for various activities. But in September getting out there with my artwork begins again. I'll be hanging my work at Hatched here in JP for the month of September and will be there on First Thursday. Looking forward to meeting people there. Then I am registered for a Moku Hanga Japanese style printmaking class at Elliot that I have been wanting to take for years. Now I still long to take lessons from Annie Bisset my moku hanga hero, but I can't make it out to Western Mass but I can walk to the Elliot school here in JP.  I only have to wait until the last weekend of September. The weekend before that is Jamaica Plain Open Studios and the first week of October I am going to Haystack with Mass Art. I'm so excited about all the upcoming events.

For August I have a blank sheet of note paper on my desk ready to be filled with notes and scribbles. I took a few pictures of my old one and stored those pictures in Evernote after I spilled paint on it and had to rip it off. 

For August I have a blank sheet of note paper on my desk ready to be filled with notes and scribbles. I took a few pictures of my old one and stored those pictures in Evernote after I spilled paint on it and had to rip it off. 

For August I have a blank sheet of note paper on my desk ready to be filled with notes and scribbles. I took a few pictures of my old one and stored those pictures in Evernote after I spilled paint on it and had to rip it off. 

My (little) open studio Saturday

Opening up my studio to people on Saturday was a big scary for my introverted side and I nearly send a message cancelling it a bunch of times the night and even morning before. But I went through with it and had a great time. It was a beautiful day so most people were having fun outside, but I got to work and enjoy talking to the people that did come. Thank you! I will be doing this again sometime, possibly in the fall or winter. The most enjoyable part for me was the conversations. Having studio space in my house is so convenient with small children but I miss the conversations that I imagine I would have if I rented a shared spot somewhere. Also, enjoyed giving ATC to the kids that came and getting them excited about making and collecting original artwork. 

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Carving again and it feels good. Friday Favorite

While waiting for watercolor to dry I decided to prepare a small block and start carving. Brought it with me along with a 1mm U gouge to craft group and it is now nearly complete and ready to print. Tomorrow I will be hosting visitors in my studio and offering various art demos. Now it is looking like printing will be one of them. Yay! I haven't been carving lately as I have been onto other things, but it felt super good and relaxing to carve this image last night. 

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Kid Art - Elementary School Art Show

Like all little kids, my two daughters both love art and love to draw. The three year old loves carrying around a little notebook and practicing drawing straight lines and shapes and then proudly counting them. The six year old draws a rich magical world filled with her family, princesses, fairies, butterflies and unicorns. She has a fabulous teacher at her public school and their yearly art show is this Thursday. The walls of the entire school will be covered with beautiful artwork. My big girl proudly showed off one of her drawings yesterday. I see us picking up a bunch of colorful frames the next time we are at Ikea. Between the work she is doing with me at the ICA once a month and the art she makes at school we have so much beautiful work to show off. 

My open studio event is this Saturday 10-2. Don't forget! 

the artist in front of her masterpiece 

the artist in front of her masterpiece 

NYC - Traveling Artist (with family)

Spent the holiday weekend in NYC with my family. First stop was The Cloisters where I showed my unicorn obsessed daughters the Unicorn Tapestries. What I didn't count on was how the tapestry series ends with the unicorn being slaughtered. Alex was devastated. Also didn't count on an adult reaching out and handling the famous tapestry that dates back to the 16th century. We all enjoyed the courtyard, especially Alex and I who sat down and drew flowers and the fountain. My oldest daughter has picked up on the fact that I draw every day and she now does it herself so she "can be a great artist like me or Van Gogh". Thanks kid! Next stop brunching in Brooklyn with friends, The Lion King musical, the MOMA and Central Park. 

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Waiting in line... for the Jamaica Plain Open Studios

Jamaica Plain Open Studios is approaching again and registration was (yet again) in person at the Footlight Club here in JP this week. People started lining up before three for a registration that began at seven. With kids and a working spouse that is not how I can spend my afternoon. And on a glorious May day that isn't how I want to spend my afternoon. But luckily one of our favorite neighborhood playgrounds is near by and my kids were able to play there and be watched by friends while I waited in line long enough to get a number. Eventually the kids had to wait in line with me but they were very well behaved. JPOS is September 20th and 21st. Hope to see you there as summer winds down and autumn begins! 

Helping mama hold that #20 spot in line.

Helping mama hold that #20 spot in line.

Coming Soon: Spring Studio Event

Loving all the buzz and interest in my blog and my new work. As a thank you come celebrate the coming of spring with my studio here in Jamaica Plain. I will be selling many pieces at a special rate, will be serving light refreshments and offering a printmaking demo. May is filling up super fast so Saturday June 7th is the planned date for this event. Sign up for my mailing list to receive an Evite for this event and others.

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