Professional Roadie/ Wife

Nate and I spent the last few days in the Twin Cities.  He performed a concert at the Amsterdam Bar as part of the SEAMUS conference at McNally Smith College.  I tagged along to help him record the performance and to expertly pack and unpack music gear from vans.


Wife/roadie.  Loading the mega-van!

He did a really great job, and it was fun to tag along and watch the other concerts too!




On a side-note - I'm completely ready for winter to be done.  I haven't even thought about my garden, and I probably should've started seeds already!  Hopefully it warms up quick - I've forgotten what sunshine feels like!

Snow Daze

About a week ago we had two snow days at the university.  It is rare enough to get one snow day - but two in a row is nothing short of a miracle.  So, we made the best of the situation and walked down to the local coffee shop to knit for a good portion of the day.
We got about 14" of snow over the two days.  I wonder if we'll even have 'spring' this year, or if it will just go from snow to summer.  
Snow day.
Downtown Madison - piled with snow. 
Can you spot the car?
Can you spot the car?

Nate and I decided to go on an adventure/walk during the snowstorm to get out of the house for a bit.  
Snow-ga.  Hello from SoDak!!!

I think I've had my fill of winter now though - bring on the warmer weather please!

Everything all at Once - Progress in the Studio

Workin' - late night painting session.

I've been chugging along in the studio these last few weeks - slowly chipping away five paintings all at once.  Oil paint dries fairly slowly, so I like to have a lot of things going on at once.  The only downside to this method is that sometimes it feels like I go a long stretch without finishing anything.

Seduction. :)

I'm almost finished with both of these paintings at this point - I've just got to tighten them up a bit.  Another 4-5 hours on both of these and the'll be done. :)

I'm also making good progress on these tondos - they are a lot of fun.  I've got to add another layer of grey to the background to flatten out the color and get them super-smooth.  

Working on these fine fellas tonight.  Time for a g&t break.

Alongside the paintings, I've also been assembling some stretcher bars.  I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to materials and surfaces, so they usually take me a while to build.  I route the face of the lumber to create a raised edge for the canvas, and then chamfer the edges so there's a smooth transition for the canvas.  I think if I wasn't a painter, I'd probably be a woodworker.  

Thinking big (but not too big that they won't fit on my car...)

I'm hoping to do some large pieces - I've been waiting patiently for winter to end so that I can get back to building frames in the garage.  Unfortunately, we're going to be getting snow (argh!!) this week, so for now the cross braces on these pieces will have to wait.

Let's hope it warms up soon - but in the meantime - here's some shots of the South Dakota countryside:



Hope you all have an excellent week.

Artist Feature: Marcie Oakes

Marcie’s work has been growing on me for a while now – so I figured it was about time to introduce you all to her strange and wonderful paintings.

I find myself completely wrapped up in the environments that she’s found amidst the chaos of the spattered, dragged, and mashed paint.  The painting below is my favorite from her most recent body of work. 

{Cheer Upward – Marcie Oakes – 2012}

For me, this image is haunting and beautiful at the same time.  I keep wanting to personify the elements of this painting, and when I do – it is even creepier.

She describes her work in her statement below:

"My paintings are a representation of slow chaos. With the environments mostly still and controlled, there is an underlying devastation occurring within each piece. With explosions, melting, and spilling throughout the abstract environments I’m portraying an ever-changing world that projects beauty as a direct result of spontaneous destruction.

My practice is based heavily on experimenting with my painting medium, acrylic paint. Each painting starts with a mess of colors smeared, mixed, splattered and then manipulated to represent what the painting implies it is becoming." 

{Falling in Lines - Marcie Oakes}

This painting really got my attention because it feels so grand in scale.  I love the contrast between the gloppy and runny paint, and the structured thin lines that give it such an epic presence.

{Pile Pillar - Marcie Oakes}

This is another example of a painting in which she obscures part of the paint layer below with a flat layer of purple paint.  The end result is stunning – an unknown strange monument emerges from the commotion.  We try to make out the form, but it evades our attempts to envision something concrete. 

{Silk Summer Stuff - Marcie Oakes}

And then there are pieces that are unrelenting.  They explode outwards towards you without giving your eyes a place to rest.  The feel of these paintings are completely different than those where parts of the foreground are tamed or reined in by a flat background color.

For more of Marcie Oakes’ work – please don’t hesitate to check out her website: 

You won’t be sorry!