Studio Past

This week’s trial is to set up a web page introducing myself by writing pure html code; granted this is a brand new adventure for me, but it feels like a totally counter-intuitive medium for such a task! So I’ve decided to parallel this assignment with some images that might provide insight into the kind art-making I did in my Studio Past. Here are just a few pieces which I created long before I considered going into medical illustration but I think they demonstrate where my mind was (and in many ways still is) as I forge ahead into my Studio Present!

skin close up

skin wallpaper



The wallpaper projects in the above images were completed as part of my thesis project for my BFA curriculum where my concentration was Intaglio printmaking. The “Skin” tiles were made using an open-bite technique which provides a deeper, fuzzier edge than a straight forward etching and also creates an embossed effect on the paper. The “Blood cell” wallpaper (2’x3′ tiles) was made from an aqua-tint etching using a spit-bite technique, in which I used a brush to paint the acid directly on the plate like highly volatile watercolor. The plates and the printing were both extremely laborious to create and I intended the process and the tone of the piece to reflect the neurotic (and oddly comforting) qualities of repetition and production. The Yellow Wallpaper a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a sublime influence in the making of this project!



During my first year as an MFA student in the department of Fiber and Material Studies, I shook up my wallpaper obsession by creating digital papers along with soft sculpture for site-specific installations. The installation shown above involves a digital repeat of a bird taxonomy display found in the Natural History Museum in Vienna (in my opinion, one of the best in the world) with clumsy trees made of fabric, fur and newspaper. The installation overlooks Millenium Park from the 17th floor studio spaces at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the view just to the right includes some of Chicago’s major skyscrapers. The park was newly and carefully constructed (a lot of small trees were in cages!) and like the natural history museums found in metropolitan cities it made me ponder the existence of nature in an urban environment; where the artifice of nature is also its realization and where real nature often seems artificial.





The White installations show the progression of my studio practice at SAIC. Still running with themes of nature and representation, I wanted to eliminate color and specific media or influence. I ended up going to town with many rolls of paper and a box full of exacto blades. Like the wallpaper I made during my undergraduate studies, labor and process again seemed to take over and my own studio seemed to become my refuge. My studio is where I could make the “nature” that made sense to me; like a gothic fairytale I wanted to create layers and layers of blank forest where only light and shadow and could influence the tone and provide a canvas on which might be projected any sense of fear, hope, aggression, peace, frustration, or fantasy.


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