Saturday, December 31, 2011

When you return...

"When you return,
bring back
the part of me
you traveled with
so I can
love you better
so we can start
a new episode
fully present,
fully engaged."

Final piece of 2011 art. Happy new year to all - lots of love and joy in 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On your side

The tattoo on his arm says, "I'm on board."

Her calves/boots say:
"I'm on your side.
I'm all in."

Excuse my lapse into colloquialism.

Together, they say, "I'm on your side."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Flowering into an abundance of love

His body says, "Growing into us, into each other, and a love that feels like home forever."
Her body says, "Flowering into an abundance of love."

Now that this piece is finished, it looks to me like a wedding piece. This may be because several close friends and family members are either engaged and planning weddings, or planning engagements. Regardless, I hope it conveys the kind of hopeful affection I'm looking for.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brooklyn Love Exchange a la the BKBuzz

My many thanks to Shannon Geis of The BK Buzz for creating a podcast about my recent exhibit and Brooklyn Arts Council-funded project, The Brooklyn Love Exchange. Visit this link to look and listen.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Aerial View, Cloud City: FiberGraf and the Brooklyn Love Exchange at Muriel Guepin Gallery

Today is the last day to see The Brooklyn Love Exchange and FiberGraf at Muriel Guepin Gallery.

The piece shown here, "Aerial View: Cloud City," involves multiple steps and processes. My FiberGraf collaborator, Jon Baker, and I each worked on it for several months. I started by painting the fabric a medium blue-purple using permanent fabric paint. I deliberately left some of the fabric bare. Jon began drawing on it with fabric markers, and kept going...In between his drawing sessions, I added in French knots, which are denser in some areas than others. I started with embroidery thread that matched the medium dark purple in the background. Later, as I ran out of thread, I started to use my fabric paint to dye grey and light greyish-green thread to match some of the lighter and darker areas of the ground.

We are planning more pieces of this nature, where we mix media and techniques, and work simultaneously and alternately on the same piece.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Caroline Mak: Scabs, Bandages and Skeletons

Last night, I visited Newark, NJ for the Newark Out of Doors art walk and festival. I stopped by Gallery Aferro, where I fell in love with the stitched orange peels and distressed and reconstituted paper towel roll in Caroline Mak's installation, "Scabs, Bandages and Skeletons." I recommend a quick trip on the Path train to see this work.

If you live in Brooklyn, check out Caroline's site specific installation at the Brooklyn Arts Council.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Williamsburg hug by way of Greenpoint and Brooklyn Heights

I call this piece "Williamsburg hug." I know the couple, and they're lovely, and still very happy together. It was a pleasure working on this piece.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day one at the Dumbo Arts Festival

Today was a blast - sharing my work from the Brooklyn Love Exchange with visitors to the Dumbo Arts Festival. I collected a fair number of love stories from current and former Brooklynites. I'm posting some photos from the event.

My heart goes out to one man who told me, "We started in Fort Greene and moved in together in Crown Heights. I wish her visa hadn't expired." I really hope it works out for this couple, now separated geographically. I am adding these sentences to my love map.

Thanks to the sponsors of the Dumbo Arts Festival for including my project, and to the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council, the organizations responsible for helping support my Brooklyn Love Exchange project.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Brooklyn Heights love -- the latest from the Brooklyn Love Exchange

I'm quite fond of my latest piece for The Brooklyn Love Exchange:

"He told me that when he met me for the first time, he thought, "In another life, this is the type of woman I should marry."

This couple IS now happily married.

If you're in the New York area, I'm previewing my work from The Brooklyn Love Exchange at the Dumbo Arts Festival, taking place tonight, Friday 9/23 from 6-9, as well as tomorrow and Sunday. I will be on site Saturday and Sunday from 1-4pm at 81 Front Street.

Drop by to see my work and to participate in my improvised embroidery process: I will interview guests and add your stories to my Brooklyn love map, and begin creating new pieces for The Brooklyn Love Exchange. I can't wait to see you there!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hens Rene, the latest from FiberGraf

Stitch with me this September (and October and November)

Hi fellow artists, craftspeople, creatives, designers, lovers of fun and Brooklyn.

Let's embroider together this fall. Upcoming workshops include:

1. Embroidery 101 @ 61 Local
61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn (near Smith Street and the F/G trains to Bergen Street)

Wednesday, 9/14, 7-8:30pm with instructor (me) available until 9pm
This is a total intro class where you will learn basic stitches. Within the first half hour, you will be able to stitch your name.

Cost is $35 including supplies. Sign up on skillshare:

2. Classes at 3rd Ward in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Sunday, 9/18, 11am-2pm

Saturday, 10/15, 1:30-4:30pm

Saturday, 11/19, 1:30-4:30pm
$60 + $10 materials fee

You can sign up for one session; each session is 3 hours
Info covered: basic stitches + techniques for transferring images onto fabric and drawing and writing with thread.

Link for more info and registration:

3. Pratt CCPS, 144 West 14th Street, NYC, F/L/1/2/3 to 14th Street
The Embroidered Art Journal, Design and Craft Projects

This class is the most in depth, and allows you to develop a project from conception through technical trouble shooting with instructor and peer feedback and support.

October 16 - November 20
Sunday mornings, 9:30am-12:30pm

September 16 - October 28
Fridays, 6:30-9:30pm
$305 to register or 212-647-7199

Sunday, August 28, 2011

At long last, love in Fulton Park

The piece pictured is excerpted from a lovely story about finding love while riding the NYC trains. Who hasn't noticed the cute man or woman on the platform or across a crowded train? In this story, a relationship formed from a subway spotting. Here is the original text:

It was an auspicious Saturday. The MTA had passengers transferring between local and express train lines because of repairs. Once in Brooklyn, I was relieved to finally be en route home. Then, the conductor played the last trick. The train was skipping a few stops, including my destination. I had to walk down a few flights of stairs to board another train. As the next train came to a stop, a striking man would notice me wearing a yellow halter dress. “Beautiful,” he thought. I took a seat in a separate car, unaware of his interest. Peering into the window, I saw the same man that had observe me a few minutes prior. At our destination, we exited onto the platform at the same time. Similar to a screenplay and cliché as it may seem, we saw each other at the same time. It’s one of those moments when other people move in a slow blur. “I’m going to love this man,” I thought. We slowly walked up the stairs, but our distance from each other was a few feet. I would frequently turn around to meet his intense stare. He’ll later joke with friends and family about his initial thoughts of me, “Hold on, baby… I’m coming.” Once outside, he gently tapped my shoulder to politely say, “Excuse me…” We walked through a park to talk about life. Then, he placed a right hand to his chest to say, “My heart… you’re different… my heart feels warm.”

One of the first dinners I made for him was Butternut Squash Ravioli with Shrimp and Ginger Sauce. I remembered this dish, because he said shrimp was a favorite. As we continue to date, he occasionally says, “…I’m enjoying the process of us coming together.” It’s been two years since that auspicious Saturday afternoon. He warms my heart, too.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August art openings in New York

In August, many New York galleries go on vacation. The ones that stay open tend to have large group shows, and to show more experimental work.

At top is a photo of me in front of my Were I So Besotted pieces at "Condition X," an exhibit at the School of Visual Arts curated by Keren Moscovitch in consultation with David Gibson.

The photo below is of Jon Baker, the graffiti half of FiberGraf, in front of our piece, "Henz," at Kunsthalle Galapagos in a huge group show, "Can't Hear the Revolution," curated by Julie McKim, Albert Shelton, Eric Hougen and Gracie Kazer. Both exhibits are on view until August 20th. If you're in the New York area, check them out.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Surface of My Skin

"Secrets rise to the surface of my skin."

Skin as a personal map or history, which shares hints about the past.

This is a re-work of an old piece that lost meaning for me. I like the ambiguity in this version, the crossed through, original text alongside the new version.

I recently fell while running (which doesn't happen often) during a heat wave in New York. I've been watching the cuts on both palms heal, and thinking how amazing it is that our bodies know how to heal. Other than bandaids and cleaning the cuts, I've left my skin to repair itself.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

He Cleared a Forest

Last Friday night, I was out with some girlfriends at a bar in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Of the three of us, two (including me) are single and searching. One of us is dating someone who seems just right for her. In the context of talking about her previous boyfriends, including the one she moved to New York for, I said to her, "He (her current boyfriend) cleared a forest to get to you."

The text in this piece reads: "My man cleared a forest to get to me."

Back stitch for the text, French knots for the leaves, watercolor wax pastels for the trees.

Part of the Brooklyn Love Exchange, this couple met in Cobble Hill.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Here is my latest piece for the Brooklyn Love Exchange, "The 12th Annual Love Hangover."

A friend from my neighborhood, Boerum Hill, has been producing the Love Hangover in Brooklyn for quite some time. This paean to love is an annual musical event co-occuring in several cities. The Brooklyn installment has been in Gowanus for the past couple of years.

The text for this piece is taken from last year's (2010's) invitation:
The 12th annual Love Hangover
is only a week away
You still have time to fall in love
and break up
just in time to be soothed, vindicated or mocked
by your favorite musicians
singing duets of love
the happy kind, the sad kind, the mean, weird or mad kind
It's one more round around the heart
February 15th, what the day after brings.

To create the patterning in the background, I laid a doily down on top of the fabric and sprayed fabric paint on top. Trying to give voice to other people's tales of love has helped me expand my vocabulary and working methods. I'm enjoying incorporating new techniques into my work.

I had hoped to give the text in this piece a somewhat old-fashioned visual feel. I liked the idea of lace, but didn't want the piece to be too feminine, or the lace too literal.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sheepshead Bay subway "stalker"

This is my latest piece for the Brooklyn Love Exchange, which I summarized from her unfortunate tale of a subway flirtation gone awry. The man/boy didn't truly stalk her; he simply showed poor taste in his communication and body language.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Bustin' out...

In this piece, I decided to embellish the model by adding a French knot necklace. I also cut out the inside of the letters in "Hens," Jon's tag.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Victoria's Secret, tagged and draped

In December of last year, Jon, the other half of FiberGraf, gave me a Victoria's Secret catalog filled with tags on and around the models. I have been sitting with this catalog open on my main desk for the past few weeks, getting to know the images.

Initially, I was uncomfortable working with this imagery. I am a woman who is not fond of most magazines geared towards women. Personally, I don't like Victoria's Secret, mostly because I feel it offers a stereotypical or typical version of femininity, one that doesn't fit me (literally and figuratively). The more time I spent looking at the catalog, however, the more I began to see humor in the images. Jon explained that graffiti artists often tag magazines and printed advertisements. I now see the addition of his tags as somewhat parodic.

I have added my own kind of tag to the models by draping fabric over them in the shape of skimpy dresses or lingerie. In one case, the bottom image with red marker, I used fabric with a conventional men's woven pattern.

Like all of our collaborative work for FiberGraf, we have found here a way to combine our artistic languages on new substrates. I plan to create more of these pieces and to continue to explore the way in which the content and meaning of the images change as we add and delete information.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Coney Island, where dreams come true

I love the mix of textures in this piece, which recounts the story of two psychotherapists falling in love. It says:

"From the first, I was inspired by who he was.

We spoke about everything and it was amazing how much we had in common.

He picked me up in Coney Island for our first date. We walked down the boardwalk, road the Cyclone together, and played arcade games.

Today, we're married with two kids and we still love Coney Island, the place where dreams come true."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Intro to Embroidery at Muriel Guepin Gallery

If you are in the NY area, why not spend Wednesdays in July with me at Muriel Guepin Gallery?

Starting July 6th, I'm teaching an Intro to Embroidery class where you will learn basic stitches, and methods for using embroidery as a drawing tool.

The class is four weeks - July 6, 13, 20 and 27, and is from 7-9pm on each of those evenings.

The gallery is located at 47 Bergen Street near Smith Street, convenient to the F/G train to Bergen Street.

Basic supplies included. $200 for the class.

To register, call or email the gallery:

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pieced Together

Appliqued and hand-stitched. The places I've been in my own mind lately have been vast and rich and I feel change coming in the form of new professional opportunities, and new love.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spray Kings from FiberGraf

This is the latest piece from FiberGraf, my collaboration with graffiti artist, Jon Baker. I started working with this image in 2009. I've worked on it on and off for the past 2 1/2 years, and finally feel as though it's finished. As you can see, I selected certain areas to cover with stitches, leaving others "flat" and sans embroidery.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It wasn't love at first sight in Prospect Heights

Prospect Heights love story as told by a friend now living with her husband and two kids in Flatbush, Brooklyn. When she and her husband met, she lived in Prospect Heights with a roommate (who is a good friend of mine).

"I remember the first time he cooked for me. It was maybe our third date, and I felt taken care of, like I was home.

He cooked spaghetti with an instant Japanese sauce pack, which was funny for two reasons:

1) the flavor was gorgonzola, which I don't like, and
2) I didn't know it at the time, but he's a great cook without having to lean on mixes, so I'm not sure why he used one then.

Maybe he wasn't trying hard to impress. He's cooked me countless meals since then, but that was the first time I thought he might be a keeper.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Slow Falls

As I work on multiple embroidered pieces, I thought I would share something beautiful I watched today: a series of dance performances as public installations along an industrial stretch of 3rd Avenue from 1st - 8th Streets in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

The dance performance, called "Slow Falls," consisted of a series of stop-watch timed "descents" marked by tape along scaffolding, brick and other structures. The dancers, four in each piece, were barefoot. The dancers started each piece 6 minutes apart. After finishing a dance in one location, the dancer would move to another location as viewers either stayed behind to watch the remaining dancers, or followed.

Created by Abigail Levine, "Slow Falls" is one of numerous performances in the Movement Research Festival 2011 in New York City. I am so glad I found out about it and caught a little of it. (My secret dream is to be a dancer. )

Thursday, June 2, 2011


This is the latest from FiberGraf, my collaboration with graffiti artist, Jon Baker.

We are dreaming up ways to translate the complexity and detail of pieces like the one at left to something replicable on clothing and bags...Can you picture it? More to come very soon on this idea.

Friday, May 27, 2011

"He had my heart in his mouth..."

"The whole relationship, he had my heart in his mouth. I handed myself over completely."

My friend in south Park Slope recollected her first love while we sat at a Bergen Street bar a few months ago. I've had this image in my head for months, and finally had an opportunity to realize it in embroidery.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thank you, Mr. X Stitch

Embroidery and needle craft blogger, Mr. X Stitch very generously and unexpectedly reviewed my art this past week. Thank you, Mr. X Stitch, for a write-up, which you can find here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Brooklyn is "that" girl...

"Brooklyn is that girl you can't decide if you should propose to or never speak to again."

Ahhh, the Brooklyn Love Exchange. A clever friend of mine posted this on Facebook, and I gained permission to add it to my portrait of Brooklyn Love.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The only way I'll date you...

More than eye candy, he's the kind of guy I always feel good around. So important to hug him and keep him in my life.

The only way I'll date you is if I like myself even more when we're together than when I'm solo. If I ever have a daughter, I will paint this on her walls or tape it to her mirror.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The myth versus the man

The Affordable Art Fair is this May 5-8 at 7 West 34th Street in Manhattan. I'm stitching like crazy to prepare. Thanks to Muriel Guepin of Muriel Guepin Gallery for representing my work there. I can't wait for this annual show.