Studio Visit

My niece and nephew came over to make Valentines at my studio the other day. We had a great time! I taught Liliana how to curl ribbon with scissors while Vaughn twirled around us dressed in the ribbon and feathers he discovered on my shelves. Next time we are going to paint, maybe when they are older I will teach them about Jackson Pollack!


Yearly goal

Every year, I make a point to read a book a month. Let’s call this a hobby and a personal fulfillment activity. The books I read are chosen at random. Sometimes a title will surface in conversation or I drop by the UCLA thrift shop in West LA to spend time looking through hundreds of choices. As the months pass and the stack of books on my shelf grows, I feel a sense of accomplishment. At the beginning of the new year I give away all the books I read to friends, making room for the new ones.

Vermont Studio Center (Part 2)

Artist In Residence experience at the Vermont Studio Center this past June/July. There were too many photos to include in one post. Part 1 features the work I made, my studio and personal experience. Part 2 features the fun we had together in and out of our studios.  I loved taking a break from painting to sit in the chairs scattered along the river. The building in the back is where my studio was.


We had lots of rain, almost every day for two weeks, which made everything green. This pathway leads to the river we swam in and collected rocks that glittered in the sun. ooohhlala-I brought some home and now they shine in my window.


Journey’s End, a popular hiking and swimming spot and a 4 mile hike from the studio.


The peonies were in full bloom-Looks at these beauties!


Walks with friends -I took this photo for my cousin, Mary Sue who loves France.



Another after dinner walk-


This is the building where we had breakfast, lunch and dinner all together-I was usually first in line and last to leave.


Look how fresh and creative the chef’s displays are. They painted with food and it was delicious!



Let’s toast to our Open Studio Night-with artists Edwardo Cabrer and Txaro Arrazola


Edwardo Cabrer in his studio


My kindred spirit, Wei Lun Ha (New Zealand) in his studio and on his first trip to the US. He came with an enormous tube of the stuff designers use inside collared shirts to make his ink paintings on. He was always pushing himself to make new work-very inspiring!


Aspen Golann, a furniture designer, jewelry designer and what can I say, whatever she touches it turns into something amazing. At VSC she made these airbrush drawings.


Jean Jones has been painting dresses in water for years. Now she is being commissioned to paint couples on their wedding day. What a lovely idea and lady!


Sweet and silly Alexandra Snowden wearing the T’shirt she drew on and the art she makes. For her birthday, she had an electric blue wig shipped to her. Hot stuff!!


Love this digital cityscape installation by Aideen Barry (Ireland). Mother of 3, I do not think she sleeps-She has done very well promoting her career and making really cool art.


My studio neighbor and buddy Loc Huynh.


Soledad Pinto (Sole) from Chile worked on making this 3-dimensional lion out of paper down the hall. I enjoyed some great conversations with this passionate and sincere artist. She said this lion will be mine one day….I am so excited!


My New York neighbor, Courtney Puckett walked past my open door like a speeding train throughout the day. She worked in sculpture and I always knew when she was working next to me. Loved her energy and artwork!


Jason Demarte’s dreamy photography pieces-As you can see, we had lots to talk about and “pick” in Vermont.


Galen Trezise, (in the green hat) with his sculpture. He was by far our most colorful resident. He always wore something bright-what a sense of humor he has-


Jessica Merchant working away in her studio. She taught me how to use the printing press-glad I tried this trial and error approach to making art!


I did not really get a chance to meet Rachel Walter until the last day, where we spent 6 hours with Isadora exploring Burlington together. What a beautiful day that was! She makes these compelling paintings of the night sky in Texas.


My flatmate and friend, Lea Anderson. She makes these incredibly layered paintings where she adds, beads, rope, fabric, even rocks to her paintings. She explained to me that the pieces are shields of protection- lovely!


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Isadora Alexis, painter/printmaker taught me how she researches exhibition opportunities-very helpful indeed. Looking forward to having our paths cross in Santa Monica when she comes to visit her brother.


Bo Yoon in his studio-


Very talented and loving, fellow RISD graduate, made a sculpture with my 9 year old RISD apron. He was also our Sports Leader, inviting us to play volleyball, frisbee, walking, hiking and always offering car rides out of town.


Kelly Popoff kept me giggling the whole month-Amazing artist and loved seeing her process at play in the studio. You can see how she composes her images on the wall.



Jack Hogan, here he is sticking out his tongue, wish I could show you his amazing Camouflage Video Art project he filmed in New York City. Carmen Neely, our resident DJ, who invited us to 3 dance parties in the basement- I have never met more people in one place who love to dance -That’s her painting/installation in the back. She brought 4″ platforms to the wilderness-you go girl!


Jayne Struble made some really cool sculpture that balanced on itself-


Michal Hunter’s gorgeous figure painting surrendering to the water. What an image…and it sure feels nice-


Ben Yacavone, who tripped down a flight of stairs 2 weeks into our residency had to leave early. He made these great pieces that we all loved for their playful humor and bizarreness.


Evan Paul English’s juicy floral painting and our resident tattoo artist-He made 7 tattoos on our new friends. (Never going to be ready to get mine =).


My flatmate Sarah Nathaniel’s studio installation-really great! She made many of these works using tampons, dipping stamping, streaming etc.


Nasim Hantehzadeh’s large drawing and a group of us gathering in her space. Coincidentally, she is a UCLA graduate student. We all thought that her mark-making reminded us of the curls on her head. Very impressive works!





Loved being an Artist in Residence!!!!!  Bye for now…..Hope you enjoyed the show!



Vermont Studio Center (Part 1)

As some of you may know, I received a residency at the Vermont Studio Center this summer for a month.  The day I arrived to the town of Johnson, Vermont (population: 3300) and stepped into my studio without a clue of what I was going to make, I could feel the sun pouring through the skylights. It was magnificent! I was in art heaven and somehow I knew the ideas would come to me- perhaps not on my time because…The first two days were HOT! I could barely think straight. Do you see the little fan on my table…it did not even feel like it was on-IMG_1457.jpg





My buddy Wei Lun Ha, painter/architect from New Zealand, made me this vase and flowers. So sweet!



I picked handfuls of wildflowers on a daily basis. Would you blame me?


First 2 paintings in Vermont-

I spoke with my professor from RISD, Wendy Seller about preparing for a residency. She suggested that I consider challenging myself – “Take 2 colors” she told me. Say what? I thought…and that is exactly what I ended up working with.-This was sage advice coming from a woman who I deeply respect and who has travelled to Ireland 8 times to various residencies.


Early stages of experimenting-


The space is filling up! Amazing what happens when I get to make art all day & night!



I basically taught myself a whole new way of painting. I began working with the flowers themselves, pressing, rubbing and carving the wildflowers I picked in the woods, alongside the road and sometimes in other people’s gardens….IMG_2021 2.JPG

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Oil on panel-thank you buddy, Edwardo Cabrer from Puerto Rico for giving me this board! It was exciting to work on something new-wood.



For our second open studio night, I went forging (a new word I learned from Canadian friend/photographer, Lisa Graves) and made these leaf wrapped drinking glasses with green stuff growing alongside the river.

Thank you:  Parents for my education, especially RISD (You have no idea how much I loved every minute of being there) and for believing in me-

Hank and Beverly Murrow-Thank you for my artist stipend and all of your support. Love you!!! Check out my uncle’s beautiful pottery he creates in Oregon and Japan.

Erica Gerard Di Bona- Thank you, to the thank you queen herself! I sincerely love everything you are and do-You are a true inspiration, fashionista, go-getter, my collector, brilliant writer and what can I say, you get the job done!  Go to her blog now:

Jay Coogan- Thank you for your support and conversation! The next time you are in Los Angeles, I would love to see you-

Wendy Seller- You taught me how to mix paint! I am so grateful for hearing from you after all these years-you are an amazing artist and person!

Visiting Artists- Ellen Harvey, John Gibbons, Susie Ganch and Odili Odita- Thank you so much for stepping away from your own careers and immersing in ours!  You are all so inspiring! I truly appreciate the time we spent talking about my art.  Your feedback helped me make the breakthrough I was ready to have!

Check out their art here:





Oregon: The Real Deal

One of my favorite things to do is visit my Aunt and Uncle in Oregon. When I was 10 years old, I got on a plane by myself to see them. I remember picking blackberries, digging in their vegetable garden, walking along the river, inhaling fresh air, looking out the window at miles of the open space all around us and the gentle people I continue to meet. Here are some photos of my most recent trip: end of May 2017

Wine tasting

Teatime on the terrace

My uncle’s pot

House cat: Shino, named after a glaze my uncle invented

Heavenly shrimp pizza on imported sourdough crust from Crete, Greece

Garden roses

Something new

New painting-thinking about the broken pieces falling into one another- a few touches and it will be complete-

Visiting my Mother at Cedars Sinai hospital today. I brought peonies yesterday and today they were giving away red roses. Flowers perched on windowsills, basking in the sun invite a poetic moment in time… and they also make her feel good-

Went to Venice beach to buy t’shirts for my Cousin’s children I will meet in Vermont.

I just taught myself how to make a lei! This one is made of dendrobium orchids and sweet smelling hyacinths.

First hour of painting-just laying out the shapes.


RISD/LA is in full bloom this month!

20 lucky alumni gathered together to learn what the Art of Thank You means to RISD/LA Leader Marisa Murrow and Trustee Erica Di Bona at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills. 

As guests arrived they were greeted with trays of ice water and Champagne in a sunny patio surrounded by fellow alumni. Liz Lanphear alumni co-leader, asked everyone to take their seats and spoke about the importance of participating in our RISD/LA community. She mentioned our event at the Haas Brother’s studio where Elie Glyn, Exhibition Designer at the Getty Center offered to host a private tour of his work at the Museum and how Sarah Russin, Director of LACE has attended countless RISD/LA events, hosted a BBQ at her home and lead an exhibition walk through at LACE with artists in the show present.  

Marisa, professional painter and floral designer of 20 years divulged her secrets of how to select, clean and prepare flower bouquets. Gathering together hot orange and yellow roses in her hands, Marisa admitted that flowers are frivolous and yet, they have a way of letting someone know they are appreciated, forming a bridge of connectivity and unexpected admiration between people. 

The queen of creative card writing, trustee Erica Di Bona, had us on the edge of our seats listening to all the amazing stories and relationships she has fostered by writing Thank You letters to people she wants to acknowledge. Her passion for letter writing grows out of her belief that we all seek to be seen and appreciated for who we are. 

 Pens, stationary and a parade of 3 tiered trays stuffed with currant scones, pastries and tea sandwiches were placed between each guest as we sat in a brightly lit, private room surrounded by large Andy Warhol Flower prints. The doors were opened to a harpist performing in the next room as guests sipped on tea and chatted about their experiences at RISD.

Our Art of Thank You was a terrific success!

Because of Erica, I was inspired to write my RISD/LA partner a Thank you note… and she wrote one to me!