Archive for the ‘Studio’ Category

under dust.

Monday, September 20th, 2010


"Black Eye" in progress.


The show is up. I’m in the honeymoon phase with the work… I think it looks really beautiful. I don’t feel this way all the time, I admit. My perception will shift over time for better or worse… but for now, I have produced a body of work I can stand behind. I’ve never worked harder on a show. I realize that now. It has taken its toll… I’m exhausted on a level that’s deeper than usual. Weary in many ways. 

And so it hangs. Framed beautifully (Thank you Susan, Tom, and Percy at Chandler). It has light and space and air… all the things it didn’t have in my studio when I made it. If you know anything about my studio, you know it’s cramped, packed dense with supplies, beloved artifacts, and work. These things envelop me as I work … and as this series progressed my workspace literally closed in around me. I ran out of room and painted myself into a 4×4′ square. It was awesomely claustrophobic and intimate …and a tad bit self indulgent. An art cave built of layers of my own vision and will. A questionable place to objectively view the work, but ideally suited to view my relationship to the work.

But, as I said, now it hangs… and so begins the process of detachment. I can now stand 10 — even 20 feet away to view the piece. The pieces are now upright (I work down on a table) … perspective. A revelation. I’m separating… adjusting from living within the piece to simply being an observer of it, behind glass. There is beauty and loss in this.

In this post I will share images of how I experienced the work on my studio table. Under layers of pastel dust, surrounded by debris… at the moment of creation. In the next entry I will post pics of the same work installed in the gallery. The sum of these parts tells the complete story of the series.

Under dust:

"Dreamsicle" in progress.


"The Art of Levitation" in progress.


"Memorial Burn" in progress.


"True Love Machine" detail. Pastel dust on surface.


"True Love Machine" detail. Pastel dust on surface.


Painted into a corner. Completed works before delivery to the gallery.


"True Love Machine" in progress.

studio table.

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

If I did still lifes in oil, I would paint this and hang it in an ornate gold frame.

9 more things…

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Another glimpse into my studio… todays selections represent assorted collections of odd bits and debris that collect with our without my assistance. Many of these elements show up in my work at times.studio_grid.gif 1. old paint soaked rags and towels.2. collection of ginko leaves (gathered from Ashland, Oregon)3. discarded pastel wrappers.4. assortment of odd metal bits/screws/spare parts.5. small pastel ends. 6. more leaves…7. jar of glass shards.8. burnt matches.9. used rubber gloves. (safety 1st!) 

Exhibition Photos: Chandler Fine Art, SF 2008

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

So, the work has made the transition from my studio table…


…to the gallery walls…









It’s always a bit of a shock to see the work framed, hung, and ready for the public… it’s a happy shock, but one nonetheless. I spend so much time working on it in my studio that I grow accustomed to the way it looks on my studio table surrounded by debris…and available for one more mark. I’m used to seeing it fragile and vulnerable with piles of dusty pastel and pools of ink on the surface. There’s an obvious finality to them under glass in the gallery that is bittersweet for me. The “bitter” part is the intimacy of the artist/painting relationship has been breached and made public which is a sort of loss. The “sweet” is by inviting others to be a part of the work, the work takes on a life of it’s own which is far more exciting in many ways.

I’d like to extend a thank you to Susan and the staff at Chandler Fine Art for doing such an incredible job presenting the paintings and for continuing to support my work. Thank you as well to all of you who made it out to the gallery to see the show!

9 more things…

Monday, August 18th, 2008

I’ve decided the list of 10 things in my studio should be reduced to 9… as I’m a visual person and 9 pics makes a nice satisfying block on the page while 10 leaves an image hanging… which I find aesthetically displeasing. I’ve also decided that as a novice blogger I was perhaps a bit too ambitious when I committed to doing these lists every week… so I’m going to shoot for a much more realistic once a month with other art related posts peppered throughout the month.

So here we go, 9 more glimpses into my studio:


1. part one of an encaustic triptych study

2. collection of hand cut linoleum and rubber blocks used in past paintings

3. hand marbled piece of fabric. practice piece.

4. art books and artist’s reference… including one of my favorites “Hockney on Art” by Joyce…

5. the GEM pencil sharpener. lovely.

6. contact sheet depicting large cement boat anchors I found by the harbor. inspiration.

7. nifty old green tv. very small. b/w. shows snow on every channel! looks cute.

8. old stereo-view card. classic.

9. rubber gloves. safety first!

10 more things:

Friday, April 11th, 2008

continuing on the lists of things in my studio…

1. jumbo super ball
2. dried “globe” flowers
3. old figure studies from college
4. pile of sometimes useful metal junk bits including magnets, allen wrench, and binder clips
5. toy kaleidoscope (gift from artist Mark Dong)
6. aprons, smocks, and coveralls
7. plastic fish
8. fire extinguisher
9. poster from Edward Weston retrospective, Hotel de Sully, Paris, 1995
10. license plate from my old orange VW Super Beatle that met a most untimely end

Welcome to Studio A.K.M…

Monday, January 28th, 2008

I love artist’s studios… they often contain eclectic and quirky personal collections curated by the artist to inspire oneself while working. Or to amuse oneself while procrastinating. They also contain a lot of junk, clutter and strange bits that are often not otherwise allowed in the house by significant others… or more importantly stuff that might pose a significant hazard to one’s pets or children. Or guests. More than anything, they become a sanctuary where everything from vintage buttons to trash bin furniture to hoards of expired film can coexist. My studio has been evolving over many years and many locations. It’s absolutely brimming with stuff… each piece hand picked and carefully stored, displayed, and adored over the years. I also have many small gifts that my friends have bestowed upon me knowing my affinity for curious artifacts. I wholeheartedly admit to an unabashed love affair with my studio that is not expected to end any time soon. I’m too entrenched and committed at this point. My only lament is the need for more space. and heat. sigh… someday. Since I’m always fascinated by other artist’s studios, I’ve decided to offer a glimpse into my own by listing 10 things it contains every week (or so). This should take a while…


1. old button display card
2. rock
3. shell
4. teapot
5. dried pods
6. box of ENTO PINS
7. mineral
8. dried rosette-like plant pods
9. shell from the ocean near my house (gift from artist teresa norris)
10. part from an old lamp

All images and content © 2004 - 2011 Alexis K. Manheim

AKM Studio Notes is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).