abstract art

Marks Of the Displaced

hello! it has been an incredibly LONG time since i was here last. hopefully it won’t be quite so long until the next time. for those of you connected with me through social media and if you are on my email subscription, you know that i have a solo show up at Galatea Fine Art in Boston! my first solo show, Marks Of the Displaced, has been an incredible experience. working on each of the pieces has been a rewarding experience and then to work on a body of work that’s related and communicating with each other has been an experience i hope to have again some day. you can find a short video of me at work in my studio and my artist statement for the show here. you can also see photos of all the works that are available for sale here.

with my first solo show comes several interviews and blog posts about me and about my work. here are 3 places where you can find more about what’s behind the work:

a beautiful blog post by Galatea Fine Art about my work!! it’s always so humbling to see my work through the eyes of another. this blog post really made me feel that my work was SEEN.

Leslie Forde, a fellow writer and mother that i met through our kids’ school, wrote a lovely post about how i approach my creative work as a mother.

and lastly, an interview of me in the Boston Voyager Magazine, where i talk about my journey of how i got to where i am today.

i hope you will check these out! and please remember, Marks Of the Displaced is up until February 24 at Galatea Fine Art!! you can find hours and directions here.

the best way to stay informed on events i will be part of is by subscribing to my newsletters which you can do by simply typing in your email address at the bottom of this page.

sign on the wall at the entrance to Galatea Fine Art

sign on the wall at the entrance to Galatea Fine Art

a glimpse at the walls of Marks Of the Displaced

a glimpse at the walls of Marks Of the Displaced

Recap of Passage Through Blue and a review

edit: i meant to post this a week or two ago... sorry! but here is a recap of Passage Through Blue. i have also posted on my portfolio page images taken by Steve Wollkin of one of the performances.


i have spent most of this week feeling slightly off-kilter. comes with being intensely involved in a project. the performances of Passage Through Blue were amazing last weekend. the dancers of Continuum Dance Project were incredible - it was deeply satisfying to watch them. and many thanks to you that came out to the shows. from your responses to me, i know that you left feeling exhilarated and moved and inspired. i'm so glad you were able to share in this wonderful experiment.

i'm going to leave you with some photos i took throughout the rehearsals and of a review of Passage Through Blue which you can find here.

Progress with residency

there's nothing quite so gratifying as seeing your work progress in the way you envisioned. i was a little nervous this week and last as i began work on my papier-mache birds. i had several conversations with Fernadina about the dancers' movements and with Stephen, our lighting guy, to think through all the various issues i need to take into consideration when putting the birds together. below is a video of me testing out the flock of birds yesterday:

and Adriane made a movie of the dancers rehearsing and (i hope) you can find the movie here. if you can put the two movies together in your mind, that's what you should expect to see at the performance. :)

stay tuned for more updates!

Sketchbook pages

hello! hope you are having a great start to the week! it's raining quite a bit today here in the Boston area, which is a good thing as it has been much too dry, but that means i'm staying home today instead of biking to the studio. which is also not a bad thing, as i have lots to catch up on at home, like updating the blog and the website. :)

as you know, i'm getting ready for the South End Open Studios on September 24-25. i'm hoping to have a set of abstract paintings ready that were inspired by a family camping trip we took over the summer to Acadia National Park. i've been sharing some of the sketchbook pages from my trip on Instagram but i wanted to share them here as well. i hope to share some of the process photos of the larger pieces that i'm working on in the next few weeks leading up to the open studios. i will also have available my watercolor paintings of roses and peonies and have framing options for those. and of course, my miniature bird pieces will be available as well.

here are some recent pages from my sketchbook and i look forward to sharing more about the larger paintings born out of these soon. 

inspired by the pink granite rocks of Acadia

inspired by the pink granite rocks of Acadia

inspired by the beautiful lichen

inspired by the beautiful lichen

Limited Edition series titled "13"

May is just around the corner and this May marks a special moment in my life. my oldest daughter turns 13 years. which means i have been a mother for 13 years. and the number 13 has a significant place in my life. my birthday is August 13. i turned 13 years old on Friday the 13th - it was a terrible birthday, but that's another story! :) it seems apt that i should do something special for this upcoming month of May. so i thought, why not make 13 paintings for the month of May? I will release 3 paintings each week over the course of May and then release the 13th painting on the last day of May. this Limited Edition will be available through my Etsy store. please follow me here on the blog, on Instagram (@madebyslk) or on FaceBook as i celebrate through the month of May. if you would like first dibs, please subscribe to my blog (click on button on lower left corner) as i will post the releases on the blog first.

the 13 paintings began their life as a single large painting and then have been cut down to smaller 13 pieces. the large washes of color provide the background for the smaller details. there's a lot of texture here because of the many layers of paint, with colors coming through the dark washes of black.

i'm a little nervous about this - i've never done a series to be produced in a set amount of time, but i'm hoping it will be a good discipline and a fun project. plus, Mother's Day is coming up and i can't think of a better way to celebrate it than by putting down on paper my feelings of being a mother. thank you for joining me in this endeavor!



i finally managed to come up with a title for my latest installation before i had to install it. as it often happens to me, the title refused to come to me until i had completed the work. so, here is the official info on the latest piece:

Thirst, 2016

approx 250 plastic water bottles, fishing line


and here are some photos of the installation:

Installation at Ruggles Baptist Church before it got dark

Installation at Ruggles Baptist Church before it got dark

During the Easter Vigil - it was dark and the installation was lit by lights with blue gels. a dance performance with original song was being performed as the blue lights went on slowly on the installation. credit for the lights must go to Ryan Ruffing, who patiently bore with my many emails sent his way titled "Lights!!!"

During the Easter Vigil - it was dark and the installation was lit by lights with blue gels. a dance performance with original song was being performed as the blue lights went on slowly on the installation. credit for the lights must go to Ryan Ruffing, who patiently bore with my many emails sent his way titled "Lights!!!"

Installation moved to Boston Temple for Easter Sunday Service 

Installation moved to Boston Temple for Easter Sunday Service 

and a time lapse of the installation, just because it's always fun to do a time lapse :)


i had several challenges when putting this together. the church rents space in two different locations, Ruggles Baptist and Boston Temple. so the installation couldn't stay up - it had to be taken down immediately after the Vigil was over. that meant i had to put the installation together in such a way as to make the installing and the removal process relatively easy. i couldn't drill anything into the walls. the Vigil would take place in the dark, so lighting was a big issue. but these challenges helped shape the piece into what it is. i used plastic water bottles so the installation as a whole is extremely light and sturdy.

many have asked me questions about the process and the thought behind the installation, so i thought i'd jot it down here, both for me and for those of you who wish to know more.

i guess the story begins back in December 2015. my family was searching for a new church and we stumbled on the website of Church of the Cross. we visited Christmas Eve and have continued since. in January 2016, i met with the Director of Music, Ryan, and we had a conversation about art, esp about art in the church. which was unusual for me - it has been a very long time since i've had a leader of a church engage with me about what i do. and perhaps this was why i agreed to participate in the Easter Vigil at Church of the Cross by creating a piece for it. i was mostly curious, but i was completely caught off guard. if i hadn't been so caught off guard, i might have said no.

some of you are probably very familiar with an Easter Vigil, but i was not. since i had no previous experience to go on, i used the order of Scripture readings as a guide. the readings begin with the story of creation and take us through the entire story of God's relationship with us, the world, culminating in the death and resurrection of Jesus. the primary images in the Vigil are the cross and the movement from darkness to light. but for me, the thread that ran through all the Scripture readings was the image of water. it was present in each reading, in some form or another, a silent tangible extension of God's presence. or the absence of God's presence, as in the reading of the dry bones, the bones dry and lifeless. moments before Jesus' death on the cross, He said, "i thirst," a physical yearning for His Father who had turned from Him.

the images of water were big and grand in the readings in the first half of the Vigil: creation, Noah's ark, the parting of the Sea as Israel fled from Egypt. but it takes a different turn in the sixth reading, a passage from Isaiah 55. there, God calls those of us who thirst to come: "Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters...For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth, And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."

why plastic water bottles? (many thanks to the members of Church of the Cross who contributed to this installation by bringing in your plastic bottles! and to my husband who went dumpster diving for me) if you know me and my work, you know that i love to take stuff from the dumpster and transform it into something that looks completely different from it's original form; taking the rejected and transforming it into something beautiful. and we live in a place where clean water is so abundant, we take it for granted and don't understand the full value of it in our lives. the same can be said of God's grace and goodness.

Thirst. we won't know the full extent of our need until we thirst.

Some new work

hello!  it's been a while, but i have been busy with experimenting and thinking up new works.  i have been playing around with acrylic paint and painting over old paintings that have been unfinished for many years.  i've been thinking of new paper-mache sculptures to make.  

here are a couple of new paintings which will be up on my Saatchi page soon:

i will leave you with a beautiful quote by Arshile Gorky i read the other day:  "Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot physically see with his eyes.  Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite.  It is the emancipation of the mind."