Monday, November 01, 2010


ANGELA'S STUDIO NOTES: November 1, 2010

It's November, the month the city of Tacoma celebrates its vibrant arts scene with hundreds of events, encompassing all the arts (visual, musical, performing, literary, etc.), throughout the month. THIS WEEKEND, November 6 & 7th, over 70 artists throughout Tacoma, including your's truly, will be opening their studios to the public. It's a fantastic opportunity to see where the magic happens, meet the artists, and see lots of great art. And I know many artists offer special prices just for this weekend, so it's a great time to purchase that great art too!

I invite you to visit my studio, one of the Court C Studios, located at 705 Court C (Opera Alley) in the heart of the arts district (enter at Fibers, Etc.), from 10–4, both Saturday and Sunday. This is my first year on the Tour, but many of the artists I've talked to say it's a very exciting time with lots of great people and energy, and I'm excited to be a part of it! Please, spread the word, tell your friends! And I look forward to seeing you there!

For more information about the Studio Tour, and the hundreds of other events taking place all month, please click: ART@WORK TACOMA

Friday, October 08, 2010

I'm alive!

I know, I've been very… absent lately. In addition to not writing my own blog, I've also fallen away from reading anyone else's blogs. In a nutshell, I've been a recluse. This tendency to be a hermit has threatened my offline world as well. I can point to many reasons for this over the past year, including the move to a new city a year ago, away from the community and surroundings that I'd come to love. But now that I'm coming out of it, I know exactly what the primary cause was. My home studio.

Crazy? Probably. But, hear me out. Now that I have a studio in downtown Tacoma, I have a place to go! I might even see people! while I'm out. I had seriously begun to feel like a shut-in, talking to nobody but my cats (and myself) most days. When you spend so much time alone at home, you can go a little weird, and pretty soon you don't want to leave and you completely shut down your ability to interact with others. It's terribly lonely, and the saddest part is losing the ability to do anything about it. I found that even reaching out online was nearly impossible for me except for occasional forays onto Facebook. Painting and any marketing took a huge effort of will. It was when getting out of bed in the morning started taking an even larger effort that I knew I had to do something about it before somebody had to prescribe me some pills.

And thankfully I found my studio (and it turned out to be affordable!). It's in a fantastic location in the heart of Tacoma's arts district in a building that houses several other artists' studios, right around the corner from my favorite coffee house. At first I was nervous because I'm sharing the space with one other artist, but she's very nice, and we have totally opposite working schedules! I prefer working in the morning and she almost never gets there until after 3:00 in the afternoon.

I've been there about a month now, and I feel so much better. Within a week I was smiling more and wanting to be more social, and I had a ton more energy. I'm working a LOT more. I feel ALIVE again. And I wanted to say Hi! to all of you lovely people. I'd love to hear from you too! :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Studio Moving Sale!

Twilight Silence, acrylic on canvas, 36" x 36", ©2007

Dear family, friends and patrons,

As you know, I've recently started working in a new studio space. While I'm moving, I'm coming across several older paintings (including "Twilight Silence" above) that I'd rather see in good homes than hidden away in storage again. So I'm offering them at deeply discounted prices here on my website. So far I've listed 14 pieces, but I'm sure to find more as I continue the process of moving.

And there's another reason for this sale at this particular time – I'm trying to raise some money to I can fly across the country for my sister-in-law's wedding in early November. This has been a very expensive year for dental work for me, including getting braces a couple of months ago, and my financial coffers are a bit low. So if you're thinking about getting yourself a painting, or maybe buying one as a gift for someone else for the upcoming holiday season (I saw my first Christmas commercial of the year yesterday - crazy!), now would be a great time! :)

Thank you for your continuing support!



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Studio Notes - July 2010

Tenuous Connection, acrylic/mixed media on canvas, 30" x 24", ©2010

Dear family, friends and patrons!

I have a couple of quick updates for you:
First, my painting "Tenuous Connection" will be on exhibit at The Robert Daniel Gallery in downtown Tacoma starting next Thursday, July 29th through August 28th. (And if you see me at opening night on the 29th, you'll be among the first to see me in my new braces, which are being installed on my teeth the day before.)

Second, the dates for my show in New York have been changed. In order to make room to showcase work by Judy Chicago, Ico Gallery had to move the October show so my artwork will now be there in January 2011. I'll let you know as I have more details.
Hope you're all doing well!
Much love,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Illustration Friday: Ripple

"Crude Marsh", acrylic monotype on watercolor paper, 4"x 6", ©2010
"Oil on Water", acrylic monotype on watercolor paper, 4"x 6", ©2010

"Oil on Oil", acrylic monotype on watercolor paper, 4"x 6", ©2010

This BP oil spill thing in the Gulf - it's just heartbreaking. There's a great blog ( that's been set up to help with the healing through art. As it says on that blog, this is how it works:

"Each sketchcard on this blog is $10.00. The $10.00 is a donation to help the animal victims of the Deep Water Horizon Gulf Oil Spill. Every penny is donated. The two Non-Profits that are benefitting are The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies and The International Bird Rescue Research Center. You can purchase a card if you donate directly to one of the non-profits and email me the confirmation and your address to The artist will mail you the signed card. We don't have to feel helpless. We can help. Our small actions together will ripple outward."

I hope and pray that these 3 small pieces can be a part of that healing ripple. Please visit and be part of it too! (These pieces are numbers 509, 510, & 511)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Studio Notes - June 2010

My dear friends, family, and patrons,
It's finally beginning to feel like Summer today. After what seems like months of cold and grey and wet, it's sunny and blue and warm! I figure it's a good day to make some announcements.
I just re-opened my Etsy shop today with some small and very affordable works on paper like this monotype, "Blue Sun", 6"x 4", $15. To see more, please visit my Etsy shop.

I've recently realized that I never got around to changing the prices on my small art blog once my Half Off Sale was over earlier this year. So, go ahead and take advantage of my laziness! Since Father's Day and Graduations are all around us, I've decided to leave the half off prices up until the end of June! Give your dad a work of art not a tie! Give that grad a painting, not a pen set! Or maybe you know a June bride who needs art for her new home, or maybe you just need to treat yourself to something nice. :)

And now for the BIG news. This fall my artwork will once again make its way to New York City!!! I've been invited to participate in a group abstract art exhibit, and six of my pieces will be on display as part of "Cryptical Envelopment" between October 7th – 30th at Ico Gallery in the Chelsea district. There will be an opening reception on October 15th which I do plan to attend, and I hope to see some of you there too! It's so exciting to be a part of this exhibit, and to have an excuse to visit New York again! The curator and I still have to pick out exactly which 6 pieces, but this new and as-of-yet-untitled painting will probably be one of them.
I hope you're all well and I wish you all the best!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Soup recipe for a sore mouth

I had gum surgery on Wednesday. I'm still sore and on meds, so painting isn't exactly happening. However, I did have success in another creative venue last night when I made dinner. I had underestimated just how sore my mouth would be and thought that soft pasta dishes would be okay, but turned out that just isn't so. After attempting some mac n cheese for dinner the other night only to have to turn to yogurt instead, I decided I should make some soup. My periodontist emphasized how important nutrition is to the healing process, so I wanted to make sure to pack as many nutrients as I could into a dish that didn't have to be chewed. The following is what I came up with. It turned out really, really good so I want to write it down here so I don't forget it.

4 cups low sodium chicken stock
about 6-7 small yukon gold potatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
the leafy greens (not the stems) from 3 large beets, chopped

2 medium zucchini, sliced

1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 bag baby spinach

extra water as needed (probably about 2 cups)
salt and pepper to taste
about 1/2 cup heavy cream

Using my 5 quart dutch oven, I boiled the potatoes and garlic and beet greens in the chicken stock until very soft, adding some salt and pepper and about a cup of water

Then I added the zucchini and the beans to the pot and continued boiling until those softened, adding some water to keep the consistency from getting too thick

I followed that with the bag of spinach and cooked until wilted, then took the pot off the heat

Using an immersion blender, I pureed the soup until there were no lumps left, adjusted the seasoning, then I stirred in some heavy cream


Monday, May 03, 2010

Uneasy relationship

It's been nearly two months since my last blog post (why the sudden image of a confessional?) and I've had a lot of time to think why that might be. My relationship with blogging (and all forms of social networking) seems to have been an uneasy one for quite a while now. Computer work is always a bit of an effort because of the physical pain it causes in my wrist and shoulder, but the reasons for unease went deeper than that. I think I lost, if I ever had, the "why" of doing it. It had become a mindless activity that I felt I should do but didn't really know why I felt that way. I had never really examined my motivations or whether it was the right thing for me to do or not. Of course, when I started I didn't really realize how it can come to permeate your life if you let it.

I've been taking yoga at a local studio for the past few months now (I love it!) and a big part of a serious yoga practice is cultivating mindfulness, so I've been trying to examine many of the mindless things I do and, hopefully, make them mindful activities instead. In applying it to my life online, I feel like I need to define why I'm there and decide whether I even want to be there. As to the why, I can start with CONNECTION. I remember that being the thing that really got me interested. Being an artist is such a solitary pursuit and the idea of hundreds of friends as close as my computer is very appealing. But, and this is hard to put into words, in some ways it often made me feel even more isolated, more alone. And sometimes, when I wasn't feeling very strong emotionally and my rationality had left for a vacation, left me feeling as hurt and ignored and alone as I had felt on many school playgrounds.

So, what to do? Well, I think if I approach this more mindfully, I can continue to hang out in this imaginary place with all you wonderful people. I would like that. I love the connections I have made, and I miss them. And I miss sharing my artwork and my life with you. So, with an eye on connection, I continue.

For now I leave you with a couple of photos of Spring that I've taken over the past few days.

lake reflections and a duckling!

the sun warming the new leaves on our walnut tree this morning

If you want, you can see more on my Flickr account.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Lenten artwork

I wrote a post about Ash Wednesday and Lent a few weeks ago, but what I didn't talk about was the art project I designed for our church. Inspired by the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, I designed this piece so parishioners can write the things they want to offer up to God during Lent on strips of rice paper, and tie them to the wire netting. Father John will then burn the prayers in the New Fire during the Great Vigil of Easter. An unforeseen (by me at least) and exciting result will be that all our worries will be reduced to ashes. Cool, yes?!

The pictures above were taken the day we installed it. In the weeks since, it has quickly filled with many pieces of tied paper, and there are more every time I see it! People are really responding to it. I'll try to remember to take a picture of it before we take it down.

Monday, March 01, 2010

and the winner is...

Thank you all so much for your comments! Made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I put all your names (from here and from the comments I got on Facebook) in one of my favorite hats and pulled three. Congratulations to: Melissa Gregory, Doug Arrington, and Ellen Sereda!

Please email your "snail mail" address to arockett at gmail dot com, and I'll ship out a small painting to you ASAP! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Birthday Giveaway

My birthday is coming up in a few days, and I want to give something away. Don't get me wrong, I love receiving presents as much as the next person, giving some too just feels like the right thing to do this year.

Specifically, I'd like to give three of my small paintings to three of you! It might be a piece you've seen on my small art blog, or it might be one I never got around to putting there (as you can see, I never got around to taking the paintings there off of the 50% off sale).

To get your name in the hat, just comment on this post by midnight on Sunday, February 28th. On March 1st I'll draw three names and each will receive on of my paintings!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ash Wednesday & Lent

Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the season of Lent in the western church calendar. I've been asked by a couple of people what this actually is. I didn't really know how to put it into words until hearing the sermon during the Ash Wednesday service.

Ash Wednesday is a day to reflect on your sins and imperfections. The Ash Wednesday liturgy is a service of penitence, and ashes are place upon our foreheads as a reminder that we are dust, and to dust we shall return. (So if you saw people wandering around with a big black smudge on their forehead on Wednesday, they most likely just came from just such a service.) By the end of the service we are shriven - completely forgiven of all our sins.

So what's Lent about then? you may ask. Since all many hear about Lent is "I gave up _______ for Lent", they assume it's a depressing time of deprivation and solemn penitence and suffering. But it's really 40 days to work deeply on your spirituality, to put your spiritual life first on your list of priorities. It's a time to slow down and look within, to get centered and clear away distractions, to "patch the holes where your soul is leaking out", to become a stronger spiritual container. So the "giving up for Lent" part is really about creating a discipline that can help you to do that. For some, it's giving up a certain food (traditionally it's meat, but many give up caffeine or chocolate). For some it's taking on a discipline like reading scripture or meditating. Basically, something that helps you become conscious of your actions.

The giving up of a food has never really worked for me, so this year I'm cutting back on television watching. While I was sick I got very used to having the TV on all day, and it's difficult to stop that habit now that I'm well again. So my hope is that I can reclaim some of that wasted time and use it toward more spiritual pursuits. And hopefully that will become a habit that stays with me long after Lent is over.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Slow Recovery

I'm finally over that cold. It came back, then it turned into a sinus infection, then I had medicine head… Bleh.

I've been struggling with my art for quite a while now - months really. At first I told myself that it was just a down cycle, that I was just in a creative lull and tried to keep my hands moving anyway. But recently I've come to the realization that I'm actually full of creativity, it's just that what's being expressed isn't what I've come to expect from myself. My art is changing, and I don't really know what to think about the direction it seems to be taking, so I've been fighting it.

One good thing that came out of being sick was having a good long time to think about this, and to get to a point where I can let myself let it happen. I also came to recognize that one of the new elements that's trying to become part of my artwork is narrative.

I'm very curious to see how this is going to turn out!

And just so there's some color in this post, here are some random photos I've taken this past month.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Even though we're only at the tail end of January, it was a beautiful spring-like day yesterday. The little birds were sunning themselves…

and sunlight streamed into my studio… and I finally felt like I was starting to recover from the cold I've been down with since last Thursday. A perfect day to paint!

And I did! I completed this 24" x 24" canvas that I started a couple of weeks ago (I apologize for the not so great photograph).

I also went to the library and checked out some gardening books. Just seemed like the right thing to do. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Encaustic Paintings October 2009–January 2010

untitled, encaustic/mixed media on panel, 8" x 8", ©2009

Angels of the Vineyard I, encaustic/mixed media, 8" x 8", ©2009

Angels of the Vineyard I, encaustic/mixed media, 8" x 8", ©2009

untitled, encaustic/mixed media, 6" x 6", ©2010

As promised, here are the encaustic paintings that I've done since October. Expressing myself in this medium still doesn't feel natural - I still need to learn so much. But I'm still really enjoying it. It kind of reminds me of when I was learning to use watercolors. I knew in my head what I needed to do, but it didn't really work for me until my heart learned how to use them. And eventually that did happen, but it took time and a lot of practice. So that's what I'm giving encaustics, working toward that aha! moment.

The two Angels of the Vineyard pieces incorporate photographs I shot using my Diana+ camera in the vineyards of Cave B Winery a couple of years ago. The shapes of the winter vines made me think of angels' wings.

You should be able to see more detail if you click on the images.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Paintings October 2009–January 2010

acrylic/mixed media on canvas, 12" x 12", ©2010

acrylic/mixed media on canvas, 8" x 8", ©2010

acrylic/mixed media on canvas, 12" x 24", ©2009

I've really fallen behind on keeping up with blogging, and with documenting what I've been working on. So here's a bit of an update…

These are 3 acrylic paintings I've completed since October. I don't have titles for any of them yet.

Tomorrow I'll post the encaustics.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Some Random Notes on the first week of 2010

First, today is January 8th, so there's only one week left of my 2nd Annual Half-Off Sale! Are your walls looking kinda bare once you put away all the holiday stuff? Maybe something here or here would look very nice on those bare spaces. :)

Outside the Box, acrylic/mixed media on canvas, 24"x 24", ©2009

This painting was accepted into and is on view through the end of January as part of Parklane Gallery's 2010 Contemporary Juried Show. The opening reception is this coming Thursday, January 14th, 6-8PM as part of Kirkland's ArtWalk. I'm not sure if I'll be there or not as I have a schedule conflict, but it still looks like a great show with lots of great artists, so I'd recommend checking it out.

Took my first ever "real" yoga class last night. Loved it! After years of using some great DVDs, it's nice to be instructed in person by a great instructor, in an actual yoga studio, and (this is the surprising part for me) with other people. I'm a pretty solitary person, and I was really afraid I'd be embarrassed or miss the solitude of doing yoga at home, but neither was true and I'm really looking forward to next week's class (thus, the schedule conflict).

And I recently discovered and am totally enjoying The Fluent Self blog. It's a delightful and fun place to be with lots of great ideas for getting destuckified*!
*one of the words you'll find their, and a small example of why it's so delightful