Monday, May 23, 2011

Beginning 'For Hafiz'

I hibernated through the winter, lumbering outside of my apartment only to go to work and forage for food.  Forgoing art-making entirely, I worked at home on a couple of new books and parceled my life back together (not that it needed much 'parceling', but it was a tough winter).

Presently, I feel great- perhaps it's due to spring- longer days and warmer weather- spending more time with friends?  I only know that my winter doldrums have lifted, leaving me in a magnificent, motivated state.

Last night I started a new canvas- the first since this past autumn.  Last year, I promised to make ten pieces for a show...  Methinks I'm gonna move this shit along and finish what I started.

'For Hafiz' is watercolor/embroidery over unprimed canvas.

*Terrible picture quality (dark!!  blurry!!), but you should be able to get the point.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beginning 'The White Flower'

Just the beginning of this piece, called 'The White Flower' (after the beautiful Kawabata short story of the same name).  I made the drawings on front and back, watercolored, and now the long, laborious process of the multi-layored embroidery begins. 

I'm currently working on four canvases in 'The Thin Red Line' series, and aim to have ten completed.

Below, a picture of the reverse side of 'The White Flower':

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Beginning 'The Red Balloon'

The start of another new piece, 'The Red Balloon'.  I anticipate being finished with both this work and 'Margadh na Gruaige' ('The Hair Market') in about a week.  As you can see above, I've just started with the embroidery, and have quite a lot left.  
The new series will be called 'The Thin Red Line'. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New work in new series

Unfinished new work in a new series, named after a Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill poem called 'Margadh na Gruaige' ('The Hair Market').  I have a ways to go before it is completed.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Double sided NY Times images, embroidery thread, light. On one side, a smiling man wearing a suit. On the other, three women living in poverty. A cow embroidered over all of it, with large needle holes where light can stream through. Experimenting with this, as I'm considering making some light shades.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Needle Pulling Thread at Bows and Arrows
Bows and Arrows writes:

A simple needle and thread give these carefully selected artists a common ground in which to create their works. The artists work on a variety of mediums including fabric, wood and paper. While using sculptural, as well as figurative and abstract elements, the artists build a whirlwind of visual characters. These works, viewed together for the first time, encourage a dialogue on the notions of where “craft” might fit in contemporary art. Our world is encompassed by the basic technology of sewing, from clothes to furniture, from a jet plane seat to ancient beadwork. The long history of this medium invites one to rethink and challenge its foundations and A Needle Pulling Thread influences the new folk aesthetic by encompassing what sewing is and what it can be.

Below, a detail from one of my pieces:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bows and Arrows buys five of my canvases!

Out of Dallas, Texas, Bows and Arrows shows amazing art and sells gorgeous flower arrangements.

They've bought (outright!) five of my pieces for an upcoming group show.  They were previously shown at a solo show I had this past summer at Spacecraft, here in Brooklyn. 

Interestingly, it was just over a year ago today that I started embroidering on canvas and showed my first work, in a show at Brooklyn Collective (which was where, incidentally, the owners of Bows and Arrows bought their first of my pieces, entitled 'Growing Pains'.)


Friday, February 19, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010


PIGEON (Rat with Wings) was in my show at Spacecraft last summer, and was given to a friend.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Hand That Feeds - Sold!

My friend Tom has been in town for a few days before leaving on a many-month stint working in the jungles of Colombia.  It's been great to see him- an added bonus is that this past weekend he brought a friend by who not only loved my work (some of which is littered around my loft), but bought the above piece, called 'The Hand That Feeds', one of my favorites from my solo show this past summer at Spacecraft.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My work in New York Magazine

I embroidered illustrations for two pages in New York Magazine's 2010 Winter Wedding issue. The magazine also featured one of my wedding handkerchiefs (sold by my small design company,
m e l i f e r a d e s i g n s).
I embroidered and beaded the wedding cake, as well as the outlines for both pages (which took forever by hand).

Those of you who know my work are probably familiar with my more, well, macabre images. But those of you who REALLY know me understand how much I enjoy weddings. I love them. They make me cry, laugh, dance my ass off, and feel hopeful in all sorts of ways. I love being in weddings (as a bridesmaid), I love being invited as a date (hint hint). They just make me happy, which, as we all know, is pretty great. I guess what I really get off on is seeing people in love.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Beginning of the 'wallpaper'-type embroidery over a painted canvas I started some time ago...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fashion's Night Out

Come check me out at the Madewell store in Soho from 6-11, where I'll be embroidering at one of the many city's Fashion Night Out Events. At these events, people buy an item then give it to me with a request to embroider whatever the heck they want. Sometimes initials, often ubiquitous skulls and butterflies and hearts, but sometimes there are some strange, fun requests. I embroider them on the fly and my fingers are bloody near the end of the night.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A glimpse of my wedding craft-work

Some of you may be unaware that in addition to my art, I also have a small artisan design company called m e l i f e r a d e s i g n s.

Below is a small selection of a few items I've made.  Although I used to take orders online, due to time constraints, I currently only take custom orders, primarily for heirloom-quality gift items.  Email if interested.

  Wedding Heirloom CUSTOM WORKWedding Heirloom CUSTOM WORKGrandma Hankie

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Soaring as opposed to falling


I'm obsessed with the idea of falling, just as I'm thrilled by all things that fly.  In my show that was, until recently, up at Spacecraft, these were the themes that ran through my work.  And now, once again, I return to them, as I think of the stories of Icarus and Daedalus.

"And he will turn his mind to the unknown arts."  -Ovid

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fun while it lasted

Today I sold FUN WHILE IT LASTED at my solo show at Spacecraft.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Richard Branson's Wetdream

I thought it was hilarious when I saw that Richard Branson had gone kitesurfing with a naked model on his back. What a total wet dream for the wealthy. Well, here's some dude jacking off to all of it, along with a few of Branson's airplanes. This is just the beginning of the piece.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Even more Paper Towel (sc)Roll pics

Sartre wrote, 'We are all condemned to freedom'. I think about this concept often. Our physical and mental selves experience many different levels of both freedom and bondage. Society dictates not only guidelines for what’s right and wrong, but determines how we view gender differences as well as our relative ages: infant and childhood; adolescence; adulthood; middle age; and geriatric- often the conditions of our bodies in no way reflect how we identify with our inner selves. The freedom to which Sartre was referring- the lonely freedom that only our innermost selves understand - is nothing more than our individual sets of dreams, memories and desires, compiled by the particular make-up of chemicals and electricity found in each of our human bodies.

The Paper Towel (sc)Roll is a visual record of some of the memories that make-up my identity. Many of my memories- from my earliest to my most recent- happen to be sexual. Growing up, I felt that many of the ways I thought about sex were unusual- often, there was cross-over between my fantasies and pop-culture images, as well as a desire to stray from the social construct of what is 'normal'. An exploration of this as an adult feels imperative.

The ways I perceive my body, the violence done against me as well as violence I’ve only imagined doing to other people, and finally, the cross-over between fantasy and reality, have all given me a wealth of what I call ‘ghost images’- mental pictures that come back to haunt me. These ‘pictures’ consist of both real and pseudo-images (the latter being fantasies that have been retained so long in my memory that it is hard to untangle them from truth). I've embroidered some of these images over my (sc)Roll. In addition to my ghost images, I’ve embroidered fragments from photographs and drawings of some of the places I’ve lived, as well as images I appropriated from pop culture, to layout a non-linear map that one may use to help navigate the most private parts of my person. Images such as a woman masturbating are combined with childhood figures such as My Little Pony and The Last Unicorn. This may be disturbing to some, and yet, with research telling us that over 80% of children pretend to be animals, and with around the same number of children participating in some sort of sex-play, it isn't unlikely that there would be some playful mental crossover. I vividly remember, as a very young child, fantasizing about the centaurs in the Disney film Fantasia- those frolicking, half-naked creatures definitely entered some of my secret imaginary play!

In the (sc)Roll I also explore the blurred line between victim and willing participant (a line that doesn't necessary become less blurred as one enters adulthood).

Using a medium most often used to clean up messes, I made the Paper Towel sc(roll) as a tool with which to metaphorically wipe up some of the mental messes of my life. This is an ongoing, extensive project that I believe will help me to cut through some of my more painful, confusing memories, in order to celebrate my many joyful memories and dreams. In this way, I hope to enjoy my relative ‘freedom’.