art by Arlene Kim Suda

pay attention...

pay attention…

State of the Studio: July 2015

Posted on July 28, 2015 by aks
Studio photograph by Arturo Bejar

Studio (July 31, 2015)
photograph by Arturo Bejar

These monthly state of the studio entries have been really helpful for me to reflect on where I’ve been in the past month and to think about what’s next. There has been a lot of learning this month. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Completed the 100 Days of Blooming Love project
The full set of 100 works can be found on Instagram:

100 Days of Blooming Love – pencil/pen line drawings

I am in the process of collaborating with friends to curate a joint exhibit, tentatively named: #TheQuietWarriors: Being separate and together in this world: April 6 to July 14, 2015Once the project has taken on a bit more shape (hopefully by next month’s post), I’ll add a separate update about it on this website.

I have been wondering a lot about what’s next now that this project is complete. Another 100 day project? More blooming love and flowers? Or is there something new emerging? This is an example of the uncertainty that lurks in trying to live a life of creating – especially hard if you are someone prone to self-doubt (and short attention spans!)


2. Alongside the 100 Day Project, I also have been working on 6 large scale blooming flower/warrior paintings. I have some more work to do on a couple of them, but I’m also trying to honor the energetic birth of these paintings by not overworking them too much (which I have a very bad habit of doing in my painting practice in general). Below are a few images of the works.


Blooming I (1 of 3), acrylic on canvas, 65″ x 46″


Blooming Warriors I, acrylic on canvas, 46″ x 65″


Blooming Warriors II (in progress), acrylic on canvas, 46″ x 65″


3. Probably the biggest new development this month is I joined a “Reclaim Your Voice” singing circle led by the amazingly talented (young) old soul and teacher, Lauren Arrow. Though seemingly focused on singing, the class really is so much more. Basically I am exploring the origins and blockages I have around speaking in public and being willing to be seen and heard and to take up space in the world. I have always been shy – at times almost mortally afraid of speaking up even when I feel I have something important to say. I think my art practice has given me a reason to work on overcoming this block. I feel the art I’m creating needs to find its place in the world and I realize I’m not giving it a chance because I’m often too afraid to give it the voice it needs to thrive.

So this month’s state of the studio has been about merging my painting/drawing practice with a new singing/voice practice. My singing class assignment today was to do something that scares me. So here goes…these are a set of practice recordings I have been putting together to perform for my classmates and for some close friends as well.

Set list & practice recordings:
Misfits (cover), The Kinks
[Practice session] Roving Gambler
[Practice session] Everything is Free (cover), Gillian Welch
The Quiet Warriors
Bells of Harlem (cover), Dave Rawlings Machine 

So thankful for friends supporting this time in my life. It feels like everything is lining up as it was meant to be to make all these things happen. Maybe now’s the time to start playing music like I’m trying to break out of jail…