Archive for the 'The Daily Art Life' Category

Published by Patianne on 05 Apr 2014

Table Top Inspirations

I love the table top still life. It’s what I am envisioning when I create cardboard pieces, and when I paint. The table top, whether real or imaginary, functions not only as a frame for the objects but as a point in time. We glimpse a moment which may have just happened, may be happening, or is about to happen.

I often mention this in the titles, such as ” Travel Talk Before Dinner” below.

Travel Talk

At times I just mention the objects and let the viewer fill in the blanks, as in “Still Life With Three Objects” below. It’s a complete story for me, but it invites the viewer to create their own behind the scene story. Over the years as my work has evolved, this concept of the tabletop as a universe has also continued to evolve.

Banana and Eggplant with 3 colors copy_3 copy

Although “Chocolate Cupcakes On A Shelf”  may appear to be a wall piece, I actually created it as a hanging tabletop.


full_side copy

During the relocation of the past year and a half, I have been ‘sketching’ through an evolution that is less visually descriptive. Although continuing to use objects that relate in a space, I am adding objects that on the surface appear to be unrelated.
There are common threads that are always present. These building blocks, such as color, texture, line, and volume are the visual expression of creative work.  But beyond that,  my current direction is a less visually descriptive way of seeing.  Where is it all going? I remain opened to that answer.

Published by Patianne on 09 Jul 2013

What Inspires?

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My thoughts on relocating?  I had no idea it would be such a long search for a new abode. But here I am in my new city, still looking for the house I will call home. Until I do find ‘the’ house, I live in a great neighborhood filled with inspiration. And I walk daily.

I see unexpected art.

I can be transported to the woods simply by passing a neighbor’s water feature.

I can find myself suddenly standing in a magical place, under a Japanese maple leaning precariously over the sidewalk.

And I can meet a new friend along the way.

This richness of experience is a great ingredient to add to the mix that is the daily life of an artist.

It’s all about perspective. I do have a very small temporary studio space, but beyond this space I have so much more. So I walk everyday, and return to fill my sketchbooks with projects waiting to be executed when my permanent studio space appears.


Published by Patianne on 12 Feb 2012

A Studio Walk Through

The time has come to completely empty the studio space after postponing a much needed makeover for far too long. I will patch, sand, and paint the neglected walls and woodwork that have served me so well for years. Although I will be doing the painting myself, I admit to being very uncomfortable giving up the studio even for what I hope is only a week. Gone will be the space I need to physically work out an idea, or problem solve a construction solution I have been incubating. But in a week, I will have a new space to celebrate a new start.

As a salve for my anxiety, I  have decided to do a visual walk through. It will remind me that, although all the ins and outs, pieces and bits, in progress and nearing completion work is sitting in boxes everywhere, I will soon be back in that space in which I am most comfortable.

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Since there is never a good time to begin this, I am just diving in!

Published by Patianne on 21 Oct 2011

Eat! Oysters In May…..

“Eat! Design With Food” documents the results of creative projects that “in their own way have an impact on culinary tradition”.

“Eating is a cultural asset that reflects the spirit and lifestyle of a society, so there is great aesthetic interest in the preparation, display and marketing of food. Reason enough to feature this subject in the 6th edition of the EIGA trend diary series.
The design calendar documents the exciting results of creative work which, in turn, influences food culture. Be it product, graphics or interior design, an architectural project or fine art.”

Editors: EIGA Design, Henning Otto, Elisabeth Plass


I’m honored to be be included, along with 53 other designers, artists and typographers, in this beautiful calendar. Oysters On The Half Shell is the  featured art the week of May 21-27.  From the elegant laser cut and embossed silver cover, to the creatively delicious art and design, Eat! Design With Food:  it’s completely yummy!

Published by Patianne on 15 Sep 2011

The Joy Of Looking

When I was young, I would sit in the kitchen and watch while my Mother prepared meals. It seemed to me a very mysterious process. There were so many parts required: kitchen tools, books, time, and of course ingredients. I was  left to wonder how did it all fit together to create a meal.


Of course it wasn’t long before I jumped in too. I began by arranging the ‘parts’ into pleasing patterns on the table. These were abstract collections of books; spoons; knives; wrapped and fresh ingredients; pots and pans. Today I would  call this a still life set up! This early influence can be seen in my kitchenscape paintings.

I have never outgrown my love of kitchen bits and pieces. To my eye they are artful. And the only reason I haven’t over collected is budget and space. But that doesn’t stop me from looking.


One of my favorite ‘parts’ places  to look, and poke, around is Home Cake Decorating Supply Co. This is not your average kitchen store. It looks like a rather nondescript strip mall shop from the outside. But once you walk through the doors, it instantly becomes a magical place full of nooks and crannies with treasures waiting to be discovered. It’s also a  well kept secret  that this shop is visited by most of Seattle’s food professionals!


The owner, Greil, is the second generation of this family to run the shop. She happily dispenses  all manner of baking and pastry advice, while opening boxes and stocking unending shipments of products she receives from all over the world.  If you have been looking long and hard for special sized dragées, unique colored sanding sugars or ‘never been seen’ cupcake papers, this is the place. There is no web presence, email, or answering machine. But if you call, Greil knows every item in the shop and she ships worldwide.


Look what I couldn’t resist from the shop! I’m sure my Mother would understand.

Home Cake Decorating Supply Co.: 206-522-4300


Published by Patianne on 23 May 2011

Miss Heaton’s Art Class Creates a Cardboard Kitchen!

I was recently contacted by Miss Heaton, a secondary art school teacher from the U.K. Her class wanted to create sweets as a project, but were finding it a challenge to draw two dimensional cakes and sweets.

Miss Heaton explained that although it was a challenge for the class to draw sweets, they found  “cardboard sculpture exciting and creatively freeing”.  After viewing The Cardboard Kitchen online, the class was inspired to set up their own Cardboard Kitchen.

So with a few tips from The Cardboard Kitchen cookbook, these young artists created an elegant selection of yummy desserts. I think you will agree, these beautiful treats are amazing!

Congratulations to all, including the gifted teacher Miss Heaton. It takes a talented teacher to inspire gifted young artists!

Above: Ahmed, age 13 (left); Shan, age 13 (right)

Above: Jack, age 13

Above: Tom, age 13

Above: LeShae, age 13

Above: Charlotte, age 13

Miss Heaton’s art class bakery display!

Published by Patianne on 13 Apr 2011

Space, The Final Frontier

Warning all ‘Trekkers’: this is about blasting off but not from terra firma. It’s about space in the studio, and why I may not be as active on my blog in the coming months.

One of my favorite blog posts is by Smitten Kitchen, in which she describes how she maximizes, organizes and utilizes her less than galley sized kitchen.

It’s not working so smoothly in the Art On The Menu space. Here I have divided my space into stacks of cardboard; bins of colored cardboard pieces; an easel space which limits me to rather small scale paintings; paint storage; odds and ends of reference files and my lovely large pneumatic  drawing table

upon which I create all of my cardboard sculpture. I also bring up extra tables from the basement  which I then use for photographing sculpture and food. When photographing in the studio, all else gets pushed to the wall in order to create a clear center space for lights, table, and action!

It’s now so full,  I have expanded and I am currently packing art for shipping in the basement. My office is relegated to a 40 sq.ft. area previously used as a mud porch.

Alas, it’s time to move. The rest of the year will be spent prepping, painting, and remodeling bits and pieces of my current house. Between my regular posts, I will keep you all informed with updates.

Space is the final frontier in this little abode. But this  1,000 sq ft house has served me well.