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From the Studio: New Year, New Starts, and Gratitude.

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

A corner of my studio (I dare not show the rest).

Well, it is the end of January. It took that long for me to stop writing the old year and learn to write the new one - 2023. As with any new year, one reflects sometimes on the year that was, but mostly on what one wants to accomplish in the next year. Some of us make resolutions. My favorite from last year came from Colorado Springs artist, Chris Alvarez: "I intend to 'exorcise' more, starting with my bucket (of chicken) list." (I'm with you, Chris.)

I also decided to work more with pastels and pastel pencils. Not that I am leaving watercolor behind. Mists, fogs, and vaporous clouds all appeal more to the senses when done in watercolor. However, for me, the pencils call me more to drawing. I gained validation for my new year's actions from a poem by Japan's 17th century haiku master, Matsuo Basho.

"Old pond - a frog jumps in - Kerplunk!"

While in English it is not the required 5-7-5 syllables, it perfectly represents jumping into something to shake things up.

In honor of the great poet who took a long journey by foot into the interior of Honshu, Japan's largest island, I took those pencils to do a version of his foot gear - Basho's Shoes.

Basho's Shoes (pastel pencil) by M. Vernelle

Other things are freshening up around town, too. One very interesting development to keep an eye on is what is going on at The Sluice - yes, sluice, like those boxes the gold miners used. Valerie Surface Lloyd and her husband have taken that old building and are steadily sluicing out some very fine golden nuggets for the arts community.

The Sluice which includes Story Coffee and Surface Gallery

The multi-use building includes a second location for Don and Carissa Niemyer's Story Coffee Company, a wonderful coffeehouse which has an open, airy feel to it. There are also studio spaces for artists, an architecture firm, and of course, the Surface Gallery, which along with fine art also features a select variety of gift items, including lovely prints. This is an ongoing project in which the Lloyds wish to open a restaurant as well, perhaps even by the end of 2023.

Story Coffee: Live your best story, studio spaces, and an interior shot of a studio.

Valerie Surface Lloyd is focused on presenting dynamic work, including an upcoming show (April, 2023) of layered abstract paintings by Carol Dickerson. The Art Blog will have a post on Dickerson's work and career in April (watch this space). Dickerson's husband, Joseph Liberti, is scheduled for a show at Surface a bit later this year (see the post on Liberti's work here: In February, Surface will present Bri McGrew's work in a show called Sedimentary.

When it comes to February art shows in Colorado Springs, la piece de resistance has to be Gratitude at Kreuser Gallery with work from 175 Colorado Springs artists! This show is the perfect occasion for local art lovers to come see work by their favorite artists and perhaps discover a few artists that they did not know before.

Surface Gallery with a view of winter trees.

First Friday Art Walk, February 3rd, holds lots of great things to see. So, if you are looking for art in Colorado Springs, you have a lot to choose from.

Surface Gallery,

2752 W. Colorado Ave.

Colorado Springs, CO 80904

(719) 359-6966

Kreuser Gallery

125 E. Boulder St.

Colorado Springs, CO 80903

(719) 464-5880

Abigail Kreuser

Finally, both last and least, art and wearable art products by M. Vernelle at Hasta la vista until next month (oh, only a few days away).

Should you be interested in articles on art history combined with a discussion of wines, go to my other art blog, Also see my author page at © Marjorie Vernelle 2023

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