Saturday, December 26, 2009


...all I ever wanted!

I must say that mine has been treating me well. I have been in Rhode Island at the parental units for 3 days now and love having them make me dinner and pour me homemade eggnog as I finish my application to the
School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As you have read in past posts, I am applying to SAIC this year. I visited the campus back in October and fell in love, after attending an Open House in Boston the Admissions Director as well as a painting faculty member encouraged me to apply this year. The school is tough to get in to, and painting and drawing is the toughest department to be admitted to within the school, due to the number of applications they receive each year. I am willing to do what it takes: I love Chicago, I love the museum, and I love the interdisciplinary approach of the school. It's tough going, but wish me luck!

On another note, I have been doing small drawings (a lot of which have been given as presents over the past few days) but have not had a chance to photograph them. So to satisfy the visual aspect of this post I will show you a few of the wonderful gifts my family bestowed on me as we celebrated yet another wonderful year.

First on the list is a Matthew Ritchie book I have been eyeing. It is a beautiful hardcover with wonderful visuals of his installations, drawings and paintings as well as text from Ritchie, friends and critics. I love reading about his work as much as I do looking at it! I relate to his work in the sense that he creates overwhelming spaces, something I am working to achieve. He has become very literal with his space and his scale only in that he is working with installation, again, something I hope to do one day (maybe while at my residency in Georgia?) I love that he maintains abstraction while creating forms we can relate to, and create a plethora of associations with.

An installation shot showing one of Ritchies installations a the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Reminds me a lot of Sarah Sze (who I blogged about here) in the way they play with and exaggerate space and in the lyrical lines that they both create.

Another wonderful gift that I recieved from my mother was a promise for the two of us to go see The Lion King on Broadway in New York!!! I love seeing musicals and plays, and Broadway is the place to do it! This has become somewhat of a tradition, since my mom brought me to see Sunday in the Park with George a while back, a play about the creation and story behind George Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

I also received some beautiful paper from my father that I have never used before. It is called Wallis Paper and is supposed to be THE paper to use for pastel. It boasts being able to hold up to 25 layers of pastel, something almost all of my drawings have! Dad (and some of you) have listened to me complain about the point when the paper just can't take any more pastel and I have to relinquish control, so I am excited to use the paper and give it all I've got. My thoughtful brother and sister rounded out the day with a rice maker (from the brother who just returned from three years in Japan) and a beautiful journal of bound Tibetan papers (my sister will be doing an away rotation as part of medical school in Tibet next February.)

Hope you have had a good holiday season so far and that you too, have some time off! I'm hoping to get new work up soon, sit tight!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dear Bea, why haven't you been posting?

Because I have been hibernating!! Sorry for the lapse in posts my friends, life is crazy with playing santa, relaxing, walking in snow and being with friends after a long, long, TOO long, travel season. Don't worry, today marks the first day of vacation for me, which means much more drawing and many more posts!

Hope the snow is treating you well!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The results are in...

...and they are that I will be spending five weeks in the mountains of Northern Georgia courtesy of the Hambidge Center!!! That's right folks, a dream come true! I found out on Friday that I had been accepted, and now having notified the boss, I can share it with the world!!! I will be leaving for Georgia on April 3rd and sh'ant return until May 9th! I am excited about this for so many reasons. First and foremost, I am looking forward to having five straight weeks to create work. For the past year I have felt on the verge of something new and haven't quite been able to reach it because "life gets in the way." Hambidge will allow me solitude and time! I am also excited because I have never been to Georgia before, and as you probably have gathered, I do enjoy new places.

I was originally drawn to this program because of the focus on nature and how it influences people's work and working habits. I spoke with the director today and she told me that I have been "assigned" the largest visual arts studio that they have to offer. All of the studios are cottages with a bed and a small kitchen, with the rest being the studio. I think this residency will be a lot different than when I attended the
Vermont Studio Center last winter, mainly because of size. At any given time Hambidge has 8 artists while VSC has 50!

Well, that's my big news folks! I'll keep you updated as I find out more information!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How Did I Forget to Mention...


That's right, after 23 years of waking up and watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade on the teevee with my family (which really is just a lead up to the dog show, right?) I have now officially seen it in person!

Thanksgiving morning, my wonderful father and I walked from my brothers apartment at Union Square Park to 33rd street to watch the parade. It was amazing!! It was so surreal to be surrounded by a sea of people, and then have a 40 foot tall Pillsbury Dough Boy come lurking out from behind a building. It reminded me of that scene in Ghostbusters and of course the first Batman movie where the giant joker balloon comes floating down the streets of Gotham City. Just a lot less terrifying.

Below are a few photographs of the crowds and the balloons. This was one of the many activities I did this week in New York that made me really love this city. Enjoy!

We passed Gandhi on our way to the parade and stopped for a quick hello. I will be going back to NYC a lot now that I have a great place to rest my feet. Any suggestions for future visits? I love new restaurants and museums or galleries are that off the beaten track!!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving and New York CIty

Hi All,

Sorry for the lapse in posts, I have been spending a wonderful week in New York City. My job had me traveling around in New Jersey for the week before the holiday so it was very easy for me to make the trek to the Village, where my brother has a beautiful, if not small, studio apartment to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I won't bore you with the details of what happens when a family of five is occupying a one room apartment for five days, but I have done a lot of great things since being here. This has by far been my favorite trip to the city. I think it is because I had enough time to sit and relax between adventures, usually I feel very rushed to get everything crammed in to a day or two, which ends up leaving me grumpy or overwhelmed. Below are a few drawings I have done since being here.

These drawings range from 3" x 4" to 5" x 6" all are pen or graphite on Bristol Board. I haven't done as many drawings this week as I normally would but have been busy with many other wonderful things. Below are a few highlights including a Kandinsky Retrospective at the Guggenhiem Musuem, and a photo take of me on the High Line in Chelsea. I also had my first celebrity spotting ever! Will Ferrell pushing a baby carriage! Enjoy!

This last photo is text that I found on a wall in Chelsea, I'm trying to figure out what the order was that the words were altered....what do you think? Better History? Bitter History? Bitter Future? Better Future?

Just a Note: Within 24 hours of this post Ethan Berry informed me that "Better History" was an exhibition installed in a garage on 10th street, where this photo was taken. Thanks Ethan! More information here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Creative Massachusetts: Artists Congress

This is a belated post for this specific topic, so I apologize ahead. I wanted to let you all know that the 2009 Creative Massachusetts Artist Congress went great! I was honored to be asked to sit on a panel moderated by Ja-Nae Duane discussing "How to Create Community, Network and Networking Tools" due to my involvement in "This Collective Pull" The event was held at the beautiful Boston Public Library in one of the conference rooms. There was a great turnout and some wonderful questions were asked, unfortunantly I was unable to stay for the whole event since I needed to be in Rochester that same night. This is an annual event so I encourage you all to attend next year! It is free and open to artists working in all disciplines in Massachusetts. Thanks to Mary Bucci McCoy for the photo of the panel!

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Hotel Drawings

Well, because of a "miss-communication" between a teacher and me, I was out of work by 9:15 today...that means a lot of driving around Rochester until checking in to my hotel early at 11:00. Although frustrating, it was nice to get out so early because I had a lot of time to draw. Check out these new drawings. These are the most successful out of the many I did today, above is a photo to show a sense of scale. Enjoy!

All drawings are ink on Bristol Board, some with colored pencil. Feedback is welcome!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Day Off is a Beautiful Thing!

After being on the road for many days, and looking at my calendar and seeing I have many, many more to go, I decided to take a day off! It was wonderful. I woke up early knowing that all I had to do was be in the studio, and I was finally able to finish a drawing I have been working on. While I am on the road I am still making small drawings, but I truly miss being in my studio and working large so it was a great feeling to be in there all day on Friday.

This piece is 28" x 30", smaller than I'd like it to be. I feel the space is starting to expand but the format of the page somewhat limits the expansiveness of the piece. I have started a new drawing that is much larger, about 36" x 44" which I have been documenting at different stages of development, hopefully when it is complete I will be able to put a slide show for you to watch it evolve. Here it is in it's current state as it hangs on the wall:

Also, I had a chance to re-photograph the small works I have been doing while on the road, some of which will be included in Mini Mimi a show at Mimi Gallery in Ipswich this coming December.

All of these are graphite, colored pencil and ink on Bristol Board, and measure around 4" x 6". I am still not quite as happy with the image quality as I'd like, so I am still on the search for a good scanner. Any suggestions? Stay tuned for an update on the Artist Congress I participated in and Mini Mimi. Also, I hear back from Hambidge this week. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Hotel Drawings

So here is today's solution to a hotel studio:

It's not fancy but it gets the job done! Also, I have a roommate:

Who I told was more than welcome to stay the night, as long as it was like this:

On a less gross note, here are two more drawings I worked on today, possibly for the show at Mimi, but we'll see what else is made between now and then. I am not used to working so quickly and on such a small scale.

Any feedback is welcome!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Hotel Studio

Hi All,
One of the downsides of being on the road all the time (besides living out of a suitcase) is not having a good space to work. Here's today's solution to that problem:

I'm working on some small drawings for an exhibition at Mimi in Ipswich. Below are a few of the drawings, both are 4" x 6" and are pastel, graphite and ink on bristol board. More information about the show and more images to come soon!

Sorry about the image quality (hotel lighting....gross)!! Better images to come soon! Take care.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Graduate School Tour

Hi All,
Just a quick update to let you know that I have fallen in love.

This past Monday I toured the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and loved it! The girls who gave the tour were both graduate students currently, and emphasized the collaborative and interdisciplinary aspects of an education at SAIC. I am looking to apply either next year or the year after, now I need to figure out how to be a part of the 3% of applicants they accept....any tips?

Up next is a tour of the Maryland Institute College of Art mid-November.

Update of work coming soon, I am very excited about the drawing I am currently working on, and I have been working on some paintings as well.

In the meantime visit my website at to see recent and past work.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hotel Drawings (On the Road Again)

Hi All,
As promised here are images of (some) of the small drawings I have been creating while on the road for my job. They are all ball-point pen drawings on the little notepads that are left in hotel rooms. These small drawings are a nice deviation from the larger, more involved drawings I do in my studio. It is nice to work quickly, experimenting with different compositions and drawing elements. I have put them in chronological order so you can get a sense of evolution Every day I speak with high schools students about their portfolios, always giving them suggestions about "increasing contrast" and "pushing the compositions." These drawings are a good chance for me to take my own advice.

I have framed one of these drawings, floating as is, in a simple wooden frame. I like the idea of preserving these small objects as they are, with the phone number and logo of each hotel. They become artifacts of the time I spent in New Jersey or Vermont or Wisconsin (yes Wisconsin.) I am using the pen and paper that was already in the hotel room, which means that in a sense the drawing was already in the hotel room, I just needed to find it. I'm getting ahead of myself. Enjoy! All are Untitled as part of the series "Hotel Drawings" that I began last year while on the road. They vary in size from 3" x 2" to 3" x 4". Enjoy!

I'd love to hear some feedback about how you see these drawings in relation to my charcoal/pastel drawings. Are they preliminary? Or just as important as the larger, more involved drawings? Also, I would really like to invest in a scanner so that I can scan these little drawings. Any suggestions for a scanner that would pick up the detail and texture of these drawings?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Two Things

Hi All,
This post brings two bits of news (aren't I clever with that title...)

First, I have been invited to participate in Creative Massachusetts: The Artist's Congress 2009 as a panel member discussing "How to Create Community, Network and Networking Tools." I was invited by the Founder of The Artists Foundation, Kathleen Bitetti and artist/Art New England contributor, Mary Bucci McCoy, who has also been involved in, and a supporter of, This Collective Pull since the beginning. Both Kathleen and Mary are very active in the Boston Art Scene and are devoted to the creation of community and collaboration, I am honored they have asked me to participate in this event!

This event will be held November 7-8 and is FREE and open to all artists living/working in Massachusetts (including students). Panel discussions will cover issues such as marketing, networking, residencies and more. Visit the website above to find more details pertaining to who else will be participating in the panel discussions. I hope you all can make it out to this wonderful event!

My second bit of news is less exciting but I promised an update. After a week away in New Jersey I was very excited to come home to a mailbox bursting with the promise of postcards, letters, coupons from mom and, dare I say, an acceptance letter to a show? A residency? Please? So, when I came across the letter from the New Hamshire Institute of Art I knew the results were in for this year's Bienniale. I got all of my other mailed squared away, put on my PJ's and got into bed to open the letter and wouldn't you know it.....

"Dear Ms. Modisett,
Thank you for submitting work to the 2009 New Hampshire Institute of Art Bienniale. Unfortunantly, due to the reciept of over 400 submissions with only 40 spaces available, we are unable to accept your work into this year's exhibition..."
(Or something like that, you get the matter how you slice it, it's a big "whomp, whomp")

So, feeling a bit let down, I jumped out of bed and went to sit in the studio and look at the work I submitted. Could I have entered anything that might have gotten accepted? What if I had submitted that painting instead of these two drawing? After looking at my drawings, I realized I wouldn't have changed them, at least not drastically. I was/am happy with what I submitted, and although I would have preferred to have been accepted and been able to exhibit these drawings, I was content knowing I submitted them. Besides, I am still anxiously awaiting two more very important letters in the mail (you know the one's I'm talking about). I will let you know if I am still on the sunny side after recieving those!
I would like to know what you do when you are accepted to a show? What about when you get the dreaded letter of non-acceptance? I personally have a file for the acceptance letters and the less attractive kin to the acceptance file is larger than the other, but I will let you decide which one. Do you keep your letters? Do you take it in stride? Break down? Throw a party? Let me know!

In the meantime, I'll look forward to sitting on the panel and will just keep on drawing! (When I'm not on the road in New Jersey or Wisconsin of course and I promise, I am drawing while I am "on the road" for work. I have a whole series of ink drawings done on the free little pads the hotels leave for you in your room. I will post them soon.)
All the best my friends!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New Drawing and Update

Hi All,
Below are two newly completed drawings, the first is titled Satellite Plateau and the second is title Titania's Upgrade (use to find out what this means!)
My drawings seem to be getting more and more dense with layers, colors and patterns, I need to be careful that space doesn't start to flatten out in some areas. With both of these drawings I got to the point that the paper would no longer accept any more pastel! I like when this happens because I get a different texture, it can also be frustrating to not have complete control over the drawing anymore (this also may be a good thing considering my tendency to take things a liiiittle too far sometimes...)

Satellite Plateau, 32" x32". Charcoal and pastel. 2009

Titania's Upgrade, 27" x 30". Charcoal and pastel. 2009

So that's how things are going in the studio. I have been dreaming of working three dimensionally, specifically installation, and have been working with torn paper to start fooling around with space in a more literal way. And that brings me to my new found love for artist Sarah Sze...oh Sarah. I loved her work so much online that I sprang for her $30.00 book. I haven't received it yet, but if the images below are indicative of anything, it will surely be a favorite.

Isn't she fantastic? Her ability to create and shift space is amazing. Her installations have such a direct connection with drawing I find it hard to look at images of her work as three dimensional sometimes. She is creating the depth that I want to create in my two dimensional it possible to achieve THAT type of space when working in pastel? It's been a goal at least two years now...I'm okay with it being a goal for a while (a lot) longer. I came across her when researching Graduate Programs (she is on the faculty at Columbia University in New York.)

In recent application news (which I feel I always have) I have officially mailed my entry form to the New Hampshire Institute of Art Biennial (
prospectus here), which I participated in two years ago, and....drum roll application to the Hambidge Center, the residency program in Georgia I have been drooling over for five months. I would be very excited to exhibit in the Biennial again this year, but would be overjoyed, ecstatic, comatose, if I were to be accepted to the Hambidge Center. I have posted about it before, but it seems like the total equation for happiness. Cottage/studio in the mountains of North Georgia + communal meals with other artists and writers x 3-8 weeks to contemplate and create = one happy blogger/artist/Bea! Keep your fingers crossed. I will for sure publish a post when I have heard back "via email notification within 5-6 weeks after the application deadline." I also am in the very beginning stages of applying for a grant...that's top secret right now as I develop the idea...

Alright all, it is a rainy day here in Beverly, and I am off to do rainy day activities...up next will be updates regarding the grant and of course new work. I will be "on the road" travelling for the next two weeks so drawings will be small, but I will be sure to keep you updated. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This Collective Pull Part II

Hello all,

Well....IT WAS A SUCCESS!!! This Collective Pull Part II went off without a hitch and was a huge growth from the first installment. This Collective Pull became my curatorial project this past May after I became extremely antsy for a collaborative community. I curated and installed the first show which included nine artists at a friend's apartment in downtown Beverly, MA. After this initial opening two of my friends jumped on board to act as co-curators, and offered up their living room as a gallery space. After emptying out the contents of the room, spackling, scraping, painting and sanding we hung the work of 11 local artists' prints, photographs, sculptures, paintings and drawings for a one night only art exhibition. We had about 40 guests streaming in and out through the night, many of whom stayed and enjoyed the night air and a glass (or three) of wine out on the roof deck. A very special thanks to Julie O'Boyle and Chris Sharp, co-curators who sacrificed the use of their living room and bedroom for the sake of the show! To all the artists who participated: thank you for making this installment of This Collective Pull, bigger and better than the last.

Multiple spaces have already been offered up for the next installment of this show including an historic home in Lincoln, MA and the loft apartment of Dinah Cardin, editor-in-chief of the North Shore Art Throb. I will keep you posted on new developments regarding "This Collective Pull" via this blog. If you have questions about the show, would like to be added to the mailing list or are a local artist who would like to be included in the next installment of This Collective Pull, please email me at

All images copywright
Julie O'Boyle of Orchid Grey.