Friday, February 26, 2010

Critically Caroline / Massive Collective

Come join us at Caroline Collective on February 27 from 6pm to 9pm for the opening art installation, titled Critically Caroline / Massive Collective. The event is open to anybody who would like to come and, as always, refreshments will be served.

This show celebrates the artwork of Houston Critical Mass cyclists. All installed work has been inspired by the act of bike riding in Houston’s Inner Loop, and is pinpointed on a large-scale map. Artists Chuy Benitez, Kira Black, Oliver Bludworth, Matt Bower, Lindsay Burleson, Brittney Connelly, Claudia Cruz, Shannon Duncan, Osman Galindo, Christa Havican, Sarah Hazel, Corbin Hughes, Marian Ochoa, Smitty Regula, Kyle Silverstein, Nick Teel, Matt Tremble, and Ervin Valdez explore mediums including found object, photography, painting, video, drawing, and installation.

The show is curated by Shannon Duncan, organized by Ned Dodington, and sponsored by C2 Creative, LLC. The exhibition itself will be open from February 27 to March 18 and may be viewed during Caroline Collective’s regular business hours (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm). You can also call the team at Caroline Collective at 832.429.6867 to see about scheduling a private showing if you can’t come during regular business hours.

(Entire content copied with permission)

Thursday, February 25, 2010


It should come as no surprise that on some days, inspiration is nowhere to be found. So, while the basics of life are perfectly poised and the studio neat and tidy, there's still a general lack of oomphf with regard to creativity. What is to be done about it? Today, the house is clean, the studio is organized, there are no distractions, and there is nothing...nothing whatsoever being sparked in any way, shape, or form as creative revelation.

Usually, on days like today, I just DO something, just start something, try something, anything. And usually, that works well enough to get the creative juices flowing again. But not today. All my efforts and attempts to do something were wasted....thrown out with the trash.

I think I'll go for a walk.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Desperate Continuum

Earlier this week, there was a lovely article in the Houston Chronicle blog that jolted me a little bit. This depressed economy has been challenging for Reese and me financially...and quite honestly, we're struggling. The ends just aren't meeting. In all of our talk at home about ways to bring in some cash, I had casually mentioned to an art friend that one of the ideas Reese and I were considering was having an open house with the hope of selling a bunch of my paintings in the $50 - $400 range. We were just throwing around ideas. Word travels....because stunningly, in the third paragraph in the above mentioned article, there's a statement that says....
Following this event, Hazel's art will next be on view at a retrospective exhibition of her work in April.
Wow. Um, well, I guess it's time to make it happen. The whole city of Houston (and beyond) is invited to our house, 2315 Addison Rd, on April 9th from 5 - 9pm. Y'all come buy some art (and whatever else isn't nailed down.)

One of the tasks I'm doing in preparation for the Hazel Open House is -- surprise! -- painting. For quite a while, this ole rooster has been fussing at me to re-paint the background. (He was originally painted in 2006.) It took forever to decide how to re-do the background, but here it is.
People ask me all the time how long it takes to finish a painting. For this rooster, the total amount of time spent creating the painting is now is, give or take, almost 4 years, though, according to Einstein, (this is from WikiAnswers)
experiments to define time on its own were a waste of time because time is actually a dimension of duration in covariance with space. Thus we have the timespace continuum, not the "time and space" continuum.
And this 16" x 20" custom framed oil on linen Sarah Hazel painting could be yours for the low low price of $325, (unless, of course, there's a bidding war.)

Feel free to make an offer on the house as well. It's a great house in a great neighborhood with wonderful neighbors. We've loved living here. It's the kind of house that will perpetually need TLC, but totally worth it. (I'll upload some photos on Zillow soon.)

Also, recently I had a give-away for one of my apple paintings. For this open house, I'll add all the names already entered in the last drawing, and everyone who attends the open house can enter their name (or re-enter as the case may be) and another painting will be given away by 9pm on April 9th. But wait, there's more: 5% of the open house night's proceeds (excluding the sale of the house) will be donated to Yellowstone Academy.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Freedom of Expression?

Remember when we were kids, and coloring in coloring books was fun? That's basically what painting is.....coloring. Only instead of using crayons in a coloring book, paints and paintbrushes are used.

At the moment, I'm laboring over a portrait commission. What I'm trying to remember is the freedom in youth of coloring in a coloring book. Back then, it didn't matter if a tree had purple leaves and a yellow trunk. It didn't matter if the sky was magenta. And it didn't matter if the puppy was green. The fun was in the expression and experimentation and the endless choice of colors, especially if one had access to a 64 count box of Crayola crayons.

It seems to me that it might matter to a client, however, who perhaps expects to have "normal" looking skin tones, dress, and hair. Or maybe it doesn't. Didn't they hire me to be the artist? Do I have complete freedom to create a unique work of art? Or am I morally obligated to stay true to more realistic parameters?

When they commissioned me, I mentioned that the representation was not going to be an exact match to real life...that given the wallet sized old black and white photograph to use as reference, that I was likely to take great liberties with color in the finished painting....and they said with raised eyebrows and a shrug of the shoulders, "Well, you're the artist..." But does that REALLY mean that I have complete freedom to paint this portrait any way I like?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Supper Time

It's dreary and cold outside. Instead of painting today, it felt more like a day tailor made for cooking comfort food. Tonight's supper: roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, and pound cake with chocolate sauce for dessert.

In all my years of cooking, I've never roasted a chicken. I don't even own a roasting pan. Following a Julia Child recipe found online, I can't begin to describe how delicious and savory the house smells right now. It's not the prettiest bird ever cooked, but who cares when the aroma is so intoxicating?

Tonight's mashed potatoes will be loosely based on a Julia Child recipe, too. For those who don't know, I'm a rather adventurous cook, and often substitute ingredients based on what's in the cupboard, rather than what the recipe requires. It's my personal belief that recipes are just guidelines anyway.

The green beans will be made like thusly, an idea originally suggested by my foodie friend, Sol: after washing the green beans, sprinkle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them out on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees-ish for 15-20 minutes. These are always a hit. The same super easy recipe can be used for any vegetable. (Last night I cooked the sweet potatoes this way. Mmmm....)

Pound cake? SO SIMPLE! A pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, and a pound of flour. Add some grated nutmeg, and cook in a tube pan (makes two cakes) at 350 for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature and cook another 30 minutes at 325. (This recipe was found in a Little House cookbook years ago when I read all the books to our daughters. It has remained a family favorite.)

Excuse me, please, while I go put the finishing touches on supper. Would y'all like to join us? We eat at 6:30.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

From Quince it Came

How delightful it is to select flowers from our garden to paint this time of year. One of our neighbors, who incidentally is named Quincy, was getting ready to get rid of this quince bush in his yard quite a few years ago. With his permission, I dug it up, and transferred it to our garden. After several seasons of mediocrity, this year the quince bush is prolific with blooms. It's still a smallish bush, but it's spindly branches are literally covered with spring blossoms. It's as if it suddenly realized that it is a quince bush and decided to start acting like one.

This painting is an 8" x 10" oil on linen.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Updated Resume

Fair warning: this is a potentially boring entry for my dear blog readers. It's been over two years since the ole resume was updated -- long overdue. Without "Finding My Glasses" as a record of art life events, I would be completely, utterly, and absolutely clueless as to what to put on this.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this resume better, more effective, or more readable, please feel free to pass along the advice. I would greatly appreaciate hearing from others with more resume writing experience.


2010 February -- Caroline Collective “Critically Caroline/Massive Collection” exhibit
2009 October -- Lawndale Art Center Dia de los Muertos retablo exhibit
2009 October -- Rice University art exhibit in conjunction with Shell Center for Sustainability Houston Water Conference
2009 September -- Block 7 Wine Co Western Appliance Meets Wine Warehouse art exhibit
2009 June -- City of Houston City Hall Annex Art on Loan Exhibit
2008 November -- Art Car Museum Texas Green Exhibit
2008 October -- Lawndale Art Center Dia de los Muertos retablo exhibit
2008 September -- Xnihilo Gallery Showcase Showdown
2008 May -- Simply Art Gallery Galveston, TX
2007 October -- Lawndale Art Center Dia de los Muertos retablo exhibit
2007 September -- Elder Street Gallery Spice exhibit
2007 July -- Elder Street Gallery One Show
2007 May -- The Glassell School of Art 2007 Studio School Student Exhibition, Museum of Fine Arts Houston
2007 February -- Earth Gallery Finding Beauty in the Everyday exhibit
2006 November -- Baquero Gallery "Finding My Glasses" Solo Exhibit
2005 March -- Pioneer Memorial Museum Solo Exhibit

Community Involvement

2009 November -- artist for Via Colori benefiting the Center for Hearing and Speech
2009 October -- Betz Gallery Angel Store exhibit benefiting the Justice for Children Foundation
2009 April -- created an art bike to help raise awareness for multiple sclerosis in conjunction with the Multiple Sclerosis Society and MS150
2008 November -- artist for Via Colori benefiting the Center for Hearing and Speech
2008 October -- Fresh Art's MADE FROM IKE exhibit benefiting Americans for the Arts Emergency Relief fund and William Graham Emergency Artist Fund
2007 December -- Bering and James Gallery Holiday Art Sale benefiting DePelchin Children's Center
2007 November -- Winter Street Studio's Art on the Avenue benefiting Avenue CDC
2007 November -- Select artist for Via Colori benefiting The Center for Hearing and Speech
2007 May -- Community artist judge for Yes Prep Student Art Show
2006 November -- Participating artist for Via Colori benefiting The Center for Hearing and Speech
2006 February -- Starlight Gala Art Auction at Gremillion and Co Fine Art benefiting American Cancer Society


2009 October -- Houston Civic Art Association 2009 Greater Houston Open Show; first place - "Symphony in Flesh Tones and Pink" honorable mention - "First Time at the Rodeo" honorable mention - "Hilary Holding the Baby"
2008 September -- Xnihilo Gallery Showcase Showdown Peoples' Choice for Best in Show
May 2005 -- Bethlehem Haven It's About Time exhibit and auction; second place "Recalled to Life" Pittsburgh, PA


No formal training

Commissioned Works

2008 "Waimanalo" Private collector
2008 "Star" private collector
2008 "Times" private collector
2007 “Lemons and Christmas Cactus” private collector
2005 "Browning Ranch near Medina, Texas" private collector
2005 “Lake in Centerville-2” private collector
2005 “After the Rain” private collector
2005 “Natalie and the Kids” private collector
2005 “Blondie” private collector
2005 “Buena Vista, Colorado” private collector
2005 “Ranch in Centerville” private collector
2005 “Lake in Centerville” private collector
2005 “Lost Maples” private collector

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Apple and Grapefruit

Grapefruit is the plural of grapefruit, right? One doesn't say grapefruits...? However it's said, this is a painting of a grapefruit and a half of a grapefruit and the proverbial apple.

Now that the studio is re-arranged, it's easier to paint a still life.

It is an 8" x 10" oil on linen.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Proposal, The Ride, & The Show


Based on the guidelines that the work must be inspired by or found while riding within Houston's Inner Loop, I propose to paint an urban cityscape in oils on linen.

With life as reference, in addition to photographs, I will paint the urban cityscape of the factories along Center Street between Waugh Drive and Sawyer Street. The factories are ordinary, yet display a quiet elegance in their unsophisticated simplicity. I've personally ridden this route on a bicycle from my home near Rice University to a friend's house in the Heights.

While I would prefer to paint en plein air, the vehicular traffic in the area might be prohibitive to such action. There are a number of 18 wheelers and other large service vehicles that travel Center Street, and a painter by the side of the road might not be visible to these drivers. There is a spot on the sidewalk across the street from one factory that might provide a safe vantage point from which to paint, however, in the interest of safety, it might be best to paint from reference photographs in my studio.

The plan would be to work in the Center Street area in a part of town known as the Washington Corridor, or in my studio, over the next month or two in order to complete the painting or paintings.

The attached photos (not included in this blog entry) indicate the type of Houston cityscape that I would like to represent in oils on linen, but are not conclusively the location or image selected. The photos provided are only an indicator of my idea, which will be further developed as more information is gathered. The exact address used as inspiration for the representational artwork will be provided in due time.

Houston is a vibrant community, with many variations of architectural beauty. I propose to capture the beauty of an industrial cityscape by painting one or more of it's warehouses in Houston's Inner Loop. The beauty of the angles and lines of the warehouses as they interplay with the Texas sky intrigues me as an artist. I hope that my representation of said cityscape in oils on linen will capture the hearts of fellow Houstonians as much as it does me, and remind fellow cyclists of the joy of the open road by representing a beautiful, albeit ordinary view of one of Houston's back streets.


This show celebrates the artwork of Houston Critical Mass cyclists. All work submitted must be inspired by or found while bike riding within Houston’s Inner Loop. Artists should submit work proposals along with the location at which it was inspired. These addresses will be pinpointed on a large-scale map of Houston’s Inner Loop, to reference the origin of each artist’s work. Proposals will be judged on originality, local flavor and critical content.


Friday, February 26th, the Critical Mass group will meet at Tranquility Park in Downtown Houston. Riders will meet at 6:30 with the ride taking off at 7 pm. The route will take us around to some of the locations at which the work originated. The ride will end at Caroline Collective around 9:30pm in the Museum District, where the cyclists will get a sneak-peak of the show before it opens on February 27th at 6 pm.

Exhibition: “Critically Caroline/Massive Collection”
Sponsor: Caroline Collective
Location: 4820 Caroline St., Houston, Texas
Exhibition Dates: February 26 – March 18

(I'm in! It's my next show.)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


The names are still coming in for the apple painting give-away, though when I reached 50 names I went ahead and selected a name from the hat, as was indicated and stated in the last paragraph of this blog entry. So if ANOTHER 50 people sign up, I'll give another small painting away. Everyone who has already signed up will still be on the list. There will be 100 names from which to choose. Sound fair?

Since several people have asked, the winner of the apple painting this go around was a friend here in Houston named Joanne Priest. Congratulations, Joanne! In her own words,
"Oh man!! I AM SO EXCITED!!! This is amazing. I don't have any art work besides my own in my house, and to have a Sarah Hazel painting is beyond awesome for me! I am completely in love with your work. Thank you SO much! I can't believe it!"

Also, last Friday, there was a chance (for me) that there would be time to paint. I did paint...on Friday and Saturday, which is unusual because most times it's VERY easy to get distracted with everyone at home. The best part about painting last Saturday was that I could hear Reese downstairs practicing his guitar in preparation for playing at church the next day, and I could hear Hilary practicing the piano for fun. It was magical, peaceful, and caused a deep fullness of contentment in my soul.
These camellias are what I painted on Friday, and a bit more on Sunday, though by Sunday most of the blossoms had fallen off the stems. Fruit, vegetables, and flowers fade so quickly after they've been picked. I often think of Cezanne when painting still lifes. He would leave his still lifes staged for so long while working on his paintings that the fruit would often rot before he was finished with the work. Though the exact quote in my Cezanne books regarding this is yet to be found this Wednesday, it is true -- I've read it somewhere (in a book.)

Small apologies for the untrue nature of the actual color of this painting. It's hard to get the lighting just right as an amateur photographer. To my recollection, this is the third year that I've painted camellias from the garden. They generally bloom in December or January. There might be one more opportunity to collect enough blooms to work on another camellia painting before the blossoms all disappear for another year. We'll see.

This painting is 9" x 12", oil on linen.