New Work on Exhibit: Keystone Art in Rotation Program at the APX Building, Morristown, New Jersey. July 12, 2018 – April 12, 2019

New, large-scale work is currently on view in the main lobby of the APX Building, 412 Mt. Kemble Ave, Morristown, New Jersey. This exhibit, presented by the Keystone Art in Rotation program, will feature my work from July 12, 2018 through April 12, 2019.  The APX Building is a corporate campus located 45 minutes from Manhattan, open Monday through Friday.

In a Dimly Lit Room (48″ x 36″, Oil and Graphite on Wood Panel) and Shadow Flowers (48″ x 26″, Oil and Graphite on Wood Panel) on exhibit at the APX Building, Morristown, NJ

Requiem (triptych) and Dusk (36″ x 36″, Oil and Graphite on Panel)

Rust & Rain (48″ x 36″), Blue Gust (24″ x 24″), Dust & Bone (24″ x 24″), Wind River II (24″ x 24″), all Oil and Graphite on Wood Panel

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‘Land Marks’ Through June 17th, 2017 at West Branch Gallery

L   A   N   D        M   A   R   K   S  

J  A  N  E  T     F  R  E  D  E  R  I  C  K  S      &      M  I  C  H  A  E  L  A     H  A  R  L  O  W

W E S T     B R A N C H     G A L L E R Y     &     S C U L P T U R E     P A R K

M A R C H    2 5    –     J U N E     1 7 ,     2 0 1 7

O P E N I N G     R E C E P T I O N:    M A R C H    2 5 th ,    2 0 1 7     6  –  8  P. M.

1 7      T O W N E      F A R M      L A N E

S T O W E ,    V E R M O N T

Two Vermont artists explore abstract landscapes on macro and micro scales in a variety of mediums, pushing references to the natural environment behind graphic mark-making.


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On Exhibit: ‘Sense of Place’ in Brattleboro, Vermont

D E C E M B E R    1 7,    2 0 1 6  –  J A N U A R Y  6,    2 0 1 7 


S E N S E    O F    P L A C E

1 1 8    E L L I O T

C U R A T E D    B Y    L I S A     M E N D E L S U N D    &    C O L L I N    L E E C H

D E C E M B E R    1 7,    2 0 1 6    –    J A N U A R Y    6,    2 0 1 7

G A L L E R Y    H O U R S :    F R I D A Y  &  S A T U R D A Y,   2  –  6   p . m .

R E C E P T I O N :    J A N U A R Y    6,    2 0 1 7      6  –  1 0   p . m .

1 1 8     E L L I O T    S T R E E T

B R A T T L E B O R O,    V E R M O N T

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Field Notes & Botanical Sketches Continue

Michaela Harlow, Botanical Sketches l

Wow. It’s been awhile since my last post, though things have been quite busy in and out of the studio. I’m actually going to back-date this entry, because I have some catch-up to do and I want to get some current things in over the weekend. Lately, due to ease of use, I find myself uploading studio snap shots —work-in-progress as well as completed pieces— to Instagram far more frequently than here on my studio journal —a bad habit I aim to break. Social media platforms change quickly, and the same algorithms and advertising that is driving users from Facebook are now being applied to their acquisition, Instagram.

So far, the best way to share across platforms, at least in the long term, remains the blog. Time consuming though it may be, I think this is where I will refocus my energy.

Botanical sketches and landscape-inspired field notes continue in and out of the studio. On rainy days or when the black flies drive me indoors, I resort to quick notes or even an iPhone photo to jog my memory. I’ll post more of these over the coming days. Some will remain in a folder of ideas, some may be matted and offered for sale and a few may just lead to new, large-scale pieces. The idea is always to keep the process moving and allow everything.

Michaela Harlow, Botanical Sketches ll

Michaela Harlow, Botanical Sketches

Posted in Botanical Drawings - 2016, Drawings Tagged , , , |

Shadow Petals

Michaela Harlow, Shadow Petals, 2016. Oil and Graphite on Wood Panel

 Shadow Petals, 2016, Oil & Graphite on 24″ x 24″ Wood Panel

Thunderstorms roll grey clouds past the big windows. Endlessly compelling distractions. Things like love and beauty have shadows in them. They’re complicated.

Michaela Harlow, Shadow Petals in Process, 2016

Shadow Petals in Progress

April is an unsettling month. The earth feels like its moving. Things are getting stirred up. The natural world is restless. So am I.

Michaela Harlow, Studio, Dark Flowers Like storms, distractions always pass.

Posted in Abstract Flowers, Botanical Paintings, Dark Flowers Tagged , , , , |

Days Between Stations

Michaela Harlow, Winter Sings a Song to Springtime, in the studioJPG‘Winter Sings a Song to Springtime’ 

Last week was a busy one with garden design work and meetings. I did manage to get in a few walks and sketches, but my painting stations were paused.

Drying time.
Michaela Harlow, Rain at South Pond, in the studio Rain at South Pond, drying time

Michaela Harlow, Still Life with Frozen Branches, in the studio Still Life with Frozen Branches, and a roll of canvas awaits priming

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Rain at South Pond, Revisited

Michaela Harlow, Rain at South Pond, 2016, Oil and Graphite on Panel 32 x 32Rain at South Pond, 2016, Oil and Graphite on Wood Panel, 32″ x 32″

Late last summer and into early fall, I made a series of abstract pieces  —graphite, polychromos pencil and pastel on paper— from small field notes made on rainy days at a local pond. I’ve been working on large-scale paintings from that series of sketches, and finished this one up today.

I’ve missed working the square, with all of its quirky challenges. This makes me feel like cutting a few more panels.

Michaela Harlow work on Rain at South Pond Early start and early finish in the studio today. Last oil and graphite gestures on a many-layered piece

Posted in Oil on Panel Tagged , , , , , , |

Still Life with Frozen Branches

Michaela Harlow, Still Life with Frozen Branches, 2016, Oil and Graphite on 3 x 2 foot panelStill Life with Frozen Branches, 2016, Oil and Graphite on 3′ x 2′ Wood Panel (click all the way through to enlarge image)

Wayward hemlock branches —knocked loose by winter storms— inspire as they emerge within melting, woodland pools. Here and there, bits of the past glimmer in sunlight.

Michaela Harlow, Still Life with Frozen Branches in Process

 This piece has more than 5 layers of paint. Methods used include oil wash, painting with brushes, scraping, drawing with graphite and drawing/painting with oil stick.

Posted in Oil on Panel, Winter Paintings Tagged , , , , , , |

Field Notes from Early March

Michaela Harlow, Early March Traverse, Graphite and Soft Pastel on Paper, 15 x 12Early March Traverse, 2016, Graphite and Soft Pastel on 15″ x 12″ Handmade Paper 

Having a really, really, long, steep driveway has many disadvantages in winter. The weather that inspires so much of my work —rain, ice, freeze/thaw, swirling flurries— is the complete enemy of traction. I’ve sanded my driveway more times than I care to count (gathering 8-12 buckets from the town yard and sprinkling by hand as I back up). However, there are distinct advantages. When I’m unable to drive to the top of my hill, I am forced to hike up and down or groom the road; good for my health and excellent for natural observation.

A couple of favorite drawings from the week.

Michaela Harlow, The Light of Spring, 2016, Graphite and Soft Pastel on Paper 15 x 12The Light of Spring, 2016, Graphite and Soft Pastel on 15″ x 12″ Handmade Paper 

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Winter Sings a Song to Springtime

Michaela Harlow, Winter Sings a Song to Springtime, 2016, 3' x 2', oil and graphite on panel Winter Sings a Song to Springtime, 2016, Oil & Graphite on 3′ x 2′ Wood Panel (click image to enlarge)

Spring is in the air and the light is changing. Migratory birds are everywhere, filling the morning with a cacophony of sweet sound. Sheets of ice melt away beneath the warmth of late winter sun, mirroring a change of season. The time has come for rebirth and renewal

Winter sings a song to springtime. A sweet, sad song; filled with melancholy notes of lonliness and longing. A song of anticipation and surrender. A beautiful goodbye.

Michaela Harlow, Painting Process Two A peek at my process on this time-consuming piece

Painting large-scale, layered oil paintings takes up large blocks of time and space. Finding a span of uninterrupted days can be challenging. However in late winter, with icy/snowy/muddy roads to contend with, it’s a little easier to carve out time in my schedule and hunker down in the studio. But space? Oh space. Working on the floor has many advantages, but walking around is not one of them. I thought I’d give a bit of a peek at my process in this post (images previously posted on Instagram with many related photos of melting ice along the river).

I am very pleased with this piece and expect to continue on this series over the coming weeks.

Michaela Harlow, Painting Process This piece began with sheer layers of orange and grey-violet oil paint. Once dry, graphite drawing began, followed by layers of opaque white oil. Between layers I scrape back to reveal patches of the underpainting and then add more paint and drawing to the top. The process mirrors freeze-thaw, and the passage of time.

Posted in "Ice" painting series, Oil on Panel Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Three New Paintings Included in Upcoming, Juried Exhibit, “Flight: Explorations in Movement, Migration, and Freedom”

REQUIEM-FOR-SYRIA-4-Khaled-Akil-WEB-e1455917255494 Requiem for Syria #4 by Khaled Akil, Fine Art Paper Print, 75 cm x 90 cm

I am honored to share news that three of my pieces, including ‘Migration’, have been selected for inclusion in the upcoming, juried exhibit, “Flight: Explorations in Movement, Migration, and Freedom”, April 2 – June 26, 2016, at West Branch Gallery and Sculpture Park. The exhibit opens with a reception on April 2, from 8 – 8 p.m., and will include works by Syrian artist, local students and gallery artists.

Read more about this special show and the Syrian people it benefits, on the West Branch Gallery Blog, here.

Michaela Harlow, Migration, 2016, Oil and Graphite on 2 x 4 wood panel

‘Migration’, 2016, Michaela Harlow, Oil and Graphite on 24″ x 48″ Wood Panel

S  O  L  D 

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Field Notes & Sketchbook Pages

Michaela Harlow, Field Notes from the Sketchbook, Pastel and Graphite A trio of early morning sketches from my notebook (15″ x 12″ on handmade paper/click to enlarge)

As these late winter days grow longer and warmer, I find myself lingering out doors. I cherish early morning walks through the forest; watching the sky light up, all peach-pink-fuchsia between tree trunks along the ridge line.

I’m constantly sketching and making photos, but these days I rarely post pages from my notebook. Most of the time, I upload images to Instagram, Twitter or on my Facebook profile. App editing tools on my iPhone make it so much easier to crop and watermark images, but writing is still something I prefer to do on my laptop. I’m going to try to get better about sharing them here on the journal. We’ll see how long that resolution lasts once things get really busy!

Posted in Field Notes and Sketches, Studio Tagged , , , , |

An Afternoon with Alma Thomas at the Tang

Michaela Harlow at the Alma Thomas exhibit, Tang Teaching Musueum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, NYMaking notes at the Alma Thomas exhibit, Tang Teaching Museum (photo: Kelly Smith)

I’ve been in and out of many exhibits this winter, and although I’ve enjoyed all of them, Alma Thomas at the Tang Teaching Museum has been, far and away, my favorite thus far.

Although a relatively small show, the exhibit presents early works and late works in sequence. Thomas’ pivotal ‘Yellow and Blue’ 1959 —the decisive shift from figuration to abstraction— greets with saturated intensity at the entry. I was delighted to finally see a small grouping of the artist’s watercolors and other works on paper. Of course, as an artist, I longed for more. So much work begins with jotted notes and gestures.

Alma Thomas Exhibit, Tang Musueum, Skidmore. Michaela HarlowIn the exhibit entrance, Alma Thomas’ ‘Yellow and Blue’, 1959 and the commitment to abstraction.

Alma Thomas Exhibit, Tang Musuem, Michaela Harlow Alma Thomas, Untitled Watercolor (1960-1978)

I was thrilled to experience the exhibit on a quiet, Sunday afternoon; a day with few visitors to block the view or break my contemplative state with disruptive chatter. With no pressures on my time, I lingered long and experienced fully. Grateful.

My love for Alma’s late work really knows no bounds. In addition to her mastery of color, form, rhythm and motion —all thrilling when experienced in a room filled with these large canvases— Thomas’ use of the aerial perspective has always been unusual and captivating to me. It’s this omniscient point-of-view, I believe, that first attracted me to her work, years ago. Gazing upon ‘White Roses Sing and Sing’, ‘Cherry Blossom Symphony’ and ‘Scarlet Sage Dancing a Whirling Dervish’, I am swept back to a childhood afternoon in Mexico; head hanging over a bridge, mesmerized by fallen flower petals, dancing and swirling in the green current below.

Alma Thomas Exhibit, White Roses Sing and Sing, Tang Museum, Skidmore. Michaela Harlow Alma Thomas, ‘White Roses Sing and Sing’, 1976, Acrylic on Canvas

Alma Thomas exhibit, Tang Museum, Michaela Harlow ‘Scarlet Sage Dancing a Whirling Dervish’, 1976, Acrylic on Canvas

Alma Thomas Exhibit, Tang Museum, Michaela Harlow ‘Cherry Blossom Symphony’, 1973, Acrylic on Canvas

And with this exhibit opening near winter’s end, it will likely be my last museum visit for awhile. I have a few art-centric trips planned for March, but my landscape design schedule is filling up.

Good to end with such a vibrant crescendo. Thank you to the Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore College and of course, Alma Thomas.

Alma Thomas Exhibit, Tang Museum, Skidmore. Michaela Harlow Alma Thomas, Late Work at the Tang Museum

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Artist Spotlight Interview with Panopticon Imaging

Michaela Harlow -Rain in September, 2015 - Graphite, Pastel and Pencil on Paper Rain in September, 2016, Graphite and Pastel on Paper

Thank you to Liz at Panopticon Imaging for the article and engaging interview questions on the “Artist Spotlight” at Panopticon Imaging’s Blog. I’m honored to have my work featured!

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Michaela Harlow, Winterland, 2016, Oil and Graphite on Wood Panel 3 x 2 Winterland, 2016 – Oil and Graphite on 36″ x 24″ Wood Panel

Inspired by a week of shifting light, lines, ice jams and frost patterns on Green River.


Posted in Oil on Panel, Winter Paintings Tagged , , , , , , |