Open House!!

I am so excited!! I am hosting the first Open House as Lenehan Studios! Its been quite the year rebuilding (literally!) and rebranding as Lenehan Studios and I want to share and celebrate all that I been through with you, the people who stuck with me.

The Details:

  • Thursday June 21, 2018, 3-8pm
  • Catonsville, MD (Full address will be sent privately.)

Come tour the new studio at my home. Artwork and jewelry will be available for purchase. We will have food, a wine tasting (hopefully), a raffle,  and a sneak peek at a new venture we are working on.

If you would be so kind, please RSVP by emailing me at dee@lenehanstudios.com or filling out the form below:

I can’t wait to celebrate!

 

Lenehan Studios goes to NYC

Well, my art did. Not necessarily me. My wonderful friend and extremely talented designer, Barbara Brown of Barbara Brown Interiors was invited to design a table for the prestigious Lenox Hill Gala in Manhattan this past April.

Lenehan Studios, decorative painting, faux painting, murals, trompe l’oeil, ceiling mural, children’s mural, wall art, custom art, faux, faux finishing, Baltimore, Ellicott city, woodgraining, marbling, plaster, painting, artist, local, Dee Lenehan, cabinetry painting, furniture painting
The Completed Table
http://www.lenoxhill.org/fundraisingandspecialevents/
(Our table in the Lower Left)

The theme was “Make a Splash” and boy did she. She asked me to hand paint a 126″ diameter table cloth in bold florals and gemstones and 9 fantastical animals to parade around the table.

Lenehan Studios, decorative painting, faux painting, murals, trompe l’oeil, ceiling mural, children’s mural, wall art, custom art, faux, faux finishing, Baltimore, Ellicott city, woodgraining, marbling, plaster, painting, artist, local, Dee Lenehan, cabinetry painting, furniture painting

Summerhill Cabinets created the cut out menagerie from my sketches.

Lenehan Studios, decorative painting, faux painting, murals, trompe l’oeil, ceiling mural, children’s mural, wall art, custom art, faux, faux finishing, Baltimore, Ellicott city, woodgraining, marbling, plaster, painting, artist, local, Dee Lenehan, cabinetry painting, furniture painting

A shot for scale:

Lenehan Studios, decorative painting, faux painting, murals, trompe l’oeil, ceiling mural, children’s mural, wall art, custom art, faux, faux finishing, Baltimore, Ellicott city, woodgraining, marbling, plaster, painting, artist, local, Dee Lenehan, cabinetry painting, furniture painting
On the wall for scale

Of course Miss Rosabella could not be left behind so she received a prime seat upon one of the five elephants.

Lenox Hill Neighborhood House began as a Settlement House in 1894.  Community workers lived in Settlement Houses established in poor, crowded urban neighborhoods and worked with local residents to provide educational and recreational services including English language and job training, arts programing, health care, youth programs and much more. Today, Lenox Hill provides a multitude services to all ages. Click Here to learn more.

So grateful for the opportunity!

Click here to learn more about the gala.

 

Walking Through a Dream

Coming home is bittersweet. Sleeping in my own bed, drinking water out of the tap, cats cuddling, – these things that I take for granted become what I long for when I’m in a foreign place. But once the reality of being home sinks in, the food, people, and places that were right at my doorstep quickly dissolve into memories and photographs as I am thrown back into my “real” life and I wish I could close my eyes and be back there.

Me in the atrium at Dar al Bacha

Getting out of one’s comfort zone can be terrifying or exhilarating. Or both. I’ve wanted to go to Morocco for a very long time. I’d read about the architecture, art, and culture there, and knew that it would be significantly different from other places I’ve traveled.  I hoped that one day I’d visit but was intimidated by the cultural crevasse that I would have to navigate. I even put it on my vision board not knowing that things would change so drastically in my life and somehow open a way for me to go. Thankfully a stencil and surface artisan by the name of Melanie Royals, who owns a riad and retreat company – Maison 28, whom I know through her stencil company Royal Design Studio – organizes trips for people like me. Melanie had been taking artisans to Marrakech for about 10 years before purchasing and renovating her own riad. Myself along with 8 other artists signed up for the retreat. I knew about half of the ladies and the others quickly became friends. Melanie curated a wonderful 10 day tour of Marrakech and its many facets. Some of our activities included painting, shopping, camel riding, site seeing, cooking, teaching, and eating. Lots of eating.

Since I’ve been home my friends have asked me what my favorite part was and its such a hard question to answer. I was mesmerized by the maze of the Medina and how the people that live there still carry on cultural traditions hundreds of years old, like taking their home made bread dough to the local bakery where it is baked for them in old wood fired ovens. I’m amazed at how whole families can ride a scooter while navigating the narrow streets filled with buses, donkeys, cars, and bicycles squeezing by one another with barely an inch to spare. Or perhaps its the culture of humbleness, living side by side, young and old, conservative and liberal, all in chaotic harmony, much like the pattern upon pattern and color upon color.

Upon our arrival we were given a tour of the Medina where we visited palaces, souks, and a pharmacy. We learned about the succession of rulers, native Berbers, and daily Marrakechian life. Of course the shopping goes without saying. The souks were such an experience. Colorful, vibrant, bustling. I loved seeing the people making their wares, from blacksmiths to cobblers. Even a man carving wood on a lathe spun with his foot!

We took a day trip to visit the coastal town of Essouira, an ancient port at one time controlled by the Portuguese, where the first slaves were brought, bound for the Americas .  I learned later that this is the birthplace of the North African music called Gnawa. A camel ride at sunset on the beach was simply magical.

A visit to the Yves Saint Laurent museum brought up emotions I wasn’t expecting. The exhibit detailed YSL’s life and career, showcasing his works but also his sketches and fabric swatches from collections. Seeing these reminded me of how my mom loved designing and sewing and made me wish she could have seen this, and Morocco, with me. (Sorry, no pictures of the museum allowed, but some of the Majorelle Gardens!)

The one day that I wasn’t too sure about turned out to be unforgettable. Melanie has a relationship with a women’s educational center called the Amal Center. They provide training and support for women who have come from difficult situations. In the morning they taught us how to cook the traditional tajine and in the afternoon we taught the trainees how to stencil. The language barrier was of little significance and we were able to convey our thoughts through gestures, smiles, and a few Arabic words we learned like “shweea” which means “little.”

At the end of the trip we had a free day so we made reservations for high tea at the Royal Mansour hotel. My friend Cathy had seen a documentary by the BBC about it and decided we had to go. And I am so glad I did. It was the perfect marriage of traditional Moroccan architecture with modern European aesthetics.

It absolutely was a trip of a lifetime and I am so grateful that I was able to experience such a beautiful place. I think the best thing about the trip was the people. From our host Melanie who curated an incredible experience; the fellow artists on the retreat who shared a love of color, pattern, and culture; Zuber, Melanie’s right hand man, who even got me medication when I came down with a cold, our drivers, effortlessly navigating the crazy traffic, the souk owners who so theatrically did the negotiation dance with us; the Medina guide – Abdel Wahad;  the camel ranch and owner, who treats his animals with love and care, to the locals- that’s what made it truly amazing.

Our last night we enjoyed the traditional music of a Gnawa band and some of us (no names ;)) really had fun. If you have ever been you certainly know what I am talking about, and if you are thinking of going, do it! You will not regret a second.

And if you’d like to see some videos and more photos, follow me on instagram. Shukran!

 

Excited About Patterns

Over the holiday break I took some time to dig into some creative projects I had been wanting to try for a while. Setting aside time can be exciting and at times overwhelming because I get so amped I don’t know where to start first. I don’t know about you, but when I get an idea I want to drop what I’m doing and dive head first into it but this whole “adulting” thing has me on a pretty tight leash so I have to wait until I have completed my prior obligations before I can begin. And by that time I’ve got so many ideas its like I have ADD!

One thing I did manage to accomplish is design a stencil for myself. One of my goals this year is to learn how to create a repeat pattern on the computer. This one I did by hand and then had Hugh Hoeger at The Mad Stencilist create the design in Adobe and cut it for me. With the mathematical accuracy of a computer I knew that it would be the best way to make the design line up and repeat as cleanly as possible.

Lenehan Studios, decorative painting, faux painting, murals, trompe l’oeil, ceiling mural, children’s mural, wall art, custom art, faux, faux finishing, Baltimore, Ellicott city, woodgraining, marbling, plaster, painting, artist, local, Dee Lenehan, cabinetry painting, furniture painting
My inspiration.

 

My design came from a textile I found while internet surfing for inspiration. I took the general idea and had to work it into a design that would allow for stenciling. Creating the “bridges” to keep the design together was tricky at first but once I “saw” the positive and negative spaces in my mind I was able to draw it out.

Lenehan Studios, decorative painting, faux painting, murals, trompe l’oeil, ceiling mural, children’s mural, wall art, custom art, faux, faux finishing, Baltimore, Ellicott city, woodgraining, marbling, plaster, painting, artist, local, Dee Lenehan, cabinetry painting, furniture painting
Sketches.

I was so excited to receive my package from California that I immediately got to work trying out two different looks. I love this design and want to try more. I’m calling it “Imogen.” I have a ton of ideas piling up so looks like I’ll have to set aside more time to “play!”

Our finish called “Anni” with the “Imogen” design in textured plaster.
Another finish, a metallic shimmery plaster in midnight blue with the “Imogen” design in a silvery wax.

More Sugarbugs!

Chesapeake Pediatric Dental Group asked me to paint 8 more murals for their new office in Abingdon. CPDG has superkid heroes that teach children the importance of healthy teeth. They are always on the lookout for the destructive Sugarbugs. Here are a few images of the rooms I completed with the help of my friend and artist Mary Landavere. As before, we painted the murals on canvas and installed them on site. Shelly Wilkins of Walls, Etc. always does an impeccable job.

Pushing Paint in the Studio

 

Shelly Working Her Magic

 

In Progress

The finished rooms:

Art Howard County 2017 – Juried Exhibition

UPDATE: My piece “Wood and Lace” received “Honorable Mention!”

I’m so excited!! I was accepted into my first juried art show, “Art Howard County 2017” juried by Thomas Engleman, Gallery Director and Professor of Visual Arts, Howard Community College. All three of my submissions were accepted and are for sale. Contact me for more information: dee@lenehanstudios.com or 410-707-9246

“Rust & Dust”, “”Wood & Lace”, and “Around Back”, all for sale.

The show takes place at the Howard County Center for the Arts and is put on by the Howard County Arts Council. The show runs from November 3-December 15th, 2017. The reception (which I will sadly miss) is November 10th, 6-8pm. (8510 High Ridge Rd, Ellicott City, MD 21043, 410-313-ARTS)

A little teaser of the other works in the show. So much talent in Howard County!

Be sure to take some time and check out the incredible works on display and support your local art scene!

Past, Present, and Future: Pete Pappas & Sons Corporate Mural

Lenehan Studios, decorative painting, faux painting, murals, trompe l’oeil, ceiling mural, children’s mural, wall art, custom art, faux, Baltimore, Ellicott city, woodgraining, marbling, plaster, painting, artist, local, Dee Lenehan, cabinetry painting, furniture painting

Earlier this summer I completed a large scale mural depicting the family business Pete Pappas and Sons in Jessup MD.

I was asked to show the history of the company from the first packing warehouse founded by their great grandfather in 1942 who immigrated from Greece to Washington D.C. Also shown is the current facility and in the center are the three generations of Pappas family owners. The two figures in the center are passing a crate of tomatoes, symbolizing the passing of the company’s leadership from father to son.

The mural was completed on canvas in the studio and installed on site by Shelly Wilkins of Walls Etc. Learn more about how we create murals on canvas.

I love creating meaningful work and get such a joy out of bringing client’s idea to life. Do you have a space that could use a special work of art?

Following Georgia O’Keeffe; my trip to New Mexico

Lenehan Studios, decorative painting, faux painting, murals, trompe l’oeil, ceiling mural, children’s mural, wall art, custom art, faux, Baltimore, Ellicott city, woodgraining, marbling, plaster, painting, artist, local, Dee Lenehan, cabinetry painting, furniture painting

This past winter I decided to take myself on a trip to New Mexico, a place I had never stepped foot. I was searching for a workshop of sorts and stumbled across a Georgia O’Keeffe retreat hosted by the Ghost Ranch. I decided to sign up and spend the week and a half following the retreat driving across the state.

The workshop was hosted at Casa Del Sol in a restricted part of the ranch. O’Keeffe’s iconic ranch house is located along the drive. We took day trips to painting locations, walking where she walked to see what she was inspired by. An assistant by the name of Margaret Wood came to talk with us one evening about what it was like to work for Mrs. O’Keeffe. She wrote a cook book which includes many of her recipes. Before this trip I appreciated O’Keeffe as an artist but now I really admire her spirit of independence and grit especially in an era that most women were constrained to traditional female roles. Most of the days it snowed but there were occasional breaks in the weather where we could see Padernal across the valley. We used the time to sketch and paint whatever inspired us.

I then traveled south to Santa Fe where I had an appointment at the Georgia O’Keeffe museum to see her personal notes, color chips, and sketches. No photos were allowed. Seeing these artifacts really created a sense of intimacy. I really enjoyed seeing how she worked. After, I wandered around the city exploring and met some great artists. Took a couple day trips, one to Madrid to visit Harvey Shugarman’s chocolate shop, and another to Taos.

Then I was off to Silver City to explore the Gila National Forest, visit artist studios, and meet more amazing people. I fell in love with New Mexico and hope to return again soon.

Things Are Looking Up…

So lots of good things have been happening in my little world in the past few months and I wanted to tell you about some of it…

First of all, THANK YOU to all of the folks who came to my show “Still Standing” hosted by Pure Wine Cafe and presented by HorseSpirit Arts Gallery in Ellicott City. What a thrill it was to be able to share with you my work and see all of my pieces hung together in one space. If you followed me in the process of creating my solo show, “Still Standing,” you know how the last two years have been for me and the struggles I have overcome to make this happen.

This show, for me, was really a dream come true. Looking back at the work created, the opening reception, the love I received, I am overflowing with joy. I am grateful to have so many people in my life that love me and support my work. I never really considered myself a “fine artist,” and never thought I would have the need for true self expression. I now have a desire to continue down this path and see what I can do with it. Perhaps I will enter into some juried exhibitions, and maybe approach some galleries in the region. I will also have prints of the works that were on display in my new eCommerce shop! You can also click “Shop” in the menu bar above. And both “Retired” and “Moved on are on display and available for purchase at HorseSpirit Arts Gallery. If you are interested in the other paintings that were in the show please contact me. Thank you to those of you who bought pieces!

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I am planning to create some new works, having been inspired by my recent two-week solo trip to New Mexico this past April. I’ll be sharing that in a following post. I am in love with the west, and there was so much inspiration for me that I know I’ll be back.

IMG_5035
Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu NM

In addition, I have also begun to sell my jewelry. I’ve never considered it before but a close friend kept encouraging me and so I finally decided to go for it. Again, it’s in my new eCommerce shop.   And if you are local, you can see some of my pieces in person at my friend Kelly’s new shop “Made on Main” on Main Street Ellicott City (of course!)

Amber Cabochon

Speaking of jewelry, I have been ruminating on the idea of working that into my fine art. I am not really sure how yet, but thought I would put it out there and see what comes back to me in the form of inspiration. I just took a workshop at the Baltimore Jewelry Center with Robert Ebendorf, who happens to live in Santa Fe! More on that to come.

There are a few other things that are happening but I am not ready to share yet. They are big and exciting and scary and thrilling and I can’t wait until they’re more materialized so that I can tell you all about them!

So please keep in touch and find me on Instagram and Facebook.

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The Show Must Go On

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I am incredibly excited to announce that my first solo show, “Still Standing,” is on! As some of you may know, my show was scheduled to open in September of last year at Perspectives Gallery on Main Street in Ellicott City. However, due to the flood, the show had to be postponed. In retrospect I feel that it was a blessing because I was rushing to get work completed and really wasn’t enjoying the process of creating. With a little luck and a lot of hard work by many folks, I am excited to announce that my show is happening! “Still Standing” is presented by HorseSpirit Arts Gallery and be hosted at  Pure Wine Cafe in Ellicott City. I couldn’t be more grateful for the help of Robin Holliday of HorseSpirit Arts Gallery and PJ Strain of Pure Wine Cafe for working with me to make this happen.

The details:

Still Standing
Deanne Marie Lenehan
Presented by HorseSpirit Arts Gallery and Hosted by Pure Wine Cafe
March 13, 2017-May 28, 2017
Opening Reception March 13th 6-9pm

And its apropos that the show will be opening in March since that is my mother’s birthday month. This show is dedicated to her because it was with her encouragement that I began this journey of self expression. I’ve also decided to change my business name (again) and feel that this is a great time to make that change. So please make a note that Cunningham Studios will now be known as Lenehan Studios. New look, same great taste 😉

I hope many of you can make it to the opening. I’m so thrilled to share my personal work with you.