15 Illustrations: The Damsels in Distress Cakewalk

I am working with Inktense pencils, Micron ink pens, and Canson Illustration 11×14″ 150lb art pad to create 15 illustrations (that is how many pieces of paper are in the art pad) of my current family life and inspirations.

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This work is narrative in content and uses color in a monochromatic way accentuating one part of each drawing. These fun and quirky illustrations are a reflection of the current joy and activities I have been experiencing.

“The Damsels in Distress Cakewalk” is a piece based on an event that happened a couple of months ago. Our friend Mr. C invited us – The Damsels in Distress – to be one of the opening bands for Chris Staples who was stopping through Springfield on his “Golden Age” album release tour on a Monday evening Labor Day.

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We were sitting in the kitchen and talking about what our set list would be when M asked me, “what would get you out on a Monday night to see a band play?” I immediately said that I would go somewhere if there was free food and if there was a chance for me to win a prize. And then I said, “like a cakewalk.” Then we both looked at each other and nodded vigorously. We would do a cakewalk! So, I made up some flyers.

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We taped numbers on the floor and had a volunteer roll dice after each song. Whoever was standing on the number that was rolled won a cake from HyVee or coffee from the Coffee Ethic or the Mudhouse. It was a fun time. I drew this picture of what it looked like when I imagined it, and used Inktense pencils Iris Blue and Mauve blended together.

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Some of my favorite parts of this drawing are the people walking in a circle,

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this guy’s stubble and this girl’s crown,

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this girl’s braids, this guy’s party blower, and this girl’s Lularoe bicycle dress,

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The Damsels in Distress playing the guitar and accordion,

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our baby and friend who carried her during our show (thanks Gallery Gal!),

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the fun party decorations,

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and all of the delicious looking cakes!

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15 Illustrations: Key of G

I am working with Inktense pencils, Micron ink pens, and Canson Illustration 11×14″ 150lb art pad to create 15 illustrations (that is how many pieces of paper are in the art pad) of my current family life and inspirations.

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This work is narrative in content and uses color in a monochromatic way accentuating one part of each drawing. These fun and quirky illustrations are a reflection of the current joy and activities I have been experiencing.

“Key of G” is a musical family portrait in the playroom. G was the first note our baby played on her Casio keyboard. I liked this drawing so much that I made it into E’s first birthday party invitations and thank you notes. It’s super fun with all of the patterns, shapes, and there is that party pink color again. I used Inktense Carmine Pink and Fuchsia blended. I never thought I would be a little girl pink promoter, but goodness there are so many cool things in pink!

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Some of my favorite details of this drawing are the thread in a jar, the piano, the piano bench cushion pattern, M’s fun socks (completely made up), the rug pattern inspired by The Land of Nod,

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the play kitchen with the triangles on the wall (which the pink triangle decals are from the Land of Nod and placed by Gallery Gal), our fun family musical portrait,

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me playing accordion, E playing the maracas, Ein playing the jingle bells,

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the fun pendant (that I designed and embroidered), table cloth triangle pattern, and flowers in the kitchen, M playing the concertina (Grandpa and Grandma Sugar gave us the concertina – thanks!),

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and the musical alphabet banner I made.

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The inspiration for this drawing (wall done by Gallery Gal in Springfield, MO):

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The embroidery pendant I made:

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Tea

The Damsels in Distress spent time with our friend and drummer Chris Hickey to write, perform, and record the instrumental album Tea.

We first put together Tea as a set for performance during the opening for L.K.’s Wildwood Art Exhibit. Previously Chris had told us that classic story about an acolyte, a tea cup, and a zen master. Well, that got us all started. Percolating on a few phrases, we eventually found fuller tunes during several rehearsals in July. We ran through the set in August and thought we were finished.

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However, thinking back we all wished we had recorded that night. We later decided it would be best to record the set as a themed album– just for the record. We set the evenings of a September weekend aside, played through the tunes, and here we are.

This album was recorded differently for us. We used multiple microphones on the amps and drums and tracked everything simultaneously. Once we had the multiple takes recorded, we transferred our favorites -mistakes and all- to a laptop. In late December, we mixed the raw recordings in Garageband and here we really are.

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Tea. It’s had time to steep. It’s a strong brew. We like it and hope you do too. You can listen to the album on The Damsels in Distress band camp page.

Artist Interview with Wildwood Park for the Arts

As an Arkansas Arts Council Arts on Tour artist, I recently had an art exhibition at Wildwood Park for the Arts. I was interviewed shortly after the exhibition by Wildwood.

What mediums do you work with?
In printmaking, I work with relief printing (linoleum and woodcuts), etching, and lithography. With painting, I work with mostly oil, but at times with acrylic, gouache, and watercolor. I enjoy drawing with different types of charcoal, pencils, and ink. I experiment with fabrics, fibers, and natural materials (papermaking).

Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?
I write and record music with my spouse in our band “The Damsels in Distress.” We mostly create albums, but have been working with KUAR Arts and Letters to create music for their productions. We also have created a children’s story called “The Boy and the Firefly” that has accompanying music. We hope to explore more bookmaking and song ideas to accompany puppet shows.

What does a typical day in the studio look like?
I have a large to-do list and organize the project for that day. I lay out the materials I will need in order, and then begin working in a linear way. So, if I am going back and forth with multiple pieces or projects, it’s all ordered in a list of what to work on for each piece. I often will have an audio book (fiction literature – mostly classic literature or adolescent literature) playing or an old black and white movie going on in the background. I am alone in my studio and cannot work with others in my space unless they are intently working on something as well.


 
 
 

What are you presently inspired by – are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?
I am currently working on a Romania landscape painting series. It was inspired from a missions trip I went on last year with Livada Orphan Care to Targu Mures Romania. Because the region was mostly country side, we had to drive each day to the on-site work location. I was completely inspired by the beauty of the countryside and took many photographs during these drives. I hope to finish these paintings early next year, where I will photograph them to place into an inspirational prayer book and donate the paintings to Livada to sell for orphan sponsorship.

What do you hope your work will accomplish? How do you want people to be affected, if at all?
I hope to use my work to connect with and help others. I think for others to be affected by my work differs for each series I work on. For the “Maintaining Life” series, I hope people are able to see how even the mundane can be otherwise from an altered perspective.

How do you navigate the art world?
I still have a lot to learn about the “art world.” In the meantime, I will continue to create, blog on paperopera.com, and exhibit my work.

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How would you define a “successful artist”?
Success is such a personal thing. For me, a “successful artist” is an artist who works, who likes their work, and who continues to challenge themselves in their work.

To see more of L.K. Sukany’s work, visit lksukany.wix.com/artist/.

You can also read the interview here.

L.K. Sukany Art Exhibit at Wildwood Park for the Arts

As an Arkansas Arts Council Arts on Tour artist, Wildwood Park for the Arts was one of the galleries I contacted about an exhibit.

M and I went to Wildwood a couple of days before the opening, and Sofia helped us hang the show.

  
  

There were some cool press opportunities: Arkansas Life and Little Rock Soiree Online.

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A lot of people came to the opening. There was a sign-in sheet at the front to enter into a drawing to win a framed “Reading Into It” lithography print – for the duration of the show. Whole Foods catered!

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Along with the exhibition and delicious snacks from Whole Foods, “The Damsels in Distress” played an instrumental set.

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“Know Who’s a Robot” also played, and it was a super good time.

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After the exhibition, I was interviewed for the Wildwood Park for the Arts websiteRead Artist Interview here.