Artist Studio Series: Maria

I got connected to this online art community called Doodlers Anonymous. A couple of weeks ago I was viewing one of the “Coloring Book Interview Series” and saw some eye catching illustrations by Maria Garcia.

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I saw a picture of her paint box and wondered what her studio space looked like.

Maria Paintbox

So, I emailed Maria and asked her if she would be interested in being a part of the Paper Opera Artist Studio Series. She said yes!

Maria Garcia Studio – Maria writes about her studio below.

“This is my studio during my stays in Spain. It is on the top floor of my home. It’s a really calm space, with blue walls, white furniture, Catalan vault ceiling and an access to a balcony from where you can see the sea.”

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“In my studio there is a table with a small light table area and a sofa where I like to lay for sketching or reading.”

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“The most precious thing I have in my studio is my watercolour box. My parents gave it to me when I was still a kid and through years it has developed its own personality. I use it every day and I kind of consider that my studio is wherever I carry my box.”

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“I like to work with no one around and with music playing. I usually keep it clean and tidy, sometimes it gets messy but then I get stressed because I can’t find anything and I don’t know where to put my stuff.”

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“I’m more creative during morning and I like to have long walks on the beach in the afternoon, it’s a really good way to get inspired and have new ideas.”

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You can view Maria’s work on her website



Artist Studio Series: Katherine

I went to the Katherine Strause art exhibition Arkansas Homemakers: Home Demonstration and Extension Clubs at the Arkansas Studies Institute Butler Center Galleries. There is a piece about this Katherine Strause art exhibition in The Arkansas Times.

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I haven’t actually met Katherine Strause in person, but I did feel like I met her here through her art. I was immediately wowed by her paintings – the color, composition, brush strokes, and paint application.

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There were so many details I like about Arkansas Homemakers: Home Demonstration and Extension Clubs .

I liked the paint application on the butterfly woman’s face in “4H” as well as the flowers at the bottom right corner of the painting.

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I liked the paint application of the foliage on “Home Demonstration Agent.”

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I loved the dress pattern on “Feeding Scratch.”

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Speaking of loving dress pattern, there were so many great dress patterns in  “Does Anyone Still Wear a Hat.”  I also  really liked the stylistic portraits.

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In “Bow and Arrow” the paint application is excellent. The color scheme in this painting and the pinks are delightful. Also the color and patterns on the dress are great.

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Specifically, the compositional  element of how the yard tools cross on “Smoke” caught my attention.

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Because I am a fan of ladies aprons, I liked “Subversives.”


I really enjoyed myself!

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Katherine Strause Artist Studio

I contacted Katherine Strause shortly after experiencing the delights of her work. She accepted my Facebook friend request! I asked her if I could post about her show and if she was interested in showing her artist studio. She said yes!!!

Katherin Strause Studio – Katherine writes about her studio below.

“My favorite part of the studio is the isolation. It’s in the attic so only occasionally is there an interruption.”

“I usually have old movies on a little TV. The studio is only used as the studio.”

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“My routine would be:  have a looming deadline, search for images to use, stretch canvas, prime etc., draw and trace to get images onto the canvas, paint but try not to overpaint which is the hardest part.”

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You can see more of Katherine Strause art on her website at or

Artist Studio Series: Stephen

Stephen Cefalo is a well-known artist in Little Rock. Last year he was voted best artist by readers of the Arkansas Times. He is often seen at the Arkansas Arts Center, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) Department of Art, and in the North Little Rock Argenta art community. I have also seen him and his family a few times at Whole Foods.

Stephen is starting a school in Argenta. He teaches private classes at his studio in North Little Rock on Wednesdays. You can contact Stephen at for details or call at 501-231-9959.

I met Stephen in an open figure drawing class he hosted at UALR.

Stephen Cefalo Studio – Stephen writes about his studio below.

“My studio is nestled behind the library in the back of our new home in Indian Hills, North Little Rock.”


“It overlooks a flower garden. I come here not only to work, but to think and to relax.”


“We are blessed to have this beautiful north-lit space. The light is better, the view is gorgeous, and even the air feels nicer out here. It is an incredibly peaceful and inspiring place to work in.”


“Yes we are terribly pleased with our new place.”


You can visit Stephen’s website at

Art Studio Series: Neal

Neal Harrington is an artist and Associate Professor of Art at Arkansas Tech University who teaches printmaking and figure drawing.  He also manages the gallery at Arkansas Tech University.

I met Neal at the Arkansas Arts Center where we competed in the first round of the Portrait Face Off. It was super awkward meeting an artist and immediately competing, and we both acknowledged the oddity of it from the beginning. While we were waiting to be judged (two women walking around with notebooks whispering to each other), I was able to meet Neal’s artist wife Tammy, who also was competing. Neal won the competition and we parted ways – only to be reconnected the next day in the Sunday morning Arkansas Democrat Gazette. They recaptured the intense and awkward battle of our portrait face-off, and we looked so regal in our drawing stances!


I Facebook friended Neal after that, and have enjoyed all of his news feeds of creativity.

Neal Harrington’s Art Studio – Neal’s studio is a shared space with his artist wife Tammy Harrington. Neal writes about his studio below.

“My studio is in the basement of my house and is crazy messy. Organized chaos. I do clean it sometimes but then I am utterly confused!”

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When I commented on the fact that there were instruments in his studio, he replied, “Yes, I can be very loud in there!”

You can visit Neal’s website at

Art Studio Series: Dan

Dan Bina is an artist and professional living in Brooklyn, New York. I solely know him from Facebook. He went to school with mutual friends at Kansas City Art Institute. I saw his work from another friends post and requested to be his friend. He accepted my friend request, and now I get to vicariously live through his artist life in New York! Dan’s wife Katya Mezhibovskaya is also an artist and her website is

Dan’s website is and shop Kahokia is

Dan Bina’s Art Studio – Dan writes about his studio below.

“My Brooklyn based home studio functions as a personal laboratory for developing a multitude of works.”

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“It’s primary function is to provide a dedicated space to make messes in and keep them active for a duration of time. This is facilitated and aided by two functional doors and being able to close them.”

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“The tight quarters in my studio are a challenge to work around and simultaneous projects do get in the way of each other resulting in this series of pictures which serve to highlight chaos as an aspect to the creative act.” 

Dan Bina working in his Brooklyn studio