New Painting: Equinox

This painting was completed during my Akron Soul Train residency, so technically not that new, but made in 2019 and it hasn’t been widely circulated. “Equinox” 30×30 inches, oil on canvas.

A lot of bits and pieces in this painting were created in 3D modeling software (which I am still getting the hang of) and was then used for reference as a print out. It is kind of nice to be able to control a light source the way you can in modeling programs. After the painting was done I destroyed the print and the image file. It felt more ephemeral that way.

The Restrooms of Cleveland, the Book

After quite a few years, the photo book that I have slowly been working on is now available!

You can order here. Which I recommend, as this will be a limited 1x run and, it has already exceeded my expectations. I’m a little disturbed by this fact. Clevelanders love their Clevelanding, man.

restrooms of cleveland book cover

There comes a point where you have to stop. I could have kept going with this project, but there is just too much content, really. I couldn’t tell anyone about this book without a, “have you seen the bathroom at…” But sometimes, it just wasn’t a place that met my documentation criteria, or it was difficult to photograph, or was just not that special in whatever weird way I wanted it to be. Some photos are detail shots, some give way to the entire space, and some have me posing in mirrors because, well — that’s just what happens sometimes.

This book is an Objet d’art. Only found in select Cleveland retailers and through my shop. Come join us for the release party at Judd’s City Tavern on Madison Avenue from 6pm- 10pm. I hear there will be cake.

How My Paintings Continue to Evolve

My solo exhibition “Soft Sugars” is now available via Artsy and BoxHeart Gallery in Pittsburgh. The show is up until August 23rd.

I made a little video talking about my painting process and how the whole thing keeps evolving.

As you will be able to tell, I kind of gave up trying to paint with surgical gloves, and I only used them now for varnishing. Also, my cats are pretty darn cute.

“Soft Sugars” Solo Exhibition

Dollop, 18×18″ oil on linen

While I have a few shows on their way to be de-installed, my newest solo show “Soft Sugars” is on at BoxHeart Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA.

My last show with BoxHeart was about a decade ago and it was of my punk rocker portraits. I’m happy they let me go with my new-ish direction.

This series brings together my interests in botany, microbiology, space, disease, and the evolution of cells. I subconsciously explore the relationships between anatomy, biology, and emerging sciences while creating from my own imagination. They, at times, mirror personal metaphysical occurrences, and, at times, contain a slight nod to art history, such as hints of a baroque landscape or decadent still lives through distorted lenses. They are more virtual reality than actuality.

I delve into the practice and alchemy of oil paint dictating the direction, shaping
aesthetic outcomes, and transforming emotional impressions as I go. Insects, flowers, human organs all come from the same process at the core, but within these works I am visualizing their fictional evolution at any given stage comes from instinct. I create my own fragile beings within these little worlds; alien forms mesh with what might be seen under a microscope or through a telescope. They are an artificial nature or a nature that is simply unknown to us, scientized and made more delectable.

In the meantime, I’m so happy to have these features and reviews of the various shows that I’ve done so far in 2019:

Grenadine, 18×18″ oil on linen
Snowball, 18×18″ oil on linen

Rome and Florence: Cats, Coffee, and Art

Last month I finally took a trip to the place everyone said that as an artist I needed to visit: Italy! And it’s true, the first thing I noticed as the plane landed were the trees. The trees I have been seeing in paintings all my life, but never actually seen for myself; trees that populated the backgrounds of famous paintings or portraits from my art books — here they were!

I had been trying to organize a trip to Tangier and for the second was thwarted by scheduling conflicts and logistical issues. Frankly I was tired, and wanted to go somewhere easy to get to. I love Norwegian Airlines, so at the last minute I went and looked at some direct flight destinations from Boston, and Rome was a brand new one. In fact, my flight was only the second run they had ever completed.

Too be honest, I wasn’t all that interested in Rome because I was more interested Florence. I’m happy to say I spent more time in Rome — because wow, I would have felt like an idiot had I not! Honestly, finding out about the Largo di Torre Argentina cat sanctuary located where Caesar was murdered made me think perhaps Rome would be fun after all!

So my husband and I did both cities and although we liked them both in different ways, I think Rome was more up my alley (and less crowded). It also helped I have an artist friend who has been living in Rome for seven years and it was great to get out to other neighborhoods and go places with someone who knows the lay of the land and tidbits of history everywhere we walked. These amazing sites having been just hanging around for thousands of years of course does not impress the inhabitants very much. The “oh yeah that pyramid at the metro stop is from before the time of Christ” blasé attitude was so funny to me.

Since the trip I have been having a lot of images of giant statuary in my dreams.
I preferred the Borgehese Museum over the Uffizi, and was so overwhelmed I think I need at least two more trips there despite how small in size it is.

A strange thing that happened was in wandering the Forum I came upon the first basilica of Saints Comas and Damian. The depictions of them performing surgery was part of what kick-started my interest in medical humanities, so that was a trip!

By the way I highly recommend traveling in April because all of the orange and lemon trees were bearing fruit as well as all the wisteria that was in bloom.

Florence cityscape

We did get to experience and 80s dance night at a goth/biker/punk bar on the outskirts Florence to pair with the touristy things. I think as usual I overdid it with the museums, and I we only did a portion of my list. Aside from that, there was a lot of shopping in department stores, lots of coffee, and more coffee, and more, and more. Oh and pizza!

I also did something for the first time in about nine years: I walked around in heels without a cane! On uneven ancient streets! And I didn’t fall or die.

It was a great trip and a good getaway as a sort of 18th wedding anniversary celebration. All of this despite the fact I am absolutely terrible at attempting to speak or pronounce anything in Italian (Slavic languages are more my strong suit). More photos below. I took so many, and trust me, this is the edited down batch! And below that a list of places I went or stayed at…

Rome:

Florence:

Spring Art Exhibits: Fabulism and Ornate Acids

I have a few shows on view in Ohio that are pretty terrific.

Cleveland: Now thru June 28th “Fabulism: Meta-facts and fictions” at Worthington Yards, Cleveland, Ohio. Curated by Liz Maugans.

Join me with artists Laura Bidwell, Kristen Cliffel, Meng-Hsuan Wu, Claudio Orso, Dante Rodriguez, Omid Tavakoli, and Antwoine Washington exhibit in Fabulism: metafact and fictions, diverse outcomes of exploration for our own “escape rooms” that lead us to dreamscapes, future worlds, revisionist fairy tales and new realities.

Dig the review of this show here!

We will be discussing our work during Art Bar on Thursday, June 13th from 5-7pm at Worthington Yards in downtown Cleveland.

“Conservatory” 30×30 inches

Akron: Now thru June 14th My show “Ornate Acids” is a solo exhibition as part of the Akron Soul Train fellowship and residency. Gallery Hours are Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays at the new Akron Soul Train gallery space: 191 South Main Street, First Floor, Akron, OH, 44308

Dig the review of my show here!

This small show further expands on my biomorphic series, “This series brings together Arabella’s interests in botany, microbiology, space, disease, and the evolution of cells. She subconsciously explores the relationships between anatomy, biology and emerging sciences while creating from her own imagination. Each work, at times mirroring personal metaphysical occurrences, contains a slight nod to art history; be it a baroque curtain or a decadent still life.” I’ll have some brand new large paintings on view.

I hope to see you at one of these!

Akron Soul Train Artist-In-Residence

For the month of March I am excited to say that have been granted an Akron Soul Train fellowship!

I am creating works for a show taking place in Akron, Ohio, later in May, in addition to giving a talk at Crave on Thursday, March 21st. If you would like to attend please register as space is limited.

Surrealist painting by Arabella Proffer

I will be continuing my biomorphic series and talking about my journey from animation and portraiture, to how being diagnosed with cancer changed the direction of my paintings.

This week I will also be doing an Instagram and Twitter takeover for Akron Soul Train so you can dig my process and then some.

Artists I Like Right Now: Cats! Felines! Kitties!

I’m currently working on another cat painting (you know I have to take a break and do one every so often!) and I thought I’d share a bunch of contemporary artists who also like painting felines — as well as Flemish painter of some very Baroque and expressive animals.

Megan Ellen MacDonald

Casey Weldon

Danial Ryan

Johannah O’Donnell

Joanne Nam

Marion Peck

Frans Snyder