Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blog has moved!

It's been a busy year since I last posted on this blog! I worked on several interesting projects, and took on a big new position that has been shifting my life around, in a good way. And for most of the year my website has been undergoing a design shift which includes a new blog feature. From now on, you can access my blog at I'll continue posting about my process, new items and cool art I've seen. I'm looking forward to posting more regularly now that the new blog is up!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Holiday Cards

I just finished adding my new cards to Etsy! I have three new designs this season, in addition to the winter stars design from last year and the Christmas tree map from the year before. Click on the images below to see their Etsy listings!

If you're local (and want to save on shipping!), I also stock similar cards at these retailers:

13Forest Gallery (East Arlington) - all four designs, sold singly and in packs of 6
Blue Cloud Gallery (Ball Square, Somerville) - all four designs, sold singly and in packs of 6
Bestsellers Cafe (Medford Square) - Christmas tree and holiday flowers, sold singly
Abeille (Brookline Village) - Christmas tree cards, sold singly

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Exhibition at Old Schwamb Mill

Along with the solo show at Bloc 11 in Somerville, I'll also be in a four-person abstract art exhibition in Arlington next month. The show is at the Old Schwamb Mill, which is a frame mill from 1864 that is still in operation. I'd never been there before, so I toured the space yesterday. It's an adorable low building, with the woodworking shop downstairs and a small art display space up the creaky wooden stairs on the second floor. The whole place smells like old wood and history. Several of the walls in the art space have been scrawled with chalk or marker -- at first I thought it was recent vandalism, but then I realized that the messages are historical recordings of events such as first snowfalls, written by the workers there over a century ago. We also got to see part of a tour of the still-working machinery on the first floor, which was developed to use water power from the area but has since been updated to electricity.

The gallery area is divided into small rooms, with a larger room or atrium as you come in and wall space between the individual rooms. The space was currently showing a mosaic show which was in the process of coming down while we were there. My work will be on the walls between the rooms, including this very picturesque window space which I am looking forward to filling with maps!

The opening reception will be Saturday, December 1 from 2:30-4:30pm (the day before my opening at Bloc 11); if it's a nice day, there should be lots of lovely light to illuminate the work. The exhibition will run through mid-March. I will also be running a mapmaking workshop on February 9th, and there will be a closing reception in March as well. I'll be sending out emails about those as they get closer; if you're not already on my mailing list, you can sign up on my site at

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Somewhereville" Solo Exhibition at Bloc 11

I spent all evening on Wednesday working with the amazing art curator for Bloc 11 Cafe in Union, hanging what I just realized is my first real solo art show since college. It's a lot bigger than that one was, too -- there's 44 pieces of my art on their walls right now, and when we finish hanging the last few pieces there will be over 50! Here's some photos of the process:

The work in the show spans the three years I've been drawing maps -- we were joking that it's sort of a retrospective, though for a very new artist! I've also been hard at work in the last few weeks finishing several new pieces for the show. I'm especially excited about some new experiments on view in the vault area. I took scans of older map drawings and composited them together with line drawings made from photographs taken over the years to create digital collages that add narrative and texture to my work:

The exhibition runs through December 14, and there's an opening reception on Sunday, December 2 from 5-7pm. If you're in the area make sure to check it out! Here's some more photos of what you'll see:

New composites on display in the vault room:

 Matted small drawings hung in the hallway:
(we decided it was a performance piece, since they move
  when you walk down the hallway!)

Framed works in the main area:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

South Boston Open Studios

Last weekend we spent a beautiful afternoon at the Distillery for South Boston Open Studios. It was my first visit to the space, and it appears to house artists working in an exceptionally wide variety of media. I was especially impressed with the number of artists who embraced drawing, since it's my medium of choice but tends to be less represented in the art world.

Lisa Scollan used chemical traces on industrial metal as her starting point for intricate, mostly abstract drawings. Her studio was amazing; it looked like she was just compelled to draw, all the time, on everything.

I first met Adam O'Day at the last Boston Arts Festival where we were both showing artwork. I've also seen his designs at Ward Maps and on friends' walls. I'm impressed by his facility with bright colors, and of course I love the cityscape theme.
Aimee Belanger had some great watercolor texture; I like the way this piece looks like a watercolor sampler, showcasing all the possibilities of the medium.

I actually profiled Chantal Hardy's work in an earlier post on SoWa artists after seeing it at an exhibition, but I didn't realize she was at the Distillery until I was face-to-face with her work. I don't often come across other artists who depict imaginary/invented places, and I like the way she mixes a representational style with abstract elements.

Pat Falco impressed us with his quirky poster series, including this clever one about missing cat posters. It's so rare to see humor at art events.

It was great to meet Courtney Moy in person after seeing her work at Toscanini's and following her blog for a bit. Her work is also refreshingly humorous; it mostly deals with food, and she pointed out to us a project on beer bottles, mentioning that she's working towards 99 of them (wall-mounted, of course).

I saw Sarah Gay's drawings at the exhibition "threefam" at City Hall recently, and I love the expression she puts into her houses. This "uprooted" house in particular reminds me of a lot of popular imagery that I've also put into some of my non-observational representational drawings.

Walter Crump was the last artist I saw, and he really impressed me with his range of media and styles. I was, of course, initially drawn by the maplike paintings, but soon got entranced by the texture in a few prints. Apparently they were soft ground or collograph prints using steel wool and even plant roots to get an organic texture behind his fields of color.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pumpkin Fascinator

Last summer I found the most amazing/hideous bright orange plastic bridesmaid's dress (or, awful prom dress?) and it was immediately decided that I should wear it to be a pumpkin this Halloween. So I was excited about my costume for MONTHS, although somehow I neglected to plan out a suitable pumpkin-leaf headpiece to go with it until the weekend before. We were going to Providence for a conference and then a Halloween party, so I grabbed some felt, scissors, copper wire and a hairclip and started working on a pumpkin leaf/tendril fascinator on the train. I cut out pumpkin-shaped leaves from three colors of felt in graduated sizes and embroidered veins on them in contrasting colors. The embroidery not only added color and line to the leaves but also caused the felt to bunch up and become more leaf-textured. The leaves took me most of the conference, and I sewed them to the hairclip during the afterparty and added tendrils of copper wire.

Here's the finished product:

And here's a couple shots of it with the ridiculous dress at the party that night:

 I'm not planning to make anything that over-the-top to sell except by special request, but I do have fascinators with similar (though smaller) leaves in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Necklace at Mobilia Gallery

As part of my extremely busy week recently, I finished and delivered a necklace to Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge for their winter necklace exhibition. I wanted to create something that was similar in spirit to the one I made for their last necklace show, but without the wearability issues that plagued the last one. I came up with the idea of lowering the number of elements but increasing their individual complexity, which gives the necklace visual impact while also making it easier to wear. Below are some snapshots of the finished project. The opening reception will be on November 17th, and the show will be on view through December 28th.

Friday, October 26, 2012

New Consignors

Last week I had appointments every single day to either bring work to existing consignors or shop it to new ones, all over the greater Boston area. Many of the new stores were contacts from Arlington Open Studios, and everyone was looking to stock up for the holidays -- I ended up seeing my holiday cards a lot earlier than I would have expected this year! Here's a list of new stockists I've added and what they carry (in addition to Blue Cloud Gallery, 13Forest and Mobilia Gallery, which also received a new necklace this past week for their upcoming necklace show -- more info to come!):

Cambridge Artist's Cooperative
Harvard Square
- A wonderful coop gallery on Church Street in Harvard, showing the work of many local artists. They currently have a selection of my imaginary map cards.

Brookline Village
- Part bead/jewelry supply store and part jewelry/wearables/housewares boutique. They currently have some of my pendants and stud earrings as well as holiday cards and Boston area map cards.

Bestsellers Books
Medford Square
- A really lovely little bookstore/cafe that recently reopened on High Street in Medford Square. They have holiday cards (from all three years!), Boston area map cards and a small selection of imaginary map cards.

Artful Heart Gallery
Arlington Center
- A beautiful gallery space right at the beginning of Broadway that shows jewelry, wearables and art by local artists. They currently have a selection of earrings as well as pendants.

Note that the cards in most of these locations (along with Blue Cloud Gallery in Ball Square and 13Forest Gallery in Arlington) are exactly the same unit retail price as on Etsy (and at my craft fairs), so if you're local and looking for a card you can skip Etsy's shipping fees by shopping at any of these retailers instead! The next craft fair on my schedule isn't until mid-December, so keep these locations in mind if you have any card needs (including holiday cards!) before then.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

New Stop-motion Drawings

I'm working on a couple of 15x20 drawings at the moment, and yesterday I took a few hours to photograph them for animation while drawing. I set up a camera on a tripod next to my work, focusing on the paper until it filled the frame, and then started drawing. After almost every line (and breaking some long ones in the middle), I would lean over and snap a photo with the camera. I ended up with about 800-1000 photos for each piece, taken over a period of about 1.5 hours of drawing. I downloaded, resized and renamed the photos into a sequence, and then brought them into AfterEffects for color correction, timeshifting and rendering into video. The process took most of the day, but I love the way it shows the drawing process on its own, in a sort of mysterious way that eliminates the actual creator.

Timelapse Drawing - Water Map from Emily Garfield on Vimeo.

Timelapse Drawing - Network Map from Emily Garfield on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Summer Art Events

I haven't had much of a chance to post this summer because I've had so many things going on! Here are some photos from my craft fairs and art shows this summer:

PICNIC (Portland, ME)
I love this city, and it was great to have a chance to participate in an art event there in August. I shared a tent with Courtney Chelo, who works with found maps and collage. It turned out to be a perfect day to spend sitting in a park and talking about art.

My side of the tent:
My wonderful tent-mate and her work:

We were visited by an incredibly adorable corgi who belonged to one of the other vendors:

It turned out that there were THREE corgis at this event, all with similar coloring. Here's two of them, being adorable:

In September I did the Boston Arts Festival again, which was fun, especially since the weather managed to hold out for the most part. I hung some more 18"x24" drawings and included my new drypoint prints as well.

Surprisingly enough, there was another corgi at this event too!  


Immediately after Ahts I started preparing for RAW, which I'd never participated in or even gone to before. I'd seen the space, but it was still hard to know what to expect. We were summoned at 2pm for a 7pm start time, which I thought was a ridiculous amount of time to spend setting up (since I usually get to a fair about 30 minutes ahead of time...), but I ended up using the whole time, since my setup was entirely new to me.

 The venue was a nightclub which meant that there was basically no lighting. I used fairy lights to outline my space and a desk lamp so people could at least see a little detail. I was limited to what I could bring on the T, so I'm impressed that I managed to make a workable art space out of it at all.

My new mini map canvases, which are now available on Etsy:

The venue, with stage and dancefloor:

The art balcony, seen from the DJ booth:

A lot of visitors came through (but no corgis this time -- I suppose they probably have a no dog policy):

All photos are courtesy K. Adam White, because he has a gorgeous camera and because I am too busy at these events to take any photos myself! Thank you Adam :)