thoughtfully repurposed

If my solo exhibit had a title, it would be Thoughtfully Repurposed.

But it doesn't have an official title, and as it's coming down on Friday, I thought it was time to share a few photos. Those of you who were able to see it, I sincerely appreciate that you came, your kind words mean so much to me! Those of you who are too far to come, I appreciate all your well wishes also. Thank you.

art and seed pods at the entrance

Iron Spine 6XL makes it's debut surrounded by older relatives

Rhetoric with Iron Vessels: Reclaim Love and Iron Vessel: Enough

The top portion of Iron Spine/Urban Edge installation

another view of Iron Spine/Urban Edge installation

a small portion of the bottom of Iron Spine/Urban Edge installation

Full view: Iron Spine/Urban Edge

a visitor from the insect kingdom

food matching art/art matching food

viewer matching art

artist with art (Iron Spine/Urban Edge)
What a whirlwind summer!

texture addict

So a texture addict walks into a gallery...... and has to keep her hands in her pockets so that she doesn't fondle the million dollar artworks.....

Guess who is the texture addict! Yup. Yours truly.

The gallery? Gagosian. The exhibit? Anselm Kiefer.

Gigantic, monumental artworks. Canvases with trees, terra cotta, and rebar. Oh, and molten lead. Poured onto the canvas and peeled back. Yes. Oh and water colors and artist books. Many, many gigantic artist books. Go see for yourself until September 1st.

The other gallery is Tibor de Nagy. An exhibit of works by Medrie MacPhee. Very different kind of texture, much quieter. I think I was still under the influence of Anselm when I saw these works. I didn't think much of them. But thinking about them and looking at my photos, I like them more and more. Perhaps they also appeal to me because she uses garment parts as design elements in her paintings. Very simple on the canvas, yet complex and map like.

And just to let you know that I was paying attention as I walked the streets and not just gabbing with Nathalie, here's the best graffiti of the day. Somewhere on the Lower East Side.

And my new favorite and most refreshing drink on a sweltering NYC summer day - beet and lemon shrub from Russ and Daughters! YUM! Gotta make some!

shadow play

Sometimes, and only sometimes, I get frustrated with the pace of my art making. Just like anyone else I occasionally like the joy of instant gratification. And I can't have it with my techniques. Which is what I love about them.

What is really helpful in times like these is an infusion of inspiration. And I just happened upon such an infusion this Saturday. Thank goodness I managed to carve out time out of a busy day! I came back invigorated and ready to work!

If you are in NY tristate area and can carve out some time this week - go see what I saw! Browngrotta Arts is having their 30th (!) anniversary exhibition for 10 days only, which means it's closing April 30th.

I loved all the art that I saw, but I was truly fascinated by the shadows some of the art made. So I share with you a few photos of art closeups and a few of the shadows they made.
Southern Crossing Six by Kiyomi Iwata

Fuhkyoh by Tsuruko Tanikawa

Folded Form I by Jin Sook So

Lucent by Jennifer Falck Linssen

Relief by Jane Balsgaard

Fog Break by Mary Giles

Cactus by Tamiko Kawata

Retournement en cours I by Stephanie Jacques

Tube Waves by Marianne Kemp

Tunnel of Remembrance by Lilla Kulka
Run! Don't walk to see this exhibition! (yes I bought the catalogue!)

something different

My friend Jane always challenges me. She's very good at it. Come to think of it... I think she might be responsible for planting the seed for all my 3D artworks.

And here's the latest one. Jane provided the wood block, as she's good with power tools also. And I covered the wood block with my art. I repurposed some older work that no longer felt right, used up some scraps from other pieces, added a ton of hand stitches. I'm pretty proud of what came to be. It's kind of raw and different and mine at the same time.

Urban Tower (three views) Natalya Aikens © 2016

Urban Tower Natalya Aikens © 2016 

By the way, you can see Urban Tower at the Nest Arts Factory until November 15th.

Hanging with Horace

I have the pleasure of exhibiting my art in a lovely historic house which used to belong to Horace Greeley, who was the former editor to the New York Tribune among his other accomplishments. This exhibit is part of a town wide endeavor by the Northern Westchester Artists Guild. It'll be up the entire month of June, so please do pay a visit if you're in the neighborhood.

I am considering myself very lucky to have this exhibit venue as my architecturally inspired pieces are a perfect fit. I have hung most of my City Love Affair series in the two story home. The City Love Affair is my affair with St. Petersburg, Russia, and the romantic architecture fits right in here.

Here a few pictures of my pieces spread out among the historical displays on the first floor:

Upstairs is a whole lovely blue gallery which is now filled with all the large pieces in this series. It is like having a little retrospective!

Hopefully I'll see some pictures from the opening reception soon, but meanwhile here's the artist in situ..

shameless commerce

This blog post is brought to you by the shameless marketing division of Just in time for the holiday shopper, here, consolidated into one blog post is what I have to offer for your gift giving....
detail of Nikolsky Cathedral
Original art from the St. Petersburg inspired City Love Affair series and Cathedrals series is available on the Artful Home website.
detail of Spring
Original art and prints from NYC inspired City Lines series are available on the Saatchi Art website.
throw pillow with a print of St. Pete Lace 1
Art prints, canvas prints, framed art prints, phone and iPad cases, tote bags, throw pillows, and laptop skins and sleeves are available on the Society6 website.
On Sunday, December 6th from 12 to 4PM I will showing small artworks, postcards and prints at ART for the Holidays with the artists of Northern Westchester Artists Guild at the New Castle Community Center in Chappaqua, NY.
detail of Urban Perspective
And as always my art is available on my website. Just email me at natalya @ ! Commissions for Home Portraits and other artwork are also accepted and encouraged!

Thank you so much for supporting my artistic endeavors! Happy shopping!

busy busy...

There is so much going in the month of June! I touched upon some of these things in my May newsletter, but I better mention it here too...

First, tomorrow we (Vivien Zepf, Kristin La Flamme, Deborah Boschert, Robin Ferrier and moi) are hanging our exhibit at Etui Fiber Arts Gallery in Larchmont, NY. It'll be ready for viewing starting tomorrow afternoon and please join us for an artist talk on Sunday June 14th from 2 to 4PM. I finished two new artworks for this exhibit, one was shared in the previous blog post and another I don't even have time to photograph. So you'll just have to see it in real life first. And I'm not the only one with brand new work in this show!

Second, this Thursday June 4th is the opening night of Art Around Town. It is the exhibit of NWAG artists paired up with generous Chappaqua, NY merchants. It'll be going on until June 29th, but please join us on Thursday from 5:30 to 8P for the opening reception. My artwork will be displayed at ICD Contemporary Jewelry at 75 S. Greeley Ave.

Third, this Friday June 5th is another opening for another NWAG exhibit! This one is at the Martin Stankiewicz Gallery in Tarrytown, NY. The opening is from 5:30 to 9PM. My work will be exhibited along with several other local Westchester artists.

Fouth, June 5th is the opening day for Her Stitches, an exhibit at the Croton Free Library in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. It'll be featuring a selection of women’s needlework, combining historical and contemporary examples. My work will be part of the contemporary examples as will be the work of my fellow FANE stitchers.

I hope to see some of you at a few of these lovely events! And so to not leave you without a picture in this blog post, here's an in progress shot of the piece I didn't have time to photograph. Come by to see it at Etui in Larchmont!
Luminous, a detail in progress...


I totally adore the ladies in my local fiber arts group. I don't get to see them regularly due my kids schedules, so I really cherish the meetings that I do get to attend, and the exhibits that we put on together.

And we do have a wonderful new exhibit coming up in May at the Mahopac Public Library in Mahopac NY. We have been exhibiting in their lovely third floor gallery for so many years now that it feels like home. Please join us for the opening reception of "We've Been Framed" on May 10th from 2 to 4PM. Everyone had to create an artwork that would fit into a frame. All frames where painted the same navy color to unify all the artwork. I had a preview at a meeting recently and it is a wonderful variety of styles, techniques and imagery!

Here's my work for this exhibit. I inadvertently seem to have gone back to St. Pete Lace series and created this piece using thermofax screens on color catcher sheets and thread painting. The screen printed imagery is from my photographs of many many wrought iron railings of St. Petersburg, Russia and the eloquent words of Alexander Pushkin. And the thread painted man is an Atlant who holds up the entrance to the Hermitage.
Atlant Spb 3 © Natalya Aikens 2015
Hope to see many local friends at the exhibit! Thank you!

a lovely evening

Thank you to all the lovely people who came and all the lovely people who couldn't, but wished me well. 'Twas a lovely evening graciously organized by Julie, the owner of Etui Fiber Arts Gallery.

Here are a few pictures of the festivities:
Auntie Ann approved of the placement.
My official photographer got photographed
Friends enjoyed checking things out
Guest appearances were delightful.
My supportive FANE friends are always a hoot!
Yes, we had art in the bathroom. It fit perfectly.
Guests came in all ages.
Friends traveled far and wide.
The exhibit is up through June 3rd and the gallery is open during business hours. If you are making a special trip to the area do let me know as I would love to meet you at the gallery and happy to explain my work.
PS all photos are by my official Art By Natalya photographer aka my younger daughter who insisted that I give her credit and by Auntie Ann.

a tease...

Because I want those of you close enough to come to see it for yourself and join me for the opening reception, I'm offering just a little tease of what my exhibit looks like for the rest of you...
peeking through the windows
I hung my show yesterday at Etui Fiber Arts Gallery in Larchmont, NY. The show will be on view until Wednesday June 4th. The opening reception is next Friday, May 9th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.
I do hope you can join us!

Here's a little blurb Julie, the gallery owner, wrote up:

CITY LINES is a series of art quilts inspired by New York City:  small alleyways, huge avenues, cracked pavement, glass skyscrapers, brick storefronts, vibrant graffiti, grand bridges and rusting fire escapes.
These works are made from 90% recycled materials; however, the recyclables used in Natalya's quilts are undetectable, transforming into something sophisticated and beautiful.  Natalya's manipulation of photos coupled with intense hand and machine stitching produce translucent effects.   The sewing machine is one of Natalya's most important drawing tools creating works visually stunning and complex.

a lovely, well lit gallery
Come on over!

last days!

Today and tomorrow to see Softer Edges at the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia. It's the last of the few Fiber Philadelphia exhibitions still up and my work is in it. The curator Marie Elcin has a few posts about it on her blog and a link to installation photos. Enjoy!
detail of Piter's Rooftops 1 © Natalya Aikens
Meanwhile, back in New York State, is another exhibit coming up: opening on Sunday, April 29th is Art Squared from FiberArt NorthEast at the Mahopac Library. Do join us for the opening from 2 to 4PM this Sunday and see the exhibit during the month of May.
Vladimir Cathedral © Natalya Aikens

texture details..

It was very hard to separate texture into a different category from all the other stimulation of Fiber Philadelphia. How do you separate texture from the stitched line in textile art? Is it the roughness of it? The addition of paint? The multitude of stitches? The layers of fabrics? All of the above? These textural details stood out to me..
detail of War Sucks by Kristin La Flamme at AQE
detail of Chinmoku: Silence by Shin-hee Chin at AQE
detail of Not the Best Day in Pisa by Ilene Pearlman at AQE
detail of 48 Prophets by Jason Pollen at Distinguished Educators at the Crane
detail of Permutations by Dianne Koppisch Hricko at the Crane
detail of Words 4 by Jette Clover at the Highwire Gallery
detail of Stone Lanterns, Lingering Images, Japan by Patty Hawkins at the Highwire Gallery
detail of White Wall 10 by Jette Clover at AQE
detail of Quilt Book by Abigail Kokai at AQE

color in Philadelphia..

...under the auspices of Fiber Philadelphia of course. These are the colors that spoke to me while I was viewing the artwork. I did not photograph everything indiscriminately, and only took photos of what appealed to me on some gut level. After viewing my photos, I found that this was the color selection which was strongest throughout...
detail of Forgotten Plan by Eszter Bornemisza at AQE
detail of Three Women at the Salon - Gothic 1275 A.D. by Pamela Allen at AQE
detail of Crossing the Line by Lisa Kerpoe from the Art Cloth Network at the Crane
detail of Sweeter and Wilder by Susan Webb Lee at the Highwire Gallery
detail of Three Women at the Salon - Gothic 1275 A.D. by Pamela Allen at AQE
detail of Cooperstown Sky by Judith Plotner at AQE
detail of Cooperstown Sky by Judith Plotner at AQE
detail of Forever Yours by Susan Else at AQE

the stitched line... Fiber Philly. Whether hand stitched or machine stitched, it intrigued me in it's many variations. The simplicity of it, the outline, a slight curve, a dash, a dot, a hanging thread.
detail of Thousands of Words by Mary Ruth Smith at AQE
detail of Bloom by Katherine K. Allen at AQE
detail of Distant Shore by Karin Birch at Snyderman-Works Gallery
detail of Healing Sutra #14 by Erin Endicott at Wexler Gallery
detail of Cheongsam by Diem Chau at Wexler Gallery

detail of Rain by Flore Gardner at Wexler Gallery
detail of Structures 99 by Lisa Call at the Bluestone Gallery
detail of 48 Prophets by Jason Pollen in Distinguished Educators at the Crane
detail from Re/claimations by Kay Lawrence at the Crane
detail from Re/claimations by Kay Lawrence at the Crane
detail of Soft City: Open Door by Marilyn Henrion at the Highwire Gallery
detail of Harvest by Rayna Gillman at the Highwire Gallery


I am back from an exciting, visually stimulating weekend in Philadelphia. I had the pleasure of attending several interesting and inspiring lectures at the SDA/SAQA conference, a day of gallery hopping through the galleries of Fiber Philadelphia and meeting and reconnecting with fiber artist friends. There was so much to see and do, that I am still trying to wrap my head around everything that I saw and did.... Just uploading and looking through my photos has renewed my excitement again!

One of the first things that caught my attention while viewing the varied fiber works though out the city, was the shadows that were created by many of them. So for the first installment of my reflections of Fiber Philly, please enjoy some shadow play....
detail of Leaf Fall, Fragments var. 3 by Barbara J. Schneider at AQE
detail of Red Stones #2 by Dianne Firth at AQE
detail of More Than Just The Sum: Northern Red Oak by Christine Hager-Braun at AQE
detail of Fence as Lace 6 by Jeanne Williamson at Snyderman-Works Gallery
detail of Spiral by Jo Stealey at Snyderman-Works Gallery
detail of Untitled by Paige Fetchen at Snyderman-Works Gallery
detail of Still Life/Daisies by Joan Dreyer from Into The Woods at the Crane
detail of Modified Familiarities by Sarah Wondrack at the Crane
detail of Shadow by Diem Chau at the Wexler Gallery

superbowl of art

Yes I know it's the Superbowl weekend, I have been informed. But just before the big game, my friend Katya and I are having an Art Superbowl by celebrating the opening of our exhibit Russian Art II: It is our second exhibit together in the spacious gallery of the Mahopac Public Library. The exhibit runs from February 1st to the 28th, and we'd love to see you Sunday!
The artwork is on the walls and ready to be seen!
Come join us for the artist reception on Sunday, February 5th from 1 to 4P (you'll be back in time for the Superbowl!)

sketched fairytales

I am very excited to report that I have some of my work in a gallery. The Link Gallery in Estes Park, Colorado to be exact. The owner liked my fiber jewelry pieces and I created a whole new line for her gallery. I am calling it Sketched Fairytales Fiber Jewelry collection and I based it on the patterns seen in Russian decorative arts that I love and use everyday in my art. I wanted the pieces to have a light and delicate feeling, so I used a textured cotton and free-hand sketched the designs with Neocolor® watersoluble crayons. I then free-hand machine embroidered the cloth with rayon and metallic embroidery threads. Different pieces have different amounts of embroidery on them, and various beaded and yarn trim. These were fun to work on and I am already starting on some different colorways. I am very interested in hearing the feedback from gallery customers.She also put some of my Окна/Okna/Windows art quilts in her gallery, I hope they do well. I also made some very small art quilts, Окошечки/Okoshechki/Little Windows that are framed in shadow boxes.I have Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero to thank for all this, she saw my work, thought that the gallery would like it and told her about me. Thank you Jeanie!

And PS: I found out too late about Blog Action Day (how do people keep up?) and just wanted to say that I try to live by this motto in my life and art: "REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE". It's the least anyone can do!