Art on a Monday

Abstract floral monotype by Stephanie Khattak.

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
― Thomas Merton , No Man Is an Island

It’s Monday in “Studio No-Name,” and I’m still thinking on what to call my creative space. It won’t be Studio No-Name!

The process of naming my studio makes me think of the saying, “you must name it to claim it.” I have struggled with “claiming” my identity as an artist over the years, for all the reasons that many people do. I’m not conventionally educated. It’s not my primary income. I’m just not “there yet.” It doesn’t feel like “work”. But art is art and artists are artists. I think it’s important to take steps to legitimize the work that we do, whether our pieces are hung in galleries, displayed proudly at Mom’s house or decorating our own spaces. I’m trying to be better at claiming my practice, and so should you! (Even if we’ve never met, if you’re an artist, I suspect that you can relate to this.)

With that in mind, earlier today, I renewed my Texas Visual Arts Association membership and made a spreadsheet for places to submit work to in the next few months. This isn’t something I have done before, and I’m excited to try! It’s not an easy season of life to be an artist, especially an emerging artist, but opportunities are still there.


I have started a series of work that will be ready for sale in October. I closed my store at the beginning of the year, but I miss having it as a goal to work toward. The sales are nice, of course, but so is the self-directed goal of making enough work to post.

Because my Pine Curtain project is so specific, those pieces won’t be for sale, at least not right away. So, that frees my mind to switch to different subject matter and processes for a while. The above abstract floral is one of a few smaller works on paper that will be available, and I am also working, for the first time, on some larger pieces!

Print Portraits

Acrylic monotype print in progress by Stephanie Khattak
Acrylic monotype print in progress by Stephanie Khattak

My mom came for a short visit a few weekends ago, and brought another stack of family photos. It included these 1940s-era portraits of my grandmother and great-aunt, both of whom I was very close to.

Creatively, I thought that the portrait style would work well printed from my round Gelli plate. Personally, I enjoyed making these because it gave me the opportunity to remember my MiMi and Auntie, and think about what their lives may have been like when they posed for these photos and all the hopes and dreams they had for themselves at that time. My Auntie outlived my MiMi by 32 years, but I think they both had really good lives that they enjoyed and were proud of. That’s comforting to know as I am painting and printing their portraits and thinking of them, and still missing them, too.

Posca Marker Print

As I continue to experiment with print processes, I have enjoyed trying out new items to use for plates and printing material. This print was made using Uni Posca markers on Grafix Dura-lar. Using the same process as my plexiglass prints, I placed a source image under the Dura-lar, then drew over it with the Posca markers. I think it worked well, came out a little lighter than the other method but it is fun to be able to mix up the look of the art. I did have to work faster, as the markers dry a bit faster than acrylic or printing ink. This method is great for quicker projects when you want to do something creative or try an idea without making a mess, having to take out a lot of supplies, or using a full sheet of plexiglass. The Dura-lar is also easy to cut to size, making it an affordable option for smaller prints.

I focused on the figure in this print, as I felt the marker would be too light to make a background look good. Instead, I used a dot pattern for some extra visual interest.

Of course, I embellished it with gold leaf at the end.

Monoprint using Grafix Dura-lar and Posca Markers by Stephanie Khattak.