BACK IN THE USA
Walking through Georgetown's magical Kaki Lima, covered 5-foot walkways built-in to the front of all of the UNESCO conservation shophouses

Walking through Georgetown's magical Kaki Lima, covered 5-foot walkways built-in to the front of all of the UNESCO conservation shophouses

hello from the studio!

I am very excited to be writing to you today, as this is my first official blog post. Getting an online journal of some sort set up is something I've wanted to do for so long! It’s so great to be able to share my art-making process and life with all of you.

catching up

I recently returned home to Spokane, Washington after living in Penang, Malaysia with my two kids for half a year. As some of you know, I went to boarding school in Penang when I was young, and it's one of my favorite places on the planet. We put our house in Spokane up for rent on Airbnb, and the kids were able to continue their schooling via online programs. It was such an amazing experience to stay longer than a vacation and really soak in the local flavors!

{{ travel photos @neicyfrey }}

We rented a home at the very North end of Penang island between the water and the jungle, where we were visited by Macaque and Leaf monkeys daily. We trekked all over the island, exploring local attractions and hunting down the best hawker stalls. Unfortunately we had to spend a lot of time at Starbucks in order to get good WIFI for the kids’ online school programs…but to confess, Starbucks on the beach is pretty great! We squeezed in a couple amazing little trips to Koh Lipe in Thailand and Perhentian in Eastern Malaysia for the best snorkeling of our lives. And when we were home, I had the dining room table set up for painting.

Jungles of Batu Ferringhi behind us...

Jungles of Batu Ferringhi behind us...

Straits of Melaka in front of us

Straits of Melaka in front of us

((Dining table makes the best workspace, no matter where you are in the world))

new work

During my stay in Penang, I worked on a series of abstract paintings on paper. I have been exploring different styles of painting over the last year or so, and really clicked with an organic hard-edge abstraction style for this body of work. This is a big digression from my previous work…unless you go way back to when I was around 12 years old! That being said, one of my intentions with this collection was to connect with my kid-self and paint without any objective other than putting colors and shapes together that I like and make me happy.

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Painting this way was delightful and difficult. It wasn't always easy to put my inner critic in another room (or more likely out to the balcony to smoke a Sampoerna) But listening to each piece, and listening to my inner guidance was very liberating. I got used to it, and making these paintings was a delight.

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Travel brings power and love back into your life
— Rumi

Taking a break from normal American life for an extended period was life-changing. Penang is such a magical hub of vibrant cultures and art and beautiful people and natural beauty. On top of that, to be spending this time away in a place from my childhood was like a real-life shamanic journey (and really deserves its own post) But for now, I’ll just say it was a sensory jumpstart I needed!

I was especially refreshed by the chance I had to really take time with my art, to sink into it. Not only could I take time to consider how I was making art, I had mental space to think about how I’m living my life…which is the REAL art project. I was also able to make some changes to the business aspect of my art, which will support me in making art in a more sustainable way.

for starters, I need more of this cobalt blue in my life!

for starters, I need more of this cobalt blue in my life!

Connecting more with you, my collectors and friends and followers, is a huge part of this shift. I'm working on new ways to make that connectivity easier and more intuitive. In addition to this blog, I have been formatting a new website that is more user-friendly AND a studio newsletter that will go out to subscribers regularly.

 

about this blog

This is a place where I will post stories and information about my experience as an artist; talk about collecting art, share styling tips and tricks and suggestions on how to better live with art in your day-to-day life. I will share a friendly view into my own creative process, my studio, art-making and art events. I’d love to eventually even interview some of my creative friends. (and of course it goes without saying, you will see a lot of little Italian Greyhound pictures)

studio space

Now that I’m back in Spokane, I’ve been dialing in a new studio space in my home. I have taken over the upstairs attic space that used to be a bedroom, and this space will accommodate bigger work and more experimentation with other media. This setting up has left me no time or space for actually painting right at this moment, but I have to say I am finding these projects to be a great channel for my creativity. This is a big shift and I’m looking forward to the new work that will be born here.

a painting from the Penang collection getting cozy with a screenprint by one of my art heroes, Harold Balazs

a painting from the Penang collection getting cozy with a screenprint by one of my art heroes, Harold Balazs

in the meantime

You can always find my paintings for sale on my website neicyfrey.com

And if you are in the Spokane area, you can find some of my abstract artwork at Metro Eclectic, which is a fantastic midcentury modern furniture store on North Monroe across from Kendall Yards.

please get in touch

  • if you have any questions about my work

  • if you’re interested in a commissioned painting

  • if you are a creative professional and would like info on my to-the-trade program

  • if you have a project you’d like to collaborate on

  • if you have pictures of your art collection at home you want to share…I love seeing how you set up your art

  • just to say HI :)

Thanks again for being a part of all of this!

xo

Neicy

Breath-takingly beautiful Penang Hill

Breath-takingly beautiful Penang Hill