Eye Food

New Times Article – Library Mural

The Story Behind Carrie Marill’s New Cactus Wren Mural in Scottsdale

Detail of Carrie Marill's completed mural at Palomino Library.

Detail of Carrie Marill’s completed mural at Palomino Library.
Carrie Marill/Photo by Lynn Trimble

Phoenix artist Carrie Marill walked into the desert several months ago, planning to paint the first bird that popped into her view. “It was a gregarious, chatty cactus wren,” Marill says. And now, its likeness sits at the center of one of Marill’s newest works of art.

It’s a 54-foot-long mural inside the Palomino Library, one of several Scottsdale Public Library branches. The mural features not only the desert bird, but also mountains made of Marill’s colorful, geometric designs.

Scottsdale Public Art commissioned the mural for $3,000 back in 2016, says Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker, public art manager with Scottsdale Arts. Scottsdale Arts is a nonprofit started in 1987, which oversees Scottsdale Public Art, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts.

Carrie Marill painting at Palomino Library on Saturday, June 10.

Carrie Marill painting at Palomino Library on Saturday, June 10.
Lynn Trimble

Marill started the mural on Monday, June 5, and finished on Sunday, June 11. She painted every day, from about 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., which means it took more than 40 hours to complete. For now, she’s calling it Cactus Wren.

The mural includes mountains made with two different designs.

One includes 10-by-10-inch triangles. They’re painted with 20 different colors, including some with names such as Lime Rickey, Celestial, and Anchors Away.

The other design features lines that look like arrows pointing in various directions, which resemble bird tracks. “It’s a nod to the landscape of the surrounding area,” Marill says.

The designs aren’t unique to this mural, Marill says.

For the past year, Marill says, she’s been creating these patterns based on tantric meditative techniques. Both were featured in her work for the recent “Tell Me Why” exhibition at Lisa Sette Gallery. For that show, Marill coupled one small painting with each design with a small brass bowl filled with sage, which was placed on a small shelf just below eye level.

Marill has painted several murals in metro Phoenix, including her giant swirl of color blocks called For the Love of Color, which graces a south-facing wall at ASU Art Museum’s Project Space in Roosevelt Row. That’s where Marill and her husband, fellow artist Matthew Moore, purchased the building in 2011, which became the Combine Studios used for ASU Art Museum’s international artist residency program. Recently they sold the building, and Marill moved into a new studio space.

Before development forced Roosevelt Growhouse to relocate from Sixth Street to the former Knipe House property, the Roosevelt GROWop Boutique featured a Marill mural comprising dark green silhouettes of garden tools and other objects. Her mural paying homage to street artist Margaret Kilgallen is located on the southeast corner of Roosevelt and Second streets.

Her larger body of work includes varied imagery, from houseplants to kinetic sculpture inspired by renowned artist Alexander Calder. Birds are a favorite subject because of the patterns of their feathers, Marill says. Recently, Marill launched a line of fashion accessories called PunkWasp, starting with necklaces and bandannas.

Carrie Marill painting her cactus wren library mural.

Carrie Marill painting her cactus wren library mural.
Lynn Trimble

“Sometimes people can’t see the bridge between my bodies of work,” Marill says. “It’s all about the pattern.”

Marill got her latest mural commission last fall, after Scottsdale Public Art decided the library needed a work of public art, Vaughan-Brubaker says. That happened, he says, after someone from the City’s parks and recreation department contacted Donna Isaac, director for Scottsdale Public Art, and noted that Palomino was the only Scottsdale Public Library branch without a work of public art.

Scottsdale Civic Center Library, for example, has a giant plume-style pen sculpture near its entrance. It’s also home to a gallery space, where the current “Bird Cloud Island” exhibition features Phoenix artist Koryn Woodward Wasson’s take on a Midcentury Modern hotel.

“We already had a pool of mural artists put together,” Vaughan-Brubaker says. “So we did a selection panel, and they pitched Carrie.” The panel included community members and library staff, as well as artist Christopher Jagmin, Vaughan-Brubaker says.

Palomino Library in Scottsdale, site of Carrie Marill's new cactus wren mural.

Palomino Library in Scottsdale, site of Carrie Marill’s new cactus wren mural.
Lynn Trimble

Scottsdale Public Art has previously commissioned several murals, including one painted by JB Snyder at the Scottsdale Quarter in June 2016. For Canal Convergence 2017, it selected Isaac Caruso and Ashley Macias to paint murals along a portion of the Arizona Canal at the Scottsdale Waterfront.

Scottsdale Public Art officials reached out to Marill, who submitted a proposal with her design. But work didn’t start right way, because an adjacent school, Desert Mountain High School, also uses the library. And they wanted to wait until school was out, so the work wouldn’t disrupt the students.

Marill, a self-described bibliophile, says she’s excited to be working in a library. She’s even taken notice of the types of books shelved near the left portion of the wall. That’s where Marill started work on a section of arrow-type designs Saturday morning. Some mirror her own personal interests, from comic books to meditative practice.

She’s also glad that several of the young girls who visited the library while she was painting circled round to watch her work, and ask questions. “It’s important that they see someone working and making art, and that they know they can do it.”

But there’s another message Marill hopes they see in her work. “The arrows point in all directions,” she says. “You can go any direction you want with your life.”

Java Magazine Article

Java.May.Cover1.2017 copy
Photo: Tim Lanterman


punkwasp @ phoenix general & practical art

We Are Totally Coveting Carrie Marill’s New PunkWasp Jewelry Line

Phoenix artist Carrie Marill, who recently launched her punkwasp line of fashion accessories.

Phoenix artist Carrie Marill, who recently launched her punkwasp line of fashion accessories.
Joshua Hahn

Phoenix visual artist Carrie Marill recently launched a line of fashion accessories called punkwasp. It’s named for a moniker Marill has used for some time for her social media accounts.

Marill’s initial offerings include long necklaces created using beads or paint chips that range in price from $48 to $198. Currently, they’re available at Phoenix General, as well as Practical Art.

This is Marill’s first foray into creating a line of wearable art.

She’s represented by Lisa Sette Gallery, where recent exhibitions have featured her paintings, sculpture, and mixed-media works.

“Starting an accessories line has always been in the back of my mind,” Marill says. “I’m very influenced by fashion, and I’ve been wanting to create more wearable art.”

And now the time is right, she says.

In part, that’s because Marill has been doing a lot of traveling lately – to places including Mexico, California, Canada, and Japan.

“I hit a lot of beading places and hardware stores when I travel,” Marill says. Hence, she’s got plenty of material at the ready.

Necklaces created by Phoenix artist Carrie Marill.

Marill makes many of her necklaces using small beads, but some include paint chips she’s used in her broader art practice. The first group of necklaces Marill took to Practical Art featured paint chips previously shown in a 2016 exhibition at Lisa Sette Gallery.

But something else inspired Marill to finally create her own line of accessories.

It was talking with Joshua Hahn, who co-owns Phoenix General with Kenny Barrett.

Back in fall 2015, they commissioned Marill to paint a mural with silhouettes of garden tools and other objects on two exterior walls of their Roosevelt Growhouse boutique, GROWop. That mural was painted over after developers bought the property in 2016, and Roosevelt Growhouse was forced to relocate.

More recently, they’ve been thinking about other ways to work with local artists.

“We’ve wanted to collaborate with Carrie forever,” Hahn says. “Her work is so bright and colorful and full of pattern play, and we love that she’s always been inspired by a love for fashion.”

Marill’s own fashion inspirations include Marni and Missoni, but she’s also heavily influenced by Navajo weavings and surf culture.

“There’s an easiness to surf culture that infiltrates my work,” Marill says. “There’s a fun, idiosyncratic pattern-based lightness to them.” There aren’t any clasps, so everything is simple and easy to just throw on.

Every piece Marill makes is different.

And the necklaces are just the beginning, she says.

Soon colorful bandanas and art stickers will also be part of the mix.

Her first two bandana designs will feature artwork adapted from paintings chosen with Barrett and Hahn. Phoenix artist Tara Logsdon helped as well, by digitally adapting the designs to work as squares. The paintings that inspired Marill’s first bandanas are called De Colores and Gee’s Walker.

Nowadays, Marill is keeping plenty busy. Typically, she spends about three hours making jewelry. But she’s also got her ongoing art practice, and the daily responsibilities of family life.

For Marill, the punkwasp line is a way to inject a bit more fun into her creative life. “It’s a great way to expand and diversify my art practice, but also keep my work fresh.”

“I’m excited about making all these little affordable pieces of art,” Marill says


beaded wearables and their inspirations

“Style, style is Everything! to help you get up in the morning and down the stairs, it’s a way of  Life – without it you’re nobody” – Diana Vreeland

I have been on a painting break, having a ball in my studio making necklaces from beads I have collected from all over the world. Each piece is a one of a kind, I never make the same piece twice. If interested please email me for pricing and availability. If in Phoenix AZ – pieces are available at Phoenix General and Practical Art

Frank Stella

Frank Stella head shot

Frank Stella is one of the most well-regarded postwar American painters still working today. He is heralded for creating abstract paintings that bear no pictorial illusions or psychological or metaphysical references in twentieth-century painting. Frank Stella’s work is a teacher I routinely come back to his work for guidance and perspective. I am particularly drawn to his work with pattern, color and shaped canvases and the idea that the picture-as-object, rather than the picture as a representation of something, be it something in the physical world, or something in the artist’s emotional world.

Frank Stella Painting the black painting

Frank Stella Painting his Famous Black Paintings

Frank Stella Black and White paintings

The Black Paintings focused on basic elements of Painting – color, shape, and composition.

agbatana frank-stella-1968

Agbatana 1968

Frank Stella pastel

Frank Stella star-of-persia 1967

Star of Persia 1967

Hyena Stomp 1962 Frank Stella born 1936 Purchased 1965 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00730

Hyena Stomp 1962 

Frank Stella Rabat silkscreen

Rabat Silkscreen

frank-stella shaped canvas

Frank Stella yellow and red

Frank Stella, chocorua large


Baft 1965



Movements Stellas work is tied too: MinimalismHard-edge PaintingPost-Painterly Abstraction

Bridget Riley

26th July 1979: Bridget Riley, British painter and leading figure in the Op Art movement, standing in front of one of her curving 'line' paintings at her studio. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

26th July 1979: Bridget Riley, British painter and leading figure in the Op Art movement, standing in front of one of her curving ‘line’ paintings at her studio. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)

To follow very closely Riley’s work is to see that sameness is courted – because repetition is crucial to an artistic practice – but sameness is also avoided, because it is in the character of a true artistic practice to create change. So, to follow her work is to see that the continuity of artistic identity is asserted, not despite change, but because of change: because change is the very means of achieving continuity. […] The surprise of the first encounter with one of her paintings is owing to an astonishment that an inanimate object has apparently come to life and – more than that – is in communion with the viewer. The viewer’s surprise is, we recognise, is a self-created surprise. Perception is the medium just as much as is the canvas and the paint – more so, in that a painting, the artist acknowledges, ‘only comes to life when looked at from a certain distance’. In a way, it doesn’t exist factually at all; only in the viewer’s perception.

John Elderfield, Creating a way of looking in Bridget Riley: Die Streifenbilder / The Stripe Paintings 1961-2012, Galerie Max Hetzler, Holzwarth Publications and Ridinghouse, 2013

Ach?an 1981 Bridget Riley born 1931 Purchased 1983 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T03816

Bridget Riley Movement G

Nataraja 1993 Bridget Riley born 1931 Purchased 1994 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T06859

Bridget Riley op art

Bridget Riley painting inverted 1

Bridget Riley line drawings

Bridget Riley drawing with color

Bridget Riley print

Bridget Riley Gallery Shot


examples of trapezoid special cases

Trapezoids are in my brain, I have been referring to them in my most recent series of paintings and drawings. I like the balanced imbalance of the trapezoids and how they are made of symmetrical triangles which can be dissected and rearranged into patterns of infinite possibilities. Turns out under the inclusive definition, all parallelograms (including rhombusesrectangles and squares) are trapezoids. Rectangles have mirror symmetry on mid-edges; rhombuses have mirror symmetry on vertices, while squares have mirror symmetry on both mid-edges and vertices. Below are some cheeky source material for trapezoids found in our world. Follow me on Instagram or my website to see the finished works or works in progress that have utilized the ever changeable Trapezoid!

light-trapezoid trapezoid trapezoid bug face


Trapezoid Infield Covers med-baseball

trapezoid tabletrapezoid tray trapezoid-building-iscoscles

trapezoid butterfly

Trapezoid Faced Building

volcano trapezoid

trapezoidal form


Johnathan Lasker Paintings

Johnathen Lasker makes paintings I want to look at again and again…

Johnathan Lasker Head Shot

Jonathan Lasker was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, 1948 and currently lives and works in New York City. He studied at the School of Visual Arts, New York (1975-77) and California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (1977).

“A critic once wrote that my work asked the same question of its viewer that John Q. Public would ask when looking at an abstract painting. The question being, “What is that supposed to be?” What the critic, Stephen Westfall, meant was that although my forms are abstract, my paintings give viewers suggestions to help them perceive pictorial images in my paintings. Suggestion, of course, being the only way one sees images in a painting, even if the painting is supposedly “realistic.” In the case of this series of lithographs, which I call “Ball Figures,” round knots of scrawly black lines form ball shapes which are abutted next to one another to make forms which have human, animal, or plant associations. Also, in the backgrounds of these prints there are circles in alternating colors. These circles make patterns which partially fill the page ending in boundaries in the middle of the page forming horizon lines. In spots, groupings of circles are ringed-in by black lines which create subdominant figures in relation to the more pronounced “ball figures.” The picture which forms is arrived at by the viewer interpretively rather than literally.” -Jonathan Lasker

Jonathan Lasker painting

Johnathan Lasker Painting

Johnathan Lasker Painting

johnathan lasker abstract paintings

Johnathan Lasker Painting

Johnathan Lasker painting

Johnathan Lasker Painting

Johnathen Lasker Paintings and gallery shot


Ronald Davis

Artist: ronald davis  in his studio

Ronald Davis is so awesome

Ronald Davis, a.k.a. Ron Davis (born 1937), is an American painter whose work is associated with Geometric abstractionAbstract IllusionismLyrical AbstractionHard-edge paintingShaped canvas painting, Color field painting, and 3D Computer Graphics. He is a veteran of nearly seventy solo exhibitions and hundreds of group exhibitions.

His work has the lovely combination of being both smart and playful.

Artist: ronald davis, spindle 1968 polyester resin fiberglass

 Spindle 1968 Moulded Polyester Resin and Fiberglass

Artist: ronald davis 1968 moma polyester resin fiberglass

Dodecagon Series 1968, 60 1/2 x 132″ Moulded Polyester Resin and Fiberglass
Collection: Museum of Modern Art, NYC

Artist: ronald davis, Spoke 1968 polyester resin fiberglass

Spoke 1968,  60 1/2 x 132″ Moulded Polyester Resin and Fiberglass

Artist: ronald davis, vector, 1968 polyester resin fiberglass

Vector 1968,  60 1/2 x 132″ Moulded Polyester Resin and Fiberglass

Artist: ronald davis dodecagon polyester resin fiberglass

Dodecagon Series 1968, 60 1/2 x 132″ Moulded Polyester Resin and Fiberglass

Artist: ronald davis hot-dog-painting-1963

Hot Dog Painting, 1963

Artist: Ronald Davis roll-your-own-zig-zag-1963

Roll Your Own Zig Zag 1963