Grass is Growing

It’s SPRINGTIME and the 
Grass is Growing
(especially in my studio)

Work continues on
The Sentinel
Come check it out


is showcasing a very special exhibit in partnership with 
local artists and 
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento.

Seven local artists have created art on recycled doors in the theme of 

“What Home Means to Me”,

Artists include:
David Asch, Macee Burns, Sheldon Carpenter, Sondra Hersh,  Kate Riley, Jennifer Tachera, and Kerri Warner

Come to the Opening Reception
Second Saturday

April 8     6-9pm.

Work will be at ARTHOUSE 
until April 28

Then the doors will be moved to the Railyards 
where they will be auctioned off at the 
“Hard Hats and High Heels Gala” to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

My studio is part of ARTHOUSE
It includes a gallery and 20 other artists.

Located on the second floor of  “The Fuller Building”

1021 R Street, 2nd Floor     Sacramento CA


New collage!

I’ve just started work on a new private commission for a family that recently moved from the Sacramento area to Southern California. They wanted something that hearkens back to Sacto. This is the drawing I’ll be working from.

river bend - green alt cropped

Now it’s time to get started!!!


Butterfly Effect – DONE!!

I’ve been working on “Butterfly Effect” for a year.  It was commissioned by the LA County Arts Commission for a new mental health clinic.  The focus is on CHANGE.  Changing oneself, the community, the environment….  And how one small change can have a ripple effect – a “Butterfly Effect”. At an early presentation I was told there would be more volume than walls.  I was asked if I could make something 3D. Considering that my usual medium is 2D Fabric Collage, this was quite a change. But I was game!

The finished sculpture is 10′ x 16′ in plan.  The butterflies hang down 12.5′.  Once installed, I was relieved that the scale seems perfect for the space.  I did most of my designing with a 3D graphics program (thank you Paul!)  I had never worked with 3D graphics before.  Would it work?  Hallelujah!!!  The sculpture looks just like the renderings. It was an amazing experience!!!

Installation happened last Wed and Thurs (June 17/18).  I’d mocked up parts of it in my studio, but I’d never seen the whole thing assembled.  And I’d certainly never seen it starting at 23 feet above the floor!

Day One was protecting the floor, getting the scissor lifts in, unwrapping everything, hanging the panel (the one thing that took 4 guys), and getting everything ready for Day Two.  The second day was crazy!  Branches went up.  Bags of butterflies were hung from their little widgets.  And then the butterflies were released.  Yikes!!!

IMG_8226 IMG_8342IMG_8357 IMG_8363 IMG_8367IMG_8374 IMG_8383 IMG_8393 IMG_8421 IMG_8441 IMG_8401IMG_8400IMG_8464 IMG_8443Merle IMG_8607

I took a few days to drive back up the coast and decompress a bit.  ‘Just got back to Sac Tuesday night.  Now on to the next project…..

Autumn updates


This fall marks the 15th year I’ve been in my studio at ARTHOUSE!!!  So it seemed only right to have a Quinceanera celebration.  It was a fun affair – full of pink, glitter, cupcakes, and champagne.

Meanwhile, I’m working on a large-scale suspended sculpture for a new building in LA County.  It’s a public art commission – my first sculpture!!  It will be 10’x16’x11′ when installed.  In my studio right now I’ve been mocking up pieces of it.  LOTS of butterflies!!!!


Today I’m off to San Francisco to do a walk-thru with that city’s public art commissioners. I’ve been short-listed for an interior lobby piece.  I won’t know how it goes until early spring, 2015.  So think good thoughts, but don’t hold your breath!


Last Monday morning I received an email telling me I had won Best of Show in an international juried art competition!!  What a way to start the week!!

Sierra Water     Sierra Water, 58″x34″, detail below

Sierra Water, detail

The winning collage is “Sierra Water”.  The juror, Maggie Witt, had this to say about my work:

I could not believe, at first, that Sierra Water was a fiber collage. The painterly treatment of the scene, the sheen of the water’s reflection and the sharpness of the rocks’ contours and shadows–all these things belonged, in my unenlightened mind, to the world of paint and canvas. Ms. Axelrad has proven to me how fiber can meet and even exceed the greatest accomplishments of other, perhaps more “conventional” media.

To see the competition, click on this link

To see the original collage, visit it at the Ritz Carlton at Northstar (near Lake Tahoe)

I wonder what will happen THIS week?!?!?



Happy Camper



Right near our campsite.  Kings Canyon

Near our campsite. Kings Canyon

I recently had the opportunity to visit Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park.  What a treat!!!!  There’s a group of college friends that has been gathering for a camping trip every July – for the past 40 years.  I was honored to be a part of that group this year.  At the peak we had 23 people, 4 dogs and 1 cat – all in our private campsite.  A great experience!!!!

On our last day, Tom and I found a river that was a series of gorgeous swimming holes.  A lady at a gas station told us about it.  It’s not on any map we saw.  And NO, I’m not telling you where it is; we never saw one other person the whole time we were there.

Chillin' at the swimmin' hole

Chillin’ at the swimmin’ hole

Our private swimming hole and waterfall

Our private swimming hole and waterfall

All of the scenery…….  CRAZY amazing!!!  I took over 1000 photos.  Probably have images for a lifetime of fabric collages.  Rocks and water.  Sequoias.  Long valley views.  I think I’ll start with a sequoia piece…… We got up at the crack-o’-dawn and were the very first car in the parking lot for the sequoia grove.  ‘Had the whole place to ourselves for at least an hour.  And got that great early morning light.




I’m going crazy!

In my studio, May 2014I did get to visit my studio last weekend.  It was the monthly Second Saturday artwalk.  There I was, sitting in my chair with my foot up on my worktable.  It was nice to see that it’s all still there.  Also nice to see the other studio artists at ARTHOUSE.  But that’s about it for a while.  The foot is getting better rapidly, but……  My hand will be in a cast until at least June 9.  No scissors.  No drawing.  I’m trying to train my left hand, but it’s a slow process.

On the plus side……  The public art commission I was awarded in spring of 2013 by LA County is finally set to start.  We should be having a kickoff meeting in early June. I’ll keep you posted here.  I think this might be a very interesting project!!!  They are talking 3D.  Yikes!!

Time Out

ALAS! I’ll be out of the studio for a while. Old injuries have caught up with me and needed fixing. Since I’d be out of the studio a while with each one, I decided to multitask my recoveries. I need to keep my foot elevated, and my hand will be in a cast for about 5 more weeks. ‘Guess I won’t be standing at my design wall or wielding scissors and pins for a while.
Netflix time!!!
But I WILL be in my studio tomorrow evening for Second Saturday. Just kicking back with my foot up……..foot


My new favorite collage

Axelrad - Redwoods 2, 42x28, 2014Mothers love each of their children equally.  As a mother of an only child, I can easily attest to that.  But as an artist, I confess, I love some of my pieces more than others.  As Orwell expressed,  some are just more equal than others.  I do love Redwoods 2 .It will soon be hanging over a fireplace in the home of a lovely California family.  But meanwhile, It will be in my studio for a wee bit of time.  It’s all framed and looking gorgeous.  If Im not in my studio you can see it through the glass door of my studio.

R Street Lofts!!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!!

Today was a special day for those of us in love with R Street.  The project (formerly known as Capital Artists Lofts) we’ve all been waiting for, the Warehouse Artists Lofts, had its groundbreaking just this morning.  Yay!!!!