The task of the right eye is to peer into the telescope, while the left eye peers into the microscope.
– Leonora Carrington, Down Below

IMG_7383Yesterday I head downtown to meet with Liz, the Dorrance Planetarium Manager at the AZ Science Center. She is also the Executive Producer of ART360. 

Each First Friday, the Science Center hosts Adults Night Out which offers a variety of events to bring in the 18 year and older crowd (in other words – no children). They tie into the First Friday’s art scene with ART360 where they project an artists work with added effects, onto the planetarium dome. My work is scheduled to go up April 3rd. 

ART360s first showing is at 6 p.m. and the last show will be at 8:30 p.m. Video averages about 10 minutes, I’ll speak to the audience before and after. All guests check in at the ticket desk prior to entering the center and the show.  *Seating is first come – first served.

The evening includes roaming all four levels of the Center’s hands on science galleries ( I want to see all of them), a lecture “Gridiron Genomics: What happens when your brain takes a hit!” will be presented by Translational Genomics Research Institute [TGen] (I am interested in this). Mysteries of the Unseen World will be playing in the IMAX (Yes, I want to see this too) and Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro football Hall of Fame (my husband likes) will also be there. The latter 2 events include a fee, the rest is free.

Below are a few shots I was able to capture at yesterday’s meeting. Keep in mind things are moving. My viewing was not accompanied by sound, yours will be.

These first 4 images ↑↓ are a kaleidoscope layout of 2 large anatomy studies – one female and one male.  I recognize the parts including, large and small intestine, pelvic bone, and the bright blue lines are the lymphatic system. The last image ↓ below is an image of 2 figures, one in a handstand. It includes a feline.

In my eyes, microscopic meets macroscopic.  I take away the idea of creating an environment one day. I already am playing with an idea and this experience adds to that picture.

IMG_7384 IMG_7385 IMG_7386

My work is grounded in medical illustration but goes beyond that. Come and see human and animal anatomy move across the heavens.

I enjoy a quick walk through the human anatomy area and shoot these final photos of connecting subject matter.


the heart

IMG_7380 … Science!

For info and directions visit the website → AZ Science Center


hand and forearm mixed media drawing


I begin with graphite on drafting vellum. I’ve looked at the material for a good while now and wondered what to do with it. I’ve never worked with vellum.  I plan to sketch – to feel things out hand – then move on to a preferred sized sheet and begin a drawing. But as it goes – I take out color pencils, more graphite, various erasers, inks, acrylics and a rag. I draw the hand and arm skeleton as foundation, bring in muscles, add nerves, tendons and more. I work two days.


The materials make the work appears to come up off the page. I have an x-ray box in my studio, I sit the drawing on top of it, switch on the light – and watch it become something else.

In January I’ll conduct a workshop with 14 students at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. The focus – anatomy. I think I just organized the lesson.

The drawing and the video are examples of organic process, as is the sound I create. Here is the video – all 2 minutes and 24 seconds of it.

subtle – this body is a construct



The body is a construct.

I produced a video that shows my working process – how stage above became stage below. I produced 4 versions of the video. The real-time video runs about 30 minutes, it’s long. The first edited version is 22 minutes and it captures what I really like about my working process. It will run next to the original work on paper, at the exhibit.

The final version is about 13 minutes and you can see it on YouTube at the link below. The first part is activity, and the last part shows stages of the composition to completion.

I had to adjust the whole thing numerous times, to be able to finally upload it and share. I  enjoyed most of the process. I learned a few things…

Putting together a quality video is complicated.

There’s text,
there’s random sound caught on the radio as I worked, I learned to lift it and place it where I wanted it (it was weirdly applicable and it starts the video and ends the video),
then there’s the deliberately created sound,
there are transition points …

all layered and as consuming as making a small painting

Most important I learned sharing artist process cannot be captured in its true-scope. Once you start manipulating something…well…it ceases to be what it is and becomes something else, yes it transforms. It’s like it goes from the natural, to the man-made.

Patricia, the friend that commissioned the work – it’s her back body – is going to let me borrow it for the exhibition. That’s what she said anyway. Thanks Pat, timing is everything.

his – nothing in stasis

I’ve completed a set of His and Hers pelvic girdles. The works are studies, abstracted and detailed, 13″ x 13″,  casein on canvas paintings.

The composition begins very simple and then gets very complex…. there’s a lesson in here somewhere.

I hope these works in some small way cause you to take care – of yourself and our world. We are so intricately connected.

Below is a very short video I put together showing various process steps in of the making of His. It’s less than 2 minutes long, and it shows the work in its accurate color. I posted these black and whites, because I really like the detail that shows up. And because I am considering something to display them this way as well.

To see read about Hers and access the video link → click here.

no woman is an island…cont’d.

I think the pieces Keri and I did were ahead of their time. I just wanted to give them a place for people to continue to see our work, while supporting all the great artists we have worked with.
– Brian McHugh talking about early Phoenix productions he’s re-edited.

If I’ve not mentioned it lately, the no woman is an island posts are always about those who support my work. I’m fortunate they continue.

Here’s Brian McHugh…

I am sole owner/employee of the vast corporation known as MOJOVIDEO Productions. I am an army of one, Brian McHugh states with candid humor. He describes himself as a freelance non-linear video editor and camera operator.  Currently he’s based in Nashville, Tennessee.

Once upon a time Brian and his wife, Keri Jhaveri, lived in Phoenix.

Keri called me one afternoon, all those years ago, to see if I’d be interested in letting them drop into my studio and film me working. The footage would become part of a successful project Brian had created called  Sunday Morning Artist Series. Being familiar with the segment that ran on a local station, I agreed.

They arrived to my studio the following week. Keri remained off camera and asked a list of prepared questions which I answered, while Brian filmed. I experienced them as a fine balance of creative and professional.

Before leaving the studio that day, Keri purchased a small sketch called Prudence. Somehow that little drawing resembled her, in content and in form….truly. We planned to go to a little eating dive that served excellent huevos con chorizo (for dinner). That sealed the friendship.

In all seriousness Brian’s busy life includes working in broadcast television for over ten years producing, shooting and editing news, independent film and documentaries.

Here’s a new version of the video he made about my work and work process. Below it are links to visit if you want to know more about MojoVideoProduction and Brian McHugh.

Phoenix Artist Monica Aissa Martinez from Brian McHugh on Vimeo.

More about  Brian Mchugh ← click on his name. There are a couple of the original Sunday Morning Artist Series (including mine).

To see other artist videos and newer projects → Brian McHugh Vimeo
Brian wants you to feel free to post comments and “like” them … so do that.

This re-edit is a surprise. Thanks much Brian. Say hey to Keri.

a video – nothing is ever really in stasis

Planning out a three person show for January of 2013.  Mesa Contemporary Arts Center will host Carolyn Lavender, Mary Shindell and myself in our second round of working together.  We’re tossing ideas for a title.  Right now it’s Works.  Simple title, but it probably won’t work for practical reasons.

We proposed art (drawing, painting, sculpture), a blog to document the experience, and video.

I’ve played with video for a while. I finally pulled something together I felt I could publish to You-Tube.  It’s like being a freshman all over again, feeling the uncertainty and excitement of learning something new.

The idea is for the video to run during exhibition. I keep this in mind as I experiment. I never show the viewer the full artwork, it will be there for one to see in person.  I start with 5 minutes of process, and then about 3 minutes of details of the completed artwork which is very large and hard to photograph. It creates interesting visuals in small parts. I’m also messing with sound which I have interest in and have incorporated into a couple of solo shows already.

The first few seconds of the video you hear background live and true to the moment radio which is running an interview about Christians and Muslims and at the end you hear something more lighthearted about hugging a cat.  I dub sound into the middle of the video – artist and musician Joe Willie Smith and myself pulled this together a few years back. It’s supposed to be visceral…noise. It adopted a primitive tone. At the moment I’m thinking I want more visceral. And a bit lower. Will see. It’s enough of a start  to get my mind focused on the idea of video.

I recently saw a video on artist Kiki Smith. She commented that when an artist feels a need to do something, they should do it … themselves. In her case, it was a book.  In my case, maybe its this video.

Feel free to comment, as I have so much to learn. The video is titled same as the artwork, Nothing In Stasis.