Punkadoodle Studios

think beyond the canvas

August 6, 2013
by kybro

White Mountain National Forest Artist Residency!

  I’m excited to announce my acceptance to do an artist residency in the White Mountain National Forest in partnership with the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire and I leave this coming weekend to embark on my artistic adventure! Not having spent more than a full day focused on my artwork for at least 1-2 years I’m starting to think this may be a dream come true. Not only do I get to spend 3 weeks roaming, exploring and interpreting a nationally recognized area of natural beauty and diversity – I will be able to imagine, contemplate, create and just be an artist. OOOhhhh! I’m getting all tingly!

Here is an excerpt from my proposal that was the catalyst to me receiving this amazing opportunity:

“Each individual is given a limited time on this earth. Interactions with people, animals, objects, and the environment are all ways that show this passage of time, this journey, this shall I say, performance. This temporary existence or performance is an opportunity to grow, share, connect and discover. Richard Long walked across diverse landscapes to engage in a ritual long done by men who walk to their holy lands, yet he honored the earth by creating with her natural materials.  To much discrepancy, Christo & Jean-Claude wrapped islands, trees and coastlines like presents waiting to be opened, a gift to the human race. Currently, Andy Goldsworthy entrances us with his ephemeral environmental sculptures respecting the unspoiled settings that are becoming a rarity in our modern society.  Each of these artists are actively participating in a dialogue with the natural world, experiencing and engaging in it from their own unique perspective. I propose to do the same during my residency at the WMNF.  During the discourse I will observe, document and try to tame the ephemeral. Nature is never still, even on the quietest, windless nights. Questions I strive to unveil are: What does this ever-changing natural world teach us about ourselves, our deepest desires and instincts; what does she have to say; and how can her voice be heard amongst the chatter of our over-stimulated planet?”

I will be sculpting with natural materials to create site-specific ephemeral work that responds to the environment; drawing with graphite on paper to capture the shift of movement in time in the forest; and writing intuitive reflections and responses to my work.

Follow me here through the progress of my residency, I will be posting writings and works in progress – or come to any of the public programs I am facilitating:

Programs with Environmental Artist Kyle Browne

Come & Meet Kyle
Monday August 12, 6 to 7 p.m.
WMNF Headquarters, Campton

Kyle will offer an overview of the history and practice of environmental art and some of the artists who have inspired her. She’ll talk about her own art and the work she is planning to do during her residency.


Collaborative Family Art-Making
Saturday, August 17, 1 to 4 p.m.
AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch

Join artist Kyle Browne to create a collaborative natural assemblage using materials from the forest. The group will build a large mandala inspired by the patterns of nature and natural objects found on the forest floor. This piece will honor the idea of the constantly changing forest environment.


A Walk in Nature
Tuesday, September 3, 9:30 a.m. to noon
Greeley Ponds Trail, Kancamagus Highway

Inspired by environmental artist Richard Long who considered walking through natural spaces to be art, the group will contemplatively walk through the forest to observe and experience its magic. Participants are encouraged to bring a sketchbook to take short drawing breaks to capture what they notice. At the end of the walk, a place will be found to create an ephemeral piece of art with natural materials inspired by the walking exploration. Wear comfortable hiking/walking shoes, and bring water and snacks. Preregistration is requested.


Culminating Event for Both Artists:

Informal exhibit & talk
Saturday, September 7
Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery
69 Maple St., Center Sandwich

March 20, 2013
by kybro

Running = Outdoor Adventure even on 1st day of Spring in New England

Feeling restless like everyone else who has spent enough time indoors watching the skies gloom over, puddles freeze and whipping white streaks fly by all winter, I saw a glimmer of sun and decided a run through the park was a great idea to honor this first day of Spring. Not fooled when I saw the temperatures were still at 30 degrees I bundled up and made my exit.

Without delay the wind stung my cheeks and my inhales were razors to my lungs. I barely had made it 100 feet when black ice caused my runners pace to stop, make baby steps to avoid a sore bottom and continue. Snow drifts of at least 6 inches proved unavoidable obstacles that soaked over my ankle high sneakers – not to mention the blasts of side-swiping winds that blew the fine snow, sand and grit into other barely visible crevices and my tearing eyes. I was cursing it all, the snow, the wind, the winter, my Vitamin D deficiency and living in New England. “For ?#$%@!!* sake – it’s the first day of Spring!”

Then my ever-optimistic self chimed in quite annoyingly, “Now come on, think of this as an adventure, you know how much you love adventures! And you are getting a good work-out.” Quite amazing what a shift in perspective can do. Slowly I pushed my body forward (even though the wind had other ideas), avoided sloshing pools of wet mud and embraced the force of nature as well as the Canadian geese I had to maneuver around. The highlight? A 15 second relief from the wind, a tease of warmth as the clouds opened and realizing I was all alone to breath in this pure white winter (even if it is spring) wonderland.

Nothing like a good adventure to start the season – Happy Spring!

October 15, 2012
by kybro

Seaweed Weaving

One of the greatest things about creating is you never know what is going to happen. I came to the beach with an open, non-judgmental mind, welcoming the materials to speak to me and began collecting. It was only in the action of doing – making – that I knew how I wanted to arrange the long reeds, sticks and crunchy seaweed. The spontaneous connections, the unknown, the creating is what makes this a soulful process. Engaging mind, body, spirit to offer something to the earth. An ephemeral weaving of smelly, twisted, organic lengths of multiple shades of brown. The look of a child’s work – unstructured, spontaneous, loose, rough. An expression of place and time that will fade with the change in weather.


June 2, 2012
by kybro

Reflecting Oneself

A periwinkle, a small crustacean with a slug/snail-like living organism protected by its tough granite-like shell, clinging onto rocks and each other underwater to survive. Once the live organism has died the somewhat boring dull brown shell washes ashore cluttering the tidal line with other dead and dried out sea life.

The one beautiful aspect of the periwinkle (besides its very cute name) is the spiral. The perfect swirl forms the little pointy nose (or hat – whatever you prefer) at the pinnacle of the periwinkle. I gathered hundreds of these ‘winkles today. I sat at the tide line sifting and sorting like a gold panner foraging for his precious nugget. Although I came across some delicate, eye-pleasing honey yellow species, these were not the materials for today. The dull, overlooked, normal little winkles that camouflage with the seaweed, filled my hands, my cup, my bag. Wondering what to do with about 3 lbs of these small shells I finally dumped them in between a small crevice formed by two rocks. Measuring my treasure I wondered if the significance of 3 lbs was enough to make any sort of statement…or anything at all.

These small shells already distributed all over the beach had just been redistributed into one condensed area…so what?! They are dull, brown and too many already clutter the beach. Their mass in numbers had drawn them to me and I wanted to put them into every crevice, every hole, every negative space, but even then what? People were also starting to flood the beach ruining my concentration and provoking self-consciousness. I thought of the periwinkles striking feature… the spiral. Should I make it reflect itself? The spiral such a common element in nature’s design, artists work and among doodlers…is it too played out? I suppose, but not enough for me to care. The periwinkles marched in solid formation bouncing off the walls of the stoic rocks and into a form they can call their own. So for those posers, those with flashy colors and unique patterns watch out for these simple shells – this is their truth, their identity and it only made sense to honor it.


How does this speak to me- to the human race? How do we show our truths and identities, reflecting ourselves through an awkward action. How can we take the possibly single thing we may be proud of in ourselves and honor it – letting the dull, potentially mundane things fade away for a day – a tide – a cycle of the moon and give shape to our truths? Perhaps there is only one single positive truth…but it’s there and some of us wear it on our sleeves while for others the spiral lingers deep in the caves of our soul.

With the next tide the spiral will wash away reminding us of the delicate balance between honor, pride and the ego. These dull little ‘winkles have allowed me to harness their one beautiful aesthetic for a tide cycle and then disperse back to their humble selves possessing a new quality and respect for their ultimate truths.

Reflecting Oneself


May 25, 2012
by kybro

Negative2Positive in Action!

Negative2Positive is a project that I’ve been working on for a couple of years where I collect debris that has washed up on beaches and identify ones that have interesting negative spaces to use in creating images. I use these negative spaces to create positive patterns & designs – taking the negative of this plastic pollution and transforming it into a positive. This past weekend I was able to share this with willing participants at the Peabody Essex Museum, pem.org. I was impressed with the range of work from adults to children and most student artists were impressed with the concept and thought it was an innovative idea to tuck away in the ‘that was interesting’ part of their brains.

How you can do your own negative2positive drawings:

1. Discover an everyday object/package/container with interesting negative shapes that has been discarded in your trash, your neighbors recycling bin, or sadly along the beach, street or park. To clarify, negative shapes are cutouts, the spaces in between and/or the empty areas in an item. For example: the hole in the middle of the cd

2. Use this object (hopefully something more exciting than a cd) with a pencil to trace the negative space. Think about a way that it can be an interesting pattern. Using the pencil fill in the outlines so they are a solid form

3. Then use the same pattern with a different value or color of pencil and trace it again in a way that it relates to the first. This could be through overlapping, touching, repeated alignment

4. Repeat this 3-4 times and see what unique pattern or design you can come up with. Play around with value, color and even multiple negative space objects. Have fun and be creative! Remember there are no mistakes in art.

5. When you feel confident about this take it to a more conceptual level and think about how you can find something you find negative and make it positive!

Below are some photos of the students work at PEM – get inspired!



April 22, 2012
by kybro

Earth Day – What is the Mona Lisa smiling about now?

I thought about organizing friends, family or strangers to join me in a beach clean-up – a creative beach clean-up or other. But in the final event I went on a solo mission giving me time to reflect on human nature, to feel disgust, confusion, awe and ultimately surprise at what we humans are bringing upon our world and each other. One small beach, two pairs of hands, multiple bags and a sense of purpose.

At mid-tide I rode my bike to a nearby beach and began the slow, searching walk. I was a beach-comber looking for treasures, but not the normal shells and sea glass, the things that caught my eye were those sparkling plastic wrappers reflecting the warm sun and polluting our oceans. Methodically I stepped along the tide line, straining my eyes for goodies or seeing the large items all too clearly. Recyclables went into one bag, rubbish in another and finally novelties in the third. Yes these trashy trinkets someday may end up in a conceptual, environmentally minded art piece that speaks to my sadness, anger and desire for change. Right now however they take up precious closet & drawer space while those ideas mingle and exchange pleasantries over tea.

I kept my eye out for the most surprising finds. Of course the plethora of plastic bottles, aluminum cans, straws and cigar or candy wrappers made the grand entrance but one thing that caught me off guard was the clothes. On the surface a simple piece of fabric lay, however the sand had trapped the goods and in iceberg fashion the full particles of clothing were hidden to the naked eye. I can only imagine what a child building a sand castle would have discovered this summer as he digs in his shovel only to come up with a hole ridden butterfly t-shirt. I freed two tank tops, two sweaters, one hoodie, a pair of boxers, pajama pants and two t-shirts, not to mention the mangled fabric encrusted with dried seaweed on higher ground. I was flabbergasted. I mean I’m sure I’ve lost a couple items myself over the years, but to this extent… I wondered how many were to go skinny dipping in the ocean… in mid-winter?!

However the biggest and best find to this day yet was the Mona Lisa. As I emptied out my second bag of rubbish I noticed something square and white laying near the still beached docks. As I picked it up I realized it was a stretched canvas and on the front none other than an amateur representation of the Mona Lisa. Her yellow face was crackled and the background unfinished but her smug smile still clung to the surface like a limpet to a rock. How and why this had arrived at such a venue baffled yet intrigued me. What would Mona Lisa say of her situation? Her new identification as marine debris? I felt like it could be the beginning to a Tom Robbins novel, an opening to a saga of mystery and fantasy. I would not pass this up – although thinking my other half may rationally think I’ve stepped over the line – so prepared to file it away among other stacks of paper and boards when I returned home.

My back began to ache at the rate in which my disgust grew every time I bent down to pick up another plastic fork, half-buried juice box or piece of styrofoam. I was only one trying to help this situation and their were so many forces against me. Multiple times I saw wind blow a container out of a trash bin or someones unconcerned hands. I observed a seagull drop a McDonald’s bag full of condiments from 25ft in the air into the unsuspecting harbor waves. But was I to give up? No, because even this small act of consciousness and awareness for the world is better than none at all.

Disposing of my goods, stuffing the recyclables in my backpack and haphazardly stuffing the Mona Lisa into a bag I swerved on home with sandy toes, a little less happy, but more determined to raise awareness about this issue. When I arrived to show off my finds ready for the normal rolling of the eyes and ‘where are you putting all that trash’? I found the Mona Lisa eagerly being swept from my hands promptly replacing a painting of greater value on our wall. Surprised yet delighted I laughed at this unexpected turn of events, letting her eyes follow me down the hall. The day’s effort and desperation seemed small to the reward we had just gained. How does this reflect on the world of marine debris – I say one for nature and one for women! Maybe Mona Lisa does have something to smile about after all….

To see more facts about marine debris and ideas of what you can do to help go to: marinedebris.noaa.gov/outreach/pdfs/mdfacts.pdf

April 18, 2012
by kybro

California Calling

The west was calling my name recently as I sketched the cypress trees of Big Sur and the inland gold studded rivers of the NorCal Redwood region. The drawback, I was sketching from photographs – collaging the images together to form the perfect scene. If only I had been there to sit under the cypress tree emboldened on the edge of a cliff with the salty wind whipping at my blank pages. If only I had been there rocks embedding under my thighs, toes dipped in the cold river water as my pencil captured the vibrancy of the natural surroundings. Would my drawings have been more convincing? The attitude and feelings emerging through the shades of graphite? Possibly. But alas here I sit far away re-visiting places I’ve been and grateful that I can see them detailed in all their glory in my mind’s eye. The cyclical nature of time determines the when, where and how – and like the un-drawn images in my sketchbook there are pages to fill in this life yet.

The sketches were drawn for a friend’s first album, California Windfall, An Unexpected Stroke of Luck – I felt pretty lucky myself they asked me to be a part of this special collaboration with the beautiful Avery Rose, her rockin’ band and the other designers…