Friday, May 6, 2022

Wildly important question

For my fellow art lovers: 

 I am ready to redesign my art website and want to make sure I am creating art that resonates with you.Wwould you mind answering these two questions? It would mean the world to me.

If you prefer to message me instead, here are the questions:

1.    When it comes to purchasing small and medium sized paintings of iconic subjects meant to help you feel at home or satisfy the need to escape, what is your biggest challenge or frustration?

2.    What is the general process you go through when finding a work of art or art merchandise that you want to buy?

                    email me at

 Please be as specific and detailed as possible. My goal is to create fun art that uncovers and celebrates the hard mysteries of our place in the universe and provide amazing customer service!

Thank you so much.


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Are you registered to Vote? Think again.

 Many voter polls are being purged. Don't wait to arrive at the polls and find you are no longer a registered voter. Check your status here. (works for any state)

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Virtual Art talk May 5th 7pm


Hey friends!

Mark your calendars and drop in next Thursday evening to a zoom gathering of my latest workshop, “Producing an Art Series with an Accountability Coach”,  participant’s culminating show. For six weeks this winter, through the sponsorship of Arts-Midhudson,  I worked as an accountability coach for artists seeking to develop a series of work. Every Tuesday evening we would check in with each other, give feedback and celebrate the progress. 
See link below to RSVP:

The artists who participated are from NY to NM. One artist had just moved and created a series of 30 collages constrained by the size of her cardboard boxes. Another created a series of expressive works intended for a large exhibition in New Jersey. Another artist used the six weeks to paint and mourn the recent loss of her siblings. A couple artists are new to the art world and allowed themselves to experiment, produce, and plan exposure. The collaborative support and wisdom of the group was so exciting. Two artists used the time to create illustrations following a specific screen play or children’s tale. They experimented and created in new media, combining the processes innovatively. Subjects range from Goddesses to grids. 
Drop in next Thursday to see what happened. 

I have been an artist long enough to grow two babies to young men! With all the distractions of motherhood and farm life, I have found the parameters of working in series to be the best way to show up for myself. It’s about discipline and curiosity. the most exciting thing is to look back at the end to the beginning. There are so many lessons to gather along the way! My next workshop is already full. We max out at 7-9, so everyone gets time to share and the attention they deserve. Perhaps this is something you or a friend of yours might be interested in participating in someday? Feel free to shoot me an email and i will put you on a waiting list.

Have a wonderful weekend.
Hope to see you at the show!


Friday, February 25, 2022

How to Experience Art and Culture in NYC without Breaking the Bank

 Blog contributor, Laura Pearson is passionate about teaching the younger generation. Edutude was built to share resources on how to keep children engaged and in love with learning. 

photo from


New York City offers some of the best experiences in the world for visitors and is full of art and culture, but for travelers who aren’t familiar with the city – and for those on a budget – it can be difficult to get to everything on their must-see list during their stay. There are a few hacks, however, for making sure you’re able to see the sights without breaking the bank. Here are some of the best ways to see the best NYC has to offer on the cheap, courtesy of Tilly Studio.


Plan Ahead


One of the first things you’ll want to do is consult a map and mark all the places you want to see. You’ll also want to double check whether these locations have special COVID protocols. Divide up your destinations by the number of days you’ll be staying and start with one or two sections per day; this way, you won’t be spending extra money on taxi or subway fare to shuttle all over the place.


It’s also a good idea to consider touring historic neighborhoods – think Greenwich and Tribeca – rather than sticking to more touristy spots. This will give you a good dose of New York culture without making you reach too deep into your pockets. Check out free options for transportation and sightseeing, as well, such as the Staten Island Ferry and Central Park, where there are usually street performers or art installations to view.


All that being said, there are certain things you should leave behind – like your credit worries, your calendar, and your sense of conformity. After all, you’re on vacation!




Definitely explore Groupon before your trip to see if there are any good deals relating to places you’ll want to visit. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to have your itinerary beside you when you’re looking for deals, because you only have 24 hours to purchase a Groupon (although you have more time than that to use it).


Check Hours of Operation


You can save yourself time and the money it costs to get to certain attractions by checking hours or operation before you go. Many destinations are still operating on reduced or different schedules because of COVID. So, be sure to plan your visits around the most up-to-date information.


Go Last-Minute


For some, it pays to wait until the last minute. If you’re looking to do a Broadway show, check out the TKTS booth – located in Times Square – just before the show starts for heavily discounted tickets on shows that haven’t sold out. That way, you can save as much as 50%!


Take Advantage of the Park


Fall in New York City can be beautiful. If you’re headed there on vacation, take advantage of all Central Park has to offer – such as getting picnics to go, snapping pics of the fall foliage, and/or visiting the Central Park Zoo.


With New York being one of the most expensive and picturesque places to visit in the U.S., it’s important to budget wisely and do a little research before you arrive so you won’t be trying to plan on the fly. But once you’re there, give yourself some flexibility in terms of your schedule -- and have fun!


Tilly Strauss of Tilly Studio is an award winning artist who works in Northeast NY. You can view her work here. If you have questions or you’d like to collaborate, feel free to contact her at

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Three reasons why “serious” artists need to make valentines too


1.     Materiality

Don’t worry about archival quality, Get over it. Grab a pair of scissors and go ephemeral. 

Use cheap and fun materials that you haven’t used since grade school, such as

glitter, doilies, stickers, crayons, and tape. You can spend a lot of money or none. It’s time to scour the junk drawers and baskets and find those cool wrappers you couldn’t throw out.

It’s a great time to recycle and use up saved detritus, like postcards, and ticket stubs.


2.     Message

It is all about generosity of spirit. Receiving and creating Valentines are meant to alleviate sorrows and burdened hearts. They aren’t about whether you are loved or not- they are playful exchanges of color and whimsy. Make one for the mailman! Give one to the cook at the restaurant! Share with strangers. (Though – I once gave one to an older gentleman who regularly sat in the last pew of my church. I was grateful for the way he always offered a smile when I needed it most. He pulled me aside the following week to nervously tell me that he was a confirmed bachelor!)


3.     Method

Play. Be silly. Cultivate a little garden of color in your own heart.

Lighten up. As the winter darkness weighs heavily on most of us, I believe the crafting of frilly pink cards can be a spring to the spirit. Let it all hang out. Creating these small tokens of color can be a meditation on all the connections we have to each other.

Don’t be so self-important. Create free art!


Sunday, January 30, 2022

How do YOU measure up?

 As an ongoing investigation into both the Culture’s definition of beauty and my personal definition of self, I have been looking into historic fashion choices and not-so-subtle childhood messages handed down through toys.


Barbie was the first adult toy marketed for children. It was modeled after a sex toy, called the Lilli, made for German men. Here is one Link to learn more.  My mother strongly opposed acquiring the doll, but my sister and I managed to inherit our babysitter’s collection. Soon after, I had a nightmare of my Barbie aiming to kill me.

My fears of being less than the proportions idealized by media and plastic Barbie, may have led me to suffer anorexia nervosa as a teenager. After all, she came with a wardrobe and a teeny book called How to Lose Weight. Inside it just said, “don’t eat”.

 In less than 100 years, her tiny, pointed feet and wide-set eyes, that only looked demurely sideways, her impossibly narrow waist, and large breasts, and her pearly-pink hairless skin have become an ideal for today’s beauty standards. There is speculation that she could have led to the growingcosmetic surgery business today, the fear of body hair, and an embracing of plasticity as a filter.


Distorted body proportions and exaggerated poses are everywhere through time. In the 1800s the Hottentot Venus, (a stolen 20-year-old Khoikhoi woman from South Africa: Saartji Baartman), was paraded against her will and almost naked for the titillating the male European gaze. Here is one link to learn more about this. Women in France and England adopted bustles and Basques into their fashion to mimic the enlarged rear of the South African.

 As we look to history, I am amazed at the embrace of glamour through whitening of skin with the lead paint and arsenic wafers (that slowly poisoned the wearer). I am horrified by the bound miniature feet of the Asian nobility. I panic at the elongated necks of the Myanmar and imagine the dread of the daily use of a whale bone corsets. I willingly ignore the affect of the porn industry on beauty.



As recently as 2014 Kim Kardashian a woman who uses her sexual appeal as currency to sell a fashion line, posed as the Khoikhoi woman, balancing a champagne glass on her derriere for a shot which enraged many feminists and blacks. Beyonce is rumored to be thinking of making a film about Baartman, but that has led to it's own furor.


Fashion minimizes and exagerates the average body type. It always has and always will. How do you live with that constant feeling of falling short or being in the wrong time? How does your body measure up? I am interested in your thoughts.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Visibly Shaken

Perhaps it is the triple threat of a new year, finding myself 60 years old and in a novel government job, that gets me peering hard into the calendar, the mirror and the myths. 


Self portrait, made of maps
The new year is a natural time to switch calendars and start new planners. January seems the month to revisit goals and make resolutions, and to reflect on how I have shown up, as well as who is new and who is missing. There are no kids in the house anymore. The covid years, and resulting lack of visitors, have me less defined by housework.


Self Portrait with Broom and Carmella's shoes

Being 60 adds a new cloak of invisibility to my wardrobe. Sometimes I am startled by my reflection, and I see how much I look like my mother. There is also a newfound sense of abandon. I care less about the social restraints of the patriarchy. I ache for a revitalized sisterhood, and I find myself greeting the moon, in all her cycles, as an old friend. My nurturing impulses, faced with an empty nest, have shifted my focus more deeply toward the community and wider environmental politics.


Self portrait with (map) wings

As Town Clerk of North East NY, I find myself in a totally novel position. I’m not a teacher, or an artist, or an explorer. Instead, I am a historian, a record keeper, a resource, and member of a tight group of secretaries. The childhood spent playing with office supplies has come full circle. I can be in my glory with file cabinets, complex self-inking stamps, binders, clips, and pens. People come to my office with questions I research. Every day is as varied as the season, and the faces are the people who make up this beautiful area. It’s an incredible honor to be trusted and of service. As one of the many rolls I play, I am also, quite unexpectedly, Receiver of the Taxes. It is a challenge. I think of the Beatles song. I think of sheriff Nottingham and Robin Hood. Nobody likes the tax collector. Anger, frustration, and fear is vented towards a cartoon figurehead, who happens, right now to be me!


Disney's Sheriff Nottingham

In the vein of owning my own visage, I have returned to my Art History as Seen through the Family Tree passion project. The grand narrative of history is a backdrop to multiple family members who participated in major movements. Each generation had its blind spot and from their personal stories and my perspective, I reflect in painting on a history that is far from perfect and continually revealing. My goal this winter and spring is to find an agent or publisher. I will be posting the process on my Instagram (tilly strauss) account and sharing insights as I go along.


Thank you for reading.