Wednesday, December 26, 2012

TRI-COLOR: a coloring book by molly rose freeman

I love books, and after seeing a zine show put together in part by Laura Calle, the Director of Programming for Living Walls, I started looking for ways to make one of my own. It began as just a hand-made book of my small drawings (I have a lot of these since I don't sketch--they're basically studies, experiments on fitting pieces together in different ways.) But then I remembered what I used to do in St. Louis at the middle school where I worked as an after school assistant. The program I was working for had very little money for supplies but they asked me to run an art class three times a week, so I started making drawings that I could photocopy in the office for my kids to color. I won't say I won over everyone with these, but there was a little group that would sit at a round table in the cafeteria, surrounded by tons of noise and action, and they would color page after page and tune out everything else. I realized how important that had been for me when I was in school, and how I have built my work around it--the desire to focus intensely on something without self-consciousness. So I'm offering up this book for whoever wants to color and lose themselves in the repetition of something. It's a good way to ground yourself, even in the midst of total chaos.
Every copy of TRI-COLOR features 16 pages of drawings and is independently printed and bound by hand with thread. You can buy them here for $10.
Sample pages:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


In January, I am relocating to Atlanta full-time, and I can't tell you how excited and proud I am to be a part of one of my favorite cities in the world!
Last month I spoke to a Philosophy class at Emory University about public art, and got
 to share the work of some of my favorite artists and talk with them about the possibilities in public spaces. One student really responded and is now spearheading a light projection project on the Emory campus. I am so inspired by this, and by all the people and organizations in the city that are taking the initiative to cultivate the spaces around them. As if I needed another reason to love Atlanta!!

From Catherine Homan's Philosophy of Art class blog:

Ever since Molly Rose Freeman gave that lecture in class, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about public art and how it affects our community. I was completely moved by the entire notion of the genre, its spontaneity, its risk. I loved the work of Armsrock, the artist who employed projections in his work, and I wanted to share those ephemeral “light drawings” with the Emory community. That is where the Light Observations project began. I applied for a grant from Emory’s Center for Creativity & Arts to pursue this project, and I just found out that my project was selected.
Over the course of two nights in mid-January, a series of projections will appear near and on the freshman residence halls chronicling the everyday life of Emory residents. Perhaps scenes of students catching up on some homework will appear- one student just happens to be perched on the ledge of a window, the other on top of the study lounge’s roof. Maybe a squirrel will decide to take a peek on the festivities going on in Turman or Longstreet-Means. I want to integrate some of my quirky line drawings with the geometric angles of Emory’s modern architecture to produce something unique, something humorous, something welcoming for the new semester. With these projections, the warmth that is inside the residence halls will be directly translated onto the residence halls themselves, uniting our community even greater. And through the use of digital networking media, I hope to set up a portal in which many other Emory community members can submit their quotes and drawings for the project. I’ve even had some interest from students in doing multilingual projections as well.
This project is definitely going to be a new working experience for me, both within the physical work and the philosophy that now envelops my perception of the artworld. I’ve realized my work strives to be more powerful than I had initially expected because my work explores the relationship between concealment and unconcealment just as much as any other work of art. So thank you Martin Heidegger.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Interview with Kristian Goddard

Recently I met the super-talented artist/designer/musician Kristian Goddard and caught up with him for an interview. Check out his work on some amazing projects on his website.

November 5th 2012 Ice Cream For Free Interview 
Molly Rose Freeman
Molly Rose Freeman is a North Carolina-based artist whose work is both intimate and grand. Whether she's working on paper or a wall, her work has her own individual style which is often based on geometric forms and organic elements. Her imagination and use of colour is really inspiring no matter which media she uses. She is currently working on mural projects in Miami and Mexico, alongside her ongoing studies and a book project! I recently caught up with Molly and got the chance to discuss her work.
Do you have any art school training and, if so, would you recommend it to others?
I went to an arts conservatory for my last two years of high school, at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and it was a turning point for me. It's not so much about the technique I learned as it is about how I trained my eye. I didn't learn how to draw, I learned how to see. My teachers were great mentors, they took pride in ridding us of any illusions we had and getting us to actually pay attention, to really observe what was there. I was also spending every day with other artists, musicians, dancers, and actors, and I learned how much I love collaboration and how important it is for me to be surrounded by creative, dedicated people. I know art school isn't for everyone, but I learned so much.
How did you first get into working on public projects?
I remember even when I was first making art in high school that I struggled a lot with the idea that it was something primarily to be bought and sold. And as time went on I felt less and less satisfied making work that I knew would only be seen by people who went to galleries or could afford to buy art — I wanted it to interact with the big wide world, with the complexity and the mess.
So I just started where I could, helping out friends who were painting murals, volunteering on projects, seeing what other people were doing to make art more visible and more accessible. Once I started looking around and seeing ordinary places as possible platforms for art, it changed the whole way I saw the world. I don't think I will live long enough to do all the projects that I want to do! I started to see the effects public art could have, putting creative energy and dedication into spaces that most people had stopped seeing. Even one mural or one performance can transform a whole neighborhood. Art is amazingly powerful, and I think it's becoming increasingly important that we put that power toward the service of our communities.
Would it be possible to describe your work/painting process?
I use geometry and pattern as my framework, but my approach is very exploratory. Basically I devote myself to connecting lines together to create forms, and I try to pay attention to what is emerging so I can help cultivate them. I don't go into a piece imagining what it will look like in the end, I just begin with one point and let that point grow until it begins to take shape. There are a lot of paintings and drawings that I throw away, because I realize halfway through, or at the end, that I tried to push the process in an unnatural direction. But generally, I just try to stay in touch with the momentum of the lines and shapes, and they sort of guide me in the right direction. A lot of my process is getting out of my own way, fighting the urge to impose control.
What inspires you and how does it affect your work?
My work — and my life — are guided by the idea that everything is, on some fundamental level, connected to one giant (infinite?) network. This means that there are patterns all over the place, so I spend a lot of time just looking around and noticing them. I am always inspired by nature — geology and biology and the processes of growth and change. It's usually easier to see patterns in the movements of flocks of birds or glaciers than it is to see patterns in human behavior. But that's the most interesting thing to me, to see how we — even as ardent individualists — fit into something that we often times feel so distant from.
In my work, I use connecting lines to represent these networks, and to explore how they can fit together. Quite often, the shapes that emerge look like things in nature — cells or organs or animals — and I think that speaks to the universality of these connections, to how basic they are to the composition of things.
Do you enjoy working on a large scale?
Yes! To me it feels so natural. I get to use my whole body and not just my arm or my hand. When I'm drawing I can only sit and work on something for a few hours at a time, but when I'm painting a wall I can work for twelve hours and feel amazing. There isn't a place in the world I feel better.
Molly Rose Freeman Mural Painting
How do you go about finding projects?
Every project is different: some I put together myself, some I worked really hard to be a part of, some just fell into my lap. I don't have a specific approach to finding things, I just put myself out there, work hard, and trust that I'll cross paths with the right people at the right time. I've been really lucky to find incredible people to work with.
Do you write your own proposals and if so is that something that you actually enjoy?
I did a project in Asheville in 2010 that was a collaboration between me and two very, very talented friends — one dancer, one musician. We wanted to put on a free, one-time, outdoor public performance along the French Broad River, on the concrete foundation of what was once a transmission repair shop. The idea was that we would build a temporary backdrop and I would paint a mural on-site leading up to the performance, which would feature a dance piece inspired by Spring rituals. The whole thing would be set to an original score, played live by a percussion ensemble during the performance. And we didn't know what we were doing really, but we knew we wanted to make this project happen so we just started doing it: we wrote the proposals, we got the permits and the permissions, we raised the money. And we had our performance in May, with our friends and family and strangers there all standing and sitting together in this field, watching this beautiful performance as the sun went down. To be able to build an experience like that, to share something you believe in — it's worth writing a thousand proposals!
Some community-based art often feels like design by committee. How much freedom do you get when you work on community-based projects?
I generally have total freedom, but I always try to take into account the needs and identity of the area where I'm painting. I think it's important to be sensitive to what was there before, and what will be there after you leave.
How do you hope the public will react to your murals?
I hope it sparks their imagination. Beyond that, it doesn't matter to me what they think or see or do with it, I just want to give people a chance to look at something and let themselves experience it in whatever way is natural. So much of our visual culture is advertising of some kind — for products, for politics, for a certain lifestyle — and it's not often we get to see pictures that don't have an agenda. But I think it's essential to let our minds wander sometimes without an endpoint in sight. I don't think we let ourselves do that enough.
Do you get much feedback about your work?
When I'm working on a wall, I get a lot of immediate feedback which is cool because my pieces usually evolve without a strict plan, so they become an open dialog with people in the neighborhood, people passing by. I painted an underpass in Atlanta in August and it was kind of an unwieldy space — long and uneven with bridges going over it. And I was struggling a little bit with how to really engage the space, because there was so much going on architecturally. And someone suggested painting part of my design on some of those other planes to help integrate it. And once they said it I was like Of course! And I started to see all these possibilities. It's important to have more than one set of eyes because after you've been staring at something for so long, it gets harder and harder to see it.
What are you currently obsessed with?
A friend of mine made me some CDs that I've been listening to on repeat — Laura Marling, Mountain Man, Neil Young's “Heart of Gold.” They just feel right for this time of year. I've loved watching what's come out of the Nuit Blanche festivals this year, which are these one-night events in the Fall in cities around the world. They open up the galleries and museums for free until dawn and have exhibits and installations and performances in the streets — really mind-blowing stuff. For Paris' Nuit Blanche, Jacqueline Dauriac did these beautiful colored light projections on the steam coming out of two huge smokestacks over the Seine and I would have loved to see that in person.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

you and me and the devil makes three

new small drawing available here:

"you and me and the devil makes three" 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

human relationships

since i set up my new studio, i have been working on some black and white drawings. for these, i start with a few central points and let lines grow outward until they form bigger and bigger shapes, and eventually start to meet and influence each other. for me this mirrors, among other things, the experience of human relationships. when i begin these drawings, i imagine that each point represents a person, and the lines that grow out are their experiences, their personalities, their lives. these drawings are a way for me to explore how people affect and adapt to those closest to them, and how intricately our interactions are woven together.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Festival Anonymous: Bucerias, Mexico

In January I am going to Bucerias, Mexico to paint at Festival Anonymous, a two-day art and music festival in the Bay of Banderas. This will be my first time to Mexico and I can't wait to see what happens.

Today's blog post:

Molly Rose Freeman

Molly Rose Freeman
North Carolina, USA
I’ve been painting murals for almost two years. For me it’s the best way–to be outside, to have all the elements of nature and people and the city around you. Getting to take a flat wall and make it breathe, to electrify something that was invisible–you can’t beat that. I try to pay attention to what’s around me–the sounds, the currents, the light, everything–and then let the wall tell me where it wants to go. And do my best not to get in the way! I use basic geometric shapes so they can become anything, move any way they want. I don’t know what the wall will look like really until the very end. It’s exciting to be surprised, to make something without fully understanding what you’re making. That’s the magic.
He estado pintando murales hace casi dos años. Para mí es la mejor manera – para estar afuera, para tener todos los elementos de la naturaleza y la gente y  la ciudad a su alrededor. Llegar a tener una pared plana y hacerlo respirar, para electrificar algo que era invisible – no se puede superar eso. Trato de prestar atención a lo que me rodea – los sonidos, las corrientes, la luz, todo – y luego dejar que la pared me dice dónde quiere ir. Y hago mi mejor esfuerzo a no estorbar! Yo uso las formas geométricas básicas, para que puedan convertirse en cualquier cosa, mueva cualquier manera que deseen. No sé como la pared se verá realmente hasta el final. Es emocionante ser sorprendido, para hacer algo sin entender completamente lo que estás haciendo. Esa es la magia.

Friday, October 26, 2012

"love triangle"

"love triangle," new limited edition prints (run of fifty) now available on my shop
this comes from a series i've been working on inspired by personal relationships--how people become intertwined and adapt to those close to them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

new website + amazing crystal video

business first: my newly redesigned website is up.

every couple of weeks i go on internet research binges, and most of the time i'm looking for what's new and good in the world of microscope imagery. today i found this gem which is worth the full 10 minutes if you're in the mood to focus on something other than what you were doing. natural psychadelia in action!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Living Walls video + photos

A Wall's Story from virginie kippelen on Vimeo.

Above is a video by Virginie Drujon-Kippelen, a photographer that I got to know when she photographed Living Walls for the New York Times.

Below are some of my favorite photos from Living Walls by Dustin Chambers.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


last month i got a gift of some white meanstreaks, finally putting them to use:

"i dreamt about you years ago and yesterday," marking stick on paper, 22" x 30", 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

thank you Living Walls!!

First, pictures from Living Walls! After pics, an update and lots of thank yous.

Mural at the W Hotel Midtown:

Details from the mural in Kirkwood, at Whitefoord and Dekalb:

I am back from Living Walls! I was only supposed to be in Atlanta for ten days but ended up staying a month. I have been putting off this update because there is so much I want to say and don't know where to begin but I will say that LIVING WALLS WAS AMAZING. This project was inspiring, thrilling, boundary-pushing, life-changing, and a fucking blast. I'll post full wall pics and more stuff about ideas/process/titles soon, but for now I want to do some serious thank you's:

To the people of Atlanta, and especially Kirkwood: Some of the most open-minded, genuine, passionate, thoughtful, respectful people I have ever met. Thank you for welcoming me into the community and for sharing so much, you have no idea how incredible you made my experience.
To all the Living Walls volunteers/sponsors/partners: Thank you for making this happen for all the artists, it would be absolutely impossible without every person that helped out.
To my assistants: Susan (and Claus!) Sorensen, thank you for taking such good care of me and being endlessly generous. To Danielle Brutto, my force of nature, my right hand lady! Thank you for being you.
To the Living Walls Staff: Monica, Keif, Sarah, Alex, Emily, Nathan, Laura, Laurance, Drew, Matt Jones, Trek, Wil, Albert, Brandon and everyone else, thank you for making magic happen.
To the gentlemen of 664 Kennesaw: Thank you for welcoming me into the fold.
To my gracious host and liaison to all things amazing: Dustin Chambers, thank you for making my time in Atlanta all that it was. 

Thank you also to all the other artists and panelists, to my amazing roommates Sheryo and Teen Witch, to olive 47, to Colby Rabon, to Dustin Spagnola and Patch Whisky, to Ryan Marosy, to Tucker Berta at the W Hotel, to every person that supported this project and encouraged us along the way. THANK YOU.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Living Walls!

In one week's time, I am headed to Atlanta to participate in this year's Living Walls: The City Speaks conference!! There aren't enough exclamation points to express how excited and honored I am to be a part of this landmark  project. From the Living Walls website:

In [August}, 28 artists will visually activate our urban landscape in the first all-female street art conference in the world. This year, Living Walls will change the game for street art and Atlanta.

Hear, hear! The lineup of both artists and events this year is phenomenal and I cannot wait to see the magic that happens. In addition to painting a mural, I will be showing work in an exhibition with some of the most talented female artists from around the world, some of whom have been personal inspirations to me over the years. I'm excited to be debuting a live string installation, as well as unveiling some brand new paintings and drawings.

The events this year include film screenings, dance parties, bar hops, a gallery exhibtion, photo projections, live painting/installations, pecha kucha presentations, a bike tour of the finished murals and (my personal fav) a traveling drag show! Production week begins August 8 and official festivities run from August 15-19. You can also follow the conference on Facebook or Twitter and Instagram @LivingWallsATL.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

pins + string

I got home yesterday from a month on the road, and in that time my brain has been working away. I finally got back in the studio today to try out a new technique--push pins and string:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


a couple weeks ago, i wrapped up a project in spartanburg SC with HUB-BUB, a wonderful non-profit that is trying to do big things for the upstate. they brought me in to paint a mural on the RJ rockers brewery building downtown, next to cribb's kitchen. (if you're in the area i definitely  recommend both.) HUB-BUB also hosted a show of some of my newer paintings and drawings, which is up through july 26 in their exhibition space, the showroom. look for a more in-depth post on this project on the HUB-BUB blog soon!

this was a big undertaking and i want to thank everyone who had a hand in its success. special thanks to: RJ rockers, stephen long, sawyer balance, erin haire, parker reid, cheryl mirer, betsy teter, peter caster, kari jackson, christine klinker cox, maddox, the entire staff of cribb's kitchen (the cribb's boys in particular), a generous anonymous donor, and the spartanburg community. thank you so much hub city!

with my two amazing champion painters: sawyer ballance and parker reid, love those suckers

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


i am working on some new pieces for a show next month (more details soon.) the studio has been a godsend--lots of open space, no distractions except for the birds that fly in through the open windows and can't find their way out.

here's one i finished yesterday:

"deviate," 22 x 30 in.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

triangles no. 2

latest installment of things made of triangles, red sharpie on white paper, 38" x 50":

Thursday, May 3, 2012

new studio

a couple weeks ago, i was lucky enough to find a building downtown to use for studio space--the former site of jay etkin gallery, my favorite gallery in memphis when i was growing up. the space is really something: a fully finished lower floor and mezzanine with gallery walls and lighting, and two upper stories with open floor plans, high ceilings, and enormous windows. this is my dream workspace!

the neighborhood has a bizarre history (most of memphis does.) martin luther king junior was assassinated across the street in the old lorraine motel that has since been turned into the national civil rights museum. the recipe for southern comfort was patented two blocks away, and down the street is a former brothel which is now home to ernestine and hazel's, one of my favorite bars, and hands-down the best juke box anywhere.

some pictures of the new space--



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

plant cells

i'm working on drawing up some tattoo designs for a good friend of mine. he wanted something like a plant cell so i drew these based on microscopic cross sections of the honeysuckle plant. i think these versions are too detailed for a tattoo but they gave me a good idea of the structure:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

alberto seveso

underwater photographs by italian artist/designer albert seveso: