“I really love the idea of color and form being one thing. It’s not that I’ve painted on the paper, it’s that the color is the paper. It’s very similar to working with the clay, where the glaze and the clay become one structure—a surface and form.” —Arlene Shechet

Artist Arlene Shechet brings together ceramic- and paper-making practices at Dieu Donné papermaking studio in New York City for a series of cast paper reliefs (some of which are currently on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston) in a new episode from the ART21 Exclusive series.

WATCH: Arlene Shechet: Pentimento in Paper

IMAGES: Arlene Shechet at Dieu Donné papermaking studio, New York, NY, 2014. Production stills from the ART21 Exclusive episode, Arlene Shechet: Pentimento in Paper. © ART21, Inc. 2015.

I get strange feelings when I have developed an emotional attachment, like part of my brain wants me to experience passion, but it’s as if I’m reaching for what I cannot touch. I can see it, and grasp concepts of it, but I can’t seem to connect.

A little sneak peek into our production to brighten your Monday!

The first frame is a rough that Dave Cooper drew for our first episode. The second frame is inked after the rough was approved. The third frame is a painting that Francis Giglio and Dave Cooper painted it to achieve the final look for this BG. 

Try to find this BG in our episode “Pig Goat Banana Cricket High Five!”

Three Tips for Improving your Multi-Sensory Writing

Many writers say they struggle most with appealing to one’s sense of smell, yet studies say our strongest memories are linked to specific scents.

The most beloved and engaging books are descriptive-rich, engaging all our senses as we move through the story. As writers, we usually have our favorite sense, finding it easy to paint compelling visuals while potentially ignoring, for example, the kinesthetics among us.

To create a full, engaging experience for our readers, however, we must write to delight all five of the senses: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.  Neglect one or several senses and a story becomes flat, one-dimensional and sadly cast aside.

If you’d like to better write to all five senses, here are my three tips:

1.) Create a Resource List of Sensory-Rich Words

Spend some time brainstorming a list of descriptive words that you can refer to when needing inspiration. Continually add to your list, expanding your categories as they evolve.  Your list could look like this:

Sound Words:  drone, buzz, bark, rumble, rustle, gurgle, quiet as midnight

Touch (feeling) Words:  spongy, dizzying warmth, gritty, jagged

Romantic Words:  bewitching, enchanting, cherished

Write World has a great post: Word list: taste, smell, sound

Here’s a few other websites that help:

Sensory Words by Vivian Gilbert Zabel

Another Sensory Words (PDF)

Sensory Detail Word Bank

Words to Describe Smell, Sound, Taste, Touch …

2.) Expand Your Vocabulary

Seriously.  To make your writing more complex and interesting, we need to know more complex and interesting words.

Make it a point to look up words you don’t recognize.  Read other author’s works, writing down words and phrasing that speak to you.  Visit sites like this. Make the thesaurus your good friend.  Download a “word of the day” app.  Buy a “new word a day” daily calendar.  Be creative in finding new words and use them daily. 

3.) Be More Present to Your Life

We are consistently surrounded by rich sensory experiences—IF we take the time to notice them.  The first day of school after a lazy summer.  Camping under the midnight sky.  The sounds of a Little League ball game.  A visit to the one-building department store in rural Wisconsin.  The elderly woman inching her way across the street.

Become a keen observer and recorder of the sensory intricacies of life.  Make it a habit to jot down your observances in a journal.  Quick snippets like “her hair was the color of a butterscotch candy” or “elderly lady bent over like a comma” can jumpstart your creative thinking when you need it.

I hope this helped! If you have any questions, feel free to visit my ask box!


Hey everyone! If you’re interested in learning how to creatively code yourself then you should really, really check out the upcoming, free Creative Coding course from! It will start on August 3, 2015 and run for 6 weeks.

When I first saw the preview video for this course last year I was blown away! This was not ‘just’ about learning how to program but also about how to approach programming from a really creative side, which was illustrated really well with a lot of philosophical and artistic interludes. Something that other online coding courses have been lacking to a high degree, as far as I know.

And this course is for total coding beginners. So do not worry if you have never programmed before. The course will gently introduce you to it.

Oh, and this time around yours truly will be an official mentor! So join us and see you in the forums and discussion threads!! :)