Monday, July 30, 2007

Bad Influences

Tonite I saw a silhouette of a rider in a mask with pink boots on her feet sailing across the sunset. This is in honor of the outlaw who inspired me to cut stencils. You gotta love the internet.

What I Do

What I do is I journal. With paper and pencil I am happy anywhere. It is my sanctuary - where I can sort through all the flotsam of the day and decide which of those things really matter to me. We all have too many demands on our time; the journal is the place where I go to find my answers, set my goals, regret my errors and continue on. It clears my head for what comes next.

Before I write on each page I have usually set the stage with an overall colorwash of acrylic. Over this I experiment. It will always be an experiment involving the media I am currently involved with. For a long time it was bits of collage from the day to write over or around. Inkjet photos of daily events. Oddities I found on the web and liked. Napkins from restaurants or momentos from travel. It helped me place the entry without looking at the date on the page.

More recently it has been a vehicle to deconstruct my dreams and my past and to explore the ways I can apply that to the symbolism in my work. It takes a lot of time and deep reflection to discover what lies in ones heart and to encode that into an image. But what a joy when it can be accomplished. It's habit forming; the love of that 'high'. And it is your gift to your self.

This page is one I did last night while experimenting with graphite and acrylic. I was thinking of the Joanie Mitchell song, "The Hissing of Summer Lawns". It will be written over too in the coming days. I like to look at it an see my progress. It is the beginning of something but I don't yet know what that is. I love having that, or any, strange image to becken me on. It is like a mysterious whisper from off-stage.

Only one more day before the Artfest schedule is posted. I can feel the excitement.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Nuts and Bolts

I didn't even get halfway down my to-do list today. All I have to show for the last 3 days is this folder that I whacked out yesterday morning while waiting for a friend to visit. She and I had a great time together. After years of working in isolation I am finally meeting some Portland area artists - a welcome development.

Two days ago Karen Landey came and filmed me for the DVD magazine called Indy Arts. We spent several hours together as she asked very good questions and I gave a thorough tour of my studio and recounted my years of experience as a printmaker, watercolor artist and finally painter on canvas. (okay, also ceramics, mixed media, encaustic, batik, leatherworker and jewelry fabricator) As she was leaving she gave me a copy of a previous issue of the publication (a DVD, remember?) and when I watched it I was really impressed with Karen's production and editing skills. The issue I watched had a demo with Beckah Krahula showing step by step how to emboss the metal that she forms into beautiful book covers. I've always wanted to know how this was done and amazing to me was the fact that after watching this demo I could gather the tools and materials and actually attempt it myself. (I learn better by watching than by reading.) Anyway, I will be featured in the next issue and I urge you to check out the site and to consider subscribing to Karen's magazine. She is pouring her heart into this effort and I think she is doing a great job. The issue with Beckah also has an interview with my compadre Laurie Mika that you'll enjoy.

And speaking of magazines, I got my pre-release issue of Artful Blogging magazine and the write up and photographs they published of my blog was wonderful. The release date is August 1st and I think the new publication is going to be a big hit.

Coming up next is a trip north to visit dear friends and more dear friends, one of which is the scintillating katie kendrick. Could I be more excited? Non! She and I will have some announcements to make soon, stay tuned.

Monday, July 16, 2007

More "Disaster"

Not actual disaster, thank heavens, I'm having a busy and great time. But here is the latest installment in my "Disasters of Childhood" series. This grew out of a new stencil, larger than the last one. The wood it is mounted on is a 6x10" piece of birch plywood and is enhanced with encaustic and intaglio filled with oil paint. I discovered the feed to the Flicker group that posts stencil art - very inspiring. But nothing is more inspiring than Mary Ann and her links. I'm having the best time ever exploring this fun approach and have gotten great tips from Michelle too. Oh, sweet generous artists who share everything on the internets: I LOVE YOU! You save me from boredom and the summer blahs. Yay-yah!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


We're in the heart of summer, aren't we? It has been very hot here in Stumptown; the raspberries have all cooked on the vine and even the sugar peas are spent now. But the tomatoes are coming on and the corn too so the unseen wheel of the seasons continues to turn ever so slowly. Gak, she's gone all pensive on us.

Well, yes, that's part of the m. o. Either deliriously happy or 'go away, leave me alone'. So besides finding solace in my journal, reading Don Delillo (dang, he's moody! I'm blaming this on him!) - well, besides those activities I am making very personal work in encaustic.

I have no words to describe the many things buried in this painting. Tell me what it means to you if I may be so bold as to ask. Because the supportive DH didn't have a clue and so I wonder if it is too opaque. The colors may work against it; I'm thinking it should have been darker. But then I kind of like the juxtoposition of light and dark. Does it say anything to you? (there's no wrong answer; I'm very tough skinned so jump in.

Oops! I almost forgot to show you my process. This will give you a hint as I took the girl's features from a photograph of myself. I painted her on heavy watercolor paper and cut her out with an exacto. Now I have a bonus stencil. Don't ask me why I work this way. I just like to make everything as convoluted as possible.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sooweet Sweet Summer

The brilliant Mary Ann has me cutting stencils and spraying in the driveway - what can I say; her journal pages rock! They always make we want to join in the fun and play in mine. Cutting a small stencil out of paper (I use cheap typing paper because it's so easy to cut) takes only minutes compared to cutting rubber stamps so you are up and spraying in no time flat. Gaah, somebody stop me before I spray again!

The DH barbequed these disgusting weenies last night and sad to say I ate one. (they are some kind of fancy beef sausage) I'm still full at noon today but once every few years I want to eat one. Summer food. Summer fun.

Summer reads: Turtle Warrior, Water For Elephants, Armed Madhouse, poemcrazy, Falling Man. That's just so far and along with all the magazines I keep up with.

Carry on.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Picnic on the Sandy River

Today it is sunny and 73 degrees and we're going on a picnic. It is being held at a secret location on the Sandy river on the property of John's relatives. Follow me, it's going to be fun and there are plenty of libations for all.

Past the treehouse. I'll bet there were some good stories associated with this place. Makes me want to bring my sleeping bag, a good book and curl up for a stay.

Or wait, maybe I'll lie back on this hammock instead. Prop my lemonade on a tree stump and bliss out for a few hours.

Oh, I see they've got the snacks ready for us. There will be brots and brisket and beans, salads, and pickles later - the tables will groan with food. But take a chip, grab a brew and hang out for awhile. Let your appetite build.

This is the little sheep shed that one of the cousins built for an experiment of raising sheep. Cousin Jack said he turned out to be afraid of sheep though (afraid of sheep?) so he dragged the shack down to the water's edge for fishing. Turns out he wasn't afraid of steelhead.

Oops, look out! Frisky dog on the loose, all hopped up on fetching sticks out of the glacial melt swift current and thrilled to be out with the crowd of party-goers.

Look, strangers floating down the river on rafts. Nice occupation for a sunny afternoon. Quiet and peaceful. Just floating down the river. Sweetest job on earth.

Bailey and her poppa enjoying the icy current. Half the fun was watching Bailey and her little sister Mia play in the water with the dog. Almost as much fun as watching baby goats pronk.
(that thing where they fly straight up in the air - I'm not sure it's a real word)

John and I of course took a hike down the river looking for rocks that looked like speckled eggs or hearts or some other quality that spoke to us. I have collected rocks always. Had a great clunker of pure asbestos as a child in Arizona before we knew it was a bad thing. I loved to peel apart the silvery fibers and set them into the breeze. I magically believe nothing so beautiful could ever hurt me. And I'm kind of an old gal now so it hasn't. Beautiful rocks that have freely given me so much enjoyment.

Here they are; one heart and one egg. The egg is a perfect bright yellow ochre and the heart says "I love you". Now let's go get a plate full of summer.