30 Paintings in 30 Days: Painting #16

At the beginning of this project, I claimed my theme to be a series of paintings based off my Instagram photos, but yesterday I broke the theme to create a sign for the Women's March on Portland. Unfortunately I did not capture any "professional" or well framed photos of it, and now it's pretty banged up from the rain, the march, and my lack of ability to dodge tree branches.

In process, paint still wet.

I didn't decide to make a sign until late on Friday night, and when my first attempt didn't pan out, I gave up and went to bed thinking I didn't have time to make something I'd be proud to carry. Saturday morning I was wide awake at 5:00 am, so I decided to try again. I wanted to make a sign that was direct, and didn't directly mock the president or new administration. While flipping through my Instagram feed, I saw this collage of signs, and my inspiration. A simple but direct reminder to resist the behaviors that I find unacceptable.

Images borrowed from @funpots on Instagram

So I made my own  version of my favorite and off we went to the march, with the paint still wet in places.

I am not a fan of large crowds, and I have never protested anything before, but this felt like something I had to do, something I  needed to do. The initial estimates called for a crowd of 30,000 people, and when you're on the ground it's difficult to gauge the size of the crowd, but as we stood under the  Morrison Bridge, shielded from the pouring rain, we could see streams of people crossing the Burnside and Hawthorne Bridges towards the rally. We stood there nearly 90 minutes waiting for the marching part of the march to begin. People chanted "let us march!", which struck me as funny- Portlanders protesting their own protest. But in all sincerity, I was beyond moved and inspired by the kindness, compassion and good energy this crowd, of what turned out to be 100,000 people.

This article from the Willamette Week captures the day perfectly. Agree or disagree politically, you must admit there is something truly moving about tens of thousands of strangers coming together of their own free will to peacefully make their voices heard. And it happened all over the world. To me, that speaks volumes about human nature, and the goodness most people have in their hearts. I left the march, thinking "what next?" This can't end with a march. We must take action to make a difference. Get involved! Donate. Volunteer. I have lots of ideas percolating.

For now, I'll finish up my 30 in 30 project, and keep talking to people in my community, and doing my best to be empathetic, and kind to the people I encounter every day. I hope you'll do the same, no matter which side of this thing you're on. 

30 Paintings in 30 Days: Painting #11

Ok, so I'm even more behind now than I was a few days ago, but that's more because of my inability to call something complete, than my lack of effort! I have five other paintings in process and nearly complete, so there's that.

We've been buried in snow for 8 days in Portland. 14" of snow and unusually cold winter temps have made for some serious cabin fever around here. The roads are a thick sheet of ice... still. The rain finally returned today so here's hoping it's all melted in the next day or two. That being said, my mind has been desperately hoping for spring. Enter this painting inspired by last year's visit to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm's Annual Tulip Festival! 

I've always loved spring in Portland. The contrast of our dark gloomy skies and all the plants coming back to life- so lush and vibrant--- It's my favorite!

30 Paintings in 30 Days: Day 8

Last year we decided to rent a room at a B&B in a remote area of Washington. Just get out of town for the weekend, do some hiking and cut off the technology. As we were packing up the car to leave, the owners of the B&B called to say they had an opportunity to rent their entire place to a tour group from Dubai, if only we would relinquish our room reservation. Everything was booked solid that weekend, so the kind woman suggested we stay at their friends place down the road. We thought it was another B&B but when we arrived, it was clear it was just the home of an older couple, and they were gracious enough to open one of their rooms for us. Reluctantly we stayed.

The home had been recently built by the couple; nestled into a giant rocky hill. There wasn't much to do there once the sunset, so we bought a bottle of wine and sat around the dining table talking about life with our hosts. When I woke up in the morning and looked out my window, this was my view.

So we didn't have the weekend we expected, but I think in the end it was much more interesting.

30 Paintings in 30 Days: Day 5 & 6

Last Friday, our new stove hood arrived, which sent me down this rabbit hole of cleaning and painting my kitchen. Four days later, with work still to be done, I got really behind on my 30 Paintings in 30 Days project... unless we can count the kitchen as a few paintings?

I am committed to producing 30 paintings this month so last night I got back in the studio and finished paintings 5 and 6, plus started working on a few others. 

I have painted another version of this view before, but every sunrise is different so here's another! 

One of my favorite things about my bedroom, is it has sliding glass doors that open to my back yard garden. In the summer I can lay in bed, listen to the birds and watch the sunrise. Sometimes I sit on the back steps and enjoy my coffee, watching the sky change from the dark cover of night, to warmer hues of yellow, pinks, and purples. I'm looking forward to the warmer weather returning so I can get back into the yard to paint. Working from photos will have to do for now.

Here's the photo I worked from.

My sixth painting is another sunrise view of Mt Tabor. In case you can't tell from my previous paintings, I am an early riser who loves a good sunrise! I snapped several photos of this sunrise on my morning run with the dogs. Every moment the sky changes. It's beauty was truly captivating.

The photo I worked from.

The painting. 

I'm not entirely sure it's done yet, but for the purposes of my 30 in 30 challenge, we'll call it done for now. I have a bad habit of re-working paintings often, sometimes even years after they've been "completed."


More new work coming soon! All of these canvases will be for sale after the challenge is over, don't hesitate to contact me if you're interested or have questions. :)

30 Paintings in 30 Days: Day Four

Ok, so I'm behind, but not entirely. The project is to produce thirty paintings in thirty days, not a painting a day for Thirty days... so I'm feeling ok about that. I have painted the last 6 out of 7 days, and that feels pretty good!

The last two days I haven't felt particularly inspired or motivated to create. Sometimes work life and stress can be terrible creative blocks. I couldn't resolve the paintings I had hoped to for day four (and five...) so I decided to call this one good and keep moving! Keeping with my theme of recreating my Instagram photos, this one is fun because it is a painting, of a photo, of one of my cityscape ceramic platters.  Sadly the platter warped so badly in the final firing, that it's unusable, but there's always something to be learned in the process.

Here's the Instagram photo that inspired the painting.

And here's the painting. It's not my favorite, but it's done!

The platter in its leather hard state before firing, glazing and firing again. I'm going to make another and hope it survives the whole process in tact. 

30 Paintings in 30 Days: Day Three

I've been working my way through the neighborhood in the first three paintings of this challenge. For Day Three, I recreated the sunrise view from the fields at Franklin High School. One of countless sunrises I've seen there while walking the dogs over the years.

The first painting on the left is the starting point for the finished photo below. You can see the photo I was working from in the background.