Chugging along finishing up my limbo paintings as part of the 30 in 30 challenge. I started this guy during my August painting trip to New York. Trying to capture the rapidly changing light of a stunning sunset from a balcony in Long Island City... it's hard work! So I snapped a few photos, with my phone and in my imagination and finished it up yesterday.
I am honored to be invited to participate in the Recycled Rain Project, for the third consecutive year! If you're unfamiliar with this event, it's a curated show of artwork made using recycled rain water. A percentage of proceeds are donated to a water conservation non-profit (it's been Solve in the past, but I don't know who it is this year). All of the work in the show has to have something to do with water.
Last year I created a Portland cityscape painting with the Willamette River in the foreground. This year I have been pondering Water Towers a lot, and they have been appearing often in my cityscapes so I decided to create a painting to capture that.
Step one: Capture rainwater. Easy enough considering how much rain we've had here in Portland this year.
I decided to try making a diptych this year, since I just scored a great deal on these odd shaped canvases.
So that's where I left off after my last painting session. Stay tuned for the next post with progress. Do I add windows? More water towers? So many choices to make! Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Feedback always welcome and appreciated. Updates coming soon, but if you're in Portland please come by the opening on June 3rd at the Ford Building on SE Division Street.
In keeping with my early morning wanderings, this painting was inspired by a sunrise hike at Powell Butte, here in Portland. The light was golden as it peaked over the horizon and lit up everything it touched in the same golden hue. In addition to this gorgeous 360 degree view, we encountered several species of wildlife, up close and personal. A giant owl gliding over head, sizing up the Aussies and ultimately deeming them too big for breakfast. Deer peacefully grazing in the distance.
As we began our descent we kept hearing a rustling in the bushes. We'd stop, listen, look around but saw nothing. We continued. So did the rustling. After a few stops and starts, I heard the rustling even closer, and this time when I turned around there was a coyote standing on the trail behind us! Thankfully the dogs were already leashed up, because the trio of canines was definitely sizing each other up. We walked. It walked. We stopped. So did the coyote. Always maintaining a respectful distance, but ever watchful- all of us. Eventually our curious friend scampered back into the woods, and we arrived back to the car safely.
It's experiences like this that burn themselves into my memory. I can picture it all in my head, as if it had just happened yesterday. Memories like these, coupled with a photo, seem to be the easiest for me to recreate quickly. Working quickly definitely lends a different kind of energy to the paintings too. More gestural, a greater sense of movement. If you've been following along this month, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the series so far. Feedback and constructive criticism are always welcome and appreciated. Leave me a note in the comments!
I'll leave you with a peek of the original photo this painting was based off of.
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.
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.
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.
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. :)
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.
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.
Cruising right along! My second painting is also inspired by my early morning dog walks with the Aussies at Mt. Tabor. When I'm running, laps around this reservoir are a frequent morning activity. I love it, any time of day, but especially early in the morning as the sun is rising and the people are few and far between.
Now it's time to finish Day three's painting!
The last couple of years have been largely about personal and creative exploration. I have an insatiable wanderlust, barely kept in check by a lack of funds. I find travel, whether it's local day trips, national excursions, or international exploration, to be inspirational in so many ways. Lately my travels have been fueling my Cityscape artwork, as I translate the colors, energy and emotion I experience while interacting with different places and cultures into art.
My cities are largely fantastical, emerging from a series of brush strokes and colors, layering one on top of another. They allude to places I've been or situations I've experienced, but are meant to be open to interpretation. It's fun to hear people discuss their own ideas of what each piece represents to them, and I'm always thrilled when someone makes a personal connection with my work- it may remind them of a place or culture they remember fondly, which is completely different than what may have inspired me. Sometimes they know exactly the inspiration. Other times they want to talk about it; they want me to tell them what it is they're looking at. I guess my paintings are largely my way to interact with cultures and individuals and share a moment of whimsy.
As I write this post, I sit in my friend Cori's living room in San Pancho, Nayarit, Mexico. We've begun an unofficial creative exchange program: she stays with me during the Portland summers, and I escape to her home here to paint and recalibrate in the gloomy Portland winters. It's a pretty great balance. We chat about art, (creative) self-promotion, food, life. It's relaxing and inspirational to see the life she's made here for herself here in San Pancho, and in Sayulita where her gallery is.
I've been painting on her rooftop in the sun, enjoying the sights and sounds of San Pancho. Here's a few snapshots with more to come.