Working Large

Years ago on a visit to Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico I'd started this canvas. I had visions of bright colors and capturing the shadows cast by these metal lanterns on my friend's rooftop patio, but on the last day of the trip, the sun didn't cooperate and I brought the canvas home unfinished. The next year, I brought this giant canvas back down with the same vision in mind, yet I couldn't recreate the scene I'd had in my head the previous year, so I brought the giant canvas back to Portland again.

The original inspiration for this painting came from the shadows of these lanterns and cinder blocks.

The original inspiration for this painting came from the shadows of these lanterns and cinder blocks.

Here I am on a rooftop in Mexico getting things started.

Here I am on a rooftop in Mexico getting things started.

Working in Cori's studio. The brightly colored painting on the bottom right, is how this giant painting began...

Working in Cori's studio. The brightly colored painting on the bottom right, is how this giant painting began...

After pondering how to complete this painting, I remembered a sunset dinner I'd had with friends in NYC. Perched on a rooftop on the upper west side, we watched the sun disappear as it changed the light of the sky. Windows and building facaded reflecting back the bright pinks, oranges and purples against an ever darker blue sky, which changed my plan for this painting drastically!

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I'd mostly finished it about two years ago, and it's been hanging unstretched in my basement clay studio. My upcoming show at Symposium Coffee, inspired me to have it stretched while I was in Mexico, so it'd be ready to go when I got home. The funny thing about that... once stretched, that sucker was way too big to fit in my little GTI! Fortunately, I only live a few blocks from I've Been Framed. The trip home went a little something like this...

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Hanging in it's temporary home.

Hanging in it's temporary home.

Now, I need to figure out how to get it to Symposium next week to hang for my show! Too bad Tigard isn't walking distance... 

Please stop by and see my new work at Symposium between February 1-28. Details here.

Making New Micro-Rooftop Gardens

I got to participate in the Mississippi Street Fair last Saturday (July 8) and decided to make some new smaller pieces just for the occasion. The fair came on the heels of my wedding celebration so all the work I created had to be done a mere week before the street fair! Luckily I work best under pressure and was able to crank out about thirty new pieces.

If you've ever wondered how I make my ceramic cityscapes here's a peek behind the scenes. After throwing each piece in brown clay on the potter's wheel, I then paint on two coats of a white slip (that's liquid white clay) before adding color.

Next, I add a couple coats of the base color. The process is identical to adding the white slip, just more colorful!

From here it's on to handpainting each building and sky background, then carving windows and details. You can see snippets of that process on my Instagram page here and

And here is everything at the Mississippi Street Fair!

And here is everything at the Mississippi Street Fair!

Stay tuned for more new artwork and updates on new shows I'll be doing in September.

Art Making and Other Adventures

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.

Stunning sunrise from Cori's rooftop.

Stunning sunrise from Cori's rooftop.


My rooftop studio.

My rooftop studio.