Monday, October 21, 2013

Oh HAY. 

Huzzah! 

This month marks my first Portland solo art show! Yay!  

My dear friend Rick opened up a new coffeehouse in the heart of St Johns this week and asked me a few months ago if I would be interested in being his first 'artist of the month'. My response: "Hells yep!".  It was great motivation for me to get work done that I started last year and to start new work. I busted my ass to get everything done in time. My time creating went seamlessly. Everything I envisioned turned out great and I was really happy with what I was able to accomplish.
It was the first batch of work that I took seriously since losing partial vision last year. That whole scenario presented quite the creative block, alas- I kick it's ass into the Galaxy! 

I've also been approached by someone to show at another venue/cafe on Alberta. Pretty happy with the new inspiration that I'm feeling and the opportunities that are starting to knock for me in Portland. Much needed as I've had to take a year off of school because of financial aid cuts and I also am in need of work. I made a ballsy decision to leave a very toxic work environment that was causing me so much unnecessary stress. Too much and not worth the energy. I believe that leaving that situation allowed me the time and energy I needed to complete the eight new pieces I have showing and to give me some time to reflect on what I want for myself. So for now, I'm searching Portland for the perfect fit, debating on whether to continue school this Winter and next Spring, and creating like there's no tomorrow! 

This show was very inspired by my time on the Oregon Coast and in the neighboring mountains. Especially this time of year! I have been lucky enough to have ample time exploring the mountains and foraging for mushrooms this Autumn. I'm fascinated with those little buggers! 

It's been an amazing Autumn season in Portland this year. Sometimes when I'm crusin around the neighborhoods I find myself in awe with the display of color the trees are flashing. The sky has been blue and the combination is almost surreal. Stunning at best. 


Here's a mixed bag of scenes from my Autumn in Portland, including photos of new work. I'll have better photos and prints soon! 


















If you are in Portland and would like to check out my work, please do!  
Say hi to Rick and have yourself an Americano. My work will be up at Fourth Estate Cofeehouse, now until the end of November. 

https://www.facebook.com/fourthestatecoffee

Be well and happy pumpkining!  
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hey Portland!

It's been months since I've last posted. It seems like I start many blog entries that way... obviously, I've been a busy lady. Happy, busy and taking all of my days, day by day. Minute by minute. Americano by Americano.

So. In short:

I'm in Portland. It has been a joyride verging on danger and bliss. I have lots of work behind me to be proud of, which in turn gives me a ton of freeeeeee tiiiiiime this Summer to work on new work.
I've started several new pieces, and having time and space to finish them will be outstanding.

Many great things on the way. And that is what I'm leaving you with. Ha!

Be well, Blogosphere.

Here are a few photos of life in Portland thus far. I'll be posting new work soon, so check back! :)







Saturday, September 01, 2012

Scary but beautiful times of life...

We all have them. 
Moments in life that completely freak us the f*ck out. Be it our own self-induced scare, fear of facing something, someone else's health, our health, heart break, relationship woes, employment changes... there's always at least a tiny second of "holy crap, what the hell am I going to do???!!!". If there isn't, you aren't human and you obviously aren't doing it right.
I'm working, currently, as a full time artist. I made the decision to attempt making ends meet through my passion as an artist after thinking about it for several years and watching my peers do the same and succeed. So I worked all summer, saved my earnings and put in my notice at work. It's no easy venture, and a very vulnerable time, but in the end, working hard for myself is as easy/complicated as working hard for someone else, but I tend to be happier working for me. Right now, I haven't seen the financial benefits, and I probably won't for a while. 
I'm neck deep in ideas that are manifesting on canvas. My heart is where it needs to be and my gusto is on and I'm ready to paint until my fingers are stuck like sculpture to my brushes. 
Of course, major change attracts other major change... I couldn't possibly start working on art full time without some sort of hurdle. That would be far too easy. 
So, instead, I'm losing vision in one eye. Very rapidly. Very suddenly. Very scary. 
I try to play it cool most of the time, but honestly, I am scared shitless. I went from 20/20 vision to whatever this is in less than 6 months. I'm pretty sure it's West Nile Virus related, and if so, there's a fairly good chance that I will be able to find a solution that will allow me some of my vision back. But then there's also the scarier versions and outcomes that I won't dwell on too much right now. 
All I know is that my recent appointment with my Optometrist ended with her basically telling me that glasses aren't going to fix what I have going on and I need to see the fine folks at OHSU for an MRI. Lack of insurance, of course, prevents me from going in next week, so I'll be waiting until October to be seen... unless I win the lottery. In the meantime, I'm silently freaking out, 24-7.
Every morning I wake up and it's a little worse. Every morning I forget that I'm losing my vision for a few seconds, and when both eyes don't clear up... I get bummed. Every night I go to bed earlier than usual, because it's too hard to see at the end of the day and I'd rather just close my eyes and sleep. The anxiety is minimal, but it's inside me looming, waiting to come out of hibernation. 
The "what if's" are all around. The things I took for granted are all over the place, on parade daily. Now is so important. Everything carries beauty. Faces are being programmed in my brain. I'm no longer able to drive or ride my bike. Thank goodness my legs work. I'm scared. I don't want this to happen in my other working eye. I'm a visual person. I'm 37. I'm not even prepared to handle being blind. How will I finish school? How will I do everything I do in a day? How will I retrain my entire life after nearly 40 years to accommodate all of this change??? How will I live? What about my relationship? I can't possibly impose on Will, he has a whole life to live. What if it becomes something serious? More what if's.... so many. Did I mention being scared? Ha.
...but I'm painting. I'm painting and painting and painting. When not painting, I'm thinking of other ideas and visions to paint. It's not been easy. I'm messier, fine lines are harder, my eyes get sore quickly, everything blurs...  but right now, it's what I have. 
Even when typing this, I wonder how much longer I'll be able to use my computer. Words are blurring and backgrounds are merging into a luminous grey-silver. My bad eye is starting to overcast my vision plane and I've started looking for eyepatches so I can focus better with the other. 
It happened so fast. I know it's not the end of the world, but it would be the end of many things that are so important to my soul. It could always be worse, but for me, losing my vision is on par with losing everything. I'm sure my fatalistic view will change as time progresses, I hope so. And in a few months, maybe I'll be better! Able to continue on with both eyes in fully functioning mode. Until then, I'd love it if you, whomever you are, could send me your positive vibes, thoughts, etc...  
And seriously, stop taking the little things for granted. *Note to self. 



Friday, June 08, 2012

It's been far too long. I have no excuses except for the million I will be more than happy to share... but it would take forevs.  So I'll just say, life has been busy. Portland has been an interesting change for this woman. I haven't painted for six months until very recently! I've dabbled in my sketchbook here and there, but I've really been a busy lady and getting all those boxes in the garage hasn't really sounded all that great. But, I have a possible show in September, so I've been working on some new ideas. Ideas I felt worthy of sharing.

Also: It's June. It's been about 65-70 degree and mostly cloudy. I expect that any moment it's going to be sunny and hot. My ass needs the gym something fierce.

Okay, back to art:






So those are my more recent ideas coming to life. Using gouache for the first time, which has been cool. For me, it is like using something that is in between watercolors and acrylic. I'm doing a whole series of "Ladies of Summer". I'm excited to see where the idea takes me. 

And from the sketchbook: 









I was donated a nice supply of art materials from a friend in Bend. Plenty of drawing pencils, charcoal and pastels. All things I don't use often, so it's been fun to do some exploring with them. A little influence from the impending health doom I suffered all April, with a doubly whammy of a sinus infection and pneumonia. It took a lot out of me and I'm still mending. One thing that has been a little alarming is that I've experienced substantial vision loss in my left eye since having pneumonia. I'm off to the optometrist tomorrow, and I am hoping for positive results. If not, I'll just have to have some fashion forward eye patches made for me or something! Gotta stay positive, right?

So that's that. Looking forward to getting my brushes wet tonight and more often.

Cheers and be well!!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer in Astoria. Basically.

It's Summer.  I'm not even going to begin to complain about the cooler, cloudier weather we are having...the rest of the country is on fire and experiencing mad-hot weather.  I'll take these clouds over heat any day.

Since my last post, I've started working two really fantastic jobs downtown Astoria, school has ended for the Summer, I'm in a new, sweet relationship and I've been involved in a few fun projects.  I co-hosted my first ever baby shower.  And I've also been invited to join my friend Rick in Portland to show work in January!  Perfect for the new ideas I have swimming in my brain.  I'm really into Botanical Illustration right now, so we'll see how that pans out in my own work.
One recent project was remodeling the bathroom for Cargo of Astoria/Lunar Boy Gallery.  Two of my favorite places, so I was inspired and happy to work on the project.

Photos, to boot! (not the best, but still, photos!)












Super fun project!  Happy to have had the experience.  The walls are a little lighter and greener than these photos express, and the paper is Arabic newspaper.  Everything was cut individually by hand.  The great thing about this project, is that it will evolve and change as time goes on.  I will be working on it again with an opalescent paint, which will add a unique dimension.  

That said, Happy Summer, wherever you might be.  I hope you are keeping cool and happy!

Cheers.

A. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Spring in Astoria!

It's a gorgeous morning today, and we've had more and more of them as of late.  I haven't been working on too much artwork lately, because working and school has me pretty busy.  Not to mention the radio show I host every Monday.  (Segue segue segue...)

http://amyontheradio.blogspot.com/

My show is on coastradio.org (or 91.9 FM for you locals) every Monday at midnight.  That's right, midnight.  I am on air for an hour, usually following Slab or Jessamyn... who host some pretty killer shows.
Tune in all of you late night owls and feel free to send requests to:
amyontheradio@gmail.com

Be well!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

KMUN

I've been a busy woman as of late. The RAW show was interesting and it was great to see so many faces I haven't seen in over a decade. There wasn't enough time for me to really enjoy extensive conversations with anyone, but having them there for the event was a great joy to me.
Doing mystical things in my hotel room at the Jupiter in Portland, Oregon.


The following are photos taken by Mercy Mcnab at Portland's first RAW event.

"Ergonomics Gone Awry"  mixed media on wood

"Matryoshka Doll Revolution" acrylic, oil pastel, embroidery thread on linen


"Phoenix in Flight" acrylic, oil pastel, fancy paper

Me, my art, and my new 80's inspired glasses... at RAW in PDX.

Top: "Lost in Translation" acrylic and oil pastel on canvas
Bottom: "Delta of Venus" Acrylic and ink on canvas

"Polar Opposites" acrylic, ink, oil pastel and embroidery thread

I had my prints hanging from wooden hangers in an old piece of luggage I own.

"Rorschach Rollercoaster" Acrylic, fabric, felt, embroidery thread on canvas


"Tree Lust (My coniferous wants to get with your deciduous)" acrylic and ink on wood

"Little Yellow Riding Wolf" acrylic, oil pastel, paper and fabric on canvas
Great shot by Mercy Mcnab!

"Year of the Rabbit" acrylic, ink and paper on wood

"Girl in a Box" acrylic, oil pastel and gesso on cardboard
(This one found a new home that night!)

Thanks to all who came out and thanks to all of the other artists who made the event happen!


In other news, I've passed my radio broadcasting class, so I'll be hosting my own shows now and then on Coast Radio, KMUN.  Streaming live:

I'm still a little rough around the edges, but I'm excited to continue and to find my rhythm over the air.  It's really motivated me to get back into researching and exploring new music as well as re-loving music I've had for years.  I'm also DJing my first Astoria gig this Saturday, yikes! I'm nervous and excited and I have high hopes that the night will be fun and go well.

I'm ready for Spring.  Be well.

A.