Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Word. Summer.

Another pretty summer in Portland. This is my 3rd and I'm starting to feel more and more at home in this creative city.

I've been busy holding down the fort at OBT while my colleague is on vacation. No rest for the wicked!
On a personal note, I'm going through a lot of changes. Living, commuting, creating, relationships, etc... such is life and I'm rolling with it the best of my abilities. 
I'm looking forward to October, my favorite month of the entire year. I'll be in a new space with new doors opening up for me. Plus, Halloween! Eeep, I need to start my costume idears now. 
OBT will be starting its 25th anniversary season and it's going to be a great line up of performances, can't wait to be a part of it all. 
And mushrooms. So ready to forage for fresh chanterelles. I'm always so inspired by the forests nearby. So lush, mossy and full of life. Ready to smell the fall leaves and to enjoy the yummy local goodies from the upcoming harvests. 

So down to brass tacks:  Art. 

This is what I've been working on as of late. I've got a show of misfits up at Motivasi Coffee in NE Portland. Go buy some art! Mamma needs new shoes! (and books for college). 
I've been forcing myself to sketch a bit every day or so, while all of my life gets in order. Not my best medium to use, but I'm enjoying the challenge and having a way to create wherever I am. 
So that's what is up with that. (I'm so tired today, so excuse my elementary blog... I drove a friend to the airport at 4am and I'm zonked out. Americano, activate!)










So there you go. New sh*t. New times of life. New new new. I need a new nap. But I'm happy. :)

Cheers!





Monday, May 05, 2014

Happy Spring! 

Where did Winter go?  I remember lots of unexpected snow- which was so much fun! I mean it. Some of my funnest Winter memories were from the snow days. I love looking outside and watching people cross country ski down the roads. If that is what Alaska is like, sign me up!


I also remember cold, cozy nights. Working like mad at OBT, putting on some damn fine performances.
I remember lots of movies on Netflix and warm layers of clothes, boots and socks. All the socks.
And, of course, I remember art... I remember lots of doodles, sketches, ideas and starts.
Kind of like sowing seeds for Spring, keeping these questions in mind: What would I like to harvest this Summer? What would I like to grow and create? What is going to blossom during the warmer months?

Only time will tell, but I do have a few clues that I'm happy to share with you!

First off, I want to mention that I have one piece from my October show that is for sale that would love to go home with you!  It's the only one left, so get it!
Please send me an email if you are interested or need information.

"Embrace and Let Go"
Mixed Media on Canvas
2013



Currently, I am working on moving into my basement art studio! I'm in the very early elementary stages due to rain over the weekend (boo!), but will be sprucing up the space in the next month to make it my home away from home. It's not the "idea"l studio as there is no natural lighting, but it's a great start and close to my house. I kinda like that it's below both a tattoo studio as well as a coffee shop. I can't think of any other type of business I'd rather be below. So very Portland, ha!
Here's what it looks like thus far: (and I can't wait to be able to post the "after" photo!)


I'm just finishing up with a piece that has been a great challenge for me. I'm not even sure why. I just keep looking at it and feeling like I need to add more. Every time I think I'm done, I think of something else to add. That's the creative process for you. Never a dull moment. Anyhow, it's a smaller piece that I started in preparation for a larger commission that I'm also working on for a couple in Olympia. Both include ravens as the main subject. I haven't had much experience painting ravens before, and the person purchasing the commission asked for pink ravens. Pink ravens!  How exciting is that?  So I've been studying ravens and crows, since they both carry so many similarities, and painting away. Most people think of ravens as something bleak and dreaded, thanks to the myriad of stories of ravens flying overhead to warn of doom and death. And, of course, adding to the bleakness would be Poe's legendary poem, "The Raven".
But I say, "Nevermore!" to all of that because according to many cultures the raven is something much different: Ravens, yo!


In the painting(s) I'm working on, the raven is nothing more than a messenger of newness and good tidings to come. In order for there to be darkness, there must also be light. And vice versa. Through all of my raven researching, I decided I wanted my ravens to be bright and full of strength. They are bringing the recipients of these paintings the sun. And here in the Pacific Northwest, we could all use a little extra vitamin D.

Here are both paintings, both still works in progress:





The only thing I'm showing of the commission (I don't want to jinx the process!), the initial layer and style that I've applied. So many layers to go, and I can't wait to see the completed work. I'll be working on it all week and all next weekend. So much fun and I'm so inspired by the concept of the pink ravens.  It's going to get messy, complicated and end up lovely and super fresh! Hint: bring on the paper, ink and grayscale!



Lastly, I totally freaked out on some canvas last week. I had an idea and was like, "Oh, I'll just sketch this out on some canvas before I go do this and this and..." Two hours later, the entire canvas was covered. Oops!  I guess with all of my careful work I do at my 9-5 job and with the recent artwork I've been working on, I needed something I could just go to town on without any expectations. It was a huge energy release and I still don't know how I feel about the end result. But the fact that I wasn't hoping for an end result and found one makes it a happy surprise. 



Def thinking about my love of travel with that piece and how much I NEED to get more travel in my life. Oddly enough, I happen to be working on that game plan, but that's for another blog.

I hope today finds you well and happy. Keep inspiring... and never fret, warmer days are ahead!


Cheers. 

Amy 


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!!