Thursday, December 13, 2007

FO:Iris#2 ; WIP:Vacation

This is my second iris, I painted it for my grandfather, whom I am going to visit in San Diego tomorrow. He's 97, spry and doesn't act a day over 75.

WIP: Iris #2 and vacation

Friday, November 30, 2007

Rain, existential crisis and another chicken.

You know how if you have been writing or reading for too long the words stop making sense, and suddenly you look at the word "house" and it looks wrong and you wonder whether its actually spelled Haus or Hows or perhaps the letter "H" is all a crazy invention of your brain? That's how I have been feeling about everything lately. Am I really here in this cold, wet corner of the world where it never snows and the sun withholds favors for half the year? Am I really studying this 'medicine' that has a system--but it can't be explained by the system I know (and was raised to believe in more than religion), when it's sending me up to my ears in debt and I am not really enjoying my academic experience? I know, its winter in Oregon, its my first term, and I still have my painting. So here's Ginevra (Ginny). She's beautiful.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mae West

I am participating in a show at the Watershed next month, and they requested more chickens. I will also be showing my large pieces of human subjects, many of which I have never shown due to their large size. "Foreground the light" will be on display, a 4foot square painting I did over the course of 6 months in 2002. I will also be finishing Thoth (for really reals this time) and hopefully one more large portrait by the time of the show on Dec 7th. Everyone is welcome to attend, it should be a blast! DJs, fashion show, warehouse party! More information to follow...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Beauty and the Beast

Signs of impending winter:
1. The Pointy one refuses to linger outside longer than it takes him to empty his bladder.
2. I have made pumpkin soup twice in the past week.
3. We just killed our 9 foot tomato plant.
4. My painting has picked up again.

Here you have a FP and a WIP. I took a little extra time with Lily#11, I think it paid off. As for the new one, I really wanted to paint a person but I am running low on models. I typed 'hot guy' into google and used one of the pictures as a reference. Aficionados may recognize the bust of Mr. Fluffy Pants, our former rooster. There's going to be a sunrise in the top left corner. The feminist critics are going to have a field day with this one.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The head of a big fluffy cock.

When our dear lambchop died (RIP) we sought to add another to our flock. I journeyed to Vancouver, Wa to find another hen. I ended up choosing Ginny, and bringing home one more, a bird with pants (buff silky). We were overjoyed at the bantam addition to the flock, and became alarmed when "she" tried to mount one of our hens. Being the owner of a dominant female dog with gender confusion (no doubt due to the lack of a solid male role model), I wasn't entirely sure how the story would end until the morning. I spent from 4-6 AM tossing sleeplessly, hopefully counting the silent minutes . But at 6AM (to the second) he started crowing. And he kept crowing. And crowing. Every 20 seconds until I put him in a box. Then he was silent for two hours until some light peeked through. Then I had a crowing cardboard box. In the afternoon, the woman who sold him to me finally returned my calls and I drove back to Vancouver and exchanged him for she-who-has-not-been-named. Happy ending (since she is our prettiest chicken anyway). So, long story short I did take a bunch of pictures of the ridiculous little guy, and I plan to make several of them into paintings. I did this one last night with the idea that it would decorate our new Poulet Chalet. Ray went nuts and built us a HUGE coop. Our biddies are soon to be featured on "Lifestyles of the rich and famous chickens".

Monday, October 1, 2007

Lily # 10

My lilies keep selling like hotcakes, and I have a fresh supply of pictures, so there will be many more to come. Please let me know if you get sick of them. On a more personal note, I am in my third week of acupuncture school and am enjoying it. Quiz on the Lung channel tomorrow!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Put your hans together for....DJ PAN!

I painted him almost a month ago while I was in San Francisco. Jeffery needed some more eye candy for his bedroom, so he purchased some supplies for me from a cute little shop on Haight. He insisted on the subject: a panda with a turntable. Twelve episodes of firefly later....
I have a couple more paintings to reveal, stay tuned.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Gifts from the House.

A few days ago, when Ray and I were done thrashing down some walls, we experimentally ripped up some old planks in my 'super-secret behind the closet room'. Hidden in the cellulose insulation beneath were many treasures. First to emerge was a man's boot, probably turn of the last century based on the construction and boot nails poking through the sole. We had a brief moment of creepitude as we pictured the worst case finding a tibia..femur..etc... But the next thing to emerge was another shoe, this time in miniature.

We also found a letter, which I will let you read for yourself. I know i am a history nerd, but there was something moving about reading the gossip of the first family to live in our house. I feel like after two months of working to restore it to its former glory, the house is giving me presents. It's starting to feel like home! Sorry about the formatting'll have to jump around--but at least the pages are numbered. And can you believe the nerve of that Mrs. Nassar?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Snail

Sometimes I just need to let go to of representation and paint.
Me: Anna. Pick a color.
Anna: Green!
Me: Stella, pick a color.
Stella: Purple!
Me: Katie, pick a color. YELLOW!
Me: Stella, pick an object.
Stella: A snail!....Does it have to be inanimate?
Me: No.

The last third of "Under the Tuscan Sun" and the first half of "Corrina, Corrina" later, here he is. It is 70% muse, 15% Stella and 15% Anna. I am but a conduit for the psychadelic snail.

Acrylic on leftover trim.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Old Coast Guard Pier: Garibaldi, OR

Bill Wood and I left Portland at dusk and camped on Saddle Mountain. He taught me how to play cribbage by the kerosene lantern and we were on the road again before seven AM. By eight we had caught two keeper crabs off the 12th st. bridge in Seaside. He fished in the ocean while I napped-- we got lost along the Miami river--then we went to Garibaldi to crab and fish off the old coast guard pier. We soon ran out of bait and went to the Gourmet Fish Shack (pron. 'Gor-mett') where we found the store closed. On a whim we went behind the shack, to find a woman filleting fish for a man and his three sons. Her face was covered with red scars and her hands were equally ravaged looking. She couldn't have been older than 35, judging by her incongruously ample figure. She could fillet a large fish in under 20 seconds. We struck up conversation, hoping to use a couple of fish carcasses for bait. The enormous fish, missing only their flanks, seemed to fly from the table of their own accord several times a minute. It was dizzying watching her work. The man and his sons scurried away with their bags of fillets, leaving us to continue our discussion with her. She offered to let us take whatever we cleaned, but that was an empty threat. I joked that she would be driven crazy watching us fumble for several minutes to do what takes her a few heartbeats. She warmed up considerably after I placed a dollar into her tip jar, and told us that she had been there for more than 12 hours and did this 7 days a week. A couple of times as we had been standing there she had said "hey dirty bird!" over her shoulder. I didn't think anything of it until I finally noticed that there were half a dozen seagulls circling the water behind her, but there was one dutifully staring at her from the end of the table. She explained that "Dirty bird" was the name of the closest bird, a juvenile she had rescued from a blackberry bramble a year prior and had been following her around ever since. Apparently he flew from her house to the pier every day, and slept on her front porch at night. She had trained him to sit quietly on the end of the table while she worked. As I looked closer I noticed that although his plumage was of the sort that does look quite dirty, a mottled grey and white, his legs were very genteel--smooth and pale pink. He reminded me of a house cat, the way he distastefully regarded the other gulls circling in the bay. We gathered the large carcasses as she tossed them aside, and within minutes we had more than we could use. We took our garbage bag half filled with fish, gave our thanks and went to the pier to crab and fish for perch. I felt the need to paint, to capture some of that strange reality I glimpsed with that woman. I set myself a limit of 3 hours to finish this piece. It's acrylic, on a piece of extra trim from our downstairs (1x8 pine lumber).

Return on 2x4s and Chicken Feed.

From the Rhode Island Red whose name is.... Scully? We still desperately need a name for this one:

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

WIP Pygora Goat

I am planning to have a booth at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival to sell my wares, and here is the first piece specifically catering to the theme of adorable fibrous ungulates. I may push through tonight and finish him up....He's 8x10" acrylic on canvas (my first oval!). I think i may use only white paint, or break down and use a pale yellow for the eyes. I hope it's not too creepy.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Lily for Lara

Behold, dear reader!! Lily number nine! (Numba 9, numba 9, numba 9...) I painted this for my dear friend Lara Michell, who had her birthday on sunday. It is 8x8", acrylic on deep-cradled canvas. I used my typical-when-I-am-not-super-lazy technique inspired by the PRB, which is to say that I primed the canvas about 11 times, sanding between coats. Smmmmooooooooth.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Poppy #1

I am not exactly sure what it is, but all three paintings that i have done while at Barlow creek have something in common. (For those interested, Lily #2 and Iris #1 were done at the same campsite as this one. Anyone care to comment on their similarities?) The background was inspired by my love of red and light blue together, and my desire to break up the smooth fluffy edges of the poppy. I also felt that she needed a background more fitting her scandalous reputation. She's 6x6" on claybord, the yummiest of media.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Floor update.

So I realize, dear reader, that you were on the edge of your office chair for the last 3 weeks waiting for pix of our shiny new floors. Refinishing was a very rewarding experience, and I have learned many things:
1. You can never vacuum too many times between sanding and varnish. Seriously.
2. Finishing floors with 10" of bare plaster showing (where the trim was before they ripped it out to put in 'wood' paneling) causes very much plaster and grit to be spread onto precious floor.
3. Re-sanding after the first coat with 220 grit paper on hands and knees takes a long time. (See #1 and 2)
4. Ignore patronizing males when they say things like "oh, boy, that machine is probably too much for you to handle" and "you gals might want to leave that to the professionals." Although the floors might be a little grittier than if we paid someone 3 grand to do it, we spent 200 dollars and a weekend of work. The machines weren't really that bad anyway, in fact they were really fun to use. Stella almost cried when the edger broke, she had grown so attached. She cradled the poor thing in her arms like a wounded lamb.
5. Doing something this big for yourself means very much confidence-boosting and chest-puffing like arrogant bluebird. We are officially "handy" now, and everyone coos over the beauty of our floors. Observe:

I return to the downy bosom of the internets...

It was a long 2.5 weeks in our new house sans interweb, but I re-emerge, doubtless the better for avoiding my favorite time waster during the most crucial period of renovation. I even managed a show and a new painting in the interim, on top of new trim, unpacking and painting the walls. Here's the new piece, Lily #8. FYI, it has already sold...But there are many more to come, I just took dozens of pictures of this season's lilies... and as long as people keep buying them I will keep painting them...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Birthday post

My mother asked me a few months ago what I wanted for my birthday. I snarkily replied: "A house." Be careful what you wish for, because you might end up spending 12 hours on your birthday refinishing floors. We took possession of our bungalow on the 9th of June, and since then we have:
-Built a chicken coop, complete with hound-resistant fencing buried 12 inches down and 12 inches out...
-Torn out all the carpet in the house, including about 400 sqft that was screwed (!!) down with 1" wood screws
-Ripped down all the "wood" paneling
-Coaxed out 2 bedrooms worth of linoleum (pry bar)
-Patched and painted the great room
-Patched and painted the 2 downstairs bedrooms
-Built a 6'x6'x4' garden bed
-Sanded through vinyl backing and mastic to reveal handsome wood floors. We started today with 18 grit sandpaper and are currently on 24...tomorrow, brace yourself as we do 38 through 100 and try to put finish down before the lady starts her insane 3 week class on Monday morning.

Check out some pictures, trust me I have more of them than eloquence after wrastlin' with that drum sander all day.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Eyes heart spring...

Its visitor season again, and my college friend Robert just returned to Minneapolis after a delightful week-long visit to Portland. I admit, my bee is arrested in the inchoate stage and I have done no work on him/it. (I also admit that I openly discriminate against haploid individuals. I would caution you not to inform the bee but--come on, he's haploid..) I have been busy with traveling, packing, entertaining and a nasty flu. Its been more than a year since I was sick with a traditional ailment and I confess there's something comforting about being sick and knowing there's no danger of it spiraling into something uncontrollable, losing 30 pounds and my sanity in the process. Health is so precious and tenuous and moments like this one make me cherish it even more. So now seemed a perfect time to share a few photos taken on my various spring adventures.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Sheep are Sheep

This stately dame is 2nd in my series of 26. Please, suggest other animals before it's too late. My tentative list, so far:
Bee (green sweat-In progress)
Dik Dik
Echidna (Eel?)
Jay (Completed)
Kangaroo Rat
Sheep (Completed)
T (Tapir?)
U (Anyone?)
Xenopeltis Unicolor (Sunbeam snake)
Yakare Caiman
Zebra finch

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Forgotten Souls...

I just took down that show in Hillsboro. I didn't sell anything, but all my business cards disappeared and many nibbled at the 3-piece tree. I forgot to post these two paintings when I completed them at the end of February. In fact, I had forgotten painting the butterfly at all. The one on the left is entitled "blood and lust"--I was trying to put those two things on the wood and do something abstract for a change. Both are quite small (4x4"), my attempt at marketing as I heard that "Small is the new big". The butterfly looks sinister even though I made an attempt at cuteness (again). Why does this always happen?

Friday, April 27, 2007


Here's a painting I finished a while ago but didn't post. Mr. Flufferkins/Henri has inspired a series, watch for the hilarious results!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

In a blue jay way

This is a re-used canvas from a piece I started in 2002, while I was taking a class on the Pre-Raphaelites. The original idea was to have the gold border frame a transcription of one of D.G. Rossetti's sonnets from The House of Life, which is, of course, the best piece of literature ever to have been exhumed from a Victorian woman's grave. I painted the background over the old text with my leftover paint from a cock-fight piece I am hating right now, and then decided I needed a blue subject for the foreground. His fat little body and earnest expression inspired me. Please suggest names, he longs for an identity. But not Jay.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Before and After

So we are trying to buy a house. It's been a tedious process the last few months--we are on our second realtor and this is the third house on which we have made an offer. Its a beautiful 1924 bungalow one mile from Mt. Tabor. I know what you are thinking--we can't afford it...and you're right, except for:
-It's close to the freeway (As Evan E. says, close to easy directions to our house)
-It's close to the Juvenile Detention Center ("kids, if you don't shut up you're goin' over the wall!")
-It has no heat
-The electrical panel is defective
-The Sewer line is trash (and runs through the neighbor's yard)
-The foundation needs help
That's just the big stuff. Picture mauve carpeting, windows that haven't been open in decades, enough wood panel to sink a battleship and...wait for it...the bedrooms have brown shag carpet over linoleum over linoleum over fir. You heard me. Two layers of linoleum under shag. The point of my story is that we love it--its like finding Tomatillo at the humane society, sniffling, skinny and matted. They were going to put him down. With a little time (and a few weeks of antibiotics and syringe feeding) he became the most fluffy, handsome, orange love-muffin around. And if they fix the big stuff, nothing will hold us back. Get ready for the before and after shots as I put painting on the small burner (not the back, that one has plastic melted to it) and attempt to turn our new house into a big, fluffy orange tabby.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Chicken Mit Nuggets

I have been flurrying to prepare for my Earth Day booth tomorrow. As well as framing my very first prints (of winged victory), I completed a couple paintings today, including this portrait of Comandante Esther.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lily #7

The seventh lily in the series. Any thoughts?

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Top of the Morning To you!

We ladies stayed up way too late last night drinking wine and painting/knitting. Carrying on with the barnyard theme, here's the rooster!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


This is a portrait of Checkers, a lovely urban hen belonging to Abram Goldman-Armstrong. I have tasted her eggs, they are delicious.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Moon God Teaser Part 2

I vow that Thoth will be ready for public consideration in one week. It's spring break, and now I have no excuses. Everyone can thank Jeffery Doten for my current good mood and total lack of artistic progress in the last two weeks. Here is thoth, the next time you see him he will be done. There, I said it again. Right now I am working on a chicken. Named Checkers.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

"they never even asked to see my impaling stick"

Things I learned last night at the Crystal ballroom:
-Smoosh is the greatest band ever. I have obviously wasted many years of my life.
-Not knowing who the Gang of Four is did not prevent me from letting Dave Allen escort me into the roomy VIP section and absorbing countless vicious glares from the sardines crowding against the barrier.
-Final Fantasy totally blew my mind. Brilliant combination of pretty-boy-choir-voiced violinist and unabashed low-tech overhead projector magic. Truly stunning.
-Having a fugly back up section makes a pretty lead singer way more captivating. (Bloc Party) Also, he was the first man ever to make a howling wolf T-shirt from Colorado seem acceptable. Almost. But we still left after the third song. Sorry, my ears hurt and their music is boring.
Coming soon: Another moon god teaser! If i can find my camera.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Flying Fox

I had a very productive Art-Date today with my friend Sarah Johnson. Anyone have a name for him?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Friends: Long and Orange

Its been a while. My show is up at Ritual Hair Design until may. 23 pieces. Here's my latest, entitled Long Orange Friend, a tribute to the most often consumed vegetable in my diet. Shortly after sitting for me, I felt it most fitting to steam my friend and serve him with peas and spinach under a cup of chicken soup. I felt only the slightest pang of guilt as i chopped away the contours I had studied for the previous 5 hours, cultivating an intimacy never before shared with a long orange friend.