Thursday, December 25, 2008


This is why I love birds of prey. They can do what I only dream about. Sorry, Grandma.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What happens when it snows in Portland

We have been snowed in for more than a week here. The farthest I have gone from my house was about 2 miles...and that was on cross-country skis. The country dwelling, winter-loving part of me--the part I thought i left behind when I moved to Portland--is beyond thrilled. I think if this happened every year or so I could handle living in the city long term. I can't handle the damp, dreary winters, I need the snow to make things dry and bright.

I painted these both in one day, I wish I could muster the energy to do this everyday, but there are beers to drink and kung-fu movies to watch. Coming soon: a butterfly, a hawk, more flowers, and something guaranteed to piss off your grandma.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Wacation!

Finals are finally over. I am done with 5/12 terms at OCOM. Phew. I now have the pleasure of preparing for a show at the academy theater, which opens January 1st. It's lovely to have time for painting again. As I have another show still up at Roots Organic Brewery, the vast majority must be new material. Here's the first piece, I am aiming to have around 15 by the end of the month. If anyone knows what kind of insect this is, please let me know. I found it at the beach and took a picture....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Flower of Passion.

It's that time of year again, and these lovely beauties from an alien realm are blooming right next to my mailbox. Seriously though, where are they from? This is not how a normal flower should behave.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Urban Homesteading

Being unable to eat corn and soy, meat is an inevitable part of my diet. I was vegetarian for several years before being diagnosed with crohn's disease, purely on the basis of my objections to factory farming. I have little difficulty with the concept of killing animals for food. However I feel very strongly that animals should have a good life and avoid unnecessary suffering. I also feel that it is better to look your food in the face and connect with meat--It makes me feel far more guilty to look at meat in a Styrofoam tray than to think of raising it and eating it myself. My goal in the next years is to shift entirely to eating meat grown either by me or people I have met personally. My household recently purchased a side of beef--we met the steer and watched the slaughter, and although a little sad, it was an experience I am determined to repeat the next time I need to buy a large amount of meat.
Raising meat birds is not feasible in the city, as we can't have a rooster and any chicks we purchased would inevitably from factory farms, and any purchased from local farms would not be cost effective. The answer was rabbits--they share a coop with the chickens and are elevated, and thus take no surface area from the chicken coop, and are very feed efficient. And, well, they breed like rabbits. A breeding doe produces about 1000% of her body weight in meat per year, somewhere around 35-40 fryers of 3lbs dressed weight. Rabbit feed contains no corn, and is mostly grain waste products. All in all, efficient enough to overlook having to kill them, even with their cuteness and calm dispositions. My two partners and I have invested in cages and rabbits, and this weekend are going to assemble an automatic watering system (as we are all getting tired of changing bottles three times a day).

We settled on Champagne D'argents as our primary breed--We have two sibling does and an unrelated buck (Named Atlas). They are an old french breed (around 400 years old) raised for meat and their silver pelts. They are born jet black and turn silver as they age. We also have a Californian doe, who is extremely hardy and will produce fantastic hybrids. She, however, is considerably meaner than the Champagnes, who my roommate claims have the temperament of furry bricks. Behold their cuteness! And help me name these does. We're going for mythological themes. And please note that we will not be eating these ones--they will be pets--their young will be for breeding stock, pets and meat.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Lily #13

My printer isn't working. So I painted an old picture, the same one as lily#2. They look surprisingly similar. I guess I expected my technique to change more in the two years since i painted it...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I didn't want to study

so instead I painted this. A classmate, Danube, told me I should paint a pear with wings. The pear was from life, and the wing belonged to a dead cormorant photographed by Bill Wood.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Part three: Humps.

The Lady and I spent some time at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival last summer. She went for the yarn, I went for the ungulates. I took a lot of pictures. There was a particularly handsome 9 month old Bactrian camel there, and I spent several minutes trying to capture his cavalier attitude. The title of this painting is "He can hear your cell phone before it rings." Seconds before my cell phone rang, as I was standing in front of him, he turned to look at me, and bellowed the most disturbing noise. Sorry, dude. I'll turn it off next time.

Part Two. The letter "b".

Remember this? No, i haven't forgotten. And just to make sure I keep working on what is sure to be a many-years long project, I have written all of the animals on my kitchen wall so I can check them off when I finish each of them. But the Beeeee hee eeez done.
Green Sweat bee: 16x20" acrylic on canvas.

Thump. The last month. Here you go. (part one)

Almost every entry in my journal for the last ten years begins with: "It's been a long time since I wrote, and I will be better from now on...promise..." I don't think you believe me when I say it either, but nonetheless I must dump on you "2008 thus far!!".

There is one missing, my beloved Octopus. He will appear later this year as he is in LA for the season. (And who can blame him?) But first, this is the piece (there's one for every show I do) that was completed within 2 hours of the hang. I usually don't have quite enough pieces for a show so I flurry near the end to get them done. However, even when I do, for some reason I always decide to get ONE LAST piece painted. It's a common affliction, based on a love for deadline-based stress. So what does any self-respecting artist do to fill a gallery space within 24 hours? Take pictures of yourself naked and paint it on a big canvas, of course!!
Its 2x3' acrylic on canvas. The shiny things are pieces of gold cardboard sealed to the background with paint. My plan is to run over the whole thing with lacquer now that it's been photographed.

Next up are two paintings on either side of the same wood block. They were inspired by not wanting to paint something serious. After a while, the detail that I paint can get pretty aggravating. You have to be pretty calm to paint eyelashes and delicate nuances of fur and skin, you know? The first side is a study that I did of a realistic painting. I gave myself five minutes to meditate, five minutes to pencil it out, and 45 minutes (one episode of BSG) to paint it. Then i had to stop. On the back is the fly, an experiment with gloss gel. It's fun to play with.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Message in a Bottle

The sun came out today for a few moments, like the friend you invited to your party but didn't anticipate coming. My classmate Mary and I took a trip to the zoo. It was soggy and 39 degrees--and the zoo was empty save a class of bilingual elementary kids. It was very placid, and turned out to be an ideal day for photography. The light was perfect and the animals were calm. Except for the meerkats, who were busily digging for worms in the damp soil.

I felt very fortunate to get so intimate with an Amur Leopard. There are only about 38 of these beauties left in the wild, making them far more common in zoos. As saddening as it is to see animals in captivity, I feel like its better to preserve them in some form rather than letting them go extinct. It's strange to think that some of the animals I have painted may only be in zoos within my lifetime. We're just not very good at sharing, are we?
I promise to update with my latest paintings soon. I have two nudes and two animals nearly completed.