Wednesday, December 31, 2008


In Bloom, acrylic on canvas, 18" x 18", ©2008, SALE PRICE $300.00

In the spirit of clearing the decks for the new year (and in the spirit of buying heating oil for the rest of this unusually cold winter), I am having my first ever


From now until January 15th, 2009 save 50% off the paintings found in the HALF OFF SALE gallery on my website and all the paintings on my small art blog.

Everyone who buys a painting will be included in a drawing for a surprise gift!

Prices listed are the sale prices and include tax and shipping. (If shipping outside the continental U.S., additional charges may apply.)
Questions, leave a comment here or email me at
Interested in a payment plan? Just ask!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stay Tuned…

So far the response to my last post has been pretty great - I've even made some sales already! Thank you all!

I will indeed be having a sale. I'm working on getting my website and small art blog set up for it (changing prices, making PayPal buttons, adding pieces, etc.) and plan to "open" by tomorrow sometime. Maybe I'll time it to coincide with when the oil truck shows up!

Even though it's not fully set up yet, go ahead and take a look and let me know if there's something you'd like.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Baby it's cold outside - and inside too!

(I've asked a question at the end of this post that I'd very much like to have your answer to…)

Okay, our Christmas has been, ummm, interesting this year. Being snowbound was just the beginning, and the root cause of much of our dissatisfaction with the holiday season thus far. A couple of days into the snowboundness, our DVD player decided it didn't want to work anymore. We don't have cable right now, but luckily, we still have a VCR and some Christmas specials on VHS tapes, but our Netflix DVDs are just sitting there waiting for our new player to arrive. Then, we couldn't go out and find a Christmas tree. Then, we couldn't get to Christmas Eve service at our church (this was the biggest blow). Yesterday we were finally able to get out of the house for a bit because our friend sent her dad over to pick us up with his 4-wheel drive capability and so we all went to the movies and had dinner together. Ah, nice. Maybe we can salvage something here.

Oh, wait. Woke up this morning to a non-functioning furnace! It's still snowing! The melted snow turns to ice at night! And we have no heat?! Repairman arrived this afternoon, tuned it up a bit, then announced that in addition to needing that, we are now out of oil. Placed an order for it immediately only to find that the earliest they can get it to us is WEDNESDAY! I'm cold NOW!

And I'm also very, very broke now. After Christmas expenses, on top of moving expenses, money for fixing the furnace and filling the tank with oil is a very large, very unexpected expense. We're new to this land of furnaces and our landlord thought for sure we'd have enough to get us through the winter at least so we thought we wouldn't have to worry about it until next fall at the earliest.

Now I'm trying to figure out how to raise some extra cash in a hurry. Maybe have a big sale on my artwork, say 50% off? That would make my small 5" x 7" canvases $50 (tax and shipping included).

But if I was to do that, would anybody be able to take advantage of it? Would anybody want to?

Seriously. I'm asking you. Would you be interested? Please let me know. If I get enough positive response, I'll do it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Favorite Books of 2008

Yet another snow day. So much ice on the roads (and our roads are mostly of the not flat variety) and our car just can't handle it, therefore spending a lot of time very close to home. So I thought it might be a good time to write what's turned into my annual post about the books I've read over the past year. So far I've read 83 books this year, and I'm reading 84 and 85 right now. I'll be limiting my list to my favorites. (click on the titles to be taken to for full descriptions)

Mysteries - Lots of great mysteries this year, many in series but also a few stand alones.
The Wine of Angels by Phil Rickman - in last year's post I mentioned this fantastic Rev. Merrily Watkins series, and I was finally able to find the first few books, beginning with this one. Great stuff!
I Shall Not Want by Julia Spencer-Fleming - Long awaited follow-up to All Mortal Flesh. And I was not at all disappointed!
Touchstone by Laurie R. King - another excellent read from one of my favorite authors.
In the Woods by Tana French - I think this is my favorite find this year. Also really enjoyed her follow-up novel The Likeness, and hope she writes many more. (I believe these mysteries are actually shelved with regular fiction.)
My husband's boss recommended the Detective Kathleen Mallory series by Carol O'Connell. Great series! Addictive too. Begins with Mallory's Oracle, and my favorite so far is the fourth one, Stone Angel.
The Forgery of Venus by Michael Gruber - excellent read! Really gets inside the artist's head too.
The Matchmaker of Perigord by Julia Stuart - just delightful. Kind of like how it feels to watch the film Amelie.
Spiritual Inspiration
Walking on Water: Reflections of Faith and Art by Madeleine L'Engle - excellent
Toward God: The Ancient Wisdom of Western Prayer by Michael Casey - I'm still reading this, trying to savor and absorb its wisdom. Mind blowing. Totally changing my perception of, and deepening my experience of, prayer.

Other Non-Fiction
Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
both of these books continued the inspiration to eat more consciously, seasonally, and locally started by reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle last year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Day(s)

First Snow, acrylic on canvas, 5" x 7", ©2008 SOLD!

Well, it is definitely Winter. Here in the Seattle area (and most of the Pacific Northwest) we've been slammed with unusually arctic conditions for the past week and a half, and they say there's more to come. We are blanketed in snow, and icy roads mean much of our regular routine has been disrupted. Even Churches were closed yesterday (Sunday).

Since we were unable to get to church yesterday morning, I decided to indulge in a little of what our priest calls Northwest Pantheism and took a walk with my cameras to try to capture the beauty of this winter wonderland. Unfortunately the batteries in my digital died fairly early on, so I only managed to get a few photos with it, and you can see them here on my Flickr account. (I also took my Diana+ with me loaded with some black and white film, but I'll have to wait until I can get it developed to see what I captured with it.)

Luckily I had some art supplies (paint and small canvases) here at home since I haven't been able to drive to my studio. I've painted a couple of small pieces, and I managed to pick up some larger canvases between snowfalls the other day so I can continue to paint here. The painting at the top of the post I painted after the first snowfall last Saturday. I was entranced by the colors and texture of the snow and dry grasses and tree trunks. I plan to do some larger versions along this them too.

The painting below I completed on the heels of River Walk, and you can see that they share a common inspiration.

River Walk II, acrylic on canvas, 5" x 7", ©2008 SOLD!

Both of these paintings are available for sale on my small art blog, or from my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Poem for Out of Darkness


Caravaggio, The Calling of Saint Matthew, 1599-1600
Oil on canvas, 10' 7 1/2" X 11' 2"
Contarelli Chapel, Church of San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome

My friend (and poet extraordinaire) Gregory Crosby wrote this wonderful poem in honor of the Out of Darkness (Into Light) exhibit, inspired by this powerful painting by the Baroque painter Caravaggio. (You can see some of the art included in this exhibit here.)

On Caravaggio’s Calling of Saint Matthew

The world is its own shadow.

In the house where everything
is counted, nothing gained,

the afternoon’s gold slips beneath
the pane, & dusk raises something

in hearts that will not otherwise rouse.
Someone is at the door. He lifts

his arm from this quotidian shade,
this everyday dark so rich it cannot

exist anywhere but in this world.
The sun seems to frame his head,

casting his profile into deeper shadow,
but it is his hand that gleams: languid,

simple, assured. His companion’s hand
shadows it, though this man’s gray

head as yet only catches the light
of day. Two sharps in sumptuary

turn toward the strangers; two men,
young & old, at the table’s end, see

nothing to stir them just yet from
silver… & a gold coin glints from

Levi’s black cap, glimmers thanks
to a brushstroke as subtle as Christ’s

halo, as the tax collector points
to himself in soft alarm, as if to say

Who, me? But his softer eyes betray him.
He knows, as if across the chapel’s dim

effulgence he sees himself, Matthew—
sees his martyrdom, & accepts it, like a

sum that cannot be wrong. This is how
it is. This is how the light arrives: without

fanfare, like any, every morning; a light
that reveals all darkness is only absence,

only shadow; the hand of light, paused,
midair, just below the terminus of the

shadow on the wall. The light, here;
the world, here; the world, elsewhere.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

light fog

River Walk, acrylic on canvas, 12" x 24", ©2008

Though still on the mend, I am finally starting to feel better. I was even able to paint a bit today for the first time since last Monday, which is when I completed the painting pictured above, inspired by a walk I'd taken along the river. I have more images of this inside my head, but I haven't been able to express them yet.

Now begins the difficult task of starting the fight against Resistance – again. Things have been topsy-turvy since the move as far as trying to get back into the swing of making art, and being sick just did not help any. I'm torn between trying to be easy on myself because I recognize that I'm still healing, and being very frustrated because I feel like I'm falling behind. Behind what? Not really sure. Behind expectations maybe? I'm also frustrated because it feels so hard to focus. The fog is starting to clear, but I'm easily distracted from whatever task I set myself, and my intentions crumble at the slightest breeze.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Advent begins

Advent 2008 altarpiece

Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the liturgical year and the season of spiritual preparation for Christmas. The photo above is my third Advent altarpiece (you can click on it to get a larger view). This year I let my ideas expand to encompass more than the altarpiece and the nave by decorating the narthex and the outside doors as well. You can find more photos of the Advent art, and some of the process that went into creating them here.

Vesper Light, acrylic/collage on canvas 8" x 8", ©2008 (sold)

In other news, two of my paintings (Vesper Light and Mapping the Depths) have been accepted as part of the "Light of the World" online exhibit from the ECVA (Episcopal Church & Visual Arts), on display now through early 2009.

Advent is a very important time of year for me, and I really wanted to have something profound to say about it for this post. Unfortunately, I've also managed to catch a cold and my brain is not functioning as well as I'd like at the moment, so for now I give you a video that my husband made of Father John discussing "What is Advent and why is it important?"

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Verdant Greening, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 36", ©2008

I was tagged recently by Grace Lee Korbel over at Korbel Fine Arts to list 6 random things about myself. I've been pondering this, trying to come up with something new and interesting, and not having much luck. But today I came across Cynthia Guajardo's Thanksgiving post and I thought I'd borrow a page from her book and change the rules up a bit, in honor of the holiday tomorrow, by listing things I am thankful for instead. So here goes:

I am so thankful for:

1. My wonderful, loving, and super supportive husband Wade. My life would indeed be a much poorer thing in so many ways without him.
2. Our new house.
3. Our amazing church community at Redeemer and the spiritual (and artistic) growth I've experienced there over the past 3 years.
4. My art and the opportunity to explore it fully.
5. My friends and family, online and off.
6. My cats.

And like Cynthia, instead of tagging more bloggers, I leave it up to you. If you feel moved to, go ahead and list what you're thankful for on your blog.

Happy Thanksgiving! May you have much to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Fine Art Department

Red Movement, acrylic on canvas, 8" x 8", ©2008 (available for sale on my small art blog and in my Etsy shop)

A big thank you to Tracy Helgeson who has included me along with 24 other artists in The Fine Art Department! Here are her words describing the motivation behind this project:

"So in the spirit of team work, I have put up yet another blog. It's called The Fine Art Department and I'd like to post an image, a short description and link to artists who are selling their own work. The economy is tough and those of us who (try to) make a living selling our work have been greatly affected. Obviously, I hope that if one has limited funds, they will pay for food, insurance, mortgage, etc. first, however perhaps there are still a few folks who can squeeze out a couple of bucks to buy a piece of art to enjoy or to give as a gift. If artists aren't selling anything, they are also not buying anything either or paying their bills or the mortgage and the dominoes will keep falling. I realize that not every art buyer wants to buy my art (what?) so I'd like to offer some alternatives and hopefully somebody will make a few sales, even if it's not me."

So head on over to The Fine Art Department and take a look at some truly great art. I'm sure you'll find something you just have to have!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Out of Darkness (Into Light) announcement

announcement for the next art exhibit I'm curating for my church,
click on images to see larger versions

Monday, November 10, 2008


Lost in Translation, acrylic/collage on canvas, 5" x 7", ©2008 SOLD!

"A poet friend of mine told me that his poems know far more than he does, and if he listens to them, then they teach him."

-Madeleine L'Engle from A Ring of Light

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Art (at the) Salon

Several of my recent paintings are now on display at Salon Rouge in downtown Bothell. Carole, my hairdresser and owner of this beautiful Aveda salon, has become one of my patrons and asked me if I would like to exhibit my work there. Said she wanted to be surrounded by my art. :) Happy to oblige.

All pieces on display, except for the one owned by Carole herself, are available for sale. To see them, and/or to make a hair appointment, give Carole a call at 425/485-5016. Or drop by at 10116 Main Street (part of Bothell's Main Street Mall, the main entrance is in the back of the building).

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama, Obama, Obama!

I am distracted to say the least. I'm sure it's at least partly due to it being Election Day, and it's a big one. Since I voted last week, I thought maybe I could pretend today was just like any other day and just wait until tonight to see if our political future is truly history in the making, or, God forbid, more of the same.

Anyway, I thought I'd re-post this video from the beginning of Obama's campaign. It really captures why Obama got my vote - he brings with him a true sense of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

If you haven't already, get out and vote!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

StudioTenshi: Small Works

Flight, acrylic/collage on canvas, 5" x 7", ©2008

As I said in my last post, I have a project I'm working on that was at least in part inspired by my small painting Purple Dusk. I say in part because it's actually an idea I've admired when other artists (most recently Tracy Helgeson, but I've seen many others as well) use it, and with the completion of Purple Dusk it finally got through to me that maybe I could do that too. (Really don't know what took me so long.)

So, here it is, a place to showcase my 8" x 8" and smaller artwork. It's in the beginning stages and still in need of some tweaking, but I wanted to share it. To celebrate this new venture, and for the holidays, I'm offering the pieces at a bit of a discount.

The first several pieces will be paintings on canvas, but in the near future I will also start offering small collages, monoprints, and paintings on paper. Limited edition photographic prints of the images I capture with my Diana+ lomographic camera are also in the works.

Head on over and take a look. And be sure to check back often so you don't miss anything. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back in the studio

Purple Dusk, acrylic/collage on canvas, 5"x 7", ©2008

This is the last piece I completed before moving took over my life two weeks ago. As I re-entered the studio yesterday, I found myself working on more small pieces. In the past year or so I've discovered when I'm feeling stressed or unfocused or I've been away from the studio for awhile, that working on small pieces provides a gentle way to get back into it. The large pieces can seem too daunting and intimidating, while a small piece is non-threatening (in size and in cost of materials) and can usually be completed relatively quickly. Then, once I've done one or two of them, I usually feel confident enough, and focused enough, to get back to larger pieces.

In the meantime, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. Now that the moving process is winding down (though the unpacking seems endless), it's like my mind is being flooded by all the thoughts and ideas that were being blocked by the flotsam of the moving process, and they're a whirlwind in my brain! This makes it difficult to keep focused because I keep thinking of other things I should be, or simply want to be, doing. I had actually intended to write this post yesterday, for instance, but it just didn't happen.

I do have an idea that was inspired, at least in part, by this painting and I hope to be able to implement it by the end of the week, so check back.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

endless sea of boxes

Ah, look at these innocent boxes. The first I packed a couple of weeks ago when we decided to move house. These turned into a sea of boxes which we moved this past Saturday and that I'm still working through as I unpack our lives into our new home. I finally finished the kitchen yesterday and today I've made good progress on the livingroom and my little home studio. My computer is now in it's armoire and I can sit down in a chair to use it - that's definitely progress.

And my brain is slowly emerging from moving mode and I can see some glimmer of it getting back to art again soon. My goal is to get back to my regular studio schedule next week. I might even be able to go in tomorrow for a couple of hours! Don't know if any paint will meet canvas, but it will be good to at least be with my supplies again.

Even immersed in the sea of boxes, I did manage to hear a lot about the plight of the economy, and so far I think this solution makes the most sense:
See more Natalie Portman videos at Funny or Die

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Brushes with the Land opening reception

Me next to the four paintings of mine in the show.

View of part of the gallery. It was a packed house!

Went to the opening reception for Brushes with the Land at Gallery by the Bay in Stanwood last night. Lots of great art (57 artists had work accepted) and a bustling atmosphere. It was a very impressive turnout, especially considering that Stanwood isn't exactly in the middle of things. I got to meet and converse with some wonderful Northwest artists, including Graham Fracha, Janice Kirstein, Pat Clayton, and William Turner (no, not that William Turner!). A good time was had by all.

The show will be up until November 16th, so if you're in the area, go see it. :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Now back to art

Veil IV, acrylic/collage on canvas, 12" x 24" ©2008

I finally made it back to the studio today. It's been hard going, but I felt some of the ol' magic returning this morning, so I have hope.

The pictured painting I completed a month or two ago following another rough patch in the studio. After going to the studio day after day, starting canvas after canvas, struggling to make art for over a month following the art show in New York, I completed this and 4 other paintings in quick succession. And I really feel they are some of my best work yet. It was a real lesson in keeping at it even when it doesn't seem to be working.

I finally got around to putting them on my website today.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

...and a new home

Still feeling a bit off kilter - so much stuff demanding attention from my brain. Not the least of which is that we just signed the lease agreement for a house, so now we're moving! I fell in love with this house when we first moved to Bothell 3 years ago. It had been on the market for quite a while, but in a price range that was just way beyond our means. Then, a little over a week ago, we drove by it and saw the For Rent sign in the yard! Barely daring to hope, we wrote down the phone number and gave the owner a call.

A week later we got a chance to meet with the owner and tour the house. We got along great with him, loved the house, and we all agreed that this would be a great match. We'll be moving in by the end of the month! It all happened so fast.

So, now we pack. No matter how great and welcome a move this is, moving is still so stressful, and I'm having trouble getting into art-making mode. I'm hoping that since my studio doesn't have to be packed up in order to make this move that I'll be able to get back to creating soon.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

new look

Well, this is my new look. Thanks to my hairdresser and the magic of chemistry, after 40 years of being blonde I am now a redhead. And I picked up my new specs this morning. If you want to see the before, visit this post from January.

So many thoughts, and so much I've been wanting to write about, but I just can't seem to organize my thoughts well enough. Same problem in the studio lately too. So, for today anyway, I've decided to stop fighting it and just go read a fun book (primary characters are werewolves) for the rest of the day and hope that the break will help my brain reset itself.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Illustration Friday: Island

Islands, acrylic/collage on canvas, 5"x7", ©2008

This is one of the four paintings that got accepted into "Brushes with the Land", Gallery by the Bay's 3rd annual juried show featuring Northwest landscapes, which will be on view October 10–November 16th.

My work doesn't depict specific landscapes/seascapes, but I find my watery home here in the Northwest has definitely become a part of me, and what I express in my paintings.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Studio Notes, September 2008

Hello Friends, Family and Patrons!

I have had 4 paintings accepted to Brushes with the Land, the third annual juried show featuring Northwest Landscapes at Gallery by the Bay in Stanwood, Washington! The show will run from October 10th through November 16th, 2008, with an opening reception on Friday, October 10th, 6pm to 9pm. I plan to have some prints and postcards for sale in the gift shop there as well. If you're in the area, please stop by!

On October 3rd I will be attending the Diocese of Olympia's Bishops' Benefit Bash, a gala dinner, auction, fund raising event to benefit the We Will Stand with You Campaign (in support of the rebuilding of St. Paul's church and school in New Orleans) and the One for One Malaria Nets Challenge. I've donated Twilight Silence to be auctioned off to help raise money toward the Bishops' goal of raising $200,000 for these worthy causes. Now I just have to figure out what to wear!

For those of you who haven't been following my blog, let me just report that New York was wonderful! I had an amazing time, made several sales, made some new friends, and fell in love with the City! As promised, I took many photos - over 400 of them! You can see about 80 or so of them by visiting my Flickr page. In addition to the photos that I posted back in July, I've also just posted several of the black and white photos I took with my Diana+ camera. I'm quite enamoured with this little film camera and with the images it produces, and I'm considering offering prints of them for sale. If any of them interest you, let me know. That kind of input will help my decision making process.

Looking forward, I'm starting to think about having another open studio sometime in the next few months. I'll let you know as those plans solidify.
I also have recently sent out a new call to artists for the CR Gallery. The theme is Out of Darkness (Into Light), and it will be on view this December and January. Creating this gallery and organizing the exhibits has been a very satisfying pursuit over the past couple of years, and it's always exciting to see the artwork submitted and to meet the artists.

All the best!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Art and Healing

My friend Matthew Flesch recently opened his acupuncture practice in Kirkland, Washington. He has made a great effort to make his treatment room very calm and soothing, and as part of this effort he asked if he could hang some of my paintings there on consignment. He said my work made anyplace feel more like a sanctuary. Well, if you're gonna put it that way :) I agreed, and I have to say, they look very nice there.

He's having an open house this Sunday (Sept. 14th) afternoon from 1–5pm, and all are invited. I'll definitely be there.

Veil III, 36" x 18"

Bridge, 24" x 24"

Green Silence, 36" x 36"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Yes, I'm still here.

Looking at the last post (the one where I actually wrote something, not the call to artists), I realize that I seem to have taken over a month off from blogging. I never really set out to do that - it just kinda happened. Part of the reason for it is the existential angst that always seems to set in following a show. The higher the high, the lower the low, and New York was quite a high. Painting was very frustrating for the first month or so, but I'm on track in the studio again, and I'm excited to share my new work here as soon as I get some photos loaded. Angst is on the retreat now too. :)

a few random notes and thoughts from the past couple of months:

• After 40 years as a blond, I have finally given in to my hairdresser's urgings and become a redhead. I like it, but it is very surreal looking in the mirror. Pictures soon.

• Seth over at The Altered Page is at it again with another wonderful edition of The Pulse, and once again he has been kind enough to include me in it. Fascinating stuff. So much fun to get glimpses of other artists' lives.

There's more, but I can't think of it right now. Instead, I will leave you a quote I found while reading Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L'Engle that really resonated with me:

Unamuno might be describing the artist as well as the Christian as he writes, "Those who believe they believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of the mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Call to Artists: Out of Darkness (Into Light)

Call to Artists - Out of Darkness (Into Light)

Our gallery is seeking artwork expressing the theme “Out of Darkness (Into Light)”, a juried art exhibit that will be on view December 7th, 2008–February 6th, 2009, with an artists’ reception planned for the evening of December 11th. All genres and media considered. Artwork needs to be 2-dimensional–it can extend into the third dimension, but it must be able to be hung on a wall.

Where: CR Gallery, Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Kenmore, WA

When: December 7th, 2008–February 6th, 2009

Opening Reception: Thursday, December 11th, 6:30– 8:30pm

How: Submit up to 3 jpegs via e-mail to Please include your name, contact information, and a few words about your work. Also include title, medium, framed dimensions, and retail price of each image submitted. Submission deadline is November 4th, 2008. The work will then be juried and acceptance notifications and delivery instructions will be sent out via e-mail by Saturday, November 8th.

Entry fee: $15 (USD) for up to 3 images, payable via PayPal. This needs to be paid before work can be submitted to the jury. Simply click on the Pay Now button below.

Please take note of the following:
•Artwork must be ready to hang, preferably from a wire. Photographs and artwork on paper must be framed with a wire attached for hanging. Canvases do not need to be framed, but the sides should be painted, either a solid color or as a continuation of the image, in order to give a neat, professional appearance, and must have a wire attached to the stretchers for hanging purposes.

•For work that is shipped, all shipping costs will be the responsibility of the artist.

•Artwork can be for sale. The gallery will direct buyers directly to the artist and takes no commission.

•The gallery will take care of advertising and publicity, and artists with accepted work will receive postcard announcements to distribute themselves.

•In addition to being displayed in the nave gallery, accepted artists will also be featured on the church’s website.

•For ease of transport, and so we get to meet you, we are especially seeking artists in the Puget Sound area, but this call is open to all artists over 18.

•If you have any questions, please email Angela at

Thursday, July 24, 2008

New York City - general impressions

Manhattan skyline, including both the Empire State Building(L) and the Chrysler Building(R), taken from the Circle Line Tour boat on the East River.

Where to begin? That's why it's taken me so long to get around to posting about my trip to New York - there's just so much I could talk about, it's difficult to figure out where to start. So I think I'll start with some general impressions, and see where that takes me.

Let me just start by saying that I LOVED New York! I expected to think it was cool, and to enjoy parts of my visit, but actually loving New York kinda took me by surprise. I don't much care for crowds or noise or bustle, all of which New York has in abundance. I'm not really all that keen on big cities (I intensely disliked living in Los Angeles for instance). And I've always been just a wee bit afraid of New York. Though I've heard that it's much safer now than it used to be, a part of me just didn't believe I could feel safe there. But it turned out that I felt very safe there, day and night. Probably because there are so many people out and about at all times.

And that in turn contributes to this amazing sense of energy that just permeates the city. It was a little like sticking my finger in a light socket almost as soon as got off the plane at JFK Airport. The variety of people, just in the airport, was just amazing. People from so many places, so many backgrounds - just a preview for the true melting pot that is New York City.

Something else that surprised me about New York is how lush it is. I don't usually equate lush with large cities, but this one… The buildings seem to grow almost organically out of the lush natural landscape, and there's a lot more of that to be seen than I expected as well. I'm sure this sounds odd - New York and organic don't really automatically suggest each other. I'll try to explain. There are trees and patches of green, there's a lot of stone especially in the older buildings, it's surrounded by water, and walking feels like the natural thing to do there. (I'll have to try again later to put this idea into words I think.)

Speaking of walking around, I've got to mention the subway. It is truly awesome! Want to go downtown - walk a block and get on the subway and you'll be there in a flash. Any time, day or night. Want to go uptown? Repeat process in opposite direction. I want one here! And there's so much history in those tunnels, and beautiful tile mosaics let you know where you are, and in some places beautiful ironwork divides the spaces, and, and… After I got home I checked out a book from the library called Subway Style by the New York Transit Museum that talks about 100 years of history of the design elements in the subway, and it's fascinating. I wish cities cared so much about their design elements now.

I'll go ahead and stop here, but I'll leave you with some of the photos I took. I took over 400 photos while I was there, and I've loaded 70 or so that give an overall account of the trip to Flickr. Next time, I'll talk about more specifics.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back home from NYC

This is a photo my husband took of me as we sat in the sidewalk cafe of Nice Matin (the restaurant in our hotel, The Lucerne) drinking wine and eating dessert after the opening reception at Square Inch last Thursday night. The expression on my face pretty much covers it. I absolutely loved New York City! I can't wait to go again.

The opening went well - had a good time, made a few sales (and possibilities of a few more in the near future), and a couple of new friends. Saw lots and lots of the city, though not nearly everything I wanted to see. It was exhilarating, and at times exhausting. I've been back home since Saturday night, and I'm still recovering. And processing all that I saw and experienced in that grand city. There's just so much. As I process, I'll start posting about it - with many, many photos.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

One more week to NYC!

Sound of Many Waters, acrylic/collage on canvas, 24" x 30", ©2008 - SOLD!!!

Just one more week! I'll be wandering around New York City a week from today! I've spent many hours over the past few days with my nose stuck in my Frommer's guide, and my mind is just bursting with plans and information, and I'm giddy with excitement. From the sounds of it, I might never want to leave. There is just so much cool stuff there. It is so hard to try to prioritize so that I actually experience the city and its offerings, and don't just exhaust myself.

So far, my husband and I have loosely planned the following itinerary: Tuesday, fly to NYC on Virgin Airlines, check in and find some dinner. Explore areas like the Village, SOHO and Chelsea, and maybe a little Brooklyn and Chinatown too on Wednesday, when we're likely to have the most energy. Thursday will be the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, Central Park, and St. John the Divine Cathedral - and the opening of course! Friday, breakfast with some relatives who are coming to town for the opening, then some other area of town, or maybe something we missed in the neighborhoods we've already visited, maybe MOMA - haven't really decided yet. And a romantic dinner with my sweetie. Saturday, a quick breakfast then head back to Seattle.

If you're a local, or just have a lot of experience with NYC, what are your must-sees in that city? What are your favorite places to eat?

At the gallery, I've had my first sale from the exhibit! It will be great to open with a red dot. Hopefully it will be the first of many. And Liz has designed a catalog with images of all 21 paintings, available here on as a printed book or as a download. She has also updated the gallery's website to include a page of available works for the show.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Studio Notes, June 2008

Hello Friends, Family and Patrons!

I just shipped off the artwork for my solo exhibit at Square Inch Gallery in New York City, and I'll be following in just two weeks! I've entitled the exhibit "Mapping the Depths" and it will be comprised of 21 new pieces, all painted since January of this year. I really hope you'll be able to join me at the opening reception on July 10th, 6–9pm. If you won't be able to be there, and/or you'd like a preview, please visit my website to see a slideshow of the work.

Here is the statement I wrote to accompany the exhibit:

I've always been drawn to water, its colors and textures, its shapes and sounds; from the roar of the ocean to the bright tranquility of a sun-sparkled creek, from the rush of rainstorm to the seeming endlessness of a quiet sea. Its light and dark, its tranquil beauty and its mysterious depths. Its ability to take me to the stillness within, to ancient memory and half-remembered visions, from which my paintings emerge.

These pieces emerge from both external, visual inspirations and the internal, mystical stimuli deep within. The surfaces are rich with the colors of the lush watery beauty found in the Pacific Northwest where I make my home. The wet grays and blues of the water and rain surround me and inspire me and permeate my being.

I express not specific physical landscapes/seascapes in my paintings, but rather a mystical geography, reminiscent of the seas and stars and the stillness of those depths. And like time spent at the water's edge, my work invites a response in kind - a deep observation and introspection.

I invite you to take your time at the water's edge, look closely, breathe slowly, and let yourself be drawn into your depths.

If you'd like to purchase a piece, please contact Liz Afif at the gallery by calling (914) 434-1250, or e-mailing her at If you're going to be in New York between July 11th and August 7th, you can also contact Liz for an appointment to see the gallery.

Below is the postcard announcement for the show. If you asked for one via snail mail, Liz is sending them out, and you should be receiving one soon. If you haven't asked yet, but you'd still like to receive one, just let me know and I'll send you one as soon as I have them.

front of postcard: Mapping the Depths, acrylic/collage on canvas, 12" x 24", ©2008

Back of postcard: exhibit and gallery information

This is also my first visit to New York City, so you can be sure I'll have many pictures to share with you when I get back!

All the best,

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gallery 309 closes

my morning tea surrounded by some of my art marketing books

Sadly, Gallery 309 has unexpectedly had to close it's doors. The owner of the building decided to use it for another purpose. Arts4biz is still functioning, and Jose and Guty are searching for a new gallery location, but in the meantime all the artists' solo exhibits are canceled. I'm very disappointed in this turn of events. It means I don't have any shows scheduled after July, and I had been looking forward to having a show in downtown Seattle.

So, I'm looking into options. I don't really relish the marketing end of things, I'd much rather just make art, but it is necessary if I intend to actually show my art, so…

My work will still have a place at Square Inch, and I'm planning to enter a couple of competitions, and I've got a lead on possibly showing in a local winery's tasting room. And I'm considering joining another artists' cooperative gallery. Though it's probably less than it used to be, there is still something of a stigma attached to paying to exhibit your art (and my checking account doesn't like it much either). But I really don't want to wait around to be "discovered" by a gallery and let my art gather dust and go unseen either. And if I can find a local cooperative that is professionally run, it could be a great place to create opportunities and get my work out there. I just hate sitting the gallery though.

Anyway, tired of thinking about it. With last week being devoted to documenting and preparing work for New York, and then having Gallery 309 close, all these thoughts have been circling through my head too much. Going too long without putting paint to canvas just leaves me depressed. Went in to the studio this morning to wire the paintings and start getting them ready for shipping, but just couldn't face it. I started a new canvas instead! Made me feel soooooo much better. :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Preparing for Mapping the Depths

This past week was spent entirely on getting the pieces for my upcoming show "Mapping the Depths" documented, titled, and priced; and getting my statement written and getting the paperwork together for Square Inch Gallery, and… well, not painting, that's for sure. This is not my favorite part of the process. But I have noticed a plus side. It's the only area of my art career in which I can have a checklist of things that need to be done, and I know how to accomplish them and can feel that special sense of accomplishment one can only get from checking things off of a to do list. Sure, I can plan on having a certain number of canvases done in a set amount of time, or plan to paint using certain colors or particular sizes, but usually art making just follows its own path.

I always forget how long this all takes. I spent about 8 hours over the course of three days photographing the work. I'm getting better at it (practice, practice), but with each batch I'd get them home and realize what I could do to make them better - better lighting, better focus - so I'd try it again the next day. And I don't want to think about how many hours I've spent on the computer in the "digital darkroom" cleaning the images up and getting them into the proper formats for their various purposes - websites, promotional materials, prints, etc.. I'm pretty much done with that and now I'm working on getting the images to where they belong. I've started loading the paintings for the exhibit on my website and you can see them as a slide show here. There will be 21 paintings in total, so as of this moment I still have a few to upload. They're all new images too, all created this year.

I am getting very excited about the show, and the trip. It's hard to believe that in just 3 weeks I'm going to be in New York City!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Photos - finally!

I was finally able to get photo prints from my Diana+ camera. I had taken the film in to be developed at my local camera store, but when I went to pick up the photos, I was only handed negatives and informed that because of the odd format they did not have the ability to print the photos and recommended that I take them to Panda Photographic Lab in downtown Seattle. This was back in April, and I finally had a chance to follow their advice yesterday when I took a little field trip with my friend Jessica.

The service and knowledge at Panda is exceptional! Dana, who helped me, not only knew just from looking at the negatives what kind of camera I'd used, he was also thoughtful enough to realize that I'd traveled a bit to get there so offered to rush my order through for me. I had photos in less than two hours! And they look fantastic. The three photos above are a few of my favorites from the B&W roll that I used when I visited Cave B Winery.

Often, when I have to go to a photo lab, I end up feeling like a lowly novice amongst grand wizards of a sacred alchemy, unworthy because I don't know as much as they do. I didn't get that feeling at all here. They were very encouraging and even suggested books and suppliers to help me get the most out of my new toy.

In other news, the group exhibit at Gallery 309 is down, and the solo shows start this month beginning with Anne Simernitski. Mine is scheduled for November - I'll make sure to keep you posted. More photos from the artists' reception can be seen here.

And I'm entering into the last stretch of getting ready for my solo show at Square Inch Gallery in New York. I can't believe I'll be in NYC in almost exactly one month! I've got the paintings pretty much done, just need to photograph them and wire them and get them packaged up. I'm hoping to have the postcard announcements soon (Liz said she'd have them this week sometime). I also bought a new dress for the opening reception. :)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Gallery 309 Opening Reception

Entrance to Gallery 309 (painted by Yael Zahavy-Mittelman). Straight across from the entry? One of my paintings!

You can see the rest of the pictures that my husband took here on his Flickr photostream.

The reception at Gallery 309 last Thursday night was excellent! Lots of great art. The gallery directors had originally planned on displaying 2 or 3 pieces by each artist, but instead they opted for a salon look and covered every bit of wall they could. There was so much great energy, so many people truly interested in the art and the artists. And lots of Europeans. Surely, that's a good sign at an art opening, right? :) And at one point, one of the gallery directors whisked me away from group to another so he could introduce me to one of the clients. Very cool.

Though I didn't meet all the other artists, I did get to talk to a few of them, including Yael Zahavy-Mittelman. I'd met her a couple of years ago when she came to my reception at ArtsWest, but what I didn't realize then is that we actually live in the same town! Interesting how these things come together, no?

And many wonderful friends showed up too, including artists Bridgette and Jessica. Lots of wonderful art talk - inspirations, working methods, challenges, etc. There have been times when art receptions just leave me exhausted, but this one was so energizing. Ended up staying until 10:30 when it was supposed to end, but from the looks of it, the party could have gone all night.

The most awesome part of the evening happened just before we left. Jessica and I had been trying to meet one of the artists whose work we particularly admired, Deborah McCarroll (who also designed the announcement), but she didn't seem to be in attendance. Then she walked in just as we were starting to head out. This meeting was electrifying for me. At first it was just the usual artist meets artist, I like your work, etc. etc. But at the end, she spoke words to my very soul. I wish I'd had a tape recorder so I could remember each of her exact words. I don't know how to adequately convey just how powerful an experience this was, but she looked me in the eyes and with great gravity told me that she can feel the "power" in my work, she can feel that I work "from the inside-out", she could "feel" my brush strokes, that my work is "beautiful and don't ever stop making it." You could have knocked me over with a feather.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


"Mapping the Depths", acrylic/collage on canvas, 12"x24", ©2008

It's been a strange week. I woke up Monday, felt kinda tired and decided I'd stay home and work on my website instead of going to the studio. Turned out it was a good thing I stayed home because it soon became apparent that I had the flu! This on the heels of having a cold last week! It's like everything I've managed to avoid all cold & flu season decided to catch up with me at once. Usually when I get sick, it ends up being pretty minor and only puts me out of commission for a day at most. But these two both knocked me flat, so I've missed a lot of studio time the past couple of weeks. I'm feeling better today, and was able to get back to the studio for a couple of hours this morning (and complete the painting above), but that pretty much wiped me out.

Before I succumbed, I did manage to update my website a bit, as well as my ImageKind print gallery. It's been so long since I've touched either that there's still a lot of work to do, but hopefully I'll be more regular about it. Speaking of ImageKind, I got my first commission payment from them! Like I said, I've been pretty much ignoring my gallery there, so it came as a big surprise. It also encouraged me to try a bit harder. If I can make a little money by doing nothing with it, I could probably make a lot more if I actually tried.

By the way, if you ever see me post a painting with "as yet untitled", please feel free to offer suggestions. Sometimes hearing how other people perceive a piece helps me get a sense for how it should be titled.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Gallery!

A week from today, you'll be able to find my work at the new Gallery 309 in the heart of Belltown, downtown Seattle. There will be a reception to celebrate the gallery's opening and to introduce their artists on Thursday, May 22nd, 7:30–10:30pm. Meet the artists (including me) and enjoy some great art along with some refreshments and live music. Invite your friends too!

In the very near future I will also be having a solo exhibit there. I'll be sure to keep you posted.

postcard designed by Deborah McCarroll

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Blues (and the grays) and May Day

(as of yet untitled), acrylic/collage on canvas, 10"x10", ©2008

Happy May Day, Ascension Day, Beltaine! Your pick.

I'm still painting the blues and grays. Part of me says to just go with it since that is apparently what I need to be painting, and I do enjoy it. Another part of me is trying to rebel (and whispering in my head that people will get bored with my work if I continue painting blues) and keeps reaching for the earth tones, even though all this results in is usually a lot of struggle and frustration until I start mixing blues again.

My friends tell me that the art history books will say this was my "blue period." :) I wonder if Picasso went through this conflict when he was in his blue period.

With the beginning of May I've started feeling a low-level panic about getting everything I need to get done finished in time for my solo exhibit in July. Not only do I want to paint many more pieces so I have many good pieces to choose from, but there's also a lot of marketing and research work I want to do by then too. On top of this, my style is definitely going through a change, which, while exciting, can also be a little unnerving.

Oh, and I hurt my neck somehow yesterday. Probably overdid some yoga stretch or something. Very annoying as it cut my time in the studio short today and makes driving very uncomfortable.