Friday, June 29, 2007

A Kaleidoscope of Collage

I'm in the lovely city of Portland, OR today and found myself in a store called New Renaissance Bookshop: The Conscious Living Store. This shop is very similar in feel (and content) to Seattle's EastWest Bookstore, so I felt right at home among the incense, creativity candles, and rose quartz hearts. New Renaissance has a large "creativity section," with shelves stocked with books on writing, art, and general creative expression. I seemed to return to this section over and over and found myself drawn to a particular art book called Kaleidescope: Ideas and Projects to Spark Your Creativity by Suzanne Simanaitis. After returning to this book about five times, I figured I was called to it or it was called to me. So, I bought it.

It's a colorful, image-plentiful book, packed with collages, writing, and ideas for collage projects. The author is the creator of the award-winning ARTitude Zine, a wonderful magazine I picked up years ago when I was just beginning to immerse myself in the collage world.

Let the creativity begin!

Saturday, June 23, 2007


I created this piece (in its original form) in 2003. During my recent encaustic frenzy, I pulled this piece out of my closet and doused it with color and wax, adding a bit more life and vibrancy to it. I often revisit my art. Sometimes I end up ripping pieces apart and reassembling, and other times I add more color, layers, or texture. I feel like this revisiting is similar to how I experience my life. At times I've needed to scrape away at my life to find the hidden gems. Yet other times I've torn everything down and started again. More commonly, I add some texture or color to enhance what is already there. I wonder if sculptors view their lives in terms of building and molding. Do graphic artists see life as a series of quick clicks of the mind which have the power to create great change? I know that my mother, a novelist, sees her life in terms of narrative arcs and metaphors. Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? Or are our creations simply extensions of ourselves?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day Tribute

For my father.

For my brother, now a father.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Art Show Deliciousness

Yesterday I celebrated the one-year anniversary of my home-based massage business, Rising Bird Healing Arts by hosting my third art show as part of the Roosevelt Neighborhood Art Walk. It was a lovely event, with many in attendance. What made the evening even more dynamic was the fact that Raku potter Katherine Hanson displayed her amazing pots. Her pots and my mixed media and encaustic creations complemented each other quite well, and I enjoyed sharing the spotlight with another budding artist. For those of you who know me well, large social gatherings such as these art walks tend to wipe me out, introvert as I am. But I do love the way people come together to enjoy and support the arts. And I love preparing for the show by creating new pieces and decorating the house with my creations.

It does feel like these neighborhood art walks are catching on. I do wonder, though, how many people are actually participating in the art walks. I think we had four art walkers last night (the majority of those in attendance where people Katherine and I had personally invited). Unlike the other businesses participating in the art walk (cafes, stores, restaurants, etc.), my business is not open to the public on a daily basis, so my art is only available for public viewing one night every three months (I only participate once a season). So I'm finding myself musing a bit about finding venues out of my home to display my work. Coffee shops seem like great places to display work. I am beginning to start a list of venues to explore. If you have any ideas for places that you think would be good to display/sell my art, feel free to post your ideas here or shoot me an email.

Thank you for all who attended the event last night and for those who could not attend, but sent their good wishes. Your support is invaluable. And a special thanks to my partner, who spent his first day of summer break helping me prepare for the event. Your enthusiasm about and support of my art and my massage business keeps me engaged, inspired, and grounded.

Art (clockwise from top): close-up of "Guarding the Nest," mixed media painting with wax; Raku pots; "Creative Offspring," mixed media collage with wax.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Butterfly Effect

(encaustic techniques on canvas)

This piece above, and over 20 other mixed media collage and encaustic pieces will be shown tomorrow (Thursday, June 14) from 6:00-9:00pm at Rising Bird Healing Arts. In addition to my own work, amazing potter Katherine Hanson will be showing and selling her raku and glazed pots as well. Come on and stop by! You may enter a drawing to win a free massage and contribute to my one-year anniversary Rising Bird Healing Arts community art piece! Refreshments will be served and merriment will be abundant.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Yesterday was my date with molten beeswax. From 9:00am to 9:00pm--with a lovely interlude in the middle of the day--I created encaustic art pieces like the one above. The piece above is yet to be titled (any ideas?) and is larger than most of my pieces (it's about 2' x 2'). The more I use wax in my art, the more I resonate with it.

Speaking of "wax-a-palooza," my encaustic art mentor and inspiration Binky Bergsman has a show of her amazing encuastic pieces up on Capital Hill at Kaladi Brother's Coffee (511 E. Pike). The Capital Hill Art Walk is this Tuesday (June 12) from 6:00-9:00pm, so you may view her show then, or you may stop by the coffee house any time this month. Hooray, Ms. Artist B!