Us Trendy

Today I was randomly contacted by someone from Us Trendy which is an online fashion poll site for upcoming designers. They had come across this jacket on Etsy and wanted me to join their list of designers - seems super exciting at first right?
Went onto their site, checked it out and created a portfolio - easy peasy even though their site is still in Beta and has a few bugs to work out.
Later found out when I was looking into them a bit more that they've been soliciting folks all over Etsy in attempt to get their site going. I must admit that I feel a little shammed. I'm still hopeful and trying to keep to the optimism that being randomly "picked" brings - and I do really think that their concept is an intriguing one. We'll see how it goes!
Check them out for yourself at UsTrendy.com


I've been abducted by Calendarlings...

Calendarlings are coming! Calendarlings are coming!
These lovelies are nearly ready to be in the shop. Betsy and I got them back from the printers on Monday and met up to "ooo" and "ahh" all over them Monday night. Got them all assembled in their packaging ready to go and then realized it was Fall time which means evening product shots can be kinda tricky. As in dark. Oops!
So the last couple days we've both been playing with photography and light in spare moments of sunshine in an attempt to make these calendars look as good as they really are. It is tough work indeed! These calendars look SO amazing in person - that is really all we're trying to capture.
I'm sure my RAD Photoshop skills are really enhancing this shot too! Crazy as it looks I still got to admit - I kind of like it. Totally inspired by Ruffeo Hearts - them guys have had some wacky fun with their product shots in the past.
Regardless, the pair of us are still perfecting this beauty for it's launch scheduled for November 1st - I'll certainly keep you posted!


Sleep in your Studio

Now I've never been much of a design interiors kind of gal... but if I was forced to chose a bedroom out of a staged magazine scene I might have to go for this one. I was flipping through the CB2 catalog for work this afternoon and this page totally caught my eye. Bold colors with Moroccan accents meet art studio? Oh hell yeah! I could live with that.

The canvas frames and completely paint spattered linoleum with the bed right smack in the middle of it all I'm sure has nothing to do with the appeal for me. And in all honesty, it isn't all that far off from my own studio. I just chose to put the bed on TOP of my closet instead of beside it...


Today in Seattle

Today was a perfect piece of Fall in Seattle so I went for a walk right after work instead of doing my usual gymwork. I was enjoying my stroll so much that I kind of had to force myself to stop and take pictures - (Andy, I know, would be appalled at such a thing) but I'm glad I did. It's nice to share a bit of the evening with you. And besides - I haven't dropped in to say hello in a few days. Pictures give me an excuse to amidst all the Fall busy-ness like Calendar project finalizations and painting commissions - which is the short of what I've been up to!

But I had to take a break from all that to go wander through the Olympic Sculpture Park and take artsy sunset photos:

On my way home I finally found the sidewalk gallery that I had heard rumours of. It is put on by the Center on Contemporary Art and is simply called the Belltown Gallery. Basically, it is a sidewalk showcase. I have no idea how I had missed it before. The work currently on display totally made me do a double take.
This round painting on a drum head particularly got to me. One, the content and detail is amazing and two, well... I'm totally a sucker for round paintings.

Thanks for the inspiration infusion tonight Robin Oliver!


Floating on Down the Pipeline

Calendrawings is a project that has been in the works for some time now. My good friend Betsy and I decided months and months ago that we wanted to collaborate on a calendar this year. We would each use our own style of black line drawings to tie the year together. And today is the day to do just that!
We have both spent weeks and weeks working out a feel and a design for each of our assigned months and I am so super thrilled with the results. It has been mad fun and has reminded me just how much I love collaborations. Now it really feels like fall with a solid collaboration underway!
With luck the calendars will be going to the printer tomorrow and available for sale all wrapped up in their fineries before the end of the month. I'll certainly keep you informed. I've already seen a gabillion gorgeous and amazing independent artist calendars out there for next year but Betsy & I both sincerely hope you'll consider purchasing one of ours!
Click here for a preview of Betsy's sketches.


Weekend Glow Review

I spent the majority of yesterday afternoon sitting in Andy's backyard in Olympia, WA. It was a perfect Fall day and I spent it doing two favorite things - painting and hiking. Near perfect perfection.

And I nearly missed out on that perfect perfection because I almost didn't make it out of Seattle on Saturday afternoon. I had been on Beacon Hill and then left to get on the freeway only to find crazy detours left and right for tree pruning. I was kind of waffling a bit about whether to make the drive south or not and then throw in the detours and I almost detoured myself right back home. Except that the detours brought me here to this sparkly wonderfulness:

Without the detours I would have missed this section of beauty on Beacon Hill. Isn't it just luscious? I was just about in love with the colors and textures of this amazing mural.
Pardon the glassy haze in the photo - it is from taking a quick picture out my car window after swerving to pull over with my brand new camera phone. Yep - finally joined in on the new phone technology. I've now got a phone that does everything - literally. I think it even does the laundry. Well... I'm hoping anyways. So far I've discovered that the thing takes pictures, edits pictures, plays FM radio and MP3s, records sound and even will record your steps if you tell it. (So you know how many steps it takes to get to the laundry...)
Did I mention it was now late and I'm needing to get to bed instead of playing with the new phone toy?

In the meantime, I'll leave you with the sweet dreams of mural painting and a sneak peek at what I was up to in the backyard all afternoon:

Portland Art & Soul - Pt. 2 Book Signings & Lisa Sonora Beam

I know I know - Portland Art and Soul was over a week ago. I've been having little to no spare time these days so I'm just now getting to continue my blog post catch up. Bear with me - this is good stuff!
On Friday of Art and Soul last week, after my day of class with Katie Kendrick, (see previous post) North Light Books offered a book signing with several of the now famous artist authors who were present at Art and Soul to either teach or learn. And this proves that I've been stationed on a distant planet - but I somehow had NO idea that one of those authors was my friend Julie Collings whom I shared housing with for Artfest this year. How did I miss that amazing news? Go check out her book, Pretty Little Felts - it's darling and just so Julie!

Also present was of course was Kelly Rae Roberts and her new book that has become quite buzz worthy in blogland: (I've seen it EVERYWHERE I don't know bout you) I already had my signed copy of Taking Flight so I just stopped by to say hello. There were so many good books there I wanted to buy them all. Of course I was there without much spending money so I left the book signing empty handed. Or so I thought.
While I was sitting and chatting with my friend Kecia and her friend Z someone approached our table and asked if we'd be interested in a free mini workshop by the author of one of the books. We all were a little tipsy and had finally come to terms with the fact that we never were going to make it out to dinner as planned so we figured why not. And I'm so glad we did.
The workshop was held by Lisa Sonora Beam who is the author of Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real. I came out of there so infused with possibility that I had no choice but to buy the book. And I totally tried to talk Sonora into letting me host her so she'd come teach up in Seattle. Here's hoping she could see through the "little bit tipsy" side of me to the sincere spark that she set off. The book isn't even available for sale yet - just pre-orders. Which you should go get in line for right now. I started really pouring through it this weekend and it already had me up late wanting to journal and write into the wee hours. The book is drastically different than any other Art Biz book I've gotten. Sonora actually addresses the blocks and struggles that those of us who are creatively minded have difficulties with. And she has come up with some cathartic exercises for how you work through those as well as ways to develop business skills that you as an artist may be lacking. And it is all done in a way us visual folks can understand: Visually!


Portland Art and Soul - Pt. 1 Katie Kendrick

"Swimmer Balancing Thoughts"

This week since I have returned from Art and Soul in Portland I have been savouring things. Colors are brighter and the air is rich with crisp autumn scents. Perhaps it is just my love of this time of year in the NW, but I'd like to think it is still the residual way of seeing the world after taking a workshop with Katie Kendrick.

Katie Kendrick, if you do not know, is an intuitive painter. I signed up for her class after seeing her work thinking that I would learn a bit about encaustic techniques, since her pieces are usually coated in a top layer of wax. Though I did learn how to cover a piece with a layer of wax to protect it and give it a dreamy quality, the class ended up being so much more than that. In fact, the time we spent on the wax was less than an hour of the whole day!

Katie began her class by getting us to all do creative warm up exercises - which at first seemed funny but then they actually worked. Just simply by taking a crayon and some tissue paper to play with rubbing patterns and textures was enough to loosen the brain up into "oh good - it's play time now!" Which if you are going to do some intuitive painting that is right where you want your head space to be. She then had us working pretty fast - bouncing between 2 canvases at the same time smearing paint, pressing on collage and smearing more paint until "something appeared".

This is completely opposite of how I usually work. I pretty much always start a piece with a full blown idea of exactly how I want it to look. I sketch out the design in pencil direct on the canvas and then paint it. And that is just fine and I'm sure I'll continue working that way. For some pieces...

Katie's way was just so much more of an instant release! So from now on I think I'm going to start working both ways - just to see what comes of it. No plan, no expectations. Just me and my inner artist smearing some paint around.

Here is my 2nd piece which I actually finished in time to give it the wax coating:

The first piece of the swimming girl was just paint while the second one above was mostly collage layers with paint over the top. I purposefully did not finish the swimming girl piece because I knew I wanted to add the golden spheres on the left - and since I had a gold leaf gilding class the next day I knew it was worth waiting for!


First First Thursday Arts Walk Recap

Yep. This sign posted at the entry to Mikal Whoberry's studio just about sums it up.

The show was fabulous. It was so super gratifying to be an artist working in a small studio space and to finally get to see all these pieces up on a wall in one spot. Hanging the show was a HUGE learning experience and tons of fun at the same time. If I had stopped to think about it, I would have been able to guess - but the Wednesday before First Thursday is the only time other artists who are hosting open studios really get to wander around and see each others work. So while I was at 619 Western on Wednesday to hang the show I got to meet so many people and participate in some super fun conversations. The kind of "Full Time" artist conversations that up until this point I just haven't been privy to. Such as spending fifteen minutes discussing light theories - I just don't get that in my daily life!

Mikal was a wonderful host and the show turned out well with good flow and seemed cohesive. (To my inexperienced eye!) We had VJ with her gorgeous black and white photography in the front and then Mikal's work spanning the right side and mine spanning the left. With lots of space for milling and talking in the center. And one of the stars of the show wasn't art necessarily - though I would definitely call it art - VJ made THE BEST homemade crackers I have ever had.

Sincerest of thanks to all of my many friends, family and co-workers who came by to show their support and see the show. Your presence truly made the evening special for me. I was completely taken aback by how many folks got me Opening gifts. I had no idea that was a customary thing to do. I'm totally flattered and honored. My co-worker Richard (whose purchase of a painting from Mikal 2 months ago is how I got my show - hooray for connections!) got me a corsage for the evening with exquisite little red orchids. I pinned it into my hair and I'm so sad I didn't think to get a picture!

I did get a "proud artist" picture taken the night of set up.
Proud indeed.


Arts Walk Tonight, Art and Soul Tomorrow

Well I've pulled through - the show is set up and looking amazing alongside Mikal Whoberry's acrylic paintings and VJ Sheppard's photography. Can't wait for the opening tonight!
Hanging the show was practically a party - with all the other artist studios setting up and the artists themselves wandering door to door to check out everyone else's latest work. I had some phenomenal conversations and met some pretty incredible people! Who knew that hanging a show could be so much fun?
Definitely a shout out for the tight knit arts community that is 619 Western - you guys rock!
After some coffee and then much arts walk schmoozing and chatting I'll be hitting the road on my way to Portland, OR for the 2008 Portland Art and Soul Retreat. Come 9AM tomorrow morning I'll be getting my hands messy with the lovely Katie Kendrick - I'm so super excited! And then there will be dinner with my friend Kecia from New Jersey who I haven't seen since Artfest in the spring.
Bring on the art infusion!