La Familia Gallery

Oh how NICE four day weekend are! I do hope you have been enjoying yours as I have. I have fully kicked off the holidays despite being nearly totally knocked down with the dreaded cold. I began it all with my first gallery sitting day at La Familia Co-op Gallery, which I became a member of just last month. I'll have a solo show there in July, but until then I get to have a piece or two of my choosing up on the "Salon" wall shown here. Just looking at all this amazing art grouped together makes me so super proud to have been included. At the time I was accepted all my new work was slated for First Thursday Arts Walk in Mikal Whoberry's studio - so the piece I currently have up is an older one.

Sitting next to this lovely art wall on Friday I nearly buried myself in handmade holiday cards - I had made a ton! I returned to my studio only to have it overflow into there too - ornaments, cards and gifts have started to perch on every possible surface. Now that's kicking off the holidays!



Recent activity spotted in the Pike Place Market on my lunch break:

Oh dearie... I'm not nearly ready for such things.
This means I have to be VERY busy VERY soon!

But in the meanwhile, let us not forget one of my favoritest holidays of all: Thanksgiving

Many Thanks to all of you who have supported this little art blog in the last year.
Cheers & Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday Night Out

On Friday night a friend took me out for an unexpected treat - a trip to the Seattle Art Museum to see their current show on Salish Art as well as a collection of 10 paintings by American master, Edward Hopper.

The Edward Hopper exhibit was interesting - he is definitely one of those artists worth seeing works in person because of the contrast of reality just not found in prints. This piece to the left, "Automat" was my favorite from the show. It brought you right under the florescent lights, out of the night.

As much as I have a long standing love for the darkness & solitude of Edward Hopper, the exhibit on Salish art by far took the show. The breadth of work the SAM had collected was incredible and truly eye-opening. Eye-opening to just how much I don't know about Salish art that is! I highly recommend it if you are anywhere near the SAM.

And the exhibit reminds me to tell you a little story of the roots of my own drawing style. When I was a Sophomore in high school, my choir took a little trip up to Victoria for a competition. During the long bus ride somewhere along the way we stopped at a light next to a plain wooden fence that was painted with this massive Orca all in a black line drawing. My sketchbook was fervently filled thereafter. The style has shifted into more of my own, but tell me - can't you tell the influence?

The icing on the cake for this lovely art filled evening was a stop off at the Triple Door, which I had never been to before, to show support for the Downtown Emergency Shelter at a benefit concert played by local artists Tiny Vipers and the Dusty 45s. Amazing good fun all the way around! Sincere thanks to Neil for getting me out of the studio for an evening. Sometimes, it's just what a girl needs.


Fun with Bookmaking

Last week I got to teach my basic bookbinding workshop - which unlike the last time, I actually got to do put up some illustrations to assist my students thanks to this 8 FOOT tall whiteboard. So super sweet. Everyone needs one I swear.

Everyone's book turned out super swell. Here is my demo in progress:Love it when I finally pull action shots off my phone - stay tuned!


Pratt Fine Art Center Open House

On Saturday I attended the open house for Pratt Fine Arts Center. Mostly prompted by my cousin who works there I finally went and checked the place out. Pratt is an incredible resource to the artistic community of Seattle as they offer not only classes and workshops, but studio equipment access as well. They host a wide variety of disciplines from glass blowing to printing presses to metal casting.

For the open house they had just about every teacher giving demos - the most showy and exciting of which was the bronze pour: 20 hours of prep for less than 20 minutes of pour. Hence the very large crowd for the show!
They also had a kid activity room where Seattle's future artists could make their own print. All you need is some spare Styrofoam to carve into with a pencil tip and some paint. Fun!
My favorite however was the printmaking studio which included letterpress, silk screening and mono print demos. I came back and watched the mono print teacher twice just to see how her print was progressing. And not only that but every time she sent her paper through the press - cranking the wheel gently and smoothing the blanket as it was pulled under the rollers my heart just ached to be doing my own printing.

Good thing then that Pratt offers artist studio access ...


Stylus Winter Art Show

That Betsy just astounds me. I had already fallen for her embroidery drawings when she first showed them with the Ghost Gallery ages ago. Her opening on Friday just made me fall for them more.
Out of 15 pieces if I was absolutely forced to chose a favorite it would have been this one titled "There Aren't Enough Words"

The ribbon with the words is capped on all corners with darling little typewriters. Not sure if I like this piece as much as I do for the little typewriters or the pleasure of seeing the word "aren't" embroidered. Sweet!

Here is a grouping shot of the show. Betsy has uploaded a slideshow of the whole thing to her myspace page here so if you're digging these embroidery drawings you are in for a treat!


Commissions and Compromises

Bamboo Mural pieces in progress

The holiday season is nearly upon us which means that many artists, full time or part time are busy busy busy! Last year had me scurrying around like a madwoman to prepare for 3 holiday craft shows plus making all of the various gifts I wanted to be making. Yep - amazing I survived.

So this year I had no qualms about scaling back. The extended family had decided to focus on personal handmade gifts and I knew I wanted to give myself more time for personal winter projects. But of course, it never fails - as soon as you make space in your life something new will rush in to fill it. I have been very blessed and excited to work on 5 separate commissions for this holiday season.

The above photo was the first - a bamboo panel piece commissioned by Andy for his newly finished studio. Working on it sporadically on weekends meant that it took me forever to finish (and some subtle hints towards the end made sure I knew about it! =)) But once those panels were complete it was like the floodgates opened up and I now have 4 on my plate ranging from a simple custom music paper print up to a full scale oil painting.

So far I'm really enjoying this type of work - to be creative and work in my studio but know for sure that what I'm working on is already spoken for. Gives me a stronger sense of purpose I suppose. Sure, I've had to re-adjust my studio time a bit and make some compromises about my own projects but so far I think it's worth it. Because the one thing that all these commissions does for me more than just fund the art supply stash is that it fuels the flame of the "someday" dream.

Keep on working till Someday...


Belltown Art Walk this Friday

"You're Not the Boss of Me"
by Betsy Schrairer
My good friend and fellow Calendarling collaborator Betsy just ASTOUNDS me. This gal has talent AND stamina. Not only did she pump out a half dozen gorgeous black line drawings for our calendar project in less than a month, but she also has an opening this Friday displaying FIFTEEN of her gorgeous, incredible hand stitched embroidery art works. I mean, just look at the stitching detail in this bunny - and it is only one of many.
Betsy darling, I'm so super proud to get to say "yeah - she's my friend" =)
If you're anywhere near Belltown this Friday you should stop by Stylus during the Belltown Art Walk to see some amazing embroidered drawings by Betsy as well as some incredible papercut work by Brooklyn artist, Devon Kelley-Yurdin. This is not an opening to be missed!
Details can be found here: Winter Art Show at Stylus



From the afternoon spent casting my ballot at the polls next to a little old lady humming to herself all the way to the evening celebrating with my cousin Amber on her birthday - I'll never forget this day.

Thank you America.

Tonight was an 8 foot screen shedding the glow on family, friends, toasts and HOPE.
And I knew that this crowd was just one of many all across our nation.


2009 Calendar Favorites

In the course of research for the Calendarling project that Betsy & I collaborated on I have now been exposed to SO MANY incredible calendars I can barely stand it. I seriously want to line my hallway with my favorites. I think after designing one myself I have a new found appreciation for the talent that goes into putting one of these time-marking lovelies out there.

Such as the letterpress design perfection of another artist collaboration between Ink & Wit and Pistachio Press. If I was forced to chose a top favorite, this would be it:

A close runner up would be another graphically inclined calendar after my own black-line-drawing-lover-heart - The Jardin Calendar by Magnolia and Moonlight:

And then of course there is the 2009 edition of the same artist calendar that I coveted last year - The Creative Thursday Calendar:


Calendarling & Celtic New Year

Halloween was SO much fun!

I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did! I got to be a cowgirl, complete with spurs, flask and gun holster. Many of my friends had way more imaginative and zany costumes - like an entire troupe of Road Warriors! I sure enjoyed getting into the swagger of my hat & boots.

I also got to check out Architect's Without Borders Carve for a Cause Pumpkin Carving contest. Here are a couple of my favs:

And on another note, the collaborative calendar project I did with Betsy is finally up in the shop!

Happy Celtic New Year and official start of the holiday season!