Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A little of each

Finished up some of the weekly errands today, shipped the painting to Margaret in CT, worked on the IPRC text ball costume some more, and looked at Alice's dropdown menu some more. Someone came by to look at a painting, not sure anything will happen though. Did a bit of yard work. The movie was Short Bus at Cinema 21.

Monday, October 30, 2006

My Name is Red

One of my favorite books, which I will be dressed as for the IPRC text ball. I'm just part way through working on the costume, but I'm afraid it's not terribly creative, just a literal interpretation. There are a couple of nice touches though. The book starts with a corpse talking, which for a close-to-Halloween party, it's sort of related. The corpse was an illuminator, so I did the text in gold. I'm thinking about emphasizing the word 'felt', since I felted the sweater (hahaha) first. But then again, maybe I won't. I'll do the back side tomorrow. The moth holes will be covered up with round red droplets of 'ink' that I'll applique over the holes.

Spent a little time working on Alice's web site update, but today was mostly an errands day -- Costco, groceries, etc.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Finished book

The finished book! It's hard to see in the photo, but the exposed binding is very pretty, forming a 'butterfly' (or figure 8) at the top and bottom of the spine. The leather is kangaroo leather, the white stripes vellum (animal vellum), and the square and round punchouts show the underlay marbled paper. The clasp strap is also of kangaroo leather. The leather is pretty easily marred; when I was just now holding it, I scratched up the surface a bit with some chapped skin on my thumb. I will finish the surface of the leather by buffing with wheat paste, but not tonight. That's supposed to help protecting the surface.

It's a nice size book, just right for holding in one's hands. It's about the right size and shape as a light switch plate though, maybe a little bigger. I keep thinking about maybe using light switch plates to make book covers; the cut outs can be used to display a recessed image or title, even.

The class was pretty good, Bonnie's instructions were clear and we had enough time to finish every step of the way. Actually, I would've liked the opportunity to purchase a 2nd set of materials; I think I had enough time to make a 2nd book. Especially today, when I packed a lunch instead of going out. I had lots of free time, and we finished the day maybe an hour early too.

Of all the sewn structures I've learned, I like this the best.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Byzantine binding, coptic cover, Ethiopian dinner

Day One of the Byzantine binding class. Actually, we're doing an exposed Byzantine binding on the textblock with a late coptic cover...at least that's what I think we're doing; it might be the other way around.

It's the first time I've worked with leather, and it's so much easier than working with paper! I've never worked with book cloth, but I understand it's also harder than leather. It definitely has it's own pitfalls too, but my first leather covers are looking a lot better than my umpteenth paper covers already. We left them under weight to dry over night; I can't wait to see what they look like in the morning...they'll be perfect, but of course.

And for dinner, I suggested two theme eating places -- Greek or Ethiopian, there being no Turkish places in town that I know of. The group went for Ethiopian and it was a big hit with the out of towners.

Too bad I forgot to take pictures of the class.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Book weekend

Following the egg tempera/icon painting class a couple of weekends ago, this weekend is the Byzantine bookbinding class. It should be fun. The instructor, Bonnie Stahlecker gave a talk and slide show of her own work this evening. She showed a selection of her work from the past 10 years or so, many of which were accordion books or sculptural works, but there were couple of examples of the binding we'll do tomorrow. Not sure what I would do with what I learn, but of course I'm interested in anything Byzantine. Her imagery is very painterly, very beautiful.

Took care of the business end of things today -- got a submission out and got some details of the Hillsboro show ironed out.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


OK, I'm finally making some progress with the pulldown menu stuff. Still having trouble with the pulldown links not changing colors when the mouse hovers over, but only in Safari. It seems to be working fine in Opera, Explorer, and Firefox. We'll see if Alice would be willing to proceed knowing that this problem may not get fixed.

Visited with Tami (another artist in the area) today.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It's a tough town

Visited another artist today. Pamela moved up here from LA last year and is trying to establish herself. She's an amazing artist, doing allegorical, figurative paintings. Apparently right after she moved up here, she sent out her slides to some of the major galleries in town and was turned down by them all; she was picked up by a new gallery, but the relationship seems a bit tenuous. After hearing her tales, I'm a little discouraged. She has a beautful space to work in -- spacious, bright, and has a view of her garden.

Got home from visiting Pamela in time to have lunch and work on the javascript a little before heading into town for my library volunteer duties. Then it was dinner with Ray and Bonnie and off to see the Silk Road Odyssey film, which turned out to be quite disapppointing. A not very well done travelogue.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Gocco, wontons, and chocolate sauce

What do these have in common? Well, as it would turn out, they work pretty well together. I was able to print 12pt text onto wonton skins by using the gocco printer to print and chocolate sauce as my 'ink'. I was playing around with making something edible (more or less) and readable for the IPRC text ball. After baking in the toaster oven, they become sort of like chips, and the texts are still legible; with some tasty dip, I think it would work pretty well. I'll make 'fortunes' by printing text directly onto strips of wonton skin and baking them.

I think I'll go as 'My Name is Red'. I have some wool things that have gotten holey from moths. I felted them tonight in the washer and dryer. I'll either gocco the text or embroider the text on them.

Outside of that, it's oy with dropdown menus for Alice's web site. I'm starting to make a little progress but it's a lot more complex than I can do in a day or two. Went out and bought a book, but after looking through it tonight, I don't think it's quite what I need; I think I'll return it tomorrow.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Back to work

Today was the last day for me to invite someone to join me at the show in Hillsboro next May, and since I visited Theresa and liked her work, I decided to invite her. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to visit everyone last week since the car was out of commission, and I hope this will work out well. I really liked some of her paintings, but others I didn't care for as much. That's always how it goes, I suppose. Got back from visiting her studio at 3:30pm. Then it was looking at updating Alice's web site, trying to figure out how to implement drop down menus in javascript. Made a little progress.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Last day of 'vacation'

I'm seriously getting back to work tomorrow; no, really! But today, I had a relaxing day of visiting a few of the east side open studio artists. There weren't that many I wanted to see, but I did want to see Andrea Benson and Briana Linden; both of them work in encaustics. Ran into Abigail at Briana's and chatted for a little bit, and that was very nice. Briana's husband Troy is an artist/illustrator, and they share the garage studio, and I spotted a bat t-shirt! So he custom made one for me while I visited Dawn Phelps McConnell's studio. Here's the shirt. I know it's lame putting up someone else's design work here...but it's a very nice bat.

Lets see, what else...saw David Kerr's studio and garden, saw a lampwork bead maker. I guess that was it. David's garden was amazing. There were a couple of other artists that I wanted to visit, but I ran out of time. Had to get home in time to make it to dinner and West Side Story at the new Armory.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Gocco flash & swap

Today was the 2nd Gocco flash & swap, and it was much quieter than the last one. Only 2 of the 5 people who rsvp came (2 canceled and 1 was a no show), and only 1 of them had a project to work on. Diane was still working on her dollar bill project but was having 2nd thoughts about the distribution process -- she doesn't want to get thrown in jail, even though we promised we'd visit ("but I have children!"). Rachel didn't have a project ready but came to be social anyhow. I did send them home with bags of quinces from the tree.

I'll try hosting another flash & swap and see how that goes, but it may not be as much of a hit as I figured it'd be.

Yeah, when I was planning my POS tour tomorrow, I noticed that the 'artist by category' listing didn't even list me in the right category! I checked my application, yes, I did say 'watercolors & gouache', but they didn't list me there. That, along with printing my image sideways and REALLY dark, makes me rather unhappy. I wonder how much that has to do with my 30% decrease in traffic this year.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Belated realizations

I just figured out that yesterday was a real 'rats' kind of a day. Not only did I buy the Robert Nelson drawing of the rats, the Brad Adkins exhibit had a neon sign that said 'Rats' (for $3000! I wonder how much it would cost to go down to the neon sign maker and have one made?). The 2 people that I talked to on my gallery walk also happened to mention that they were 34 years old, which would most likely make them rats as well.

Which brings me to the 2nd realization -- that how important it is to get out there and make the gallery rounds. In the past few years I've just not been very good about that, but...I appreciated the Brad Adkins exhibit a lot more after I talked to the gallery assistant (the 34 year old rat), and also, I got invited to participate in an exhibit in Jan/2007 (by the other 34 year old). I think it's a case of 'see artist, invite artist to exhibit' syndrome. It's not the first time that's happened -- you walk in and they say, oh hey, how would you like to send me a CD/bring me some work for a show in x month?

Well, I'm still taking it easy. I got the car back from the shop today, so despite that it's Friday, the worst day for running errands, I ran some errands. The pent up demand you know. Spent a little time cleaning up the studio. I should've looked at Alice's CD for the web site update, but didn't manage to get there. And we're off to see the Science of Sleep now.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gallery walk

Since the car's still in the shop, I had to take the bus to Citizen's to pick up slides. That being a fairly long commute, I decided to make a day of it in town and went on my gallery walk. Ended up buying a Robert Nelson drawing, one that I was looking at earlier in the year and thought for sure it would sell during his show in September. But for some reason, it didn't sell, although the show was a big success and he sold a lot of work. Anyhow, since it was still there, and it being a drawing of a big rat lifting weight, I now have even more reasons to claim it. And so I did. (See here. It's the giant muscular rat lifting weight.) I probably shouldn't have, since the car is going to cost $1600 to repair. Spent a good 5 hours walking around in the Pearl today.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Late breaking news

On my way home from dropping off the extra Portland Open Studios tour guides, I had an accident. While getting on 217 from 26, I lost control of the car on the on ramp. I thought I had a flat tire. I decided that if I had a flat tire, I shouldn't be getting on the freeway; so I hit the breaks and at that point, really had no control of the car and hit the cement guard. Luckily, there were no other cars around, and I managed to get the car onto the shoulder. I was pretty lucky, after that, it was non-stop traffic, and I saw a few cars swerving around at the same spot. So maybe it was a slippery patch there.

There was no flat tire, but I banged up the wheel a little bit. I waited in the car for a while, thinking someone would stop, but nobody did. I finally got out, stood by the side of the road and made telephone gestures at the cars driving by. Someone stopped pretty quickly and I called AAA. The tow truck came in about 5 minutes and we were off to the garage. And now I'm home, a little sore that I had, on a lark, decided to go 26 instead of Walker. But one never knows, something else might've happened had I taken Walker. Anyhow, glad to be home and not hurt.

This does mean that I have to cancel my library gig this afternoon. So I guess I'll clean my studio instead. So that's how this entry is connected to what's happening in the studio.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Visits with Josephine and Blake

I'm going to spend this and next week visiting some Portland Open Studios artists whose work I don't get to see because I'm open at the same time. So today was my first such visit. I went to Blake's glass beads studio. Blake and I met when she was program manager at the Chinese Garden. She organized the printmaking class I taught there. Soon after that, though, she decided to leave her regular job to do her own thing and started this glass beads studio. She now has a showroom, has a lot of commercial accounts, and even has a boutique in Taiwan carrying her jewelry. We chatted for quite a while as she worked on some necklaces. We decided to do a trade. Earlier in the afternoon, I delivered a framed print to the Chinese Garden office (someone working there bought a piece this last weekend), and took a long walk in the garden with Josephine. She did a lot of the PR for the event in various local papers. This was the first time I'd been in the garden when the Osmanthus was in bloom. Too bad my nose isn't that good, although I could smell it when I got really close. According to Josephine, you could smell it 4 blocks away!

As to whether my attendance was down due to lack of press coverage -- I don't know. It's true I got some press coverage 2 years ago, but according to my informal poll, NOBODY came due to the profile in The Asian Reporter. I got no press coverage last year, but my attendance was about the same. The weather this year is about the same as last year, drizzly and cold. It's true that my image in the tour guide was reproduced very poorly this year -- they printed it sideways and REALLY dark. I was really disappointed with the tour guide, actually. I haven't talked to anyone else who's done the event before, so I don't know if this was just me or if it was everyone.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Taking it easy

Day 1 of recovery from Portland Open Studios. Went to the bead shop to get beads for my bat earrings. Went to Paloma's, but their sale was over so I didn't get anything. Made a CD of some recent paintings for Carl over at the Art Center in Hillsboro and dropped it off. Met and chatted with him for a bit. Looks like I'll be showing there in a 2 person show next May. I'm a little bit disappointed in the space -- it's a long skinny hall way with no natural light (although it's well lit), and the walls were painted red and yellow. I suppose it's ok.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Done for the year

Another year, another Portland Open Studios. Traffic is definitely down this year, for me anyhow. I'd guess we had 100 people for the 2 days, which would mean down about 30% from last year, and the year before. My sales are down 40% from last year. There just wasn't that 1 person who came in and bought a $500 piece like before.

Moving on to the November show. I guess since I still have the large pieces, I'm now ready for the November show. I really have no hope of selling anything at the November show though. I'm going into the show not knowing what the other's works are like, except for 2 people, so I don't know what to expect.

But it's exhausting to be on your feet for 7-8 hours a day, 2 days in a row, doing demos. The 'self-guided tour' of my painting process seemed to be a hit though.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

One down, one to go

Day 1 of Portland Open Studios. This was a bit of a slow day compared to Saturdays of previous years. I think I had maybe 50-60 people there, compared with more like 70-80 people in the past. There was a fair amount of down time, or times with only 3-4 people there. There were a few times when there were 10+ people there, but not as much as in the past, I don't think. Sold some prints but no paintings, which was disappointing. But I recovered my framing cost already, which is nice. And if I don't sell the paintings, that means I'm all set for the November show, too. So I guess it's not all bad.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Ready or not...

This is Friday night, I still have 1 more thing to do -- prepare for the demo. Otherwise, I'm as ready as I'll ever be. The upstairs is clean, all the pieces are hung (2 pictures below) and labeled. Cards are made, PR materials are put out. There's food/snacks/water for everyone.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

House cleaning

One trouble with doing Portland Open Studios is that I have to clean house. That took up most of today, and now M is finishing it up for me while I work on some PR materials and labels. Plus there was the Portland Art Center show meeting this afternoon. As always, I'll be ready just by the hairs of my chinny chin chin.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Moving on to labeling

All finished with framing and matting. Now I'm onto labeling...

(And the studio is much cleaner.)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More framing...

Art made with a colorcopier, it's fabulous.

More framing today. Here's the mess:

And more mess:

Monday, October 09, 2006

Rusty is framed, and sold!

I sold Rusty Fragments last night! Made the deal from the email announcement I sent out for Portland Open Studios.

Today was photo day and framing day. Frame Central redeemed themselves by getting all of the frames ready today (just 3 days late in stead of 5). So I started framing. Since Rusty got sold, I framed it first. Also framed Cobwebs in the Fetish Cabinet. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow, and maybe Wed. Here's the framed Rusty:

Sunday, October 08, 2006

St. Andrew

The 2nd and last day of the egg tempera painting workshop. Our assignment was to paint an icon of St. Andrew. The instructor, Sean Cain, had an outline for us to copy on our clayboards, and then we could paint as we wished, following the basic guidelines of 1) painting dark to light, 2) feathering transitions areas in the skin tones. And also following the traditional color choices for skin and hair.

So this was my finished icon. I decided to play around with the background area, since I had all that unused space. The texture was created by wiping (with some oomph) with a paper towel while the top layer of paint was still damp. I also wiped into the painted icon around the edges so that it looked more integrated. The clayboard that Sean had specified for the class was 7"x9", but I already had this board that was slightly larger at 9"x12". And it was just a little to big for the composition, so I created the border, originally thinking I would do a decorated border, but there was no time.

Now I'm thinking that I'd try to use it as a cover board for the Byzantine bookbinding class that I'm taking in 3 weeks.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Egg Tempera

Today was the 1st of 2 days of my egg tempera painting class. All day. Both days. And I'm already exhausted after one day. My right arm was already REALLY tired from fencing on Thursday night, and having to work in hundreds if not thousands of little tiny strokes seemed to have done me in. I don't think I'm getting anything else done tonight. I'll try to remember to take out the film tonight so I can photograph the pieces before they go into the frame tomorrow night. Or maybe Monday night.

On a brighter note, I might have sold Rusty Fragments already, just from the announcement! They wanted to know the sizes and everything, so it can still not work out, but still, I'm excited.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Never run errands on Fridays

Maybe now I'll remember that, having written it down.

Since I didn't get museum boards yesterday, I decided to do that today. And since I'd be headed Beaverton way, I figured I might as well run some Beaverton direction errands. Bad mistake, as I remembered once I was caught in traffic. Anyhow, got the boards, checked out the framing services at Art Media (just noticed today that they had custom framing supplies). Prices seemed pretty comparable to Frame Central, but I like the selections better, so I'd definitely try them next time. Especially since FC told me that most of my frames would be cut and ready to be picked up this afternoon, and then I found out at 6pm (and I had to call them), that they wouldn't be. They ran out of the moldings. So now I have to wait until next Wed.

And I seemed to have left the announcements to the last minute. I've been meaning to get them out early this week but didn't. So got the email announcement out, but I still have maybe 40 postcards that I'd need to send out, the old fashioned way.

Tonight, I should be cutting some mats, but maybe I'll decide that it's Friday night after all. I do have to get ready for my egg tempera class tomorrow and Sunday.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Time to get serious about preparing for Portland Open Studios. Went to Frame Central to order frames for 8 new pieces (almost $800!!). Went into town to pick up 6 pieces that were in a Open Studios Preview show. Tried to slip into Art Media to get some museum boards, but couldn't find parking so decided to skip it for today. Will try the Beaverton Art Media so I won't have to deal with parking. Did work on a small painting, but no pictures to show for today.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Rusty Fragments

That's the title for this piece for now. I'm still thinking about it; there's another title that I'm also tossing around in my head. So this is one of the pieces that I've been working on for a couple of weeks. You can see previous incarnations of it in older entries (Sept 29 and 26). I might fuss with it here and there for a little while longer, but I'm pretty much finished with it. This was a good day.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Two days later...

Finally, after 2 days of printing, I'm finished with cards for now. Again, I'd get 1 image set up to print 10 copies, run off to do some errand or chore, and then come back to get the next card started. And so now I have cards to sell at Portland Open Studios.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Cards, cards, and more cards

So it's yes to cards after all. Printing high quality inkjet prints is a slow process, so I'm babysitting the printer as it slowly spits out cards in between my doing various chores, like cooking dinner and cleaning the laundry room. The new dryer was supposed to be delivered today, and in fact, they did bring it; but it was slightly damaged and they took it back. They took the old dryer though, so I was able to clean the room. It took a couple of hours of playing with colors and test prints before I had 3 images ready and printed. Hopefully, it will go a little faster now that I've had some experience.

Tonight's movie was Jet Li's Fearless. A little preachy and stilted, typical of that genre I think, but it was alright.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Maryhill Double

Today was the day. As always, we didn't start too early, around 12:30pm or so. Got there 2 hours later and met up with R and J L. at the site. Walking up to it, M and I were both disappointed, considering how much press the installation had received, it simply did not have that ethereal/shimmering quality that I was expecting. But once we got there, and were able to interact with it, walking around and climbing up the scaffolding, we both changed our minds. And after talking to Annie Han (the artist) about the impetus for the project, it all came together.

This was a photo taken at the top of the scaffolding, about 4 stories up. At the lower center left, you can sort of see the steps coming up the scaffolding on the other side. There were 2 stairs going up, and we climbed up both. The photo was taken with M's cell phone; not the best quality but I rather like the impressionistic quality of the image.

And here's a shot of the Columbia River taken on the stairs you see in the picture above, just a few steps from the top.