Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Last two weeks before Portland Open Studios

I'm not sure whether to be happy or sad, but Portland Open Studios weekends will finally be upon me in less than 2 weeks. I have spent so much time volunteering on the board (I've logged 570 hours so far this year) that I feel my own work has suffered. I've completed a bunch of the 7x7 panels and a couple of larger pieces, but that's it. I've not completed my senior's book, which I started on last year, yikes!

I know one thing, I'll be happy when my 3 year term is up. I will feel like I've made my contribution, and I can feel good about that. This is also my last year of participating in the event. Of course, never say never, and I might return in the future, but I'm definitely ready for a break.

So I got a commission from a friend, who wanted a painting of a hummingbird. Not having done humming birds before, and having those 7x7 panels that I can experiment with, I figure I'll play with some ideas here. I actually started 4 panels just as shapes and forms, without thinking that I'll put hummingbirds on there. But then, there they are, so I might as well.

I started 4 panels with similar ideas, and you see that on the panel on the right. All 4 had those seed-pod like shapes. I was thinking horse chestnut pods. But they also read like circular cages.

Over the seed pod shapes, I layered a landscape (inspired by my trip to the Steens...come to think of it, I got the horse chestnuts on one of our previous trips to the Steens too), and hummingbirds. This you can see in the left 2 panels. Then the panel on the left has been 'scrubbed'—I take a wet, stiff angle brush and I push the paint around. Before I do this, the left panel is much more like the middle panel:

Then I start to work on bringing out or pushing back the different forms & shapes that I want to work with. They're not finished, I hope to have them done this weekend though.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Steens 2010

It's the annual trip to the Steens and Alvord Desert for the Moon Festival!

(It occurs to me that I did not post the photos from Steens 2009 last year; they're on facebook, but maybe I'll eventually put them here too. For Steens 2008 and beyond, see this.)

The Good Prince and I took it easy. Did a little driving around, watched the moon rise, took advantage of Sven's preparedness and went along on the Malheur Cave tour, napped, played pool, and ate. What else is there to do on a vacation?

All photos are point & shoot.

So you've got to have the standard I was at the Malheur Refuge shot...yeah, it's really blue like that:

And of course I can't resist the grass shot:

Still can't help myself:

Gotta have the cows shot too:

Grass gets two, so the cows gotta get two, too:

At one point, we came across some cows being loaded onto the truck and I said "well, we know where those cows are going." The Good Prince replied, "yeah, well, I can see that they're going into the truck..."

After our encounter with the cows, we arrive at the Alvord playa, right around dusk:

And the moon rises...as scheduled:

Here's an unscheduled visitor kicking up a lot of dusk:

On the beach? (Hand-held at 2 seconds, it was pretty dark.)

On Mars? (Hand-held at 3 seconds.)

In Oregon! This is a lava tube cave, owned by the Free Masons who hold a jamboree here regularly:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bright Hill 2010 Book Arts Exhibit

This is my lucky year! Exhibits have been falling from the sky and hitting me on the head, which is good since I've been so crazy busy with Portland Open Studios board duties that I haven't had the time to put my work out there this year.

So the latest is the Bright Hill 2010 Book Arts exhibit. I got invited to submit 2 books. They chose two, one of which was not available, so I was able to choose the other (which they accepted). I think these two work very well together. Although both are earlier work, I have always loved both and have always been sorry that they haven't been shown more. So here they are, brand new photographs from this afternoon.

Pocket Atlas for Travelers:

Left & Right:

And this was what I sent along:

Pocket Atlas for Travelers is the story of a 15 year seeing the world for the very first time, and coming to an understanding of the lies that we are often told in the cause of nationhood. Voices compete and contrast in different versions of this journey.

Left & Right documents a long civil war, most of which was fought in the battlefields of the mind. Having grown up on one side of this war, I was able to travel and see the other side as an American. Two decks of cards, 104 toy soldiers shooting at each other, each side telling their version of four stories, with a surprising twist.

Friday, September 10, 2010

20th and 21st, among other things

Escape Velocity, diptych in gouache (and acrylic surface to be added later).

[These were really the 21st & 22nd panels.]

So these two, and the two below of the monkey king, were cut up from this piece from back in 2006, which went from bad to worse to pretty much given up for dead. Although now that I'm looking at these old photos, I think it could've been saved when I was about half way through. So I cut it up into these 4 pieces (plus there are scraps left).

I'll mount these on boards before I finish them.

On other fronts...

I'm recovering from a long streak of work, work, and more work. Between organizing and installing the Collins show, getting the iPhone app together (and the Good Prince had to get involved too), and installing For the Love of Food (opened this past Tuesday), I had my first day of 'holiday' yesterday since mid-July. I sat around and did nothing...it was bliss.