Gage Benefit Gala

I've got a portrait in the silent auction at Gage Academy of Art's Collector's Gala tonight. Lots of beautiful artwork is up for bid, and all sales benefit Gage's programs. Gage is an outstanding organization that is serious about supporting artists. If you'll be attending the black tie event in Seattle, I recommend this, but local tastes might suggest this number. If you're not attending the Gala, you can check out the catalog, and you can even bid remotely in the silent auction! My work is #S308
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Sketching From Memory, Pt. 1

While I typically work from direct observation, I've recently been working on ways of inventing imagery, i.e. making things up. While this kind of working has a long tradition in Western Art, (think: almost anyone before Courbet) I've been encountering serious obstacles in painting the unseen. Two of the largest problems I'm encountering in this work are freshness and color complexity- two things that come easily in observational painting.

Based on my memory. Anyone know this painting?

To alleviate this gap between the mind and the eye, I've been sketching out paintings from memory. I think of some of my favorite paintings and try to recall general atmosphere, composition, and color masses and paint them as quickly as I can recall them. Painting from a fragmentary memory keeps things fresh, while the original artists furnish the good stuff. This one is different from the original in some amusing ways, yet captured some key elements. Can you guess what painting I was thinking of?
Posted in art history, painted sketch | 1 Comment

Drawing Jam

This Saturday, December 3rd, marks Gage Academy's 12th annual Drawing Jam. From 9am to 9pm, three floors of art studios are open with costumed and nude models, drawing supplies, live music and food. For my teen friends, I'll be giving life drawing tips and a brief demo in the "Teen Studio" from 2-3pm. Come by and draw with me! For my adult friends, I'll be around and drawing most of the day, eagerly awaiting Sierra Stinson's "Gage Artist Happy Hour." See you there!
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Don’t Stand So Close (to me.)

I'll have four paintings in a group show this December at Pratt Gallery in Seattle. The show Don't Stand So Close, features four of Pratt's teaching artists paired with their students. My work will share a wall with  my drawing student Allison Trujillo. The show also features Jane Richlovsky, AJ Power, and Paul McKee.


What: Don’t Stand So Close Group Exhibition Where: Pratt Gallery at Tashiro Kaplan Studios, 306 South Washington Street, Studio 1A When: December 1-31, 2011 Opening: First Thursday, December 1, 5- 8pm Gallery Hours: Wednesdays - Saturdays, 12-5pm and by appointment My protégé Allison draws like a champion, and I'll have portraits of Brynn, Carlos, Laurie, and Zia making their public debuts. Also, how can we resist a show with this title? Come check it out!
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Occupy Seattle

protesters in Seattle's Westlake Plaza

I stopped by Westlake Center the other day to check out Seattle's Occupy Protest and do some drawing. I was curious to see the demonstrations and also to watch the crowd dynamics. I was really looking for two things: 1. I was hoping to see dynamic groupings of people, organizing into interesting shapes and spaces. 2. I was also hoping to see some dynamic arguments against the systemic abuses of power in our economy and government.

a peaceful exchange of dissenting viewpoints

On both counts, I had mixed feelings. #1, Being Seattlites, the people seemed to spread out to respect one another's personal space- only massing in the presence of benches or coffee. And #2, being in Seattle and on a Monday, the conversations lacked the urgency and excitement I've been reading about in New York. Like so many other sympathetic Americans, I wish I knew exactly what I was hoping to see. In the meantime, I'm excited to see so many people worked up about democracy, and to hear that disciplined nonviolence is keeping so many people safe.
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Devil’s Postpile Patch Design

Junior Rangers take a special oath!

My friends at Devil's Postpile National Monument asked for some help designing a new badge for the park's Junior Ranger Program. This program engages kids and youth with the ecology or geology of different National Parks. When the kids finish the program, they earn a badge for their achievement. I used to do these programs on family vacations.  The old ones were shiny plastic badges with bison on them. (This sounds way cooler than they actually were.) For the new one, I based my design on the postpile, a giant formation of six-sided basalt columns. The shape of the columns dictated the hexagonal format and the use of stripes throughout. I wanted a strong diagonal and several layers of space. Also, designing for embroidery machines dictates a limited palette of flat color, in this case, six. Working with this limitation reminded me of an earlier NPS project.

Finalized design done in gouache.

If you're up in the Sierra Nevadas, make sure to visit the park and get one!
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Autumn Comes to Seattle

Fall is officially and earnestly here in the Northwest. The days are getting shorter, wetter and grayer. This means the growing season is pretty much over for most things,and it's almost harvest time for some of the BEST things. (e.g. pumpkins, concord grapes) I spent some quality time with these strawberries, which have since decided to downsize and hibernate until next summer. During this short sketch, the leaves would turn, and the stems would bend and stretch for the light. It reminded me of the film, El Sol del Membrillo, in which Antonio Lopez Garcia contends with a perpetually shifting tree. I urge anyone who draws to spend a few hours with a living plant- they're more dynamic than we know.
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New Studio

Moving Day, 2011

I've moved the painting operations out of my home/studio in the Central District in order to spread out a little. I'm now making work in a modest space downtown, near 1st & Spring.  New space means new processes, practices and possibilities. In related news, I've been stretching canvases for some large-scale paintings. (six or seven feet) This process is physically taxing, but it's apparently even harder on my staple gun, which suffered catastrophic failure due to metal fatigue.  I'll miss you, staple gun.

Staple Gun, 2003-2011

Posted in tools | 1 Comment