Portraits Gallery Updated

There's more of these portraits than seems reasonable right now- piling up in racks, leaning against furniture, and rarely seeing the light of day. I've put a few more of them on display in the portraits gallery.

Here's a few of them snuggling in the racks.
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We take up the task eternal, and the burden and the lesson.

This spring is about teaching. I'm currently teaching Art History I, II, III, and Contemporary Art and Design at The Art Institute of Seattle- devoting lots of time to writing lectures and course material. I'm also teaching Portrait Painting at Pratt and Life Drawing with the "Teen Girl Squad" over at Gage.  As a result, the updates on this site have slowed considerably. Work in the studio is currently quiet, small, and secret. I found these words from William Merrit Chase both comforting and familiar: "The association with my pupils, most of them young people, has, I may say, kept me always young in my work, and my interest in painting fresh and ever renewed. The analysis of my pupil's work and the incidental formulating of correct principles, keep me artistically speaking, healthy and my point of view clear." "Far from regarding this work a waste of energy, I consider the office of teacher to be one of the highest honor and I am doing what I can to help those who come after me to tread the path which I have pursued for many years." In their esteem for his great leadership and generous devotion, Chase's students commissioned his portrait to be painted by John Singer Sargent. (left)
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Earth Day (one of 365, annually)

My friends at Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park have invited me to celebrate Earth Day with them. (They must know I'm pro-Earth.) For Seattle Art Museum's Family Festival: Earth Day for Kids, I'll be spending the day inside Mark Dion's Neukom Vivarium, home to sixty feet of life, decomposition, dirt and renewal. Dion's work is an 80 foot greenhouse containing a huge nurse log, the ground-floor of the teeming Pacific Northwest ecosystem. I'll be there with clip boards and drawing tools, working as resident artist inside the vivarium: encouraging visitors to use drawing as a way to see things closer and clearer. I'm also planning to have some very serious discussions about ferns with children. (Most kids are pretty comfortable as both "artist" and "field biologist.") The sculpture park is also hosting lots of other interesting activities, events, and ideas throughout the day. This is free and open to the public; Come say hi!
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Travels with Carlos

As spring creeps across the cold, muddy surface of America, three artists go forth to know this land better. (Also, we go to move a van-full of tools and instruments to New York) James Lobb, Carlos Esparza and I will spend the next week driving across the continent, making drawings, photographs, and bad dietary decisions. We'll spend some quality time in the Rockies, the Badlands, and the vast vagaries of the American Midwest. The trip will culminate in a whirlwind tour of New York City, where I'll stop in and visit some of my favorite arts organizations. (reports, images, and stories to follow) Packing list: toothbrush, sketchbook, Walt Whitman, underwear,  sunglasses...
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Lullabies for Falling Empires

My dear friend Richard Webb has briefly returned to Seattle and will be playing a show this Sunday night, March 6th at Cafe Arabica. He's gathered a small incarnation of his ensemble, Lullabies for Falling Empires for this one-night show. They'll play the soaring instrumentals they're known for, as well as projected video art and a preview of their upcoming record. These shows are always stunningly beautiful. Show starts at 8pm. See y'all there.
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Louisiana Purchase Show

Show CardNext week, Louisiana Tech University's juried biennial opens. I'm honored to be one of about 30 artists selected to be a part of this exhibition. I'll have two portraits up. If you're in the Deep South this spring, go see this diverse and exciting show! Show Card 2
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How Artists See

A friend recently asked me if, as a painter, I see differently. I stared at his face and thought about it… “Yes.” Since drawing and painting are about shifting perception, it makes sense that artists will literally look at the world differently. Thousands of hours spent drawing rewires the brain, training it to seek different kinds of information from the visual world. Even when I’m not painting, my mind is finding relationships, colors, shapes and proportions. During a conversation, I’ll be making broad generalizations about patterns and structures in your face. Hopefully, I’ll also be listening to you. I made this illustration from a photo by my friend Liz Phung. The lines indicate some of the special relationships I watch for: angles, latitudes, planes, and connections. I also tried to sample colors to illustrate how I observe them, but it’s not a great match. The way the mind interprets color is pretty mysterious and has alot to do with the artist's materials. I was astonished by how much less color variety the camera found. By digitally sampling areas, I found none of the greens, violets, and blue-grays I usually find in the face. The differences between yellows and pinks in the face also flatten out considerably. Artists see differently from cameras, too, but that's another discussion.
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Finnerty, not really from Finland

I recently received one of my own postcards from a friend traveling in Finland. I like to think it traveled  part of the way by reindeer.
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