And now towards the end of the year...

And now towards the end of the year...

I certainly did not realize till just today that I have not posted any updates all year! And since it’s near thanksgiving I am looking back and thinking of the year and what I appreciated most from it... certainly my new pup! He’s a big  husky ball of joy. And also I am appreciative of all the various shows I got to experience throughout the year, from the summer art festivals, to getting to hang my work this fall in various local businesses. Each experience has been different from each other, and I certainly have learned a lot. I am also appreciative of my family, I got to spend a whole week and a half in a sunny quiet harbor town with one stop sign and kayaks and all sorts of chill family time. Also getting promoted at work was pretty cool too, it’s been hard work and a big adjustment but progress non the less.

Anyways, I should take a minute to mention that the image here is two versions of a block print I made. There’s this path along the Willamette just above the waterfront park called The Greenway. I spend much of my time here, relaxing, exercising, meditating, whatever. One time I made a big stack of rocks there and it remained for a few days. It reminds me of nature sort of watching us evolve and grow. Anyways, I couldn’t quite decide on a color/matting scheme so I just ended up with a few different ones. My cat likes the right one better apparently. 

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New Work!

New Work!

This is truly what I love to do. This biggie here is inspired by an amazing,amazing place. 32"x62". Stonehenge memorial at Maryhill, Wa, overlooking the Columbia River and Mount Hood. Though I just started it, I feel so excited when I think about my time there, with the openness and the wind just surrounding me, and thinking about the colors and spaces that I will get to work details into. 

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Reworks

Reworks

Instead of scrapping on an old assignment painting from school, I thought I'd give it one more go and see if I could change it up... work in progress...

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finding meaning at 6am...

finding meaning at 6am...

From silence the soul rises/ with instant roses, / and in the morning of the day it collapses/ and plummets into the sounding light.

(pablo neruda)

The blare of my iPhone alarm at 5:20 is sometimes accepted, sometimes painful. By the time I clock in at work, though, just before 6:00, I am ready for the daily patterns of my life:  of opening the restaurant. Filling this, pulling out that, restocking everything... yet dreaming of art and depth and meaning and so much more...

Though, I welcome the winter months dearly, because that's when the sunrise is the best here. I find myself mentally listing the colors I see, and running towards the window to sneak in pictures on my phone. Seeing the distance come to light while the city slowly wakes is one other the strongest things that keeps my optimism and dreams alive when I feel like a robot every morning.

This is how I "hang in there..."

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The Human Age

The Human Age

"For ages, nature was the only place we went to feel surrounded by forces larger than ourselves. Now our cities, buildings and technologies are also playing that role." (From Diane Ackerman's book, "The Human Age: A World Shaped by Us")

Lately I am pursuing greater mental and physical balance in my life. Everyday I read the internet, communicate through my phone, watch television, and play with electronics, yet I feel that I'm still attached to some past-life where nature's "magic" dominates. Though I will never talk to trees or read animal tracks or see real ancestral spirits, I feel the urge is still there metaphorically. Survival was one thing, though we are a different humanity now, and we seek and require different things. So have the forces larger than ourselves also changed?

Much of my work reflects my appreciation for the local nature-escapes here in the PNW, but it is simultaneously a search for a much deeper meaning of who I am, what world this is, and what I ought to strive for.

I have no answers, just a process based on optimism and opportunity for now. But whether I paint cities or rivers, each new piece allows me to add to the evolution of my understanding. (The picture here, is a detail shot of a recent commission still in progress... stay tuned)

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Thanks!

Thanks!

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported my art at the Affordable Art Fair this past weekend! You helped make it a very rewarding experience, and thank you also for your feedback and comments!

I truly appreciate talking in person to my audience about wonderful places I love to paint! Thank you!

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(Indian Beach) The Physicial and Mental Benefits of Painting

(Indian Beach) The Physicial and Mental Benefits of Painting

I know, another post, and so soon!

Well, I'm sitting here researching the physical and mental benefits of painting and of spending time in nature, while my roommate attempts to home-brew her first batch of beer, and I felt as though I should post a better picture of my recent progress rather than snip-its of cool detail shots

I agree with the studies I've been reading, that in painting, the artist combines their motor skills with their perceptions and personal metaphors in a flow-like way to create an image. I choose my images to be of places, as opposed to of people or of an abstract nature...and I'm of course am on the endless pursuit of why I bother painting "pictures of pretty places..."

Turns out, that my act of painting actually does awesome things, (according to studies, stay tuned for updated artist statement with bibliographic references) like regulate heart rate and cortisol levels, in addition to strengthening self-awareness, mood and memory (to name a few)...  and when you add that to the positive effects of spending time in nature, you get things like stress reduction, increased energy levels, increased perception and perspective...

Anyways, I have no concrete conclusions of my own yet, and this newest painting has yet to be refined, but I hope you all have at least enjoyed my images and my ramblings, and soon I will reveal the wonders of Indian Beach, OR! 

Thank you again for those who took the time to read and consider my works, leave comments or messages if you feel so inclined!

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On Edge

On Edge

I am as equally succeeding as I am being stuck. 

It took quite sometime to realize that, and even longer to be ok with it. 

I am not where I want to be, art-career-wise, but I can see that the path I am on will lead me to my goals. The trouble with it though, is time.

It's taken me years to get here, and despite all my jobs, experiences, and colleges attended, I feel frustrated that I am still just working a basic service industry job so that I can afford the cost of living. But at the same time I am eternally grateful for this exact situation. I have so much support from my family, coworkers, and the few friends I have. I live in a beautiful and exciting city. And, I have the space and means to take my inspirations and turn them loose onto my canvases. 

So, amongst all my frustrations, stress, and tiredness, I am hopeful that soon things will come together so that I can really share my artistic creations with the rest of the world. Until then, thank you to everyone in my life who has helped guide and support me! 

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intentions, revisited

intentions, revisited

One of my favorite moments that make me feel alive, is those first steps into freezing ocean water...

I've been thinking about the art I've worked on so far this summer - with slow progress and painful outlooks. The hours poured into substrates have no effect on their value. Local prospects turned into dead ends. And I am no closer to figuring out "what it is all about" than I was trying to piece a thesis together in school. 

But this is all I have. This world is so, so fast. I paint the places I cannot live without, sensory experiences that revert me to some old primitive self. I retreat from the routines of making a living and instead seek out what it means to be alive....

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In the Studio

In the Studio

My studio, my goals, and my work is finally organized to the point where I see things much clearer. It took months to get to this point (it also took several mental breakdowns, to which I blame the planetary retrogrades...) I had so much art making stuff that I could make anything I wanted to. But because of that, I wasn't making much of anything (aside from little painted sketches here and there). But now, after many trips to goodwill, the recycling and trash bins, and to SCRAP Pdx, I have cleared out all the "fluff" and have set my sights on the goals of finishing up the paintings that will further my explorations. I don't have a title yet for these upcoming directions, but I am researching a lot on the changing definitions of what "nature" and "humanity" means here in the PNW....

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intentions in progress

intentions in progress

Steel Bridge (my most recent work in progress).

I know not many have the free time to go out and enjoy the fresh air or to explore the natural areas we live in, which would engage the revive the senses. But through my paintings, I hope to take my viewers back into the spaces of local scenes so that their minds can at least have an escape, even if their physical bodies cannot...

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The beginning...

"the most complete pictures are formed in our minds of the things that have been conveyed to them and imprinted on them by the senses, but that the keenest of all our senses is the sense of sight..." (from The Art of Memory, Frances Yates)

In a time where we increasingly outsource our memories to the "clouds," and experience our surroundings through cameras and screens, I am immersing myself in the recreation of local landscapes to re-awaken my senses. The land's physical space and details evoke the body, the symbolic places and objects engage the mind, and the lasting impressions capture the spirit, all of which embody my overall artistic experience.

Stay tuned and join me on my explorations!