Sunday, November 15, 2009

140 sewn paintchips

As I've been working on both the sewn paintchip project and the silverpoint drawings, I've slowly realized that they're part of the same body of work. I've got the first draft of an artist statement started (see bottom of post). 140 seems like the right number of paintchips for now. I've got about 20 more finished (some repeats), and for as much as I'd like to have all 350. The paintchips I've been using are no longer available at Lowe's. So, for now at least the paintchip project is at a pause. I've still got some for sale at etsy.

nested: paintchips
variable dimensions aprox. 40"x45" as shown
thread, paper

nested: paintchips (detail)
variable dimensions aprox. 40"x45" as shown
thread, paper

Artist Statement:

I am inspired by the tension found in the convergence of new technologies and traditional art making techniques.

I've long been interested in how information is visualized - data mapping, cartography and infographics have been sources of inspiration. This body of work is an exploration into the ways in which identity is formed and changed by the convergence of new technologies (such as social networking), the natural environment, and relationships. I am fascinated by the ways Internet and social networking have transformed the ways which people communicate both on & offline. This transformation leaves me nostalgic and drawn to making art that is labor intensive in mediums such as hand sewing and silverpoint.

With the silverpoint, I am drawn both to the quality of the mark and the history of this method of drawing. These large scale silverpoint drawings, through their use of intersecting fingerprint-like shapes, explore the relationship between the unique and the group. The clustered nature of these drawings also evoke the networks, or clusters found both online and in nature. The individual shapes in these works are reminiscent of repetitive ovular shapes frequently found in "natural" organic forms such as fingerprints, tree rings, and mussel shells.

This idea is also explored through a series of hand sewn paintchips. Each paintchip features sewn concentric circles that call to mind nests and serve as a metaphor for the idea of home; exploring the nature of home and identity and how this is formed and informed by relationships and environment. I am particularly interested in the ways in which identity can vary between mediums such as the difference between one's online persona and identity in person or at work for example.

Both the silverpoint drawings and sewn paintchips also explore the relationship between the individual and group through the use of unique multiples. The groupings suggest the ways in which people are both part of many different yet intersecting groups, and the ways in which we seem to naturally form attachments and groups with people or things that can be both alike and yet different from ourselves. This phenomena can be observed in the natural environment but is now also evident when viewing online groups and has become more apparent as sites like Twitter and Facebook have expanded the ways in which we form connections. There seems to be both an enlarging and narrowing aspect to this way of communicating, and this body of work grew out of my interest in this subject.

new silverpoint

Here's the hopefully finished new silverpoint drawing. The 3rd I've completed so far this size.

untitled V (silverpoint)
silverpoint on paper

untitled V (silverpoint) (detail)
silverpoint on paper

a new painting

I've been neglecting this blog a bit in the past month for time in the art studio. I'm working on a proposal for a show that will include the silverpoint and paintchip images, and I've finished a new painting. I'm going to do a few different posts, but here it goes.

new painting:
by land & by sea
oil on canvas

detail views:
by land & by sea (detail 1)
oil on canvas

by land & by sea (detail 2)
oil on canvas

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

112 and counting

This week, I got back into the swing of studio time by lining paintchips up end to end on a larger wall. There are 350 different colored paintchips, and i've sewn nested shapes on just about 1/3rd of them so far. When I started, I never thought it would turn into such a large project, but I hope in the next few months to really have a wall covered in sewn paintchips, arranged in some logical way. Right now they're arranged numerically by the top stripe color. Its got some starts and stops, some fairly substantial gaps, and strangely quite a few repeats...but its an interesting way to ascribe some order to them without arranging just by color. I think its mostly working, at least as a starting point, and I'm hoping once I'm finished that there will be an interesting gradation achieved by that first striped line.

On to the pictures:

Thursday, October 8, 2009

what a difference a professional makes

This morning on my way to work, I picked up my silverpoint drawings from a professional photographer. I really struggled to get the detail and correct color on my own, and really don't have the necessary camera/lighting to capture images with this much detail. Dave at Perceptual Intent however, knocked it out of the park. Its nice to finally feel like I can really share these drawings online. So, without further ado.

untitled 4(silverpoint)
silverpoint on paper, 2009

untitled 3(silverpoint)
silverpoint on paper, 2009

untitled 2(silverpoint)
silverpoint on paper, 2009

untitled 1(silverpoint)
silverpoint on paper, 2009

In related news I'll have work up in two locations for the month of October. Selected paintings from the series "heart loot: and other small stories" will be on view at the Ginger Salon (pearl district location) thru November 2nd. Also, two of the above silverpoint drawings will be included in the Marylhurst University Art Alumni Show October 17th - November 25th. Opening reception is Friday Oct. 16th from 6-9pm.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


A quick blog post. I spent a few hours last night working on a new silverpoint drawing. Still unsatisfied by my camera's ability to capture the right detail, but pleased with the quality of the drawings overall.

untitled (in progress)
silverpoint on domestic etch

Sunday, September 6, 2009

84 and counting

I keep sewing paintchips. My rather large collection is diminishing and my finished pile keeps growing. I ran out of push pins. I'm adding to the wall, and liking the results more and more as the group grows.

Here's a picture of the progress.

Finished Silverpoint

I finally finished my 2nd large silverpoint drawing. Still struggling with getting a really sharp image with my not so great camera, but the lighting is better.

silverpoint on paper
40"x32", 2009

(untitled)silverpoint (detail)
silverpoint on paper
40"x32", 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

i think i gave myself a pushpin blister....

Yikes. The good news is I have 24 more sewn paintchips to add to the collection, giving me a total of 61. I'm making good progress on that wall of paintchips, and the larger the collection grows, the more exciting it looks. Here are some pictures.

24 new sewn paintchips

24 new sewn paintchips (detail)

The beginning of a wall full of paintchips.

61 sewn paintchips arranged in a grid (view 1)

61 sewn paintchips arranged in a grid (view 2)

p.s. - My 2nd post in the past week. I've got another silverpoint drawing almost finished, so depending on my ability to get into the studio later this week, it might just be three.

Friday, August 14, 2009

things i'm looking at/listening to/thinking about

I've been thinking for awhile about posting a list of things that are inspiring me at the moment. Its a disparate group consisting of random phrases, songs, images, artists, observations, etc. This seems like as good a place as any to put that kind of list.

• Neko Case - I freaking love her voice and the fact that she now lives in Vermont with a barn full of pianos (seriously, how cool is that?) The lyrics of middle cyclone are so beautiful and vulnerable and strong at the same.

Baby, why'm I worried now,
did someone make a fool of me
'fore I could show 'em how it's done?
Can't give up actin' tough,
it's all that I'm made of.
Can't scrape together quite enough
to ride the bus to the outskirts
of the fact that I need love.

There were times that I tried,
one for every glass of water
that I spilled next to the bed,
wretching pennies in a boiling well
in a dream that it once becomes
a foundry of mute and heavy bells.
They shake me deaf and dumb
say, "Someone made a fool of me
'fore I could show 'em how it's done."

It was so clear to me
that it was almost invisible.
I lie across the path waiting,
just for a chance to be a spiderweb
trapped in your lashes.
For that, I would trade you my empire for ashes.
But I choke it back, how much I need love...

photo from this nytimes article

• Old Nautical Maps; I've always loved maps, especially old maps. Lately I've been interested in bodies of water, and nautical maps. I discovered the NOAA has a great online archive of old nautical charts/maps. I could spend hours there downloading historical maps.

Social networking. Its a hole new world of connecting to people and its made me think a lot lately about connection, and communicating in 140 characters, and overlapping spheres. Its a part of the silverpoint drawings I'm making, and relates to what has come to feel like the overarching theme of my artmaking; the relationship of the unique to the whole.

• Paper installation work by artists like chris natrop

• soft petaled flowers like ranaculus and peonies

Friday, July 24, 2009

a cabin by the sea

tidal charts and pictures of waves and lakes and waterfalls. small houses with steep roofs. the colors of early morning. bridges that lead into distance. special edition gray paint. work in progress. making time. unexpectantly finishing a painting, past midnight on a thursday.

cabin by the sea
2009, oil on canvas

cabin by the sea,detail
2009, oil on canvas

Monday, July 13, 2009

sometimes the out-takes are the loveliest

Photographing my work last night, I came across this picture that I'm pretty sure I didn't even mean to take. Its lovely.

I've been making progress on a new painting (I think its getting close to done), and I've been thinking a lot of this piece and the last being the nexus for a new body of work, inspired by the combination of water and the built environment, and my long held desire to live in a little house near water. I've been seeking out the ocean more & more in the last few months (loving that I'm a fairly easy drive away). Walking to the slough on my lunch break, watching the Willamette every morning as I take my dog to the park. I feel a connection with water and the space around it, and keep seeing these wonderfully decrepit boats along roadways and in yards. Finding myself drawn to time ravaged buildings, 1850s anatomical drawings & maps of waterways and highways and tidal charts I don't know how to read. One of my favorite ways of creating is to fill myself up with looking and see what happens.

a house by the sea
oil on canvas

Thursday, July 2, 2009

etsy store

I started an etsy store. Go check it out, tell me what you think and it would make my week if you bought something (no pressure, but my work is pretty awesome and less than $20)

I'll be adding more items hopefully sometime this weekend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

its been awhile

Since my last post, I went on vacation, and got sick and didn't spend enough time in the studio. I've got a small backlog of images to post, and debated whether I should put everything in one post or not and decided to just go ahead and do it, as I'm planning a blog announcement for later this week (stay tuned.) My artmaking is a bit all over the place. I made silhouette portraits for Mother's Day of me and my siblings, made my largest silverpoint drawing yet, and started real work on another big painting, and of course I'm still sewing nest-like shapes onto paintchips. I know I've said it before, but I'm saying it again, I missed painting big.

So, without further rambling on my part here's a sample of what I've been making in the last month or so.


New Painting (work in progress)

better picture of the last finished painting, now titled "elegy: to my nana"

new silverpoint

better(?) pictures of older silverpoint

Friday, May 15, 2009

paint chips

I love the color inspiration of paint chips (i'm particularly fond of the Martha Stewart Collection at Lowe's). They're compact size, the little hints of pure hue, I've collected them for a long time. Sometimes I think every trip to the hardware store necessitates a stop by the paint department for this very reason. When I didn't have a studio this fall I found my collection and started sewing concentric circles, loosely arranged around the idea of nesting into them; a project I've continued in my new space. These tightly wound circles with a subtle texture that seem to want to be traced. For a long time I haven't known what to do with them, but now i'm starting to think i need to make more and more and more, and cover a wall in them, or place them in a long tight line down a long hall....or something. I really like the way they group together.

My studio time of late hasn't produced much worth photographing. There are lots of projects in the starting phase & a belated Mother's Day present that needs finishing. I like the work of starting things - stretching canvases, painting and sanding layers of ground - but it isn't really much to look at. And when I'm home watching the LOST finale I can sew my tiny concentric circles onto paint chips.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Painting finished (for my Nana)

Its been a hectic month. I moved into a new apartment, entered a new decade and drove to the coast for my art opening at Coos Art Museum. It was a great turnout and a really lovely show full of 60+ talented painters from several western states. Images of the exhibition are now available online, but of course art always looks better in person.

I haven't quite decided on a title yet, but this painting is very inspired my Nana and was conceived as an elegy to her. It is my second elegy painting, the first

elegy: to the last great green mountain man was painted in 2007.

elegy to the last great green mountain man

oil on canvas


Its always hard for me to decide when a painting is finished, especially as reworking is such a huge part of my process. I could rework details for years, but learning when to stop is an important lesson. So I'm posting this painting with a caveat...its most likely finished (but I might make a few small changes after I let it sit a little longer)

here's a detail view:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

more silverpoint

I really need to find a better way to photograph these. Suggestions anyone?

One Large and one small-ish.

large, 22x30in, Silverpoint on Watercolor Paper

small, 8x10ish, Silverpoint on Domestic Etch


another detail