Friday, September 3, 2010

My first Brick and Mortar Show!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I have a piece in a real-life art gallery, here in Portland!

Close to our home in SE Portland, there's a little place called the Sidestreet Gallery. A fantastic gallery/kids shop/knicknack haven and light-up store, I've found myself drawn in the doors whenever I pass by.

Last night, they opened their September First Friday show last night, with a Day of the Dead theme. The artwork showcased is astounding:

Folk art sculpture mixes with candle-holders and huge oil-on-canvas pieces, and skeleton brides frolic with dead mariachi players. Great, fun stuff.

And, there it is. On top of the dais in the center of the show, sits In Memoriam, a miniature Dia de los Muertos shrine complete with tiny roses, Virgen de Guadalupe prayer card and candles:

The base is a hardwood plaque, stained cherry and edged in gold acrylic. The center cross is laser-cut wood, also painted in gold acrylic, while the others are charms. The roses are silk and fabric, twined around the cross and encircling the miniature tapers:

The prayer-card is a miniature print of Virgen, one of my favorite pieces, and the gold rose votives and white mini-tapers balance the piece out nicely:

It's the skull that is the main focus of the piece, however. A true-to-life cast of an infant skull, the model was painstakingly done up in purple, blue, green and gold in a floral sugar skull pattern.

Here's what the piece looks like in its natural environment:

And yes, here's me standing proud over it:

Thanks for looking!

August Pieces

After the the Patron's mention last month, I couldn't help trying to come up with something interesting and exciting for the two shows I felt drawn to in August. The first, Still Life with Lemon, is a very different theme than I'd ever tried before, while the Pet Portrait Swap was something I did (and loved) last year.

For the lemon show, I posed a photo of a martini glass, fresh blueberries, a sliced, fresh, lemon and a fantastic pair of shoes, took a photograph and then edited it digitally. Then, I entered Shoeberries:

Detail images:

Shoeberries won a Patron's Mention award, for which I am truly grateful.

For the swap, I paired up with Eva Bagg, a wonderful watercolour artist in Canada. For my piece, I took this photo of Joey (Eva's mom's dog who recently passed)

Then, I created this portrait of him (out of feathers and a rose petal):


For her part, Eva took a photo of my daughter's godmother's dog, Rudy (seen here with his best friend Lucy):

She painted this:

I'm astonished, really, and I know Annie, Rudy's mother, will love it. I just hope Eva's mom likes hers half as much!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

July Piece - Patron's Mention

The annual Ripped Off show is easily my favorite recurring theme in EBSQ. Yes, the portraits and pet-swaps are fun, but nothing beats pairing up with another artist to try and work your angle on their piece. It is a freeing experience, and one that I hope to participate in for years to come.

This year, I paired with Torrie Smiley, a wonderful artist who does many perky still life fruits and drinks. I didn't think I could do any of her martini pieces justice, so I chose one of her tea pieces to rip off.

Here is her Morning Tea:

And my rendition, Afternoon Tea:

Two close-up, detail images:

Morning Tea, created through digiral freehand collage usign paper textures, took the Patron's Mention Award in the show, and I am flattered and humbled at the recognition.

For her part, Torrie took my photo of the Golden Gate, San Fran 2:

and painted this, piece The Bay Bridge:

Two close-up, detail images:

I love how she took the cars of the bridge, and the city off the hill, removing San Fran itself, in all of it's clutter, from the beauty of the Gateway to the West. I can't wait for it to arrive, and it is going up in my office. I hope Torrie likes Afternoon Tea as much as I know I'll enjoy having her lovely bridge in my home.

May Pieces - Motherhood and my daughter

This month I created 4 pieces, one in my more traditional collage style, as I was asked to do a piece for a non-EBSQ show on modern motherhood, and then I used my daughter as a model for 3 altered photograph-style pieces in two other shows.

For the motherhood show, and created a mostly-abstract representational collage, entitled Venus of Modernity:

Here are two close-up detail images:

I tried to create something that had a very symmetrical feel (something I think is easy to see in the detail images, but that is also still a hard piece, showing how a woman's self moves inward after motherhood. I patterned her shape after the famous Venus of Willendorf statue, round and life-giving, not only to harken back to a time when mothers' bodies were appreciated and valued, but also to be frank an honest about the changes that modern motherhood especially, puts a woman through.

Two other pieces were for the EBSQ Nursery Rhymes Show. Both pieces involved careful planning of the photo, attention to light, dress choice, my daughter, and the other (sometimes not so cooperative, models).

First, there is Sheep?

Two detail images here:

This piece required taking my little city girl 45 minutes outside of Portland to Dolce Farm and Orchards, where the family very nicely let us chase around their sheep, goats and chickens, amused at our obvious urban bent. I gifted them a copy of this print, and I hope they liked it.

The second nursery rhyme piece, featured my girl as Little Miss Muffet in Beside Her:

Detail images:

This was taken in the small fern-covered glen near our home, with my little model sitting on a decorative concrete bench. The spider was an ebay purchase, and was the perfect size, I think. A few touch ups and a watercolor filter to make it match the Bo-Peep above completed this piece.

Lastly, there was an EBSQ Flower-of-the-Month show featuring Irises. I entered my piece, also entitled Irises:

Detail images:

If you look very closely into the detail images of her eyes, you can see the iris flower reflected in her pupils, surrounded by her pretty brown irises. I love that piece, and only hand-feathered the edged a little bit with a smudge tool.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

April Pieces

Awww, don't you just love spring? Rainy, drizzly, wet spring? :) Well, chin up, summer rapidly approaches.

The first show I entered this month was Saints. Last month's show was Sinners, so I really liked the contrast. My entry was "Virgin", a take on the famous Virgen of Guadalupe.

Click to see it bigger.

My second piece was in the juried show Repurposed, that dealt with projects made out of found and recycled items. I entered "Dragonwall" a piece I made out of tossed magazines and a found frame.

Click to see it larger.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Pieces

Ah, finally, back into the swing of things. :)

My first piece, called "Yellow Burst" is of one of the wild daffodils that sprang up of its own accord in my back yard. So vibrant and yellow, I tried to capture its cheery essence for the Daffodils show.

Then, we have a show entitled Sinners. I knew immediately which piece I was going to enter. I'm not sure if any of you knew my friend, Brad, but he was a good soul. After surviving heart failure and a replacement at an early age, he went on to try his damndest to be a good father and spouse, battling depression and BiPolar disorder along the way. He lived to make other people smile, and believed that only broing lives were ever considered perfect. An unapologetic mischief maker and marijuana activist, he is the perfect image of a benign sinner.

I painted this for the woman he left behind, and for his sons.

February Piece

February's shows included Candy, the first EBSQ brick and mortar show, which I had every intention of entering. Ah well, maybe next year.

I did however enter the Roses show (all the favorite flowers are going to be back this year in celebration of EBSQ's 10-year anniversary). Here's "Rose Blue" in all of its glory:

I'm not a huge fan of roses, probably stemming (pardon), at least in part, from my tenure as a florist's assistant. However, my cousin is a fan of blue roses, and so I was thinking of her when I "perfected" this tea rose.

January Piece

January held some fantastic shows, but we were in and out of the hospital so much I'm surprised I managed to enter the one show I did. Even then, it was an older piece of work, and since it was untouched, I was able to enter it into the Food Porn photography show.

This is Fall Produce:

When we moved to our new home, we met some wonderful neighbors. In lieu of a pie or casserole, one of our neighbors set my four year old loose in her yard, and my daughter picked these scrumptious grapes and tomatoes. They were so bright and vibrant, I simply had to get a picture!

No effects, just the pure beauty of the healthiest and freshest organic food in Portland!

December Piece

In December I started my Family Sign Language business, and sort of got entangled in setting it up. However, I did do on piece for the show ancient:

What I like best about the henges is that no one knows what on earth they were for. Religious ceremonies? Druidic calendar? They are large and mysterious, imposing and slightly terrifying in their other-worldliness.