new work

Jul 29, 2012

I have a couple of new items in my Etsy shop.  The piece featured at top is my latest print, Mountain.  It's available in two sizes, including 11 x 14 inches.  I'm running a special promotion this week where you can buy the new print at 20% off the orignal price. 

Blue Mountains is a 8" x 8" painting on maple panel I recently finished.  You may have noticed that I use a lot of blue in my art, which happens to be my favorite color.  Speaking as an Etsy seller and former shopowner, red actually sells better.  But, oh well.  I've got to be true to my creative self.  If it was only about sales, then I would be including owls and mustaches in my art, too. Some of Picasso's most famous works came from his Blue Period (1901-04).  Then again, his blue paintings didn't sell very well. 

Many of you may remember that I worked on an installation for Prana, the clothing company, earlier this fall.  This month, they revamped a space in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and I was asked to recreate one of my original designs for their wall.  This line drawing of a creek was painted at home and then shipped across country.  It was so exciting to see the final result.  The photo above was sent to me within hours of installing the work. 

the splendor of mt. hood

Jul 26, 2012

Trillium Lake, located at the foot of Mt. Hood, is indeed as beautiful as locals say.  The water shimmers at dusk, and the view of the majestic peak is hard to beat.  Shortly after arriving to the campground, our crew of three adults and four kids headed out onto a two mile hike.  Along the lake's edge is a picturesque trail that leads you through meadow, marsh, and forest.  It was like a Disney film as we were greeted by a host of dragonflies, butterflies, and little creatures along the way. 

Our stay at the lake was short but magical.  The girls and their friends swam in the frigid water.  We fished for trout (no luck this time around).  And we indulged in the latest campfire fad- S'moreos! Very rich, but oh so tasty.  Good thing a 6.5 mile trek was planned for the next day.

Near Trillium Lake is Laurel Hill, considered the most treacherous stretch of the Oregon Trail. Early settlers who traveled 2000 miles to Oregon discovered that traversing the wilderness to the south of Mt. Hood was faster than traveling through the Gorge to the north.

Part of this historical route is still accessible by foot, so we thought it would be a fun adventure for the kids to hike it.  The first part of the trail heads up a very steep hill- hard to imagine how wagons navigated such a narrow and sloped path.  The trail eventually connects to the original Mt. Hood Highway built in 1923.  In the photo above, there is an arrow that points to the stone bridge wall that still stands today.

After the hike, we had time to spare for some huckleberry milkshakes in Government Camp and a quick visit to the infamous Timberline Lodge.  Many of you movie buffs may recall that Timberline Lodge was in the 1980 classic, The Shining.  Only the outside of the building was actually filmed, but the interior of the 1930's lodge is just as impressive.  All of the original features and furnishings were handcrafted, and some of the decor was even made from recycled materials.  The hooked rugs, for example, were made from recycled uniforms and blankets.

Timberline Lodge is an amazing building, but Mt. Hood steals the show.  The views of the mountain and from the mountain are spectacular.  Although Mt. Hood is not the tallest peak in the Cascade Range, it is the most popular summit.  I just recently learned that it is the second most climbed mountain in the world (Mt. Fuji being number one).

I'm not itching to climb to the top of Mt. Hood anytime soon, but the mountain does constantly draw me in.  Even when I paint a mountain from my imagination, it ends up looking like Mt. Hood.  There's something about it that keeps me intrigued and inspired, and I'm always looking forward to coming back. 

//// handpainted rocks

Jul 18, 2012

When the clouds are low at the Oregon coast, it's hard to tell where the water ends and the land and sky begin.  There's a timelessness here that draws you in, or maybe it's the lull of the sea. 

I appreciate that all Oregon beaches are public, but my favorite spots along the coast tend to be those that are less populated.  While the kids are playing chase with the tide, I like to casually stroll along the shore and collect little bits of shell, driftwood, and rock.

The brush tray of my easel is home to my collection of rocks.  They are a reminder of the many beautiful places I've seen.  Yesterday, I was inspired to paint on a few of the rocks. 

The handpainted rocks will be available in my Etsy shop soon.  Meanwhile, I would love for you to check out an interview I did for fellow artist and blogger, Ana Pina.  It's the most thorough interview I've done.  Wanna know what makes me cry? Just grab your cup of jo and click here to start reading.

my week

Jul 14, 2012

we hiked the wilson river trail in the tillamook forest, about 50 miles west of portland
picked up textured treasures along the way and visited the sleek forest center
[view from a 40 ft lookout tower]

latest craigslist find: '80s patio furniture set for $10
nothing a little scrubbing and paint can't fix

dinner with the hubby at the koi fusion [korean and mexican] cart
k-dog: kosher hot dog with kimchee sauerkraut, bulgogi, seaweed flakes, and japanese mayo

6 x 6 painting on birch panel

Giveaway to celebrate 500 blog posts

Jul 11, 2012

I've been toiling over what to write for my 500th blog post.  An expository on the Higgs Boson particle, perhaps?  Already bored.  How about the recent vandalism of a Picasso painting? Maybe another time.  Holmes and Cruise divorce?  Let's move on, shall we.    

To be completely frank, it's absolutely stunning outside, and I think I'd rather enjoy the rare Oregon sun than expound on the meaning of life in post #500.  So I've decided to throw a giveaway instead.  Yeah, for free art!

I'm giving away a $50 gift card to my Etsy shop.  All you have to do is leave a comment below, and I'll randomly choose a winner on Monday, July 16th at noon.

Thanks to all my loyal readers for following me these past three years!  Here's to 500 more : )

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thanks everyone for all the wonderful comments.

No. 10 is the lucky winner, so congratulations to Caitlin!

new works on wood slices

Jul 6, 2012

I recently acquired beautiful round slices of cedar, and I've had fun the last couple of days creating small pieces of art.  The top piece is a photograph of the Oregon coast that I took over 15 years ago.  I really love the look of the cedar bark as a natural frame.  This particular piece will go above my art desk, but I'm thinking I'll make more with other pictures I took of scenic Oregon. 

Here are three mountain paintings on wood slices.  The top two pieces are for sale in my Etsy shop.

Also, not sure if you've heard, but Buy Some Damn Art is having a summer sale through July 9th.  All art is 20% off, which means you can save big on my last available painting on BSDA. 

shopping for inspiration

Jul 2, 2012

I try to avoid malls and big box discount stores as much as I can.  I easily get disheartened by modern society's insatiable appetite for consumption.  The mix of mass manufacturing and instant gratification has become a dangerous cocktail for today's consumers.  We fill our homes with things that lack handcrafted tradition or thoughtful production, and, by the end of the day, we still find ourselves longing for a connection to others and this world.

Only buy what you love.

This was the motto of our retail store that carried handmade goods by independent designers.  As shop owners we likened ourselves to storytellers who sought to connect our customers with the stories and the makers of our products.  I believe it is this connection that gives a product its true value.

When I shop, I'm always looking for the history of the product.  Many of the items that I purchase actually come from second-hand sellers.  Shown above are some of the used things I picked up this past weekend at estate sales.  In general, I try to only bring home items that inspire me to take action (draw, cook, garden, etc.). 

/// recent finds ///
classic books, including two Pearl Buck early editions
a vintage Kodak Retina in near perfect condition
linoleum cutter set in its original box
yarn remnants for a new zigzag blanket I started
vintage backpack for hiking// whoops! snipped the fabric when opening the package . . . 
mended by affixing triangle patches

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