Unlucky number 4?

Oct 27, 2012

I'm not superstitious, but my Korean grandmother was one of the most superstitious people I've ever known.  She would scold me for whistling, leaving the fan on while asleep (fan death, google it), or attempting to kill a daddy longlegs in the house.  Most Korean superstitions are rooted in the fear of misfortune and death.  Probably the most widespread superstition in Asia is the fear of the number four, otherwise known as tetraphobia.

Much like Westerners' take on the number "13," Asians believe that the number "4" is extremely unlucky.  In Asian languages, the number four sounds like the word death.  So, naturally, avoiding the number four means you're doing your part in escaping death.  This superstition is so pervasive, floor number four is even skipped in buildings.  And I feel sorry for those who were born on April 4, 1944.  Multiple fours in a row is like a death wish.

Now you can imagine what I was thinking when I was checking my Etsy stats this week.  4444 admirers and 443 sales!  I can practically hear my grandmother gasp from heaven.  But, so far this week, the most unfortunate thing that has happened is our kitty chewing up my computer's power cable.  Maybe the fact that I survived this ominous numerical event without major tribulation is a testament to how lucky I really am.  I have, after all, left the fan running on many summer nights. 

swap-a-thon goodies

Oct 22, 2012

Last month, five names were fished out of a bowl as part of an annual swap-a-thon on Habit of Art.  I sent my art to five readers, and, in return, I received delightful treats and beautifully crafted items.  Three of the packages came from afar- New Zealand, Australia, and France. 

I love that I have so many talented and creative readers! The photos below show the contents of each swap package.  

New Zealand artist Sally Reynolds made this felted trivet and linen pouch from woolen jumpers and a tea towel.  The cozy wool and mountain scene remind me of home. 

Yummy tea, luxurious yarn remnants, and a set of very cool buttons made up this package from Katie of Je suis une monstre.  J'adore the stamps on the box- tres French!

I love this simple turquoise drop necklace by Linda of Osage Orange Studio.  Linda also included an original drawing by her husband!

The first swap to arrive was from Annie of California.  Tea, yarn, adorable gnome art, and a chocolate caramel bar- yes!  The chocolate is already long gone, but I'm still putting the yarn to good use.

I was so touched that Lamina of Do a bit created a new bag design for our swap.  She blogs about the creative process here.   I was also given one of her lovely screenprinted tea towels.  Hurray for artsy kitchen towels!

Thanks again to all who participated in the swap-a-thon, and I look forward to another great exchange next year.

new print: rain shadow

Oct 15, 2012

While brainstorming a title for my latest work,  I stumbled across the term rain shadow.  A rain shadow describes the arid land on the side of a mountain range that is sheltered from winds carrying moisture from the ocean.  When traveling over the Cascades, one can definitely see this effect in the change of terrain and plants.  Lush fir forests are on one side of a mountain and ponderosas and juniper on the other.

Rain shadow seems to perfectly describe my new piece.  The focus is the remote and rocky landscape of central Oregon, but, in the foreground, there is a dense, shadowy forest layered with cloud-like formations.

As promised, I'm working on offering larger prints in my Etsy shop.  So, Rain Shadow is available as an 11" x 14" print as well as the standard 8.5" x 11" size.  This week, I am running a special promotion-  save 20% on your purchase of Rain Shadow!

Oct 8, 2012

It's been over a week since I've painted at my art desk.  I have to remind myself that progress isn't necessarily measured by a count of finished products.  It's okay to mull over ideas- that's what the sketchbook is for.

Recently, I've been thinking about creating more works on paper.  I enjoy working in pen and marker, as evidenced by my sketchbook.  I think I'll also start using more gouache in my art.  Initially, I wasn't too excited about its chalky finish, but I do favor its opaque quality. 

Looking ahead, I have a number of projects to work on the next few weeks.  I'll be restocking a couple of local stores, designing a new calendar (put in any suggestions below), and starting three pieces for a new online gallery out of London.

I'm curious to see how these new works will turn out.  But first things first . . . adding blue to my hair.

my week

Oct 1, 2012

This is my favorite time of the year in Portland.  The late afternoon light is ideal for shooting pictures, there's a slight crisp in the air, and I can start wearing layers.  I love scarves, in particular.  The beautiful hand-dyed scarf is from Driftwood & Fossil.   

Our family had a couple of outings this weekend.  On Friday, we took advantage of free admission night at the Portland Art Museum.  We spent an hour looking mostly at the works of Oregon artists.  I can't wait to come back in a few weeks to see the upcoming exhibit, The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece

On Saturday, we drove to a farm outside of town to pick some apples, asian pears, tomatoes, and raspberries.  We couldn't have asked for more perfect weather.  On our way home, we witnessed the stunning sky and moon.  Mt. Hood was in a purple glow.  I had never seen anything like it before.

My time at my art desk has been limited this week, but I did start a marker drawing inspired by a trip to central Oregon in August.  One of my goals this fall for my Etsy shop is to add more 11" x 14" prints.  I just listed a larger print of In the deep dark woods.   I'm hoping to finish a couple new print designs this month, including the one shown above.

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