I’ve been thinking a lot about my art show at the Crimson Lotus Bar in the St. Johns neighborhood of Portland around this time last year. It was up for a few months and the opening party on September 29th, 2016 was a really special night full interesting conversations, genuine connections and unique performances. The Crimson Lotus was a liminal space full of creativity and magical potency that existed ephemerally for a brief spell last year. I was honored to be able to contribute to making the space what it was.

For several years before that show  I had avoided showing my work, due to a combination of burnout and disappointment from my previous active involvement in such things. The wonderful response I got there was a huge confidence boost and reinvigorated my interest in having my work seen somewhere besides the internet.

Right now I want to have another show in a venue where my work makes sense, but I also feel like I want to create a whole new body of work which better represents who I am and where I’m at in my life now. One thing about the show last year was that it included a lot of older pieces which seem kind of outdated to me. I was glad that several of them, including the one shown here, found new homes. The next incarnation of my art is almost ready to come into being.

 

In my late teens and early 20s I was very interested in photography, particularly black and white darkroom photography. This passion was initially ignited by a wonderful professor I had at community college. The experience of attending his class actually inspired me to study art more formally. I fell in love with the whole mysterious process of going into the darkroom and developing pictures by hand. I especially liked to experiment with various techniques like double exposure and solarization. I also loved shooting with my Nikon 35mm camera and took it everywhere. I still enjoy taking pictures, except these days I only take them digitally on my phone, which is an entirely different beast. The image shown here (from 2004) is one of my last hand developed, hand printed black and white photographs from that era.

It’s less than a week until the Fall Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The beginning of the autumn rain has coincided with my completion of  this 24″ x 48″ acrylic painting. Seven Roses emerged slowly over the course of this summer, blooming out of the ruins of an earlier work.  Like many of my pieces, it’s a record of my life and thoughts/feelings during the time in which it was created. This one is also an offering.

“In Mexico people wear hummingbird amulets around their necks to show they are searching for love. Here people pretend that they aren’t. Searching.”
-Francesca Lia Block, Missing Angel Juan

Last week I set up a table at the Last Thursday on Alberta art fair for the second month in a row. I really like the freedom and exuberant energy of this event in the summer. This time in addition to art prints I decided to sell my handmade copper jewelry. I also gave a few spontaneous Tarot readings.

I didn’t post here yesterday as I usually do on Sunday because I was listening to sea lions, getting impaled by sand spurs, collecting bones and jumping into the ice cold Pacific Ocean like a crazy person. Today back in Portland the light has been an eerie shadowy hot pink hue due to the forest fires which are still raging all over the West. The sky looks like the end of the world has come and gone, or is at least immanent. In contrast my homeland in the opposite corner of the country has been getting inundated with water and is gearing up for a hurricane. It is a time of extremes.

This is something I drew in my sketchbook recently. The tree of life continues to be a recurring theme in my work/life it seems. I’m thinking of all the immolating trees in the Columbia River Gorge and across the region and hoping for the renewal and vitality of future forests.

“If you’re an artist, you’ve got to know about anger without being restricted by it. In order to create, you’ve got to have energy; you’ve got to have clarity. You’ve got to be able to catch ideas. You’ve got to be strong enough to fight unbelievable pressure and stress in this world. So it just makes sense to nurture the place where that strength and clarity and energy come from – to dive in and enliven that. It’s a strange thing, but it’s true in my experience: Bliss is like a flak jacket. It’s a protecting thing. If you have enough bliss, it’s invincibility.”
-David Lynch, Catching the Big Fish

Tomorrow the Sun, Moon and Earth will be in perfect alignment, causing a few minutes of midnight to interrupt the morning. What dreams will flourish in the shadow of the Moon? Will we see our own distorted reflections in the dark mirror, or visions of another world?

 

Night Blooming, Collage on Paper, November 2017.

“Midnight to noon
I’m a desert child
And mountains make me nauseous
I like to look up wild at an infinite sky
Twinkling with diamonds”

-CocoRosie

I was going to post an ink drawing I did in my sketchbook this week but it’s cloudy today and I can’t seem to get a decent picture of it so I’m posting something from my sketchbook circa 1999 instead.  It seems to fit the mood right now.