wow it’s hot!

oh man! it’s supposed to be over 100 degrees here in portland today.
and i am already sweating!
my studio is stuffy and hot, so i am intimidated by the prospect of going there.
tonight i am going to a workshop for portland open studios, of which i am the treasurer and on the board. this, the second of 2 workshops, is at 7 pm. but until then i am not sure what to do with myself.
i think i might go to the mall and paint. or draw. the mall i speak of has an ice rink and is very nicely air conditioned.
i am not good at not getting paint on the floor when i am painting though. actually i will probably get kicked out of the mall if i go there. as i am a tattooed pigtailed grouch today. and no, i won’t dress more like the other people at the mall, it’s too hot.
so i may not interact nicely with anyone who asks me to not get paint on the floor.
too hot to handle!
well, i need to eat something.
i’ve been putting it off, but i must override my natural instinct to only have coffee or i will become even more of a grump.
also i need to get the air conditioner running. it’s one of those old small window numbers that just got taken out of the basement, so the filter was washed and drying on the porch for a few and should be ready to go.
ok, smoothie time!
hope it’s cooler where you are, reader!

abstract landscape workshop for kids

Oh! I forgot to put this in here…
yesterday I did a workshop at a community center in NW portland. For kids.
I showed them how to make abstract landscape paintings.
We did small paintings on paper, kind of like cardstock. They were tempera and acrylic. I brought books and showed them pictures of abstract paintings, landscape paintings and abstract landscape paintings. We talked about Georgia O’Keeffe and about our favorite places in the world.
Then we painted.
It was super fun!
I also brought a painting I’ve been working on and showed them what I do and talked about abstraction.
There were a large age range of kids. Maybe 6 to 10?
They did amazing paintings! Just gorgeous.
One boy painted Oaks Park, a local small amusement park. One boy painted like 4 paintings. One girl did this beautiful bright striped painting.
I just wanted to share this.
It was very fun!

crocheting plastic flowers

i am in love with crochet!
i have been working on these flowery things for the ends of the guardian sculptures.
they are like puffballs with crochet bases.
there are like 30odd of them in total, but i only have 7 1/2 left to finish. they are not big, but each takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 40 minutes to finish. i’m so excited to sew them onto the sculptures. i’ve been slowly sewing on a few at a time, so i’ll have 10 to do, then need to trim the sculpture and stuff some of it more – then i’ll post a photo.
These are made with 100% plastic grocery bags.
the whole sculpture is made from bags – from the collections of various people.
people are very generous and share their bags with me often. i cannot accumulate bags quickly. i get a few here and there when i forget my reusable bags or i get paper bags and reuse those for other things. but many people give me their bag collections – often colorful bags. i am blessed with a community that supports my sculptures!
oh! i was on the bus yesterday and saw a woman with a cute clutch that was plastic bags. lovely colors, blue, green and black.
very fine crochet too.
i am including a photo of the last sculpture like this that i made. it is as tall as me (i’m 5′ 3″) and as big around as my leg (not too skinny) and has lots of branchy bits. the new one i’m working on has red, orange and yellow flowers.
oh sweet and beautiful art.
the last one maybe took me 70 hours? it’s hard to divide up the time, as the bags into yarn thing is a separate day’s work (but can take from 3 to 6 hours depending on how much coffee i’ve had, if i have 100s of bags at once available, and if i am listening to ratatat or watching buffy the vampire slayer or metallica, or how hot it is {i use my arm to store the loops of plastic, so if there are a lot on there it’s rather difficult to be cool – temperature wise}). if the circumstances are stacked right i can get a lot done, but if i am not thoroughly distracted and it’s hot out it does take longer.
anyhow, that’s a bit about my process.
please remember that i am having a large installation in october, and you are invited!
thanks, have a great weekend.
kPhoto 51the guardian

More reasons not to go to the circus

One of my oldest and most awesome friends, Zoe, just sent this to me. I cannot believe how mean these people are to these beautiful animals. These giant and once wild beings are larger and stonger than their messed-up-in-the-head captors, and yet the circus guys beat them up and yell at them. This is very sad and it makes me want to cry.
No circuses for me, man. Totally gross.
Other reasons not to go to the animal circus include the cost, the clowns, and the creepy factor.
Mainly though, because they beat up elephants and tigers.
Totally gross.
This is art related because these animals are inspiring and important and are being beat up and killed by humanity. This is bad for everyone in the world and bad for the world.
So, don’t beat up elephants or I will beat you up!

super natural

yeah! it’s good to be alive!
good to have these hands that can hold paintbrushes in such a specific way. hold the paint in them until i want to use it.
tonight i’ve been crocheting little flowers for a big branchy thing… all plastic bags of course.
and watching old episodes of buffy the vampire slayer. i have so many flowers to make. i’ve done maybe 30, and i have 10 or so more. just slowly chipping away at this huge sculpture. it’s as tall as me, the bulk of it is burly but it has these delicate colorful tips.
and while i was making i had this idea.
maybe the next thing. something new!
i’ve been painting these landscapes for a while now. at least a couple of years. in fact i painted one (need to go back there to finish it) yesterday at laurelhurst park. and i love them, i really love them, and i am not going to stop painting them. but i want to paint other stuff too. i want to paint more abstractly, and also figuratively!
like, a lot.
ooo, have i mentioned how much i love paint?
so my new idea involves ordinary people. and gods/goddesses or supernatural powers.
hmmm, this needs development.
but i think i have the first one.
i guess it’s me.
i have painted many portraits, in school, before school, after school.
i would like to continue this, i suppose, but in a more general way. people i don’t know.
that’s easier. no getting people to sit for me. no people i have known for years, plus i have painted most of these people already. and their hands. now for something else!
and there are photos of people in all poses. ideally i’d have a model, but this particular incarnation of my life (although charmed) does not include that luxury.
so i will get some magazines out.
i will let you know how that all works out.
i’m feeling restless, unsettled. and now it’s all late at night. so i feel the weird sleepy restlessness that comes with drinking too much coffee and going to a board meeting and eating toast not too long ago.
i just drew 3 of these scenes out.
maybe in the morning i will feel differently and paint more landscapes/cityscapes/seascapes. or maybe i will paint one of these new ideas.
they include people, small, standing as if waiting and the world around them is crumbling, glowing, moving. the sky is huge and doing things (shooting stars, aurora, etc.). the people are powerful in different ways. yet to be discovered. magical.
i’ll have to let you know.
i’ve been itching to paint people, so this just may be a step toward something else.
anyhow, i suppose i ought to go to sleep.
things will happen tomorrow morning that i cannot miss due to staying up crocheting. regardless of how tired i am.
happy wednesday!DSC00028

monday with the paintbrushes and the sprouts

oh the sweet weeks beginning.
and the peas sprouting in the kitchen, growing tails, rooting. bitter but getting sweeter. and the lentils getting ready to too.
all of this sweet monday stuff. the coffee and the rushed scrambled eggs. the smooties and the internet job searching.
and now it’s all 10 and i am all about painting some sweet bits of my park. yes my park. laurelhurst, so close to my apartment it could be my yard (if I had a big yard with several blocks and streets in the middle). forget those fences, they are still all my yards.
gorgeous portland summer weekday. no jobs i can find online, so i will have to make my own job. something with the website, something with the paintbrushes. oh bossing myself!
but i’m all antsy for travel still. maybe all of those weeks away made me into a rolling stone. i am obviously not mossy.
off to fulfill my destiny.


here i am again! oregon!

it’s hot. 

went to baltimore for a day and washington dc for a day, the lovely east side.

museums and monuments and so many fireflies. wish there had been more time to do more traveling. i guess i love it. i’d travel every day if i could. so much i want to see and do. and so many people i wanted to visit. hopefully soon we will go again. family and friends we missed visiting.

saw fireflies, an easter island head, the apollo and gemini command modules (charred from reentry), big lincoln, my family in arlington cemetery, poe’s grave, the lights at the top of the washington monument blinking like eyes, paintings, sculptures, the jellyfish eli halpin painted on the things boats tie up to in the harbor as well as her studio, parks, the potomac, and about a million other things. as much as possible! in such a short time period. 

so here i am again in portland oregon. all home and with the cat and working on catching up. oh my charmed life. i travel a lot. i love it, but i always miss so much stuff! and when i am back it is like i have been gone for longer than i have, always.

now i must organize the $ of other people. and count my pennies and my blessings.

happy summer everyone!


oh new york! all puddle and sideways rain. island of glitter and piss. great glorious gum sidewalks stretching miles and miles. avenues to streets to parks. under this same summer storm. thunder echo off building after building. domino ripples through the canyons. bronx to battery, as they say. i saw a thick long bolt over the hudson, quick and bright. like boom and rumble. the sweet sheets of rain making the dirt, metrocards, wrappers, layers of food and poo and grease run into the gutters and down. into the caves, into one of these rivers and down away somewhere else. particles we will not see again. some lost things in the tunnel labyrinth below it all. the connections and the maps we walk in.
until then i will stare out the window and watch the clouds light up all whiteyellow and burst bright against the buildings. all shiny windows and steel butressed, marble and melting limestone.

boxes in boxes and the hudson

new york minute

oh sweet trash!
i am in a new artistic phase maybe?
i want to make things from trash. staple it together. i am very excited about staples!
mountains, cities, valleys, all of this largescale.
i want to make it from cardboard. from water bottles and plastic bags.
i want to make a trash metropolis.
maybe i will! my cousin offered room and board in trade for a cardboard city in her city, albuquerque.
also, for the record, i had soup dumplings today! we had to wait for 1/2 hour outside to get a seat.
but we did it, we got them.
the best food! they are so damn good!
i want more.
maybe it’s because of that strawberry daquerie at the south street seaport. it came out of a machine like a slurpie. dude.
but anyhow, new york continues to be magical.
and it was that way long ago, and it will be that way a long time from now.
(ps wandering down wall street tonight we saw the place george washington took his oath as prez. just al random like in the financial district. what must this city have been like back then? a smaller place, but a city still.)
oh also i saw a shopping cart lady with a sequined shirt on. only in new york. really.

black windows

the peacock

there are a few things i forgot to say about the peacock.
it was amazing.
when we were in sheep meadow a dragonfly landed on the tail/wing (which i was operating at that time) and stayed there for a few minutes. it was huge, maybe 2 and a half inches long. and this shiny iridescent blue. and it was eating something. oh dang! it was beautiful!
also it was really fun! oh, i said that.
umm. i just remembered about the dragonfly and just had to tell about it.
that and the part where it was magical.
Robin Lehto, the inventor, designer, production specialist, build team, and art director of the peacock puppet, will be releasing the official video soon. I will post a link when I have one.