Oh! Mural type fun!

Hi dudes and dudettes.

I have had another busy wednesday, they always are… This time I prepped some surfaces I’d just built and gessoed. 3 new pieces are nearly ready to be made! I did some palette knifing on a mixture of glass particles (tiny and reflective, basically ground glass, that’s kin to the stuff in street striping – mixed with some semi transparent paint). Of course I did this at the studio; then I went to 3 friends coffeehouse and proceeded in drinking too much coffee with Trish, Sarah and Terra; and then I started painting a mural in a baby’s room! He is so cute! His name is Ari and he is tiny and completely adorable.

I am excited to continue this painting! I love painting, whatever kind of painting, really! Especially on walls, it’s one of the most FUN things I can think of on earth! I am totally plagarising, oh well… ha! I’m doing a Dr. Seuss theme in the home of some wonderful people who I’ve painted for before. I’ve painted Winnie the Pooh and Pokemon characters in their lovely home in Hillsboro, Oregon. And now I am Seussing it up for Ari! Yay!

I’ve kind of mixed up some of the characters from different books, there is a fish theme, and some of the pictures are different a bit… but I’m not him, so it’s ok. Oh, also Thing 1 and Thing 2 from the cat in the hat, with the fish in it’s temporary spot in that teapot, on a kite string. FUN!

There’s a funny thing with painting (any skill really) where if you do it enough, really just paint (doesn’t matter what) you get better at it. And this is really interesting to me. Since my first murals in this wonderful family’s home, over 2 years ago, I have improved a lot! I’m faster, more confident, and although I still learn something every time I do anything, I feel like I’m learning different things each time. I know more and more about how and what to do with different kinds of paint, and all of that.

School of the hard knocks, although I have enjoyed all of it so it doesn’t feel like they’ve been hard knocks particularly. Just wonderful educational experiences.

I do have a degree in painting, but I feel like my life since the acquisition of the degree has taught me so many different parts of the painting. It’s hard to quantify. It’s just interesting to think about.

Yeah! Dude! Totally!

So, I’ll be finishing up these spot murals this weekend and should be totally done next wednesday. I will post photos… it kind of makes me nervous because I’m plagerizing. But I am not making very much money, so if I am sued, I won’t be able to pay for a lawyer, and I guess I’ll just become a jailbird, write a book, get more badly done tattoos and pump some iron for a while. Something like that. No problem. I’m tough.

Anyhow, friends, I will post the pictures. And I will take pictures of the other spot murals I have painted in this home… I really like doing the work, and I’m sure other people will like (and have) similar murals in their homes. So it’s worth it. Yeah! I will paint for you. Let me know.

Have a great end to your weeks, people of the world.


Katie Simpson Spain

I love wednesdays in nearly-spring!

Hi! It was so nice today I just have to post!

I just returned from a fabulous day spent with some of my favorite people in the world!

I have wednesdays off, so they are generally great anyhow, but today was spectacular.

First, I went to my studio, for a few hours in the morning. Favorite thing #1! I painted on a variety of pieces from my 2 new bodies of work. The roots and the new “women’s work” series.

Then I took the best bus ever (#15) over the willamette river into northwest portland. And I met with the Portland Women’s Art Group, at Anna Banana’s cafe, an old portland coffeehouse I used to go to when I first moved to portland in the late 1990s.
That was so fun! Renee, Jo, HsinYi, Alison, Bonnie and I sat in the sunshine and talked about new ideas and materials for a couple of hours. It was dreamy! A very much needed art meeting. These women are so wonderful and make gorgeous various sculptural work. Among other things. I always enjoy our meetings, but this one was the first for a while and it was so nice out, it was just perfect.

Then I took the bus back over the river and went to Por Que No taqueria on SE Hawthorne, to meet 4 very dear very old friends, Trish, Terra, Sarah and Sarah. It was so fun! I haven’t hung out with this many friends at once for a long time, just hung out without also doing some art thing, or some other thing. We hung out and ate tacos! It was amazing! Not only are those my favorite tacos in portland, these are some of my favorite women on earth. So, of course, it was great!

And now I am at home, with my sweetheart. And that too is awesome.

I think I am going to watch a movie my uncle did the art directing for later this evening. A 1994 Bruce Willis movie called The Color of Night.

All in all it will have been the perfect day.

It’ll officially be spring in a few days, but right now, it sure feels like it is already spring. Trees crazy with petals, plants growing out of every crack in the sidewalks, people out in the streets, and that dreadful dormancy portland gets in the winter (i get it too) is fading.

I know, I am an enthusiastic person, but today was extra good.

Happy spring friends!


Happy Pi Day (and some studio photos)

Hi Everyone,

Happy Pi Day. I was going to post a raw vegan pie recipe for you to try! But I freaking lost the recipe! It’s so good, cashew pumpkin with cranberry topping. I have no idea where I put it though, so I will post it later. But it feels weird to miss an opportunity to post about pie on pi day.

I LOVE PIE! One time I had a birthday party where all of the food was pie. Savory and sweet pies, all vegan too. Oh the old days. There was a time I’d have birthday parties and people would come over! And bring pies. Sigh.

Anyhow. It’s not my birthday, I’m just antisocial, and a bit of a workaholic, so that’s put a damper on the party thing. At this point all of the people who would have come to bring me pie are sick of my darn antisocial behavior. So they’re at other peoples birthday parties.

So, yes, I’m going to the studio again today, as I have nearly every day for the past week. Even if it’s just an hour or so after work, I have been getting so much good work done! I’m excited to do some more! Paint! Yay!!!

Here are a few photos of the work I’m doing.
I also started a new figurative painting yesterday, so am looking forward to working on that. I think that series will be called something like “women’s work”, as it is so far images of women working. One has a wrench, one is quilting, one is painting (self portrait), and I hope to do quite a few more. I found photos of a girl with a baseball bat, a woman painting pottery, and a few more, but if you have any good ones let me know. I am interested in non-traditioal women’s roles mostly. I’ll look on the internet too. Yeah, I have no idea where I will put those, they are small, and I have no show lined up for them. Maybe a cafe? It’s been ages since I had a cafe show.

So, anyhow, here are studio shots for you, so you can see what I’ve been talking about.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll go look for that recipe for you.


oh how i love to paint!

Hello fellow art enthusiasts,

Today and yesterday I went to my studio to paint, I started a few new pieces. One is of a dandylion, one is of a lentil, one is of some kind of weed i don’t know the name of (i picked it when weeding my parents garden in california last month). The whole plant, with a special attention paid to the roots. I love love love my studio, and even though it’s freezing cold in there, I have been having so much fun.

This week I have been helping my rockstar painter friend Emily Lux with a mural class she’s teaching at Hillsboro High School. I am really just helping with the painting. The class is almost over, so the students already know what they are doing. It’s really fun! She teaches 4 classes a day, and the largest mural (designed by the students and painted by them too) needs to be done really soon. So I’m there to help, just painting finishing touches, so it will be done by spring break. It’s a really big wall.

I am glad to have a couple of days off this week, so I can help her! Also I LOVE painting. I painted on that mural for like 6 hours on tuesday, and tomorrow I will do the same. On tuesday I went to my studio afterwards and painted for another 2 hours, and I suspect I will do the same tomorrow.

The parts that I have been working on are mostly rural bits, farmland, fields. Trees, grassy areas, stuff like that. Making sure there is no white wall showing, or charcoal lines. I even painted a little clearcut. I’ll try to take a picture of that so I can show you. My first clearcut painting. It’s not very big, but there are stumps.

It’s really really fun! I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Those kinds are tough man, they start at 8:30 am. I haven’t started painting at 8:30 am since, well, maybe never. I certainly have done other work at that time of day, but not painting in public! It’s fun! The kids are generally very nice, and I am so happy to be able to help them with this. They are amazing artists, the mural is gorgeous.

I tried to crochet again today, and had tried last week. Only for 10 minutes or so (that is really hard! I want to go for longer.) but my wrists and hands still felt bad weird afterwards. Up my arms even. Damn! I need to make more sculptures. I need to. But I may have to change my sculptural medium soon. I don’t think this is sustainable for my human body to keep this up, although it is better for the earth to use reclaimed plastic for sculpture. I guess I need to pay attention to my own wellbeing too. Damn.

I am going to make a couple more sculptures, but it will end up taking me much longer than I had anticipated. And I need to save my hands for other things like making money. The sculptures haven’t made me any substantial money. I have sold a few, but they are so time consuming, people do not want to pay me enough. Hard to actually bust my hands forever for under 1/2 of minimum wage, yep. And it is nearly impossible to subsist on compliments alone. I have tried this, it is hard to eat compliments, no matter how nice they are.

Please know that I do not mean to complain. I appreciate all of the support I have had for my artwork. Everyone who has ever bought a piece of my art, come to one of my shows, read my blog, talked to me, supported me at all, I want to thank you so much! Thank you. You have brought me through the tough times and helped me understand that art is like breath or water. I want to thank you all so much. I really couldn’t do this without you.

So, anyways, good people, I will do some things and make some stuff, and let you know how all of that goes.

Thanks for reading this! Thank you for your continued and cherished support.

Love, Katie

PS (relating to a previous post) The glass added to paint is fun! I’ve made some great surface with some of it. Very lovely, luminous, and with translucent paint over it… it is beautiful! The texture is great, and it soaks up my thin thin paint like… well, I’m not sure. Reminds me of painting on sugar cubes, although I have not actually done that yet… (mostly wood, canvas, plaster, paper, bricks, cinderblocks, foam, and some random stuff like rocks and bottles and feathers and string). Anyways it’s working well, and I will post a photo soon.