Website Update!

Hi gals and fellas!

I am so excited! I just updated my website! Whoo hoo!

It’d been way too long… and now, somehow, it is really really easy to update! It used to take hours, but I guess something with the template thing changed recently! Anyhow, I am looking forward to updating it more often now! So you will get to see new work more often!

Finally… (drumroll)…!

Click on those images on the press release to see the rest of the updated website!

Yay! I did it! Thanks for looking!

Love, Katie

Press Release! The Immortal Piano Show!


Portland, OR. Friday December 17, 2010. 4 to 7 pm; and
Friday January 28, 2011, 4 to 6 pm –

Art Show Receptions for local artist Katie Simpson Spain at The Immortal Piano Company, 4011 SE Belmont Street, Portland, 97214.

Join local acrylic painter Katie Simpson Spain and piano restoration artist Martha Taylor for art show receptions at The Immortal Piano Company. Light refreshments will be served.

Come to Portland’s own gorgeous piano haven, where you will find pianos manufactured between the 1890s and the 1930s; the age when arguably the finest acoustic pianos were produced. The Immortal Piano Company has been rescuing antique pianos since 1985. This beautiful piano shop is a place to connect with pianos, a community of musicians, and history.

Artist Katie Simpson Spain’s luminous acrylic paintings of growing plants will be on view from November 24th through January. There will be a closing reception on Friday January 28th, from 4 to 6 pm. This show debuts brand new paintings of tree sprouts; as well as other paintings from Spain’s 2010 plant series. These paintings are bright portraits of plants, wild and tame. Delicate, experimental and elemental, these paintings focus on an exploration of plant structure. Spain illuminates the life cycle of these plants, from root to leaf. The paintings are of weeds, sprouting seeds and flowering greens. Painted on powdered glass, these luminous pieces reference fresco and scientific drawing. The artist will be on hand at the reception to talk about her artistic process.

Katie Simpson Spain, a graduate of Portland State University, has been showing her paintings and sculpture throughout Portland and nationally for the 5 years since her graduation. Her most recent body of work was spurred by work on an organic farm and by a recent solo show at Launch Pad Gallery in southeast Portland. She has worked in several local arts nonprofits and currently helps manage Switchyard Studios, a southeast Portland powerhouse art studio.

piano climbing


it’s cold in portland, yes! and it’s thanksgiving eve. the night before “thanks-turkey-bus”… the holiday involving puppies and snuggles, and pies of course.

and i wanted to tell you a story.

yesterday, the coldest day of the year so far (maybe it was 17 degrees at some point… debatable), i hung art at the immortal piano company.

it was a tuesday afternoon, busy still even though that is traditionally the slow day (for airlines anyways)… and i was running late due to writing a press release and labels for the show.

i hung 7 paintings, from the emergence show at launch pad. the rest of the paintings from that show (the ones that didn’t sell) are up at HELD, 7232 N Burlington Ave, in St. Johns. go see them!

so, yes, i went to hang the paintings, and started by moving a very large painting Martha (who owns the shop) has had for a long long time. we took it down and put up my biggest piece from this series, of chickweed.

then it took me like 3 hours to put up the other 6, measuring, climbing on pianos (only on the sides and backs, where they are strong), and balancing around. today i am sore! around the ribs. i didn’t think i would be, since i do manual labor type things quite often, but i am! not that i am complaining, i like that muscle use thing, i’m really just describing the acrobatics involved in putting these paintings up. maybe i climbed on 10 pianos. i had never climbed on a piano before yesterday. and i hadn’t really thought i would.

so, after much deliberation my paintings are up! go see them! they are on the west wall of the best piano shop in oregon!

and now, i am working on 7 small pieces to finish up the show. these are all of baby trees. maple, oak, pine, sequoia, sugar palm, ginkgo, and i think mango (haven’t started the last one yet). all of these are between 3 x 5 inches and a foot square. small. affordable. for everyone. come and get ’em! hot off my desk (since it’s so cold i’ve been working at home, not the studio).

the “opening” reception for the show will be on friday the 17th of december. if you purchase a piano during the show you will receive a discount on a piece of art! 10 percent off! more, if you buy a piano above 1000 bucks.

that’s my story, so far…

love, katie

ps i just heard there may be a remake of buffy the vampire slayer? huh? is that real? who’s going to be buffy? what about her vampiric love interests? also what? huh? really? i hope it’s as good as before. i love the original. it’s amazing.

snow salad (aka farming in the snow)

Hello there.

Some people have asked me to blog about farming more. I will! It’s fun for me in many ways.

It is a really cool thing, being part of an organic farm (we’re certified naturally grown, a grassroots alternative to certified organic). It warms my heart.

Yes, we get to eat some of the amazing food that we grow. Like I am going to make a soup from a jumbo pink banana squash soon. We grew it! It’s huge and pink, but the inside is bright yellow. I am so excited!

But farming is hard too.

Like today, I harvested greens in the snow. It was really cold. And my fingers didn’t fall off, but they were kind of tingly. It was ok, everyone involved is ok. I thought about the request for farm related blogs, and I had to write about this.

It was beautiful. The snow was wet and came down in those clumpy balls, downy, heavy. I guess it was snow showers. Off and on. Out in Warren. It was maybe 36 degrees, and I had so many layers on! Shirts, pants, gloves (fingerless – ya have to feel the greens to pick them right), a hat, a scarf… So I was ok. But cold! We picked chicories, lovely greens that are alright in the cold. And I realized that I might be suited for the tropics. Except that pesky bright sun part.

People have been farming in the snow forever. We have to farm in whatever weather is happening. I don’t think this is written about too often. People still need food, whatever the weather is like.

Farm work is hard. No one ever said it wasn’t, but I think it gets abstracted sometimes. No, we are not sitting and playing in the dirt. We are working hard for long hours.

I think it is really fun! And I love the hard parts, like rototilling by hand, wheelhoeing paths between beds fast until your head is spinning and then quick quick pitchforking up chunks of rooty sod leftover from wheelhoeing. I love kneeling and hacking at weeds with this nice japanese knife hoe thing, and swearing about whatever issue is bugging me. I love pulling plants that have bolted or bloomed, then throwing them in a wheelbarrow and into a compost pile. It’s kind of like dancing, and also like backwards situps while standing up. I love seeding and planting starts, watching things grow. Magical exercises.

But it is hard, physically. Don’t forget. Farmers get dirt in their eyes and blisters and frostbite and, yes, excellent muscle tone.

I just wanted to say this so, if you have romantic notions about farming, you will know. You’d better like to exercise and you’d better have good work ethic.

I am glad to have put in some good work today, even though it was snowing.

Thanks for supporting farmers by eating!


Awesome! Immortal! Piano!


I am so excited! Ahh! I am so excited!

I am going to have an art show at The Immortal Piano! Soon!

This is the best and most awesome piano store ever. It is phenomenal. If you ever are in the market for a high quality piano, this is the place to go.

I am going to hang some art up there this coming week, but will have a reception in december. I will give you plenty of notice.

I just made this plan… I’m super excited about it. Obviously, I’m gushing.

This is a beautiful store, and the folks who run it are amazing and wonderful. Martha, the proprietor, has a collection of things she has found inside pianos. She has been restoring pianos for 20 something years, I think. You should check out the history of the Immortal Piano on their website. Some amazing photographs along with a fabulous story! Anyhow, she’s found so many beautiful things inside pianos, like every kind of tiny toy, notes (some are fabulous), small newspaper clippings, even a rabbit’s foot. Today she found a note that said, “I like you. You are nice.” It had been folded up very small, and lost inside a piano for years and years. This made my heart glow! So gorgeous!

I will have my luminous plant paintings there. “They are sensitive drawings and dynamic brush strokes all combined into a sublime whole.” – Bonnie Meltzer, a fabulous sculptor (mixed media, with crochet!) and amazing arts activist, said this about my paintings! I am so honored. I don’t even know what to say.

You will be able to receive a 10% discount on a painting if you purchase a piano during the show… in case you were wondering.

Check out The Immortal Piano’s website. (or go to

I’ll see you there!

Love, Katie

ART SHOWS RIGHT NOW (aka nov/dec 2010)


Happy wintery weather! I hope you are warm and wonderful.

I wanted to let you know about a couple of shows I’m having right now!

I’ve got a solo show up at HELD – 7232 N Burlington (end of St Johns Bridge). The opening reception will be Last Friday November 26th 5:30-8pm, and it’s part of the St.Johns Art Walk! Come over please! St.Johns is cute! And I will give you a chewy hibiscus flower! I’m giving a talk about the art at 6:30 pm. If you haven’t seen the paintings I did of plants you will be very excited. Yes!! Here are some of the pieces that are up there:

I am happy to have this show up in time for certain holidays! All of the paintings of sprouts that I have are up there, in case someone needs one! I also have posters available. And many of the star paintings from the Emergence show. These will be up until the end of december.

Also I have a small diorama in Launch Pad Gallery’s Facing Fear show, which is up now! Launch Pad Gallery is located at 534 SE Oak Street, Portland. This show will be up until the end of the month, and includes 99 other artists. It is amazing and wonderful! Group shows at Launch Pad, if you haven’t been to one, are SO MUCH FUN! You totally need to go see this soon, it closes on the 27th of November.

I am also putting together workshops for this winter. I wanted to give you a heads up about this early, in case you want to make something for someone for a holiday gift and need a plan. I will be doing short workshops on the following topics:
Collage, Basic Acrylic Painting, Altar Making, Dream Painting, Plastic Bag Yarn/Crochet, and Card Making.
Let me know if you are interested and I’ll send you the class schedule, which will include more topics as well.
I also have gift certificates available, if you want to give someone a workshop.
I’ll send out a notice when this gets rolling too! I’m super excited to teach!

Thank you so much for your continued support. I really appreciate it!


December Show at HELD in St. Johns!


I’m having a show at HELD in December!

Opening Last Friday the 26th of November! Come over!
I will be giving a talk about the art and process of making it! Dude!

7232 N Burlington Ave, Portland, OR 97203 (St. Johns)

Luminous plant paintings, from the Emergence show.

Posters will be available, as well as some really freaking cool little paintings of sprouts and such. Just in time for solstice!

You can see some of the paintings if you click here!

I hope to see you there!

I’ll add some details when I have more!

xoxo Katie

oh it’s winter again!

hi friends!

it’s winter, i guess, dang.

and i realized that i hadn’t posted a blog forever. i mean FOREVER.

but i’ve been working on the salad farm (yes, but soon it will be too cold!), and starting to do more managery stuff at my amazing studio ( – i know, no one posted anything on that website for a year, but we are still kickin!).

that is interesting work, as i am organized, have nonprofit experience (effectively what the switchyard is), and am excited about the community there.

and otherwise i’ve just been working on a comic book, which i will tell you about later. and poems. and a bunch of self portraits (gearing up to paint other people). and a bit of assemblage sculpture (diorama style)… my usual 10000 things at once. oh, i applied for an installation in a very cool public building. i’ll let you know if i get in! i get rejected for art things a lot, so don’t cross your fingers yet.

oh, and i am part of a show that’s up at launch pad gallery right now! you’ve got until the end of the month to see it… go see it! please. it’s called facing fear and it is amazing! so many awe inspiring art pieces! i did a very small wall mounted diorama for it… i can’t explain it, you’ll have to see.

oh, halloween was fun too! i was pippi longstalking, and i made a reasonable variation of her apron to wear… i will, of course, wear it until it wears out. i LOVE pippi longstalking. the apron wasn’t too hard. i got a pattern for a similar apron and altered it a little. it’s not exactly her apron, but i’ll make a more accurate one later if i need to… i finally figured out how to do it! i figured it out after halloween. ha! that is how things are sometimes.

otherwise i’m just working hard.

i’ll update this more soon, i promise!

i plan to make an ebay store for art this month, and will post about that experience soon. also the other fun stuff!