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.

tendonitis? yikes!

hi!

so, um, i have some kind of tendonitis or something. no doctor, no insurance, but i’ve done research about how to heal. so i haven’t been able to crochet for the past month or so.
i’m doing exercises, bracing, icing, anti-inflamitorying… but i’m still all messed up in the arm bits.

i have been able to paint. but in case you were wondering what happened to the sculptures, well, they are on hold for now.

i am sad. but it is better to take a break now so i can get more work done later. i don’t want my arms to quit. i have to make a living, and i have to get as much of the art into the world as i can. one way or another.

thanks for your support folks.
i hope the recovery speeds up so i can show you something new soon.

best,
katie

sweet slight studio move-over!

hi there,

i guess it’s been a heck of a while since i last wrote! yikes!

but, yeah, the holiday conglomeration and the wonderfully dark solstice and family and wonderful visitors have distracted me. also food! it is distracting when people are making so much of it and such a big deal out of it! mmm food!

also i have been distracted by moving my studio over a tiny bit! well, maybe 20 feet? 25?

i’m still at the switchyard, thank goodness. but now i am on the wall with the train against it every so (sometimes very) ¬†often. i am very happy to have moved, and am so super not done yet, but at least i have moved out of my lovely old space (so someone can move into it soon)!

i’ve put all of my finished paintings in the basement of my apartment complex. it’s stinky, damp, gross and not the best place for things of value, but at least they’re out of the way. otherwise, honestly, i’d paint over them. then what’d they show at my big retrospective in 20 years?

i am sooooo excited though, so excited! it’s going to be great! the studio is pretty much square – my old one was long and skinny. there is a ton of light, and i’ve got little zones for different work set up. the painting zone, the plastic bag crochet zone, the drawing/bookarts/printmaking zone, the building stuff zone, and even a little spiritual zone with an altar and a comfy chair.

well, it’s not done being set up though. it is close though!

i’ve been at the switchyard for over a year now. in a year people like me (i can be fondly referred to as “trashy” because i find things on the street that will hopefully be useful later and bring them back with me) can accumulate a lot of stuff. a lot. especially me, with this plastic bag crochet work, i have so many bags!

and i don’t want to thrown stuff away. there is so much that goes to waste in this world. i am an idealist. i want to use all of it. but that is not possible! so i have been recycling, throwing away what really can’t be used again, and compiling a large box of things to give away. and yes, in the spirit of making more more more i have thrown some of those bad pieces that i don’t like away. you’re too late. i tried to give them away and sell them for $5 (over and over again guys! you missed it.), but this whole hanging onto terrible things for too long has to end!

ha! more room to make more art finally!

so, this evening, at home, i’ve been tucked in with my headphones on. making plastic into yarn! i had to take a little break from the crochet, repetitive stress of the wrist, but i’m going to be more careful, and i’m super excited about a show i’ve got coming next year. until then i’ll have a few little gems of shows but i’m mostly planning to work and make revolutionary art, still.

wish me luck! i’ll update this sooner than later this time, with news and new goings on. and photos of the new studio space!

best,

katie simpson spain

crochet event @ HELD

Hi folks,

I am going to have a crochet event and closing party for my show at HELD VEGAN BELTS!

The event will be Saturday November 28th, from 4 to 7 pm.

HELD is located at 3033 NE Alberta St., Portland, OR 97211 and it’s regular hours are 11am to 7pm tuesday through sunday.

I’ve got a bunch of crochet plastic bag sculpture up there, and lots of BRAND NEW PAINTINGS!

I will also be teaching people how to use plastic bags to make yarny stuff! A basic knowledge of crochet or knitting is helpful for this, and maybe some plastic bags, although I will bring a bunch with me too.

Please bring your crochet hooks and some scissors, since I don’t have enough scissors for a large group of people. You will find it much easier to have your own supplies, and then you can continue to work on whatever it is you start at the workshop.

FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope to see you there and then.

Thanks folks!

Best,

Katie

 

This is not done, but you get the idea.

 

 

Bags? For me?

Hello everyone,

I have been fortunate enough to receive used bag donations from many nice people. Thank you everyone who’s saved these ‘one time use’ bags after their proposed uses, and gave them to me to be made into things that will last thousands of years as art instead of out in the environment causing chaos and death! Art saves seals, whales and albatros! Yay!!!

I am looking for more bags too! Always!

I had a ‘bag drive’ at my last installation, but didn’t receive any bags! Ha! I didn’t advertise very well, nor did the gallery. I am not sad, the closing event was great.

If you or anyone you know has tons of (or some) bags that you don’t want or don’t know what to do with please let me know. I’d be happy to arrange some kind of something with you.

In Portland I’m happy to meet with you and take your bags off your hands, or if you’d like to ship bags to me I’d be happy to reimburse your postage.

I am looking for colorful bags, primarily. Whatever colors. Brown even. I am also looking for clear bags, like drycleaner bags. As big as possible with these ones, I’m going to do an installation about water soon.

I just wanted to offer up my art as a place for the bags to go.

Thank you so much for considering this!

I need brown and red and yellow bags, fyi, for a commission. I am excited to do this new sculpture. I do make the art for the good of the world, but I don’t often sell the pieces (yet) so it is always very exciting when people are interested in having them! I’ll post a photo on here of it… it’s a bit like the edible tuber pieces I had at the Jungle show.

I’ll post a photo of the newest one of those… it’s on the pedestal below, I am imagining it will look similar, but smaller. And brown, I think. I’ll know about that later today though. And then, the best part (for me) the making!

Thanks for reading!

Best,

Katie

The new piece will be like the one on the pedestal, the rad-radish-ish

thank you everyone who came to see my installation

Hi!

I wanted to give a big thank you shout out to everyone who came to see my installation!

It was really nice to see you or to meet you. I am so happy to have been able to share this art with you! It’s been a long tough road to this point. But, as some of you said (can I quote you Ben?) this is something that I’ve made into an art, and I do have complete creative control over the media now, after 2 years creating sculpture out of plastic bags. The sculpture is like nothing else that exists. So I am going to make as damn much of is as I can, before I die, so at least I’ll be famous and recognized for my achievements after that.

After my closing party yesterday I took the installation down. Soon the sculptures will go up at HELD, but I will not paint their walls. And the way they are installed will be different of course.

I am excited for that show! If you weren’t able to see the Jungle, please come to HELD.

Here are a few photos, for those of you wonderful folks who have been asking.

Thanks so much again.

Love, Katie

DSC00790fisheye jungle k. spainjungle, guardians, branchrootsthrough guardianthe old tips k. spainguardian, nyc branches, vines, k. spainnyc made branches, k. spainthe blooming vines, k. spain

ps. all of these images are copyrighted by me, dude, so if you use them for something you’ll have to tell me first and give me royalties! thank you!

pss. i am happy to do interviews, or send you better photos to publish.

brand new sculpture! finished today!

I just wanted to post a photo of my brand new sculpture! I just finished it tonight!

I needed something to show the folks in the workshop I’m going to teach on Saturday, and worked on it as an example of process though the open studios. But, I finished it tonight so I’d have it to show the folks at Mission Mill Museum…

This piece will debut to the Portland Public at the HELD Vegan Belts show in November! Come on over and see it, it is one of my favorites to date!

The blue body of the piece comes from New York Times bags, sent to me from New York by the fabulous Lisa Banner. Thank you Lisa! Thank you so much!

The flowers are a bit bigger than I usually put on this sort of sculpture, but thank goodness things are always changing. I love this piece! This is not the best photo. It is much longer than it is wide, and was very hard to photograph with my computer’s camera. Just fyi, it’s around 3 feet long.

superblossombranch

PS people always tell me that these pieces are oceanic, and FINALLY I see it. Yes, this ‘freeform crochet pattern’ could be the structure of seaweed, most certainly. Good point people! Thank you!