go see the last group show at launch pad gallery (7/12)!


holy cats, the launch pad gallery is closing after like 6 years of rewarding and hard work promoting artists. it’s a sad time, but also a good time for the gallery’s amazing crew. they have worked tirelessly (and mostly as volunteers) for so many years to benefit the world of contemporary art, in portland and around the country. cheers to the launch pad!

i have a small piece in the very last group show at the gallery. it’s an ink, acrylic and graphite drawing titled “coming in”. see the picture below… but in a nutshell it’s about the tide.

if you are in or near portland oregon, please go see this amazing show. there are 100 pieces, from 100 broad ranging talented artists. here is a radio interview with ben pink, about it all, airing this tuesday on kboo – http://kboo.fm/node/36854!

my little drawing is part of the problem solving process for a new film i’m working on. the film is about the ocean, and is primarily done with stop motion (hey that rhymes)… so far there are fabric and drawing elements, but it will of course be much more complex than that – it’s me, and i love the complicated bits. oh the time consuming fun i’m having so far. (that means i won’t be done for a while, but i will post it as soon as it’s done.)

i’m including a picture from the new film (this is from the practice run, it probably won’t make it into the final film). and i am including a picture of my piece that’s showing at the launch pad this coming month.

thank you for your continued support!

ps don’t forget to check out the google view of the launch pad to see some good pictures of my 2010 show, emergence! so glad the google people went to lpg when they did, i love these pictures.

rough draft for a scene from my new film.

this small drawing is worth an upclose view at the second to last launch pad gallery show, in portland oregon, in july of 2012! it’s got the same name as the new film so far, ‘coming in’, and is about the tide… coming in.

Feliz Nuevo Ano

Hi! Happy New Year!

How is it for you so far?

I’m doing pretty well. I think I’m coming down with a cold, and it’s 17 degrees here in New York. But I’m good otherwise.

I just went on a whirlwind adventure, and I’d like to tell you about it. It’s not that I did anything art related really. Just some r&d, r&r and some family fun.

It started when my sweetie and I got on a plane in Newark, New Jersey. We flew to Seattle, Washington for a short layover and then to Portland, Oregon for about 7 hours. We got to eat breakfast at Shari’s twice, with his awesome mom, cousin, dad and brother. Then we got on another plane. We got off that plane in Honolulu, Hawaii. My dad and cousin picked us up and took us to the North Shore of O’ahu. We stayed in a house my cousins were housesitting, on a beach called the Pipeline (sort of near Sunset Beach) for a few days, with 3 of my cousins and my parents. It was completely amazing. We had relaxing christmastime fun, layed around in hammocks, did tech support for my family members, swam in the ocean and a waterfall, walked around in the lovely hawaiian winter (it was in the70s), ate to much, and did some sightseeing. 5 days later we got on a plane at night and went to LA, to the LAX airport and rented a car after a red eye. We drove to my uncle’s house in the Hollywood hills, hung out with him and went to a wonderful Cirque du Soleil show called Iris. The next day we went to Universal Studios and did a tour, after going on a couple of rides. That night we had to get on another plane in Burbank, bound for New York, for JFK. We got here in the morning and went home and went to sleep finally, after days of sleeping too few hours, on planes, or not at all.

It was a jam packed week, so many different airports, but it was super wonderful! I am so happy to have been able to do all of that… with all of those great people. The west coast is my best coast (I do like this one though). The cult of youth in LA was itching for a punch in the nose from me though – people kept knocking into my uncle, who has bad leg arthritis and a cane. Look where you’re going Los Angeles, if you know what’s good for you! And while you’re at it get me a damn lychee, green tea, pineapple shave ice!

So here I am, back in the breadbasket of culture, the whirlpool of invention, the nest of the new. And I can’t stop blowing my nose! I think I’ll draw and sew, since I’m on winter break. I wish I had time to find a job too, so I will look for one for fun. Oh, I’ve got to get in touch with an artist about a little interning. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Take good care!


PS I hope these pictures of warmth help take the edge off this cold snap.

Art Newsletter for July!

Hello Everyone!

In July please visit Crow Arts Manor, part of Milepost5 in SE Portland, to see one of my paintings of plants. 850 NE 81st Ave. #114 in Portland. This space is awesome, and houses writing classes of all sorts. The group show my painting is in promises to be awesome!

I’ve been super busy with 3 dayjobs, so not showing too much art lately – and I’m going to New York for grad school soon! Yes! I’m out of here in 3 weeks! I’m so crazy excited! I didn’t think it’d happen, really, so haven’t told that many people about it yet. But it’s happening. It’s real. It’s going to be a big move, I’ve been in Portland a super long time, so I feel funny about leaving. And leaving family & friends, and this beautiful coast. I’ll be back at some point soon though. I am really excited for some intensive artistic focus & professional development. And I am looking forward to learning how to be an art teacher, at a college level, as well as being in the center of the art world for a couple of years.

I’m having a “fire sale” with most of my pieces of art available at huge discounts. I’ve got to pare down and would like to sell my remaining older work. If you are interested please let me know. Many of my abstract landscapes are available as well as lots of wonderful random paintings, fabric landscape, prints, sculptures, etc. Here are some examples… if you find something you want let me know and I’ll tell you if i still have it – and we’ll plan it all out. http://www.katiespain.com/Katie_Spain/Work/Work.html,
http://www.kathleensimpson.info/kathleensimpson.info/Artwork/Pages/This_Horizon.html, http://www.kathleensimpson.info/kathleensimpson.info/Archive/Archive.html.

I’m also selling a beautiful wood bookshelf, a fancy mattress and box spring (half a year old – firm pillowtop), a pretty vintage yellow dining table, wood and metal utility shelves, and a few odds and ends. And I’m giving away a few great things; including a lovely heirloom vintage couch with a wood frame – which needs to be moved by someone else and their friend, reupholstering, and a good home. A 4 1/2 foot tall wicker shelf thing. An amazing tall and thin studio shelf. A nightstand and end table that I painted up all pretty, and some other random goodies. Please please let me know if you are looking for anything in particular (just might have it for you) or are interested in the items I listed.

Thank you for all of your support over the years! And thanks for your patience and help along this path. I will update you soon. I am excited for this adventure, and for the art that will come out of it. You can also follow my changes on my blog… I’ll make sure to give detailed reports.

Love! Art! Love!

Studio Yard Sale, & class gearing up to start

Happy nearly June!

I wanted to let you know that my studio, Switchyard, will be having a huge yard sale this weekend. It’s going to be on Saturday and Sunday, the 28th and 29th from 9 am to 4 pm both days. There will be several artists involved, lot’s of households. Some are going to grad school and trying to pare down, and some are doing spring cleaning. There will be all sorts of great stuff. Bikes, furniture, a 1960s drum kit, a paintbrush costume, huge custom antique JBL PA speakers w/ cabinets, stereo equipment, art supplies, art… most of my section of the sale costs a dollar. Oh, and there will be a fantastic free box corner.
The address is 109 SE Salmon Street. We’ll have one of the loading docks open, you’ll see it!

I also wanted to let you know that the drawing class I’m teaching at Crow Manor is starting in a bit over a week. If you or someone you know wants to take the class, there are still spots to sign up for. http://www.crowmanor.org/schedule-of-classes will get you to the signing up part.

Thank you again for your continued support. You are wonderful!


Open Ways!


I am featured in the Beltane issue of Open Ways!


Dreamy! I am excited and surprised that I got to be the featured artist. Some of my art and poems are in there. Honored! Dang!

Happy actual spring, friends.

Ok, I have to get ready to work on the farm.


Spring and Summer Art Classes


I wanted to let you know some exciting news. I’ll be teaching some great art classes soon!

I’m teaching a class called ‘Drawing What You See’, at Crow Arts Manor from June 8th to July 20th. That’s wednesday evenings from 7 to 8 pm, and it runs for 6 weeks. It’s 90 dollars for the whole series. It’ll be awesome and educational fun! I’ve included the class description below.

Please sign up through the Crow Manor website (http://www.crowmanor.org/schedule-of-classes).
I’m also working on a schedule of classes that will be held this summer at Switchyard Studios.

Class topics will include Drawing, Acrylic Painting Methods, Collage and Assemblage, Color for Kids, Creative Little Container Gardens.

Please let me know if you are interested in any of these classes, and I’ll let you know what the schedule looks like. As it stands they will be happening on weekends and tuesdays, wednesdays, and fridays this summer. I love teaching a wide age range (ages 3 to 103), so please tell anyone you know who’s searching for summer art education.

Thank you for your support. I hope to see you soon.

Love! Katie

Crow Arts Manor! http://www.crowmanor.org/
June 8th-July 20th

Katie Simpson Spain: Drawing What You See

This course will help you develop your observational drawing skills. With a focus on drawing exercises that help connect our eyes and hands. This class is suitable for newer artists and those who just need some practice. The class will work on exercises that are designed to hone your ability to draw what you see and will help you communicate visually. The course will explore line, composition, space, light and shadow, and other important aspects of drawing. The goal of this class is to improve your drawings by giving you the skills and the tools you need to think visually from start to finish.


Art Auction this Sunday, Feb 13, at Switchyard Studios


Switchyard Studios presents ‘Drawing on our Community’
An art auction event funding the establishment of the Switchyard Community Gallery.

Sunday, February 13th, 6-10 pm
6- 9 pm Silent Auction with Live Acoustic Music Entertainment
9-10 pm Live Auction, Emcee La Sergio presiding
Switchyard Studios, 109 SE Salmon #101
Free All Ages Event

Throughout January and February Switchyard Studios artists and collaborators draw on the theme of the loving and vital interdependent relationship within an arts community, and then auction the drawings to create a dynamic new space for the community.

Sunday February 13th in the Switchyard Gallery collaborative and individual pieces will be sold in a silent and live auction and given away in a drawing. Entertainment and refreshments will abound. La Sergio will preside as Master of Ceremonies. Performances by Billy Von Raven and others.

Proceeds will fund the construction of the Switchyard Gallery walls and the laying of an earthen floor in the Switchyard Gallery and Community space.

Participant member artists (The trains in our yard): Aiden Koch, Amelia Pillow, Amie Legette, Amira Mednick, Casey Burkhart, Courtney Keene, Curtis Williams of North Star Bags, Damon Ayers, David Knox, Emily Jones, Gabe Weiss, Heather MacKenzie, Jaik Faulk, Jeremy Davis, Johanna Robinson, Joshua Klyber, Kati Green, Katie Simpson Spain, Katie Todd, Lindsay DeArmond, Michelle Erickson, Michele Maule, Molly Jochem, Natalie Jenkins, Nicholas Bottman, Paul Maziar, Rachael Sabin, Rebecca Shelly, River Darensbourg, RJ Beus, Rochelle Koivunen, Ruth Hoffheimer, Sarah Hendrickson, Sarah Mikenis, Sarah K Small, Susan Sullivan, Virginia Driscoll.

Community Collaborators: Emily Nachison, Esther Yan, Michael Endo, River Darensbourg and others.

Portland artist Rochelle Koivunen founded Switchyard Studios in November 2008, which she now co-directs with Heather MacKenzie and Katie Simpson Spain. Switchyard provides affordable arts community work and exhibition space within a 10,000 square foot warehouse on the railroad tracks in industrial SE Portland. Switchyard contains a community workshop, the Switchyard Gallery, the individual spaces of over 35 artists and has served more than 60 artists in the past two years.

The mission of Switchyard Gallery is to be a community resource providing exhibition and event space, education, and mentoring to artists of diverse levels of experience, philosophies, walks of life, abilities, and identities. The Gallery, once completed, will invite Portland curators, artists, activists and educators to collaborate with each other in creating a dynamic exhibition roster. The political, emotional, theoretical, abstract and critical needs of the greater Portland community will be met by a curatorial focus on consciousness-raising and community-building installations, events/happenings and workshops. The Switchyard Gallery will be based on collective business and decision-making models and will collaborate with artists in the process of creating, publicizing and documenting exhibitions.

Switchyard n a railroad yard or terminal in which railroad cars are moved between tracks and trains are assembled and disassembled.


Southeast Examiner


I am in the Southeast Examiner. The best paper in Portland!

I am so darn excited! This is awesome! It’s a small article about me! Well, about one of my current art shows. And a picture. Even a little picture on the front page. If you have a copy of the paper, I’m on page 10. Or, you can click on the link above, or at the bottom, and see the article online.

I love this paper, it is always full of valuable information about Southeast and greater Portland.

And this month my show at The Immortal Piano Company, is in the paper! I am so happy!

You can come to the show’s closing party, on January 28th, from 4 to 6 pm… and meet me, or you can see the art every day the Immortal is open. It’s up on the west wall of the best piano store in Oregon.


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.