New Zone Gallery and Metamorphosis

I am very excited to have a piece in the New Zone Gallery's Zone 4 All Show in April. Metamorphosis is a one of a kind mixed-media collage, with vintage elements, hand-lettering, and hand inking. It's my largest current piece at about 36" x 24" with the frame. And one of my favorite quotes to ponder.

Into the Mystic

Mixed media: watercolor and acrylic
On days when I feel seriously disgusted with the state of civilization (usually after really bad political days on the internet), I find myself going to Bad Astronomy. There's something about peering into the vastness of space and contemplating its mysteries and beauty that, well, tends to put things into perspective.

And now, there's the reboot of Cosmos. I grew up with Carl Sagan's Cosmos, but that was so long ago that I remember very little except the sense of wonder. Mr. B and I just watched the first episode of the new series tonight and I was lost in wonder of this amazing world and the universe we inhabit.

There's this part of me that will always be about twelve years old (and actually a boy), giggling about fart jokes and pulp fiction covers and artistic representations of naughty bits. And then there's this part of me that looks across at the stars at night and finds inspiration in nature and quiet, soft things. I don't know how to reconcile the two. I can barely get the two parts to talk to each other, let alone figure out how to marry my different parts together. But looking out at the rest of the universe, it doesn't seem like a big deal.

Hubble Telescope Image: The Pillars of Creation

Looking for Adventure

There are few things that make me happy in the simple way that waking up to sunshine in the morning does. Waking to blue skies gives my heart a lift. They seem like a guarantee of the possibility of adventure. So yesterday, I decided to turn my daily bike ride into an adventure. 

I set out to find how many miles I could do in one ride. So far this year, my max has been about twelve miles, with some nine and ten mile rides, but mostly around six or seven miles at a time. Usually, I just hope on my bike and go, with no special preparation. For this ride, I packed a jar of water and a couple of snacks. There's something about actually preparing to do something that can turn the routine into something out of the ordinary.

On my way to the riverside bike path, I stopped at REI. There was a time when almost all my adventures started with a visit to the popular NW institution, hooray nostalgia! I picked up some fruit chews and eschewed getting more gear, which is always a temptation. 

From there, I looped onto the riverbank path, going north to the footbridge and then south as far as the path goes and then beyond into Springfield, which is where I turned around to come back. After about thirteen miles, I stopped to rest for a bit. There was a stretch of path with great views of the river. I drank my water, nibbled my apple, and felt like I was really on an adventure. A small one, but still an adventure.

I took a few pictures from my rest stop and ran them through Waterlogue, which is a very fun smartphone ap that essentially applies a watercolor filter to photographs. I love the soft effect! It's a huge temptation to turn all my photos into watercolors.

I Had Some Dreams, They Were Clouds In My Coffee

This week brought me some good news. I'm going to be the featured artist at the Hilyard Street Beanery in May! It's a cozy, intimate space, so the fact that I tend to work small is going to be a good match for the setting.

A few days before, in my sketch book, I'd been playing with the idea of dreams and creatures who appear in them, and how our dreams at night are often rooted in our daytime lives. I want to create imagery that reflects that duality, with animals as symbols and messengers and people doing the beautiful, impossible things we dream of doing. 

With just under eight weeks to get ready, these ideas are going to become the heart of the body of work I'm going to create for my show in May. 

By the way, sometimes I love to share my sketchbook pages here. When an artist shows a piece that goes from the inception of the idea in a rough sketch to the finished piece, I love to see the process, so I want to share that. Is that something that other people enjoy too?