Lines and dots

20140829-211631.jpg “Twisted Pair”, 20″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas

When I take my glasses off, the world immediately dissolves into suggestions of forms. And at night, before bed, if I gaze into the darkness, it pixellates. My painter eyes grasp for shades of purply orange brown, trying to assign a shape to the flash of the smoke detector. But the vision without aid can’t form one. It’s mark is too fleeting.

All of our moments are fleeting, changing every nanosecond into something new. I wonder if that’s why I am so enamored with recreating my moments in painting form. Coaxing them from nothingness, arranging pigments into lines and dots, feeling as if, in this way, I don’t really lose them to the ether of memory. That if I trap them, they won’t disperse into the void of spacetime until they are too scattered to be recognized. Clearly a fool’s errand in the end, but an entrancing process nonetheless.

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Lots of titles under consideration for this 24″ x 36″ acrylic….

Artist Admiration: Hadley Northrop

 

 

 

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“Foreign Cinema”, Oil on canvas by HADLEY NORTHROP

Hello everyone! I’ve decided to start a new blog segment called “Artist Admiration” to highlight artists whose work I adore, and that I think you should see / know about / obsess over / purchase. πŸ™‚ The inaugural artist I’m highlighting today is Hadley Northrop, based in San Francisco. Her paintings are warm, soft, dreamy, evocative and memorable. If you like my work, you’ll probably also like Hadley’s. We are both obsessed with light and color. She participates in Open Studios at least once/year, has pieces in shows in various locations in the Pacific Northwest, and is an overall awesome person. See more of her kick-ass work here. Love an artist you think should get more exposure? Post their website in the comments. Thanks!

 

 

 

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“Travellers”, oil on canvas by HADLEY NORTHROP

 

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“Polar Bear”, oil on canvas by HADLEY NORTHROP

 

 

Invitation to disconnect

"Out of Order", 16" x 20" acrylic on canvas

“Out of Order”, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas

It’s Friday, and tomorrow is the first day of summer. It’s also my late father-in-law’s birthday, which makes it bittersweet. We miss my husband’s father, as we miss my Grandpa and others we’ve lost. But rather than focus on the day they left this world, I prefer to cherish our memories of them on their birthdays.

Today I’d like to invite you to reflect on what moments are important to you. Were they the most-liked Facebook status updates? The most epic vine videos? The best blog posts? I know they’re not, but these things consume so much of us. I’m not saying to burn your devices and smash your TV with a baseball bat, but on what is likely to be a beautiful weekend no matter where you live, disconnect for a bit. Don’t just put the phone down, turn it off (unless of course you’re calling someone to tell them you love them).

Go to the beach, visit a garden, check out your local art museum, make sun tea on your patio, take that friend you never see anymore out for a pitcher of sangria.

Chalk art from my hotel door at Portland's Jupiter Hotel

Chalk art from my hotel door at Portland’s Jupiter Hotel

I was recently in Portland and met a random person who turned out to be my sister from another mister. Instead of retreating into my hotel room for a few hours of internet crap, we hung out and had cider at a nearby brewery, and it was awesome. So in case you need it, here is your official invitation to disconnect from all this stuff this weekend and go make some real-world memories. πŸ™‚

Knowledge is Powell’s

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Portland natives may recognize the book beacon that is Powell’s, the subject of the above triptych painting “Bastian”, 36″ x 54″, seen here on proud display in my home.

For my fellow logophiles, please note that the title is not a misspelling, but a dual reference to the homonym and to a film. There’s one other hint that this bookstore is located in Portland- can you see what it is? Unravel the mysteries in comments! πŸ™‚

Night shift

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Here are 3 new paintings from a series I just started called “Night Shift”, exploring nocturnal city activities, roles and perspectives. All are 30″ x 40″ acrylic on canvas.

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The above is titled Stranger because of its voyeuristic quality and because the intro to Billy Joel’s song by the same name kept playing in my brain while I painted it.

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No title yet for this and the top piece. Suggestions? Thanks for reading!

Under pressure

"Pressed", 48" x 48" acrylic on canvas, A commissioned painting.

“Pressed”, 48″ x 48″ acrylic on canvas, A commissioned painting.

Long time, no type! Hello again, darling art-lovers. I have returned from the hibernation / wormhole I fell into nearly four months ago, and I’m back to tell exciting tales of art! Despite the evidence to the contrary, I’ve actually been busy in the studio, albeit mum on the blog. I spent a few months hard at work on the above commission piece, a 4 foot by 4 foot canvas titled PRESSED, for an amazing couple in Seattle. Featuring a nail salon setting with manicurist closing shop, this mammoth work is the largest representational painting I’ve completed since a 50′ mural for the city of San Bruno. But that’s not all….

As yet untitled 16" x 20" acrylic on canvas

As yet untitled 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas

This was the first piece I completed after finishing the commission (title TBD- don’t worry, I don’t do “untitled” ;), and then there was this…

As yet untitled 10" x 10" acrylic on canvas

As yet untitled 10″ x 10″ acrylic on canvas

…and then, like a beautiful little gift from the heavens, the opportunity for a solo show at Blue Line Gallery in Roseville, CA fell into my lap. That’s right, ladies and gents- mark it on your calendar. The opening for “VESTIGES” is Saturday, April 19th from 7-9 pm at 405 Vernon St. in Roseville, CA (near Sacramento). The show opens on Thursday, April 17th and will run through the end of May.

As yet untitled acrylic painting, 18" x 24"

As yet untitled acrylic painting, 18″ x 24″

“Vestige” means a “trace or mark of things vanishing or lost”, and will feature works like the above as well as several as-yet-unfinished nightscapes showcasing scenes that feel out of place in time or represent modalities on their way out of fashion, like bookstores and record shops.

"3rd sign's a charm", acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24"

“3rd sign’s a charm”, acrylic on canvas, 18″ x 24″

While this is SUPER FRIKIN EXCITING, it also means I have agreed to execute several large-scale pieces in a very short amount of time while holding down a full-time job. Thankfully, my husband and family are super-supportive, and I am capable of some remarkably fast painting. My basic grasp of mathematics is helping keep me on schedule (X number of paintings need to be created every Y number of days, with Z number of hours per piece on average), but I’m in complete Liam-Neeson-mode [“Quickly! There’s no time!].

As yet untitled acrylic painting on canvas, 18" x 24"

As yet untitled acrylic painting on canvas, 18″ x 24″

This means that socializing, general chores and life itself is primarily on hold until mid-April. I also doubt I’m going to have the time to post every work in between now and then, since I will have roughly THIRTY works on display in the Westpark Workshop Gallery (back room) at Blue Line. Showing concurrently will be America’s Clayfest, so there will be sculptural work as well as my 2D paintings on display for almost 2 months. If you need help planning a day trip to the Sacramento area to see this stuff, let me know. If you are local, you better darn well get your butt over there, people. πŸ˜‰ I’m so excited I can hardly contain it. And now, back to the studio.

 

 

Stay Golden

 

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“Stay Golden”, 16″ x 20″ Acrylic on Canvas

I was pretty moody and sullen as a teenager / young woman, as I imagine pretty much everyone is. How anyone manages to push past the insanity of hormonal avalanches is a wonder. I think I purposefully blanked a bunch of it out, honestly. I like to consider myself a much more balanced person these days. Whether or not that’s factual is up to contention. πŸ˜‰ I do make a conscious effort to stay positive, and to see the good side of things even though it is SO much easier (and coincidentally, much more hilarious) to point out the obnoxious bad sides of everything.

My beloved Grandfather passed away earlier this year, and while I never heard him say it, Grandma says he used to call those special instances in everyday life “golden moments”. The above piece, “Stay Golden” was one of those. I was walking down the street with my friend Nick, whom I hadn’t caught up with for years, in the SOMA [South of Market] neighborhood of San Francisco. The warm sunlight of dusk illuminated this bit of probably-sanctioned graffiti professing “Knowledge is Golden”. The reference to the abstractΒ  of “golden” in light of.. well, the ACTUAL golden light, was a “golden moment” for me. Looking at this painting reminds me of Grandpa. It reminds me to stay positive, since being a cranky bratface never helped anyone. Even though I may have LOTS of reasons to be cranky. LOTS OF THEM. πŸ˜‰ I remember that Grandpa never complained, and it was one of the many things that made him a delight to be around, so why whine?

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“Potrero Pavement”, 8″ x 8″ acrylic on canvas

The above piece, “Potrero Pavement” is a recent small painting capturing one of those early morning weekdays in the city when shopkeeps sweep the dust off their entrances and everything is quiet.

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“Sentinel”, 8″ x 8″ acrylic on canvas

And this other little guy, “Sentinel” is from a walk around Russian Hill with my friend Jill one wonderful evening. This dry cleaner’s was quiet, stately with its own little ambience and I wanted to honor it in a painting. Alright, battery on the laptop is running out. Hope you all enjoyed this update from recent work that I thought I posted already. πŸ˜€