Sunday, September 01, 2013

Metridium Tea


I've been busily plugging away at a new body of work that I'm very excited about. It's a bit of a sea-meets-land series of paintings, but with a heavy slant towards the sea. Composed of surreal still lifes and encounters between lesser-appreciated marine organisms and more familiar terrestrial residents, it combines many of my favorite things (nudibranchs! seascapes! polychaetes! strange patterned wallpaper! flowers! barnacles! Jello! etc.). I'm taking it slow with this series to make sure everything looks right and flows together. At the moment, I don't have plans to list the pieces for sale online and I'm hoping to eventually find a gallery somewhere in which I can show the work in its entirety in-person (something I haven't done for a few years now and have been longing to do!). But I thought I'd post a few snippets and behind-the-scenes views in the meantime.

This particular piece is one of the smaller paintings in the group, of which there will be a handful amongst much larger pieces. A while back, I bought a couple of these old Audubon nature paper books from an antique store ($1 each! How could I resist?) and was inspired by the colors and contained chaos of this little aged photograph of a coral and sponge encrusted reef. It translated into a 4x6" painting of sponges, plumose anemones (Metridium sp), and a dainty little teacup.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Busy Bee


The tiny paintings are now live in the shop! I'm pleased as pie with how they all look together, quirky little things that they are. The bumble bee piece ("Escaped") just sold, but there are plenty of others waiting for new homes to fly off to!

Thanks, all! The sun is shining, I have a coffee date with a good pal, and have been making good progress on yet more paintings. Feeling both inspired and productive, which is always a hard combo to achieve. Hope your week is going well!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Signed And Framed

It took a while, but the last of my six tiny 2x2" paintings were framed up yesterday. I'm so happy with how sharp they all look and am thrilled to unleash them for sale in the shop on Wednesday next week (the 21st)! I gilded some 4" wood panels that I mounted the individual paintings to and that really gives them such a fantastic presence. Above you can see two of the paintings in their frames ("The Last Buffalo" and "The Pitcher Plant Room") and one in-progress shot I took of a piece while applying the gold leaf (aptly titled "Not Lunch Yet").

This will be the first batch of paintings I've done where I used a maker's mark/seal on the back, too. Last month I hand-carved a signature seal with my initials along with a simplified polychaete. I then mounted it to a piece of a branch from a cherry tree taken from my childhood home (the tree was chopped down some time ago, but while visiting there I managed to swipe a branch for my own devious purpose). The outcome is a very personal, handmade seal that I now use to stamp on the back of my paintings along with a title, signature, and date. Adds a bit more "me" to something I send out into the wilds of the world.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Polychaetes and Paintings

Hello, hello! Oh my, as usual, there is lots to catch up on around here. For brevity sake, let's go over it in list-form:
1) I graduated with my Bachelor of Science degree (Marine Ecology emphasis) last month! It's amazing how fast the time has gone, how much I have learned in that short time frame, and how much more well-rounded I feel. Being in the lab (and field) and working with marine critters inspires me to paint more while at the same time, sitting down with a sketchbook, pencils, and paints inspires me to get to know/understand/analyze those critters even more. As both an artist and a scientist, I truly feel like I've finally found myself, and it feels pretty awesome.
2) I'm currently still doing the occasional marine invertebrate sorting for WA Dept. of Ecology, but more importantly, I'm now a polychaete taxonomy apprentice with one of only 2 regional experts on the creatures. Polychaetes are marine worms--and there's a *lot* of different species out there with few people that can identify them down to the genus or species level (to do so often requires microscopic analysis of teeny hair-like features, jaws, and sometimes full-blown dissections). So, I'm slowly learning from a polychaete taxonomist how to properly ID them in hopes that soon I too will be a fully-fledged polychaete specialist. It requires excruciating patience, attention to detail, and a ridiculous amount of crazy love of these worms (which describes me quite well, actually). I'm going to try to refrain from writing too many polychaete obsession posts, but you can bet that there will be some here and there! They are amazing, and often misunderstood, animals.
3) Painting! With a more reliable schedule again, I've been doing more painting and it feels *wonderful*. I've started on a new, large body of work (with some of the largest paintings I've done to date). Above you can see one of three large cradled panels I'm putting together from scratch--after 3 days, I only have 1 fully completed (I now remember why I rarely build these things myself and usually have the pros build them for me). Once I get more pieces completed, I'll introduce this series a bit more to you.
4) In-between working on the large paintings, I painted some mini ones! Above is a sneak peek of all of them together--once I get them framed, I'll be listing them in the in the shop (and will post here before I do). Each one is its own tiny surreal scene. Most originated as random sketches in my sketchbook, so it felt appropriate to bring them to life in this small, delicate way. I've been massively inspired from both still lifes and landscapes lately, and I think that's coming through in my work in a bizarre little mishmash.
5) Lastly, I posted on my Facebook page (do sign up to get the latest news) earlier in the month about a new batch of note cards in the shop. Each pack of 3 has one of each of the three slug paintings I made some time back. And to make them extra slimy-special, I varnished the slugs on each card by hand! When you tilt them in the light, they really do have a "wet" look to them.
Whew! Are ya still with me? I think I'll end this book-of-a-blog-post here. Thanks for your support, everyone! I'll be back soon with more.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Shop Update!

It's true! The hooded nudibranch isn't lying: there will be a shop update on Monday, April 1st (around noon West Coast time or 3pm East Coast time). Finally! And no, I promise it isn't an April Fool's prank.

This update will be a mash of small paintings, the 4 original painting bracelets I teased you with earlier, and a special hand-colored original linoleum block print of deep sea tube worms in a limited edition of only 20. I'm particularly happy with the block print--it was my first "true" lino carved block print and I can't wait to do more.

My time in school is officially winding down and I only have one more quarter left. These past couple of quarters have been an absolute whirlwind and I know this upcoming one will be as well--but there's light at the end of the tunnel! Whew.

See you Monday!