Apr 27, 2011

Rush Hour on Burnside: from the archives

I am afraid to be all alone here, watching the seagulls float above the swollen, branch-twisting river. The metal, glass, and paved crushing of careers and homes and promises, fading behind me into the silence of wings lifting.

I painted this even before my large tempera paintings, so I’ve been attempting to paint poems for my whole adult life, it’s nice to know there is some consistency to me. I feel like I flit around from one experiment to another without a lot of development. But if I have a common theme then it’s just one really long experiment.

This painting is in acrylic. I lived a few blocks from the Burnside bridge at the time and would walk downtown almost daily. I loved being that close to the river.

Apr 25, 2011


I’m starting to think that gesso isn’t my perfect medium for creating layered surfaces. I thinned it with acrylic matte medium, used a thin coat and still the under-painting was too obscured. The next layer took the painting in a whole different direction, literally, as I doubted my sideways text and began to see the words depicted more literally. I believe it will take another drastic turn.

Apr 22, 2011


Sometimes I just need to paint lines. It is like the animal that still owns my body, despite all the ruckus in my head, rises up, grabs a paint brush and attempts to erase all my ideas about art and trees and personhood. It feels good, like drawing on the earth with sticks as a kid.

These began as very different color schemes and somehow ended up very much alike.

Apr 21, 2011


Every journal and paper has a different influence on my writing. Trying to journal on handmade paper is a bit like trying to jog in formal wear. It doesn’t feel right to empty, indiscriminately, the contents of my mind onto such a lovely surface. But journaling doesn’t have to be a record of one’s thoughts in the way I have always believed. One can journal from their heart, or collect creative free-writes. I’m not sure what this is yet but it’s more about experience than thinking. These are my favorite pages so far.

Apr 15, 2011


When I first started making paper I would put a lot of colorful things in the pulp: glitter, string, leaves, pieces of paper. It was so exciting, all the things you could collect and include in the pulp. I loved watching them take their place naturally as the water drained through the screen and everything settled perfectly in its place. These papers seem a little over the top to me now, but since I have been coating everything but myself in gesso I decided to paint these over, too. I love the way the gaudy underbrush adds an interesting texture and history beneath the gesso.

Apr 13, 2011

Final Serenade


The last layer didn't turn out quite like I hoped but I still like this piece. I am losing interest in most of my gesso layering pieces but I am excited to try making a painting on wood with some of the knowledge I learned doing all these experiments.

Apr 11, 2011


I have a large box of handmade paper that I am barely using so I decided to size a bunch of it and make a journal out of it. I always thought of it as too precious to use for journaling but it is far better than having it sit unused in a box, and it is disappointing when an art-journal gets interesting but is on cheap paper. 
 I use an external gelatin size. I love how crisp it makes the paper and it is so beautiful I had to take a picture. 

Apr 9, 2011

City Trees on Waterleaf

Here I used my bus-tree-sketches to experiment with using water-leaf (unsized) paper from my handmade paper collection. It is difficult to paint on water-leaf, but when I paint over it with gesso or acrylic medium it doesn't smear much, the ink and paint has absorbed into the paper instead of drying on top.