Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Although work is still pretty busy, I think I'm back on track for studio time. Yesterday afternoon was the first time in what feels like weeks, where I returned to the studio after work and painted. It was good...and with an added bonus.

There is an artist on my floor whom I highly respect. We don't see each other very often but when we do and have the time, we'll each share our stuff with the other, including asking for advice and opinions. We hadn't seen each other in almost two months.

Yesterday, while painting, I had my door open and he popped his head in. He's wonderfully respectful of painting time and checked in a couple time to make sure he wasn't interrupting me. We spent a good half hour looking at and discussing each other's work. It was time very well spent. And it didn't hurt that the painting I'd been struggling with was beginning to come together.

I enjoyed an apple in the studio and then when I returned home, it was after 7pm and I didn't want a heavy supper. So I opted for one more apple, a piece of cheese and glass of milk. It was perfect.

After being derailed by the day gig for the last month, it is a return to the discipline of daily studio time. It's good for my heart.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another from yesterday's time in Volunteer Park's conservatory.

It really is a magical place...

From the dahlia garden at Volunteer Park...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Volunteer Park conservatory with Bill.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Scrolling thru the Urban Sketchers site yesterday I found this...little watercolor travel kit in an Altoids tin.

I was in awe of the size of the kit. Absolutely captivated. Showing it to a few friends, they were more enthralled with the amount of color that could be mixed from only three colors.

Thinking about it I realized that I tend to do the same. My palette consists primarily of...yes, primaries. This practice goes back about 15 years. Ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, yellow ochre and a white. They are my foundation. In addition, I would have a sap green which was strictly used to mix with the red and/or blue to make neutrals or a black.

When I began exploring the bleeding vessels paintings, I stopped using sap green and instead switched to burnt umber.

Small piles of cad red and cad yellow may end up on the palette, but only when I feel a little more color punch is needed. The cadmium red is being used more frequently with these new paintings. times a very wee bit of pthalo blue will be squeezed out. It is so intense that very little goes a long way and when sparingly mixed with other colors, gives me something luscious.

I have a tube of cobalt blue that was purchased almost a year ago because I wanted a more middle of the road blue and one that wasn't as transparent as the ultramarine. But for some unknown reason, it's never been used.

For a short spell, back in school, I'd purchase a cad orange, violet and various greens. Also mars red, cerulean blue and rose madder. But I stopped using them because I truly get off on seeing what colors can be mixed from my basic palette. It feeds my "less is more" tendencies.

The trick is remembering what I mixed so it can be replicated. Once in a while some of my best colors have come from accidents...just mixing and then mixing again. I'll love it and sadly have no idea how to duplicate it.

It is definitely one of my greatest painting challenges...creating light and space and have the colors dancing together. Always a mystery. When it happens, I am humbled and feel quite blessed.

There is something very magical for me in working with color. It may sound like an odd statement considering this entry begins with a b&w photo and ends with these two b&w drawings that I fell in love with yesterday but again, like everything in life, context is key.

And here is this week's Freewill Astrology.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What I thought would be a slower and easier work week has turned into immense zaniness. Yesterday was an 11.5 hour day at the computer, manipulating data. When I got home, I couldn't do anything but crash in my chair and then in bed by 8 pm. There will be very little studio time this week.

I look forward to returning to the bottles...little communities depicting various relationships. An ongoing exploration of power dynamics.

At this rate, I don't foresee any studio time until Saturday.

p.s. That wall in the back? That's my new 2nd wall from my rental expansion. It doubled the workspace to 400 square feet. two windows and two big walls.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Still working through some photos from my road trip day as well as the ocean visit (as you can see from yesterday's entry).

Rain has been falling pretty much nonstop for a few days. It changes from heavy pellets to soft mist. This morning the cloud ceiling is exceptionally low creating dark air.

There's a party and before that an open studio that I've been looking forward to attending. Hopefully I'll paint at some point but because my resting days were filled with stressful work stuff, energy is still depleted. The little I've done in the studio is pretty much utter crap. Ideas abound but execution is harsh.

It's one of the low cycles of my creative process. The most challenging part of it is to not see myself as a painting failure during this time yet remember that it's winter in my garden. Regardless of what appears on canvas, practice is important.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Yesterday afternoon we completed 4 full retreat days. It was very good and exciting because brainstorming seeds from these events tend to sprout new directions and programming ideas.

I'm seriously fried and am taking the remainder of this week off for some flex time minus the 3 hours or so each morning I need to pull reports and finish projects. Other than that, I'm resting lots, slowly reconnecting with a few friends and today, reintroducing myself to my studio.

On top of it, this weekend is getting booked. Lots to juggle. Next week looks hopeful in returning to a more manageable schedule which will include my regular painting discipline.

Today is a gorgeous day where the skies go dark and pour heavy rains, to then switch in a blink to an amazing sunlight and then return to showers. Much variety and the light is beautiful.

Monday, October 12, 2009

How I spent equality weekend:

Celebrated sex…

Friday afternoon I went to HUMP!5, The Stranger's amateur porn festival, with 4 of my coworkers. After a dinner of great Thai food, I headed off for a birthday party with a small group of very intense pervs. Great conversations about the state of the s/m mainstream community and the various fringes and well as lining up future play dates for some extreme play that I haven't done in about 8 years but willing to do again with a certain top. It was a very pleasant surprise. We've played in the past and each time has been incredibly hot. Going to a different edge with him will be really interesting. From there, I planned on attending another birthday party which included bodies and a hot tub, but I could barely keep my eyes open. And I had to be up early for a weekend of work.

Educated further on social justice...

Saturday and Sunday was our annual retreat with staff, our board and volunteers. On Saturday we met at the NW African American museum and on Sunday at the Wing Luke Asian Museum. We spent both days discussing social justice which is a broader mission than focusing on one issue. We began with a panel discussion with 3 invited guests who are experts in the field of social justice and all attending were wowed by not only what we heard, but the energy and character of each of the panelists. In addition to the conversations and processing, we toured both museums.

Silently participated in the equality march...

On Sunday, we ended about 12:30 and I ran home to crash. Seattle was holding an equality march and rally but my energy was fairly depleted and I couldn't participate. So I called Eric and we did food on Broadway. After we ate we saw the march coming down the street, headed for the federal courthouse. Walked alongside on the sidewalk for a few blocks (which was the most energy I could muster) and then came home.

All these images were shot yesterday. It was a full weekend. I'm pretty fried now but truly enjoyed each moment (after Friday morning's grief worked itself out) as it unfolded. And now I need to head out for part 2 of our retreat - a 2 day staff only retreat.

Friday, October 09, 2009

It's a rough morning because I woke in tears. Memory after memory flashed behind my eyes...all images of being thrown away, ignored, shunned, disregarded. Abandoned. My heart feels broken and I'm working on getting it together because I'm beginning 5 non-stop days of busyness and desire to do so with a clarity and openness. I don't want past traumas to taint present experiences with fear and mistrust.

I'm trying to return to the cleanness I felt while at the ocean.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Still very busy.

8 blessed, solid hours of sleep Tuesday night gave enough of an energy boost for a long day at work, with actual studio time afterward that involved doing preliminaries on 4 illustrations for the book commission, working an older painting, began a new one, had dinner with a friend and then we shared a delicious and deep conversation sitting at the piers while watching the sun set over the bay and the Olympics. From then I bussed home and immediately crawled into bed, catching last night's episode of GLEE.

Here are a few links:

NPR is looking for your opinion on the 50 greatest recorded voices to do a year long exploration beginning in January 2010.
From their site:

Between Oct. 5 and Oct. 16, we're asking you — NPR listeners and readers — to tell us who in the whole world possesses the most beautiful, singular voice you have ever heard. Leave your picks, along with a sentence defending each choice and a link to an audio clip if possible, in the comments below, or email

Go here to enter a comment with your nomination. The comments are also an interesting read. I'm discovering new singers I need to explore.


Thanks to Thor for this link of some amazing performance art earlier this week in Berlin, Germany.


For those in the Seattle area who can't make the National March in D.C. this weekend, there is a weekend of equality events happening here in town. Check out for itinerary. Scroll down for details.

Some of the events include a HIV/AIDS Vigil on Saturday, October 10th at 6:30 to be held at
Seattle Central Community College South Plaza, Broadway & E Pine.

On Sunday there is a march and rally.
March begins at 2:00 pm at Volunteer Park, 10th Ave E & E Prospect
Rally at 5:00 pm at the Federal Courthouse, 7th & Stewart


This week's Freewill Astrology.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Another shot from Saturday's road trip.

Almost overwhelmed at work. Almost...but I'm not caving yet. Last night I was so exhausted my eyes wouldn't stay open. That is, until I closed them and then insomnia hit along with nonstop thoughts about all that needed to be completed in the next two weeks.

Today, it's coffee and deep breaths.

Monday, October 05, 2009

From Saturday when Phil and I scrambled over mossy rocks to get down to the riverbed.

Not much to say. Busy work week and not sure how much painting time I'll have in the next few days. My head is busting with items from my day gig's to-do list plus looking forward to dear friends flying in today.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A few more from yesterday's roadtrip. We ate lunch at the Cascadia Inn in Skykomish where I had a good opportunity to shoot Phil and David. That little inn doesn't look like much but the food was quite wonderful. It was rustic, simple and pretty groovy.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Scarecrows and sunflowers in Skykomish.

In celebration of autumn, today was a road trip to Stevens Pass filled with...

crispy apples
hints of snow on mountain peaks
strawberry rhubarb pie

More photos in the next few days.

Last Saturday, after a very late lunch we walked down Broadway. Right at the end of the block there was a band with a tin pan alley feel. It felt like the first perfect autumn day. It was 4 pm, the shadows getting long, a hint of color in the trees and music filled the street. We enjoyed it so much that we spent a fabulous hour listening to them. Stephen was walking down the street and we called to him. He joined us for the rest of this little street concert filled with jazz, blues and swing.

At some point, 4 of the musicians stopped playing and did some tap. And a couple other times, folks would get up and dance. All very talented and much fun. So much so that I needed to get to an ATM, and then grab a coffee across the street so I'd have bills to tip them. Street musicians have a very special place in my heart.

I could imagine having them come to a First Thursday and set up in the hallway outside of my studio. Before they packed up I asked them for their card but they had run out. Instead, I was given the website of the guy on the

It was one of those perfect afternoons, with the combination of weather, light, music and energy.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Today was a do nothing day although I still have a nagging feeling that there was supposed to be something on my calendar. But when I was a free day. After the very full week, it was time for some major downtime. This evening, just on the tail of sunset I went for a walk to the park. Fresh air and leg stretching was in order. It was a wonderful autumn sky. There is nothing like the skies in Oct/November. The clouds are richer and the air has a comforting smell.

Last night's art walk was a wonderful evening. I wanted to attend a few openings but didn't make it. Instead, after dinner I rushed to the studio to open up and was busy for the next 3 hours. There were some pretty fantastic conversations with various folks. One man was sitting in the comfy chair that Matt left me before he moved. He sat for a very long time. After a bit I walked over. "If you have any questions..." came out of my mouth with a smile. He began talking about the paintings and so I pulled up the rocker and sat next to him. We chatted...and then both immersed ourselves in the paintings, in quiet. It was a really pretty moment.

In addition to the same work I showed last month, there were 4 in progress pieces. And on the extra wall and in the alcove I decided to go back in time and show about 15 b&w drawings that I did in Dec07/Jan08. It was interesting looking at them at the same time as the newer work. You could see the beginnings of the paintings in those drawings.

The drawings were done in black watercolor, charcoal and sometimes graphite.

Here are four of the pieces that were hanging. These photos were shot at that time and aren't very good. Now that the work is out again, I need to reshoot the drawings.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's been an incredibly busy week between work and the art. Each day busier than the last.

Yesterday was nonstop and therefore no blogging.

It began when I overslept and didn't get in until 6:20 (which for me is late).

When I came in the computer wouldn't come on, and my desk lamp didn't work. Still half asleep I walked into J's office.
"The electricity is busted in my office."

He laughed, walked into my office and flipped the switch on my power strip. Yes I felt like a dork.

When the light came on I noticed the middle shelf of my bookcase had broken and everything was on the floor.

Looked at the time I remembered I had a 7 am phone/web interview meeting with developers from our donor software. I was assisting with some beta development/testing and wasn't yet clear-headed enough to be extra logical. Hadn't really entirely woken up, finished my coffee or eased into my day.

It was the first day of our Fall phonathon which is always very busy for me. After the meeting with the software folks I began entering new pledges to only realize I hadn't written off last fall's unpaid pledges so needed to stop what I was doing to work on the write-offs which took all day. It was the first time in 9 years I'd forgotten to do that crucial step.

My adding machine gave up it's ghost after 8 faithful years of service.

After lunch I knocked over my favorite glass that I've used for the last 5 years which spilled water and broke the glass on the desk.

Couldn't make it thru one project without receiving a request for an "asap...need it yesterday" report. In mid-afternoon I had 5 report requests within a half hour from two different departments which I managed to complete but meant my current task was left incomplete.

Excessively groggy all day.

Looked down at the end of the day and noticed my index finger was sliced up in a few places…and have no idea how. No blood.

I didn't realize how ludicrously crazy the day was going until my coworker asked. After relaying the events of the day he asked "And you're still here?" With a grin I answered, "well...yeah!"

At that moment it dawned on me that I had one hour of work left and then quickly needed a few gin and tonics and a couple sushi rolls before coming home and crawling in bed wicked early. As much as I wanted to get down to the studio to paint, my body wasn't in any shape for it.

On the way home I remembered a dinner date with a really dear friend which I sadly needed to cancel because I was no longer headed downtown and much too exhausted to meet him later.

For such a zooey day, it surprisingly didn't carry any frustration. Each dilemma was met, worked on, or let go of and on to the next moment. It was quite pleasant, filled with jokes and although I couldn't finish what I really wanted to, everything else managed to get done.

Thankfully, I slept a solid 8 hours last night for the first time in over a week. Good thing because from looking at my desk, today is quite full and a short day so I can run to the studio to prep for tonight's art walk.

Today's the first day and in looking at my calendar, the month is jam-packed.

This coming weekend is half booked and I'll keep Sunday as my alone day. Between some very special out of town visitors arriving on Monday for the month and next weekend is booked with a film screening, a couple other gatherings and a weekend long event that I'll attend at various times. The following weekend is a staff/board retreat which then runs into a 2 day staff only retreat on Mon-Tues…and in the midst of all this, I'm still working book illustrations and need to paint.

I've decided to put a couple projects on hold until November…such as redoing my art blog/site and working some type of statement for the Bleeding Vessels/Sedna series. Heh. spellcheck tried to change Sedna to sedan.

It's all really good stuff yet pray I have the physical stamina for it.

In other good news, I received confirmation this morning that I've sold a larger painting and a framed drawing. Both are two of my favorites and am thrilled that they are going to the home of this particular buyer. Last month I did a trade (which I rarely do but it was perfect) of another favorite painting for one of his gorgeous creations. We'll make the actual swap this month.