Monday, January 31, 2011

Wow...busy work day which began at the office to then run to a dental appointment to get fitted for my temporary tooth then running back to the office to then head over to the eye place and pick up my new frames...and back to the office.

Because the first three weeks of January were filled with major projects I left many emails untouched in my work inbox. I am gluing myself to my chair until my work emails are all caught up. It is today's task.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Yesterday while on the bus...

Saturday, January 29, 2011


~ Today will be spent in the studio prepping twenty to thirty paintings for a show in the U District in Feb. I still need to decide which ones I'll hang. They'll go up after February's art walk. In addition, today we have a floor meeting regarding the evacuation of our arts building.

~ Thursday I had my first interview with the real estate transition specialist from WA State DOT. It's the first step to determining what my moving and reallocation needs are and what funds I'll be entitled to. It was a really good meeting.

~ On Thursday I also met with the oral surgeon. He informed me that he can't do both teeth at the same time because the gums wouldn't heal properly. So each tooth is about a four to six month process and the process begins next week with a fitting for a temporary piece. The first surgery takes place February 8. It will be so great once this is complete. But one step at a time. More later on the financing.

~ And on Thursday a photographer from a local magazine came in to photograph one of my paintings for their next issue. I'll keep you posted. Thursday was busy.

~ In a month I begin my four week sabbatical. It's going to be a painting frenzy. I am so crispy burnt from my day job that I can't wait to immerse myself in rest and painting and friends. I even verified that I wouldn't have to do any dental stuff while on sabbatical, otherwise I would have postponed it...the sabbatical that is. Not the dental work.

~ A couple weeks ago I went to the eye doctor for a long overdue appointment. For the first time in 10 years, I'm going to have a new pair of frames. Very different and bold. I'll get them this upcoming week. And yes, I'll post a photo.

Now to slowly prep for my full studio day…

Friday, January 28, 2011

The windowsill next to my desk. A few years back, a coworker returned from vacation and gifted us with the wooden block/signs...uniquely chosen for each of us. My coworkers know me.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My assistant is taking a Bodie break while the scholarships director is intent on his work. I love my job.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yesterday I had an appointment with my regular dentist. He referred me to an oral surgeon who I will be seeing tomorrow morning. Apparently from the xrays, it's looks as if my second crown is also on its way out. So it appears that I will need two implants...both front teeth. Tomorrow's appointment will lay out the plan of attack for the next however many months that this process will take.

Thrilled? Not so much. And yet on the other hand I'm relieved to be doing this all at once. For the last six years or so, I've noticed my gumline above my crowns changing. It's made me extremely self conscious about laughing and smiling as well as having photos taken. So this will be a good thing.

Last night I needed a wicked treat and met Eric at Table 219 for their happy hour. It also happened to be wine night where all bottles are 1/2 off. So we split a $14 bottle of red Argentinian wine and I enjoyed a $5 plate of soft, gooey heaven in the form of their wonderful macaroni and cheese. Eric shot this image while we were talking...using some feature on his iPhone camera.

I'm still attempting to juggle what's happening with our arts studio building, along with the changes at work, while trying to paint and now dealing with keeping a lid on the anxiety around the impending dental work. It's stripped me of much of my creative energy and so daily photos are well...not.

There are still some wonderful things in the works and the dental stuff is answering a few questions. So in spite of challenges, it truly is all a blessing.

And it's life.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What's on my work table...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New painting begun this past week... 22"x28", oil on canvas

It's been a strange weekend because Friday night, while at a party, my crown fell out. It's my front tooth. I was so mortified and incredibly freaked out and needed to leave immediately. My dentist isn't back in the office until Tuesday morning. Yesterday afternoon I googled for emergency dentists and found the Emergency Dental Clinic located downtown. They saw me last evening and after great effort, managed to temporarily bond the crown back in my mouth. The downside is that the tooth is totally decayed and it looks as if I'm going to need an implant. Great once its done but the time and expense...not so good.

I have to watch what I eat...essentially on a mostly liquid diet so the crown doesn't come out before Tuesday. Yesterday was so light on food that I'm feeling the effects of low blood sugar today. With effort, I'm trying to put in the calories because I really truly want to go paint. I began a new piece on Friday and would like to get back to it. Things feel better in the studio.

My pain (emotional & physical) threshold is very high and I've learned I'm a strong person. Yet it's a different story with mouth stuff. Even when there is no pain...I get so squicked out by dental work. Like yesterday evening, I tend to leave the dentist's office feeling profoundly vulnerable. So this stupid crown problem and knowing the solution may be much more involved than simply a new crown...has me feeling scared and little. There's been a whole lot going on in my life...some very exciting and some quite challenging. I've been able to breathe and deal and thrive in certain areas. But this setback has me crumbling and scared, wondering if I'll be able to handle it all.

One more challenge...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Late afternoon sun from Monday afternoon...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

in progress red painting... 22"x28", oil on canvas

My extremely busy month from my day job is easing up and so am slowly returning to a regular routine which includes the discipline of going to the studio 5 or 6 days a week. Other than some brilliant and very intense play at a party on Saturday evening and a tenants meeting last night for our 619 arts building, I spent the 3 day weekend being quiet. I'll slowly return to responding to comments and emails.

Real Change News put up the article I was interviewed for online. The painting is on their homepage and the article can be found here. The reproduction of the painting on their entire front cover of the actual paper looks good. They chose the image well.

From the article:

The building is a popular destination during the monthly First Thursday Art Walk, which encompasses about 90 arts, shopping and dining venues in Pioneer Square. Painter Marie Gagnon, who works in the building, said that the city’s arts culture will suffer with the building’s demise. “It is a loss to many who come to the 619 building on First Thursday because, for some, it is their first contact with art,” said Gagnon. “In talking with folks, I’ve discovered how art can be intimidating to people, and the 619 offers an accessibility not found in galleries.”

I'm shipping off a painting to NYC today. Last week I completed a proposal for the possibility of a large show later in 2011 and booked an April show. Next week I need to prep almost 30 canvases to hang in the UDistrict for February.

This business side of art really takes time and energy.

I've been thinking a lot about who I am...the painting...and my leather. The upcoming year is going to bring some big changes into my life and I can feel the exciting as well as terrifying evolution. I've watched myself become even more uncomfortable with labels and have been slowly pulling away from areas which seem to carry limiting definitions of art, of sex and of kink. It's become increasingly claustrophobic. In time, I'm sure that will ease up some. I don't entirely exclude it from my life but spending less time in such tight quarters. Experiencing such changes is liberating and unsettling. Can't hang my hat on who I once was and wonder who I am becoming.

It's going to be an interesting twelve months.

Friday, January 14, 2011

One of the out of the blue things that happened this weekend was an email I received from a reporter for Real Change News. They were interviewing a few artists and not only wanted to interview me but wanted permission to use one of my paintings for the feature.

So I was interviewed on Sunday, and then had further email exchanges not only with the journalist but also the editor. They used one of my viaduct paintings for the cover of this week's paper! It's a good article…and quoted me accurately.

The issue with the article came out on the 12th. Currently, it's not up online but should be in the next few days. Once the link is up, I will post it. If you're in Seattle, I highly recommend purchasing it from one of the street vendors. The mission of the paper is important.

From their website:

Our Mission

Real Change exists to create opportunity and a voice for low-income people while taking action to end homelessness and poverty.

Real Change Organizing Principles

Real Change approaches all of our activities with the following principles. We believe:
• All people have the right to dignity.
• Diversity has intrinsic value.
• Poverty is political—systemic change is necessary.
• Building community is essential to social change.
• Political effectiveness requires staying power.
• Solutions to poverty must involve people who are directly affected.
• Risks are necessary to create positive change.
• Meeting people where they are honors their skills and potential.
• We are committed to quality, professionalism, and accountability in everything we do.

When first contacted I told both the reporter and editor that I was incredibly honored to be asked. I've been a big supporter of the paper. We all have our own issues that we are passionate about and it's important to have people working in all the areas. For me, although I care about social injustice, lgbtq issues, sexual freedom, immigration, race, etc, the problem that has always hit home the hardest is one of homelessness and poverty. It's not considered sexy. The homeless and the poor are invisible or there are judgments to how they arrived in their current circumstances. It's painful to engage with because for the majority of us, we too could land in similar circumstances and prefer not to be reminded of such a possible reality.

Over the years my philanthropy has drastically changed in an attempt to make a small but direct change in one person's life. I never want to get to a place where I don't see or am too uncomfortable to engage with the person struggling on the street corner.

Whether we choose to see it or not, we are all connected. Whatever action we take creates a ripple that flows outward. Positive change manifests when actions are thoughtful and compassionate.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And they all gathered in Seattle...

From Alaska and Montana and Idaho and Oregon and western and eastern Washington...

Read short blurbs about our highly accomplished new regional staff members who are here this week for a time of meetings and orientation.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our all week staff meeting and orientation for new regional staff is going well. It's moving, exciting and yes, tiring. The new staff are each amazing and will bring their own special skills and warmth to the organization and the mission. They are smart, fun folks.

This morning I give a 2 hour presentation on the database...and then can relax into the remainder of the week.

It snowed last night. Nice, thick perfect snowman-making snow. We had about 3 to 4 inches this morning at 4:30. But the temp is rising and it's raining. The streets are a big slush pile. It's pretty while it lasts.

As you can tell...I've had no time or extra oomph to take photos. So here is another painting I was working on a few weeks ago, 18" x 36", oil on canvas. It will be nice to get back to the studio next week.

I'm a little slow in replying to comments and emails this week due to prioritizing where my energy needs to go. I will respond once this week is over.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Have a few minutes before rushing out to dinner with our amazing staff. Here's a new painting from a few weeks ago.
It's 11" x 14", oil on canvas...part of the viaduct series.

And, although we knew it was a strong possibility, it now looks as if our 619 Western Arts building will be demolished.
Read the little article here.

Oh my 5 days which were slated for total rest turned into a whirlwind, offering me only one day to be quiet. Busy doesn't begin to describe it. Good stuff has happened, and it mostly all came out of the blue. I hung a surprise show on Saturday at The Cask in West Seattle and yesterday held some meetings. There were applications and proposals to write up and images to sort through.

I'm heading into a full week of staff meetings and there's a good chance I'll be too spent to give any time to my blog. Looking forward to life returning to a semblance of normal and a more manageable pace with much quiet time come this weekend.

In the meanwhile, here's the parrot that I placed on the little pink tree in the studio to celebrate my birthday with me last Thursday. Art Walk was brilliant and I received many gifts comprised of surprise connections. Thank you to all who showed up.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

An older photo, taken a couple months ago.

Today is my first of five days off. Although I tried, I was too mentally exhausted to even make it into the studio in addition to an afternoon meeting. So I stayed put until rushing to a meeting with a delightful couple who want me to hang some work in their new business. I went to see the space to determine how many pieces to hang. Saturday the work will go up at The Cask on California Ave in West Seattle.

These five days are turning out to be busier than originally planned.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

It's a joy to come in early in the morning and see traces of a puppy. Bodie and I ran around the office as I taunted him with his sheep...which as of an hour ago only has two legs.

That was the extent of my energy because I crashed hard.

I fear I'm coming down with a nasty cold and have been able to keep it at bay due to adrenaline. The closer I get to completing my projects, the more I'm beginning to see symptoms crop up. I just need to make it through today...

Monday, January 03, 2011

This is a painting that is not complete, but I was able to return to it after painting the two smaller non-viaduct pieces. It's 18"x24", oil on canvas. It will be hanging, probably still in this stage along with other newer and completed pieces this Thursday evening.

Pioneer Square Art Walk
619 Western
4th floor South
The Sophia Room
6 - 9:30 pm

I've updated my art website with some of the newer viaduct pieces at

Although things at work are still really in today was another 12 hour day, I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to my assistant, we'll have our massive report finished this week and I'm on a roll with the new handbook I needed to create for the staff. The handbook is due next Monday and it's in good shape.

I'm putting in extra hours because I plan on taking Wednesday and Thursday off, for rest and painting.

The year has begun with a bang. On New Years Day I had a private studio visit and sold a painting. Today, I received an email from someone who wants to hang my Bleeding Vessels series in their business as soon as possible. In addition I have a solo show of the viaduct paintings in the UDistrict in February.

The photo is of my I'm trying to unclog it, running hot water after a jug of extra strength Drano. The plumbing is old and this is my second attempt in a couple weeks to clear the pipes. If this doesn't work, I'll have to contact my manager.

My days have been overflowing with a little bit of everything.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Other than the bit of time in November when I completed some book illlustrations, all my studio time has been focused on the viaduct paintings. Walking into the studio one day last week I couldn't even imagine working on the series. A little break was needed. So I grabbed two horizontal viaduct paintings that I wasn't pleased with, tipped them up, and painted what was on my work table.

Both of these are 24"x12", oil on canvas.

If you're curious as to what paintings are under these, you can find them at this link. They are the two smaller white-ish paintings which made a perfect ground for the new ones.

It was really helpful to take a little time away from the viaduct and am going to make a concerted effort to periodically break away from them more often…for regrouping and further exploration in paint. The space will be good and it will bring new ideas to the series.

From the gingerbread house exhibit we viewed last Thursday...(click on each to make them larger)

Fantasy world

Troops in the mideast

Inside a house

Cool reindeer


Reindeers on segways

Fremont troll

Seattle's floating homes