Sunday, July 14th is Bastille Day… and Sidestreet Arts is going to celebrate! Okay, it was my idea. Anybody that knows me knows that I’m a Francophile … and since the Portland Art Museum is currently showing Paris 1900, I thought it would be an excellent idea to celebrate “all things French.”
And why not? The French have a Joie de Vivre and an appreciation of the arts… I’m an artist… Sidestreet Arts is a gallery… it makes perfect sense to me. Parfait.
So…. an art gallery celebrating Bastille Day should have some French art. I awhile back, I created some artwork inspired by my love of Paris. Using my Posca paint markers and colored pencils, I drew some French buildings and even some Cubist-leaning abstraction-ated drawings using that amazing blue ultramarine. I put up four of these framed mixed media pieces… and immediately sold “Paris Rooftop Chimneys” … prompting me to now make some more.
Meanwhile… if you’re in the Portland area on July 14th, Sidestreet Arts will have a glass of Kir and some Brie waiting for you at noon!
The gallery is getting an exciting new mural on the outside of the building… and as the gallery member handling this event, it’s been a series of processes to get to here… which, as of Saturday, will be the actual time to paint! The outstanding Portland artist, Gary Hirsch, will be painting our 28th Avenue Sidestreet Arts wall, along with help from gallery members. Gary’s wonderful BotJoys enhance and bring joy to many other murals around our fair city, and we are ever so pleased to have him do ours!
Work continues on my “Closer to Home” show coming to Sidestreet in August. I’m down to the last two paintings to finish. One is a stubborn self portrait that I’ve painted, repainted and re-imagined what seems like a million times. The other unfinished piece is a ratty old recliner that I encountered not long after moving to Stumptown. It will live on in infamy once the mixed media on paper is finished up. Another piece in that series is “Judy” (above)… captured when we visited a lively Irish Pub in the Alberta Arts District in the Alberta neighborhood. I like this piece as it captures a moment… and one wonders what is happening just off scene …. off the paper in this case. “Closer to Home” will be at Sidestreet Arts in August.
AND Bastille Day is coming on July 14th. Sidestreet will be celebrating the fete with Frenchiness. More on that coming. But there will be French food, music and art! What’s not to like!??
I have been lugging around canvases… some, still fresh in their packaging… and some have long been painted but needed to be, well, “recycled.” So I pulled these canvases out of their resting places and armed with sand paper & a tube of gesso … I primed them for their new lives as something else.
In August, I will have the featured artist spot at Sidestreet Arts (along with my art pal, Nicole Curcio) and I have LOTS of wall space to fill. Most of my recent work is either collage or mixed media on paper, and mostly 8×10 or near-abouts. So I needed to work larger and quicker. Enter those “refreshed” canvases.
The painting above is the first one completed in the new painting series for “Closer to Home.” It’s 18×24 inches and represents some of the more abstract techniques I’ve been working in. It still has that cartoonish hand… and the colors are fairly bright. That’s Mt. Hood in the center, in a cloak of white and pink. When driving our little packed car into Portland and over the Marquam Bridge (the zigzag bridge on the right), it was sunset, and the sky was pink and Mt. Hood was pink … and everything was pink. It was a sign. It’s become a symbol for me, of our moving here to Portland.
The latest issue of my zine, Art-o-Rama :Number 40, is now out and available in the online shoppe. This issue digs up some of my old sketchbooks. I randomly copied pages out of several to share them with you, along with some light commentary.
If you are unfamiliar with my zine, it started way back in the Fall of 2012 as a way to entertain the right side of my brain… the part that likes to cut, paste and write. Thusly, I focus on art, comics, and word…. like stories about things that intrigue me. I self-produce an issue every other month. Each zine has 12 stapled pages and is copied either on my (old) laser printer (in the beginning) and now on my home inkjet printer. I do offer subscriptions in the books & zine section of my online store, or you can become my Patreon (at that level) and get the zine and other swell Patreonic goodies.
March means Moonstruck! From March 1st to April 30th, I’ll have a gazillion collage/mixed media pieces & paintings over at Moonstruck Cafe on 23rd Ave. (Portland). Bring yourself over to the cafe for a cup of joe or a delicious chocolate-y snack while browsing the 24 artworks on the walls.
Mad Bee. I had no idea when I titled this piece that there was such thing as “Mad Bee Disease”. This is what the French call our Colony Collapse Disorder. They did “discover” it first, however.
I started this painting with a black paint pen drawing of a bee on a dull orange ground. I used a palette knife to lay in all the color, including the yellow “not-bee” areas (background). The black paint pen was used to define a few shapes and lines. A layer of gloss varnish made the colors really intensify.
Mad Bee is currently showing in the “Birds & Bees” show at Sidestreet Arts (in Portland), $175. The gallery takes phone orders and also does shipping.
I have produced my zine, “Art-o-Rama”, since October of 2012. Every other month I investigate a concept, theme or idea. I like to celebrate seasons and sometimes document trips or experiences. I enjoy researching topics and sharing obsessions. Whatever is fascinating me as an artist, usually winds up in the zine.
While there are so many issues that I am fond of and certainly proud of, here are some of my favorite zines that I’ve done over the years:
It’s Coffee Time: Issue 22 … coffee has been a constant companion and I drink it obsessively. To not do a zine on joe would be criminal.
Eat, Drink, & Be Merry: Issue 20… I love me some Christmas time and the jolly time of year inspires me to search for what makes the season so special. What does it mean to be Merry? I ofter up, food.
A Guide to Falling into Autumn: Issue 37… I love Fall, and having moved to the Pacific Northwest has made the affection so much stronger. I illustrate the things that make me love it so.
Now you can subscribe to “Art-o-Rama” through the online store! You’ll get 6 issues (1 year) for $36. It’s super easy and it will come straight to your mailbox via the Postals. Portal to subscription
2019 is already underway. It’s time to move ahead, open new doors and shout “Let’s do this!” I love the sweet possibilities that come with the turn of the calendar year.
Already, I’ve thrown myself into planning some exciting events for Sidestreet Gallery, including a mural opportunity, and an upcoming collage show in March… and a dual art show in August with ceramic artist Nicole Curcio.
As an artist-creative person… I plan on spending more time experimenting with new materials; I plan on finding creative solutions to life’s everyday problems and finding ways to apply art , in and to, everything. ART: Modus Vivendi. Art, way of life.
In the coming year, I will fret less, let God more, rejoice often, look for something to be happy about in every situation, and Never Forget that “Tout est Possible.”
I’ve added a few items to the “Reproductions” section in the online shoppe. Also… a few more handmade Christmas ornaments. So if you’re looking to do some Christmas shopping via the internet… why not have a visit?
… expression is the conveyor belt of art… or is it the other way around?