As we move toward autumn, I am reflecting back on the past few months that have been full of new spaces and new inspirations. I’ve been a busy bee this year! I moved my studio to a new space in preparation for participation in the Open Studios tour this year. I am putting the finishing touches on the mural at Porter College. And I’m making new work for upcoming exhibits and projects!
This will be the first year that I participate in the Open Studios Art Tour organized by the Arts Council Santa Cruz County. The tour is a celebration of the vibrant arts community here in Santa Cruz County and I am very excited to be participating in both the South County weekend (October 10th & 11th) and the Encore Weekend (October 17th &18th). During the Open Studios Tour, the public is welcome to come visit my studio and watch me demonstrate some of the techniques I use in my work. I will have works in progress as well as both originals and prints for sale. I will also have a piece of work up at the Santa Cruz County Art League as part of the Preview Exhibition for Open Studios. That show opens on September 27th. The Open Studios guide will be available in the Santa Cruz Good Times weekly paper at the end of September.
I have also submitted a piece of artwork for the annual Miniatures show at the Monterey Museum of Art. That exhibit opens in October and serves as a fundraiser for the museum. Please visit the museum for the opening reception on October 2.
Earlier this summer, I spent several weeks traveling through various parts of California, participating in butterfly population surveys and exploring areas of the state I’ve never seen. In the coming weeks, the fruits of that inspiring trip will emerge as I develop drawings of some of the creatures I saw during my travels. I am also continually inspired by my connection to Pinnacles National Park and all the wonders that live in my backyard (and friends I keep finding in my new studio space!).
I hope some of you will be able to visit me during Open Studios and I will continue to share my works here for those who can’t!
Tomorrow, Dec 5, my show “simple pleasures” will be opening at five pins project (491A Guerrero Street, San Francisco). I’m showing a mix of old and new mixed-media work, all focused on simple things that bring me great joy. From the delicate wings of butterflies to the swooping lines of telephone wires, I see draw ongoing inspiration from everyday experiences. If you can, please come enjoy this small exhibit in a wonderful little space.
On December 5, I will be opening a solo show of my work at five pins project in San Francisco. As a departure from my more formal scientific illustration work, I am taking this opportunity to make some playful, interactive pieces. I am also revisiting a more sculptural process, something I explored more in my early undergraduate career as an art student at Portland State University.
The walnut shell boats are an expansion on my contribution to the “Whatever Floats Your Boat” exhibit at Apricity Gallery here in Santa Cruz. These are a nod to my childhood, when we would make tiny boats out of walnut shells to float down the gutters of our street. It is such a delight to make such simple and beautiful little objects out of only materials found in nature.
I will also be showing a small group of moveable butterfly sculptures. These are an exploration of a newly-discovered interest in these extraordinary creatures. I intentionally chose species whose upper- and under-wing patterns are very different, especially in showiness. I love how something so bright and flashy as a Sonoran Blue or so boldly patterned as a Sara Orangetip can change so dramatically in appearance when they fold their wings.
All in all, this show is about exploring some very simple things that bring me great joy. Whether watching a tiny boat float down the street in the rain or marveling at the flash of color as a butterfly passes by on a trail, I am constantly striving to connect to my experience of simple pleasures.
I hope you will join me at five pins on Friday, December 5 to experience some of these joys for yourself.
About a month ago, I saw a call for submissions to a show called “Whatever Floats Your Boat”. The parameters were simple: each submission had to be a functioning boat, smaller than 10″ long and made entirely of natural materials. No tape, glue, paint, metal, etc.. I was so excited by this challenge that I started collecting materials right away, picking up leaves from various trees on my way home. I figured out the sail part of the boat pretty quickly but the hull seemed more complicated. Then I remembered racing boats in the gutters on our street when I was a kid. We used walnut shells from the neighbor’s tree! They were simple and excellent little vessels.
So I got myself some whole walnuts, cut them up with a borrowed Dremmel, and got to work. I experimented with many different kinds of leaves: oak, laurel, azalea, ivy, tan oak. I also dug into my store of feathers for a little variety. I attached all of these little sails with melted beeswax and tested my tiny vessels in bowls of water in the kitchen.
An armada of 6 boats will be on display at Apricity Gallery at the Tannery Art Center here in Santa Cruz. The show opens on September 5 and runs through the month. If you miss it this time, the boats will make a second appearance in San Francisco this December.
I have been a busy bee lately! With September fast approaching, I am trying to get some projects done (or at least advanced). So I spent some quality time working on the mural earlier this week. I’m both refining parts that are already there and filling in spaces that I was neglecting. Can you see what details I’ve added or changed?
I have an exhibition in San Francisco this winter and I wanted to try something a little different for it. I’m working on some small, loosely painted installation pieces that have moving parts. The process of making these has involved some experimental engineering and more than a few prototypes. I’m still working out some of the details but here’s a preview of what I’ve been doing:
Like I said, I’ve been remiss in my updates and now I’m working to correct that.
The mural has come a long way since my last post! We’ve added plenty of color and texture, personality and interest to this project. I have re-learned to handle acrylic paint on a large scale. I’ve remembered the importance of looking at something from far away to get a better perspective (visually & mentally) on it. I’ve enjoyed hearing feedback from strangers & friends alike as this project continues to develop.
I have been remiss in my updates! About a month ago, I completed some pen & ink illustrations for a book on Native Californians. Initially, I was simply going to illustrate some Valley Oak leaves and acorns. The twin acorns will serve as a design element throughout the book. The leaves and acorns serve to illustrate an important food source for the people living in the northern Sacramento Valley.
Then my client asked if I could illustrate some baskets and other artifacts. I was thrilled to take on the additional work. It’s been awhile since I did any pen and ink work and I forgot how much I enjoy it! Here’s a look at a couple of the illustrations: