Summer 2023

A year ago I started selling at Portland Saturday Market and moved in with my boyfriend. It was a lot of change at once for a hermit but all very welcome. I had wanted to do the market in my 20s and at age 48 I finally got around to it. I had the best time. I wanted it to replace my day job and at the end of the market season I had to reflect on that goal. (cont. below)

It seemed the things I needed to do to make the market my living were moving me in the opposite direction of what I wanted artistically. My books are my greatest passion and they were only a tiny slice of the income I brought in. Also while all the market prep was fun it took up most of the time I used to have to paint. I decided to spend the coming year working on my books, getting deep into my abstract paintings and drawings, and hopefully finding a few indoor art sales that would be a good home for my work.

It’s been a busy and fulfilling year making 2 new books, working on 3 more new books, enjoying family life, traveling with my fellow to Greece and England, getting COVID, starting a new job that is a better fit for me than the old one, planting flowers and ferns. I found a couple new art sales I’m excited to apply to but would like to find more bookish events.

Even though I miss the market I am glad I decided to let it go for a while to collect my thoughts and feelings about art and money. I am all-for artists making money but for me the art needs to come first. In retrospect I wish I had gone there without needing to make money. To just show up with my books and a few original paintings and talk to people about how beautiful nature is. How beautiful humans are even though we don’t always act like it. I may still have taken this last year off, maybe I would have lost interest sooner but I think it would have moved me more in the right direction. I am contemplating whether I could have a re-do next year. I’ll keep you posted of course. Thanks so much for reading!

New Work

Fronds 24 by 30 acrylic on watercolor on watercolor paper $1000

Here is my latest painting Fronds. It is an attempt to mesh my illustration with my abstract work. I did not have a specific idea before painting this. I did look through my workbook for elements to inspire the piece though. It is a medley of natural elements with a central figure to bring in the human presence. Clothing is a favorite way for me to tie the patterns of nature into human representation. I began the painting in watercolor which i sealed with clear acrylic then I painted over things that needed more detail or color with fluid acrylic.

Portland Saturday Market

The last month has been devoted to applying to Portland Saturday Market, selling at the market and moving. It’s been busy but I am thrilled with the changes!

In my 20s I lived in a tiny studio apartment on MLK and Couch and walked through the market regularly. I dreamed of selling my handmade books there but didn’t have the wherewithal to work toward such a goal. When I started studying art in school I moved on to dreams about showing in galleries and museums but I had a hard time imagining how this would add up to a meaningful career. I was also put-off by what I perceived as the intellectualism of contemporary.

Over the last year the dream to sell at the market kept coming back into mind. Then I read about how Hilma af Klint supported her spiritual painting practice by selling commercial art and this allowed me to fit the two dreams together.

I’ve been at the market 2 weeks in a row now and I love it. It suits me to set-up a little shop and be part of the community as an artist. I met all sorts of people from all over the country and overseas. Also the regularity is easier for me than when I was doing annual art fairs.

I won’t be at the market this weekend as I finish moving into my boyfriend’s home but I plan to be there August 6th. I hope you can come and say hi!

Below is a video of some workbook pages where I contemplate how to talk about peace and inner beauty without platitudes or becoming patronizing. There are a few other paintings in progress in my new studio also. Thanks so much for reading!

Week Night Studio

This has been my studio during my day job work nights lately­čĺť I am enamored with simplicity so even though my closet is still crammed full of paintings and my project table is slightly organized chaos I love spending the evening on the couch with just colored pencils, a pen and a journal.

I don’t get to share everything from my workbooks because I journal in them a lot and that’s too personal to post but when I can share pages I will because I love seeing other people’s visual journals, workbooks and sketchbooks.