Emptiness and Newness

My latest version of painting meditations is to approach it in an art-journaling mind-set. So far I like the result. I made the piece above after contemplating the need for occasional emptiness.

As time goes on I have less to write about. I have long loved to write about nature but I reached a point where I didn’t feel I had anything new to say. More recently I find I have less to journal about because my emotional well-being is very good so I have few things to work out.

I know that the remedy would be to free-write everyday and see what eventually transpires but for now I am content to just keep a diary of the interesting things about the day, a studio journal of what I am working on and plans for how to proceed.

I was feeling uneasy about the lack of productivity but I still have Landscape Diaries to finish editing and Rust to Illustrate. I don’t exactly need a new piece of writing to work with now. My discomfort is a thing of identity, wanting to see myself as an active writer, wanting to imagine a future with more and better work. I have a suspicion that to be empty for a while, to not force things, may create a space for something meaningful to come in. Otherwise my work will stop growing.

The piece below is how I feel about my day yesterday. I was at my day job in a large medical office feeling fatigued and not sure how I was going to talk to people on the phone all day when one of the clinic staff came to shadow me since she is considering working from home as a scheduler after she has a new baby. I was excited for her to start a family and showing a new person what I do gave me some energy which made the day much better.

Today was studio day and in addition to my painting meditations I worked on a large landscape and made more prints for my next market. I was glad to finally have a day in my new studio without having to devote a lot of time to moving. I am really happy in my new home though 🙂

Portland Saturday Market

The last month has been devoted to applying to Portland Saturday Market, selling at the market and moving. It’s been a lot but I am thrilled with all of it.

When I was 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 and was very intimidated by what I perceived as the intellectualy centered quality of contemporary art at the time.

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 more 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 and a few other paintings in progress in my new studio. Thanks so much for reading.

A Day’s Work

One weekday every week I work in my studio instead of going to my day job. I work on my art throughout the week but I am in much better spirits when I have this weekday to focus wholeheartedly on my painting career.

This week wasn’t my most productive week, I took my illustration to First Taste last weekend and while I had a great time meeting nature lovers and art appreciators I was tired afterwards so I had a slow morning day-dreaming, contemplating, meditating. To be fair these are all important endeavors in the making of good art but I don’t want to render them unrestful by thinking too hard on that.

I’ve been making painting meditations lately in the genuine sense of painting in the moment without trying to make good pieces. Here’s today’s:

I also started a new forest painting from a drawing I made out on a nature walk:

I scanned last week’s paintings:

I also applied for a group gallery show with no resistance whatsoever. This is a new thing for me as I normally shun all types of paperwork.

I got out for a nature walk of course. The creek was high and the song sparrows were hopping all about the undergrowth looking for food. The air was fresher than normal and the forest is finally filling with green after the winter.

That was my studio day. I hope your day was fulfilling! Thanks for reading!

Painting Meditation Journal

One day I found myself a little bored of painting meditations so I decided to treat them like an actual meditation practice. A person doesn’t find much peace just meditating when they feel like it.

This inspired me to make a meditation journal out of Arches 90 lb and an old hard bound book from the thrift store. I am enjoying creating in this!

When I fist started making painting meditations I would start out very pure—painting just to paint with no expectations. When the pieces started turning out good, however, I started wanting them to turn out good! This wasn’t a problem, I would just reset my intentions when I noticed myself slipping. Creating lovely abstract paintings was a welcome side-effect to the endeavor.

But painting in a journal has allowed me to become very good at painting in the moment without trying to be good. I came to miss making good paintings. I decided to separate the endeavors so that I have an actual meditation practice painting in my journal and I also make abstract art works while trying to be very present with that process as its own thing.

I seem to be in an awkward growth phase since deciding this. It’s like I am trying to copy my own art. I trust I will get though it. I have been through a lot of change lately, mostly good things but some challenging things. I am ok overworking a bunch of paintings while I settle into a new life and a new painting practice.

Week Night Studio

This has been my studio during my day job work nights lately💜 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.

New Paintings

Here are my latest painting meditations. I am reviewing my art career approach and have decided to put more effort into showing my work in public instead of having an internet shop or posting pieces on social media. This blog will be the best place to see my latest pieces.

I probably won’t be able to show much until society begins to reopen but I have plenty to do in the meantime! I am still revising my Landscape Diaries essays into a book. I’m also spontaneously illustrating books so my heart can develop its own style instead of my ego trying to make “good” work.

I am also really into drawing and lettering in my workbooks and all my art journals and sketchbooks are now converted to workbooks. I like the term workbook because sketchbook puts me in an academic mindset and I associate art journal with art scrap-booking which puts too much pressure on making things precious or appealing. Workbook feels like a thing of the soul, of wayward contemplatives, obscure poets and woods wanderers so it fits who I am in that these things are my work even if it seems a little dramatic to say so.