Playing with Animation

Animation in it's most basic form - more like a comic strip that moves a little. Add some piano and voila! 

This was my first experiment with my new photoshop brushes by Kyle T. Webster. Anyone out there looking for digital brushes that really connect to the analog experience (pencil in this case, but that is only the beginning), I highly recommend his Mega Pack. 

Sleepy Volcano Art Pairings

image >> sound >> image >> sound

Inspirational cycles.

Pacific Whales of An Imagination was painted to the sounds of Dischordant, a structured improv piece whose musicians where told to visualize themselves as whales talking to one another. Get it? Okay, cool. 'Cause this could be a recurring theme. The print comes with a download of the music, which was recorded live using binaural microphones...which recreate the experience of listening in a specific space, with it's unique reflections and dimension. This piece will take you to the Old Church in downtown Portland on the evening of March 31, 2015. Wherever else it takes you from there is entirely up to you. 

The illustration below is based on a whole album, one I've had the pleasure of listening to throughout it's recording and now a year later as it spins on the record player in my studio. Having the benefit of time, I was finally able to put pencil to paper and capture my own reaction, something I wasn't able to do a year ago. There's hope in our shadows. There's growth in the night. It's good to feel where we stand. The album is Green Hills Alone

Happy Holidays!

Earlier this year Matthew and I went through a serious rekindling of our love for all things Jim Henson. I was inspired to pull down a box of forgotten fabric from the attic, plug in the hot glue gun, and just see what came out. Nothing complicated, nothing mechanical, but something that made us laugh. What came out was Jinx. He's the pink guy. To be fair he's more like a neon salmon, whose color can only be fully appreciated in person, but for now we will do our best to capture him on screen. We took him camping and learned that he was an avid bird watcher, and we let him watch basketball and before long he was asking for his own Blazers jersey...which I had to make, cause he's a weird size. And then he started asking for friends. And now they're calling themselves Mitten People. So here they are, with their first Christmas Song:

Never underestimate a hot glue gun. 

Show at Black Wagon


I have a show at Black Wagon - this amazing children's boutique on Mississippi Avenue. They have all the coolest and cutest clothes and toys. I'm hanging some new work there and it will be available starting on Thursday. Originals and prints. Come hang out if you're in town from 5-7 this Thursday, October 9th! Oh, and look up at the walls! 

Also, I now have a booth at the Portland Saturday Market. I can be found there every Saturday and Sunday. Yes, Sundays too. I know, I know it's confusing. I've met some wonderful artists and I'm really enjoying meeting all the people that come through. We will be there through December. By then I will be bundled up and hovering over a heater. I will share it with you. 


Getting mail is so fun.

The poster I designed came in the mail, and I can still smell the ink!  ahhhh...

My friend Kim stopped by the studio and snapped a pretty picture for me. I would like all future photos of myself to be taken just like this. 

There are still a few of these for sale if you happen to be a fan of John Prine or Emmylou. 

Doernbecher Children's Hospital

I was honored to be a part of this campaign for OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital..."where braniac teams lead daring battles against the scaries." On their website they've created a place where patients and families can share their stories. Box of tissues highly recommended. 

Here's a close up of the castle on the hill:

If you're standing in line at New Seasons, be sure to pick up a copy of the Portland Monthly - it's tucked inside!

Worthy Opponent cont.

I love pencil. There, I said it. No matter what mediums I experiment with, digital or the end of the day, I always come back to my friend the pencil. The smell of graphite and wood right after sharpening, getting the faintest barely visible line when you're just finding the mark, the way it goes from sharp to dull and you can twist it around to vary the line in a single stroke, the fact that an eraser is just as important for drawing as the graphite itself. And above all, I still feel like I have so much to learn. So many ways to grow with one simple tool. 

These Jackalopes are a continuation of a series called Worthy Opponents that I started...last year? The year before!? Yikes, how time flies. Anyways, it's not quite as adversarial as it sounds. 

Watercolor Bears

I was inspired by the small watercolor pieces of Kelley Burnett - go check them out because they are so lovely! Now, full disclosure - watercolor is not my medium - but I love it's finicky nature. It's so delicate and it always dries with more variation than what you see when it's wet. Patience is key, and so is confidence. My goal was to make a lot of little pieces and just keep going. So here is a selection of what came of that. They are all 4" x 4". Palm sized.


Now I'm keeping a stack of blank minis in my studio, and making a habit of watercolor sessions. 

I'm a Lego Lady!

This is me as a lego lady...looking super fierce. The overalls are spot on, and the giant binoculars feel appropriate too, not for birding per say but just the visual exploration of things in general. If you spent hours playing with lego's as a kid, and happen to find yourself at a Lego flagship store, like the one at Rockefeller Plaza in NYC...this is a really fun break from other touristy excitement. There's bins of pieces for short kids and bins for tall kids too. 


The only way to know, is to keep going.

If I had to reduce my own work to it's simplest form it would be: figure at the center of a blank page. No background. And that's been by choice, I think. I like all the focus to be on the emotion and body language. All the subtleties I can pull out of a character...or two. And I like the graphic element of which limb sticks out where, and the negative space. I like what it leaves to the imagination.

But what if I did do a background? A landscape? And what if at the same time I changed a few critical steps in my process? Well, I did that. And it's the strangest I almost don't recognize my own work. 

This is a scene I created for a story I'm currently working on. It's probably more of an experiment along the way, but I'm really excited about where this might lead. I've always relied heavily on pencil and outlines, and this has neither, which is probably why it feels so different. Artists are so often defined by their medium and process, that I find myself asking - Is it still me? 

There's only one way to know really, and that's to keep going. 

Underwater cameras and the PNW

My friend Kevin Freeny has one of those cool jobs that takes him to beautiful places, like the Nat Geo amazing planet kind of places. While I'm sitting in my studio flipping through old books, looking for reference imagery for a series of watercolor bears...he's out there sitting across the stream from a bear, filming it as it climbs the rocks and wades in the water to swat at the salmon. He'd hate that I'm saying this, but when I see those coors (bud light?)...whatever, those beer commercials where the guys are climbing glaciers and leaping from one iceberg to another...I think of Kevin. 

We were lucky enough to collaborate with him to make this video, featuring a song from Harlowe's album. No bears in this one. Gotta leave something for next time. 

2014, I'm on to you.

Seriously, no posts since September?!? Major internet absence. I get an F. But it's a bright new year so let's just start fresh!

Things I'm most excited about:

1) A new art space in the Towne Storage Building. A magical place I've admired from afar since I moved here 8 and a half years ago- beautiful old brick, painted signs, tall ceilings, big windows and mystery. There's a big 12ft wall with lots of natural light waiting for me starting February 1st. :)

2) Embracing the ipad as a sketchpad. A new tool with strange limitations and curious possibilities, a medium that can be more spontaneous. 

3) More cello. An instrument I let sit untouched as I devoted my time to jumpstarting other endeavors is finally getting some more playtime. We've been busy over at Sleepy Volcano recording some of Mike Beaton's masterpieces. Just you wait. 


Here's the first ipad sketch. I didn't have to get a single paintbrush wet or sharpen any pencils. Pretty neat, huh?

Picture book progress

Color complete! And I'm so excited about the way everything has turned out, I want to post every page! But then I'd be a total spoiler. Nobody likes a spoiler. So here's just a taste of what will soon be bound up and ready for story time:

I'm finishing up text and other layout stuff this week.