Thoughts on Inspiration

Art, creativity, education, inspiration, process, Story

My dear friend Carolyn Autenrieth asked fellow artist friends to reflect on the role of inspiration in their work for her high school art class. So I wrote out some ideas in my journal this morning. While this may be too long for what she’s needing, it’s the perfect length for a blog post.

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A few weeks ago, I made this inspiration board on my phone ~ a visual reminder of things that I find beautiful. The images could be of anything, not necessarily art.

I took screen shots of my Pinterest boards and wrote down words that inspire me. What do I love? What are ideas, objects, symbols, activities, places, hobbies that make me feel alive? It could be anything that makes me feel the whole hearted joy of my daughter in this picture. Seeing these images and words together, I started to notice common themes, in terms of colors, ideas, textures, and design elements that I’m drawn to.

So pay attention to your attention, because it’s trying to tell you something. There’s something here that you love. What is it? What’s with all the doors? Why do I love rust so much? Why do I feel drawn to the textures and design found in nature. Sometimes the answers are obvious. Sometimes I don’t discover until much later why I find the texture of tree bark or aerial landscapes so compelling.

Some people might not see the beauty in these images…but to me, they’re exquisite! I want to make art that makes me feel the way I feel when I look at my board. This is what inspires me. And when I’m inspired, I feel creative…and the work starts flowing.

It all begins with inspiration.

The whole goal of art is to create something that is unique to you. So your job as an artist is to get really clear about what you love and why. From there, making art is just a series of Yes/No decisions. When you’re clear about what inspires you, it will come across in your work. And people will be able to feel it. Even if they don’t personally find rusty doors beautiful, they will feel my love of the door coming through in the painting. And that, to me, is the beauty and power of art.

Creating this inspiration board made me deeply consider what I find beautiful. And then, I set it aside. The next day, I pulled out some paper and just decided to paint something that brings me joy. I had no plan, no end goal in mind.

A couple hours later, this painting emerged. And I could clearly see elements from my board coming through.

fb_img_1586016135350589844912188696655.jpgCustodian of the World Within

So…notice what brings you joy.

Get clear about what you love, and why.

Make art that makes your heart sing.

Remember that inspiration is everywhere.

Interview about art & process

Art, family, Narrative, Speaking, Story

Today I had the pleasure of talking with Deborah Kapoor about my art and process. Our recorded conversation will be used in her college art class in the section called “Layering with Paint: Home/Addressing the Personal to Global.”

This was a first for me, talking about my creative process and how I use art to examine the stories I’ve inherited and the stories I’m passing down about who I am and where I come from.  I’m so grateful to be included in Deborah’s line up of Seattle artists that she is interviewing for her class.

Art Sale for Food Lifeline

Activism, Art, Art For Sale, Fundraiser, Solo Series
Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic response to my Birthday Art Fundraiser!! I’m delighted to share that, thanks to the art you purchased and the matching program through Tom’s work, I was able to donate $600 to the COVID19 Artist Trust Relief Fund!!
 
Fueled by the success of this sale, I am inspired to raise funds another organization where my daughter and I volunteer. Food Lifeline (member of Feeding America) supplies food to 300 shelters, food pantries, and community meal programs across Western Washington. They provide 134,000 meals daily with 96% of their expenses going towards feeding people facing hunger.
 
So for this fundraiser, I’m selling my SOLO series.  They are original oil paintings on paper, matted in 11″x 14″ frames, as seen below.
 
– They are $125 apiece, or three for $300.
 
$30 from each sale will be donated to Food Lifeline$30 provides enough food to feed one family of four for 4 days.
  • If we sell all 10 paintings, $300 can source more than 6,000 pounds of nutritious produce or the equivalent of 300 boxes of 20 pounds of fresh produce to one of our 300 partner food banks, meal programs or shelters.

*PLUS all donations will be matched through Tom’s work (Gilead Sciences), so your purchase will go twice as far!

– If you’re in the Seattle area, we can arrange a no-contact, in-person delivery. (Otherwise free shipping anywhere in the US).
 
 
What we get:
1) I get the joy of knowing my art is bringing color and joy to someone’s home.
 
2) You get an original painting to dress your walls, and the pleasure of knowing you’re supporting a living artist and a good cause.  At the end of the sale, I will send you a letter confirming the donation that was made on your behalf. 
 
3) By supporting Food Lifeline, we are helping to get food out to folks who need it most. 
 
As far as I can tell, this is a WIN-WIN-WIN. So happy browsing! If you see a piece you like, you can click on the purchase link in its caption.
 
And if these paintings aren’t your cup of tea, you can still donate here: https://foodlifeline.org/donatefunds/
 
Thank you kindly!
 

SOLO #7
https://checkout.square.site/buy/2YOG3S55CB26444NZCQDCPBR


SOLO #9
https://checkout.square.site/buy/TP65L7O2PSPD7PWE4PEXJH4Z


SOLO #10
https://checkout.square.site/buy/G64UQCYVGSR5JYTIDRZEV3OQ


SOLO #15
https://checkout.square.site/buy/DR3ZXFCZZALBX5I22YRYDGLL


SOLO #18
https://checkout.square.site/buy/LO4GP5BF5S47IU2EVKMBVQXI


SOLO #24
https://checkout.square.site/buy/ASYKCV6BF53GPT7HNHA57DHW


SOLO #25
https://checkout.square.site/buy/RMHKGR6VBNXDVZLBCO5FQUX5


SOLO #30
https://checkout.square.site/buy/ZLZEIFDKNVKUDWYMZ42XBPOP


SOLO #33
https://checkout.square.site/buy/VL6D4ILRPKOA4ORCP4XPD4OK


SOLO #34
https://checkout.square.site/buy/WB3FSQGV47OG5GVZI2XPWWMW

Birthday Art Fundraiser

Activism, Art, Art For Sale, Fundraiser

Dearest friends,

As we round the corner to my birthday week, I’ve been thinking about ways to ease the suffering and share the joy. So I’m trying an experiment…a Birthday Art Fundraiser.

Here’s how it works:

– All the works below are original oil paintings on paper, matted and framed as seen in the first picture below.

– They are all selling for $225.

– $150 from each sale will be donated to the COVID 19 Artist Trust Relief Fund.

– This art sale will run through Friday, April 10 at 11:59pm.

– If you’re in the Seattle area, we can arrange a no contact, in person delivery. (Otherwise free shipping anywhere in the US.)

What we get:

1) I get the joy of knowing my art is living on and bringing joy (Best Birthday Gift Ever!!!)

2) You get an original piece of art to dress your walls, and that whole hearted feeling of knowing you’re supporting a living artist and a good cause.

3) Artists everywhere will feel the love through the emergency relief efforts of Artist Trust, an organization I hold in high regard.

So…what say ye?? Dress your walls! Celebrate my birthday with me!🎈

All the pieces are matted and in black frames as seen here, flanking the bigger piece 🙂

SOLD! Custodian of the World Within

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Fishing Boat #4. Purchase HERE

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Fishing Boat #2. Purchase HERE

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Begin Again. Purchase HERE

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Fishing Boat #1. Purchase HERE

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Deep Dive. Purchase HERE

Into the West. Purchase HERE

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SOLD! Weathered

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Every Storm Runs Out Of Rain. Purchase HERE

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SOLD! Rest

Winter/Spring 2020 News

Art, Exhibition, Film, Gallery, Narrative, Speaking, Story

Just posted my Winter/Spring 2020 Newsletter which provided the following list of upcoming art shows and film screenings.  If you’re interested in subscribing, click here to view it and select “Subscribe” in the top/left corner.  (I send out 2-3 newsletters a year).

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Upcoming Art Exhibits:

THE CLOUD ROOM
“Showing Signs of Wear”
Solo Show

March 2020
Opening Reception & Artist Talk: March 12, 6-9pm
Capitol Hill Art Walk
* This gorgeous space includes a bar,
so this will be a 21+ event.

 

ART XCHANGE GALLERY
Sense Us 2020
Juried Group Show
March-April 2020
Opening Reception: March 5, 5-8pm
Second Reception:  April 2, 5-8pm
Pioneer Square Art Walk

 

CENTER ON CONTEMPORARY ART (COCA) GALLERY
20/20 Vision“: Juried Member Show
Nichole DeMent (Juror)
March-April 2020
Opening Reception: March 5, 6-9pm
Pioneer Square Art Walk

 

COLUMBIA CITY GALLERY
Featured Artist
May-June 2020
Opening Reception: May 16, 5-7pm

 

CONFLUENCE GALLERY
Twisp, WA
The Stories We Tell
August 29 – October 5, 2020
Fall Art Walk & Studio Tour

*Please note, you can see my art year round at Columbia City Gallery.
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Art In Shops

Last year, Jessica Ghyvoronsky put out a call for artists for her Art In Shops program.  I was lucky enough to be 1 of 12 artists selected for this roster, and look forward to having my work exhibited in the following cafes and businesses in the Seattle Metropolitan Area throughout the year:

 

BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP
March 2020

JEWELBOX CAFE
April 2020

THIRD CULTURE COFFEE
July 2020

ANTIOCH UNIVERSITY
October-December 2020

SPACECRAFT ART CENTER
November 2020


Film Screenings

Happy to share some local screening events. If you’ve been meaning to see A Lot Like You, this is the perfect opportunity. This film is best seen with an audience because the conversation that follows is exquisite!

 

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Feb. 25, 7pm (Doors at 6pm):Come join us for a screening & discussion of A Lot Like You at McMenamin’s Anderson School in Bothell.

March 25th, 7-9pmSankofa Film Society will be hosting a free screening event of A Lot Like You at Wa Na Wari from 7-9pm. Light refreshments will help fuel our in-depth discussion following the film.

March 26th, 7-9pmSankofa Film Society will be hosting a screening & discussion of A Lot Like You at my favorite neighborhood movie theater, Columbia City Ark Lodge Cinema (TICKETS HERE). Proceeds from this event will benefit Wa Na Wari.

 

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Origin Story ~ Slow Time (and the Joy Within)

#NoPanelLeftBehind, Art, Origin story, Works In Progress
Sept. 17, 2019: Hitting the reset button by scribbling on and laying down tons of color on old encaustic paintings that were going nowhere.  #NoPanelLeftBehind

September 18: Not my plan at all. But hunting through my doodle scaps, I found my elephant silhouette and couldn’t resist. This will likely get painted over on Friday,..but I’m leaving it today, because it’s bringing me joy.
December 1: Dreaming of going home to Tanzania so much lately.  It’s been 4+ years since our last family trip to Mt Kilimanjaro to see my parents.  Counting down the days…
December 5: The elephant silhouette has disappeared under layers metallic graphite, silver and gold.  And today, with the addition of several whites, this Quiet emerged.  Letting it rest here for now.


December 7:  Adding layers of quiet tinted whites.

January 13, 2020: Seeing the piece with fresh eyes, the piece felt like it was suffocating under the whites.  So I pulled out my oil pastels to disrupt the preciousness and force me to find a new way forward.

January 21:  After several day of laying down paint then scraping it off, I finally feel like this piece can breathe.  Love seeing the trace remains of the elephant silhouette below the surface.  Now I need to set this painting aside…hang it on my wall, out of harm’s way, until the next steps become clear.

January 24:  Looking at this piece on my kitchen wall, I kept seeing weathered fence boards.  So I painted the boards varying shades of white…and a pop of blue for good measure.

February 1: As I stain the edges, I’m struck by the visual texture vs. flat surface of this painting.
February 11: Last Thursday, I shared my freshly finished piece, “Slow Time (and the Joy Within)”. That night, Jennifer reached out to me via IG asking if the piece was still available. She wanted to buy it for her husband’s birthday, so we scheduled a time for her to come see it in person. She fell in love with it, but was worried it might not work in the spot she had in mind. Since she had bought work from me in the past, I let her take it home to try it out. Happy to say, her husband loved his gift, and they ended up finding the perfect place for it.

❤️ So long, “Slow Time”. I’m smiling at the irony of your name given that this is the shortest amount of time I’ve ever spent with a completed piece! What a joy knowing you will be well-loved in your new home. Shine On!

The Paths We Travel

Art, Exhibition, family, Gallery, Narrative, Origin story, Story

Artist Statement

As a kid, I found it comforting to think about how wildly the universe had to conspire just so I could be here. I would lie in bed and think about all the serendipitous moments that had to happen just so my Tanzanian father and South Korean mother could meet, halfway around the world, and have me. I would think about the epic stories of love, betrayal, sacrifice, migration, survival ~ all the random encounters and deliberate life choices extending back generations that had to happen just so my parents could meet and have me.

And as I got older, made friends and met their families, I realized that everyone has stories that are epic in scope ~ even if their families have lived in the same town for generations.

Every one of us is the embodiment of the life stories of our parents, our grandparents, our ancestors. We carry their stories forward with us, whether we’re conscious of them or not. But make no mistake ~ we are all here because of these stories.

Making art is how I make sense of these stories I’ve inherited about who I am and where I come from…and the stories I’m now passing down. As a mother, I feel compelled to think about where I stand in this flow of cultural inheritance and legacy. These paintings reflect the internal and external landscapes that have been traversed just to reach this point where our paths could cross in this gallery, in this city, at this moment in time…

Currently on exhibit at
Columbia City Gallery (Seattle)
through Jan. 5, 2020.

FALL Exhibits

Art, Exhibition, Gallery

It’s been a full and busy year!! I am 13 shows down…and now with Fall in full swing, I have 4 more to go. If you’re in Seattle between now and the end of the year, here’s hoping you can make it to one of these openings! Would LOVE to see you there!🙂

“Envisioning a Brighter Future”
Group show
King Street Station
303 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104 – 4th floor
Opening Reception: Thurs, Nov. 7 from 5-7pm
Pioneer Square First Thursday Art Walk
Exhibit hours: Tue-Sat, 10-6
Exhibit ends: January 11, 2020

“The Paths We Travel”
Group show
Columbia City Gallery
4864 Rainier Ave S., Seattle WA 98118
Opening Reception: Sat, Nov. 16 from 5-7pm
Exhibit ends: January 5, 2020

NW Mystics 2019: Women of the Pacific Northwest
Center on Contemporary Art (COCA) Gallery
114 Third Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98104
Opening Reception: Thur., Dec 5 from 5-8pm
Pioneer Square First Thursday Art Walk
Exhibit ends: December 21, 2019

All Around Town: Celebrating Our City
2019 Winter Art Show
Windermere Mount Baker
4919 S Genesee St, Seattle, WA 98118
Opening Reception: Thurs, Dec 5 from 5:30-8pm
Exhibit hours: Mon-Fri 9-5, Sat & Sun 10-4
Show will be up thru Feb 2020

Proletariat Pizza – solo show

Art, Exhibition, family

I’m excited to be showing my work at Proletariat Pizza for the next couple of months!! Last year, Sandra the manager found me on Instagram. She reached out and asked if I would be interested in showing my work at her restaurant. The aesthetic, the vibe, the expansive wall space–not to mention, the pie!  It was an easy YES!!!

This week, Tom and I installed 24 pieces — including 4 new pieces fresh off the easel.  All paintings are for sale. My art, on these walls, looks fantastic!

Proletariat Pizza
9622-A 16th Ave SW 98106
Happy Hour Reception
Wed., August 7
4-7pm

This space is super family-friendly. We’ll have a couple tables reserved. If you’re in town/in the neighborhood, please come on by! I would love to see you!! 🍕🍻🖼

Show will be up through September 30.


The Scaled-Down Truth

Art, Exhibition, Installation, Narrative, Residency, Story, Works In Progress

“The Truth Has No Borders” is a multimedia piece that integrates 40 years of writing, photography, music, film, and art into a single cohesive, immersive installation.

It was originally created to exhibit in a shipping container for COCA’s 30-day Storefronts [UN]contained Residency in 2016. Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to revisit this project, and fully realize my vision. But I’ve been struggling with how to convey the impact of this piece in grant/exhibition applications.

I shot this test video on-site when I only had the first two layers of paper panels up (I wanted to see how the projection & sound worked in the space.) The final installation had 7 layers of paper panels.  But my dream is to FILL the room with floor-to-ceiling encaustic paper panels — a layered paper screen embedded with images of my Mom’s Korean family, that are illuminated by the projected moving imagery of my Dad’s Chagga family on Kilimanjaro.

When I brought this dilemma to Larry Calkins, he suggested building a model of the project to film. Brilliant!!  And so my diorama project begins…(projection and sound to follow).