9elephants

Art, Exhibition, Narrative, Origin story, Story, Works In Progress

Backstory:  Twenty years ago, I was reeling from the upheaval of my Saturn returns. So I rented a beach cabin and spent 4 days in silent meditation, writing about what values I wanted to guide my life choices.

photo by Zorn B. Taylor

I came away from that retreat having whittled my list down to nine values…values that my spirit animal exemplifies. I got a tattoo of 9elephants as a reminder of the Being I aspired to be.

The theme of 9elephants has since informed my activism and filmmaking. It’s the name of my production company. These values formed the cornerstone of our wedding vows 16 years ago, and the foundation of my parenting principles 11 years ago. And so I suppose it was just a matter of time before this recurring theme manifested in art form…

 

5/8/18 – Starting my new biggie piece (36″²) while watching Hari Kondabolu’s Netflix special that dropped today!!! Wood glue burn of my Chagga nickname written in Korean — which will hint at land masses in the final piece. The paint palette will simply be the colors of the Tanzanian flag.  And so it begins, again…

 

5/8/18 – End of Day 1: I’ve been having WAY too much fun painting a background watercolor.  Most of this will be obscured when this is all done. But I am a big believer that all the energy, attention and intention I pour into each layer will be felt in the final piece. The beauty is in the making…

 

 5/12/18 – Saturday morning, added layers of encaustic and oils to this Biggie piece today. Reminds me of Tanzanian kitenge cloth.

 

5/18/18 – After putting this painting in Time Out for a week, I had a huge AHA! moment while writing this morning. My way forward with piece suddenly became clear. And now, instead of playing hookie today like I’d planned, I am completely Obsessed with bringing my vision to life!!! Folks who’ve known me a while can probably see where this piece is going…

 

5/18/18 – Looong day laying down the first layer of oils&cold wax over the encaustic mixed media base. Will take the weekend to let this piece set while I get to know these guys.

 

5/28/18 – Gilded my elephants in gold today. The diffuse light from our cloudy Seattle sky is just what these guys needed to bring out their bling 🙂

Shine On!

Art, Exhibition, Narrative, Origin story, Works In Progress

Every painting has an origin story.  My initial vision for this blog was to show the evolution of pieces, from start to finish.  (If I could, I would name my blog, “The Journey Is Everything.”)  You can track the progress of all my pieces on my Instagram feed.

Here is the origin story of Shine On – my rusty sunflower piece, which has taken on many forms over the past year…

8/12/17 – Wrote out my morning meditation on engaged, contemplative imagination. #BeginAgain

 

8/14/17 – Morning Meditation (final).  For my COCA Residency, I took this 24″x24″ white painting, and brought it to life in a 90″x 90″ 3D installation ~ The Truth Has No Borders.  This shipping container installation combined 40 years of work in writing, music, film and art into a single exhibit examining identity, family, culture and migration.

 

2/10/18 – I lied earlier when I posted the white painting, Morning Meditation, and said it was my “Final” layer. The following week, I was bored to death of it. So I taped it back up, and went back to work.

 

2/12/18 – Shoreline. Came downstairs to find the kid laying out wax scraps on my painting, telling me it needed more texture. So I spent the day fusing the wax scraps onto the painting, and adding silver leaf.

 

7/19/18 – And now, for something completely different.  I scraped and torched the Shoreline piece all the way down to the panel. 🔥🤩  The free write on the base of this panel was suffocating under the layers of valiant, earnest effort. Now it (and I) can finally breathe again.#BlowtorchTherapy #NoPanelLeftBehind #BeginAgain

 

7/31/18 – Today I return to a mostly empty studio, and start the day by making sunflower seeds ~a perfect meditation for beginning again.

 

8/1/18 – Got my first coat of rust on the sunflower seeds.

 

8/2/18 – Conquering fears today about not being able to draw by just painting these petals on free hand. More coats to follow. 😅 (I needed some way to pass time while the second coat of rust dried on the sunflower seeds!)

 

10/16/18Shine On! Applying new knowledge about color mixing to this piece, which is vying for a spot in pop-up exhibit/talk next week (“My Life in 24 Frames“, 10/23 at 6pm, Columbia City Gallery).

 

Day 30 – 30 paintings in 30 days

Art, Solo Series

wp-15383213005714927054244311169479.pngUPDATE: This shop was live for the month of October only,
and is now offline.
The remaining SOLO pieces are available for sale
through Columbia City Gallery (Seattle).

.     .     .     .     .

Today is day 30 of 30!!! So grateful for this daily studio and writing practice that helped me stay grounded through this challenging week…

Now that my online store has launched, I want to find new ways to use my art in service to my activism. So I’m excited to share that I will be donating 20% of the proceeds of my SOLO sales to the Coalition Ending Gender Based Violence.

So you can treat yourself to a color-filled painting that lifts your spirits while buying direct from the artist, and know that a portion of your money will go to support survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

Thank you for kindly for your consideration.

And with that, I give you my final painting ~ #30 of 30:

SOLO #28 – 9″x12″ Oil & cold wax on Arches Oil Paper (2018)

Day 29 – 30 paintings in 30 days

Art, Solo Series

I can’t believe how many creative adventures have resulted from my seemingly random, last minute decision to jump on this bandwagon.

Painting and writing every day breathed new life into my flailing blog, produced much-needed inventory for my first art market, developed the scaffolding for my new talk, and helped me overcome some creative blocks.

Thank You for all your encouraging online and in-person comments about my posts! Many of you sweetly asked whether these paintings are available for purchase. And so, to show my gratitude for your joining me on this creative journey, I AM LAUNCHING MY ONLINE SHOP!!!

I have loved making these SOLO pieces. Every painting is original, and impossible to duplicate. There are even additional paintings here that didn’t make it onto my blog.

If you see something you love, please use the Coupon Code 30in30 to get 15% off your entire order. Free shipping on all orders in the US.

And so, with gratitude, I give you painting 29 of 30:

SOLO #26 – 9″x12″ Oil & Cold wax on Arches Oil Paper (2018)

Day 28 – 30 paintings in 30 days

Art, Solo Series

Yesterday was hard, I won’t lie.  I’ve been listening a lot, and bearing witness to what my loved ones have been holding.  And today, I intend to do more of the same.

With love, I give you painting 28 of 30:

20180926_205417-015244591210161262034.jpeg

SOLO #25 – 9″x12″ Oil & cold wax on Arches Oil Paper (2018)

Day 27 – 30 paintings in 30 days

Art, Solo Series

Watching Christine Blasey-Ford’s testimony, I’m feeling inspired by her composure and bravery. As a fellow Holton-Arms alumnae (and survivor), today’s painting is in our school colors of blue & white.

Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam ~ I will find a way, or make one.

Here is painting 27 of 30:

SOLO #24 – 9″x12″ Oil & cold wax on Arches Oil Paper (2018)

Day 26 – 30 paintings in 30 days

Art, Solo Series

One of the greatest gifts of the digital age is the removal of barriers between artists/creators and their audience.  No longer is there a singular path to (or definition of) “success”, with gatekeepers at every milestone.  The floodgates are wide open — and while not always to my liking, I think we ultimately benefit from seeing the breadth and depth of work being created around the world every day.

So chart your own course.  And be smart about what/who you give your time, attention and energy to. Focusing on the people right in front of you who are moved by your work will open more doors than banging on that One Door that refuses to let you in.

Go Where the Energy Is.

Here is painting 26 of 30:

SOLO #23 – 9″×12″ Oil & cold wax on Arches Oil Paper.

Day 24 – 30 paintings in 30 days

Art, Solo Series

As I get ready to return to the lecture circuit, I have been thinking about how to articulate why making art that is deeply personal feels so politically charged.

Even if the themes in my art aren’t overtly political, daring to believe that my perspective — as a queer, mixed-race, black-skinned daughter of immigrants, as a rape survivor and a middle-aged mother — would matter to anyone but me is a revolutionary act.

Daring to believe that the world through my eyes is relevant and beautiful and worthy of consideration, of being framed and beautifully lit, hung on gallery walls or in people’s homes is an act of defiance, especially at a time when social/cultural/political forces are hell bent on eradicating all that I embody and love. This ‘daring to believe’ is precisely why I create art…

Here is painting 24 of 30:

SOLO #21 – 9″x12″ Oil & cold wax on Arches Oil Paper

Day 23 – 30 paintings in 30 days

Art, Solo Series

My heart is full after the COCA Auction yesterday. My artist community grew exponentially, literally overnight. And friendships that started at the Art Marathon deepened last night as we got to appreciate, with fresh eyes, the stunning array of work we collectively produced in 24 hours.

I had the pleasure of meeting collectors who loved my work, and people who have been following my creative journey online. Who knew??! And both my paintings found new homes. Imagining my works living in spaces where they are loved fills me with so much joy!

While I relish the solitude of my studio practice, this event was a welcome reminder of how interdependent our lives are. My ability to thrive is inextricably linked to you living your best and fullest life. My work needs your love to exist. Feeling this truth deeply today…

Here is painting 23 of 30:

SOLO #20 – 9″x12″ Oil & cold wax on Arches Oil Paper