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 2 – 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Art

Yesterday was a super productive day in the studio!  What a rush. I’m so grateful for this incentive to get back in the studio, and focus on just Doing The Work, without being precious about it.

Here is painting 2 of 30.

Bird of Paradise – 9″x12″ Oil, cold wax, pigment on Arches Oil Paper (2018)

Day 1 – 30 paintings in 30 days

Art

In the studio this morning, I was listening to Artists Helping Artists podcast about Leslie Saeta’s 30-in-30 challenge (completing 30 paintings in 30 days). The thought of completing one painting every day in September was inspiring–and just the kick I needed to shake the post-summer vacation fog and get me ready for the Artist Trust Pop Up Art Market and COCA’s 24hr Art Marathon…both happening later this month.

Lately, I’ve been falling in love with the cold wax medium.  So my theme for this challenge will be quick studies of oil/cold wax on 9″×12″ Arches Oil Paper…pieces produced in a single sitting…except for my first painting below, which is a painting on wood panel that I completed this morning.

So here we go…Painting 1 of 30.

Cliff Dwelling – 18″x 24″x 1.5″ Encaustic, oil, cold wax, india ink, pastel, robin’s egg, coffee grounds, patina (2018)

 

Upcoming Featured Show

Art, Exhibition

EMERGE

: to become known
: to come into being through evolution
: to rise from an obscure or inferior position or condition
Four artists explore what it means to EMERGE through
encaustic, photography, acrylics and ceramics.

COLUMBIA CITY GALLERY
April 4-May 13, 2018

Please join me at the Opening Reception!
Sat. April 7, 2018
5-7pm

West Seattle Art Walk

Art, Exhibition

Framed my first piece today, then dropped it off at the studio.  I’m excited to part of this student exhibit, showcasing a diverse array of work by artists who have taken classes at Northwest Encaustic Studio.  If you’re in West Seattle, I hope you’ll come by, and enjoy 3 floors of art as part of West Seattle’s Art Walk in July and August.

Violin_framed_SM

Northwest Encaustic
7150 44th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136
West Seattle Art Walk
July 13th & August 10th, 6-9pm