Saturday, April 30, 2011

Artsy Saturday

Amy-Ellen Flatchestedmama Trefsger (
photo by Adam L. Weintraub)

Despite the potential of sun tomorrow (with a promised 66 degrees!), I'm feeling very grey these days. I'm certainly not the only one; I don't recall ever hearing more complaining about the weather in the 14 years I've lived here. I know we all felt a bit of relief when Cliff Mass confirmed that we weren't just being exceptionally whiny.

In her annual show of solidarity (rebellion/despair/protest?) with the weather, local artist Amy-Ellen Flatchestedmama Trefsger does a month long performance piece called Monochromatic May. For 31 days, she can wear only the color grey (in all its shades). But deciding what is and what's isn't grey is more difficult than you might think and so Amy-Ellen created a Color Court to serve as the final arbiter. Today, from 4:30 to 6:30, come to Vermillion to be cast your vote of nay or grey.

Super Star, 2008 Olafur Eliasson (photo by Mark Woods)
Super Star2008Brass, color effect filter glass, steel, halogen bulb
39 3/8" each dimension, installation view at Western Bridge

Western Bridge's Light in Darkness closes today. Go between noon and 6pm to see works by Benjamin Bergmann, Andy Coolquitt, Martin Creed, Jason Dodge, Olafur Eliasson, Spencer Finch, Hadley+Maxwell, Eli Hansen and Oscar Tuazon, Jeppe Hein, Euan Macdonald, Roy McMakin, João Penalva, Will Rogan, Michael Sailstorfer, Crispin Spaeth, Mungo Thomson, and Claude Zervas.

Blue Studio by Paul Thorpe, 33” x 44", oil on canvas

It's also the last day (between 2 and 5pm today) to see Paul Thorpe's show. Read his back story and get directions to the SODO gallery here.

Boating with Clyde + Hedreen Gallery = Flotilla Summer

This sounds like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

THE HEDREEN GALLERY and BOATING WITH CLYDE present: Flotilla Summer. Join us at Gasworks Park this Saturday, April 30th, at 2pm for a special FACE TIME show hosted by seattle filmmaker, musician, and arts instigator CLYDE PETERSON. This afternoon maritime music will feature performances by YOUR HEART BREAKS, SLASHED TIRES, BLANKET TRUTH, and IJI.

Polar Bear, 2009 by Nick Cave
Mixed media (image via Jack Shainman Gallery)

Yes, we've had several Spring moments so far but I'm missing explosions of color. If I wasn't already committed to interviewing Pride Foundation scholars all day (one of my favorite days of the year!), I would probably be swinging by Nick Cave's Meet Me at the Center of the Earth exhibition at SAM to get a quick pick-me-up from its riotous color.

"Mini Weak Signal 2" by Cait Willis (image via Ghost Gallery)
5x5 acrylic on panel

Cait Willis has an amazingly weird/amazingly awesome show called Weak Signals, Glitches, Criminal Minds & Sly Stallone up at Ghost Gallery through May 6th. Unfortunately, Cait Willis (and Amber Anderson) were recently in a car wreck with an uninsured drunk driver and suffered serious injuries. There will be a benefit on May 22nd with proceeds going to medical and legal expenses but in the meantime, I know that as an artist, the biggest way you could support me is to buy my art. So if you're in the market for art by an extremely affordable emerging artist or want to buy someone (like me!) an awesome present, you should swing by Ghost Gallery. Or preview the whole show online here. There will also be an informal closing reception this Wednesday from 6-8pm. Speedy recoveries to both Cait and Amber! xo


And if you find yourself at the Tashiro Kaplan building today, artist Brian Murphy will be having a sale (of both his art and art he's collected during his time in Seattle) as he gets ready to move. And SOIL will be having a informal closing party for DUG II and Chris Buening's Backspace show tonight from 5-6pm.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jesse Higman / Best of Art Walk Winner

The Bone Orchid, 2000 by Jesse Higman, 48" x 96"
Interference acrylic thinned with water, poured on masonite

A big congratulations to Jesse Higman for winning City Arts Best of Art Walk Award for Spring of 2011. I loved his Bone Orchid piece from Vermillion this year so it's great to see it getting some love.

Jesse + me at his opening at Vermillion

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Non-sufficient Funds / Vermillion

Still image from Paul Rucker's "Proliferation" © 2010

The prison system is a mess and our War on Drugs is a sham! That's as far as today's political commentary will go. But I really do encourage you to swing by Vermillion for this great show of art by 12 prison-artists from the Washington State Reformatory in Monroe.
This exhibition of more than 50 acrylic paintings, graphite drawings and one video installation address abstract, figurative, allegorical and spiritual concerns. Non-Sufficient Funds is the culmination of over a year’s worth of weekly studio sessions within the prison and the brainchild of Pete Brook, a dedicated volunteer and board member of the University Beyond Bars.
Paul Rucker will be showing Proliferation, a video about the growth US Prison system set to original music, and Buddy Bunting will show a 13 foot long painting of a prison.

There will be an opening reception at Vermillion tomorrow (Thursday) from 5-8pm.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Aaron Smith / Coterie of the Wooly-Woofter

Chippy (detail), 2008, oil on panel, 28" x 28"

I really have to get a handle on why I'm so obsessed with thick, impasto painting. Every time I find a new artist who paints like this, I can't help excitedly sending them fan mail. They've all been so sweet but it's getting embarrassing.

2 Beards, 2009, oil on panel, 60" x 48"

These paintings by Aaron Smith are so beautiful. I love them all but I think I have an extra soft spot for his Musee and Mucksnipes series. He'll be showing at Sloan Fine Art for the month of June - a great excuse to get to NYC and see them in person!

Gawpers, 2008, oil on panel, 48" x 36"

Coterie of the Wooly-Woofter will be, "...a bad-ass neo-dandy beardo brigade from beyond time. Part reality, part invention of the artist, the “Coterie of the Wooly-Woofter” exemplifies a convergence of spectacular subcultures - from Dandyism, Freak Folk, Steam Punk and Bear Culture, to Beard and Mustache enthusiasts - that revel in the exaggeration of masculinity's archetypes and encourage men to play freely with past forms of male identity.

If you want to read more about Aaron and his work, here's a great profile on him from The Advocate.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"No wonder there are so many Christians..."

Happy Easter! Here's one of my favorite King Missile songs, Jesus was way cool.
Jesus was way cool, everybody liked Jesus
Everybody wanted to hang out with him
Anything he wanted to do, he did
He turned water into wine and if he wanted to
He could have turned wheat into marijuana
Or sugar into cocaine or vitamin pills into amphetamines...

...But then some people got jealous of how cool he was
So they killed him but then he rose from the dead
He rose from the dead,
Danced around then went up to heaven
I mean, that's so cool! Jesus was way cool.
No wonder there are so many Christians.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Todd Horton / Smith & Vallee

Owl Posse by Todd Horton

It's probably a no-brainer that I love Todd Horton's squeegeed animals.
"Best known for his squeegeed animals that are at once in motion and suspended in time, each of Horton's paintings embody chance, inspiration, destruction, and life." via
Deer Posse by Todd Horton

From Here to the Horizon is a new body of work focusing on the artist's brief move from Bow to Point Roberts. It's the perfect reason to visit Smith & Vallee up in Edison (a great gallery in an awesome town).
From Here to the Horizon by Todd Horton
May 7 - May 29, opening reception on May 7 (5-8pm)

Cumulus Project

Stump Stool

They rarely show up in my work but the truth is I love anything cloud-related (my website is called 72clouds after all). So it's almost a given that I'm going to love something called Cumulus Project. The fact that it was started by some awesome friends of friends doesn't hurt.

Hand-Stitched Chain-link Quilt

Cumulus Project is an online-only art & design project that offers small editions of beautiful, one-of-a-kind items. I would have loved the chain-link quilt shown above but my bank account always seems to be empty when these items are posted.
"Based in Vancouver, this on-line concept store offers just one object for sale at any given time. Each object is one of a kind. Once the current object sells, the next item will be revealed."
For Betram Charles: Trivet

Their current item up for sale is a trivet which was inspired by, "the wall mural patterns in B.C. Binning's home." I love it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seattle Mariners vs Detroit Tigers

I must have spring fever because for the first time in a decade I said yes to a Mariners game. If you even barely know me it's probably already apparent that sports aren't my thing. But you know what I do like? Sitting in the Diamond Club and getting free food and drinks (yes, alcohol, too!) delivered to my seat while I people-watch. I'm surprised by how excited I am.

image via

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Classes & Lectures

There are some great lectures and classes coming up. Here are couple that might be interesting to you.

Caravaggio's Medusa

Seattle's own art provocateur Sharon Arnold has been working hard to put together a seminar on The Gaze, A Contemporary View of the Figure. Over the period five Wednesday evenings (7-8:30pm), Sharon will present a, "contemporary view of the figure in art history and how it has changed over the centuries. You also explore how “the Gaze,” manifested through French philosopher Jacques Lacan in mid-20th century post-structuralism, erupts into controversial feminist theory of the 1970s and 1980s." It'll be really interesting and is $60 for the series (or $14 at the door per evening).

"Clown-Dad" by Doug Parry, oil on canvas, 77 x 99 inches

Artist Doug Parry will be teaching a 6 week course on Painting the Figure over at Kirkland Arts Center. "This class teaches us to paint what we see, rather than what we think we see. Painting live models is a time-tested, classic academic method for teaching students the skill of representational rendering via drawing, painting, sculpting and photography. This class challenges students to recognize their artistic tendencies, habits— both good and bad— and helps them form efficient studio practices while strengthen their visual perception."


And don't forget about all the amazing courses that Cornish will be offering for teens this summer. I'll even be teaching a class on Fiber Sculpture and Assemblage. Sign up by May 13th to make sure you get the class(es) you want!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Clay Project / Seward Park Clay Studio

Pabst Can, 2011 by Joey Veltkamp

If you are looking for something to do tonight, Seward Park Clay Studio will be hosting their annual Clay Project fundraiser this evening from 6-9pm. $10 raffle tickets might win you a weekend getaway in Index, a handmade dinnerware set or a beautiful pitcher.

Truck, 2011 by Rachel Maxi

There will be lots of great plates available for purchase by folks like Fay Jones, Elizabeth Sandvig, Rachel Maxi, Susanna Bluhm, Sherry Markovitz, Patti Warashina and more.

Tonight from 6-9pm at UW's University Club. $20 / full details here.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cherry BLOSSOM / Henry Art Gallery

image via

I don't really have regrets (though as I get older, I get closer to having a few), but if I could back and do things over I wouldn't have waited 12 years before I made it to the UW to see the cherry blossoms in bloom. It's other-worldly! If you are waiting for a formal invitation, the Henry's Cherry BLOSSOM is probably as close as your going to get.

In conjunction with their show, Shadows of a Fleeting World: Pictorial Photography and Seattle Camera Club, the Henry has created an afternoon of tours, photography, cherry blossoms and poetry!

Events are happening between 1 and 4pm Saturday, April 23 and here are more details. Free with museum entrance.

image by Gretchen Bennett

My favorite thing is when they snow down on you!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

City Arts Best of Art Walk Awards

Structure Brooch with Inclusions by Sarah Loertscher
Sterling silver, stainless steel, champagne diamond, 2 x 2 x 1 1/4"
Neighborhood: West Seattle / Venue: Click! Design That Fits

Remember the City Art Art Walk Awards and After Parties that I hosted last night year? They're back but with some great new improvements! I couldn't host them this year (trying to focus on making my own art in 2011) so that allowed for lots of revamping. Last year, we focused on Pioneer Square (with the occasional trip up to Capitol Hill) since the majority of galleries, studios and art spaces were located there.

This year, City Arts Magazine really wanted to make this city-wide art award and so, "Together with our 2011 partners, the Art Walk Consortium, businesses and galleries that participate in neighborhood art walks can nominate a favorite piece of art for each month." Each quarter, 6 finalists will be selected from these nominations. Spring's final six have been selected and the party is happening April 28th at FRED WILDLIFE REFUGE. There will be free Blue Moon Beer so you have to have RSVP ( with subject: Art Walk). Due to liquor laws, they have to be real strict about this and since I'm no longer affiliated, you can't text me the night of to come outside and get you in, so don't forget the RSVP part.

Congrats to finalists Kate Protage, Sarah Loertscher, Carla G, Marty Gordon, Greg Boudreau and Jesse Higman! Come decide who will win $1,000! More details here!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

28 red cars

I love this post about 28 red cars over at Pacific Standard. Strath and Emily always post the best stuff!

Lina Raymond / Portalis

Monopolized, 2011 by Lina Raymond
acrylic on canvas, 48" x 48"

I love Lina Raymond's new monstrously large painting of a Monopoly board. It's part of her new show, Sugar on a Burn at Portalis in Ballard. The show is up through June 3rd.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Good Line: Artists on Poems / Hugo House

Dripping Loblollies by Liz Tran, 2011,
inspired by the poem "The Nervous Forest"

Sorry for the lack of posting lately...I've been sick as a dog and have been spending most of my time in bed. I'm pretty sure most of you already know about this upcoming show at Richard Hugo House but just in case...

A Good Line: Artists on Poems is inspired by National Poetry Month. Local artists were invited to select a poem and then create an artistic response to it. It's a dense show with work by lots of interesting artists like Gala Bent, Sharon Arnold, Troy Gua, Counsel Langley, Kim Drake, Ryan Molenkamp, Amanda Manitach, Erin Shafkind, Nola Avienne, David Lasky, Liz Tran, Shaun Kardinal, Jed Dunkerley and Ben Beres.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Jason Hirata @ Violet Strays

I'm really liking the online gallery Violet Strays, the latest project by Serrah Russell and Alyssa Volpigno. Each week a different artist will be showcased, beginning with inaugural artist Robert Yoder. This week's artist is Jason Hirata. There is no archive...just like shows in real life, if you miss them, that's it. So make sure to check out this nod to temporality.
Everything is wandering, rootless.
When a stray idea shows up on your
you’re obliged to restart
the engine, let it warm up, and
take off to the next destination.
You don’t have to take these strays
in, they don’t want your comfort.
To just pass by as if the whole
ordeal was a fading afterimage
is the only dream of the violet strays.
~ Jessica Powers ~

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

1st Thursday, April 2011

Studio Chairs 2, 2010 by Eric Elliott
Oil on canvas, 52" x 42" (image via JHG)

James Harris Gallery will be showing Residual Forms by Eric Elliott and Boys by Akio Takamori.

SOIL presents their 2nd annual invitational DUG where members each pick an artist for a group show. Artists include Jaimie Healy, Robert Yoder, Shaw Osha, Steven Miller and many more. Chris Buening presents Wasted Time in the Backspace.

Path with Art will be having their Spring Exhibit in the TK Community Room. These are great - don't miss!

Gallery4Culture will be showing tomb, new work by no touching ground, nko, and dan hawkins.

Flatcolor Gallery will be showing Diamond Minds by Jeff "Weirdo" Jacobson, along with Rusty Rails by Joey Nix in the loft.

Juan Alonso opens up his studio to celebrate his birthday with his annual fundraiser, benefiting Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest this year.

Catherine Person Gallery will be showing the work of Rumi Koshino, Maura Donegan, David Hytone
in the group exhibit, Presence.

MONKEY (Map), 2010 by Joe Biel (image via GKG)
Watercolor and latex on panel, 12 x 9 inches

Greg Kucera Gallery will be showing New Work by Joe Biel and Kingdom by Darren Waterston.

Cable Griffith will be showing Drawings and Paintings at OK Hotel.

The Topstache Project continues their philanthropic party at the Piranha Shop (formerly Ouch My Eye). Live painting by Narboo and Starhead Boy.

PUNCH Gallery will be showing embroidery by Ries Niem in That's Not How I Remember It. Ries also made a large sculpture out of blue tarps where he'll be available for conversations during opening weekend.

xom fine woodworking/Cassie Hibbert Design! will be showing pendant lamps and fine woodworking. They'll also be hosting the reception for the 2011 Spring Storefront Artists and at 6pm Vincent Kitch, the new director of the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, will say a few words. The hosted reception is open to the public but please rsvp here.

Marie Gagnon has been busy these past 4 weeks and will be opening up her studio to show her recent explorations and ideas.

I love Jennifer Beedon Snow's paintings of lawns and pools - this will be her 6th show with Linda Hodges Gallery. Also showing, Patrick LoCicero.

Ohio Pool, 2011 by Jennifer Beedon Snow
Oil on Panel, 12" x 16" (image via LHG)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Natural Extremes by Paul Thorpe

Contour Figure 1 by Paul Thorpe
Charcoal on newsprint, 30 x 18

What drives an artist to make art? It's a question that frequently comes up but varies wildly from person to person. Some would argue that art is something that lives inside them and that they have no choice but to let it out. I've heard others say that they'd rather be dead than stop making art. My motivations aren't that dramatic but I do view art-making as a type of calling. And even though I've only been identifying as an artist for the past 5 years, I can't imagine ever doing anything else.

But art isn't meant to be forever for e
veryone. My mother spent a decade of her life making beautiful oil paintings of Northwest scenes and then one day over 15 years ago, she just put her brushes away. For her, making art was a temporary pursuit and when she was done, she was done and that was it.

Green Cup by Paul Thorpe
Oil on board, 5 x 6, Collection of Alfred Harris

Recently on a sunny day in the condo of Gary Hill, I had the pleasure of meeting Paul Thorpe. During our conversation, art came up and he mentioned that he was going to be showing some work soon. We talked a bit and later he forwarded me the show information which mentioned all this work was done in the '80s. I was curious why someone in construction was showing a body of art which was nearly 25 years old? Like most folks, it turns out Paul has an interesting story.

Influenced by his mother (who owned a gallery) and art camp teachers like esteemed Seattle artist MaryAnn Peters, Paul went to RISD upon graduation. “...during college the work was often just flowing. It’s almost like it wasn’t me doing it. The only limitation I had was how many hours there were in the day.” After a 2 year stint where he flourished, he transferred to Cooper Union. It was around this time, at age 21, when things unraveled and he dropped out, came home and realized that there were other professions where he could use his talents. Since then Paul has focused his creative energy into his woodworking, along with writing and performing.

But like many of us artists, Paul held on to the work. A couple of years ago, a friend told him a story about an artist's estate being put to the curb. “It prompted me to ask what was going to eventually become of all my art that I’ve stored all these years? I decided to finally give up the ambivalence I had toward it, of not having gone forward with it, and send it out into the world.”

He pulled the work back out and showed it to people from time to time. The response was enthusiastic (he did go to Cooper Union, after all)! It's the same thing I wondered about with my mother—how can someone so talented quit making art? Paul has answered that question before. “How could I explain that the person who made these no longer existed?”

Marine by Paul Thorpe
Oil on canvas, 21 x 19

But what did exist was the human need to say, “I was here. I contributed.” And as a poetic response to the current state of art (everything is so immediate now!), Paul wanted to reexamine and celebrate these works, made by another version of himself long ago—a time capsule to bridge adolescent with adult.

I asked Paul if there is any advice he'd offer his 18 year old self. “I would maybe just say that there is a special joy in putting paint on canvas or line on paper that’s not quite like anything else, to enjoy it as much as you can.”


Tuesday, April 5 from 6-9 p.m
The Eidelauer Picture Club*
2203 1 Ave South
Suite #110 (rear entrance), Seattle
Brief artist talk at 7:30pm

*Location: The gallery is wonderfully located, with lots of parking, but a little hard to find. It’s on 1st Avenue S, but you have to go to the back of the building – which is Utah Ave S. The easiest way to get there is go to the Krispy Kreme on 1st Ave, go west on Holgate 1 block, turn left on Utah and go south 1 1/2 blocks until you’re at the back of the white building (Outdoor Research is located on the front of the building). The entrance to the gallery is at the small flight of wood steps. This location is also about 1 ½ blocks north of Starbuck’s headquarters (but not approachable from that direction). I’m suggesting folks bring a snack or something to drink, or just come and hang out.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Could we start again, please?

"Could we start again, please" from Jesus Christ Superstar

You may or may not know that I love the movie Jesus Christ Superstar. It's only been recently that I've quit watching it monthly. I doubt I've seen any other movie more times (maybe Natural Born Killers or Holiday Inn).

I never remember my dreams but I do frequently wake up with songs in my head. And this was on my mind when I woke up today. It's not on my JC Superstar soundtrack but I just love it. Singer Yvonne Elliman also sang the 1977 hit, "If I Can't Have You" from Saturday Night Fever (which went all the way to #1). And the guy playing Peter (Philip Toubus) is my hair idol - all those blonde curls! It's not surprising to hear Toubus got his start on Broadway in a production of Hair. What might be more surprising is that after playing Peter in JC Superstar, Toubus become Paul Thomas, a celebrated porn actor who starred in over 500 movies (and directed over 300).

Jesus Christ Superstar - it's more interesting* than you think, people!

*That is not a recommendation - I quit telling people to watch this movie a long time ago. I build it up so much that it always disappoints.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Have fun tonight, Madison Square Garden!

Thanks for all the good times, LCD Soundsystem! I'm really going to miss you (and may your retirement be as long as Jay-Z's).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Robert Hardgrave / Fetherston Gallery

Ballard, 2010 by Robert Hardgrave (image via)
24" x 24", Acrylic on linen

I've said it before, but I think that Robert Hardgrave is making some of the most interesting paintings in the Northwest. In fact, I'd say they're downright visionary. His work is always recognizably Robert but each year he pushes out farther and farther into new forms and directions.
"Cultural motifs from around the world have inspired me for quite some time now. I’m interested in marks that are made on baskets, textiles, and vessels, and I utilize them as starting points when I paint. Most recently, I’ve been drawn to those marks, but also to the objects on which they are painted. This trajectory of thought has had enormous implications for me. I wonder how I can take this idea of the “object” in its sculptural form and present it as a painting. Can I present these objects as vessels for ideas? Can I take all that I see around me in the world and present it as something hopeful? Can I take my failures, the destroyed relics of my new transformative studio practice, and create triumphs of both form and spirit?" - Robert Hardgrave
Tonight, he'll be showing new work at Fetherston Gallery. The reception is on the early side (5-7pm), so don't show up late and miss it.