Monday, October 31, 2011

Gus Harper in The Muppets

The Muppets screen capture

So last night, I'm just hanging out and getting caught up on my bad tv (I had to fess up since it's on my screen capture) when an ad for the new Muppet movie, The Muppets, came on. And then all of a sudden I'm distracted by the huge Gus Harper painting hanging on the wall behind them!

Gus is a great artist living in LA who makes art on his terms. He was the second of my artist interviews (I can't believe it was just over 3 years ago). I checked in with him to confirm that it was really his art. It is, and he mentioned that he also has a piece in Zooey Deschanel's new tv show and he'll have some art (including one of his awesome deer skulls) in the upcoming Dallas remake. I wanted to hear more but he had to keep it brief because he's in El Salvador surfing. The life of an artist...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ways to name your art...

Sediment Cushion, 2011 by Ryan Molenkamp

For this month's Studio Group, Ryan Molenkamp showed us his latest work (coming soon to SAM Gallery). It's always interesting to get the back stories on work. Ryan talked about his reason for selecting the colors, what they're supposed to be, what they really are and then asked us for help naming some of the works. He blogged about our absurdist process over here. Also, don't miss his miniature icebergs at Ghost Gallery!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Juan Alonso's trip to Cuba

Cuarto, Santa Maria by Juan Alonso

Artist Juan Alonso just returned from a visit to Cuba, his first i
n 45 years. "I wondered what it would be like to return to the place where I was born. I had dreams; I had nightmares, and remained unsure of how I’d feel if I did go." You can read all about his 8 day visit here.

Corredor, Luyanó by Juan Alonso

Tonight from 6-pm, he will be presenting a slide show from this trip at Francine Seders Gallery. Juan has also just released a tender series of related photographic prints.

You can currently see Juan's work in Passages: Contemporary Latino/a Artists, a group show at Central Washington University.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Blanket Series...

Blanket #50

If we're FB friends, you're already aware of my Blanket series. They started about a month ago and now I'm up to over 80 of them. I'm not sure if I've ever been more obsessed with a project. I still haven't figured out what drives me to make multiples (cows, cans of Pabst, owls, ghosts). Maybe it's because making something without a potential mate makes me sad. Everyone needs a friend, even pieces of art.

I have a striped comforter and I love to lay in bed and look at how beautifully the fabric pools. (See, another way to incorporate naps into your artistic practice.) I've had this series in me for a couple of years but didn't want to infringe on Jenny Heishman's beautiful Drape paintings. Now I realize that fabric is everywhere. In fact, after I had made my first few drawings, Amanda Manitach sent me this image from a show she curated and I had to put the series away for a day or two. Not because we were both drawing fabric but because Derek's drawings were so dang good that there wasn't any reason for me to make mine!

In some ways, the Blankets feel like an extension of my Diary Drawing series, where I highlight objects from my daily life. What's more personal than a blanket? We sleep with them, and make love in them. They collect our dreams, our dirt, our tears. We cling to them when we're sick, when we're tired, when we're at our most vulnerable. There's a lot of residual energy there. Even the names we attach, "comforter", "security" blanket, reveal their importance.

Blanket #57 (Star Wars quilt)

My aunt (the one who owned the yarn store in Bozeman) made me this quilt when I was 8 (and obsessed with Star Wars). I've carted it around with me since I've left home and it's one of the only things I kept from my childhood (not even my Star Wars figures made the cut). I pull it out every time I get sick.

Blanket #69 (Ghost: Children of the Sun)

Some of the blankets are actually ghosts. (What's a ghost but a sheet with the eyes cut out and almost all blankets are imbued with spirits of loss.)

Blanket #74 (faux bear fur)

Others are poor disguised self-portraits. I'm not sure where the blankets are going next (maybe as abstracted oil paintings?) but I'm still feeling pretty energized and excited about the project. They're colored pencils on paper, each roughly 8.5 x 11 inches.

I'm currently working on revamping my website so until then, I'm only posting the new ones over at FB. But if you want to see them in person (or buy for $150 each) before then, get in touch.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Bear's Life

Last Friday, I got to participate in Culture Club: Visual Art Happy Hour, curated by Sierra Stinson and Klara Glosova. I made a new video called A Bear's Life (after an episode of Grizzly Adams). Here it is if you're interested. I recommend clicking to watch it full screen mode. It's really quiet, like love can can be. Then about midway through, things pick up once common interests are discovered.
The age old tale of man meets bear, man falls in love with bear. Watch their colorful love unfold against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest. See what happens when infatuation gives way to ardency. Opium, making love under the stars, rainbows, & the magick love can create.

Monday, October 17, 2011

SOIL Auction Online Preview

Sorry for the lack of blogging. I got hit with an abscessed tooth, had company for a few days and then have been drawing blankets, and prepping for City Arts Fest and the SOIL Auction. I doubt I'll be blogging that much until after Friday but I'll try to get up some preview images of items available at the Hoedown. Have you gotten your tickets yet? There's a $10 incentive to pre-purchase. People have donated some amazing pieces.
Timea Tihanyi: Fuzzy Anatomies

Brian Murphy: Forehead+Eye

Jana Brevick: Don't Hang Up

Darren Waterston: Shadow from The Flowering (The Fourfold Sense)
(donated by Greg Kucera Gallery)

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I love Dreamlets! I've only recently heard of them (something else that I totally missed the boat on because they're everywhere, even KOBO) but now I'm seeing them all over the place.

I can't resist their cute lips and wide eyes, especially Stanley's! Each one has a different personality so they're perfect for everyone. Need a jolt of creativity? Pick up Qoindo. And what sad friend wouldn't appreciate a visit from Beebee. $25 online or at your local store. And 1% of sales goes towards funding creativity.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SOIL Hoedown / October 21st

Please save the date because SOIL's annual auction will be happening Friday, October 21st from 6-10pm. This year, we've been working hard planning a really fun, old-fashioned hoedown with yummy food, a special drink called the Hootenanny, 3 silent auctions, a live auction with beloved auctioneer Laura Michalek, plus the occasional farm animal. The auction will be held at the SDC again this year so that means plenty of free parking! Git yer tickets over here. $20 pre/$30 door.

Showroom (2a), 2011 by Damien Gilley
laser-etched fluorescent plexi
(invited PDX artist, here's a recent review of his work)

This year, we have donations from over 60+ artists and galleries, including works by Iole Alessandrini, Julie Alpert, Judy Anderson, Nola Avienne, Ben Beres, Susanna Bluhm, Jana Brevick, Michael Carlson, Jaq Chartier, Bo Choi, Kimberly Clark, Chuck Close, Kenyon Cooke, Celeste Cooning, Michael Dickter, Curtis Erlinger, Damien Gilley, Klara Glosova, Lise Graham, Cable Griffith, Troy Gua, Colleen Hayward, Thom Heileson, James Hillard, Ben Hirschkoff, Christopher Martin Hoff, Etsuko Ichikawa, Derrick Jefferies, Claire Johnson, Todd Karam, Rumi Koshino, Margie Livingston, Patrick LoCicero, Perri Lynch, Kiki MacInnis, Amanda Manitach, Jess Marie, Jeffry Mitchell, Ryan Molenkamp, Saya Moriyasu, Brian Murphy, Nicholas Nyland, Matthew Offenbacher, Anne Petty, Phyllis Raye, Elise Richman, Amanda Ringstad, Serrah Russell, Carrie Scanga, Samantha Scherer, Shirley Schier, Seth Sexton, Lara Swimmer, Whiting Tennis, Timea Tihanyi, Stephanie Tomczak, Kimberly Trowbridge, Sylwia Tur, Joey Veltkamp, Laura Ward, and Darren Waterston.

untitled (Goethe effect), 2008 by Matthew Offenbacher
oil on canvas, 16 x 16"

In addition, we'll be having a special silent auction where you can Buy the Farm, the farm being a series of specially-made, farm-related art objects by SOIL members. I made small drawings of childhood objects from life in Montana; a John Deere hat (my aunt & uncle owned the local dealership), a bar of Lava soap, a gingham tablecloth and a can of Pabst. Plus, you can win lots of prizes in the game of Gettin' Lucky in the Hay. Saya's mini-shovels (made with old paintbrush handles and ceramic) are about the cutest thing ever! $5 to play--everyone's a winner.

Blanket #1 (Rainbow), 2011 by Joey Veltkamp
colored pencil on paper, 9" x 12"
(the original one that started all this blanket madness)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

LeDouxville Space / Jesse LeDoux

The grand opening for LeDouxville Space is right around the corner so you might want to save the date. Jesse LeDoux's new temporary gallery/shop opens Thursday, October 20th (and runs through January 2012) and will feature his art, collaborative art projects and retail shop.

Located in the former Howard House (now unofficially dubbed "How Hou"), the first show is Jesse's Atmospheric Conditions, full of over 200+ drawings, screen prints and sculptures which explore, "...the cyclical nature of life's external and internal forces."

by Jesse LeDoux

Additionally, keep your eyes out for 2 future collaborative projects in the space; one with Robert Hardgrave and another with Arbito and Shawn Wolfe. The opening is from 6-10pm and the first 25 folks get a free screen print pack.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Helena by Claudia Fitch

Helena, 2011 by Claudia Fitch
21.5 x 16 x 13 inches
image via Greg Kucera Gallery

I just love this piece by Claudia Fitch. Well, actually I pretty much love all of her work but I'm especially fond of her curvy forms these days. It's currently on display at Greg Kucera's through November 12. And in a unexpected happenstance, my two paintings are hung directly across from Helena; I can only imagine what they talk about after everyone goes home.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Seattle artists around the world...

A few non-local shows by some Seattle artists...

"Untitled (The Beach)," 2009, by Robert Yoder
oil on panel, plexiglass, found papers, 23 x 15 inches

Sharon Butler (of Two Coats of Paint) has put together her inaugural online exhibition, Against the Tide. As the title implies, the show is built around the theme of water and includes a piece by Robert Yoder. There's even a catalogue available for purchase.

Study for Zeus, 2008, by Whiting Tennis
cardboard and spray paint, 15 x 9 inches,
image via Derek Eller Gallery

Whiting Tennis has a solo show at the Tang Museum up through the end of the year. Opener 22 is full of beloved pieces like Mastadon and Blue Tarp along with new work made specifically for the show. I did a studio visit with him back in May as he was preparing for the show.

Catenary Curve Study (Reign in Blood) 2, 2011, by Gretchen Bennett
colored pencils on paper, 22"H x 30"W

Matthew Day Jackson will open up Heel Gezellig at GRIMM Gallery tomorrow
in Amsterdam.
"The exhibition on the Keizersgracht is inspired by Andrew Guenther's first New York solo show in which he invited guest stars to exhibit work within his own exhibition...The artist has invited Larry Bamburg, Sarah E. Wood, Erin Shirreff, Jonathan Marshall, Gretchen Bennett, Andrew Guenther and Adam Helms as well as Kris Kollmer and Maarten Baas. Jackson considers each artist very important, not only to the ideas discussed in the video work, but also as inspiration to his own work in general." via
Export, 2011 by Doug Jeck
clay, concrete, wood and paint 60 x 24 x 64 in.
image by John Taylor

"Early Works" by Doug Jeck opens up next week at Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc.

"Doug Jeck is a Seattle, Washington based artist whose sculptures are influenced by static physicality and historicity, with the human object at the center. His life-like sculptures are an amalgamation of clay, hair, concrete, fur and wood that explore Jeck’s perception of various early historical periods and figures." via

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

State vs. Pan

D.K. Pan's Universal Artistic License (by Erin Shafkind)

As most of you probably already know, D.K. Pan needs to raise funds to offset his $150,000 legal battle against the state of Washington.
Beginning in 2007, the Seattle Police Department instigated a "domestic terrorism" investigation that targeted our friend, DK Pan, and others from the Seattle community. For DK and others, the investigation resulted in charges of "professional gambling" based on allegedly illegal poker games that were held periodically at several well-attended "speakeasies" where DK and others also staged musical and art performances, art installations, events, and parties. DK Pan has been active in the Seattle arts community for over 15 years as a performer, producer, curator, and installation artist. He is the recent recipient of The Stranger Genius Award for Visual Art for 2011.
Next Thursday, there will be a launch party at FRED Wildlife Refuge from 9pm-1am. More info here. Good luck, D.K.!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Eric Olson / Gallery I|M|A

My Daydream 1 (detail), 2011 by Eric Olson

I'm loving this punched-up, day-glo palette in Eric Olson's recent work. The color combinations make his dots seem to pulse, adding a movement to the work.
The focus of my work is the concept that throughout our lives we are trying to build and maintain a sense of structure on which we hang our own meaning, a structure we need to make sense of the world around us, to help us feel that we have some control. We do this amidst an ever changing environment and a constant barrage of random influences that keep us continually editing and rebuilding parts of this structure. - Eric Olson
Daydream 1, 2011 by Eric Olson

Eric has an upcoming show at Gallery I|M|A with an opening reception this Thursday.

Cake vs. Pie photo contest

Last year, Jenise Silva wanted to settle the debate over cake versus pie. Pie took home the top honors and folks have demanded a re-match!

On October 10th, Vermillion will host Crust or Crumb? A Cake vs. Pie Rematch where 12 pies will compete against 12 cakes.

Not a baker but think this sounds like fun? Seattlest is hosting a Cake vs. Pie photography contest.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Greg Kucera Gallery / City Arts Fest

Bear, 2010 by Joey Veltkamp

I'm super excited to have a few paintings in the upcoming show Mars vs Venus: Images of Male and Female at Greg Kucera Ga
llery. I'll be in great company with local favorites like Dawn Cerny, Claudia Fitch, Daniel Carrillo and 0thers. And we'll all be in really great company with folks like Kiki Smith, Kara Walker, Kerry James Marshall, Carolee Schneemann, John Waters and Tom of Finland and many more. But I think I'm most excited that I'll have work in the same as show as this photo of Leigh Bowery by Fergus Greer, which I've loved for years. The opening is next Thursday (1st Thursday) from 6-8pm.
"Contemporary artists deal with the male and female figure in a myriad of intriguing ways. Exploring the differences between men and women, and the variety of expressions available to each gender makes this a diverse show, including both important regional and influential international artists. The works in this show approaches the sexes in sometimes idealized, humorous, confrontational, academic and ambiguous ways." - via
video still from A Bear's Life

And then I've been having lots of fun making a video for the upcoming City Arts Festival. Sara Edwards has been curating an amazing program for this year's festival.
"Peering through the lenses of three diverse local curators, the exhibits will showcase a wide array of visual art genres and uncover how the contemporary visual art scene interacts with music and comes to life in our city and the festival setting."
The Visual Arts program (co-curated by Sierra Stinson) is especially robust. I'm especially looking forward to the Culture Club series which includes shows curated by Free Sheep Foundation, Michael Van Horn, Amanda Manitach & Serrah Russell, Celebrity Karaoke with Eric and Betsey, and a visual happy hour with Sierra Stinson & Klara Glosova. On Friday (Oct 21), I'll be up first behind the bar at FRED Wildlife Refuge (before I scoot down to the SOIL Auction). Each artist (Greg Lundgren, Gala Bent, Jim Demetre, Lindsey Apodaca, Joey Veltkamp, Susan Robb) has a 15 minute shift of bartending where we serve our own custom cocktails while our videos play in the background. My cocktail is going to be A Bear's Life, a rye drink with a cinnamon bear, that my buddy Tim Betterley (KEXP DJ/Bartender) custom-created just for this event. I also made a 5 minute video of over 1,o00+ iterations of my drawing of a man and a bear that tells the story of them falling in love set against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest. It should be lots of fun.