Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fibonacci Sequence

[Fibonacci Sequence, acrylic on panel, 12" x 12"]


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bookmaking Camp

Today will be the last day of a four-day bookmaking camp I've been holding at Green Bean Books. The weather has cooperated and we've spent the week outside binding, printmaking, and planning an art opening (this afternoon!) of all of our work.

[Our prints drying on the flag clothesline. We used water-based ink and brayers to ink hand-carved prints. True to Portland fashion, many kids "put a bird on it."]

I couldn't have asked for a group of kids more more willing to dive into so many book structures--even the "challenging" ones!

[The group dynamic takes over as we try to make a long paper chain out of old book pages to decorate for the opening]

Very excited for the opening. The store's patio, where we have been holding our classes, will be filled with book-themed decorations, snacks, music, and what I'm sure will be a clever set-up of all of our work, from tunnel books to accordion books to Jacob's Ladder books (yes, they all work!)

[Decorating bags we'll use to take home all of our work with sponge prints... BEAUTIFUL sponge prints!]

I'm thrilled the concept of a bookmaking camp has been so embraced by local families. It may take place in a cozy little bookstore, but boy does it feel like camp (complete with snack breaks, thermoses, and lanyard making in out free time ;)


Friday, July 22, 2011

Wednesday's Class: Exhibition Catalogue is Done!

One more note on my Installation Class for Kids that took place last Wednesday: I've put together an "Exhibition Catalogue" that chronicles our process in putting together the installation. If you participated in the class, you can drop by Green Bean Books anytime after 1:00 p.m. on Monday to snag one.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Installation Art at Green Bean Books

Yesterday I was lucky enough to guide an amazing group in a very special art class: installation art for kids!

[A chunk of the raw materials we had to work with]

It was the last class of a six week series of contempoary art genres for kids ages 5-11 at Green Bean Books here in Portland.

After talking about what installation art could be: art that was temporary and installed--or put together--on-site, we looked at some images of installations from the incomparable Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

[Christo and Jeanne-Claude, The Umbrellas, Japan-USA, 1984-91. Photo: Wolfgang Volz. © 1991 Christo]

Our location was a wooden diorama box inside the book store that often houses scenes from visiting illustrators, artists, or the shop workers. This week we had total control of one of the boxes for our installation! Kids had an hour to plan, create, and install the work. And they were working together from minute one. Amazing!

[Our miniature scene started with a dollhouse table, a book, and a chandelier made with a doily, copper wire, and construction paper candles.]

After looking at our materials and being inspired by a few pieces of dollhouse furniture, everyone quickly decided to make the box into a miniature world. We considered our location--a bookstore. We found letter blocks that could spell out the word "BOOKS." It became clear that the scene would be a room filled with books and a little bit of whimsy.

[A colorful doily carpet boasting the name of the store]

An hour later? We had a miniature version of Green Bean Books (complete with miniature bunting flags) with a few extra fancy things (a fireplace!) And, oh, did I mention there are no people in the version of Green Bean--only birds.

[Green Bean is for the birds--at least this week. Swing by the store to see it in person while it's installed!]

I am looking forward to more beautiful afternoons on the Green Bean patio next week during my week-long bookmaking mini-camp! It's going to be intense!


Monday, July 18, 2011


Per usual, click to enlarge.

[Alchemy, acrylic on panel, 10" x 8"]


Friday, July 15, 2011

Figure 1, Figure 2

[Figure 1, 8" x 8"]

[Figure 2, 8" x 8"]

In art, it is difficult to have two things--two sculptures standing next to each other or two objects in a single painting--and not expect the viewer to relate them in some way. My latest series embraces this sometimes-dreaded dichotomy (See Exhibit A, Exhibit B). Opposing forces, befores and afters, or alternate options are presented as still frames.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Question (Deconstructed)

[The Question (Deconstructed), acrylic on panel, 6" x 6" each]

(Hint:"That is the Question.")


What my Classes Have Been up to

At halfway through July, I thought I would recap what some of the students in my kids' art classes have been making this summer!

The Toddlers:

Tuesday mornings are toddler art time at the local toy and consignment store Mississippi Treehouse. This week we had a teddy bear picnic on the carpet and did some sponge painting. Always interesting to see how the 15 month-olds vs. the 3 year-olds interact with the materials!

[The Teddy Bears are getting ready for a healthy picnic...]

[With black apples!]

The Preschoolers:

Once a week this summer I have been contracted to visit a local preschool and offer book-based art classes (involving reading a book and creating an art project about the book... also usually in a book format). Last week we made a group book based on Leo Lionni's "A Color of His Own." In the story, a chameleon changes color wherever he goes. In our group book, we colored pieces of paper and attached them to a big wheel that got connected to a big book with a brad. As the wheel spins, different colors show through a chameleon-shaped window. Kids can stick the colorful velcro object of their choice under the chameleon and spin the wheel to match the chameleon's colors. Or vice versa. But that would sort of be the reverse of how nature works.... okay, I guess chameleons don't really turn bright pink either, but they do in Lionni's book.

[The template... no colors yet!]

[Our completed book!]

[Close Up.]

The Big Kids:

I've been having 5-11 year olds join me at at Green Bean Books every week this summer for some "art history themed" art and bookmaking classes. No sitting through slides here... last week was all about Action Panting and creating artwork without an agenda or control. Kids took to the deck, and, after making Meander Books, were able to explore four stations of "Action Art" including painting with spray bottles and splatter painting like Jackson Pollock. Everyone went home with (and as, judging by the amount of paint we got in our hair) many works of art.

[Marble Paintings dry in the sun]

[Jackson Pollock Splatter Painting! Looks like we needed a bigger dropcloth.]

So lucky to have such great artists at such welcoming venues... hoping to continue my classes and maybe offer some more at local library branches as the school year begins.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes.

Today was my 26th birthday.

I managed to head downtown to the new location of Saint Cupcake, a bakery with a whopping two stores in PDX (which makes it almost a chain by Portland standards).

[Birthday Cupcakes!]

[Teacups that match the wallpaper!]

Two double chocolates and a pot of tea were definitely what this Monday evening called for.

And a gourmet cupcake store is pretty much my Disney World so I took a lot of pictures (and even requested one by the sign. It was colorful.)


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Exhibit A, Exhibit B

A new series of coupled objects I am working on. Acrylic on panel.

[Exhibit A, Exhibit B, each 8" x 8"]