Life Update


Life Update

Let’s go back to mid-May.

Solomon and I just moved into a cute bungalow house in my home town that was everything we wanted. 2-car garage for Solomon, huge studio space for me. Plus we could spend the summer riding our bikes around the sleepy little town and walking to our local brewery. With our wedding just a couple of weeks away, we felt set. Rest of our lives, here we come!

Jk, we’re moving back out.

Then one day Solomon comes home from work clearly nervous and eager to tell me something. He was being recruited for a position in Portland. We had just moved in and our wedding was only a couple of weeks away. This was terrible timing to say the least, but never the less, an opportunity we both didn’t want to pass up. He booked a flight that night to visit the Portland office over the next two days.

If that wasn’t enough…

Fast forward to the following Monday. Solomon’s back and we’re officially on board with this job offer and moving to Portland. While at work I realize my period is about 4 days late. It’s never late. I tell myself “I can’t be pregnant”. Getting pregnant is hard for women in their 30’s not to mention the fact that I had had a fibroid removed just a year before.

So I bought a pregnancy test on the way home. Why worry about something when you can just get an answer and peace of mind, right? Peace of mind, my ass.

Yeah it was positive. I stood alone in the bathroom telling myself I’m reading it wrong. After reading and re-reading the very simple directions, I came out of the bathroom. “I’m sorry” was all I could seem to say to Solomon. We were less than one and a half weeks from our wedding, our honeymoon in Italy, and about to move halfway across the country, and now we are throwing a pregnancy on top of that.

May 26, 6 weeks pregnant.

The wedding went off without (too many) problems, and we were able to keep my still very early pregnancy a secret. Here are some photos from our photographer Michael Grobin. Side note: nausua/morning sickness was in full swing in Italy. Which is a bummer, because you go to Italy to eat and drin, and I couldn’t do either. Never the less, we still had a great time. I’ll post those pictures below.

The rest of summer was a giant whirl-wind of seeing family, wrapping things up at work, and preparing to move. We are settled into our new apartment in a superb of Portland. We were lucky enough to find a place with a garage and 3 bedrooms. One for my studio and one for the baby.

I’m going on week 2 of being here and I’m still unemployed though. I’ve always worked full time on top of being an artist, so not having to be anywhere is a strange feeling. Solomon said I should go about my day in my studio as if I’m actually at a job. That’s good advice and I’m going to take. Who knows, maybe in the long run this will be the push I needed to make art my actual job.


Broad Ideas Art Show


Broad Ideas Art Show

This weekend I’ll be dropping off three of my favorite artworks at a show I’m excited to be a part of. Broad Ideas is an an art show that will..

“ …highlight the range of experiences, feelings, and realities of those who identify as women and those who support them.  This arts show is a celebration, an acknowledgment, and a community of support and solidarity. This dynamic show is for everyone that supports women.”

Here are the three artworks that will be in the show and my descriptions of each one.

 Sun on Shoulders

Sun on Shoulders.jpg

This painting is the result of me challenging myself in my art in new ways. I wanted to portray light in a way that looked as vibrant as light does in real life. I came across a street style photographer's photo of a woman wearing a voluminous, light blue top with the sun on her back. The highlight on her shoulders complimented the shape and folds of her top and gave me the opportunity to capture that light. I did this painting just for me without the intention of showing it. Without the pressure of pleasing others, I created one of my favorite paintings, and I think an example of some of my best work thus far.

Mother & Child

Mother and child.jpg

This past summer I read Mary Cassatt's biography. I've always loved her work and felt like our choice of subject matter and styles were similar. One thing I was surprised to learn was that Cassatt never married or had children. Being on the verge of getting married and starting a family myself, I respected and understood her sacrifice for her art. I fear my art will take a backseat to my family and responsibilities. Fear aside, I still want to have children and felt inspired to create this double portrait of a mother and child. I like to think my style is a modern take on impressionist art.



This last year has been exhausting from what feels like endlessly negative news. This left me craving something simple, timeless, and neutral. Everyone likes apples. They are full of variations yet they're simple, pure, and of the earth. At this point in my life, I just wanted to rediscover apples. I wanted to get lost in something I've known all my life. Remind myself of picking them with the women in my family and be grateful for something universal and consistent.

Read more about the Broad Ideas Art show here.









Late nights with Picasso.

This is a cropped version of what I worked on this evening. 

I'm a Libra. I can see the pros and cons to any situation, and because of that, I am plagued with indecision. 

I used to always love that art is never right or wrong.  It's both good and bad, lovely and hideous, brilliant and completely pointless. I just depends on who you are asking.  

But then there is me. I hit walls where I'm looking at something so much I just can't decide what to do next.  Internal dialog sounds like this: 

"Ok, yeah! This is great!"


"What the fuck? You suck. Congrats you just wasted the whole evening."

and on really bad days

"You know this is totally pointless right? There are much better ways to be spending your time. Like snacking..... And watching Netflix."

So anyway.. I guess tonight wasn't a good night. Times like this make me envious of artist like Heather Day. People that can create beautiful things that still aren't really of things.. that doesn't make sense....  Abstract expressionism (especially like hers) is a skill that alludes me.  I feel stuck recreating all ready existing images... So what if I can copy something? Take a picture! 

I guess at the end of the day I just keep working. I think it was Picasso that said, "Inspiration exist, but it has to find you working." Ok Picasso.. if you say so!  

PS- I found this quote below after checking my initial Picasso quote online.  Finding it was like ... a gift, or a small stroke of luck.  At the very least, a nudge in the right direction.  


 Wacom Tablet Review


Wacom Tablet Review

If one year ago you asked me for my opinion on digital art I would have said something snotty and pretentious like, "It's ok, but it takes more skill to make physical art."  But deep down, I just felt left out and too stubborn to admit that I just don't have skills or the devices to work in that medium.  

So this Christmas when asked what I wanted I put a Wacom Tablet at the very top of my list.  And I got it. (Thanks Solomon:) And I haven't been able to put it down since.  So if your curious or wondering if a drawing tablet is for you.. here is my review and experience thus far.

In the begining.

It was tough! Solomon and I started by drawing terrible stick figures.  It was hard to not treat it like a fancy mouse and mouse pad.  I had to remind myself that I can set my hand on it and draw normally.   Once I got that figured out I drew my first person.  This girl to the left is actually the second person.  The first is too terrible to bother showing anyone.  I got stuck in the airbrush tool and couldn't figure out how to leave a hard line that didn't look weird.  So I started again in the graphite tool, which makes sense considering that working in graphite is how I started as a teenager.



When I first learned how to use photoshop I struggled with the idea of layers. Every problem I ran into was because I was in the wrong layer.  I remember it finally clicking one day and it's been easy ever since. Layers are great for those with commitment  issues. With each layer you can refine your work a little more and a little more.  And if you don't like the direction you just went in.. delete the layer! That probably seems obvious to non-artist, but you can't just reverse what you did when working in physical mediums like watercolor or even graphite.  You can only erase something so much.



Have you ever had a happy accident? Sometimes when you are working on a project you make a mistake. Before you correct it something in you tells you to stop.  You look at your mistake and decide that you like it.  That's a happy mistake.  I had that with the bored looking model from a Chanel ad I did recently.  The black and white one was what I had originally had in mind, but as I was trying to add in a green background I had happy accident.  I stopped and realized that I liked the small amounts of white and all green background.  

I'm overly controlling in my art.. and well.. other aspects of my life too but we wont go there.  Anyway, this top green one is exactly the kind of carefree look that I wish I had.  So fingers crossed for more happy accidents! 


The World wide web

   Using that term probably dates me. But I think it's kind of enduring. It makes me want to watch You've Got Mail. Anywaaaayy. I've been on Society6 for sometime now. If your not familiar, its a site were artist upload their artwork to be made into prints and tons of different products. With each sale other their products they receive money.  It's a great way to support artist.  Anyway.. photography and uploading physical artwork was always a huge pain and rarely ever look good. But with my tablet I can make similar high resolution images that look waaay better than the physical art ever did. Yay!   Below is a phone case with on of my favorite prints I did recently. Cute right? I want to get the laptop skin in the same print. 


Anyone that has ever painted knows that art is messy. And there are a lot of materials and tools involved.  Brushes, paints, pallets, water, canvas, paper and the finished artwork that seems to pile up.  

But nooowww... all I need is my tablet and my computer.  2 things! I'm not dirty. I don't have STUFF everywhere (well actually I still do, but you get what I'm saying).

Overall I'm in love with my Wacom tablet.  I'm sure a year from now I'll look back on the stuff I created these past few weeks and thinks it's crap.  But until then I'm happy and excited to keep working. 


The most difficult thing.


The most difficult thing.

I love this quote.  First.. because I love Amelia Earhart. If you don’t know about her life I highly recommend listening to The History Chicks podcast about her.  Second.. This is true for any pursuit.  Amelia just wanted to learn how to fly. Despite people thinking she’s crazy for pursuing this dream instead of settling down or continuing with her other career, she kept at it.  What’s the point, right? What will this get her? 

The most difficult thing is to act. You know all the reasons not to.  You tell them to yourself when you think about this dream.  What will others think? What’s the point? What if I fail? 

But to not do it is to fail. To not do the thing you keep dreaming about will ultimately be your biggest regret. I don’t know about you, but I think that is more painful than a lifetime of struggling while I pursue my dream.  

And besides what is failure?  Failure is just giving up. Quitting. That’s were tenacity comes in. You’ve already started, and stopping is harder than changing direction. Tweek what isn’t working   and try it again. Learn. Evolve.  

I keep this quote on my desktop and open now and then. It reminds me that my fears are worse than my reality, and all it takes to pursue my dreams is just.. getting to work.  


Topography + Fashion


Topography + Fashion

Girl Bundled Up

It's Christmas time, and I have been blessed with many commissions this last half of the year.  With request for portraits and specific subject matter, the art can start to seem less like art and more like work.  

Only this work is all on me. If it's not done on time, or the client isn't happy, I can't take solace in being a little anonymous in a large company.  Their unhappiness means I don't get paid. And i run the risk of not getting more work. it's so much pressure! 

Luckily, this year went well.  I carved out a little time for myself to do a few paintings and drawings that I wanted to do and that are just for myself.  




Would it be weird that I said it feeds my soul? It does. There is an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie talks about being so broke she could only afford an issue of Vogue or dinner. She chose Vogue because it fed her more.  



Watercolor - Blonde Bob

That's actually terrible advice. It makes me glad that ultra skinny look isn't in anymore. Thank you Kim Kardashian ... I guess? So I'm going to treat my self to food and art. Besides no one wants to be around me when I'm hungry. 

I have a huge collection of images that I love and a lot many of them are from street style photographers. These three images are from that collection.  

I've been using oil based sharpies a lot in my illustrations.  Oil sharpies are great because they have a nice righ color. any art supply store should carry them. 

I use them in my illustration to convey texture and depth.  This idea came from a couple of places.  The first being the fact that I live in a rural area surrounded by a lot of farm land.  Rows of corn and soy beans stretch out over rolling hills for as far as you can see.  The rows look kinda like topography in that they help to define the hills by coming together and apart. 

The second influence is from other artist using the same idea of line work to create depth. One of my favorite is Kate Ann Gilmore.  She is a fellow midwesterner who lives in LA now.  Her artwork is influenced by topography as well.  It has a super cool digital look, but she does everything by hand.  Watching her work give you even more appreciation for what she does.  I would recommend checking out her work if you are into digital art, mountains, murals or just chicks doing really cool stuff. 

Woman in the Wind

So here are a few things I worked on in between commissions.  I hope you enjoy and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.  


Playing your hand.


Playing your hand.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.  When I threw everything away and came home a little over a year ago I promised myself I would just follow my curiosities when it came to my artwork. Curiosities followed: check.

On a sort of different note, I was thinking the other day about how my day job is really the perfect job for me.  It's not fate that I fund it, but rather me taking the skills I've learned at my crappiest of jobs and combining them with my passions.  A sort of.. playing the hand I've been dealt kinda thing.

Up until that thought, this year of following my curiosity with my art felt a little fruitless. Like I was wondering aimlessly and wasting time. But when I realized that my 8 years of retail (that felt pretty fruitless as well) gave me skills that are vital to my day job, I was thankful for that experience.  

All of this wondering with my art are pieces of the puzzle.  Layers. Watercolor. Ink. The richness of pastels. I explored them all and I want them all together now. I want things to look unfinished with the layers of work exposed. And I want some aspects to be rich and alive.  

Anyway, expect more layers, richness, and really well dress woman...and maybe a few men. 

Do you ever read about successful people and wonder how they were able to stick to their "plan" long enough to see it grow into something worth while? How can they be so sure of something that takes up most of their time and attention.  So much so it defines them.  I wonder how Adele can keep writing love songs and still knock each one out of the park.  What about faces keeps Chuck Close painting them over and over? How can Anna Wintour have the same damn haircut for so long? Does she ever want to change it? 






Yay first blog post! I'm going to write this as if no one will read it. Not because I'm pessimistic, but because I think I'll be more honest. I'm also going to set the intention for this new blog of mine to be a place for me to reflect on what I'm working on, and to share my current work with who ever is interested.  

I get asked to do commission work a lot.  Most of the time it's for portraits, but I was approached recently by a long time friend to do something totally out of my comfort zone.  She wanted blue, a little orange, and abstract.  

There are so many times I've heard people say, "Hell, I could do that!" when they see an abstract piece of art.  And I'll admit a part of me thought that too.  But once you're faced with a blank canvas and nothing to ... well... copy, you get stuck.  

I knew this commission was going to be fun, and I knew it was going to be challenging.  But I completely underestimated how difficult it was for me to truly be creative. Throughout the process of research and sketching I found myself completely questioning my abilities. Not my ability to recreate the natural world around me, but my ability to be so creative that I create something entirely new.  

It made me realize that I am a product of my environment. Now I'm not blaming anyone on my inability to paint an abstract picture.  Let me explain myself.  

I grew up being praised for the artwork that looked real. And in all levels of school being tested on facts. Your answer is either right, or wrong.  I wasn't a very good student so I got used to being wrong. Even in college, creativity didn't seem to come so easily with the limitations of projects. There was little room for ambiguity in schools and I think every adult can agree with that. Unfortunately not allowing kids to express their ideas without judgment or correction creates adults who don't know how to think creatively. I know that's a whole other can of worms.. so I'll stop there.  

Working on this commission felt like I had to unlearn everything I already knew about art.  I had to be ok with not knowing entirely what the final outcome will be.  I had to dig really deep to rediscover imagination, and I had to play. It felt childlike. And it felt really good.  

This artwork is currently waiting for approval from the person who commissioned it, but even if they don't like it. It's ok. Having a reason to step outside of my comfort zone in my work was really refreshing and reminded me of what it means to be an artist.  

Agate 1