Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fast away the old year passes...

...and just like that, 2015 has nearly passed us by. I'm a sucker for nostalgia, reminiscing over good times, and reflecting on a wonderful year. Here's what I've been up to since I blogged last...
I got my helmet prototype from Nutcase Helmets (click away to read about the Unframed Artist Series)!!!! It's really exciting to ride around Portland in the only one on the streets! These will be available to the general public in Spring 2016!! One of the greatest compliments that I've gotten this year was a nod from Bicycling Magazine, naming this helmet one of "the coolest new helmets of 2016".

At the end of August, I traveled with the fine folks at Nutcase, along with my fellow artists, to Germany for Eurobike, and painted murals amongst bike nerds all day to benefit World Bicycle Relief.

In September, we traveled again, this time to the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, the US version of Eurobike. I was fortunate enough to work with the Interbike people on a cover for the event guide, and it was amazing to come to the trade show and see my work in print like this!

Interbike also featured a few days of painting! I moved into a mermaid theme here, and realized that I'm not the only person out there with a love of both mermaids and bikes.
Over the years I've been involved with many shows at 1975 Gallery in Rochester, NY. It was bittersweet to take part in their last show before going on hiatus, which this piece was produced for. I had a lot of fun playing with different media in this one!
This was one of my favorite drawings that I did for Inktober this year;
I had the pleasure of collaborating with some of my favorite partners in crime, the awesome team at Discovery Wines for a special event this November!
As a result of the previous collaboration, I was introduced to the awesome winemaker, Brianne Day. Here's an event flyer we worked on together;
We also did some wine labels together! I'm so excited to see them in print.
I worked on this awesome tee shirt with my friends at Walnut Studiolo, inspired by riding at night.
Finally, a poster with a great story behind it. My neighbor got my mail by mistake (some stickers that I had sent out and had been returned to the wrong address). I told her to keep the stickers, she asked me more about my art, and before I knew it, we were working on a poster for her magical aerial circus! I can't wait to see it in February, and I'm so excited with how the poster came out.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Spiderman of the Rings

I recently had the honor of painting my first outdoor mural! This is a project that I did with my neighborhood, the Alberta Arts District, about the history of our area. My mural in particular was about the Vanport flood of 1948. Vanport (named because half in Vancouver, WA, half in Portland), was a town, at the time occupied by African Americans who had come up from the South to build ships. The entire town was washed out in a day, and never rebuilt. The African American people displaced by the flood could not own property in Portland at that time. The Alberta district became an area where they were able to own property. As a result of this, white flight happened, and the area became a redline district for businesses. I had a ball painting this! It was a wonderful way to interact with the community and learn and educate at the same time. I'd like to extend a big thank you to Alberta Art Works and the BUFOR building for having me. Photos: Toby Orzano

Friday, June 19, 2015

Or we could just float away on different rafts and die another day...

These past few months in Portland have been magical! Spring, and subsequently summer, has happened upon us, bringing the rains to a stop and an excitement to be outside. During the past few months, I got to not only meet the owners of Walnut Studiolo, but to do some fun packaging illustrations for some of their products. It was a fun change to work in one color and one tone, and uniquely challenging.

This year, one of the experienced organizers of the Portland Tweed Ride invited me to organize! It was such a fun time! We started in a brand new to me place, Cathedral Park in St. Johns, and had a great day of leisurely bikes and picnics. You can see more in the coverage from The Oregonian, complete with sweet shots, by clicking HERE.

I had to create a flyer for the Tweed Ride! Obviously, I was inspired by Mucha's bicycle illustrations.

I also helped organize a Robin Williams Memorial bike ride, where we all dressed as Robin Williams characters. This is a sticker that I created for the ride.

Here's a fun illustration that I did for a tee shirt!
Coming in July 2015, I'm going to be doing my first outdoor mural on Alberta Street. Here's the color comp:

Friday, March 27, 2015

Even Santa Claus believes in you

March was such a fun month for me! I've gotten involved with some wonderful bike communities here in Portland, just as I dreamed of doing when I dreamed of moving here years ago. One of these groups is Women on Wheels, which empowers women on bicycles. What more could I dream of? I went to a wonderful meetup which consisted of morning yoga with awesome special instructions for cyclists and runners, a ride along the river, and a private tour of the Chinese Gardens. The Chinese Gardens were truly inspiring, and I look forward to visiting in warmer weather when the lotus blossom and I can walk barefoot on the stone paths.

I was touched by the deliberate planning of the Chinese Gardens. Below is the Scholar's room, which featured a banana tree planted outside. The banana tree, with its large leaves, was placed directly under one of the roof drains (also aesthetically gorgeous), to make music to inspire the scholar while they were at work. Another deliberate idea that resonated with me from the gardens was that everything was in "framed perspective".

Another bike dream come true for me was visiting the workshop of Walnut Studiolo. I've been a fan of their handcrafted bicycle leather goods for years, and they were kind enough to help out with the Portland Tweed Ride.

When I wasn't biking everywhere (I biked a lot this month, and it was amazing), I was working on my first mural since Community College days. This was done on a door at Collage. Mice kept coming up in conversation for me, as I had fond memories of a mouse painting that my grandmother did. I remember that she wasn't finished with it, but I begged her for the painting, and eventually she gave in and let me have the unfinished watercolor painting. This, in a way, was an homage to her. Below, the sketch;

In progress;

A detail of the final mice!

Finally, some woodburning! I've been itching to expand my wood paintings by laying in the darks with a wood burner, and I finally took the plunge this month. I'm so excited to debut these in a new fine art show this spring! Below, the beginnings;

This is after some wood stain and watercolor and more wood burning;
This is all ready to go with some copper leaf framing!

Cheers! Here's to April, the Tweed Ride, and my Birthday! I'm so excited!

Monday, March 2, 2015

As you explode out of your own.

February is officially over, friends! While my dear friends in the NE got a killer winter, we were able to go forward this year with the "Worst Day of the Year" ride. Last year, it was cancelled for our snowstorm of 4". I went with my cousin and her daughter, and we had a great time! The lovely ladies from Women on Wheels had made some extra headgear that they let us use!

I spent the first part of the month working on a commissioned portrait for a friend from high school, for an anniversary present. Below, the in-progress shot:

This was the final. Happy Anniversary, guys!

I got some merch this month, which is always exciting. A lot of the time, the final illustration that I see is on my computer, and seeing things in print is such a treat.

I took the reigns for organizing the Portland Tweed Ride this year! In 2010, in my former city of Rochester, NY, I founded the Tweed Ride there and led it for three years before moving. It's an honor and really exciting to be planning the ride here in Portland, OR. Of course, the first thing I did was make a poster/postcard image for it. Below, the linoleum beginnings:

The first print:

The final image! I was heavily inspired by Mucha, Portland sunsets, and the photo reference of the girl came from one of my old rides in Rochester, NY.

Something new that I've been working on are mural proposals! I'm going to be doing some mural work this summer and fall when I go to Eurobike and Interbike with Nutcase Helmets, so I thought it'd be good to get some practice in before then. This is one of the proposal sketches I submitted this week, dealing with Portland History in the Alberta Arts District.

I've been trying not to be super smug about it, but the early spring here has brought loads of flora into my life. Yesterday I took an hour out of my day to draw the flowers on the porch.