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.