Thanks to an awesome Bronze foundry and a lady who was looking to rent an old studio, I live in Oregon now! It's further from my family [life] but much more in line with what I actually want to do every day [make things]. Also, did I mention the mountains are just outside my door[backpack]? To maintain financial stability in winter I have also taken a second job as a river raft guide. Excited to tell you all about it, more updates coming soon!
East Mountain is 7,748 ft, which was awesome news the first time we summited. The first time we summited was in the afternoon after having camped in a meadow on the side of the mountain. We took a siesta and did some yoga, enjoying what was going to be our second to last day on the trail. We made phone calls, and arranged pickup on the road that our old map indicated was on the east side of east mountain, before heading down the trail to the east. After a missed connection with the road where it was supposed to cross the creek once, twice, and a third time, we had began reassessing our situation. It was nearing dark as we reached a high enough altitude on the mountain to have cell service.
"Oh yeah," my sister said knowingly, "I wasn't planning on coming after I found out there's no road anymore, and even if there were my car couldn't make it."
"Just go west" my mom said looking at the google map, "There's a road to your west". Looking up the 7,748 foot peak as the sun was setting, recalibrating our ideas of when we might get to sleep, we set back up the mountain. Had we made this realization a day or two earlier we not only wouldn't have summited (bringing our trail end at least 10 or 20 miles closer to Boise) but we would have been able to sleep that night knowing we had a ride to Boise for my sister's wedding in 3 days. More phone calls and a night assent later we had a ride to for the next day, picking us up on the road on the other side of the mountain. That gave us about 14 hours to finish our re-summit and down climb.
It safe to say I was a little whiney and that we were both probably a little crazy by 10 am the next morning when we set up bare minimum camp on the side of the road so that we could get in a nap before our extraction. My good friend Jamie showed up around lunch time with a refreshing assortment of snacks and beverages that "[he] would want coming out of 3 weeks in the woods." He and Tarin bonded over the 'good' coconut water and I savored anything that wasn't water, tea, or whiskey- our trail beverages of choice.
Needless to say, we made it to my sister's just in time to help with all the last minute pre-wedding projects. Tarin etched the groomsman's gift shot glasses, we constructed cake-stands of driftwood, and totally art-ified the arch under which my sister and soon-to-be brother in-law were to say their vows. The arch, a half-dozen stories in and of itself, is to be painted at a future date.
Until then, happy trails and thanks for reading!
I never laugh out loud while painting as much as I do when painting stories from Tarin and I's pilgrimage. This one had me not only cracking up but also crying, much like the trail in question. We had set out for the day bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when we came across the fork in the lower left quadrant, no where to be found on our map. Having scouted both directions we set off to the right because it was more in the direction our trail was supposed to be headed, and it had to be right? Right? Wrong.
13 miles later we strolled right back into the same camp ground boulder-circle we'd passed that morning having come a complete all-day circle.
After a good cry and a melted hershey bar we had to squeeze like toothpaste through the opened corner of the plastic, we knew we had to keep going but weren't excited to be carrying our bags any further. I'd convinced Tarin I needed something else to do for even just a few minutes. So we used our camp cord and a series of logs scavenged from the old forest nearby to build a toboggan to aid in the rest of our now very long day's journey. The toboggan, made from very shoddy wood indeed, only made it about 20 yards (pictured also in the lower left quadrant) before breaking but it was enough of a break that we managed to continue into the Riggins valley and clear down the valley walls to french creek by 10 am the next day.
When our plans to reach Burgdorf Hotspring for the 4th of July were threatened by poor planing [not enough gas/too many drinks the night before] we decided to hitchhike. Well, first we took a quick nap, then we decided to hitchhike. After a few hours of unsuccessfully trying to convince passing teams of cyclists to divide our bodies and packs amongst them for an 'extra hill workout' we had a quick pow-wow and asked the universe to send us some "cool cats to ride with". Not 10 minutes later a dump truck pulling a bobcat-dozer on a trail pulled over, the driver stood up and yelled over the truck
"You girls want to ride on the dirt pile?"
"Heck yeah we do!"
As I got within viewing distance of the cab I saw this bobcat looking back at me from the passengers seat. Figuring we'd already made it this far we rode to the hot spring and spent the rest of the day soaking and getting to know our new friends, Rob and Mokave the domesticated Bobcat.
Oil on Canvas
4 x 6
While touring Castello d'Angelo the impending sunset gave us the most amazing view of the vatican, to top it off we witnessed a huge murmuration from the balcony of the castle. While all of these smaller details are paintings in their own right, that I will probably be revisiting in the future, this is one that I originally painted from memory and was pleased to find I wasn't too far off when revisited with an actual map reference. For my own fun I have used the viewpoint of the angel atop the castle, something I find amusing, as that same angle probably witnessed many a pope sneaking over from the Vatican to execute unsavory business.
Having started with a few of the more scenic views, this paintings is one of the first ones I did of my travels around the world. A picturesque view from the outdoor dining area of the Eco-resort where we worked and stayed for nearly a month in the rainforest just south of the border with Thailand.
On an island in the Malaysian rainforest just south of the border with Thailand, there is a village of people who get around primarily by moped or boat. It was here that we visited for an exciting evening of generator-powered rock music. Not being a musician myself, one of the more memorable parts of the evening was entering the village to find a mom trimming her grass with a machete, and her toddler a few feet a way playing with his own rusted machete nearly the as tall as he was. The hornbill in the top right is a story of his own; being forced from their natural habitat by deforestation, the locals will say the birds are moving simply to avoid the noise of the logging.
The summer of 2017 my sister in-law and I floated the Boise River on 10$ inflatable sea turtles from Albertson's. It was fun sharing with her the local tradition of our semi-lazy river and the rope swing that's probably been restrung more times that I can count. Now I'm happy to be able to share these memories in oil.
Boise River Rope Swing
Oil on Canvas
4 x 6
Boise River Turtle View
Oil on Canvas
3 x 5
Oil on Canvas
Growing up there was a stretch of land between the houses on our block, looking back it was probably just for irrigation, but when I was younger it seemed like the most wonderful escape from the 'every-day' backyard. A place to play and imagine surrounded by the flowers of all our neighbors.
My last night in Italy my bags were packed, my clothes were set out for the next day, and my friends and I were determined to finish all the alcohol in my apartment. Not that we thought it would go bad, but we didn't want to leave good booze for bad roommates. Needless to say, a few blurs later I was grabbing my favorite breakfast snack (or three) and rolling my overly-large suitcases down the block to the bus stop. It would be two busses, a train, two planes and an extremely fussy baby before I landed back in the US of A.
At this point I was too young to be transporting alcohol into the US so I decided not to claim my support of Italian wine-makers on my customs sheet. I did however, claim the blood oranges I had drunkenly tossed into my carry-on before leaving. All 3 of them. What I forgot amidst the epic saga of my 20+ hour day was that I had eaten one of aforementioned contraband goods, bringing the sum total to two. A thought that only eventually dawned on me as the customs agent was ripping my carry-on to shreds and my unclaimed imports were rolling unsupervised down the x-ray's conveyor belt.
"Try the bottom pocket." I said, eyeing the second suitcases of meticulously shoe-packed wine-goods as it rolled to the viewing screen.
Nary a short lecture later I was fully informed that not only is the transport of fruits and vegetables taken very seriously, but that if found, the missing orange (even be it just the peal) should be thrown away in a zip lock bag inside a trash-can with a plastic liner.
And that's how you avoid getting busted for international near-age bootlegging. *not recommended*
I just got some new canvases and I'm very excited about what they'll look like when I'm done. It was good I didn't have enough money for the next size up, I would have had to lay down the back seat to fit them in the car!
Update: I have determined what 2 of the 3 canvases will look like and have begun "Switzerland". The other will be "Paris", the third is still TBD but mostly because I'm trying to pace out these huge canvases.
Found this cute pic of Oliver enjoying our MPLS apartment mural. Good detail of the corner behind the entrance door and below the keyrack. Fun place to live!
I am happy to say that Riggins Valley, the commissioned oil on canvas piece I recently sent 300 miles north to it's owner, and to the Palouse Artist's Exhibition, arrived safely back at it's new home.
One problem I have when I tell people I am an artist is they're surprised they haven't seen more of my work. The truth of the matter is that paintings of this size take time. To put it in perspective, here's a table of time/square footage/and estimated fair value of my work. Hopefully this is helpful for anyone who likes my stuff and wants to help me paint something that can live on their wall... or who knows, maybe a museum eventually. =P
This work in progress shows 5 canvases I've started for the India section of my travel stories. Taj mahal is upper left, a city shot below it, a rooftop restaurant shot next to the taller (very dark) street scene that will feature a cow sitting in traffic, lastly, the large train piece is on the right.
As you can see, I've put a few weeks of work into the train, the others are only blue prints right now. If you're interested in commissions or learning more about my work, visit the about page here.
The show I have been putting together for some time now is called "Attn to: Detail". The plan is to develop 'mind-maps' recording the places I've been and stories involved. The trickiest part is fitting them all together. And, eventually, printing out all the stories with a legend to pair the pictures with the stories. It's a big project, another reason commissions are appreciated. Eventually these maps will span Idaho, India, Nepal, Italy, Malaysia, France, Morocco, and maybe a few small snippets of Germany, Switzerland, and England. More countries to come, I hope, as this is my magnum opus to date. Below is some of the first of Nepal, with many more to come.
One thing I found so incredible about this part of the world was how accessed these seemingly inaccessible places were. These towns would be higher in elevation than most places in the world, one or no vehicle roads in and out, and they would have everything they needed, everything trekkers might need, and a bit more. Except wifi most of the time, tho I'm sure that's changing quickly, as I hear the roads are.
We hiked Nepal just after the rainy season which was wonderful because it made the whole place green and there weren't as many trekkers as I hear there are during the peak season. Another fun side effect, waterfalls everywhere. But seriously, more waterfalls than you can shake a stick at. There will be many more to come in this set of paintings but I wanted to do one of these taller waterfalls to start off with, they were simply so breath taking and around almost every corner.
The bridges will also be a reoccurring element of the Nepal set, heavy cable strung between two cement mounts in areas of frequent landslides and unpredictable elements. Keeps the heart pumping for sure, as though the landscapes and thundering rivers aren't enough to do that.
One thing I loved about the Annapurna circuit is that you always have a sense of where you're headed (up) and then where you've been (also up). It's a beautiful goal to work toward in the winding miles preceding it. As you trek toward your goal of course, you are met with infinite surprises along the way. More to come soon!
A beautiful painting of a place I have many beautiful memories.
Wall paint with a custom pallet and lots of geese!
84 square feet
This is a mural size piece I'm working on for a commission right now. Input is welcome!
Mixed Paint / Canvas / Work In Progress
It sounds weird to me to recommend you read an entire cook book (who does that?) but that is actually what I’m saying. Not just any cook book though, this cook book: Crust and Crumb: Master formulas for serious bread bakers.
I read this book while work-awaying at an EcoResort in Malaysia, we were between guests and as such the owner/manager and most of the rest of the staff had left us on the island to enjoy the forest and paddle board to our hearts content. I had burned through all the Dan Brown I’d brought, and cleaned the entire Club House top to bottom. The boss had left it for me because when I had said I could cook, the assumption was made that I could Bake. From scratch. Needless to say, this was not the case. Did I mention no internet?
That’s where this book comes in. Sure, I could have use it like a regular cook book but the author clearly addresses in the beginning, all of the recipes provided are FORMULAS to teach you how the bread works. The chemistry is lightly touched on, but not boring. The history of each is touched on, and recipe variations are recommended based on what you’ve learned and what is common.
Basically, this is not another cook book, it’s a lesson in bread, and who doesn’t love bread?
5 stars, or in this case, 5 rolls, delicious delicious rolls.
Other fun tid-bids about the story above, the pictures (not the book cover) are things I made in Malaysia, Challah bread, and what I called "Baby-Jesus Rolls". The oven was gas and had no temperature gauge. Basically, here's praying that these christmas rolls turn out (the fruit pieces inside are meant to be "swaddled" in the dough...) you can fill in the rest of the rolls' history when you read the book!