“Art ought to be a troublesome thing, and one of my reasons for painting representationally is that this makes for much more troublesome pictures.” David Park (posted on the wall above his paintings in the Oakland Museum of California.)
Carbon is a show at The Vestibule gallery in Seattle. I hung one of my burned tree paintings on the wall and installed a “fire pit” on the floor below it. The stone circle contains objects evoking the top carbon-emitting sectors: energy production, transportation, and agriculture, with a chunk of concrete for the built environment as one member of the ring of stones. There is an opening/performance 9/10 starting at 6 pm that I will attend.
I’m happy to be in Lynn Hanson Gallery’s annual ICON show again with both a burned tree painting and a bark beetle book. There is a Seattle reception there 2-4 pm, also on 9/10, that I plan to attend.
I had the pleasure of being a resident at the Mineral School in early August. I finished two new burned tree paintings and still managed to get out to nearby Mount Rainier for hikes and seven small landscape paintings.
In June I gave an in-person talk in Twisp, WA, as a 2022 Mary Kiesau Community Fellowship recipient. In September-October I will be heading back to the Methow Valley to begin my listening project: to community members, naturalists, and activists about the 2021 fires. I will also explore the burns themselves. I expect hearing from the people most involved and affected to influence my future artwork.
At the end of October, I’ll be installing the Magnitude of the Problem painting in the Shunpike Storefrontwindow at Mercer and TerryStreets in South Lake Union, Seattle, where it will be until the end of January 2023.
After that I’m looking forward to a quiet spell into early 2023 where I can focus creating on new work!
Climacteric Confluence, at Columbia City Gallery, Seattle March 26-May 9. Together with Melissa Koch, Anna McKee and Juliette Ripley-Dunkelberger, this exhibit addresses aspects of our climate crisis. The first word means, “a critical period or event” or “having extreme and far-reaching implications or results; critical.” It will include five of my burned tree paintings and six artist books from the bark beetle series.
Bugs Aplenty, at The Elisabeth Jones Art Center, Portland OR April 1 – May 23. They had so great a response to their call for insect-related art that they divided the show into two sections. Two of my bark beetle books will be in the second; the first is here.
I’ll also be in the Northwest Watercolor Society’s membership exhibit with the burned tree portrait below; it will be online at www.nwws.org, beginning with a virtual opening at 7 pm on April 22, and up through June 30.
This is the first painting in this long series that involved substantial mechanical engineering for its physical display: I had to figure out a way to include the free-standing fragile branches. A matching stiff backing for each bundle of branches was laser-cut from acrylic and attached to a backing plate that rests above the hanging cradle on back of the trunk’s mounting board.
I’m so pleased with how the branches look that my next tree painting, still in progress, will have hundreds of them!
For June through early September, the San Francisco Center for the Book and the San Francisco Public Library are hosting an exhibit called “Reclamation.” Two of my beetle books, Survivorship and Beetle Graph, will be in it.
In October 2021 through January 2022, Tim Musso’s giant woodcuts about bark beetles and forests, Jim Frazier’s bas-relief glyphs based on their galleries, and my bark beetle books will be shown together in “Below the Bark,” at the Missoula Art Museum in Missoula, MT. Artist talks and student STEAM activities are being planned around the exhibit. I’ll have more to report more in my next mailing.
If the creek and the COVID don’t rise, I’m excited to be teaching a floating workshop to benefit Great Old Broads for Wilderness on a San Juan River rafting trip May 15-19. If you are interested there might be one or two spots left.
And last but not least, I will once again be teaching a 2-day watercolor landscape class through Seattle’s Gage Academy June 12-13. It will likely be a few weeks before it is posted on their workshop calendar.
I’ve had some inspiring conversations with people who have reached out to me about the bark beetle books—artist and entomology professor Barrett Klein at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, poet and novelist-to-be Sean Petrie, and I’ve been reading Jody Gladding’s poetry in Translations from Bark Beetle. You never know where your artwork will take you!
Oh my, how the world has changed! I want to acknowledge that we all are experiencing dislocation and distress – some much, much more than others – as a lame introduction to reporting my art endeavors.
I’m reminded of the scene at the end of Casablanca where Bogart says to Bacall, “I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three [one] little people [person, i.e., me] don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world….”
My bean count: residencies cancelled or postponed — three; individual pieces of artwork sitting in shuttered exhibit spaces out there in the world — 72; upcoming exhibits cancelled — two; and one cancelled watercolor workshop on a San Juan river trip for Great Old Broads for Wilderness. And no doubt more to come….
….but at least I can’t take it personally!
My pandemic project gave me deep focus for the first 41 days. This blog post gives greater detail.
As yet untitled, 6 of 7 panels of varnished watercolor on torn paper, 22 feet by widths from 42” – 49”. I have no place large enough to photograph it all together!
I’m deeply honored to receive a MadArt Artist Relief grant. I plan to use it to extend opportunities for artists less fortunate than me. While not up there yet, the 3-minute application video I created should be viewable on their vimeo page soon.
Besides the Kirkland Arts Center People’s Choice Award that prompted the big tree pandemic project in the first place, one of my artist books received an award at Northern Arizona University’s “May You Live in Interesting Times” book arts exhibit. (Little did they know how soon their title’s wish would be granted!)
Urban Moonset, watercolor on paper, 11″ x 15″, begun as a demo for my last Gage workshop
I am still planning to teach a landscape workshop for Gage Academy June 13 and 20.(Sign up soon!) Portions are almost certain to be online, but I am hoping our city and county guidelines will permit small outdoor groups to paint in parks if masked and distanced. The irony of trying to paint plein air landscapes indoors online has not escaped me!
Hello, it’s been a while.
This is an overdue update of everything happening now and a look back at events past. 2018-2019 has been a whirlwind and I am excited to share that with all of you. Thanks for your interest!
Workshops “Watercolor on the Move: Practical Plein Air”
Gage Academy Workshops
Saturday-Sunday 9:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.
For those in the Seattle area, I will be teaching watercolor once again at Gage Academy. Sign up for the workshop if you’d like to learn more about how I go about doing plein air — painting outdoors from life. Top: Zion Light, watercolor on paper, 11″ x 15″ (sold);
Bottom: The Three Little Pigs (Gasworks) watercolor on paper, 11″ x 15″
Upcoming Shows Davenport Cellars, Woodinville WA
June 5 – early September 2019
The theme is “beautiful and disturbing landscapes,” scenic views of the public lands contrasted with burned-over landscapes. Top: Frisco Again, watercolor on paper 11″ x 15″
Bottom: The Landscape of Fire (rotated) 52″ x 15″
Food Art Collection, Seattle The quiet existentialism of discrete fruits and vegetables
July 14th, 2019 Opening 1-3 P.M.
In July I will be showcasing something new, a series of vegetable paintings. I began them as class demonstrations and soon realized that the process of trying to free up my students’ work was freeing up mine. Apropos to none of my other work, but enjoyable and satisfying. Come see what we serve up at the opening! (See this meditation on why here.) Top: Swiss Chard, watercolor on paper, 11″ x 15″
Bottom: Long radishes, watercolor on paper, 11″ x 15″ (sold)
State of the Forest Installation in Environmental Impact Sequel James Museum, St Petersburg, FL
August – November 2019
This is the first stop on a touring exhibit that focuses on the environmental impact of climate change. Thirty of my burned tree portraits will be suspended, in floating fabric media to evoke the fragility of forests. Fourteen of them have Lorena Williams‘ fire stories printed on the back layer of the set. I look forward to presenting my work in this way. Top: State of the Forest, 10 of a 30 tree installation. Bottom: Detail of the three layers for each tree, black, solid print and transparent print (Jonathan T. Bishop photos)
Columbia City Gallery 20th Anniversary Book Arts Exhibit:
The Book as Art: The Page and Beyond
September – November, 2019
This show will focus on finely crafted books that explore a variety of structures and books that can challenge traditional notions of a book and page.
Willowtail Springs Nature Preserve
In late October I make my way back to Mancos, Colorado, for my fourth return to Willowtail Springs Nature Preserve. I’ll have an opportunity to work with author Lorena Williams on the stories that accompany the State of the Forest installation above.Zion Centennial “100 Objects – 100 Images”
Zion Plein Air Invitational
Zion National Park, Utah
November 6-10, 2019
I am honored to be invited out for my 8th season during the Centennial of Zion National Park and Zion Plein Air Invitational. The Centennial will be celebrated through the art and history of this magical place via the exhibition “100 Objects – 100 Images”, beginning September 15th, continuing through and during the traditional plein air week. I look forward to sharing more as the year goes by so stay tuned for more details.“Word | Image | Object”
July 2019 – January 2020
An artist book exhibit organized by Abcedarian Gallery in the main Denver Public Library. My small beetle-chewed branch books contain Melinda Mueller poetry about bark beetles. Bark beetle book Volume XIX: Poetry Sticks