Wedding Present for the Smiths

When my friends Naomi and Forrest got married, I knew I wanted to present them with a painting as my wedding gift. Then when they announced they were pregnant, I also knew I would have the perfect subject. Surrounding their beautiful daughter I painted some of their favorite things and places.

Vivienne - acrylic on wood, 18"x24"

Jules’ Toybox

Our friend Sara (also a fantastic server in our restaurant Bar del Corso) is having a baby boy in May, so for her baby shower, I did this fun refresh of an old toy box.

toyboxbefore toyboxtop toyboxinside

Melanna and Dimo Portrait

Every so often I will get a phone call or text saying something lovely like, “I’d like to talk to you about doing a painting for me.” I love these commission requests because it allows me to do something new and different. It’s fun to impart my own style into something special for someone in particular. My good friend Dimo contacted me in December about doing a painting for him and his lovely wife Melanna. When he came to my studio to discuss the project he shyly asked if I would be infestered in doing their portrait. We discussed the idea of doing something similar to the classic Greek wedding portraits, where the bride and groom have an austere expression. I took this cue loosely and created this portrait of them, Melanna in her wedding dress/mermaid tail, and Dimo in his fishing gear (he goes to Alaska in the summers).

Melanna and Dimo - acrylic on board, commissioned piece

Tonight You Belong to Me

In February, I was happy to be part of another show at Twilight Gallery. This show was called Fade Into You: An Artist Mixtape, and it asked artists “to assign a song title to their visual expression of the exquisite arc of pain we call love.”

I chose the song “Tonight You Belong to Me”, a song that I associate with my mom, who introduced me to the version by Patience and Prudence, a happy, singsongy tune. But I discovered a version by Peggy Lee that drips with pathos. My painting is meant to be sweetly romantic in a pastoral setting.

Tonight You Belong To Me - acrylic on wood, $450 SOLD

Mini Art!

In November I participated in the 2013 Miniature Art Extravaganza at Twilight Gallery and All City Coffee. With some of the best emerging local and national artists, this special two month Holiday exhibit featured small works in drawing, painting, sculpture and mixed media.

Jellyfishettes_sm

MiniMinnie_sm

Lolo and Lolo Portrait

In honor of my paternal grandparents, I painted this portrait to commemorate their life together. In September my grandfather Eliseo passed away at the ripe old age of 99 1/2. Before his memorial, I spent a day surrounded by photos of him and my grandmother and studied their faces. I painted this portrait to share with my dad, my brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Lolo and Lola - Acrylic on handmade wood box - painted in honor of my paternal grandparents

My grandfather was the son of farmers in rural Mindoro, Philippines. He was the first of his family to go college where he studied to be a dentist. He fought alongside the Americans in World War II, and was forced to march in the Bataangas Death March. His experiences in his youth as a farmer’s son, and his resilience helped him survive. My grandmother was equally resilient. During the war, while the Japanese occupied the Philippines, she wanted to visit my grandfather and his family in Mindoro. The only way to get there was on a Japanese boat, and my grandmother’s sister, Isabelle made arrangements for her to get on one. She arrived in Mindoro in the middle of the night. Not wanting to arise suspicion, she waited until sunrise to approach his village, climbing up and sleeping in a tree.

What I remember about my grandparents was my grandmother would sew beautiful dresses for me, and that they fabrics she brought back from Okinawa (where they lived for many years) always smelled exotic. My grandfather wore old man golf clothes, and always inspected our teeth and asked how we were doing in school. They called each other Mommy and Daddy and loved each other very much.

Stoup Brewery Murals

Stoup

I spent the month of August painting murals on what is soon to be the new Stoup Brewery. It began with raw, concrete walls, and some ideas that I pitched to owners Lara Zahaba, Brad Benson and Robyn Shumacher. As I worked on the murals I got to see the brewery transform from raw space to functioning brewery. There was a bevy of different folks working each day, from plumbers to electricians, refrigeration, designers and metal smiths, all while I climbed up and down scaffolding to access the 17 ft walls. The day I painted the beer flowing from the taps was also the first day they brewed, so the smell of malt filled my nostrils as I worked. They also asked me to design their coasters!

stoupbrewing.com

A Whale Who Dreamt of a Snail – Now for Sale!

whale_cover_870x600

It’a amazing that eight months ago, Bill and I were just starting to set up our Kickstarter project to raise money to produce our book, and now it’s done and for sale on Amazon. It was a successful 2 month campaign, thanks to our many friends and family, then it took about 10 weeks to finish all the illustrations. After that another 5-6 weeks to get all the books printed, which we are sending out to our backers this week. In the meantime, we are getting the Kindle and iPad versions set up.

The book is available for purchase on Amazon

or visit awhalewhodreamtofasnail.com

A Whale Who Dreamt of a Snail

A Whale Who Dreamt of a Snail

dreamingboy50

Last year I was introduced to a fellow named Bill and we got to talking about children’s books. Back in 1999, I wrote a story and drew some pictures to go with it. Turns out, Bill had a story he had written and I asked if I could read it. He agreed and I fell in love with it’s lullaby quality and I could already imagine how I would illustrate it. Unfortunately he already had someone in mind as the illustrator, but I told him that if that didn’t work out, to let me know. A couple weeks later, he told me the illustrator was actually too busy, and was I still interested. He was heading out of town so while he was gone, I came up with some rough drawings for the whole story. When he returned I showed him my ideas. He loved them, and a partnership was born.

We’ve been working on this project for about nine months off and on. Last fall we had a few of the illustrations and the story to send out to some publishers, but then we thought, maybe we can actually publish this ourselves, both as printed books and as ebooks. Now we are really pushing to get this done. We are setting up a Kickstarter project and we’ve already filmed our intro. I am continuing to flesh out the illustrations, and we hope to have it ready by summer.

Mockups shoes in SAM store

Last year my friend and amazing artist/activist/educator, Louie Gong invited me to test out a pair of his Mockups shoes, which were still in beta. He was in the process of making his website about these fun, customizable toys, and asked some artist friends to try out the samples, so that he could feature them on the site and test out different techniques. I got mine right before going to New York for a family visit so I photographed them in different places around New York and Brooklyn to get some inspiration. As it turns out, when I got them home, I ended up painting them with one of my underwater scenes, then spraying them with gloss varnish to make them shiny. Now they are on display at the Seattle Art Museum Store, next to the display of Mockups.