It's getting past my bedtime, and the effects of that quad-shot mocha I had around 6pm is wearing off. However, I am compelled by a couple different reasons to post my monthly art rantings before I lose my nerve to do so. Further explanation may or may not be forthcoming.
As I'd mentioned, I started off the evening with coffee. Backspace is a coffeehouse/internet cafe/gallery hybrid in the Old Town area (Backspace), serving my caffine addiction 'til the wee hours of the morning. My friend Aimee (also know as J. Germany's better half) tagged along this evening, much to my chagrin later. After purchasing our beverages, we checked out the four different artists showing at BS: paintings by Giuseppe Lipari & Eric Robison, and photographs by Joshua Dommermuth & Eden Swartz. All and sundry were quite good. My favorites included: Lipari's painting of a woman standing outside, a rifle in her hand, and a darkening sky above (can't remember the title for the life of me); Dommermuth's "Brynn" (I think), which had both a haunting and classic feel to the composition; Dommermuth's series of portraits were very warm, very human. Swartz's photos were the oddest and most endearing. The composition consisted of candid/posed shots of a young woman (perhaps Swartz herself?) in a mouse costume. Why? Who knows. But they held a charm I can't quite put into words.
Since the Backspace website doesn't have photos of the current show up, I may scan and post the artcard tomorrow. We'll see.
Coffees in hand, we toddled off to the Everett Station Lofts, where we met up with Teressa, Daniel, Sara and Indio.
This month, the Fairy features illustrator Juli Adams, whose pieces seem to be fractured fairytales themselves. My first thought walking into the gallery was "What twisted children's books are these from?" ...Waitaminute. That was my second thought. My first thought was "[Insert Deity]! That's a BIG cat!" I digress. Each of the pieces are beautifully rendered, full of color and detail, and look as though they are waiting earnestly for someone to write the stories to accompany each piece.
I'm also happy to report that Miss Adams is web-saavy, and even those of you who can't make it to Stumptown for a viewing can check out all of her pieces at her website: JuliAdams.com Personally, I want a whole book containing every one of these pieces.
I'd like to briefly compliment gallery curator Jessica Small on her ability to pick amazing artists for her shows. This is the gallery that hosted Harvest Henderson's work in September (more on Harvest later in the program), and comic artists Drew Johnson & Matthew Clark in August.
Added to this growing list is Barbara Jean Whitbeck, with her series of paintings entitled "Double Lucky." Again, I really get to share my experience with you, as Barbara has her body of work available for viewing on her website: BarbaraJeanArt.com
Barbara's work is very vibrant, full of iconic imagery and evokes a feeling of playfulness. It certainly adds a warmth to an otherwise chilly November day. This playful nature comes through in pieces like "She Rides", "Ladies Three" and "Girls Are Monkeys Too." All but the last can be seen on her site. I employ my standard high compliment to Barbara's work: I'd rob a convenience store to buy her art.
Inadvertently, I found myself in pleasant conversation with Barbara. While I was looking at the art, a very striking woman made a remark about the anime image on my shirt. A few minutes of conversation later, I realized that I was talking with the artist. (I've mentioned how my brain just shuts right off when talking with amazing women, right? Right.) Anyway, Barbara took the time to talk to me about her work, pointing out a painting that had the same subject matter but a different style. She plans to complete additional paintings in this style. She also mentioned that there would be a closing event at the end of the month, and that she'd be bringing a few additional pieces with her.
I have since marked the date on my calendar.
As promised, I present the new show by Harvest Henderson: Pepper A series of mixed media prints, such as a photo of koi swimming in a blue sky over a meadow, printed on a fragment of a Texas roadmap. Decidedly different than her "Gasoline" show at Pause, but nonetheless artistic and inventive. This particular show caught the attention of Aimee, who is a graphic artist/designer in her own right. I am just impressed when I can see different facets of other artist's skill and craft. I predicted that I'd look forward to seeing more of Harvest's work, and I was right.
Of course, I may be a trifle biased now. Maybe. Remember the painting "Kestrel" that I went on and on about? One-third of it is sitting right behind me as I speak. About five feet away. The other two-thirds will follow as I continue to pay for it. Last week, via email, Harvest and I came to an arrangement which satisfies her need for the painting to go to someone that loves it (and frees up space she needs for new art), and allows me to purchase my very first piece of art.
Look at me. I'm officially a patron of the arts. Talk about motivation. Buying art really makes me want to sell art. Mainly so that I can buy more art. I sense a vicious cycle coming on...
And that is that, campers. Good thing too, since I'm about out of juice. I may have a sibling article tomorrow; Kimmie "Angry Fairy" Hutchins is in a group show opening tomorrow night for SE Portland's still-fledgling First Friday. For now, good night.