Monday, April 30, 2012

It's a new mural! This will be 9 feet square so I am working in three panels. It's for Macrina Bakery in Belltown and will show a wheat field with sunflowers and other grains and flowers. I have chosen the unusual perspective of someone lying in a field looking at the sky so all the giant stalks are towering above us.

I am using pure copper leaf and all the terracotta colour will be covered with it. Here is my test area. I'm so excited. My favourite glimpse of large pieces like this is when I turn the studio lights out at the end of the day and the shining metal leaf glows in the darkness, reflecting ambient light.

As part of my research on wheat I found the wonderful work of Australian Margaret Senior who painted plant diseases. She is worth a google. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

In a Mood for Murals

Today I am beginning a new mural using metallic leaf. To get in the mood I'm looking at some murals I made a while ago. This one of a pear tree is at Macrina Bakery headquarters in Sodo, Seattle.

This mural of a grove of Arbutus trees was commissioned for a private residence.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Crazy Paintings by Amazing Women.

I just got back from another visit to Jordan where I teach art in the Ghor es Safi to women from farming families. It is always a bit of a crazy time - introducing artistic concepts like value, hue, texture and expressive brushwork to women with no previous exposure to art. It doesn't help that my fifty words of Arabic can't convey ideas very well.  Just when I start to feel that I am barking up the wrong tree, or just barking mad, we produce amazing things like these market bags. It helps that several of the women in my group have very good sewing skills.  

We love mixing colours and the results are joyful. Even the side panels on these bags are pretty.


The bags will be marketed to hotel gift shops in Jordan and also at the weekly craft fair in Amman. If you are on Rainbow street in May and June come and look for Nofeh and her craft stall.

I like this photo because it shows the community aspect of art making in our workshops. Two women work on the same painting. As with the rest of their lives in their small farming town, community comes first. And it is important that the women can bring their children to the classes. Otherwise, as is the case in the rest of the world, they might not be able to come at all.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Urban Farming in Amman

A small plein air painting I made while sitting on the roof at ACOR in Amman. Looking north from the city in amongst the bulldozed rubble, wild dogs and apartment buildings there are fields of spring grains - probably wheat.