Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jill Mayberg: Painting Good Cheer

I have a dog. And not just any dog, but a beagle. And not just any beagle, but a surrogate beagle -- a stand-in for the lovable, devoted, irascible, barking, bolting, BITING beagle that we brought into our home as a puppy and returned to the breeder two years later. Oh, we were so full of hope for the wonderful companion that Harley was going to be! And the day I put him in his portable crate and loaded him into the back end of the breeder’s car -- never to be seen again -- was, quite literally, one of the saddest that I can remember. (Ever give up on a dog? It feels really lousy.) Fortunately, a couple of months later, I met artist Jill Mayberg at Art in the Pearl in Portland, and brought home my new “beagle” who greets me daily from my kitchen wall.

Acrylic on canvas
Image courtesy of Jill Mayberg - all rights reserved

Even now, nearly three years later, this painting continues to bring a smile to my face and only the fondest memories of Harley to my mind and heart. Jill’s paintings just have that kind of effect on people. They’re as cheerful and colorful as can be, with interesting layers, variations in surface dimension and quality, and small and intriguing collaged and painted elements within the larger compositions.

Acrylic on canvas
Image courtesy of Jill Mayberg - all rights reserved

Acrylic on canvas
Image courtesy of Jill Mayberg - all rights reserved

Acrylic on canvas
Image courtesy of Jill Mayberg  - all rights reserved

Jill’s a full-time, self-supporting painter who travels to shows around the country annually. And although she lives just across the border, in Washington, I think of her as being a Portland artist because she participates in so many shows here.

Acrylic on canvas
Image courtesy of Jill Mayberg - all rights reserved

A nature and animal lover, Jill says she finds much inspiration while on her daily walks and that her ideas have "evolved over the years from a confluence of traditions such as primitive folk art, expressionism, and abstract modernism. "

Acrylic on canvas
Image courtesy of Jill Mayberg - all rights reserved
Although I don’t yet own one of Jill’s original works, I have two of her prints and I have frequently displayed a half-dozen of her greeting cards on a shelf because they are so lovely en masse. Visit Jill's Etsy shop,  and her new blog to see more of her work and to find out where she’ll be showing next.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wonderfully Distracted

Relief print on painted paper
17" x 23"
(The optics of this print really play havoc on one's eyes -- even online. )

I'm distractedly trying to work on my small collages today.   I've read many blogs, emailed an artist, purchased  a moleskin journal with a lovely hand-printed linen cover from Lotta of inleaf, talked on the phone far too long, and googled my own blog -- just because it's a responsible thing to do. :)  I'm glad I did, too, because I discovered  Jane Cabrera's delightful children's illustrations in the process and her flickr site with links to many other wonderful designers and artists' flickr sites. 

Relief print on painted paper
17" x 23"
Haven't forgotten about posting about the Portland artist.  Planning to post it very soon.  But now, I simply must go tear some Arches paper for my collage "supports."

Happy Saturday!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chaos, Order and Seeds

I'm starting to zero in on my June show at Gallery 114 in Portland.  I say "my" but really it's Joan McGuire's solo show.  She's a painter/illustrator/graphic artist and has kindly invited me to participate.  My small, mixed-media works on paper will be shown in a pop-up room within the larger gallery room where her large, graphic paintings will be exhibited.  (I'll post more on Joan's new work in late May or early June.)

So... my "in-progress" pieces are now scattered about my studio (read "house"), creating much visual chaos in three rooms (really!).  An antedote, below -- gifts from the sea, gleaned from the beach following a storm, and now in their own, orderly "exhibit".

1908 leather/wood printing stamp (on box)

And no, I don't know what kind of seeds/nuts they are but they're not walnuts because they're virtually round.  

Which brings me to Sophie Munns, who is an artist-in-residence at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and whose show, "Homage to the Seed", has just opened.  If you haven't yet discovered Sophie's work you must hurry over to her blogs (yes, two of them-- here and here).  She's a terrific writer and a prolific artist, and she's extremely generous with information about her work and process.  (Plus, her comment sections always have lively conversations going on.)  All and all, her blogs make for very good reads.

It was a lovely weekend in Portlandia.  So nice to be outside without a jacket!  Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.  Oh -- and check back soon as I'll be posting about a wonderful Portland artist whose work has brought me much happiness.     Cheers!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Print Graphics (or...Graphic Prints)

Feeling in a graphic mood today.  Above, recent relief and screen prints on lightweight cotton and heavy canvas, along with found game pieces and some wonderful "alpha marbles" that were a gift.

And here, relief and gocco prints brought into a nine-patch in Adobe Illustrator and then saved as a jpeg in Photoshop. (Admittedly, now a bit blurry due to all the "fuss."), the "long and low" perspective.

And now, shifting gears for the work week ahead.

Best....  :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Sentimental Journey

Vintage creamer(?) with "Japan" mark on bottom 

Last Saturday, I journeyed to a couple of antique stores in the little town of Sherwood, south of Portland,  and then stopped at a flea market on the way back.  I found a few "smalls" --as antique dealers call them--that brought a flood of sentimental associations and childhood memories to me.  I simply had to have the creamer (or syrup pitcher?) above, because it reminded me so much of Gene, who has been in our lives for thirty years.  He's 92, and "Grandpa" as far as we're concerned, since my father died before our daughters were born.  And although Gene's not a true cowboy, we've always considered him as such because of his zest for life.  And besides, he did spend most of his life in southern California in what could be considered "cowboy country," and he has read virtually every Louis Lamour western that was ever published at least once if not several times.  He still golfs, goes to the YMCA to workout three times a week, and gardens.  And ...he decided to take up drawing recently.  You can find his drawing of cowboy boots and hat, here.  I'm so very happy to have found the creamer as it will always, always remind me of Gene.

Humming bird's nest on Belleek

Well, no, this lovely, teeny-tiny hummingbird's nest was not found on my journey; it was given to my daughters years ago by a gardener-friend of ours who, I'm sure (I hope), found it on the ground.

Vintage Cribbage boards and pegs

But I found these Cribbage boards at the flea market and scooped them up since they brought back vivid childhood memories of "playing to win" against my father and grandfather. Each of the boards is uniquely relevant: the one on the left, because it was presumably made in the 1950s, in Hollywood, California, not far from where my father and I were born; and the one on the right--much older and handmade with lovely patina, original cork plug and hand-chisled pegs--because it has an inlaid Freemason's symbol -- a compass and a square (tools of the stonemasons from which the fraternal organization traces its origins).  As far as I know, my grandfather was a Mason, although I have no recollection of him being actively involved in the organization.

Vintage shell buttons and cufflink

And these buttons from the flea market.....well, I confess to being a bit of a collector.  Vintage buttons are so lovely and it's so easy to purchase a few from here and there.  And they're the perfect thing to acquire when traveling since they take up virtually no room in a purse or suitcase.  

 And speaking of buttons...please check back soon for a button-related post.   Oh --- and if you happen to know the name of the pattern and/or manufacturer of the creamer/syrup pitcher, I'd love to know it.  I've done some searching on the internet but have been unsuccessful.

Happy weekend everyone!!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The "Golden Hour" and Lotta and Em's Gardens

 Gold-edged curls made from photo-copies of small paintings

This evening, we rushed to the windows and then outside to witness "The Golden Hour" -- those magical few moments when the sun is going down and the low light turns everything golden while simultaneously creating deep, dark shadows. You know -- that Maxfield Parish-ciaroscuro kind of world.  Of course, I did try to capture it digitally, but I wasn't coming up with the right compositions nor doing the light justice.  So instead, I ran back inside to try to capture the above paper curls and umbrellas in the golden light.  But alas, the shadows were so strong I couldn't make it work and within moments, the sun was down and the golden hour was gone.  Still, the umbrellas in the photo do make me happy, and the little curls could almost be construed as having personalities.   And as it turned out, while up in the yard, I had actually managed to capture a sense of the light in this close-up of the Gravenstein apple buds. 

Which leads me to the topic of garden blogs:  If you're a gardener, or simply a lover of flowers and wildlife, (and dogs), you must pay a visit to garden fool and lotta's garden.  Em's photos are gorgeous and her narrative, while extremely spare, is both informative and humorous.  And Lotta brings to her garden blog the same sensitivity and the wonderful curatorial eye that many already know from her beautiful inleaf blog, website and Etsy shop. Really, both garden blogs are veritable feasts for the eyes so happy looking!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Small Works on Paper

I'm working on a series of prints and collages for a show that I've been invited to participate in.  I might have something to show for my efforts in a couple of days.  In the meantime, I'm continuing with posting my mini-retrospective!  These pieces were done quite some time ago.  Everything that appears greenish, on the piece above, is actually reflective gold ink. 

Above and below, Prismacolor on paper. 

Here's wishing you and your families some wonderful times together this weekend.  Happy Easter, to those who celebrate it.  Happy Spring to all.    Best....