Friday, February 24, 2012


The Danish have a word for it, Hygge, which translates to design that just feels good, that’s comfortable to live with.

This week I have gotten totally distracted with kitchen and lighting design.  So much so that all I could accomplish with my painting is the design of what I am going to paint next...  It will feature a scooter at the beach, this is a photo from the beach.  This photo is from a favorite foodie photography blogger that I follow called 'what katie ate'.  She is from Sydney Australia.  Her photos are gorgeous and unusual.

We moved into a new home a little over a year ago.   The only space I really don’t like in the home is the kitchen.  It is a large old fashioned room.  It’s best feature is a large box window with a wonderful garden view in the summertime. 

The rest of the kitchen however is rather dull.  I am finally ready to make some additions to the space to warm it make it more hygge, as my adorable Danish husband likes to say.  The easiest way to make the most dramatic change is with the ceiling lights.  I want to add a dropped pendant over the kitchen table and some smaller ones over the kitchen island.   I have fallen in love with the mason jar lights that you see in the first photo above.  They are modern and historical all at the same time. The added bonus is that they are clever with a sense of humor.  I think I will give them a try. Stay tuned for before and after photos...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the bodhi tree

the bodhi tree
24x24" acrylic on canvas

Today is valentines ❤ my most favorite of all days because it is about LOVE.  I am in love with LOVE. (not just the romantic kind but rather all kinds...a general love for everything and  everyone in the world - kind.) To mark this day I have finished a very special painting I am calling « the bodhi tree ».  I am reading the book, Buddhism a very short introduction, by Damien Keown.  I have always been interested in philosophy and I am thinking more and more about the ‘middle way’.  The Buddha in his search for the most productive course to live his life decided that it was best not to indulge our appetites to excess nor to deny them but rather to seek moderation. This makes sense to me. 
During the Buddha’s travels and studies he spent three nights meditating under a bodhi tree.  On the first night, he acquired the power to look back over his previous existences.  On the second night, he attained the clairvoyant power to see the decease and rebirth of all beings in the universe and their good and bad deeds.  On the third night, he attained the complete state of awakening (known as enlightenment) and was able to eliminate his spiritual defilements. Rooting out craving and ignorance he was able to attain NIRVANA  and put an end to rebirth. 
Nirvana is the state of perfect happiness, an ideal or idyllic place. I think this space might be it for me! The bodhi tree is a fig tree from India and Southeast Asia and is regarded as sacred by Buddhists.  It originated in the19th cent.: representing Sinhalese bōgaha ‘tree of knowledge’ (Buddha’s enlightenment having occured beneath such a tree), from bō (from Sanskrit budh ‘understand thoroughly’) + gah ‘tree.’

Thursday, February 9, 2012

a long way home

a long way home
....6x6” acrylic on plein air panel

This work is the second in a series of small landscape studiies that I have begun.  I thought at the time that it was fairly successful until I posted it on Etsy as a stand alone piece in my new art shop.  I realized that it is much more striking when presented along side the first study called AT DAWN. (as shown below)

This got me thinking about smart design and presentation and the power of graphics.  RON JOHNSON is the master of this. He recently left Target as the VP of merchandising to go to JC Penny as their new CEO.  Johnson started his career as the senior VP of operations at Apple and was the creator of the Genius Bar.  Compare the three product catalogs and you can see his influence on these companies.  The new JCP catalog  just arrived in my mailbox and it is very similar to Targets.  I can’t wait to see where JCP is heading. Johnson said, "I didn't come here to improve. I came here to transform. Every single leader in America who works to improve their business year after year...can create gradual results, but the only question is, how fast did you improve compared to someone else? You don't fundamentally change your position in the marketplace."  in Bloomberg Businessweek, Jan. 30th 2012 issue.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

at dawn...

6x6" acrylic on plein air panel board

This painting is the first of many more small study boards I am going to start producing while I am working on a larger painting like the one you saw from the last entry.  These are fun to do and can be completed in one day. I keep track of several painters who do a painting a day blog -- that has inspired me to push myself a bit to get more work done.  I am hoping that I will see a progression  and that my art will improve.

Last week I was inspired by a local Portland Architect /Artist, Brad Cloepfil and I went to see his lecture at the Art Museum.  They had a question and answer interview style lecture with Brad and the curator and a slide show of his work.  This was my favorite image from the show.

posted by another local portlander at Brian is a portland freelance writer.  Unfortunately, Brad did not win this competition.  His work is very sculptural.

(you can see more of my work at