Tag Archives: painting

trees & displacement

i always remember the trees when i feel i am in trouble. if i feel as though i am in some sort of mid-life mid-life ‘crisis’ – i look to trees for comfort. i have been doing this for almost three years. it all started in Seattle on one rainy drive home from work. i remember looking at some evergreens and feeling an overwhelming sense of calm. trees are so grounded. their roots reach deeply into the soil and hold them up, even against the strongest gusts of wind that grace the pacific northwest from time to time. from there, i learned to look at the sky and its colors and clouds and shapes. living in a city like San Francisco or New York, i am not surrounded by trees like i was back in Seattle, so i have been spending a lot of my time gazing at the sky from my roof. morning, noon, and night. before work. after work. and during the day when i am not at work. but my favorite time is sun down. when the clouds seem to retreat, slowly. and as they retreat, they catch colors from the setting sun :: pink, orange, coral, red, yellow, and purples and blues when dusk really begins to take hold. *sigh*

i made this painting in honor of all of the feelings above. you know that ‘if you could have one super hero power what would it be’ question ? well, my answer has always been, ‘to fly.’ i suppose flying in a helicopter is as close as i have ever gotten to that feeling. i imagine skydiving is the closest i could get – even though you are technically falling when that happens.. but, i’ve heard it ‘feels like flying.’ what a funny expression by the way, no ? because who actually knows what flying feels like ? if you or anyone you know has been born with the gift of flight, please contact me immediately. i need to speak to them.

why flying ? because i can’t imagine a feeling more liberating than just deciding to pick yourself up off the ground and fly to where ever you want to go. i know that i am not the only person to feel this way, but i know that many people say ‘invisibility’ when posed with the super hero question. so, yeah.

before i say anything else, let me say this :: i am not a racist. i care not about the color of your skin or the country in which you were born. i don’t care where people come from or what they look like – we are all human beings deserving of that rather vague concept that is happiness. that said, the longer i live in Chinatown, the more i feel a sense of cultural isolation. i have noticed that if i am in a deli in Chinatown – regardless of whether i am the first in line or in the middle – i am treated as though i were standing dead last. until i am the only caucasian left standing in the room, i will not be served. this happens nine times out of ten. it has reached a point where i have deliberately stopped frequenting most local delis merely because i am irritated at being treated this way. at first, i thought i was imagining things. i’d heard some stories from people that i know, but figured they were over-reacting. i was wrong. i now know that they were being dead serious and to be honest ? it breaks my heart – not just a little, but a lot.

so this feeling of displacement has slowly begun to seep into my sense of self. i know that i am not a bad person. i also know that if i am first in line i should be served first. so, standing in line at a counter where you are treated as though you have been bestowed with that ‘gift’ of invisibility, i am discouraged. i am not trying to blame the Chinese culture as a whole, though. i know that discrimination and ethnic injustice occurs every day in our country – i have just never been the ‘victim’ of it until now. and though my experience is extremely mild compared to most – i have a new found sense of appreciation for those that experience this on a daily basis. on a regular basis. on an at-least-ten-times-a-day basis. that’s not to say that i never felt sympathy for others before, but now i can say i feel empathy for them because in my own small way – i know what they are talking about and it doesn’t feel good. and yes, that is the understatement of the year.

[acrylic on watercolor paper]

jessi

6 Comments

Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

eleven days, washington street, and gravy

i am not ignoring you, trust me.

i am just busier than busy than busy could be. i leave in eleven (ok, maybe ten by the time you read this) days for San Francisco. eleven days, er ten days. and for the record, NO, i would hardly consider myself packed or prepared, although mentally – i have already relocated. now it’s just a matter of aligning my mental state to my physical world – which, by the way, is no easy task when you collect obscene amounts of stuff because you had a particular fondness for it and/or you have a particular fondness for who gave it to you and the memory attached to it.

i have been attempting to clean my apartment and pack up shop one square foot at a time, whilst juggling freelance work, riding horses, and trying ever so desperately to spend quality time with my near and dear friends prior to my departure (at this point, let me remind you that i am currently without a car (which would not be such an issue if the public transportation system in Seattle was not, for the most part, completely useless). so i am feeling entirely overwhelmed, unable to haul anything anywhere :: be it the dump, a donation center, storage, etc.

by now i should have held not one, but two, Garage Sales. However, as fate would have it (since I endured a health scare, then spent nearly 10 days in a hospital for a family member’s rapidly deteriorating health, and also/subsequently attending two open casket funerals in the space of one week, and spending an entire week in Montana for the second funeral), i “lost” about a month of my life and therefore find myself in a bit of a panic. these are not complaints, just facts. i had never in my life been surrounded by so much death and sadness and i wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. so, i do have trouble sleeping in the first place, but under these circumstances sleep seems only to wash over me when i’ve completely exhausted myself.


i am currently listening to Aimee Mann in an effort to calm my nerves and although Sylvia Plath once wrote that “there must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure,” for those of you who, like myself, are not particularly fond of baths (don’t ask me why, i’ve not been fond of them since i was kid), i am of the opinion that there are quite a few things a hot cup of tea won’t cure. so, bottoms up – tea cup style.

as for Washington Street (and trust me, the irony does not escape me since I am moving from Seattle, Washington) – this is where i’ll be living in San Francisco – I’ve put down the deposit, I’ve met my room mates (well, I’ve met two of them – there are three in total), i adore the neighborhood, i adore the apartment, and though it was only the second apartment i’d looked at – it just felt right. perhaps because we have roof access (and therefore an amazing view of the city), or maybe because it’s like the International House of People (IHOP for short)(one being from Greece, one from Italy, and another from France). what can i say ? i just had a really good feeling about the place and its inhabitants :: so i canceled any plans i’d made to see other spaces and bit the bullet / pulled the trigger – handed over my security deposit and my first month’s rent and called it a day.

as for Gravy? i am not talking about that delicious sauce one drizzles and/or drowns mashed potatoes with :: i am referring to a bulldog named Gravy. he is painfully cute, expressive, sweet, charismatic, and amazing-in-every-way-possible. he belongs to friend of mine and while at my friend’s apartment one evening, i took a few pictures of him, began sketching, then painting, and here’s ended up with this painting (and yes, i somehow managed to make this look like a paint by number) ::

my apologies for the shine factor.  the light from the scanner caused some serious reflections in the dark areas of the painting.

i have more to share. in fact, i have much more to share, however – i must call it a day and hit the hay (unintentional rhyme). until then, i bid you a wonderful morning, afternoon, evening, or what have you – i’ll be back just as soon as can.

[misc. google image][pencil and acrylic on paper]

jessi

Leave a comment

Filed under illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero. (yes, i’m still alive & kicking).

the title of this post means the following (roughly translated from Latin) ::

seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.

future tattoo. why ? why get such a message permanently inked onto my skin ? and why now ?

well, there are many reasons. some may think it is a bit cryptic or pessimistic. however, when i first read this i felt hopeful if not on the verge of optimistic. i consider myself to be a realist at heart with a dash of optimism. i strongly believe that everything happens for a reason.

i believe in seizing the day. who’s to say i won’t be struck and killed by a bus tomorrow morning ? i’m really not trying to be a debbie downer here. i promise. i do not have a death wish and i am not suicidal, but i do believe in living every day as if it were your last. as hard we try to control our future(s) on this earth, there really is no way to control them. sure, we might choose a certain career, pick a certain major at school, live in a certain city, yadda yadda, but ultimately our fate is not completely in our control.

by the way, i’m not a hippie.

this leads me to why i have been so absent from this blog (i really hate the term ‘blog’ :: apologies to fellow ‘bloggers’) er site for nearly an entire month (*sigh*). after what could have been a serious health scare, i had a major self re-evaluation of my own life. no, i was not about to die, but… the scare was certainly significant enough to make me re-think the way i have been living my life. from the amount of sleep i get (or, i suppose, lack) to what i consume on a regular basis (from alcohol to cigarettes to food, etc.). after my ‘scare’ (ok, ok, i’ll keep the mystery out of this :: on the 10th of August i suffered two grand mal seizures thanks to a medication i was taking), it took me about two weeks to recover from it. i’ve suffered several concussions (thank you, horse back riding) in my life and after those seizures – it felt like i’d had a serious concussion. my short term memory was more or less shot (and it still is to some degree), i had a terrible headache, and i just felt completely off. unless you’ve experienced this, you will not entirely understand it. it’s almost like vertigo and a concussion had a love child, that’s the best way to describe it and as a result i did not ride a horse for nearly five weeks and i cannot legally drive for six months (which, by the way, kinda puts a damper on someone who relies on their car to get everywhere :: including the beautiful city of San Francisco when i move there come the first week of October).

once i’d more or less come out of my blah from the seizures, two people in my life passed away. one suddenly from a horrific accident and the other was a close member in the family. i ended up attending two funerals in the space of one week and spending seven days in Montana (where the family was and where one of the funerals took place). so, yeah, has it been a bit of a shi**y month? yah, sure, you betcha, but it can only go up from here, right?

(an illustration made a couple of years ago that more or less sums up how i am feeling these days) ::

so i’ve been painting. and painting. and painting. i’ve been a horrible business woman. i’ve more or less neglected many emails and requests from potential clients as i dealt with my own health issues and then the loss of two people in my life. i move south in roughly three weeks. i am nowhere near ready, but i will keep my eyes ahead and continue to put one foot in front of the other because come h*ll or high water, by the first week of October, I will be a resident of San Francisco.

and another little piece i painted in the midst of all this ::

that, my friends, is all i’ve got for now. i am happy to report i am currently working on a project for a local business right now and do feel as though i am slowly finding my freelance feet again. i thank you for your patience and i’ll see you soon. lots of exciting things in the near future and quite a few paintings i will be finishing up this week that i am eager to share.

i wish you all good health, happiness, and a beautiful ending to your respective summers. i can’t believe fall is already here.

[digital design for tattoo][mixed media on paper][acrylic on paper]

jessi

2 Comments

Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

sold, bought, & processed

i disappeared (er drove) down to Portland, OR a few weeks ago to, ya know, sell some art in a parking lot outside a really sweet-ass bar named Pearl Blitz in the pearl district of Portland. once again, i tip my hat off to both Jackie F. and Jay O. for making this event and experience possible in the first place (hopefully I’ll be there next month as well…). so, yeah, i sold a few things. and guess what ? i sold a few more whilst i was down south in San Francisco !

i had exchanged cards with a very nice gentleman by the name of Michael D. who had expressed interest in some ‘box paintings’ i had done back in 2007 when i still lived in new york city. i’ll do my best to explain them ::

so, this is only three out of the five that i sold to this lovely man in Portland. it’s a bit hard to see this from the images (and sorry, they are packed up, so deal with it, there is to be no rescanning), but i painted these images onto different boxes from New York City’s China Town and Little Italy (deep fried Oreos, anyone?).

the concept being :: these two very distinct (though neighboring) districts in the city are in the process of merging, whether they like it or not.

you may think (sarcastically), ‘wow, what an exciting observation…’ but in all honesty, the merging of these two sects and cultures is worth recognizing and is an important development in the LOHO world (that would be, ‘Lower Houston’ for those of you unfamiliar with the city). so, I purchased boxes from both china town and little italy, took a crazy amount of photographs, and through collage, acrylic paint, and different drawing mediums .. expressed the italian culture on the boxes bought in china town and vice versa. the concept is simple enough, sure, but the impact was actually quite strong when they were all displayed together. it’s the sort of concept that is so basic it needs little explaining and zero justification. a concept too simple to be true.

and the results ? well, i was pleased with them because all of these boxes remained portable and commodity-like, just as i wanted them to, but without being obvious. they were subtle. you probably could have placed them back on the shelves in their respective homes and people may not have given them a second thought, as they would have blended in with their backgrounds. the project was a labor of love. the pieces themselves did not take nearly as long as developing the concept and taking the many many photographs required for reference and collage purposes :: the end result was something i was more than proud of.

i have always held a soft spot for new york city’s Little Italy and Chinatown. they are special spots in the city. they hold onto their own cultural worth while appealing to the general (and, need i say, touristic) aspects of the city. a local would feel just as home in this area as a tourist. well, not quite as at home :: but not a far cry from it. as most (if not all?) businesses in the city, they are here to make m-o-n-e-y.. and residing in the hot spot of Little Italy and/or China Town :: they are destined to do so.

in any case. they have been sold to a terrific individual in Portland, OR and I know that they will hang or be placed proudly throughout his home. there are few things more satisfying than selling art or a series of art to someone who not only has an aeshetic, but also a conceptual, appreciation for what they are purchasing.

cheers, Michael ! i hope you enjoy them to their fullest extent.

[collage, paint, and dtawing on miscellneous boxes from NYC’s Little Italy & China Town]

jessi

4 Comments

Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography

sold

so that little piece i made for the June 3rd show in San Francisco @ Kokoro Studio… guess what ? it sold.

ok, just go ahead and color me happy. seriously. this is, more or less, what i feel like ::

[sigh]

jessi

Leave a comment

Filed under illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

home (alone)

i’m back in Seattle. back to the grind. that sort of thing. am quite tired from my driving and sleeping in parking lots (thank you, Walmart), but it’s good to be in my own bed again (well, to know that sometime within the next few hours i will be there..).

however, i must admit, San Francisco is a very cool city. i did know this already, i’ve been there a few times, but i most certainly got a better feel for it this time and am so very tempted to move there.

many rolls of film to develop, dropping them off tomorrow morning. will have them uploaded by wednesday. i’d keep typing, but A. i am very tired B. i have work to do and C. i assume you needn’t listen/read my excessive rambling.

a far more interesting post to come :: but a huge thanks to all those in San Francisco and to Jackie in Portland, OR :: ya’ll rock and without you this trip wouldn’t have been possible :: you ROCK.

jessi

1 Comment

Filed under illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

now for the [really] good news Pt. 3

i apologize for keeping you so incredibly out of the loop, but after this post, you’ll understand why.

a few weeks ago, i was asked to participate in a group show in San Francisco at Kokoro Studio. yeah, right? are you as excited as i was and still am? ok. deep breath. when i was approached with said offer i quite nearly fell off my chair in my studio. i was not expecting to be offered such an opportunity. the opening is on June 3rd. so, all of you people who reside in the ‘Bay Area’ (as they call it), had better be there for the opening. the show has yet to be named, but the concept of the show is quite clear and very specific.

the guidelines: create a self portrait, include a background of your choosing (real or imaginary), make sure said portrait is somehow directed at the viewer so as to appear that ‘you’ are looking through a window into the gallery space at the viewer, mail it down in 2.5-3 weeks, and wait for further instructions. sounds easy enough, right? well, it wasn’t exactly easy, but it was a blast. it took one hell-of-an-all-nighter for me to complete it, but here’s the final product. and to be honest? i’m actually quite satisfied with it. it came from a good place inside of me and i always work best under deadlines (a.k.a. all nighters):

“speechless”

i must give props to Keiko Kuramoto at Kokoro Studio. she is an amazingly talented painter and artist and i am beyond flattered that she would invite me to participate in a group show at her gallery. i am going to do my very best to drive down for the opening and stay a day or two in San Francisco. this all depends on expenses, of course.. but i would feel like a d*mn fool not showing up for the opening of a show in which i am a participant. i’m stoked. i’m happy. and i can’t wait to spend a little time in ‘Frisco, it’s one of my favorite cities.

speaking of self portraits, cameras, and voyeurism.. i took this photograph in my studio. a dear friend mentioned i ought to share my own face on this here site. i disagreed with him, so this is all you are going to get:

so now you know i wear ugly over-sized sweaters and smoke cigarettes. but have you admired the camera? that’s my new baby. if you stare at nothing else, let it be my Nikon that steals the show.

alright, it is now 4:36am and i have to be at work by 11:00am tomorrow, er, today, er, this morning. if i weren’t wearing my massive headphones, i have a feeling i would be listening to the birds singing and chirping. a sound that i love when i am awoken by it, but a sound i despise when i am greeted by it after no sleep. so with that, i hereby sign off.

[acrylic and ink on canvas]

jessi

1 Comment

Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography