Big 500 Art Show interviews

Jason Berlin and I, along with loads more artists were interviewed for the 2017 Big 500 Aty Show. Going on until December 24th at Pioneer Place Mall, Second floor. Three shops, thousands of pieces of art, all $40 each.

Frank Stella does Moby Dick

Stella explained “I think the Moby Dick series [1986-1997] is a kind of turning point. I was a little afraid, and probably still am a little, with Moby Dick, but the pictures [are] essentially curved surfaces. They started to really move, and the novel moves; you’re going around the world, it’s pretty wet, there are a lot of waves and motion (Pobric).” In this manner, Stella creates a visual narrative as powerful as its original textual form.


I’m having too much fun with Scratch. I just started this dinosaur chomping apple game. Need to add some dangerous objects to avoid and maybe a winning score. For now, time for bed.

Fun with Scratch

Back in November I’d done some research on kids coding apps. I made a scratch account but wound up playing more with Scratch Jr. on the iPad with my daughter.. I’ve been spending more time with it and I’m having a blast just goofing off. Here’s my sweet dance moves:


Break Me

If I’ve learned anything from software development, it’s that the only way to make sure something is really strong is to spend a whole bunch of time finding out where it breaks and make it stop breaking.

This is a sentiment I understand pretty deeply on a personal level. I like to see how far I can bend before I break.

What I’ve Been Up To

What a wild ride it’s been. I left my job at PNCA at the end of June 2016. I had a glorious summer with my daughter — the first one we’d had together since I started grad school in 2013. I also biked a bunch and enjoyed the sunshine.

Starting in the fall I went back into web developing. I spent some time thinking about my role as a woman in tech. About how my leaving to pursue a masters in art had sort of made me a statistic. Women leave tech mid career 50% more than men. I did a great deal of research and soul searching. I thought about my own experiences, and how gender inequality might have been a factor in my decision to leave. After spending some time on this I realized many things. 1. I love to code. I have missed it so much. 2. I would be doing myself, the world, and my daughter a disservice to stay out of tech forever. Great, I took a break, I gained some perspective, I strengthened my art practice. Now it’s time to go back to tech.

The article was great fun to write. I had help from many great friends. My former colleague and tech writer Lynn Beighley helped me strengthen and polish my ideas. Masse university professor Lucas Haley and former cohort at PNCA fed me lots of inspiration and lit a fire under my ass. PNCA Librarian extraordinaire Linden How edited my piece into a finely forged  treasure.

That under my belt, I began consuming online web developer tutorials like a pig to swill. I’ve completed or watched over 60 tutorials on a multitude of subjects like: vanilla javascript (which I’m kinda falling in love with), JS frameworks like Ember,js, React.js, and angular.js, some advanced WordPress templating, git, sass, gulp, node.js, html5. css3, bash, sublime text editor (mad advanced user skills), PHP, I made some IoT projects with my raspberry pi and an Intel Edison board on an Arduino, learned some Python, expanded my PHP knowledge…. the list goes on and on. When I’m not actively coding along, I’m watching videos while I pedal away on my bike trainer in the basement. I’ve built in ember for my curatorial practice and started a web developer website, which at the moment doesn’t know exactly what it wants to be in React.js. I’ve joined user groups like Women Who Code PDX, PDX Women in Tech, and Portland React.JS, although because I’m a mom, I can’t make ti to most of the meetups because they happen after school and before my husband gets home to take over parenting duties.

I am a force to be reckoned with. All I need now is my forever job. Have you seen it?

Until then, I have a couple of freelance clients and I continue to eat up knowledge.

Art and Empathy

The other day juniper couldn’t sleep. She was distraught and frustrated. I got into bed with her and when she started expressing her frustration I would say “it’s ok, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to worry about sleeping. You don’t have to go to sleep right now. Just enjoy being in my arms right now.” We were both asleep in minutes. When I woke up, I felt like we had somehow repaired a tear in the fabric of the universe. I felt like a little part of me was healing and a little part of juniper was getting something that just might last her a lifetime. All it took was my act of love, patience and understanding, and her acceptance of it and trust in me. 

I was proud of myself right then and I wondered… how did I learn the patience and empathy to see this was the right thing to do? I think this is what art and curiosity has taught me. This ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to give them what will help them, is not expressed in mainstream media enough. It needs to be injected into our daily lives however we can find a way, so we learn how to be good to others. Public education, art, public access television, offer us plenty solid examples of humanity doing things right in this crazy world. 

Warsan Shire poem – “for women who are ‘difficult’ to love.”

you are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
forget you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him travelling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.

Eristalis Arbustorum – Hover Fly

Today’s bug of the day “Eristalis Arbustorum.” Looks like a bee, is a great pollinator, but it only has two wings, so… it’s a fly! They are often called hover flies or drone flies. Thats a great way to tell the difference, there are a great many flies out there acting like bees. They are cute, sweet, and they help our flowers and fruits. Be kind to them.

Hover Fly – Eristalis



Julie Green at UPFOR Gallery

Julie Green
Julie Green at UpFor Gallery

Julie Green (b. 1961 in Yokosuka, Japan) wanted to be a stewardess until age four, but became a painter instead. Green’s work has been featured in The New York Times, aWhole Foods mini-documentary, National Public Radio, Ceramics Monthly, Gastronomica, and 7th edition of A World of Art published by Prentice Hall. She has exhibited widely in the United States and internationally. A 2011 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, Green also won the 2015 ArtPrize 3-D Juried Award and is a 2016 Oregon Arts Commission Fellow. Half of each year, usually in winter months, she works on The Last Supper, an ongoing project about capital punishment in the United States. Green lives in the Willamette Valley and is a professor at Oregon State University.

A selection of Green’s My New Blue Friends paintings exhibits in the Governor’s Office in Salem in July and August 2016. She is also included in Portland2016: A Biennial of Contemporary Art, curated by Michelle Grabner and presented by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.



Snake gulch canyon in arizona

I wrote this last year on the Signal Fire trip to Northern Arizona in Speing 2015:

The sun is going down and the vibrant sages and oranges of the canyon and brush are slowly changing to soothing greys. 

It is so quiet here. I feel like my head is the loudest sound in this canyon. I can hear the hum of my brain’s generator. 

The oranges are now muted tans. 

I don’t belong here. I am a trespasser. I hope this canyon can forgive the hum of my brain generator and the sound of pencil on paper. 

This is the most silence I’ve felt in a very long time. I wish it weren’t so brief. Aside from the cow lazily making its way across the valley, there is no movement and no sound. And I want my brain generator to go into idle. Even the bright orange of the ravine walls are cooling in hue.


Today, sitting at my desk, there was a loud, low, rumbling and the building shook in response. It was probably a passing truck, but I imagined an expansive, thick, stampede of a cloud, effortlessly washing over the city, erasing everything in its path. I imagined lifting my hands to the sky in surrender. I thought about my child. If she were to survive, and the pain she would have to forever bare, of missing me. I imagined these feelings that I was experiencing would be similar to the real ones I might have, should I ever make the acquaintance of death, the moments before it takes me.

My dad visited me today through the story of someone else’s loss. Her father died too, when she was too young to lose a father. She didn’t get to say goodbye the her father. The loss still haunts her, like it does me. Her father is in her work just as my father is in mine.

I thought about absense today. I wondered, would I be missed? I considered that possibly the ones who would miss me are the ones most eager to  listen, to the ones most eager to share their stories with me. These people change throughout a person’s lifetime, but at some point, a shift occurs and one becomes “missable.” I wonder if the shift can occur for one and not the other. I think this is true. It makes me feel lonely.

I have been trying to be quiet lately. To see what the world might look like in my absense. I have found, to little or no surprise, that it goes on without me. And so, I add my voice back in until it is taken from me unexpectedly. I know who I will miss. I try to keep them close. I want them to know I am here. Being quiet is too lonely.

Opening Reception for Cavendish May 6th


Opening Reception:
Friday, store May 6th, mind 2016, 6-8pm
Downtown Portland Oregon (contact me for location)
Viewing available by appointment.

About “Cavendish”

The ultimate slapstick prop, comedic use of the banana can be dated back at least four thousand years. The act of slipping on a banana peel has a knack of producing schadenfreude in the viewer — the sensation of deriving pleasure from the misfortunes of others. Bananas are curious objects; they can be seen as phalluses or flowers, food or weapons.

Bananas are the fourth most important crop in the world and the Cavendish — our standard yellow grocery store banana — makes up a huge percentage of the bananas sold around the world. The Cavendish, genetically weak and prone to disease, could be on the verge of destruction. A strain of Panama Disease called “Tropical Race Four” is rapidly spreading and threatens to wipe out the Cavendish. The demise of the Cavendish would be an inconvenience to Westerners but it would spell disaster for millions of people in Africa, India, and Southeast Asia.

This group exhibition, entitled: “Cavendish,” by Portland artists Jason Berlin, Veronica Reeves, and Alanna Risse, explores the banana as an object of desire, power, and humor.