Friday, October 10, 2014

A tender time


"There's a Bird in My Heart" Acrylic on Panel, 8x8", Quin Sweetman

"I am white with knuckles and my future eyes are squinting and sand-crusted. I kiss you to make you stop talking" Oil on Canvas/Panel, 8x8", Quin Sweetman

These are paintings I completed during a rough time; my mother and my cat were both ill. The strange titles came from a group show I am in, in which painters were paired with writers. "Entitled" is the name of the show and we each randomly selected titles to paint about or paintings to write about, respectively.

The painting of my cat now serves as a eulogy as she just passed away. Her sweet, gentle spirit and skittish, bird-like ways inspired me to paint her for the title. The painting of my husband Andy, though a portrait of him, is also a a self-portrait of sorts. I found the title I had drawn from a hat to be silly at first but came to relate to it in this tender stage in life I am in currently.  On a lighter note, Andy wrote this tongue-in-cheek eulogy for our cat:


Kirby Puckett was born in the summer of 2001 near Lake Merwin Washington in the Mount Hood Forest.   She was destined to be a working animal for a band of Forest Gnomes who ride cats like humans ride horses. These weren’t your normal run of the mill forest gnomes who cause a bit of mischief like hiding your keys.  These gnomes are a truly nasty and evil race.   They find folks sleeping after a night of partying and poop in their mouth and give a whack to the head for good measure resulting in what most people think is a hangover. 
One such morning when Quin and I awoke in a forest cabin, the gnomes had succeeded in causing a hangover but had left behind their small steed, who was now sleeping at the foot of our bed.  We figured that Kirby had escaped their nasty little clutches and wanted to be a normal cat like she had heard of in the legends of old.  This is where we started to share in the adventure of Kirby Puckett, the female cat.  
Quin and I already had a cat named Keegan (RIP) and some of you may have read his life story some time ago.  We felt that Keegan and Kirby would be best friends.  We didn’t know at the time, but Kirby spoke a language and observed customs that were not aligned with any other living cat.  This might have had something to do with those shitty little gnomes.  It took the passing of Keegan and the adoption of Fuzz, AKA Joe Meower, AKA Johan Santana, AKA Black Kitty, etc. to understand this was a reality.  
Soon after, we moved to the St. Johns neighborhood of North Portland and Kirby and Fuzz ruled the neighborhood for a couple of years.  Fuzz was the muscle and Kirby was the brains behind the operation. They sold catnip on the corner to make a few bucks and  bribed animal control to leave them alone.  All of that ended when a group of bootlegger cats by the last name Togo moved in next door. The Togo clan ruled with impunity, terrorized humanity and a claw to the eye and hole in the foot ended the outdoor rein of Kirby and Fuzz.  The message was loud and clear, the only safe place was indoors.  
During these past few years of indoor life, Kirby would pass the time following Quin everywhere through the house.  Kirby would give advice and tips on painting.  Wonder why Quin wasn’t on the same sleep schedule as her.  She would think “why doesn’t Quin use the litter box too" and wonder why our food was always eaten in front of the magic box where noise and light came from.  Whenever Quin would ask Kirby what she should paint next, the answer was always: Birds, Birds, Birds.  By this time Quin had become semi fluent in Kirby’s language and was always trying to teach it to me.  Kirby had a love hate relationship with petting, me, Fuzz, litter boxes, and the device she called the VACUME.  She was amazed that it could scream and eat at the same time yet terrified at how it moved and in our house, only came out before other people came over. 
After a brief sickness, Kirby is now hanging out with Keegan somewhere in heaven.   
I read somewhere that cats look at humans as bigger cats who feed them.  Kirby leaves behind two big cats and her brother fuzz. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Twelve Days, 21 Paintings!

My time at the coast was productive. The annual Sandgren Coastal Paintout happens for two weeks every July in the Newport, Oregon region and includes many beautiful state parks and scenic areas.

My 21 works, range in size from 36" wide to only 3". Some were quick "sketches": others more finished. I look forward to finishing and showing this body of paintings.

Seal Rock, 18x24"

Ona Beach, 16x20, oil sketch of family with kites

Rocky Creek, 11x14, Erik Sandgren paints in foreground, Carol Marine in distance with umbrella

Another view of all on studio floor

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In Alla Prima Portland: Show of Painterly Paintings from Across Region




Alla Prima Portland has teamed up with Art Factors to present a show that offers Alla Prima paintings* from all over our region within the last year. Thirty-five artists were invited to show in the first Annual Alla Prima Portland Invitational Group Show 2014 and I'm thrilled to have been included.

You are cordially invited to join us on First Thursday:

Reception: First Thursday, June 5, 2014, 6-9pm

Coastal Rocks at Yachats, Oil on Canvas 6"x8", Quin Sweetman

Overall show dates: June 5- July 3, 2014

Art Factors 7035 SW Macadam Ave Portland, OR 97219

*(Alla Prima translates from Italian to "at once".
An Alla Prima painting is usually started and finished in one painting session, but the term is also more loosely applied to any painting done in a direct, expressive style, with minimal preparation).

Sunflowers in Window Light, Oil on Canvas 24"x18", Quin Sweetman

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Iris Galore

The beautiful irises in my yard are all in bloom and my friend's daughter stopped by to spend the afternoon so of course we painted. Fun Day! When she left, I used her leftover acrylics to have some fun with two little panels and my yellow irises.  I think I like them better than the one I made of the purple one as they appear more loose and fresh. What do you think?




My little painter friend, Lexi


My little oil of my other, purple/burgandy iris

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I Love Painting Bridges!

What a day! I am blessed to live in such a beautiful neighborhood and have a group of painters who like to get out and paint "plein air" (Frenchy term for painting outside, like the Impressionists).


Bridge Rhythms (work-in-progress), Oil on Canvas, 20" x 20", Quin Sweetman

Painter buddy from the neighborhood, Jodi Burton

End of the day, light dying, packing up
This is a larger painting for plein air but I'm going to paint larger more often as it is more freeing for gestural brushwork and compositions. Go big or go home!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I Did a Big, Scary Thing

I applied to be represented in an important regional institution. It took me all day to get all the photos, bio, CV, etc., together in a professional manner and I made myself sick to my stomach for a bit. Must mean it matters a lot to me. Now it is done and I'm ready to enter the next big thing with less fear; I hope.

In celebration of this feat, I give you "Dahlias in Mexican Vase." 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

$50 Art Sale Starts Thursday

Fun Show to Sell All work for $50, framed: "88 Strong":  Eighty-eight artists were each given eight 8x8" panels and 88 themes from which to choose. Sale of 500+ works starts Thursday at Goodfoot Lounge & Pub, 2845 SE Stark Street, at 5 p.m. I had fun experimenting with these pieces. See all themes at http://thegoodfoot.com/gallery/
 "His Faith in Humanity was Being Tested" - Everything Will Be F***ed theme 

 "Set to Music" -  Excavations theme
"Impressionist Heron" - Put a Bird in Me theme
"She Loved a Boy from the Other Side of the Tracks" - Other Side of the Tracks theme (sold)
"Irises in the Field" - Magic Gardens theme
"Love Song for a Crow" - Put a Bird in Me theme (sold)
"After the Derby" - Bourbon theme
"Lingerie in the Window" -  Roadside Attractions theme (sold)