My Miscellaneous Week


Paint samples

There are times when weeks go by and I am not starting a new painting.  But these are the times that find me drawing sketches and finalizing bids, meeting with clients and talking about upcoming projects, or making patterns and purchasing supplies.  And lately I have been doing lots of sample colors and research on materials and finish coats.


Making a paper pattern










Working on designs

I also checked in at the school to see how the theater mural was coming along.  Here we are adding finishing touches to the main wall – it is nearly complete, and they are ready to move up the stairs.

Me and the students – almost done!


I spent a morning with my painting partner, Hana Adamko, and we did the walking tour of the latest outdoor murals in Downtown Vancouver.  We loved them, and it is always fun to go up close and see what techniques and styles these artists use in their work.  Then Hana sent me this picture of herself working on a lovely scenic mural.

Hana painting

She has also been working hard on her landscape design, which is beautiful, you should check out her blog to see her latest designs at the Parade of Homes.

I am currently purchasing supplies and getting ready for an ‘away’ job on the Oregon Coast.  I am looking forward to including some photos of the view!



Mural at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics

This year, once again, I will be helping some of the students at VSAA continue work on the theater themed mural that began as one student’s senior project last spring.  I helped Chris, the former senior mentioned, put all of his ideas into a workable design, and I show up when I can to pitch in with painting and offer advice.  Random students stop by to paint when they find a bit of spare time, so it is quite the group effort.


Chris and Holly work on mural

This rather large Broadway scene sits on the stair landing, and a visual arts themed mural wraps down the stairs, while Chris plans to continue painting up the stairs to complete his project.  He has represented all of the shows performed at the school in the last few years, and plans to incorporate all aspects of theater.  His fellow student, Holly, has tackled the visual arts mural.

Chris paints the moon

Julie Brown’s Mosaics are installed

Artist Spotlight – Julie Brown

I have had the privilege to work as a volunteer on the VSAA Confluence Project in Vancouver, Washington with mosaic artist extraordinaire, Julie Brown, of Lake Oswego, Oregon.  This is a 6-panel series which is being installed on the Main Street side of the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics.  Each panel measures over 6′ x 15′ when complete, and is comprised of puzzle-like pieces which fit together when installed, to form an image or images that tell the story, through history, architecture, and wildlife of the Columbia River.  Or, this from the Confluence Project website:

What is Confluence Project?

“At seven points along the Columbia River Basin, an unprecedented endeavor continues to unfold. Here, where rivers meet and indigenous people once gathered, the Confluence Project explores the intersection of environment, cultures and a regional history that reaches back many hundreds of years.

Confluence Project is a collaborative effort of Pacific Northwest tribes, renowned artist Maya Lin, civic groups from Washington and Oregon and other artists, architects and landscape designers. The project stretches more than 300 miles from where the Columbia River flows into the Pacific Ocean, to Clarkston, WA, with sites in both Oregon and Washington. Each of its seven sites features an art installation by Ms. Lin that interprets the area’s ecology and history, encouraging the visitor to reflect on how the surroundings have changed over time. Each references a passage from the Lewis and Clark journals.

With distinctive artworks and restored native habitat, the four currently completed sites create new points of contact – confluence – between nature and art; past, present and future; and the enduring communities of the Pacific Northwest-its Native People and more recent visitors and residents.”


Julie works with ceramic, glass, and any object she finds that works into the image she is trying to create:  in this project she utilizes vegetable steamers, antique car parts, and miscellaneous aluminum forms she found browsing the aisles of hardware stores.  She is a true artist and master of the mosaic medium, and is heading up a team of volunteers which she is training to cut tile and glass, and learn all the steps of this labor-intensive art form.  I have been lucky enough to be one of those volunteers, and I help out whenever I can.

These current panels are scheduled to be installed on Thursday, September 13th.  I thought you would enjoy and admire her work as much as I do!

Shown are some details from the two new panels.




The furniture arrives

The room is close to complete!



Finishing touches in the garden room

Hana Adamko joined me to finish the flowery details in the room – together we painted delphinium, foxglove, lilacs, and hollyhocks.









When we completed the window views, the only thing left to paint was one pink rose, so we took turns.











After the painting was done, Leontina and Laura worked their magic with the furniture, and accessories – we all had such a fun time working here, especially knowing that the room would soon be home to families that truly need a soothing place to come and rest, and recuperate from their daily stress.




Next Day in the RMH room

Leontina wanted some lovely outside views, in honor of her dear friend Monica, to whom this room is dedicated.  Monica loved gardens, so we wanted to bring the feeling of being close to a garden while staying in the room.  Laura worked on painting some antique windows they found at the Rebuilding Center in Portland, and I got to work painting the scenes that would be the garden “views.”After the backgrounds are laid in, I start to add some foreground details of flowers.

Working at Ronald McDonald House

While I get started on George the peacock, room mascot and ambassador, Laura and Leontina are working on painting some soft, low contrast but dramatic horizontal stripes around the room.  They add a pearl lustre finish to the light stripe, and the room starts to come to life.  They are also getting furnishings and accessories ready and having fun shopping trips.


 George is ready to make his entrance.  He is painted in the entry to the room, and makes a friendly welcome for the families who will soon call this home.


Current project at Ronald McDonald House

Once again I am lucky enough to be included on the team for a fun room make-over at one of my favorite places on earth, The Ronald McDonald House in North Portland.  Here, the wonderful room adopter Leontina is measured by designer, Laura, as we all prepare to turn the room into a garden-inspired retreat for families.  I will share our progress as we work, and I get started painting.

Street of Dreams 2012

After painting several projects together, including a large canvas for a pre-school, and the final phase of a large mural at Corbett Grade School, my sometimes partner and amazing landscape architect, Hana Adamko invited me to help paint a landscape for the Pahlish Homes Street of Dreams entry at this year’s exhibit.  Here it is installed in the lovely backyard – I hope some of you were able to visit this year and admire her entire project which included some stunning water features.