Photo reference by @ryanthrower of my twin @somerrunner 📸.
The Quarantine Collection, In Blue, no.6.
Creative out put, you know, is just pain. I’m going to be cliche for a minute and say that great art comes from pain. #kanyewest .
I’ve got work to do.
First layer acrylic on canvas on feelings 30x40”. ⚠️WORK IN PROGRESS.
Ref photo of me by @ somerruner📸.
But Sunday, Sunday knows she’s the end. But she closes her eyes and pretends with all the strength in her
What we could be if we stopped believing everything the world said we couldn’t.
Quick oil study sketch 8x10” on canvas pad. Making a mess. However! Paint is only wasted if it sits in the tube.
ef photo of me 15 years ago by @somerrunner 📸.
You are not weak just because your heart
A quick study, trying some new methods.
8x12” oil on canvas pad.
It’s chaotic. It’s uncomfy. It’s a mess.
So is my city
In Seattle our winters aren’t nearly as cold
As the people who live here
Today in Seattle
a hospital went up in the middle of a football stadium.
I am sad but I’m telling everyone I’m tired.
The Quarantine Collection, In Blue. Works in progress. And a selfie, because☺️.
The heart is a muscle like any other and the best exercise you can do is called
picking yourself up off the floor. - @iainsthomas
No matter where you are, if you turn around and look behind you there are thousands of hands lifting you up. And those are all the hands of artists who came before you that all combine into making you who are. If you trust it, there is no way you can’t paint how you are.
I’m having a moment.
It’s blue and I’m not really questioning it anymore.
When I first decided to make my art public a few months ago, I questioned everything. Did what I have to say matter? Did anyone care if I had any formal art training? Could anyone connect with what I have to say?
What I realized is that no matter what the subject I was painting, being able to communicate the hard feelings is so much more important than being a specific type of painter. I’m not picking a story and sticking to it, I’m not going to brand myself. I’m going to step up to the easel and paint in my own language and on my own terms.
I know there are other colors out there
and for a person who has always felt insignificant in the face of any accomplishment,
this one feels like enough right now.
And for me,
That’s a pretty big deal.
How do you find your voice? What do you listen to? What do you ignore?
The Quarantine Collection, In Blue. no.5. First layer blocked in✅
But really, all we want, and I speak for the entire human race here, is contact. Someone to let us know that we aren’t alone. That the world isn’t a dream and you and I really are happening at the same time, even if it’s not in the same place. That this is real. You’re really there. I’m really here. We’re real. This is real. ― pleasefindthis, I Wrote This For You
Work in progress, base layer blue on canvas on feelings. 24x36”
Just a girl trying to paint her way out of this sh!t.
Yes, I’m also working full time as a Nurse Practitioner in Seattle right now.
No, I’m not sleeping much.
But I’d like to.
your life is absolutely worth all of this and
I’m just going to keep asking you to do your part.
We are working our a$$es off.
Reference photo by @randhleese of my twin sister @somerrunner doing what she was born to.📸.
In photography and in life, always look for the light - if you don’t see it, bring it. John Waite
This is a painting of a girl who spent the last 10 years in the kind of darkness a darkroom knows nothing about.
The full story:
It’s been said that you can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.
This portrait was taken in 2006 and I hadn’t seen it in probably 13 years. I’ve never seen a more accurate portrait of my twin sister @somerrunner.
I never saw much of my sister when we were growing up, half her face was behind the view finder or she was busy in the garage that she converted into a dark room.
She became nationally acclaimed for her photography in high school, I remember flying to New York so she could accept her Gold Key award on stage at Carnegie Hall.
She went on to graduate University of Washington’s BFA in Photography program. Photography was her career A plan, physical therapy was the “safety” B plan. However, she did not make it out of art school unscathed. The various wounds from that program were deep enough to make her put down the camera entirely as soon as she got her diploma.
I watched as she swiftly went on to get a doctorate in Physical Therapy and a career in the field soon after.
Not until a few months ago did she find her way back behind the lens, after 10 years.
I cannot tell you how sad I am for all the photos she never took in the past 10 years.
lt took me 6 hours to dig up this portrait, and even reaching out to the ex-boyfriend who took it to try and find it. And it was exactly how i remembered it. .
Always find the time for whatever makes you feel happy to be alive.
Work in progress
Acrylic on canvas on feelings 24”x36”.
You can tell my what I love by the color of my paintings and what I want by the brightness in some of them, and the hard feelings of my inner life by their darkness.
I am having a hard time with this piece. These days even my smallest brushes feel heavy.
I’m hardly the strongest girl in the room, but I am trying to carry all of it, whatever it is.
Right now in the midst of this chaos I see a lot of you care, just not enough.
Do your part.
You cannot quantify hope for humanity but I can promise you:
Every moment counts right now.
Every choice you make counts right now.
Everything you choose to do is casting a small vote for the world you want to live in.
Don’t sleep on the expectation others are awake and doing enough.
Cast small votes.
Work in progress.
30x40” oil on canvas on feelings.
Photo credit of me in studio📸: @somerrunner
And you, you scare people because you are whole all by yourself.
I know what I bring to the studio. And believe me, I am not afraid to paint alone.✌🏻.
I have a strong resolve to remain single in a world accustomed to settling with anything just to say
Please remember being alone and being lonely are not the same.
”Trying to fight when you feel like flying.”🕊
Acrylic on canvas
Ltd edition prints available
Hi. If you’re new here let me reintroduce myself.
I work as a health care provider in Seattle. It’s not easy. These are hard times and everyone is feeling it. Everyone.
Businesses are closing, events are canceled, and every day I see less and less people on the street.
You can feel the anxiety, fear and panic. People are looking for reassurance and guidance in ways we cannot provide even if we had the resources to do our jobs safely.
We went into this war against viral illness wildly unprepared for battle. As part of the system, I am truly sorry to everyone we are letting down when you need us most.
While I do not consider myself a true artist as I have zero formal training, I have always leaned hard into it when life pushes just a little too close to the edge.
This morning, I got off a virtual work call with my colleagues and our Chief of Operations feeling so much. So much everything. The song “Unsteady,” by X Ambassadors played. I was looking at this painting, an emotional sucker punch in the worst way.
“You’re trying to fight when you feel like flying
Hold on to me
'Cause I'm a little unsteady
A little unsteady.” - X Ambassadors
I can do hard things.
And so can you.
Lean into what you need most right now.
Please take care of each other.
Wear a damn mask.
March 18, 2020
Acrylic and oil on canvas 16x20". Studio collection.
“Heroes rarely look the way we draw them in our minds: attractive figures with rippling muscles and strong chins. More times than not, they are humble beings, small and flawed. It is only their spirits that are beautiful and strong.”- R. Evans
A tribute in progress of me and my now-gone little brother, Romeo.
Romeo was not a dog’s dog. He was, to put it ever-so-gently, a mama’s dog. I fully co-sign the strict, merciful fact of reality that all dogs are here to serve a purpose in our lives. And, Romeo was no exception, though I am sorry that for the better half of your 15 years with us I considered you a mosquito with toenails, you did not deserve that.
I remember traveling with you. My step dad would put on a grand show for TSA in the airport, feigning an anxiety condition (or some variant thereof, he wasn’t the best actor) so you could travel in the luxury of a purse on all the airplanes. Maybe my step dad actually does have anxiety, I don’t know, I’ve only ever seen the show at the airport.
Romeo wasn’t fussy the way you would expect a man of build and stature. As long as he wasn’t being forced to socialize with his contemporaries at the dog park, Romeo was
And that’s what he taught me. What, perhaps all of this is about.
No matter how much I feel like an insignificant garbage ball of emotion, I am so damn lucky to be here.
And so are you.
And our dogs?
We don’t hardly deserve them. They save us. .
Sometimes you’re a pulverized raw garbage ball of feelings.
Sometimes you’re the coldest girl in Cold City.
“This is why it hurts the way it hurts.
You have too many words in your head. There are too many ways to describe the way you feel. You will never have the luxury of a dull ache.
You must suffer through the intricacy of feeling too much” -I. Thomas
This is the beginning of a portrait of @somerrunner ‘s photo self-portrait (reference credit).
acrylic on canvas on feelings. 24x36”.
As a Nurse Practitioner in Seattle, I am being re-deployed to the areas with the greatest need for clinicians. Today is the last day I will walk out of my clinic. I don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring. I am begging you, do your part right now. This is going to get worse before anything else.
Practice social distancing, wash your hands, stop buying 46 rolls of toilet paper, but above all, be kind.
Every time you decide you are above the restrictions, you are directly fighting against all of us in the business of keeping as many people alive as possible.
**UPDATE FEB 20, 2022: I didn't know at the time, but this would later go on to become the second wolf woman in the woman vs wild series. Never destroy your bad starts. Even the ones you really hate. They could become some of your most beautiful work one day.
A Sketchbook page, March 7, 2020
Nothing lasts forever, not the good nor the bad.
Winter in Seattle, without fail, with her short days that are often bone-chillingly cold and gray, buries me head first, tail tucked, deep into a foxhole.
Down here, I hold my breath.
I am frozen and numb. But atleast down in the dark, I can’t feel how cold it is above the ground.
I can’t feel... anything.
The numbness thaws at pace with season, and I start to feel a warmth I am certain the sun knows nothing about.
I notice the days are becoming brighter, the gloomy winter sky welcomes back her sun.
I look up from the dark safety of my burrow where I have nearly forgotten what the sun feels like.
Nearly forgotten what anything feels like, for that matter.
Above ground, I see the cherry trees have started to blossom, everything begins to thaw.
The sun gets back to work sweeping the last of the winter frost away.
I can breathe again.
After a hard winter, I exhale.
I can feel again.
This is part of the narrative for a current project on my easel (well, the first of several upcoming in this 🦊 series!) And wanted to share this in time for resetting the clocks. Sadly, my painting did not finish itself while I was out of the country for most of February so here is the sketch draft outline for the piece. I needed to see these foxes very badly and ... much more to come.
Take good care
Aliza and Her Monsters