Portrait by the indomitable @somerrunner
How you do something shows your grit (Some say talent, I say there is no such thing).
Why you do something reveals your character.
No, I don’t keep most of my work.
This gift of mine
Is for giving.
It’s Tuesday. It’s the first days of summer. It’s getting down to the wire finishing up the creatures for the big dance I’ve been working on for the last year of my life.
I woke up today and realized I’ve told
about foxes. All of these series:
Little Talks, The Runaways, All I Need, Riot of Flowers, Flight School, The Royal 🦊
And I wonder if you knew
That most of them
Aren’t even about me.
I’ll never really tell you what they’re about. They mean something to each one of you who has made a home for them, and I don’t want to pollute that with my own.
But I was listening to a Billie Eilish interview on David Letterman while I was wrestling with two large tigers and I’d like to talk about one tiny moment that wasn’t about Billie.
It was about her brother, Fineas.
As the duo gained popularity and acclaim, Fineas became known for song writing and producing genius and expressed his frustration over articles saying how it must be nice now to not “just “ be known as “Billie’s brother.”
What people might have missed in this quick blip was a moment where Billie shares she wanted to write a song about her not being here anymore. And how Fineas sharply objected. He wouldn’t indulge her in this endeavor.
As anyone touched by sadness knows, when it’s too dark and you can’t see the light switch in the room you’re trapped in, sometimes you need someone else to turn it on for you. Or atleast, crack open a window.
“That’s all b-s. ‘Billie’s brother’ is all I EVER want to be.”
He’s not talking about being in the shadow of her success, he’s talking about her still being here to call her that.
I felt that.
📸 by @somerrunner .
A lot of you don’t know that before I was a nurse practitioner, I worked as a nurse in a hospital for 5 years. I was on shift the day of the Marysville Pilchuck school shooting in 2014. The victims who were not expected to make it were transported to my hospital while others airlifted to the level I trauma center in Seattle.
I’ll never forget seeing the cafeteria filled with devastated families. It’s been 8 years and that level of heart break is just… indelible. I’m having a really hard time with this one. This should not keep happening. I’m furious. I’m sad. But I’m still here, hoping for change.
There are many things you cannot talk about working in health care, there are many experiences and feelings I don’t even know the words for, but I’ve always leaned into painting my way through the worst of it.
As an artist, I want to respond to what I see, particularly the things that break my heart or spark me up in such a way that I can't help but also tell my own story in the paint. And maybe that’s what this is all about.
This is me holding together and keeping alive the fragmented parts of the world
I had some big news to share, but right now, my heart is with Texas.
I posted some of this on my story and I’m completely overwhelmed by the messages you all have shared with me. I’ll be working on responding - just know I’m incredibly touched, but completely buried.
I heard a fantastic quote that I’m holding onto: “They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.”
I’ll figure this out. And I hope you’re all finding peace in whatever ways that looks like for you.🌱
The Runaway Fox Series. “No. 4”
Oil on canvas 24x24”
NEW LIMITED EDITION PRINTS AVAILABLE
❤️ Check out the full collection in canvas print format on display in the Vulpine TapRoom !@lfpvulpine ✨
The good folks at Vulpine are doing the most to build community in LFP- swing by today to check out their pop up art market and support local artists!
“I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.”-Mary Oliver
You are a witness to what’s happening right now. At the height of 2020, I wrote this to myself:
I think the me five years from now would look back and tell me in this moment:
You’re an overwhelmed nurse practitioner working during a pandemic that is disrupting life as we know it.
I’m telling you, in five years
You’re going to need all these stories you are a witness to. Write about what’s happening, especially the heartbreaking things. Paint the things you can’t help but paint: all the heartbreak you can’t find the words for.
These stories- your paintings, may just become your most prized treasures.
You will leave your story behind when it’s your time to go.
And you can be proud:
You had the courage to remember all of it and you were brave enough to share it.
Art connects and you have no idea who you might inspire to do whatever makes them come alive.
Keep doing your work.
And most importantly,
“What happens when people open their hearts?”
“They get better.” -H Murakami
Limited Edition Prints Now Available !
Pink Lions, Paper Crowns II. Oil on panel 40x30”, original available for my summer show @colegallery August ’22.
anybody tell you you can’t, or to not be afraid.
It's okay to be afraid
because you can't be brave or courageous
The idea of being courageous is that
even though you're scared, you just do
the right thing anyway.
And that’s how I feel when it comes to standing in front of my work in public. The thought of doing so absolutely brings me to my knees but I know that if I want to be in the arena and telling my stories to the world, I need to be able to leave the safe bat cave of my studio to be part of the story.
Thank you for supporting me, and just know that it’s absolutely been worthwhile to show up and face the big scary world with all my monsters.
Little Wonders. 20x16” available from @colegallery
I was listening to a pod cast that really hit on the spirit of this little series of a tiger beholding some unexpected winged creatures. The podcast dug into the unfortunate consequences of what happens when people are disconnected from the natural world and our spiritual life, which is increasingly easier to do with our increasingly online and virtual lives.
But more importantly, and what caught my attention was the discussion of awe.
Awe usually happens when people are outside their comfort zone, experiencing something new and sometimes, when they’re in danger.
The world needs more awe.
That’s the essence of wonder. All spiritual life starts in wonder and where does this start, for most of us? Especially those of us who didn't grow up in the busy cities we now live in.
It often starts in nature.
Usually outdoors, when a child is crawling through the grass, turning over a rock and realizing for the first time maybe he or she is not alone in this world.
What you put on your walls affects you, every single day. The art you surround yourself matters so very much.
I know and feel so fortunate that my little monsters go to homes where they will be treasured.
Truly, I couldn’t ask for more than that.
Thank you for making room in your homes.
Thank you for keeping room in your hearts.
Riot of Flowers Series: My Wild Heart. Oil on canvas 5x4’.
“Hearts are wild creatures, that’s why ribs are cages. And we must be the gardeners of all that we find in our hearts.”
And this piece has most of the creatures that have wandered around mine my entire life.
It has been a week, and it’s only Tuesday!
I was sharply reminded yesterday why I paint wildlife and that’s because I’ve always painted as an escape from how awful people can be to each other.
The health care environment is incredibly stressful and brings out the worst in both patients and providers.
I say this all the time.
It is imperative you learn how to speak without hurting people when you’re stressed.
Take a moment.
Think about how what is about to come out of your mouth will land on someone else’s ears.
Just a reminder to be a little more thoughtful.
Driving home yesterday, I usually tune into the radio and a familiar voice of @saulspady was on 97.3fm and he was sharing his own story relating to the leak from the Supreme Court yesterday. It was vulnerable content, you could just hear it in his voice. This was something hitting incredibly close to the vest.
He asked for listeners to text in and share their thoughts. Eight minutes in, I was mortified hear him read aloud someone with a gripe about some road construction going on.
How freaking callous have we become?
I’m going to go home tonight and paint the creatures that make me happy to be alive.
Humanity, do better.
Second photo by the indomitable shutterbug @somerrunner
Some girls are Malibu Barbie. I’m Wednesday Addams. Oil on panel 7x5” . SOLD.
“It’s funny to see a resurgence of rock and roll alt punk in fashion.
Vivien Westwood always said punk was a fashion aesthetic before it was a sound.
So I embraced that.
I think it’s great, I’m rooting for all that.
But at the same time, I kind of want to stick up for the underdogs.
I want to stick up for the people who got made fun for this, that got bullied for being like that.” - @modsun on his song ‘Rich Kids Ruin Everything’
I wish when I was a kid struggling with getting bullied for being different and wearing punk clothes and dying my hair pink that someone would have told me
‘The people that made fun of you and bullied you will one day be embracing everything that you were- the weird, the interesting, the outcast.’
I didn’t know Netflix was coming out with a show on Wednesday directed by one of my fav artists Tim Burton when I painted this.
I painted Wednesday because this character made me feel seen at a time in my life when my the few lady friends I had were starting to become obsessed with boys, MTV, and fashion. My guy friends were starting to treat me differently. And she made me feel like it was okay to be strange and unusual.
With all of the things that make up Wednesday- She’s a little wicked with a deadpan sarcastic charm, she’s got a steadfast ability to remain weird and different from other people and speak her mind. You have to admit, even if you don’t like Wednesday:
She is a force to be reckoned with.
Second photo? Grade 11 Aliza. By @somerrunner . Long live the outcast
Aliza and Her Monsters