Saturday, May 24, 2014

My Artist Statement (for murals)

So recently, I applied to be on a muralist roster. Kind of just a list of people who do murals that the city of Portland keeps on hand, and on their website, to refer to whenever anyone goes looking for a muralist. Kind of a biggie for me to try and be on. So I thought I would share the little artist statement I wrote for that application - it's basically my whole mural-ing deal in a nutshell, since I had to keep it super short. :) Wish me luck!

My mission is to bring: POSITIVITY, BEAUTY, INSPIRATION, LEARNING and UNDERSTANDING to environments, through painting walls.

I started painting murals as a high school student in Eugene, Oregon. My Mom hated the wallpaper in our kitchen, so we scraped it off, and I painted a tropical garden. During that first mural, I fell in love with painting BIG. Since then, I have been painting murals in private homes, businesses, with students, in memory care facilities, and with prison inmates.

After college, I joined the Peace Corps, where I lived and worked in Madagascar for 2 years. In Madagascar, I painted murals about health and environment topics in rural hospitals and schools. The murals became visual teaching aids, where most are illiterate. It became clear to me that murals can add value to the world, outside of aesthetics. Murals can teach concepts, illustrate ideas, tell stories and change minds. 

After returning from the Peace Corps, I joined the Lane Arts Council's Teaching Artist Roster in Eugene, OR. I taught mural-making to students in grades K-12, in over 10 public schools. I once facilitated a 4th grade in painting a mural on cloth, about Malaria prevention, and shipped it to Madagascar where it was installed in a rural clinic.  I have witnessed the rise in student’s self-esteem and sense of community when they work together on a mural. The same way that a school community is strengthened by a collaborative mural project, public murals allow artists and community members to honor their own neighborhoods. I enjoy both facilitating mural projects with groups, and creating them solo. 

Murals can turn forgotten spaces into beautiful ones. Whether that transformation occurs inside a private home or in a public space, murals allow people to tell their stories. What I love about being a muralist, is that I get to help be that storyteller. Murals allow walls to live up to their full potential. They allow people to speak without using words, and to be understood.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I'm not talking about art or murals today. Today is a historic day for Oregon and for our country: LOVE WINS! A federal judge ruled Oregon’s marriage ban for same-sex couples is unconstitutional!

"I believe that if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families. Families who we would expect our Constitution to protect, if not exalt, in equal measure. With discernment we see not shadows lurking in closets or the stereotypes of what was once believed; rather, we see families committed to the common purpose of love, devotion, and
service to the greater community." --U.S. Judge Michael McShane

This October will mark 7 years since I came out as bisexual to my friends and family. This June will mark 4 years since I got engaged to a woman. Our relationship ended, and I am single now, but I feel very emotional knowing that whoever I do end up marrying, male or female, I can MARRY them, not "marry" them. That is incredible. I feel so happy right now! :) Thanks Judge McShane, and thanks Oregon and everyone who worked so hard for this in our state. Now I have even MORE reasons to brag about Oregon to everyone I meet who lives anywhere else! ;) YAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


First of all, I know I said weekly posts, but... life happens. And lately, life has been great - full of travel and family and friends time! Spent a weekend in Seattle with my bestie, then my sister was in town and we got to spend a week together with her and our parents. It's been really nice to get to see my fav out-of-towners. But now, back to the normal routine. That is, for the next week or so... Have I mentioned that I'm going to be a work-a-holic this Summer?? If you want to hang out with me, check back in August, when I resume having a life. Haha! I'll be going full time at my "day job" as a graphic designer, then working nights and weekends painting murals in another memory care facility here in Portland. The memory care facility has a deadline - a grand opening party and residents moving in ONE MONTH from when I'll be starting painting. Pretty crazy. But sometimes having deadlines really motivates me. I'm kind of looking forward to heading over to an empty building after work and just rocking out to my music, de-stressing with my acrylics. It will be nice, I think :) And I will of course be keeping you updated with more pictures than your browser can handle. ;)

Anyway, what I'm REALLY here to show you this week, is this:

My mural time lapse video is finally finished!!! This was a mural that I gifted my boss, who's about to welcome a little one :) But shhhh don't tell anyone I'm giving them away ;) We set up a video camera for the 8-ish hours that I painted, and I brought it down to 3.5 minutes. I tell you what, I don't know why I haven't done this yet. I love watching these videos, and now I have my own! Very exciting. Looking forward to maybe doing more of these using the webcam in my mac (I've heard you can do this?!). Anyway, enjoy and see you soon!