Archive for March, 2014

breath finishline nea hellebores small


From Sarah:

I’ve always been a maker. I’m not comfortable with the word artist – not yet, maybe someday. But I’ve always been a maker, always had a pencil, pen, needle, brush, scissors, blade, pestle, trowel, something in my hands, always had this need to make things.

I first committed to paint as a medium in a serious way in high school theatre; I became a scenic painter. Now … I count on my fingers … almost two decades later, I’ve painted more faux wood floors than I can recall. Back in 2005, I did the interiors of the now-defunct Café Metropolitan on Capitol Hill (fun fact: about 350 lbs of joint compound went into sculpting the faux stone koins around the entrance and front window of that bar).

That was about when I started painting portraits, using acrylics. I’d always loved the human form; it’s beautiful. But it wasn’t until I was studying lighting design in college that I discovered how powerfully affected I was by light itself. My favorite part of lighting design was level-set; I used to go in with a friend (or an assistant, when I was lucky enough to have one) and spend hours at it, nitpicking, nudging the sliders up a touch here, down a touch there.

It was orchestration, a symphony of light and color washing over the human form.

Painting gave me that same level of control in a much more viable context. I could obsess over the subtle highlight under someone’s nose to my heart’s content, without making unreasonable demands on other people’s time.

In 2006, just before beginning graduate school, a serendipitous conversation introduced me to oilbar. Oilbar is a funny medium, kind of a strange hybrid of oil pastel and oil paint. But it has given me what I crave: translucency, vibrant color, and accessibility. Of course, I didn’t have a lot of time over the next seven years to explore its potential. Since finishing my PhD in June, I’ve returned to it in earnest, and my education continues.

Sarah Guthu

Contact: guthu@uw.edu

Prints available through Society6: http://society6.com/SarahGuthu


A note about the Hedgehog Feminist series: The Diaries of a Hedgehog Feminist is a collaborative work-in-progress with my good friend, Amal Eqeiq. Amal is a true poet; her words are by turns graceful, generous, gently teasing, and sharply sardonic. I have painted her here as The Hedgehog Feminist, and a few excerpts from the Diaries accompany her portrait, by way of introduction. Another piece in this series, The Muse, was created as a companion to a particular entry in The Diaries of a Hedgehog Feminist, which appears alongside it.


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dulcet Print sink salt dog, rebecca swee 2014


Kirsten Pisto

These digital prints are all sketches for oil paintings that I will eventual get to work on, but in the meantime I think they are little dulcets themselves.  This chilly lacuna between vernal salt pools and foggy spaces has us swimming and moving through a dark, supreme season.

Kirsten is a painter and writer who lives on Phinney Ridge and works at Woodland Park Zoo. She has a MFA from the University of California and is working on her certificate of monthly polar-bear-plunge dives. More of her work can be seen at kirstenmariepisto.com.


Rebecca Swee

Without fail, I reach for my glasses first.  Blurry dreams slide into crystal clear focus and the world catches fire. Hot sunshine twinkles, white hot sparks dancing on the sea.  Sleek black feathers slice through an aquamarine current.  A glossy white board carves a twinkling crystal curtain.  Lime palm spears pierce a buttery sky.  Glance up, or down, over there, or anywhere.  Fireworks!  Everywhere.

Rebecca is a photographer, klutz, introvert, Evergreen grad (BA, Communications) and Woodland Park Zoo staff member. 

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