Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Through the Woods









One day my mom texted me, and then called--somewhat frantic, as she was out running her morning route along the river--and asked me if I could look something up.  She wanted to know if I would make her "the hood of her dreams."

And you guys, when your mama calls and asks you to make something that is that important to her, you just do it.  Consider that your life lesson for the day.

She sent me a package of some really soft, laceweight mink, which I paired with some Cascade Eco Wool.  I held them "double" and it came out somewhat mottled, in a pretty pattern.  While visiting Jes at his office one day, I stopped into So Much Yarn and pored through all their pretty buttons, ultimately deciding on the pewter flowers (and maybe some extras, you know, just in case...)

Unlike my usual style, I actually only spent about two months on this.  I didn't waffle between projects, and only worked on this (well, except for a small pair of fingerless mitts for an upcoming swap...)  I sent it to her last week and she has informed me that it is perfect.  So yay!  Just in time for Mother's Day, too!

In case anyone was wondering, I am the favorite daughter.

For this week.  HAHA!

Ravelry notes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Finding Inner Peace

Buddha and Naga
Acrylic on canvas.  12" x 9"

Copyright 2015, Jessie Keating









Buddha.  He was a struggle.  He's gone through many phases and colors, and ultimately I've decided he's complete.  I find it funny that a figure that promotes inner peace has caused me so much inner turmoil and creative blockage.  Either way, this is a companion piece to Ganesha.  I'm excited to get him home so I can put them side by side!

I'm having a flare up of my Epstein-Barr Virus right now, which is either causing or exacerbated by my depression, as well as all the stress I've been under lately (it's not all roses around here, but I'm working through it and putting my faith in systems and advocating my heart out for my child.  Good thoughts would be so appreciated.)  So I'm surrounding myself with things I love, forcing myself through the motions.  I'm pulling out the brightest paints and fabrics, and playing cheerful music, taking peaceful walks, and eating healthy foods.  (Sometimes I want to give depression (and EBV) a big, fat, "F- You."  I suppose in a way--albeit a very peaceful way--I am.)

Also, tomorrow is The Semicolon Project's annual day to raise awareness for mental health issues, and as a suicide survivor I plan to wear my semicolon in support of anyone who needs it.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Visiting Home


(Look in the center for the deer.)











We're geographically close to my mom and Jes' dad's family.  About 3 hours.  But in the winter, you can never tell if the mountain passes will be safe until the last minute, so we generally don't go very often when there's a chance they'll close and leave us stranded on the wrong side.  By April though, there's a pretty good chance they'll be fine, so we start traveling over.  And I'm always so glad we did, because there's something so startlingly beautiful about central Washington on the Columbia river, particularly in the Wenatchee Valley, just after the snow has melted and before the heat of summer has dried up all the non-irrigated greenery.

Entiat, the teeny-tiny town where I'm "from," has been putting a lot of work into its waterfront area.  There are plans for a hotel and restaurant, and the campground has been revamped (like completely razed and rebuilt from the dirt up.)  But my favorite part is the walking trail that extends for a few miles down the Columbia and then again up the Entiat River.  It's paved flat, with little areas that have been planted intentionally with native "wild" flowers and shrubbery, but still manages to feel unintentional and wild.

A couple of weeks ago we set out with my mom, my boys, and my nephew and walked about a mile (as far as the littlest one could go before he was too tired.)  Mom is forever calling to talk while she's on these long 5 or 6 mile walks along the river.  I was happy to go along and see her favorite--sometimes secret--spots.  I don't remember ever taking walks with my grandparents.  I'm so happy that my boys have a chance to hang out with their grandma.  And sometimes it's a nice reminder for me to slow down and take the time to just be with them.  A lesson we can all stand to have occasionally, I'm sure.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Renton Art Walk


My paintings are up.  In public.  They have prices connected to them.  And it's a strange feeling.

They're not here, holed up in my studio.  They are in a different (nearby) city and people can see them if they happen to look in the window.  It feels like a part of myself is not at home.

We went to the art walk with some friends.  It was VERY WEIRD to have my friends looking at my paintings, and sharing their thoughts.  Reminiscent of art school, except without the giant class staring back as your art is torn apart by the teacher and your fellow classmates.  Build you up, tear you down, over and over again.  (Also, I think I may have PTSD from those few years of my life.  This is a major part of why it's taken me so long to feel comfortable enough sharing a tiny bit of my work.  Or to even feel comfortable enough to continue painting.  Art school is hard, yo.)

I had some prints made of The Kraken.  As soon as I'm satisfied with the quality from the printer, I'll put them in my Etsy shop.

Also, this is quite a process.  I don't have a good enough scanner to scan in the smaller paintings (and of course the larger one requires a drum scanner or digital photograph at the printer's shop.)  Each one has to be color corrected, and then test prints are printed, and then I have to approve them or send them back.  I can fully appreciate why artists price their prints the way they do!

I'm not 100% satisfied with the paper choices from the local printer, so I'm going to research a few more until I find what I want.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I'm open to sending in digital photos to a printer, as well as taking the paintings in locally to have them scanned and color corrected.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

This Week


Abstract #1
Acrylic on canvas. 12" x 9"

Copyright 2015, Jessie Keating

Abstract #2
Acrylic on canvas. 12" x 9"

Copyright 2015, Jessie Keating

Mom's Dragon
Acrylic on canvas. 12" x 9"

Copyright 2015, Jessie Keating

The Kraken #3
Acrylic on canvas. 8" x 8"

Copyright 2015, Jessie Keating


This week is pretty epic, as far as weeks go.  It's spring break for my kiddos, so I've been shuffling things schedules around, trying to get as many things done as possible while still letting them have fun.  It's hard.  Visiting family, finishing paintings, dreaming up new ones, sewing things, meeting deadlines, working, setting clear goals for myself regarding story outlines and gallery showings.

I made a new tank top for this summer, using a thrifted t-shirt.  The little stripes are sparkly.  I bound off the neck and arms with an old t-shirt of my husband's.  It fits great and I can't wait to wear it without a sweater over the top!

I've recently finished some more paintings too.  Some abstracts, a third Kraken, and a dragon.  The dragon is based pretty heavily off an old drawing of my mom's from when I was a little girl.  He's living with her now.

And, most impact-fully, I've just hung my first showing of my work. It's a collection of painting that I've been working on for the past few months.  I received a notice late last week asking if I'd like to show my work in this month's Renton Art Walk.  Of course I would, so off we trekked yesterday to hang them in a little kung fu studio.  They'll be accessible all month, and part of this Friday's monthly Art Walk.  So exciting!