Thursday, February 11, 2016

in the studio with christina power

Christina Power has been obsessed with making pretty things as long as she can remember but still feels that claiming the title "artist" is an incredibly audacious move. She wears many hats and laughingly calls herself a Jill-of-all-trades because she just can't stop trying new ways of expressing herself. She shares a wild and wonderful life with her husband and four children in beautiful small-town Montana.

I love seeing how other artists set up their creative space. Can you tell us a little bit your studio?

My art studio is tucked into an odd little corner in our master suite. Measuring a mere 4 feet by 7 feet, it is tiny, but that doesn't change the fact that it is both functional and pretty. My desk is flanked with stacks of drawers that store a surprising amount of supplies. Large pads of paper and other flat items too big to fit in the drawers slip vertically between the drawers and the wall. Upcycled tea tins house my collection of pens, and a vintage suitcase decorated with doodles adds whimsy and even more storage space. I try to keep my color palette light and airy and add interest with textures and shape to avoid making my space feel overly crowded. The bunting is created from hand-stitched vintage hankies inherited from my great-grandmother, and the garlands were gifts from friends. My mobile is made from driftwood and lace-imprinted paper clay.

What inspires you? What motivates you to create?

I have two categories of inspiration: lofty inspiration and lowly inspiration. Lofty inspirations are things like majestic mountains, a stunning sunset, the vastness of the ocean, the deep hush of a forest, or spending hours lost in wonder at an art museum. Lowly inspirations include things like the way the light shines out the door and across the hall floor, the way sugar spilled over the counter, or even sometimes gross things like the squiggles of a hair stuck to the shower wall. All those details, those moments--both humble and magnificent--combine to make life magical. I hope to be able to capture and share some of the wonder I feel in my work.
How do you organize your creative schedule?

I try to make a list of my priorities/deadlines and work methodically down from the top. I always have a ton of tabs open in my browser, and I use a LOT of post-it-notes because it seems like no matter how hard I try to pin them down, the lists are always in flux.

What is a typical day like for you?

Oh, this makes me laugh. When you have four children seven and younger there is no "typical day." There is caffeine--definitely caffeine--a lot of action and noise, quite a bit of scrambling to try to make sure the house isn't unsanitary or unsafe, laughing, lots of food making, conflict resolution, and adventures with some creative time squeezed in early in the morning, late in the evening, or during their afternoon rest.

What are you working on right now?

Recently I've been mainly creating with watercolors. I lay down translucent layers of paint with found objects--things like bubble wrap, kids' craft foam, cardboard, scraps of styrofoam, old plastic doilies, toilet paper rolls, suction cups, hand made stamps...really almost anything that has a texture or can make a pattern. I've even incorporated rain into my process of creating the illusion of texture with watercolors! When I'm satisfied with my layered backgrounds, I doodle a whimsical illustration and/or hand letter an inspirational word or phrase on top . Many of the originals are available in a local store, and the prints are listed in my online shop. I'm also working on a line of cards incorporating my quirky watercolor techniques, and I'm just getting started on an all black-and-white collection of images merging the ordinary and fantastical for a local show. So many ideas, so little time...

You can find more of Christina:
Etsy Shop      Facebook     Instagram  

"In the Studio" is a feature here on the blog where I share a glimpse into friends and fellow artists and crafters spaces. If you are interested in submitting your studio to be featured, send me an email at

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

canvas supply bag

I do a lot of traveling back and forth between my home and my studio and that means I am always lugging a bunch of supplies with me! Recently I found THIS canvas supply tote (this post is not sponsored) and I thought it would be perfect for transporting supplies.

The tote is heavy duty canvas and has 8 large pockets and 16 small ones and is designed to stay open when you set it down- perfect for a variety of random supplies. There was no way I could leave this tote plain so of course I used acrylic paint and added messy layers of color to it. I used a combination of Golden Fluid Acrylics, High Flow Acrylics and Blick Matte Acrylics

TIP: I've found when I am painting on heavy duty canvas, I prefer to use fluid acrylics because them seem to spread and soak into that heavy canvas better.

I gave the tote a quick layer of messy color and a few simple details and just like that it was transformed into something that felt a little more like me!

Monday, February 08, 2016

valentine bouquet

Looking for a simple but creative twist on Valentines Day cards? How about creating a bouquet of hearts!

Start by painting paper with lots of color- the messier the better!

Then add personalized messages, love notes or even drawings to the hearts. 

Glue the hearts to the top of a stick and add a few leaves.

The result is a bouquet of handmade LOVE! 

Looking for more Valentine's Day Inspiration?

Friday, February 05, 2016

exploring we will go

A while back we made the promise to each other to always make time to seek adventure as a family (you can read about it here). Exploring new places and going outside is a big part of our daily lives and once in a while I like to share a little peek into our adventures.

Wahclella Falls is an easy but AMAZING hike in the Columbia River Gorge and one of our family favorites!

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

in the studio with erik railton

My name is Erik Railton, I’m 40 years old, and I’ve been painting for 17 years. I was raised in Cannon Beach, Oregon. I now live in Portland, Oregon with my wife and two sons.
While growing up on the Oregon coast I found myself spending time outside in nature. I love the color, texture and shapes of plants and other objects I saw outdoors. I grew up skateboarding and was fascinated by the graphics on the bottom of the boards.  
What inspires you? What motivates you to create?

The world around me, from nature to the way a sign on a store is hand painted. Music inspires me, I love album art and the ideas musicians have about composing songs. I’m listening to music all of the time when I paint. I still love looking at skateboard graphics especially older Powell Peralta and Santa Cruz graphics. I also like some of the newer graphics from companies like Habitat, Polar, and Quasi. I also love the artwork of Thomas Campbell, and Ed Ruscha. Rothko has always been one of my favorites too.  

Can you tell us a little bit about your studio space?

I've had all kinds of studios over the years. From small spaces in my basement to a 200 square foot out building that I built in the backyard of my old house. Currently my studio is located on the second story of Imago Dei Church. It’s a shared space that I manage between five artists. Our goal is to encourage each other creatively and spiritually. 

The space faces southwest which provides beautiful natural light. I have worked more solitary in the past so working in a shared space has been a good struggle. I love seeing all of the work happening around me. When you work in a group environment, people see all stages of your creativity and some stages are not beautiful. We often get into conversations about the process of creating or what materials we use. It’s a good group of people, I love going there and being in that space and seeing what my studio mates are doing also inspires me to create.
How do you organize a creative schedule?
My desire is to balance family, work and a creative schedule. This process is difficult at times, but my wife and I have decided to set up a weekly schedule that allows time to do my paintings. I have dedicate that time to being in the studio and concentrating on art.

What is a typical day like for you?
Waking up with a cup of coffee and breakfast and help our boys get to school. Go back home or to a coffee shop to answer emails. I then head to work,  my family owns a couple of apartment buildings in Portland that we are working on. After work I go to the studio for a few hours. Come home to have dinner with the family. Put the kids to bed and hang out with my wife.

What are you working on right now?
I have an art show at a cafe in hood river called Doppio in April. I’m working on six paintings for that show. I’m trying to create abstract paintings that have objects of realism in them.  Looking at them the viewer could see an animal or see a bigger pattern. I’ve been working on booking a few bigger shows and trying to get more prints up on my website. I would like to have prints that everyone can afford, since original art is not always in everyone’s budget.  

Want to see more of Erik?

instagram: erikrailton

facebook: erik railton art


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