Snoqualmie Falls in the Mist

Living in the city, it was often easy to forget about the natural landscape. On a cloudy day, which is common in Seattle, everything takes on a grayish cast and you can’t see the mountain ranges to the east and west, or Mount Ranier to the south. When the sun came out however, it was pretty amazing!

Now, I live in a suburban area, so there are more trees and wildlife, but I don’t get to see the mountains as often, which is somewhat sad as I grew to think of them as friends. Still, there’s nothing like a drive into the mountains to refresh the spirit. Snoqualmie falls is an awesome destination and is only about an hour away. Bryn and I went a few weeks ago for the first time this year. Even on a drizzly day, it was an experience. With the snow melting, the river was full and the falls roared. I ran across a picture I took with my phone yesterday (above) which Bryn laughed at me for trying to take. But I think it captures a sense of the falls on that day. It’s a special place!


Under the gold…

Although I haven’t started any new paintings lately, I’ve started working on my Robohontas project again, including introducing a new character, Kocoumaton (Kocoum + automaton). I think this will give her a little more to react to visually and make her seem less isolated. In any case, I realized that the gold leaf on her face was severely cracking and that instead of a touch-up, an overhaul was required. So, I stripped and reapplied the gold on her face. Above is a picture that I thought was kind of fun since her body is still gold, but her face is back to “Pocahontas.”

I have another character that I’m planning on bringing in too. Well, it is Robohontas still, but in a different persona. I keep thinking about Abalone Woman from some books I read some time ago. Karuk Artist Julian Lang talked about her and how she influenced a piece he was working on. Don’t be surprised if you see Robohontas as Abalone Woman make an appearance in the near future!

The Thought-Fox

"Fox Spirit" by Rick Bartow, 2000

THE THOUGHT-FOX  by Ted Hughes

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:

Something else is alive

Beside the clock’s loneliness

And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:

Something more near

Though deeper within darkness

Is entering the loneliness: 

 Cold, delicately as the dark snow,

A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;

Two eyes serve a movement, that now

And again now, and now, and now


Sets neat prints into the snow

Between trees, and warily a lame

Shadow lags by stump and in hollow

Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,

A widening deepening greenness,

Brilliantly, concentratedly,

Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox

It enters the dark hole of the head.

The window is starless still; the clock ticks,

The page is printed.

Hammocks: Not just for beaches and backyards

I saw the above picture shared on facebook today and it looked like a really great idea. With my interior design background, it seems like a really fun and practical way to utilize a space while still keeping it open and airy. Plus, hammocks are pretty comfy! There was another student I went to school with who loved hammocks and I didn’t really understand how awesome they are until Bryn took me to Disneyworld and we stayed at the Polynesian Resort. I still have fond memories of lounging on the beack there (see below)…

Robohontas Supports the Tradition of Giving

In order to try and give back to a local nonprofit that has provided me with support in the past, I’m trying to raise money for Potlatch Fund. My goal is $500 and I’ve got until April 26th to get there. During this time, every dollar donated online will be matched by the WK Kellog Foundation, so this is an especially good time to give!

Big Time 2012

It’s been great being part of From the River Collective! Not only is some of my work available through the website, but I’ve had it included in an exhibition and also displayed at several Native events that I would normally never get to since they are so far away. Below are two pictures of the FTRC table at the “41st Annual Deed Day Celebration- D.Q. University Big Time and Powwow.” I love that my work fits right in with all of the other work by members of Klamath River tribes…

Cultural Appropriation and Daria

I really love the show, Daria, that ran on MTV back in the 1990’s. Lately, I’ve been watching it on DVD through Netflix. I’m a few seasons in now and during the end credits of each show they have illustrations of characters from the show dressed differently. Usually they have them wearing the clothing of a specific occupation or dressed to look like a particular celebrity. Occasionally they may be in a cultural costume or stereotype. The last show on the disc tonight had not one, but two Native American references. The totem pole one was an interesting choice, although the “Indian Princess/Maiden” is pretty unoriginal as a concept.

While I don’t find it overtly offensive, I do still think that it is interesting that a show with a character like Daria, who is highly intelligent and extremely moral–if also antisocial–stooped to appropriating cultural stereotypes for entertainment value. This is especially true because the show is so self-aware about the characters of Jodi and Mack being the only regular African American classmates at Lawndale High.

With most racial discussions focused on black versus white, it does often seem as though there is less sensitivity to cultural missteps when portraying stereotypes of Asian, Hispanic, or Native American cultures. I don’t think there is any ill will meant by it in most cases, but it does show how the dominant white society is ignorant about cultural differences as a person’s skin tone gets paler.