Art Bears and Real Bears

"Guardian Bear"
"Gaurdian Bear" Photo by The Kozy Shack
What a week! Spring is finally here don't you think?

The last several days were filled with a revitalizing mix of art and friend infusion. I journeyed north to Seattle on Wednesday to install my work at NW Fine Woodworking and then breathed a contented sigh of accomplishment. After hanging 5 shows in 2 months I now plan to take a well deserved break.

I kicked it off Wednesday night by catching up with Seattle friends and going to celebrate a birthday at the Whiskey Bar, where the artwork on display stopped me in my tracks. Matt Savage brings the viewer abruptly into a seductively secret world that for me, was like stepping into one of my favorite books by Charles deLint. Animal people posture in half human half beast form. I especially loved Savage's buffalo women. I am completely inspired and smitten. I know that animal headed people have now been painted by several artists, but Savage seemed to capture the dream like quality of what coming across one of these beings may be like. Smitten.

Thursday was Pioneer Square Arts Walk where for me it was mostly about making it to see shows of friends of mine. Jessica Dodge has an incredible new painting up at SAM Gallery featuring bees, ribbon, a Buddha-like sheep and rising people titled "The Ascension of Hope". Her work always carries multiple layers of meaning and her new piece is a nice culmination of themes.

My friend Tracy Boyd's work is so unmistakable that I was pulled into Trabant Coffee house even though I didn't know beforehand she was showing there. Her ginormous new piece "Buck" took my breath away. I can't wait to tell her!

Over at CORE gallery this month is work by James Caudle where he has taken his old-timey collage style into a 6 foot painting on canvas that I absolutely fell for. Collage elements, texture and found objects bring his show "To Have and Have Not" to a whole new level for him. Quite exciting!
Also at CORE is animation artist Chris Rodgers (of Fleetfoxes video fame!) only instead of animation he has a show featuring his sculptured works. Based on the idea of the creative block he has formed literal clay blocks with birds escaping out of them. They are truly wonderful - a brilliant concept and a lovely show.

Then of course there was my own show which will be up at the NW Fine Woodworkers through the end of June. Such wonderful work up this month it is almost worth another art walk to see it all!

I finished up the night at the SAM to briefly see Nick Cave's show "Meet me at the Center of the Earth" and totally fell for the Bear suit. With images posted all over Seattle I almost felt like I didn't need to see the suits in person. I was wrong - they are fairly astounding with the pure scale and detail involved. If you've already seem them I'm sure you'd tell me that =)

Black Bear
(Black Bear by Moosicorn)

And then on another non-art note, yesterday with the sun finally making it's way out of it's long retreat Andy & I forged our way out to Capitol forest for a lengthy hike. It was a completely magical afternoon which was made all the more magical by coming around a bend in the trail and fining ourselves about 10 feet behind the back end of a big, black bear. Whoa. Needless to say we let him have the trail as we promptly turned around and quickly but calmly walked away. The bear truly didn't seem to notice. Thank goodness. Pretty powerful though.

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