journal & news updates

memorial artwork commissioned

Spring Blooms; Apple and Camas - 100% Silk Habotai, 22 x 29 inches, hand-painted in transparent dyes, steam-set naturally.

Years ago, I had the privilege and pleasure of mentoring Luke Lenssen, the son of Jerry and Linda Lenssen. Luke was just weeks before graduating from high school when his father Jerry died suddenly and unexpectedly. As the family processed their loss, Linda asked me to create an artwork in memory of her husband.

As Linda considered my silk paintings, one caught her eye and her heart - "Spring Blooms; Apple and Camas." She chose it for the memorial commission. Inspired at a scenic location along the Chehalis Western Trail near my home, this artwork embodies the hope and life-breath of spring. It is about awakening and vibrant life after the sleep of winter.

Spring Blooms is museum framed and on display at Grace Community Covenant Church in Olympia, Washington.

I'm grateful to the Lenssen family for sharing with me their life journey and the honor of dedicating one of my paintings in fond and hope-filled memory of Jerry Lenssen.

contest entry

Last fall I was an "artist in action" demonstrating silk painting at the two-day Issaquah Salmon Days Festival. This year I have submitted the silk painting entitled "Red Rendezvous" for the juried contest to create this year's limited edition print. Even though I don't yet know if my work was selected, I like how the salmon painting came out - so I share it here.

Red Rendezvous - 22 x 38 inches, 100% silk habotai, hand-painted in transparent, water-base dyes and steam set. (Note added July 9, 2008: I was notified today that my artwork was not selected for 2008.)

artists garage sale

On Saturday, May 31, I will be participating in an artists' garage sale. I plan to bring art books, small art objects, maybe a kiln, a drafting table, and lots of beautiful potted plants for my booth. We'll see what others bring this year. Mark your calendar and come help artists clean out their studios and make a little cash on the side. Saturday, May 31, 2008 10am-3pm at The Olympia National Guard Armory, 515 Eastside St. SE, Olympia Sponsored by Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation

artsy thoughts...

In Western culture (which is now mostly non-agrarian) we have lost (or sacrificed) our direct connection to nature. Modernity has also fostered a dis-connect with (and even a disbelief toward) the reality of anything we cannot measure with science. Post-modernity finds us starved for that which we've lost - yet we are maybe still lacking a healthy appetite for it. It is hard to miss what we cannot remember. And so we are unfortunately removed from the real-ness of both the physical and the spiritual. In a sense, we are disconnected from the true, and are living naive or anesthetized to both the concrete tangible and the real unseen. And so I find that my work is a double challenge as I seek to demonstrate through the arts the intertwined patterns and rhythms of nature and the unseen real. It's as if we all first need a primer on nature. Then maybe we can begin to investigate supernature. It is an odd predicament. And yet people seem to connect with something within my artwork. Maybe our souls still know. ~ Steve

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