Saturday, December 8, 2012

jon contino

When I grow up I want to be an artist like Jon. Check out his passion and craftsmanship so beautifully captured in this video. Then, browse through his portfolio here. Cheers, Mandy

Jon Contino from Kevin Steen on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

hospital art

UPDATE Jan '13: 
When this post was originally published, I did not know who the artist was nor did I know the title of this beautiful diptych. Well, imagine my delight when I was contacted directly by the artist with well wishes for my mom and the title of the painting. Layne Cook is the artist and she titled this work  "Trust". Layne is an accomplished painter with roots here in the Pacific Northwest. Please take a moment to visit her Website. Thank you Layne for the inspiration and support!

This diptych at Swedish Cherry Hills campus in Seattle pretty much sums up our support for my mom who recently underwent her third emergency cardiac catheterization in 2013. She is stable now. Yesterday we moved her to a short-term rehab facility so that she can regain her strength and mobility.

I wish I had been taking photos of all the incredible artwork in hospital settings along the way. There was no placard beside this diptych so I cannot tell you who the artist is. What I can tell you is that it is comforting.

To all my family, friends, neighbors, my daughter's teachers and karate instructors, and last but not least, families of my daughter's classmates -- please know that I am extremely grateful for all your support and generosity this past year. Thank you for being ready to catch us. Someday I will repay you.

xo Mandy

Saturday, November 17, 2012

a must see: The Dust Bowl by Ken Burns

My family and I will be tuning in this weekend to watch the latest film by renowned director Ken Burns and PBS: The Dust Bowl. As you know, this subject matter is near and dear to me and at the heart of my 2011 stories on canvas: Dust Bowl Glimpses. I'm so very proud of the work because it gives a voice to the impoverished people who endured merciless conditions of a record-breaking 10-year drought in the 1930s. Please join me.

My Dust Bowl Glimpses series:

                                Open publication - Free publishing - More 1930s america

Saturday, October 20, 2012

a bit of whimsy at red cheeks factory

chewing gummmm

We could all use a little whimsy in our lives, right? Well, you'll certainly get your fix when you visit Red Cheeks Factory!

I recently came across the brilliant works of artist Nelleke Verhoeff and instantly fell in love with all the whimsy. I believe you'll agree. Go ahead, take a peek! Enjoy!


Friday, October 12, 2012

extra, all about my AMAZING ART SALE

 photo via Shorpy

Don't you just love this photograph?! Those faces, those clothes! I think its the perfect image to announce my 40% off sale.

Why am I having this HUGE SALE? Because I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who's hung in there and supported my work along the way. I'm definitely still creating art, it's just that I'm in a slow period since I am helping my mom through some serious health issues. My energies have also been focused on settling into the new school year, new school community, and part-time work. Thank you for not giving up on me!

For one week only everything my Etsy shop will be 40% off. Just be sure to enter the coupon code THANKYOU40 at checkout to receive your discount. Sale ends midnight Pacific time Friday, October 19th. Happy shopping!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

vivienne's gifts

A sweet friend and fellow artist, Vivienne Strauss, recently sent me photos of a mural inside her local post office in Peterborough, NH. Knowing that my heart beats fast for art of this nature, Vivienne wanted to share her experience with me. Incredibly generous, right? Yes! Thank you Vivienne for these gifts!

The mural was completed in 1927 by Marguerite Zorach, an American fauvist painter, textile artist, and graphic designer who won the 1920 Logan Medal of the Arts. I encourage you to read more about her here. and here.  

Isn't the mural gorgeous?!

Speaking of gorgeous, if you aren't familiar with Vivienne's work, I highly recommend browsing her amazing body of work here, here and here. Additionally, the folks over at House of Fifty recently featured Vivienne's story on page 108. Check it out!

I'll leave you with one of my all-time favorite paintings of Vivienne's:

Friday, September 28, 2012

muy bueno cookbook

I've sorely missed working in the studio...and blogging. I've been adjusting to our back-to-school routines, caring for my mom, and starting a part-time job handling social media for Full Slate appointment scheduling software (more on that development in a later post). But tonight, I have a free hour and I'm going to seize it to share some exciting news about a new cookbook, the Muy Bueno Cookbook

Muy Bueno
Nearly two years ago I discovered an amazing food blog chock full of authentic, mouth-watering Mexican recipes. Everything I was reading (and seeing) reminded me of my own childhood growing up in Denver in a Hispanic household. Weekends were spent at my grandmother's home devouring homemade tortillas, chili, and tamales (it was her cooking that inspired this painting and this painting).


I immediately reached out to Yvette to share my story and my admiration for the work she, her sister, and her mother were doing to preserve generations of treasured recipes. I've enjoyed watching their blog evolve and attract fans from all over, including none other than Michelle Obama. I'm thrilled to say they've just published their first cookbook and it's available for purchase on (you'd better believe my copy will be here soon).  

Congratulations ladies!

Next up...
More details about Full Slate and the gifts from my friend, the ├╝ber-talented artist Vivienne Strauss.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stackpole's mural at Coit Tower

Industries of California by Ralph Stackpole

Last month I had the privilege of seeing the work of WPA artists, including Ralph Stackpole, at San Francisco's Coit Tower. My family and I stumbled upon this monument on a morning walk from our hotel at Fisherman's Wharf.

Once inside, we were treated to a series of murals commissioned by the Public Works of Art Project under the New Deal federal government program in 1933. Perhaps Stackpole's mural stood out to me because of my fondness of old factories and images of laborers. There is immense beauty in these images.

The entire experience took my breath away. I imagined the artists working alongside each other. I thought about their conversations, collaborations, and debates. I could have stayed all day.

Industries of California by Ralph Stackpole

Industries of California by Ralph Stackpole

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Here Comes the Sun

It's an absolute thrill to be featured alongside all the talented artists and artisans in Poppytalk's newest "Here Comes the Sun" Zine. It showcases all the splendor of summer happening right now at Poppytalk Handmade.

To celebrate, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on all items in my Etsy shop for the duration of this Poppytalk Handmade market. Simply enter "BUYHANDMADE" at checkout.

So go ahead...dive on in! Cheers, Mandy

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dust Bowl Glimpses BOGO promotion


Last summer I unveiled six original paintings in a series called Dust Bowl Glimpses. Today, I am adding two more paintings to that series, "The WPA Promise" and "Security", and announcing a Buy One Get One FREE offer to celebrate their arrival.

"The WPA Promise" and "Security" are artistic renditions of symbols from government programs that provided relief to millions of Americans during the Great Depression, including migrant families displaced by the Dust Bowl. I wanted to include these symbols in the series because I believe they represent a time of healing and provide a continuation of the stories told in the original six paintings.

Because I think "The WPA Promise" and "Security" paintings would be best paired with one of the originals, I want to give them away to the next two buyers of my Dust Bowl Glimpses paintings on cradled wood panels. Yahoo!

How my BOGO offer works: 
  1. Purchase any of the remaining Dust Bowl Glimpses paintings (8"x8" acrylic on cradled wood panel) from my Etsy shop. Note: Purchases must be one of the 8"x8" original acrylic paintings on cradled wood panel.

    Here are the 5 remaining paintings at post time:
    Taking the Mother Road
    Worldly Possessions
    Fryin' Pone
    Ruthie's Red
    Faded Clover - SOLD
  2. Indicate your preference for the free painting, either "The WPA Promise" or "Security" in the "Note to weatheredsilo" field on the checkout screen. If the field is left blank, I will assume you do not have a preference and I will choose for you.
  3. I will send you a confirmation of your FREE painting via Etsy convo and email provided on your PayPal account.

Please note:
  • This offer expires once both free paintings have been awarded.
  • Awarding of the free paintings will be determined by the date/time of the buyer's purchase on a "first come, first serve" basis. In other words, the first buyer gets his/her first choice of free painting. If no preference of free painting is indicated in the "Note to weatheredsilo" field, then I will make the choice for him/her.
  • If one free painting is awarded then the remaining free painting will automatically go to the next buyer (based on the date/time of purchase)
  • If the first buyer purchases two paintings then he/she will receive both free paintings.

More about my new paintings: 

Just like the originals, "The WPA Promise" and "Security" are:
  • 8"x8"x1"
  • Acrylics on birch plywood cradled panel with protective UVLS polymer varnish topcoat
  • Washes of brewed coffee atop titanium white paint on sides
  • Wired for hanging (may sit on flat surface)
  • Titled and signed on back

"The WPA Promise" -- the story

The Works Project Administration (WPA) was the largest FDR New Deal agency. For eight years, the WPA employed millions of unskilled workers to carry out public work project, including buildings and roads, and operated large arts, drama, media and literacy projects. Visit here for more details. 

"Security" -- the story

The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was a part of FDR's New Deal. It was an effort during the Depression to combat American rural poverty. It stressed "rural rehabilitation" efforts to improve the lifestyle of sharecroppers, tenants, very poor landowning farmers, and a program to purchase submarginal land owned by poor farmers and resettle them in group farms on land more suitable for efficient farming. Visit here for more details.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

new art in the shop + poppytalk coupon

"A Collection no. 10 - Navajo"

I've recently added a handful of fresh acrylic paintings to my Etsy shop. These paintings on paper + cradled wood panels are based on doodles of late and have been arranged in various groupings and color combinations. Perhaps one catches your eye? 

"Shapes of Blue" - Original acrylic painting on cradled wood panel

My Poppytalk promotion: 
As a participating vendor in the current Poppytalk Handmade "Paper Pops + Affordable Art" market, I'm offering 10% off all items (not just the paintings on paper) in my shop through June 1st! To save, enter "POPPY10" at checkout. Cheers!

"A Collection no. 8 - Black + Ochre"

Close up of "A Collection no. 7 - Silver"

"A Collection no. 6 - Cancun"

Close up of "A Collection no. 3 - Deep Orange"

Friday, May 18, 2012

for Clover

Faded Clover from my Dust Bowl Glimpses series

I recently had the joy of shipping my beloved "Faded Clover" to a little girl in San Francisco. The painting was a gift to Clover from her grammy and grandpa, Ema and Biggie, to celebrate her 1st birthday. 

I recognize how fortunate I am to know the back story of this purchase and I never want to forget what grammy Ema had to say about my artwork:
"I see this painting being part of a special series of stories for sweet Clover on many levels in addition to being a delightful display in her room. Your paintings draw me in and wanting to linger to consider their tales."
Thank you Ellen. I simply couldn't ask for a higher compliment. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

my woad weekend

Kathy Hattori, Sophie Boss, Denise Lambert, me 

I don't have much time to "chat" here but I couldn't wait to post these photos from the amazing woad workshop I attended on Saturday with Kathy Hattori of Seattle-based Botanical Colors along with master dyer Denise Lambert of Bleu de Lectoure of France and her charming assistant Sophie.

For those of you who missed it, I previously blogged about my obsession with woad here: "mad about woad". I find this "black blue" to be exquisite and cannot wait to use my freshly dyed fabrics (and woad oil paints I purchased from Bleu online) for some upcoming art projects.

According to Denise, woad is a very rare blue that is finicky and demands a lot of patience. It is earth-friendly (requires no mordant) and uses oxygen to complete the color transformation. To achieve a uniform dye color, one must slowly lower the item into the dye vat so as to avoid trapping any air (oxygen) bubbles underneath the surface. Each dip takes anywhere from 3-4 minutes and each item should get at least 2 dips. My biggest challenge will be making my own vat at home -- wish me luck!

Watching the color transformation of the garments as they were being pulled from the various vats in the amphitheater was purely magical. I will try to post the video I captured of one woman's sarong as it changed from yellow-green to vibrant woad.

Perhaps the most important takeaway from the day was something Denise said about working with woad: "You must accept what you receive". What an amazing way to approach life, don't you think?

Woad treasures from the morning session.

Dyed items were hung on makeshift clothes lines at the top of the garden amphitheater which made for a beautiful sight.

Sophie + Denise restocking the vats at lunch time

I experimented with dying my spool of 100% organic cotton thread. I knew the under layers wouldn't dye, but all the better. 

Yarn skeins and canvas shoes of woad blue.

In closing, the workshop was a dream! The weather couldn't have been better, I got to "play" alongside other artists, and I walked away with a hefty bundle of woad-dyed textiles, some for wearing and some for future art projects. One thing's for sure, it was the perfect way to kick start my Mother's Day weekend. Cheers!

Friday, May 4, 2012

sneek peek of new work

It's been far too long since I've posted any news here. Please accept my apologies. I've been helping my mom recuperate from a serious health scare that all began on Valentine's Day. I could not have done it without the help from my sister, in-laws, neighbors, and dear friends from both school communities and karate. Thankfully mom's health is improving and she is regaining cardio strength through rehab. A break from kidney dialysis is an added perk.

Thankfully I've been able to squeeze in some studio time here and there which has produced a few new paintings. I plan to unveil them on Monday when Poppytalk's Paper Pops + Affordable Art begins. I'll be adding some abstract paintings and drawings later in the week...spending this weekend in Spokane, WA cheering on my daughters and their karate classmates as they compete in the Washington State Karate Championships. ;-)

I can't wait for Poppytalk Handmade to start! I'm always grateful for the opportunity to make connections with fellow vendors and soak up inspiring works of art and artisan crafts. Won't you join me?


And now for that sneek peek I was talking about:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

doodles with some color

Ink with colored pencil on Kraft paper. White, black, and woad-like blue.

I've been away for some time helping family and things are now returning to some sort of normalcy. With that comes time for my art.

I'm so grateful for today's afternoon sunshine and the chance to "doodle" alongside my daughters. It's been too cold and too wet for too long around here in the Pacific NW. Perhaps there may be a painting or two in these doodles somewhere.


Ink with colored pencil on velum. White, black, woad-like blue and ochre.

Ink with colored pencil on Kraft paper. White, black and yellow ochre.

Monday, February 13, 2012

celebrating Addie's day

Tonight we spent the evening making and wrapping 35 or so heart-shaped rice crispy treats to hand out to Addie's classmates for Valentine's Day tomorrow. Nearly eight years ago Addie joined our family...traveling from a "little" coastal town in the Fujian Province of China. They tell us she was born on Valentine's Day. To us, this holiday will forever be Addie's Day.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

shorpy finds: Merchants' Dispatch Transportation Co.

Blacksmith shop, Merchants' Dispatch Transportation Co. - (circa 1904)

What's not to love about this snapshot? Those bricks. Those mustaches. The hand-forged metalwork. Sigh. Have I mentioned how much I respect artisan work? If you click on the image you can zoom in on all the gorgeous details. Cheers!