Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

PDX Art features PAM, The Portland Art Museum


The Power of the Art community

just in case you missed this wonderful free event
on a hot summer night with great music and tasty food
watch for it in 2009

PAM is for not just for tourists but for all of us

I am sorry to see Jennifer Gately leave
because I really enjoyed her curation of the Contemporary Northwest Art Awards
maybe we didn't show her "the love" she diserved

Portland PDX Art: Katherine Clarke Langlands

color and figure by Katherine Clarke Langlands

contact at www.katherinelanglands.com

Katherine is showing right now
at the super cool new Foot wear Gallery
on Alberta Street

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Portland PDX art: Chuck E. Bloom

You have to see it to believe it

the magical Art of
Chuck E. Bloom

Art speaks at Concordia coffee house

Art speaks out aloud

at Concordia coffee house

on 29th and Alberta

Guardino Gallery, Alberta Street Portland

Natural Beauty

Elaine Norberg & Kathy Cotner
Oil Paintings

September 25-October 28

JT Kirkland: Artists "Review" Artists: Richard Schemmerer on Michael Konrad

mixed media
(collaged paper, gouache, ink, joint compound, & wood putty) on paper mounted on board
11" x 11"
by Micheal Konrad

The "Review"

I am inspired to see with a poets eye
to me the piece is a time machine it sucks me into its outline and leads me back to a world of the past
I see elements, building blocks that create the back drop to my projected story as I step forward into white
I carry the remands of memory with me
and walk along the unpaved roads
the walls that speak volumes
the scribbles that captured a mood that has long past
like the smoke of an old fire
there is an imaginary window that opens my mind
to follow the grids that recall the structure of my childhood
there is a touch of gloom on the horizon
but also a promise of peace
it is the space before the decision is made
the moment when harmony studies chaos
before it has decided if its ready to dance
The Response

Richard clearly picked up on the duality in the work, the harmony between tranquility and disturbance. I particularly like his description of the “space before the decision is made…when harmony studies chaos.” This particular drawing is part of a series of 12 similar square-format panels. Although each panel is an individual work, I like the way they reinforce the architectural elements in the drawings when displayed as a grid.Thanks for the poem!
By Michael Konrad
I want to thank Michael and JT for this enriching experience
that connects artists and builds community
if you want to participate go to

JT Kirkland: Artists "Review" Artists: Michael Konrad on Richard Schemmerer


mixed media, acrylic on paper on wood board

20" x 24"

bt Richard Schemmerer

The "Review"

Flight is an acrylic painting on paper mounted on board -- an interesting choice of materials. I tend to associate works on paper with drawings or prints, or in the case of paintings, transparent washes of color.

This painting, in contrast, appears to employ a painterly, abstract expressionist approach that I would normally expect to see on canvas. For that reason, it would be especially useful to see this painting in person; to see how it is constructed as an object, what kind of paper is used (there appears to be a horizontal seam across the midsection of the painting?) and how the paint is applied to the surface.However, it is my task to review the artwork, and I must do so using the limited information available to me. Upon my first look at the painting, I was immediately reminded of the sculpture of Brancusi.

The white, bird-like forms in the center of the picture not only reference the idea of flight through their aerodynamic shapes and upward trajectories, they also directly reference Brancusi’s Bird in Space series.

I am less certain about the meaning behind the letter “B,” arranged throughout the picture in a stenciled font. My first response is to link the letter with Brancusi’s name, or the word “bird,” but that seems too obvious to be the artist’s sole intention. Or possibly it references B-52 or some kind of graphic associated with another type of aircraft.

I am left wondering about the conceptual and compositional decisions behind this element.If it were a type of music, there is no doubt in my mind that this would be Jazz. The painting’s structure feels pre-planned, but it appears to be executed quickly and with on-the-spot improvisation. The palette is limited, yet still results in a vibrant and celebratory color range. And the composition is complete and dense while alluding to airy and open concepts such as the feeling of flying.
By Michael Konrad

The Response

The painting is part of a cyclus of 12 paintings called “ The five stages of being” and that’s what the B allures too ; to being and birth as in the birth of a soul, the soul taking flight/ lift off. It also is added as a mystery because it also represents in a faint way the number 13 the next number after a complete cycle of 12.Thanks to Michael for his insight full observations which allowed me to see the work from an expanded perspective and appreciate it a new. Also thanks to J T to make this exchange possible.
By Richard Schemmerer

Friday, September 26, 2008

Eva Lake interview with Richard Schemmerer

thanks to Eva Lake




Chris Haberman interview with Richard Schemmerer on www.ArtPDX.com

An Interview with Richard Schemmerer

Interview By: Chris Haberman

Artist Interview: Richard Schemmerer
Birthplace/Origin/Year: Munich, Germany; August 27, 1957
Currently Resides: Portland, OR., since 1995.
Education: Degree in Multi media Information technology

When did you first want to be an artist, or when did you first realize you were one?

I never wanted to be an artist. I thought I would be a soccer star like David Beckham like every other little boy in Bavaria. The first time I realized I wanted to be an artist was when I started to carve masks out of tree bark and when I got my first brand new bike and immediately started painting it in with my water color set.

You are a multimedia artist, that has worked in many different forms (2D, installation, sculpture, photos). Which one defines you best and why?

I like to incorporate elements that create interest on multiple levels, so that new aspects are exposed depending on the mood of the observer. Interdisciplinary describes it the best. I am here to break the rules of preconceived aesthetics. I am not a decorator, but an artist that pushes the boundaries of the social contract that seems to be always busy with restricting experience rather then amplifying it.

In a world saturated by images and with the speed of communications now, is two dimensional art still relevant?

Art is the only thing relevant because it is a stationary expression that can stop your mind and engage your mind on a deeper level than fleeting images of popularized culture. Art can express what can’t be controlled in an obvious way or through subtle means. 2D is the best format because it can be transported so it will stay relevant and shape shift according to the needs of society often in disguise as decoration.

You are a well honed veteran to the art world, showing in multiple countries and venues. Do you still consider yourself an outsider artist?

I will always be an outsider artist because I am always going to surprise myself with my artistic expressions. My art is not scripted but comes out of the universal force that expresses itself creatively in a myriad of ways and is independent from fashionable trends. Sometimes I feel like I am being taken over by Archetypal powers that use me as the brush to paint on the canvas of life through the means of Art. I guess many others said that before. There is something radical in me that forces me to manifest something that is in opposition to the established notion of what art should be.

Your show for April is at The East Bank Commerce Center, an open gallery in a creative small business complex. How do you feel about showing in alternative spaces outside the gallery scene?

I love it because as long as we have options to show our work independenlyt the system itself has to stretch and evolve. Every system strives for control to keep its power position alive. After awhile that survival tactic is its only creative output and it allows me the luxury not to have to copy myself if I don’t want to. I hate being forced into a style so I can be marketed like a designer hand bag. Every 5 year old can copy itself. I see it as an insult and I hope that other artists will start to revolt against it.

Is there any artwork, artist, or art movement which you feel attached to? If so, why? If not, why?

This is changing with time and the new art that is created. I liked the Dada movement and all the following fringe elements. Arte Povera and text based art have a strong influence on me. I learned to appreciate the craftsmanship of the old masters and the archetypal symbolism of religious paintings. Right now I am drawn to urban and graffiti art because it shows the courage to point out that everything is not all right. But at the same time I can appreciate the beauty and humor in the whimsical trends that seem to be popping up following Pop art patterns. I am not a fan of Andy Warhol because I don’t think everyone is an artist but I get the irony of it. [Warhol] created a swamp of wannabe artists/ designers/poets/musicians/all the above you get my drift. The life of an artist is not glamorous but lots of new comers think so and get into it for the wrong reasons. I would say every one is creative and can and should express this vital energy in millions of ways it keeps life fresh and the mind awake.

What is the most important element or message (political or social) that you want to portray with your art?

Political freedom of expression is the most vital and the most fragile looking back at our history. We can’t ever fall asleep and take it for granted. The other thread through my art is that of social inter-relation . We are not an island. We are an earth and together we have to address how we want to live on this planet. Nobody is better than the other, but it doesn’t mean that one can’t point out where there is room for improvement.

In contrast to the Portland art market, which do you think is smarter for an emerging artist: pricing work affordably to make it more accessible, or pricing work high, to make it more precious?

Every time I have a show I am annoyed by the pricing issue. I would prefer not to price my art. First of all, it really is priceless because it is not a commodity, even if many buyers think so. It’s about collecting something that’s precious even if it was only so much. I set up in public areas and give away art to people who really like a specific piece, and other times I do shows and elevate the price because I am sure nobody will buy it then.

I don’t think one should price art low to make it more accessible, because the human psyche appreciates that only once and starts to expect it the next time. Cheap Art is just what it says, ‘Cheap’ Art.

We have become bargain hunters, but to me it just exposes our hidden poverty thinking. Poverty thinking leads down a road to an impoverished society that lacks the self-worth necessary to appreciate an aesthetic environment and forces us to come up with slogans like ‘keep the world weird’ without thinking about the implications and the why we have a need for that. But we have to leave something for another interview and I feel grateful to have been offered this platform to share a little bit of what makes me tick.

Thank you Richard.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PDX Art features Chris Haberman

Chris Haberman is a local renaissance man who carved out a space for himself and his many artist friends in the Portland Art scene. As a curator he has given many upcoming artists the opportunity to show their work to an appreciative audience. He definitely deserves more then just a place in the clouds but a place in the stars and he has already a place in our hearts.

It seems you started out as a writer/poet.
Is that what you are at the bottom of your heart?

Very much so. I began my creative life as a creative writer, studying journalism at Portland State and making my way through the graduate English program. It was really the cross-education process, where I ran into painters all the time in writing that made me pursue my interests in visual art. I think the bottom of my heart is just purely the act of creation. I think the text and words (like poems) give form to color and shapes, a further mode to express and formulate themes and communication in the 2d field. I love writing and I have never stopped. It seems more and more it is most important in my art life to combine the two.

What got you into art/painting and do you feel you got side tracked or is it a logical extension of who you are as an artist?

I started painting at the end of graduate school, taking 101 shape drawing classes. I've only had like 3 art classes in my life, so most of the techniques and understanding I have is from trial and error and really painting a couple thousand works. I see painting and visual arts as an evolution in my arts life - maybe from a technological stance, its from written word to television in a way. I have always felt that paintings are easier for people of all walks of life to enjoy. You don't have to read or hear music, you just have to see. You don't really have to understand what its about either, you just have to like the colors and the formats of shapes. My paintings are all stories, but in themselves, they can also match the carpet and the drapes.

Do you write the lyrics to your bands "Hello Cleveland" songs
and what is the difference in writing style?

Ha ha....the band question. Yes, I write the lyrics to the band songs. We are a democracy band and we each have our role. Mine of course is singer and lyricist. I write lyrics live as we create songs together, so that is the big difference between writing a poem and a song and I usually rhyme words in songs, which I don't usually do in written form. Some songs don't fully have lyrics at all and they change each time I'm on stage. The song titles, like paintings, are the signifier for a story - some about my life and my family, others fictional about an over-friendly babysitter or a relationship break in a motel off a highway. With this, I think the writing aspect of my life is ingrained in everything I do - there is always back text and a theme and a story, but within the layers, there is always something simpler, something pure that can enjoyed without knowing what lies beneath.

Your art incorporates lots of writings
are they part of existing poems or are they streams of consciousness?

Both really. This new series for the chapbook (Mine Is Clouds) - 20 poems in all, are represented by 20 paintings. The paintings have been made after the poems were written, similar to a big comic book in my mind. It depends how I approach a new work, sometimes I have a feeling and look for a poem to fit the theme, or I write something new. Many times, I am working purely from a stream of consciousness, creating live and making the text fit within the larger scheme. I think I am very blessed to have an open pipe of language and ideas flowing from me to complete this form, and it doesn't always work, but its a hell of a lot of fun and I've worked hard to perfect this format without interrupting the flow of a painting.

Text seems to be important in your life.
Is their a message in it for others or is it about states of personal emotions?

I spent my high school years in weekly therapy sessions. My mentor and therapist had me journal a lot which really taught me to express myself in words. From there, I wrote poetry as a way to deal with emotions. I think everyone should write in some way, its a good internal dialogue and a helpful form of expression. I think the messages I portray are both personal and storytelling. Sometimes a story, although it may not be personal, is a good way to express a shared emotion - which is true in cinema and novels as well; a shared experience that helps people relate to each other. '

You had a very busy successful year.
What are the challenges you mastered and what can we expect in 2009?

Thank you, I'm not rich or anything, but I felt this year has been great. I love making art and working with artists as a curator in Portland and I feel that 2009 will just extend these experiences. I always want to take things to another level though. I love the big shows, but I am really trying to focus on my own work right now as well, trying new things, incorporating ideas (such as writing and music) to help bridge the gap between creative canons. I am truly searching for my opus and a completion of my well-worked style of images and words. I think my main tasks in 2009 will rest on the economy and the changing political scene. With a change of government, both nationally and locally (e.g. - Mayor elect Sam Adams in Portland) the art scene as a whole will change. Mayor Adams is very supportive of our local scene and he knows how many intelligent and creative people are here. Everybody seems to love our "art" city, but I feel that Portland should branch out and represent its local talent on a wider scale, helping them along and keeping them in Portland. I think too much talent has left Portland for greener pastures, but this city is a comfortable place of creation. The problem is money, but with this has come a lot of community effort and teamwork - a real base effort that is inspiring, but that honestly needs some financial coddling.

And an easy question at the end. What is your place in History besides in the clouds?

I have no problem with the local icon status, its pretty respectful and I love the city I've grown up in. I want to be known as an inspirational and an understanding man, someone that represents where they came from and someone who supports others in their dreams. But really, I don't mind the clouds, they look like pillows.

"MINE IS CLOUDS": Solo Art Show and Chapbook Release

by Chris Haberman

October 1 – 31, 2008
at the Show and Tell Gallery
@ Everett Station Lofts
625 NW Everett Street 231

Opening Reception: First Thursday, October 2, 2008, 6-9:30 p.m.
Poetry reading by artist at 7:00 p.m.
Live music by TBA at 8:00 p.m.

Produced by Show and Tell Gallery,
Contact: Melissa Sillitoe, Hostess/Producer, 503-459-1703,

Local indie artist and writer, Chris Haberman, will debut his third poetry chapbook and accompanying artwork at a solo show at the Show and Tell Gallery at Everett Station Lofts. The Show and Tell Gallery features collaborations between media and individual artists, musicians, and poets. Its offshoot, Show and Tell Gallery Productions, builds Portland's indie arts community by hosting free live arts programs at local coffee houses and restaurants.
Haberman's chapbook's title comes from a
The chapbook is illustrated with his newest original art, which will also be exhibited at the Show and Tell Gallery.

Chris Haberman is a working writer, painter and musician native to Portland, Oregon. Aside from painting, he has published poetry, journalism and fiction; being awarded the Tom Doulis Fiction award, the Wilma Morrison award for excellence in journalism and is a member to the Academy of American Poets. Haberman was the Oregon recipient for the Academy of American Poets in 1999, and his writing has been published by the Willamette Weekly, Paperback Jukebox, PDXS, Tonic (and other defunct upstarts). He was also the editor of the Portland State Vanguard for many years.


LIfe Time

some know immediately
what their purpose in life is
for others it takes a lifetime
acrylic on wood & Glass
by Richard Schemmerer


If I knew how to transform evil, (or illusion) I'd do it, but evil is difficult to wield. Difficult to bend to our desires. Sometimes representing it is promoting it and that is a danger too. Artists forget that people other than other artists look at their work. Repeating a visual atrocity can be simply furthering it. But I did work with evil images in one painting in particular which was a discussion of war (I started this around 4 months into the Iraq war). The piece was more than just a simple statement of anti-war, but was an exploration of all roles complicit in war making. "Comfy Chair". A naked woman is sitting on a comfy chair of heaps (aggregates) of newspapers. All images in the paper are B&W. Just a tiny bit of red. images were of the last 100 years' major wars the USA was involved in (not much from the Korean war tho), images included leaders, soldiers, other combatants, battle locations (including terrorist sites), innocent victims. Text were scans from newspapers in 8 languages, and scans of 100 years' NYT war related headlines. Most images were available from books/magazines, but the current was was where I wanted to take the 'innocent victims' from and you know images have been controlled and restricted by Bush/Cheney. So I started doing searches online for images and after a while found some which I downloaded into photoshop, sized, desaturated and then printed. Then these images I had to actually work into the painting. I can tell you I cried thru much of the painting and was often incredibly nauseated too. It was extremely painful working with those images - like holding evil in my fingers.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

PDX Art presents an interview with Katherine Ace

Katherine Ace

Katherine Ace is a master painter/artist an extraordinary talent

that lives right in the middle next to us. Imagine like being neighbor to Picasso or Van Gaugh

so next time you see her tell here how amazing she is.

I feel fortunate that she was willing to give us a glimpse into her artistic soul

and to expose her loving heart to us in the process.
Here's a link to a video she did working on a painting:

Hi Katherine

Here are few questions for you to round out the picture.

You moved in January 1990 to Oregon and established a permanent studio. It seems a relative long time for you to be in one place.
Do feel like you found a permanent home or is it itching under your feet?

Permanent home. Raised my daughter here and I simply LOVE Portland. I feel very lucky to have landed here.

You had 32 solo shows since 1992 including The Woodside/Braseth Gallery, Seattle; The Margo Jacobsen Gallery, Portland; Portland State University; Pacific University, OR; Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle; Chicago IL; Oregon State University to name a few.
Do you ever feel established or does an artists esteem has to be proven over and over?

I think there are more than 32, think it is at 42 now, I must have send an older "bio". So far I have not felt "established". But I don't feel "not established" either. I often feel lucky and grateful. I like being part of a community of artists! Especially artists I admire and respect! That is seriously rewarding for me.

About 'artist esteem', well, I have a bit of difficulty there. I am never satisfied, and can get really down on myself which is not lots of fun and probably not very productive either. Just can't help it. I forget I've done anything I considered OK when I'm working out a new set of issues/techniques/concepts. So, for example, recently I've been feeling very lazy, and when I started to go thru recent work to send you I was surprised. If I could just repeat something that was successful that might be nice, but it will not work for me. I've tried it....."Oh, worked OK for that show, maybe for the next show I'll just repeat what worked and life will be easier" BUT when I tried it the work sucked and I had to throw it away. I really do love challenges - self imposed challenges. I love to chase beauty- to pursue it. And "beauty" is a very broad term for me.

Your participation in numerous regional and national group shows at museums, galleries, art centers, colleges and universities including shows at the Whatcom Museum, WA; Bellevue Art Museum, WA; Maryhill Art Museum, WA; Tacoma Art Museum, WA; Holter Museum of Art, Helena MT; Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts, PA; Vorpal Gallery, San Francisco, CA; John Natsoulas Gallery, Davis, CA; makes you a local Art Star.
Do you feel appreciated enough by the local NW scene or do you think if you'd lived in NYC you would be a big house hold name and famous by now?

Ha! Well, I don't feel like a local art star, and thank god for that! I would rather live in PDX and be a part of this very cool, genuine and individualistic art community then in NYC! What good does fame do anyone?

One thing I would like to be more involved in is speaking/teaching. Since I did not get an MFA I've always admired those who do and love the issues that critical theorists (cultural theorists or whatever their nom du jour is) engage in. That does not mean I agree with prevailing sentiments - quite the contrary! But I enjoy the thinking.

Some of your work deals with work religious aspects.
Do feel a keen ship with the old masters who where commissioned by Kings and Popes and dealt in symbolism with the Metaphysical realm?

I feel a kinship with artists who worked with visual metaphor. Religion is a metaphorical language, but the ideas at the core can be secularized (and have been in western culture at the moment). I have always (and I mean since a tiny child) been extremely fascinated by what might be termed "the mystery" "Mind".... lots of terms but each carries so much baggage. I've studied Gurdjeiff, comparative religions, Buddhism, philosophy. I'm not practicing religion, just prefer the core ideas (goes beyond simple mental 'idea' tho - but there not a proper word for it) I remember looking at Blake's Job when I was in my 20's and suddenly getting it. I suddenly just started reading it as a language and saw (rather than verbally read) his arguments and interpretations. It really blew me away. I also like painting - it is an art which is slow to make, but can be taken in in an instant. The speed of the image is lightening, and with the slow making of it the object embodies (literally) a range of thinking/emotions/physical sensations/music/random stuff/ and whatever else. A painting that takes a long time is like a full meal, or a full orchestra in scope. When I say can be taken in instantly, it works on an unconscious level at that speed. There are other levels that images work too, and can have a sustained impact. Also, I say "painting" but it works for all kinds of art, I just happen to 'get' painting more.

You work mostly figurative especially still life painting but you give it a contemporary feel. Do you see your self as a feminist painter or a feminine painter and this is of course a trick question?

I don't know anymore. I consider myself part of a proud tradition of feminists, and humanists. But I took martial arts training a while back and I "got in touch with my masculine side" ('touch' is not quite the right word....more like punch) I don't know if I feel like a Feminine painter. Honestly. I do know that choosing certain props to discuss subjects can be tricky for a woman painter. For example, in discussing the temporary nature of things (which I do often) and want to use flowers in that discussion it is a real struggle for me. I love flowers, they are so alive, like great sex, are beautiful. But even tho many flowers have very masculine shapes and parts they are usually seen as feminine and in this culture that marginalizes representations of flowers. So it is a real edge for me which amuses me because how could flowers be an edge - just so tame! So I get a bit of a laugh in at myself, but nevertheless that edge remains. It must be some inner conflict.

One area that I can say that I am solidly a female painter is color. I use color naturally. I love color. Here's a story that may illustrate how I see women's relationship to color: Was in a bead shop once - love beads. Suddenly looked up and the shop was filled with women, no men, all quiet and each absorbed in picking thru tiny specks of color and texture. I felt like I was in a very primitive place (refreshingly) where we women were gathering (hunter/gatherers) and color is vital for gathering. Is the berry poison, or ripe, for example. I don't know if this is universal, I've tried to observe when I taught and in just looking at other's work, and I can't tell if it is even generally true that color relates to a female spirit. But I know that for me it does.

And I use color in really subversive ways, often. I use it to draw the eye in to where there is a discussion of very sharp and unpleasant issues.

You are represented by the Woodside/Braseth Gallery in Seattle, and the Froelick Gallery in Portland.
are their any plans for you to conquer Europe?

That would be GREAT! And Chicago. I still have family and friends in Chicago area and would like to show there sometime.

In your art you mix ecstasy and agony; humor and tragedy; natural and constructed realities.
Does your inspiration come from the fantastical and do your paintings offer a solution to real life events?

Not sure of this question. My life seems to skirt along the fuzzy shores of oceanic fantasy and rocky bluffs. I see that in lots of others too. The thinking/feeing levels of life, conscious and submerged directly affect the everyday and the other way around too.

It seems you are searching for a new language made from of the old historical building blocks.
What is your essential goal as an artist?

Well, your questions really go deeper and deeper! Hmmm. I don't have an essential goal as an artist. I have one as a human and art, specifically painting, is the way I express myself. What I am interested in (and this is very hard to put in words - much better at this in paint) is illusion. The study of illusion. Not interested in believing in it or not. Just interested in it as a fact (or is it?). Historical building blocks include visual uses of religious languages, and secular philosophical ones too. But there is often still a level of illusion. If I was to be in a religion I would pursue some form of Buddhism because I think that at its core is an exploration of illusion. I think illusion has enormous destructive powers and ALSO great regenerative and transformational powers. It is not good or bad, is hard to wield, is the foundation of every day sentient life.

Paintings are documentations of this lifelong fascination of mine. I've painted for a long time in many styles, but this interest underlies all of it.

Many artists are interested in the darker side, the thoughts and states of mind that dictate our actions.
Is there evil in us and how can we transform our limitations ?

Your questions just don't get easier do they!?

I actually believe in evil. And I think artists need to be very careful with dealing with it.

Heath Ledger played "the joker" very well. I think he came close to defining evil (from a human pov) as an overriding pleasure, no,... satisfaction, taken in the suffering of others. Blake would define evil differently, more along the lines of pure raw natural energy. If I knew how to transform evil, (or illusion) I'd do it, but evil is difficult to wield. Difficult to bend to our desires. Sometimes representing it is promoting it and that is a danger too. Artists forget that people other than other artists look at their work. Repeating a visual atrocity can be simply furthering it. But I did work with evil images in one painting in particular which was a discussion of war (I started this around 4 months into the Iraq war). The piece was more than just a simple statement of anti-war, but was an exploration of all roles complicit in war making. "Comfy Chair". A naked woman is sitting on a comfy chair of heaps (aggregates) of newspapers. All images in the paper are B&W. Just a tiny bit of red. images were of the last 100 years' major wars the USA was involved in (not much from the Korean war tho), images included leaders, soldiers, other combatants, battle locations (including terrorist sites), innocent victims. Text were scans from newspapers in 8 languages, and scans of 100 years' NYT war related headlines. Most images were available from books/magazines, but the current was was where I wanted to take the 'innocent victims' from and you know images have been controlled and restricted by Bush/Cheney. So I started doing searches online for images and after a while found some which I downloaded into photoshop, sized, desaturated and then printed. Then these images I had to actually work into the painting. I can tell you I cried thru much of the painting and was often incredibly nauseated too. It was extremely painful working with those images - like holding evil in my fingers. Here I was miles away from these innocent victims (children), making art. Was I not respectful of them? Is this all I could do like the woman in the couch? If I am powerless, then is it useful to see? All these questions too - which involved my participation in the war and in the making of art. And in a way my participation with community since the art I make is my surrogate for engaging with others.

Your paintings look like scenes out of an elaborate dream.
How do you conceptualize your visions and bring it to the canvas?

I tend to use as many lenses for each piece as possible and have been adding lenses slowly over the past 4 decades.
1) two lenses - my physical eyes
2) one lens - the single lens of the camera image
3) the multi textured lenses of memory
4) the big eye on my desk - my computer, photoshop, and the internet
5) the multifaceted lens of imagination.

Plus I start with something and then let the image change - treating it as a sort of possibly friendly beast that has a life of its own

Your final pieces look traditional at first glance but they also seem to incorporate a variety of styles and technics.
What is your process and how did you develop it?

I've worked painting for so many years now and have just collected ways of painting. I tend to add on and not drop the old, so my work has tended to become more complex over the years. The way I have done that is I look. I look at paintings - all sorts of paintings in all sorts of places. Museums, galleries, homes, velvet ones, children's, insane peoples. I did a number of copies when I was in my 20s (got paid for them!- they were commissions). One was a young Rembrandt self portrait. I was in Boston at the time and the painting was at the Gardner and they did not allow copyists and besides I was not connected with any of the schools. I had a print of the painting but had to go visit the museum, compare the print to the original (it was WAY off) and stare at the painting, dissecting it, analyzing it, and enjoying it. And unintentionally memorizing tiny bits of technical information. Just have been in the habit since. I find great pleasure in getting close -- really close, like 6" and absorbing a painting. I have very good close vision so this is with my naked eye and I always learn something. Plus I simply find it very sensual, even sexual in a sort of way. Most paintings (not all) have great rewards if the viewer gets close. One reason is that many artists do not and therefore there is subconscious information there - the trace of a brush or knife - how the paint is mixed and handled, other marks and so on. It paints a sort of emotional picture.

I see a narrative in your work.
Does the story come out of you or does it have its own life and wants to be expressed through you?

Kind of both. I don't feel in completely in control or completely out of control either. Its not always a happy easy dance either - but sometimes it is that. It is one part of "creation" and is similar to raising a kid. I engage with popular cultural stories but also more esoteric ones, and psychological ones, visual ones, so they all are just off shore.

What influence does metaphor have on your personal life?

Personal life?? You mean I could have a personal life?? :-))))

Katherine Ace in her own words:

I work in series. Loosely related series. Sometimes they go on for many decades (ie - fish - since I was a child). Right now I'm working on a "Creation" series - all text involved are creation myths globally, including secular myths like the big bang theory. .... theory / myth..... they're all works in progress. The images I am working with are of raw power, many of them pertaining to earth energies, but that relates to subconscious energies as well - Hermetic principle.
Most of this work is from the last 5-6 years - thou there are a couple earlier. I've been painting a long long time - well, oil painting for 41 years 7 months and some odd days etc. Lots of this is on my web site http://www.kathrineace.com/

I'm still working on most series, but want to do the third table in the "Four Tables" series within the next 8 months. I began the series with a "self portrait" because an artist friend of mine kept on insisting that I do a self portrait. I hate to have my picture taken, and the whole idea of a self portrait annoyed me - so that made it a fun challenge! I studied artist's self portraits, with a particular eye for women's self portraits and noticed many things which I incorporated. I put in things that were meaningful to me or habitual and all sorts of other things (mostly made the details up as I went) but just could never put myself into it (except for a couple of sly amusing places). So I saw that I just was 'somewhere else'. That generated the seed of the other three tables, somewhat like Cole's journey of life series, these paintings will take over a decade to do, interspersed with others. The second "Dining with the Ancients" was a descent. Pretty much a descent into hell as I was in huge physical pain while working on it. Actually, I usually work on many pieces at once - 5 to 50 but during this poor health episode I dwindled it down to this one piece. Chronic pain drives the mind inward (and I'm sort of reclusive anyhow) and working on this painting (which has texts of Sophocles, Plato and Homer) was a true descent into the hell of being caught in a body in pain.
Crop Circles series is about looking at one's life like it is an unintended pattern that appears. The works play with up and down - again the Hermetic principle of "as above so below" but cubed. Sometimes these works are so very deeply personal I have a hard time talking about them.

Venus series began "Officially" ( :-)) ) with "Venus Reviled" positing a basic wounding of the feminine in our culture. She is taken from a Bronzino painting and the stump in the middle has many vertical slashes in the canvas - so much so that I can put half my hand thru (I've been rather violent with canvases since my first real pain episode in 2000. Then I've moved on to others in the series, but consider "Holes" to be in the Venus series, which is Durer's self portrait minus the beard and a slightly feminized jaw line. Again, there are holes in the actual canvas - in the image of the red cloth painted as an illusion on the canvas and therefore thru the actual canvas of the painting - meaning (in simplest of terms) that the materiality of the world is illusionistic in nature as well.

I'm still working a lot with feathers and insect wings - just recently got 1000 butterflies for one painting I'm working on. Whew, they are magnificent little creatures.

I've always liked to play along the soft shore between materiality and mentality, and I think the general art trends are reclaiming an appreciation for materiality and will continue that trend for a while (maybe two decades?)

Just a bit about art in Portland.... Oddly the NW tradition with our founding artists and Seattle's (and Vancouver's) are also about the divine in the material world. The NW has so much physical beauty that it affects the artists in (IMO) very positive ways. I was born in Chicago, left home at college and then moved all over the states until landing in Portland where I managed to settle down (because I had a baby and after the baby followed having lots of "stuff"....!!.... first it was a crib, then a chair, then furniture...and so on. Nowhere as beautiful as PDX thou)

I am extremely grateful to be here in PDX - the artists are honestly individualists and we are not big enough yet for there to be serious cliques, so artists interact, which I think is very good for our work. I don't see this as our sort of copying each other's artistic style, but inspiring each other to be our individual authentic voice.

Cheers, Kat


Flower Power and the human mind

The first flowers awakened a new sense in us and nature; a shift in human perception occurred simultaneously from utility focused to beauty centric.

There is a lot to say about the essence of flowers. It can provide key components to the “Dopamine Regulation” with our body being a work in progress”.

The right brain hemisphere is never wrong but not always correct.
Not everyone is totally right or left brained controlled. The right brain hemisphere deals with intuition and is the fluid, spontaneous part of the brain. It can remember pictures, voices and faces. It has the ability to simultaneous think and feel. It is the hemisphere that has boundary perception and prefers everything that happens in the now with almost no sense of time and wants to be a participant instead of a spectator.
all photos
copyright 2008 Richard Schemmerer

Saturday, September 20, 2008

PDX Art: Portland Traces

sometimes we are blind to the wonders in our towns as we run by eachother and miss the life we crave so much

Friday, September 19, 2008

PDX Art: New classic B&W by R.Schemmerer

"The Perpetual Hero"

"The New Innocent"

"The Purified"

"The American Land"

"The Two Gallon Hat"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

PDX Art presents Ryan Burns

Ryan Burns
is using waste paper to make rubbings of old stumps from trees cut by loggers to create a documentation of trees that were once alive and well.
The reused paper for the rubbings include architectural plans and billboard pieces.
Some are as large as 10 feet long.

Ryan wants to force a dialogue about our silent acceptance of this destruction of our future.

you can see his Art right now at http://www.augengallery.com/

He was previously one of the best artists at the Milepost Five show a multi-disciplinary art exhibition presented at Milepost 5 in conjunction with Portland Art Center
held in May. Gavin Shettler of Milepost 5 invited local curators Chris Haberman (Portlandcityart) and Ben Pink (Launchpad Gallery) to select artists and arts groups from around the city to participate in this sprawling and expansive survey of our local art scene. Haberman and Pink filled 30+ rooms of the soon-to-be inhabited Lofts building. Each artist or arts group had chosen a room to fill with artwork. Rayn Burns impressed with an outstanding installation that included a scate ramp and uge scrolls in memory of past glory.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

PDX Art presents Urbanology by Richard Schemmerer

Some people have asked what is PDX Art and I said it is a web log documenting the cultural & artistic out-put in a specific place at a time frame from a point of view.
It is also a promotional tool for my own art and others. Life is a big back-drop to my minds stage on which I project ideas and concepts to built reality. My perspective is on interconnectedness.
Being born on the same day as Mother Theresa I struggle with my urges to save the world which doesn't have to be saved of course because it is perfectly fine as it is and is an amazing playground to test our abilities.
I value artistic freedom over everything else because this guaranties that we have a personal voice in a sea of noice. Most of my art is inspired by my urban environment and is in one way or another a comment on the state of affairs sometimes obvious other times veiled. All my art is political in nature even if I draw a flower it is a lamentation for preservation.
Lately I have been working on a series called "Urbanics" that picks up on a current of revolt, which defaces even though some of it is beautiful, our cities landscape's. Many young people feel they have no voice so they use their artistic capability to protest their invisibility in a social system that is only interested in sustaining it self.
Sometimes we are not able to express yet what we want but already know what we don't like. We are in the stage in between where the light still plays hide and seek and security is challenged by doubt and all we have is each other.

Monday, September 15, 2008

PDX Art presents Sabrina Haque at rdevolution at Olympic Mills Portland

Sabrina is an amazing artist and part of "rdevolution"
curated by Adrienne Fritze
more info at


a public Art gallery managed and curated
by Chris Haberman

Sabrina Haque in her own words

Richard, Thank you for your interest. At Olympic mills I have 5 pieces: 2 oil paintings on canvas, 2 light boxes and one wall tapestry that hangs the entrance.


Transfiguration__ a personal synthesis of clashing cultural viewpoints.

I am an artist of South Asian descent – raised in Pakistan by an American (Ohio) mother and a Pakistani father. Using the medium of painting, photography and digital collage, I synthesize my complex relationship to my diverse Christian and Muslim heritage. I use myself, and my own body as a narrative tool. I combine digitally collaged imagery with traditional oil painting in “Transfiguration.”

I emerge out of the delicate pink petals of a lotus flower, with my arms outstretched akin to Christ’s crucifixion. Out of my hands water flows freely, this references spiritual healing but also parallels the wounds of Christ. In the East, the lotus flower is viewed as a symbol of spiritual renewal. Growing in muddy water, it rises up at dawn to bloom above the surface, and closes at night to sink underwater again. I combine familiar Muslim, Christian and Hindu religious symbols into talismans of personal spiritual struggles and metaphors for mystical journeys. In my series of photographic light boxes the iconographic image of the American flag takes on multiple roles.'

“In One Nation Under God,” I wrap myself in the colors of the flag so that only my eyes and mouth are visible. Opposing sides of my face are inscribed with Biblical and Koranic verses about brotherly love.

Similarly in the 12ft wall tapestry, titled “Holy Intersections,” I weave together passages of the Bible and the Koran to form a transnational quilt or flag that represents the coming together of two creation myths. My personal fusion of opposing cultural perspectives plays a potent role in contemporary American society, as these symbols increasingly provide the political and social language for talking about the nation’s goals, aspirations and identity.

rdevolution at
The Olympic Mills Commerce Center is located
at 107 SE Washington St. Portland, OR 97214

Saturday, September 13, 2008

PDX Art presents: "dance" or reclaiming public space for Art

Systems and rules are there to protect us not to enslave us
modern miracles do happen because we create them to survive free from the sacrefice of our life
only thoughts can hinder or limit our power of expression
let all thoughts be like a dance that claims its divine right for freedom of expression even in a public space
lets dance as if it is our last but not our least thing we do on earth

thanks to Linda K. Johnson


also thanks to
www.tentinydances.org, www.conduit-pdx.org, Water in the desert Festival and many others who perform for us FOR FREE
GO see work by Linda Austin, Mike Barber Hand2Mouth Theater, Hot Little Hands, KO & Co., Tere Mathern, POV Dance, Rhiza A + D, Sojourn Theater, Cydney Wilkes and Alberta Street performers.