We are really enjoying the sunny days we’ve been having.  Jon, Adelaide and I have been working like crazy on our backyard trying to get it into shape for the summer.  We built a patio last month and have been building and digging planting beds all this month.  Last weekend we planted strawberries (which Adelaide likes to either sprinkle dirt on or completely pull up), lettuce, beets, rhubarb, carrots, peas, onions, and radishes.  I love that Adelaide is old enough to ‘help’ and play in the dirt with her mama.  Today we finished putting in gravel paths around the raised beds.  I’m am somewhat obsessed with growing veggies this year and keep coming home with plants before I have anywhere to plant them.  I think I’ve read Steve Solomon’s Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades about three times this winter.  A great book if you are interested.

I got into the BAM (Bellevue Arts Museum) arts festival!  Super exciting – over 900 applied and only about 300 got in!  I’ve applied before and didn’t make it, so seeing that acceptance letter was a shock!  I’ll be showing my oil paintings which means I really need to focus some time to work in that series.  I’ve also heard back from the Salem Arts Festival – got in – the Bend High Desert Festival – didn’t get in – and the Crafty Wonderland May sale – got in .

Next month, I’m part of a fundraiser called An Artist a Day.  Every day in April from noon to 5 a artist will paint an original painting at Muse, a local Portland art supply store, that will be auctioned off at the end of the month.  Proceeds go to buying art supplies for teachers.   I’ll be painting on April 3rd and will be working on a 16 x 20 map painting.  Images from all the artists work will be posted on their blog over the month.  Fun!

Tomorrow I am starting a five day painting workshop with artist William Park.  I haven’t done anything like this for a long time and want to start playing with new techniques or bring in some new ideas into my work.  I’ll try and post some of what I create if I like anything.  I’m taking it with my good friend and fabulous artist Sam Tudyk.

I’ve been getting so many commissions the past two months – perfect since this is the slowest part of the year for me.  Most of them have been pretty large – 30 x 30 and over – and I’m really liking that size for my map paintings.  When I get caught up on those I’m hoping to do some more and have them available off my website.  I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading and happy creating!

Rachel