jewelry, paintings, illustrations, art politics and the man behind it all

Author Archive

Powering through when Mercury Retrograde is slapping you around

Last year my friend Kelly and I packed a lot of life into a two week trip to Japan, a place we both adore. One of my favorite Unesco world heritage sites, Himeji Castle was a highlight of the trip. As we approached the castle I got to see my dear friend weep tears of joy as we took in the view. She had been dreaming of visiting for many years and once you see the place you can understand being overcome with emotion. As we started the long walk through town to Himeji Castle my thoughts were we would be able to explore the grounds outside and take some breath-taking photos, but I was not prepared to be allowed to go inside, and not just go inside, but explore every floor, all the way to the top. The history here is a bit overwhelming and inspiring at the same time. The castle is frequently known as Hakuro-jō or Shirasagi-jō (“White Egret Castle” or “White Heron Castle”) because of its brilliant white exterior and supposed resemblance to a bird taking flight. 

I based this painting on one of my photos of the castle and added the Egret because of the name. 

This piece took me ages, but I poured a lot of love into it as I hold the place in such high regard. It is on 5×7 canvas board and has an ornate, vintage gold wooden frame. It is for sale now, but will also be featured in my upcoming show in Philadelphia on May 5th. (More on that later)

HEMEJI castle

I have been bouncing back and forth between paintings,  painted earrings and Jewelry trying to get more out there, restocking stores and preparing for art shows and charity events. It has felt overwhelming at times and as though my Work load is more than I can manage, but that is when I am my most creative. One of this week’s creations is a Star Wars favorite (of mine) SABINE WREN!!!

SABINE WREN hand-painted earrings

Below is one of my entries for Little Art Big Cause, URANUS and NEPTUNE. The charity art sale takes place at Scandals in downtown Portland and will be up May 4th through Pride month. HALF of every sale will benefit various charity organizations. 

URANUS AND NEPTUNE

“Space Cowboys” is one of five original pieces that I have at the Sci-fi Show opening May 4th at Afru Gallery in SE Portland. 

I have a mega-crush on Beast Boy from the Teen Titans which was really the primary reason behind painting the beauties below. Of course, I can’t wear them, so perhaps a cuff is in order.

Beast Boy hand-painted earrings

And finally we come to my last entry, this glorious copper and agate necklace. The perfect orange Oregon beach agate was found on a walk near Seal Rock with my boyfriend. It pairs nicely with the vintage copper chains and is sure to get you bombarded with compliments!

That’s all for now – just a snap shot of me, trying to power through a rather difficult month. MAY is here and big things are just around the corner. I will speak on that tomorrow!

Copper and raw Oregon Coast agate statement necklace


Custom Pet portraits and portrait earrings: dogs, cats and birds, Oh My! 

A big part of my success with being a working artist is my custom pet portrait work. Not only do I enjoy painting dogs, cats and birds, but while I am working on them I feel an instant bond or connection with the person the pieces are for. To be honest, this is one of the biggest motivators in doing what I do – that human connection. Check out the listing to get your own pet portrait here. They come with 3 size options and are reasonably priced! No pet is denied, I will paint any species, but dogs and cats are the most popular of course. 

Custom Pet portrait work from the past couple years…

  • I also love to hand-paint dog and cat breeds on tiny charm earrings. I paint the earrings on dense board with a light protective coating and your choice of hardware finishes. (Copper, bronze, surgical steel or gold plated) The earrings retail for $38 and are quite lightweight. Generally the earrings measure 2 inches from top to bottom, but can be made to order and as such, can be larger or smaller. The cat earrings can be found here and the doggies are here
  • Assorted popular dog breed hand-painted charm earrings

  • Feel free to reach out with any requests or questions! 
  • Assorted popular cat breed earrings


Hometown Inspired creations: Portland, Oregon

I first moved to Portland, Oregon after a messy breakup almost ten years ago. I healed, but I was not dialed in and did not enjoy the city as much as I should have. I settled in stumptown for good 6 years ago after a brief re-visit of NYC. This time around I fell in love, with a man and with this fair city. One of the biggest reasons I love it here is because I have hiking buddies and I get to see beautiful waterfalls regularly like WahkeenaWahclellaMultnomah, and Latourell

Clockwise, from top left – Multnomah Falls, Wahkeena Falls, Wahclella Falls, and Latourell Falls

Staring into the roaring beauty that is Wahclella

I also like the look of my current hometown, with gorgeous glass and concrete structures against the backdrop of lush Forest Park and alive with beautiful bridges like FremontSteel, and my favorite – St Johns. And welcoming you to this wonderland is the famous Portland, Oregon White Stag sign! Such a beauty.

Hand-painted pdx bridge earrings, Clockwise from top left st johns 1, st johns 2, steel bridge blossoms, freemont bridge, steel bridge

White Stag Portland, Oregon sign in earrings, greeting card and giclee print

Another reason to celebrate living in the Pacific Northwest is the birds! I see them in the city, floating above me, crows cawingchickens clucking in neighboring yards, I see them in Forest Park at the Audobon Society, I see owls and auks and gulls and eagles and osprey and hawks on my hikes, and I see them as paintings and earrings and cuffs in my workstation at least once a week. That vile show that has contributed to messing with the vibe here in Portland joked about putting birds on things and I willingly live up to the silly stereotype.

ZP Paintings and Earrings, clockwise from top left: ode to a crow, finnegan falcon, crow earrings, crow portrait, glitter owls, steampunk rooster

Neighborhood Crow

Osprey soaring above Quarry Island

When I visit my favorite county, Skamania, on the Washington side of the Columbia River gorge I often see deer and elk, and once – a terrifying cougar.

The Bitter Elk cuff, daisy doe and buck earrings, and Cosmic Teal Elk earrings

I would be a fool if I didn’t mention the crown jewel of Portland, Mt Hood! The mountain is ever-present looming behind the city to the east, inspiring and beckoning all who see it’s granduer. One of my favorite views of the mountain is from Mirror Lake, a popular hike in my area.

An assortment of my Mt Hood earrings

Honorable mention goes out to the vibrant bike culture of Portland. And also the trees. My two favorite trees here are the Douglas Fir and the Ponderosa Pine! These things I have mentioned and many, many more keep me inspired and creations based on them take up permanent residence in my Etsy shop

My Multnomah print, bicycle earrings, Ponderosa Pine earrings and Steel Bridge print

Who knows where my adventures will take me this year? I know the area still has gems to reveal and with my new hiking buddies and my dearest, frequent hiking companion Seasons ready to discover them with me I am sure to be inspired to create all year long. Stay tuned!

Life on the edge at Spirit Falls overlook