Culture Herd We Hunt – You Gather

Survivor – Roy Powell

"Survivors" is an interview series highlighting artists that maintain a "day job" to pay the bills. To shed some light on the techniques and methods of coping and succeeding as an artist. But also bring us all a bit closer by showing we all share the same struggles and challenges.

I came to know Roy through a collaborative series he built with Greg Boudreau called "Chief Seattle's All Stars" But he's no "one trick pony" (at least when it comes to art) He paints, prints and survives day to day with the duality of a super hero but without all that super power "baggage". Be sure to see all his art:

Mayor SchellWilliam Boeing 2010 Spray paint on linenPaul Allen 2010 Spray Paint on Linen

The Questions...

1. What (other than art) do you do to pay the bills?

    I work for a copier sales company in the sales support dept.

2. What else would you do for money?

    Almost Anything...

3. What's the hardest part of having a day job while you build an art career?

    The hardest part is the time comitment. I spend a lot of time at my day job knowing that I could be painting or printmaking right now instead of reminding a customer how to replace their toner cartridge for the 3rd time in a week.

4. Have you ever gotten in trouble at your day job for promoting your art?

    Not yet. I've moved painting into my office / cube. I've handed out some flyers. Most of the time these "business types" can't be bothered with anything related to art. But if It were an invitation to a fantasy football league or the like, they would be all over it.

5. What would you say departing your day job for the last time?

    Thank you for the oppertunity to delay my goals and dreams in exchange for a steady paycheck and health benifits. That's pretty passive aggressive. I probably wouldn't say that.

6. Hours per week at your day job?


7. Hours per week making art?

    20-35 depending on the week.

8. Who are the people in your neighborhood?

    Capital Hill types.

9. What's the least amount of sleep (hours) that you need to get through a busy day?

    4, sometimes 3. 4 each night if I'm going to be not sleeping very much for multiple nights in a row.

10. Please list the following items in order of "most-neglected" to "most-attended".
(Sleep, Food, Sex, Art, Day Job, Friends, Health, Bills, Mom)

    Health, Mom, Bills, Day Job, Friends, Sleep, Sex, Art, Food.

11. How did you end up in your day job?

    I responded to a Craigslist add. I wanted to get out of my job at a paint store (not as glamourous as you'd think) so bad, that I took the first job I was offered.

12. How would you measure the amount of success needed to quit your day job?

    I would need  a lot of success. With rent and bills, I'm not quiting anytime soon.

13. If your art was an animal, what would it be?

    Slow lorris. Just kidding, my work isn't that cute, I just like saying Slow Lorris. Umm, nope, I'm going to stick with Slow Lorris.

14. Where can people find your art online?

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Drowning in a Sea of Wax

Encaustic is melting all over Seattle.  It has been forming pools in nearly every art gallery recently and spreading.  Medias like that have a way of infiltrating ever corner of this city's art scene: it seems that if one artist does it, someone else has to 'one up' them until it is in everyone's repertoire.

But artists, please heed my warning.

Bad encaustic is certainly the majority out in the scene.  A friend once said that he thought most encaustic was the result of an artist trying to make a piece they fucked up somewhat acceptable, it forms a mask over a pile of shit.  I would absolutely agree.  Generally it is messy, unintentional (not in a good way), and trying too hard all at the same time.  It should never be used as decoupage.  This media can be an amazing addition to many forms of visual art, but not everyone can be good at everything.

And to all you artists that think you are good at encaustic:  bad news, you very certainly aren't.


However,  I have two artists to commend on their work with encaustic in two very different ways.

When standing in front of the paintings of Alicia Tormey I am brought to another world.   The large scale, vibrant colors, and complete control over such a difficult media combine to make her pieces absolutely unforgettable.  She builds depth with intention.  They are just lovely.


The newspaper based creations of Kate Hunt are a refreshing change to what I consider to be the 'standard'  Seattle sculpture scene (I don't necessarily know what that is exactly… but it just feels different).  The quality that comes from the unevenly covered stacks is fabulous - visual and actual texture combined.


If you think that you are worthy to show encaustic in Seattle, go and take in these artists - you probably don't stand a chance.  Way to go ladies.  Your work makes everyone else's look like an elementary school experiment.


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February ArtWalk Favorites


What do a drunk nun, a broken toaster and tools with testicles have in common?

...You guessed it: Artwalk here in Seattle.

Lets start with something comfortable... Like dead puppets.

Molly Hill: String Master 2010

Acrylic on canvas / 28" x 22" / $2,800

Molly Hill was showing @ Grover Thurston And although her show seemed a bit "kitch"...  Never the less: I fell for it.

Don't get me wrong, she's an amazing painter. Inspiring even. As a matter of fact, her work looks like N. Rockwell and S. Dali were domestic-partners raising an orphan daughter who only painted at the psychiatrists office. I dig it.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for direct symbolism, obvious paradox, and cliche topics in general. Stuff like puppets with severed red strings, a chained up monkey, or fore-staged subjects... what's that? the painting to the right has ALL that? DAMN. See?

Art like this falls into the "guilty pleasure" category for me. It's comfortable. you can glance at it, understand it instantly, and move on to stuff like inspecting proportions, colors, textures, and "craftsmanship". All of which Molly has in spades.

I suggest you click on Molly's Website Link below to explore her work in full, it's got all of the above and more.

Molly Hill - Website

Kate Hunt: Dollar Pieces 2009

Kate Hunt / Dollar Pieces 2009 / 2" x 7" x 5" / $200ea

Finally! Art with indisputable value... It's made of money.

Kate Hunts fascination with paper is unhealthy. Which is most unfortunate for her because it's so amazing that I doubt anyone will ever let her stop working with it. In Feb she displayed a large "sum" of work @ Davidson Galleries Money that made flags, newspaper that made pedestals, I couldn't help but wonder if any fire marshals have given her grief or insisted on fire-proofing.

Kate's work was fun. She used steel, encaustic, bailing wire, newspaper, and cold hard cash to create burnt out, charred, pillars, bowls and panes that made me feel like I was at a fire sale for an eccentric  printer whose house burned down. What I liked most was that she's got an obvious brand. I could recognize her work now anywhere I ended up seeing it, and that's the kinda thing that makes one famous...

Check Out her website for more cool sculpture. Kate Hunt - Website


Now lets get to Some Penis and Testicle Art shall we? I thought you'd never ask...

Ken Edwards: Garden Tool

Ken Edwards/ Garden Tool /Mixed Media / $950

Ken Edwards filled the Gallery IMA with tools designed to be more organic but still very masculine. They basically look like the tools that the natives in Avatar might use. I loved this one, but there's lots more to view on his website (See Link below)

I know it's not a new idea to re-invent mans common tools, but for a 35 year firefighter, I'm sure tools have varied meaning and memory even in retirement.

Ken Edwards - Website



Ruthie V: Gender

Ruthie V / Gender / Cement on panel / with Trowel Penis

Ruthie V, Showing in Feb @ Shift in the TK building, made quite an impression on people that night. What does it all mean? I mean I get the phallic nature of tool handles, but cement? was it to tie in the trowel or are you making a comment on how attached we are to them? either way, you had me at " that a penis"? It's not all about sex or genitalia with Ruthie, in fact this is the only penis I could find in her collection..

She had lots of great work in the show and she even knew enough to throw in one of those blantantly obvious shock value pieces to grab the lesser versed artwalkers who might have missed the subtle hint of brilliance in her other work. good show Ruthie.

Ruthie V - Website


Paul Young: Toaster

but it's plugged in...?

What's left? Oh yah, broken toasters and drunk nuns!

So here's the toaster... It's a piece by Paul Young in the infamous 619 (Western) building. via Gold Shoes Studios & Gallery on the 5th floor (Edd Cox's Establishment) You can find Lots more of Pauls work here

Anyways, i just liked it for the irony of it all. I mean it's plugged in, but has a sign telling me it still wont work... yet I have to try to push down the lever... I HAVE TO.



Nun Drinks BeerJamison Drinks BeerAnd what West Coast event is complete without running into one of the Sisters of perpetual indulgence. Aside from free condoms and lube, they also hand out sex-positive messages and try to loosen people up about sexuality in general, after all, if there's one thing I learned growing up in New England it was that we were most CERTAINLY founded by Puritans. And we've got a long ways to go before we find a comfortable "middle ground" about sex. I wish I got this sisters name, they're usually hillarious like sister buttercup panties, or bertha beads, and so on... here's our two photos, one with me drinking and the other with her drinking. (her being the one with a  beard here)


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