Category Archives: Work

tiny tba

The large unexpected object

The large unexpected object

The lil peeps and I are really excited for Sunday and the children’s portion of PICA’s TBA festival, tiny tba. It’s something I’ve participated in for the last three years and it’s been a complete hoot. My friends Belinda and Hova of the most awesome radio program Greasy Kid Stuff host the event which features a kid dance party among other great performance pieces including Anna Oxygen, songs by Smithsonian Folkways Recording artist Elizabeth Mitchell and a performance by the Portland dance company Hot Little Hands there’s a link to the line-up here….

I’ll be showing about a half hour of global independent cinema for children and my friend Lars and I will have a hands on editing workshop. It’s something we’ve done a bunch in the past and features scratching and drawing on found footage and splicing together on the fly. It’s pretty fun and it’s amazing to watch kids “get it” when they realize that the film stock itself can be a medium, something beyond traditional narrative structures. I posted an example of Molly’s finished film on my kidfilmmaker blog. In the past we’ve done this workshop without sound, but a recent walk in the rain with my son inspired me to add another improvisational layer to the creative process.

Xander and I were busy attaching ponies to rings around town (see previous post) when we came across the innards from an old piano in an alley. It was just the back with metal wood and strings but we knew at once it was a real treasure. We plucked, banged and pulled on the strings for about 20 minutes getting the loveliest variations in tone which all complimented the small downpour we endured for our spontaneous art. The piano’s owner was willing to part with it and with only the slightest hesitation my husband and later PICA came to appreciate what was to be know as “the large unexpected object”. Getting it over to Leftbank where tiny tba is being held was a small challenge since it’s fairly large and weighs about 500 lbs. but I think worth the effort. I’m really looking forward to hearing the kids compose on the fly, narrating their experimental films. Lars is going to digitize the final work and my buddy Makayla has come on board as the official videographer for Indiekid Arts, so I’ll post the fruits of our labor soon.

Additionally, I’m helping to coordinate a paint chip poetry project for PNCA’s Continuing Education department.  We’re cutting up and rearranging hardware store samples to create visual and verbal art.  It’s a really cool activity, deserving of it’s own blog post which I’ll get to promptly, promise….


Yarn Pony bombing at Arts in the Pearl

Just waiting to be dressed

Just waiting to be dressed

Here’s the project I’m helping to coordinate tomorrow, it should be a blast, though a very complicated arts ‘in-joke”

Knitting for Ponies the steps

  • Make a small fancy thing in yarn- scarves, blankets and legwarmers are nice.

  • Take a picture of your well dressed pony and add it to the map or email it to we’ll upload it for you!

  • Can’t find a pony? Grab one at our table and put it out on a ring! Let us know where to find it!

For more information on this project visit For more information about family projects at PNCA visit

Knit Graffiti and Yarn Bombing!

For Art in the Pearl, PNCA’s Continuing Education outreach table is hosting an activity which combines this simple knit, guerilla/community art and interactive media with another Portland arts phenomenon, the little horses.

What the heck? Knit graffiti is a strange urban crafts invention where knitters are engaging and decorating public spaces. The art can take many forms from embellished bike racks to hats for fire hydrants. Unlike spray paint graffiti, the work doesn’t damage property and is quickly subject to the elements, and do-gooders with scissors. The term “yarn bombing” is street slang for putting crafted work up, usually anonymously. A number of groups have formed around the world creating these small artworks and document them. Blogs about knit graffiti can be found on line including this great collection on Flickr and at .

Over the last couple years in Portland, there has been a city wide spontaneous art happening where people have chained tiny horses to gigantic rings which line the sidewalks of the older business and residential neighborhoods. The original idea came from artist Scott Wayne Indiana and is called the The Horse Project . The rings were originally set in concrete for people to tie their horses to when that was the main mode of transportation. At our table kids and adults will be crafting the horses legwarmers, blankets, yarn garlands and hats, using finger knitting and easy spool techniques.

Yarn for the project was donated by Twisted the yarn shop on NE Broadway, where one can stock up on supplies and get a cup of tea!

Chalk two up for team Bowman

late-sept-2007-129.jpgRecently I put together a fundraiser for the Portland Art Center. The original plan was to have bands playing at a coffee shop, and a party, we didn’t have a lot of time for planning or a good free band which could bring in a crowd, desperate measures needed to be taken and strippers didn’t seem a viable option. Next best thing- the Bed-in, for 42 hours board members and artists at the Art Center hit the sheets in a queen bed in the front window of Backspace Cafe- calling their friends on the phone and begging for money. The event was a huge success and raised over eight grand, we’re all delighted. And it of course left opportunity for some super fine crafting. The bed was a temporary loan from Design Within Reach, but missing a headboard- the day before the party I found a super tacky scrolled Americana bed-head at a garage sale for $5, two layers of chalkboard paint and we’re good to go. It proved to be a fun gimick at the party, something to do in bed and a nice announcement of who was working that shift. I held on to it, and it’s in Lucy’s room now, we leave each other notes and pictures- the black is a nice contrast to her all pink room and it’s fun to write in bed and make an ever changing display.


Now we’ve got a bit of paint left over and it is too much fun, it’s a bit like the glue gun, anything that doesn’t move is liable to get attacked in some frantic arts frenzy. The kids and I painted some pots to look like Grecian urns. Xander’s been reading some books on Greek and Roman soldiers and liked the pots immensely, deciding they are very primitive comic books. The example below is his rendition of the Illiad.