Fear, Sex Toys and Driftwood

The fear never goes away The day after I wrote A Confession of Narcissistic Fear, I came across a podcast conversation by Dave Charest and Kesha Bruce addressing How to Squash Your Fears and Advance Your Artistic Career. This is a great conversation to listen to if fear has ever held you back, even if you are not trying to advance an artistic career. Fear, after all, is universal. Listening to their conversation inspired me to write more about fear as an integral part of the creative process. Squashing my fear isn’t my technique. If I do that it just seems to squish itself out somewhere... Read More

A Confession of Narcissistic Fear

Why Lines and How Did They Come to Dominate My Painting? Those of you who have known my work for some time may be thinking that this recent obsession that I seem to have with lines as of late is something of a large and abrupt departure. After all, these lines are so regular, meticulous and straight where any line that I created in the past was probably anything but. I have to admit, creating a painting of thick, regular lines come as sort of a surprise to me too. But continuing to create even more paintings of lines comes as even more of a surprise to me. Because it intrigues me that I can... Read More

What If There Were No More Art Galleries?

I found this from Baang and Burne as I was surfing the web. Great questions… I printed it out and put it in the entrance to my studio to give me some food for thought. There are a lot of assumptions about being and artist that I find I need to revisit on a regular basis. This list helps keep me in line. What if there were no art dealers, no “art reps”, and no commercial galleries to sell our work?   What if we summoned the courage to take full responsibility for our careers instead of placing our future in someone else’s hands?   What if we used our creative abilities to think up new... Read More
Wetlands in the Spring

Wetlands in the Spring

My left borrowed rubber boot had a little hole in it. Sarah and I stood calf-deep in muddy water by the edge of the Coyote farm site. She bent over one of her PVC well stems, dipping her Crayola streaked tape measure down the stem to measure the groundwater depth. I stood next to her, pad of paper in hand, ready to record the numbers she read to me. The depth of the water in the well is visible on her tape where the marker streak remains intact. We had only begun a long day of this when I realized my left sock was already wet. After measuring the depth, she then pumped the water out of the... Read More

Where are you? Kimberly Brooks on the Creative Process

Kimberly Brooks Tedx talk started to get much more interesting once she added the importance of silence to her 8 stages of the creative process. In out plugged-in world, silence is becoming much more rare until we may begin to forget its importance altogether. Kimberly’s creative process progression looks something like this:   Silence: (I love this one, especially because of this plugged in world we live in) Vision: When that amazing idea hits you in a flash Hope: Swooning over that idea as it bumps around in your head Diving In: This is that critical stage for creative people. You... Read More


On a recent trip to New York City I visited the MoMA and the Guggenheim. Both museums had world class shows that I loved. But I had two very different experiences. The MoMA was absolutely crowded. I’m not sure if the fact that it was St. Patrick’s Day and the MoMA is far too close to the city’s St. Patty’s parade for comfort helped or hindered the museum’s attendance that day. But it wasn’t the crowds that bothered me. It was the crowd’s phones. In each gallery I saw the same phenomenon: people would stream in, phones in hand, and walk up to a... Read More
Fern Ridge Project

Fern Ridge Project

Fern Ridge is a wetlands area west of Eugene.  This is the area that Sarah Marshall, a good friend and Oregon State University PhD candidate is studying.  I’ve accompanied her several times as she has visited her many data locations at four sites: Coyote, a rye grass field and restoration area; Dragonfly, a second restoration area; and Fisher Butte, a nature preserve and most ‘natural’ site.  She has placed multiple PVC piping wells throughout each site in which she can measure the depth of the groundwater.  Last week I helped Sarah carry her brand new infiltration wells out into the cracked... Read More
Guardino Gallery Beautiful Trash Exhibition Images

Guardino Gallery Beautiful Trash Exhibition Images

Beautiful Trash Guardino Gallery, Portland, OR Leah Wilson: Beautiful Trash March 25, 2010 – April 27, 2010 Images from the opening reception Thursday, March 25, 2010 at Guardino Gallery in Portland, OR. Guardino-GalleryLeah–Tracy-and-Adam_Leah-Wilson Guardino-Galleryback-corner_Leah-Wilson Guardino-GalleryLeah-laughing_Leah-Wilson... Read More
Leah Wilson: Beautiful Trash

Leah Wilson: Beautiful Trash

Leah Wilson: Beautiful Trash Guardino Gallery, Portland, Oregon March 25, 2010 – April 27, 2010 Opening Reception: Thursday , March 25, 2010, 6 – 9 PM Guardino Gallery 2939 NE Alberta Ave. Portland, OR 97211 Guardino Gallery... Read More
Fall Creek in February

Fall Creek in February

My show goes up at the end of March.  As the time gets closer, getting into my studio to finish the last painting is becoming more and more of a chore.  This show is mostly paintings from my last show.  But the problem is that after that show came down I’ve been mentally done with it.  Since last summer I’ve felt in limbo.  This month’s show did not offer me enough time to develop a new body of work, but that’s what I’ve been wanting to do.  Painting old ideas is not fun. So, on the last day of February, less than a month before I install the new show, I... Read More

Artists Should Be Compensated for Their Work

Artists Should be Compensated for Their Work “Artists Should Be Compensated For Their Work” View Revisions Submitted by ninapaley on Mon, 2009-09-07 18:11 (Translations: Polski.) Nina Paley is the author of the freely-licensed hit animated film Sita Sings the Blues, among many other things, and is Artist in Residence at QuestionCopyright.org. She is also a committed Free Culture activist who writes frequently about copyright and how the permission culture affects art and artists. This phrase comes up in many discussions of copyright: “Artists should be compensated for their... Read More
DIVA Gallery Tropes Exhibition Images

DIVA Gallery Tropes Exhibition Images

Leah Wilson: Tropes Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts, Eugene, Oregon Leah Wilson: Tropes June 30, 2009 – August 29, 2009 Installation images from the Tropes exhibition at the DIVA Gallery in Eugene, Oregon. DIVA-Reception-59_Leah-Wilson At the Tropes Reception DIVA-Tropes-5_Leah-Wilson Circle DIVA-Tropes-4_Leah-Wilson DIVA-Tropes-3_Leah-Wilson DIVA-Tropes-2_Leah-Wilson DIVA-Tropes-1_Leah-Wilson Average Colors of the South Yuba River... Read More
Leah Wilson: Tropes

Leah Wilson: Tropes

Leah Wilson: Tropes Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts, Eugene, Oregon June 30, 2009 – August 29, 2009 Opening July 3, 2009, from 5:30pm – 8pm Artist’s Talk: Friday,  July 24, noon Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts 110 West Broadway Eugene, OR 97401 541-344-3482 Leah Wilson’s solo exhibition of recent work titled, Tropes will be seen at DIVA’s main gallery in Eugene, OR.  The exhibition opens June 30 and runs through August 29, 2009 with a reception for the artist Friday, July 3, 2009 from 5:30pm to 9pm during Eugene’s First Friday Art Walk.... Read More

Art World vs. Stock Market: which is more corrupt?

NPR’s Intelligence Squared Debate:   On Ethics, Is Art Market Worse Than Stock Market? Hear The Debate Listen: The Edited Broadcast Of The Debate add | download Listen: The Unedited Audio Of The Debate add | download      Kevin Wick Panelists for the Feb. 3 debate included (from left) Jerry Saltz, Amy Cappellazzo, Chuck Close and Adam Lindemann. Longview Photography   NPR.org, February 11, 2009 · In the current economic downturn, much attention has been paid to the volatile stock market and efforts to overhaul financial regulations. But there’s another market out there that some... Read More

Support the Arts, Our Cultural Legacy

An article published by the Lincoln Journal Star, Nebraska. By Kathryn Cover Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 – 12:18:08 am CDT What defines a culture? This is a big question, especially for Americans who have such a diversity of cultures. When I was in school and learning about all the ancient cultures of the world, we were exposed to the visual arts, performing arts, architecture and literature of a society to teach us about that culture. What will people be taught about us in a hundred years? In our current economic distress, government and corporations are all looking for ways to save money.... Read More

The Importance of a Cohesive Show

Friday I wandered through Eugene to get a sense of what is showing around town this month.  As I perused different galleries, one question that came to mind is, ‘what makes a successfully cohesive show?’  I’m not sure that I would be able to comprise a laundry list of do’s and don’ts, a checklist of what and what not to do.  I don’t think I would want to be that restricting.  However, there are certain things that I can confidently say do and do not work in the shows I visited.  I will use three venues as examples:  Maude Kerns Art Center, Fenario Gallery, and... Read More

Elizabeth Gilbert: A Different Way to Think About Creative Genius

Bravo! This is a bril­liantly inspir­ing TED talk give by Eliz­a­beth Gilbert. Watch it, then do your part by just show­ing up! Eliz­a­beth Gilbert muses on the impos­si­ble things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the rad­i­cal idea that, instead of the rare per­son “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, per­sonal and sur­pris­ingly mov­ing talk. Read More

Oregon Misappropriation of Oregon Cultural Trust Funds to Fill State Budget Gaps

Mary Nolan of the Oregon House of Representatives recently approved the reallocation of funds raised by the sale of the Oregon Cultural Trust license plates from the Oregon Cultural Trust to a general fund to balance the state budget.  The funds earned by the sales of the plates were specifically designated to support Oregon arts and cultural organization.  The government, however, felt it was their right to take $1.8 million of funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust to disperse across the spectrum of the $855 million dollar shortfall in the Oregon budget.  Please... Read More

New Look

The River Notebook has a new look (and address).  The old still exists at http://leahwilsonfineart.blogspot.com/, but here’s where you will find all new posts. Read More

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