Seattle’s Iconic Landmarks: New Fine Art Print and Stationery Series
Iskra Fine Art Blog
by Iskra
1w ago
The Atlas of Memory, Iconic Landmarks of Seattle For the past few months I have been working on a series of prints and stationery brought to you by a new (somewhat fictional) entity called The Atlas of Memory. The Atlas is a repository for images of Seattle’s landmark buildings, parks, and iconic wonders that hold an enduring sense of place. You could say the Atlas is where I live and where I would like more people to dwell with me: in appreciation for the history of Seattle as a frontier town with all of its ungainly aspirations for the culture and grandeur of Europe and “The East” (ie. Chica ..read more
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Thoughts on Sebastian Junger and Life After Death
Iskra Fine Art Blog
by Iskra
2w ago
  Baroque Morning, printing ink and sgraffito on paper, ©Iskra Johnson  An Evening at Town Hall in Seattle with Sebastian Junger How long should the mood of Memorial Day last? It seems to have extended here past the weekend and the Monday holiday to Tuesday night, when I went to hear one of my heroes, war journalist Sebastian Junger, talk about near-death at Town Hall. His book, In My Time of Dying, is just out. I searched for reviews and was disappointed to find nearly identical 5-star summaries of content, 2-star disappointment from those seeking spiritual epiphany, and little else ..read more
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Memorial Day Letter (to a Fellow Gardener)
Iskra Fine Art Blog
by Iskra
2w ago
I am sitting in my garden, appreciating the beauty of the layered leaves. The cloud cover is that particular shade of Memorial Gray, neither dingy nor celebratory, but softly understanding of all griefs, personal or military. In just four weeks the air will be perfumed with firecrackers yet now, with similar flags flying and jets crisscrossing overhead it is wistful with the scent of suntan oil still confined to its bottle and smoke from rain-dampened barbecue. Earlier I took a walk along the shore where low tide exposed 5 feet of  barnacles white as tombstones and rank with rotting seaw ..read more
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Spotlight North Open Studios 2024 Available Work
Iskra Fine Art Blog
by Iskra
2M ago
Magnolia Blossom, mixed media on panel 6 x 6″ ©Iskra JohnsonSpotlight North Open Studios 2024 I have been busy this month getting ready for Spotlight North Open Studios, showcasing the work and studios of artists in Shoreline, Lake City and North Seattle. This is our third year, and it has been exciting to see attendance grow. The 2024 map is now up on the Spotlight website for planning your visit. This year’s tour has nine locations and ten artists, each with a very different way of working. Each week recent work and an artist profile is featured on our Instagram. A gallery show is ..read more
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Iskra Fine Art Spring Shows 2024: Save the Date!
Iskra Fine Art Blog
by Iskra
3M ago
The Sweeper, from Like Mother, curated by Kelly Lyles The big sleep of winter seems to have abruptly ended this week, with 70 degrees predicted Sunday! Along with the bloom of forsythia and plum there are 3 spring exhibits ahead.  Like Mother No. 11 at Kirkland Art Center I hope to see you at the opening of the newest (11th!) iteration of Like Mother at Kirkland Art Center Friday March 22nd, from 6-9. Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 11-4, Saturday 11-2. Address: 620 Market Street, Kirkland WA 98033.  This version of the exhibit includes several new artists. As interesting as the ..read more
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New Forest Card Designs and Sketching the Future
Iskra Fine Art Blog
by Iskra
5M ago
The New Year has come in with a roar of ice, snow, rain and broken pipes. It seemed fitting to learn to mix the colors of January, although washing paint out of my brushes has been difficult with frozen pipes! Above is the first spread of my new industrial sketchbook, through which I hope to learn to paint some of my many obsessions: backs of trucks, kiosks, factories and scaffolds and the ever changing sky which they reflect. To move myself from the digital world fully into the work of paint I have joined the #InsightCreative30DayChallenge2024, brilliantly guided by Cheryl Taves. I met Chery ..read more
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New Wabi Sabi Minimalism: Expressive Ink Painting Abstraction
Iskra Fine Art Blog
by Iskra
7M ago
New Minimalist Modern Art for Interiors I have long been in love with the idea of the Kakemono, or hanging scroll, that brings elegance to a vertical space in the home. These new pieces are created with washes of ink with brushes and other studio tools. The washes and calligraphic markings are then blended and composed digitally in improvisational sequences that suggest landscape, the memory of place and the moods of weather. A muted monochrome palette gives them a photographic feeling, and as with photographs they can be printed in warm tones or cool. The Kakemono form lends itself best ..read more
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Sources of Inspiration: Hokusai and England
Iskra Fine Art Blog
by Iskra
7M ago
A Moment of Refuge, Seattle Japanese Garden ©Iskra Johnson October in the Pacific Northwest is a moody season. The rains have come, and the fugue state of grayness that leads to indoors brooding requires acts of increasing will to resist. Sunday I felt myself on the cusp of succumbing to what the Buddhists aptly call The Third Hindrance of Sloth and Torpor. Seattle’s caffeine economy is built on what may seem like indulgence: yet consumption of caffeine is actually the first step in Spiritual Effort. I dutifully poured three cups of tea and purified my mind. Once prodded out the door and feeli ..read more
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New Images from The Gardener’s Almanac: Hydrangea!
Iskra Fine Art Blog
by Iskra
8M ago
From the Gardener’s Almanac of Irreproducible Phenomena: The Hydrangea As the autumn rains come, I notice the squirrel’s moods are completely unaffected. The squirrel has never bothered to look up, whisker the the winds of change and pause for melancholy. His job is to keep his head down, dig up every newly potted bulb and chrysanthemum and shred the babytears growing between the pavers – and he does not stop to admire the hydrangeas. Praising flowers with long and homely names is my occupation. The delicate colors of Hydrangea macrophylla normalis are welcome distraction from the calamities ..read more
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The Museum of Light: On the Cusp Between Summer and Fall
Iskra Fine Art Blog
by Iskra
9M ago
Painting Change, work in progress. Acrylic ink on panel.A visit to the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and a walk through change In most museums sunlight is an unwelcome visitor. Light degrades what it warms. It is known to singe manuscripts until the edges crumble; it fades brocade and upends the narrative as the sword above the stag’s head turns from bloody to gray. Perhaps (though the back of the tapestry tells another story), it was not a hunt scene after all? History embrittles until truth hovers on the cusp. Conservators learn: all interventions must be reversible. Do no harm, operate like a s ..read more
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