Anna Fidler

Hello! I am back from a few weeks of birthday revelry interspersed with a billion projects. I hope the Summer has been as fun and productive for the rest of you. To kick off her newly renovated website, as well as her current exhibition down in Oakland, I wanted to write a bit about the awesome lady I’ve been an artist assistant for for the last few years.

Anna Fidler in the studio with daughter Willow
photo by Sabina Samiee

I first met Anna Fidler my freshman year at PNCA. She was one of my drawing instructors, and at the end of the semester she offered me an internship to work as an artist assistant for her. I have been working for her on and off ever since.

See all those lines? They took months to draw.

In my time assisting at Anna Fidler studios, I’ve helped work on a couple of different series. The first is comprised of several portraits of Victorian Oregonians, the second is centered around iconic women, but I can’t really reveal any more about it for the time being.

As an artist assistant I’ve done everything from research at the Oregon Historical Society, paint pours, transferring line work, applying color and texture with prismacolors, repair, prepping pieces for gallery display, and assisting in physically setting up gallery shows, and I’m sure a bunch of other things that I’m forgetting.

Anna’s style and process of creating these mixed media pieces is unique and fascinating, and I must admit it has definitely rubbed off on me in my own work.

Mister George, by Anna Fidler
20.25 x 15.25 inches Acrylic and colored pencil on paper 2012

Pieces from the 1st series, Vampires and Wolfmen, are currently exhibited at the Johansson Projects Gallery in Oakland, CA. The series will also be exhibited in Portland at the Charles Hartman Gallery later in the year, and in September the series will be exhibited at the Portland Art Museum. I will announce the dates as they come in. I urge everyone to go see the work in person. And once again, you can find out all of her background info and about her other work at her website: http://annafidler.com/

I must now get back to watercolor studies and writing comics. Soon I’ll have something I can actually share 😉

The Wild Hunt (of Portland) and Vending

I’m stoked that I managed to get this painting done this weekend. I know I say this a lot, but I do feel like this one is still a work in progress. Really I would just like another week or two of tweaking it. So here it is:

The Wild Hunt (of Portland) - digital media, Valerie Herron 2012

I’ve been wanting to do a Wild Hunt painting for some time, and there are many different versions that I want to create. This one was supposed to be sort of comical. I brought a few of my favorite Portlanders together for the photo shoot I conducted for the photo reference for this painting. As you can imagine, it was pretty hilarious. My buddy Lupa loaned me all of the fur items you see in the painting (FYI- you can buy these ethically obtained furs and others like them via her website thegreenwolf.com.) I had to later superimpose Fred (who you may recognize from this) into the photo reference. Even though a celestial harvesting co-op or whatever is so much more Portland, compositionally the hunt needed a leader.

I went down to Mt. Tabor Theater to meet with the organizers of the Dark Fairy and Fantasy Ball. They showed me my vending space and  I started to get super excited. I really have to thank Aaron, Jesse, and Joe for being so helpful and flexible with all of my planning and obsessing.

It’s next weekend, folks. You don’t want to miss it.

Now I must go to sleep. This week is going to be insane…

My Portland

Our last assignment in my Experiments in Drawing class was to create a landscape drawing from somewhere in Portland that could also serve as sort of a tribute to Portland. I chose a landmark from a cemetery on the west side over by my apartment. I go driving and hiking in this secluded area of Portland whenever in the mood to run off into the woods. I brought the cityscape a lot closer in the composition. The spiral rock is not actually in the cemetery, I just wanted to add it as a nod to the neo-pagan vibe I find all over this city. It’s appropriate, considering the city is so Victorian (see: Arts and Crafts Movement.) My favorite feature of the city (and of all of the Pacific Northwest) are the crows, whom I had to pepper into the composition. And of course, the obligatory roses for the City of Roses.

My Portland - mixed media, Valerie Herron 2012

I really wish I had more time to work on this piece, and I will probably re-do it (seems to the theme as of late.) I really fell in love with Portland, OR. I moved here when I was 24 and it was here that I’ve made the most pivotal decisions and developments in my life. I know that I will probably have to move from here after graduation, which makes me sad. Portland is definitely its own little utopia in a way. Hopefully wherever I go, I can find as much magic in the scenery.

That being said, Portlandia is pretty apt, I have to admit.