Ready to paint again

Well, things keep changing as they do, and life's journey now finds me in La Conner, Washington, after a narrow escape from the Island.....not really, but it felt like that at times: Lopatraz!

I'm starting a new brick-and-mortar business, mostly book arts, but to earn some money, I'm now looking for a few sign painting projects in the Skagit Valley!
Scroll down for many years of hand-painted sign and small business history on Lopez Island.

A shout-out to John McBarron, the 'Island Signpainter' who came before me, and the many others who have callouses on their fingers from holding paintbrushes.

Sign-painters are not always so respected in the world of art and painting. People are always telling me how it's 'good practice.'
Look out, La Conner!
Slow is the new fast.

check out this movie about me, about 10 years ago in Lopez Village: search for

"Brenna - Sign Painter" on You Tube.

from signs to bookbinding

 i love to paint! but i'm anal-retentive and slow.
i love perfect lines and curves, which makes me good at lettering, but i fuss over small details that most people don't even notice.

 i'm now saying 'no' to the majority of sign projects that now come my way. i need to make a reasonable hourly wage for my efforts, and somehow bookbinding is fitting the bill for now.
in the meantime, i've really let my portfolio slide! here are a few projects from the past year.
pachamama and IOSA, both in lopez village

imbolg house, outside of eastsound, orcas island (hand carved by rivkah sweedleer, letter design and painting by me)

after about 10 years, jean's sprial was finally worn out and replaced

the sundquist sign was painted during a 2 week stretch where my back was very messed up and i was stuck at home. even sitting at table was hard, but i couldn't walk or do anything else; also, it was winter; hence, the crazy detail...i probably made about $3 per hour on this one. but i love it! and i love them, so it felt good all around.

lopez island junk bond

one of the things lopez island is famous for is our comprehensive recycling center and garbage transfer station, which is now run by the community itself...mostly volunteers.
i was truly honored to be asked to draw the junk bond for 2014.
since i don't have the financial stability to spend time volunteering there, this was a great way for me to contribute.
prints of this junk bond will be for sale soon, as a fundraiser.
for more information:

Inter-Island Creative Affair 2014

while i'm not really painting signs anymore (unless i really like you), i LOVE to draw and color. i spent an entire sunday on this poster, with glee.
this is a very warm and sweet event, with carefully selected artisans and crafters.
i'll have my journals and cards for sale there; come check it out if you're in the neighborhood!

big valley builders

a new sign for BVB, in the twisp/winthrop area.

...probably one of my last signs! nobody wants to pay me a living wage for this, and i'm done being cheap.

a recipe for 50 years of marriage

 this was not exactly my usual pen & ink 'family tree' drawing, but a watercolor painting on an archival canvas panel 16 x 20".
all of the information and text was provided to me by the family, and it was designed collaboratively in the beginning, until i researched some Polish ornamental design...then i went crazy.

a few more new ones

nothing fancy!

another new sign in the village; deja vu

the bottom sign is the new one; i painted the 'espresso' sign last year. the owner wanted BRIGHT,  and they wanted "shop" in huge letters! it's sort of obnoxious, but it gets the job done.

Lopez Island Coffee Roasters

a work in progress, and then the finished product.
this is the largest sign i've painted, at 4 x 10 feet!
i'll add a photo soon of the sign on the roaster building, where it was recently installed in Lopez Village.
you can find Dean slinging fresh coffee and beans at the Lopez Farmer's Market, most saturdays.

the purple cottage, lopez village

slow art studio & bindery

i finally got a sign up for my own studio, after a full year in this location. it's hanging a bit crooked, but oh well.
i did make the 'storage' sign above as well, many years ago now. it's facing north, so it's holding up pretty good!

RIP TS Applegate

this isn't a sign, but it's something i had to, unfortunately, draw last week, regarding one of my dearest and most important friends ever, app. i'm writing a graphic biography about this boat that he built on orcas island, and him, and a lot of other stuff. his contribution to the world was enormous, and he was under 5 feet tall.

Common Ground Community Land Trust

these are faily self-explanatory; this neighborhood needed a bit of identification, and i was able to provide. i always love to make "non-commercial" signs.

village arts locally crafted on lopez island

these are just some drawings i made of the our tower-shop one slow saturday in may, when i was working a shift. i made them into postcards.

vivid salon, lopez island

vivid salon is now open in a new location in lopez village, behind lopez bookshop and the holly b's complex. 

Village Arts: locally crafted on Lopez Island

Coming March 29!
Village Arts locally crafted 
....on Lopez Village! we are opening our doors Easter weekend with pottery, glass, jewelry, textiles & fiber arts, photography, letterpress, and more. This is a small collective of artists, some of them formerly of LoCo, who are now occupying the homestead water tower. 
more info coming soon...

...this is the fourth or fifth sign i've painted for the tower in about 10 years! i also had my painting studio in the second floor room, 10 x 10 feet or 3 x 3 meters, for a couple of years. i'm excited to be in the tower again! this is my true 'hood in the village, and we will be busting out with the hula hoops again in the old plum orchard, so come play this summer!