Anywho, #13

Dearest g.g.-

Another update from earlier in the year---the new Gig Harbor Fred Meyer is open, up, and running smooth. When you check out, lookup. That's my finished 45' mural!


Cross Section revolves around one core element - a slice of a tree. Building off themes of nature, water and Gig Harbor’s past and present, all surrounding images are connected and echo off the growth rings. Its outward movement is reminiscent of sound waves, water ripples, or waves traveling on a still bay. The deer, octopus and harbor seal gaze outward, inviting you to investigate within the design - to voyage from Gig Harbor’s forest to its underwater environment and back up to its beaches.

AND, more currently, my "Yes" mural was featured in July's SEATTLE MAGAZINE! A two page spread even! Here is the digital version so you can check it out at your leisure:

Much love,

mindy jo



Anywho, #8

Dearest g.g.-

Hi, I'm back! Last June I headed home, to my beautiful birthplace of Tacoma, after a five month substitute teacher stint in Nome, Alaska. My Nome adventures culminated with a pause in a five year period of living and learning in several different cities, including, besides Nome, also Portland and Seattle.

So what adventures was I involved in between the summer of 2016 and now, summer of 2017?

Let me start with last summer. As I reached the ground in Seatac last June--after leaving the ground in Nome, AK--I, happily, had a project awaiting: I was chosen by the Cedar River Clinic (14th and Martin Luther King, Jr Way in Tacoma), through the Tacoma Murals Project, to design and complete a 16’ x 81’ mural on the exterior of their building. Out-of-my-skin excitement!!!

Cedar River Clinics offer woman-centered health care, along with LGBTQ care, and have a persistent weekly protester presence at their clinic creating neighborhood unease. Grateful for the Hilltop community’s patience, especially with the protesters, and the Hilltop's support, the clinic desired to show their appreciation through this mural.

After meeting with Cedar River Clinics, the Hilltop Business Association, the Hilltop Action Coalition, and surrounding businesses, 3 issues stood out: 1) the desire for more color in their community 2) more of the natural world represented and 3) organic shapes to soften the hard edge of urban structure.

Considering their collective thoughts regarding the mural site’s past, present and future, I designed a mural depicting colorful fabric flowing across the wall, past two sets of painted trompe l'oeil windows, breaking down the rigid lines of urban structure. Its twisting and turning bonds together the different “colors” of the Hilltop neighborhood, representing the LGBTQ community, different religions, ethnicity and gender, until eventually transforming into big, same color filled flowers.

Here is its development:

The different color options:

The final chosen design and color combination by Cedar River Clinics and the surrounding community:

The wall before painting. Photo by Teriscovkya Smith.

Jesse Peterson, my awesome assistant; he was terrific and so much fun! The Tacoma Murals Project assigned him to this project to gain his own experience of mural making.

A view of him, and also the wall after I sketched out the design, while I looked down from the scaffolding:

Scaffolding and the start of painting.

Friends visit. And pose.

Me, while painting. The mornings were cold as August and September advanced.

There are many treasured memories during my time painting this mural, wonderful friends that came to visit me and many friendships that were forged, but Henry's almost daily check-ins were golden. Here he is after giving me a hat on which he crocheted an added blue do-rag. It was even in the colors of the mural! So honored! From then on, that hat joined me on the scaffolding everyday. If you look closely, while in front of the mural, you might find his initials (HDW); I embedded them somewhere in the mural. Can you find them?

Jesse holding flags I made. One day a woman came dancing by and gave me these flags. They had a printed image I was not familiar with so I repainted them to look like my signature. They, along with Henry's hat, became our scaffolding mascots!

The final look!

Will write you with more very soon!

Much love,

mindy jo


Anywho, #6

Dearest g.g.-

Hi there, Sweetness. How are you?

A quick note...

I had to write you.

My work has been noted in the Seattle Times! Look!

It's a feature, which was published on my birthday (!), about Erika and Kevin Eckert's house and my work completed in their old house--the one removed to make room for the new one--and my work completed in the new house.

I'm beaming with thankfulness!

Much love, your loyal friend,

mindy jo

Anywho, #3

Dearest g.g.-

It's Friday the 13th and it is a very drizzly day here in Tacoma. Water is streaming down all of the windows, it's quite dark out even though it is the middle of the day and the wind is whipping through the streets. After the super hot summer we had in the Northwest, I had almost forgotten what our standard weather really looks like. So thankful I have somewhere to keep dry and warm. My thoughts always go to those without such shelter.

So today I am indoors working on designs, but Wednesday I was out helping a fellow artist, Diana Leigh Surma, with a public works mural she designed on Martin Luther King Way. I jumped at the idea because I love to paint and if I go for a spell when I'm not wielding a paint brush I get antsy.

Painting by number was a perfect remedy!

Diana, as with many of her projects, asks the community to come out and participate by helping her paint. She called this event: Color By Numbers Painting Party. A fantastic idea--and so well planned out! Her whole design was numbered and color coded so volunteers could easily figure out where to paint.

Here are the containers of colors, numbered:

And her design, drawn out into the wall and numbered. A detail photo:

It was a fun time. Met a gaggle of nice volunteers and had many enticing conversations from people walking by. I love the Hilltop of Tacoma!

Some of the other fellow friendly volunteers:

I did take pity on these brushes, though, since I could hear them crying. No, really! Ok, not really but..kind of? I still own, use and take care of the same brushes I've had for 22 years of business, so I could see these little beauties needed a bit of loving.  But before I added water to their mix and submerge them to soak, I admired their colorful random arrangement:

That's all for today--hope you are staying warm and dry wherever you are!

Much love,

mindy jo

Anywho, #2

Dearest g.g.-

Happy Friday!

Had an eye exam today and my eyes are still dilated, causing this note to appear blurry and me to ponder: after approximately 6.5 hours, how long does its effect last?

I've been back in Tacoma over a week, and you know what tickles me about this city? It's something that I neverpaid much attention to until I spent significant time away in other cities. As you know, I've done a fair amount of walking in every city I've lived in: it clears my head, is a great reward after crossing a few dos off of my to-dos list, lets me get an intimate view of my surroundings, design ideas tend to pop into my head when my feet are moving and it's an opportunity to greet other fellow humans along the way. But, this is what is fun about Tacoma. I, and others I walk with or pass by, predominantly walk IN the street when on neighborhood streets. Of course this isn't the case on busy or downtown streets but rather those with less traffic. Why, I've asked myself? Because sometimes there is a sidewalk, sometimes there isn't. Sometimes there had been one, and a owner removed it, or sometimes there never was one. No consistency. It's just easier to by-pass all of this start and stopping by hitting the street itself. Some non-walkers (and even a few of the dogs I've walked!) see this as annoying. Funny, huh?

Speaking of a city I've done extensive walking in, one of the projects I finished, since the last time we wrote, is a painted scenic backdrop for The Drunken City, a Theatre Vertigo production in Portland.  You might have caught the previously added photos I shot of the completed back wall (my blog's Scenic Painting entry), but now (so excited!) I have photos taken by Gary Norman! They all feature the play in action, WITH the actors!

Before I add them, though, here is some info I added onto my Facebook page about the play that you may not have seen:

LOVED working with these creative people! Thank you, especially to the inspiring Director, KL (Kelly) Cullom, for asking me to participate and trusting me and Kelsey Peake, for all of your thorough communication and support.

Also, a nod of thanks to Carl Hamilton for the amazing painted sidewalk and sky and the informative conversation.

Those involved in this production:

Written by: Adam Bock

Production team:
Director - KL Cullom
Stage Manager - Corey McCarey
Production Manager - Kelsey Peake
Set Designer - Matt Jones
Sound Designer - Richard Moore
Lighting Designer - Alexz Eccles
Costumes - KL Cullom
Props Designer - Matt Jones
Technical Director - Noah Phillips
Master Electrician - Alex Agnes
Artistic Liaison - Holly Wigmore

Eddie - R. David Wyllie
Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babin
Marnie - Holly Wigmore
Melissa - Nicole Accuardi
Linda - Shawna Nordman
Bob - Tom Mounsey

October 23-November 21
Thursday - Saturday @ 7:30pm
Sunday @ 2:00pm, with additional 7:30pm performances on November 8 and November 15
Adult tickets are $20, Student tickets are $10
All Thursday performances are pay-what-you-will
Tickets at:

Show Sponsor: Cate Garrison

Now, here are the amazing photos!

The whole cast.  Linda  - Shawna Nordman,  Melissa -  Nicole Accuardi,  Eddie -  R. David Wyllie,  Bob -  Tom Mounsey,  Marnie -  Holly Wigmore,  Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babi

The whole cast. Linda - Shawna Nordman, Melissa - Nicole Accuardi, Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Bob - Tom Mounsey, Marnie - Holly Wigmore, Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babi

Eddie -  R. David Wyllie,  Melissa -  Nicole Accuardi,  Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babi,  Linda  - Shawna Nordman, Mounsey,  Marnie -  Holly Wigmore

Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Melissa - Nicole Accuardi, Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babi, Linda - Shawna Nordman, Mounsey, Marnie - Holly Wigmore

Melissa -  Nicole Accuardi

Melissa - Nicole Accuardi

Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Melissa - Nicole Accuardi,   Linda  - Shawna Nordman

Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Melissa - Nicole Accuardi, Linda - Shawna Nordman

Marnie -  Holly Wigmore

Marnie - Holly Wigmore

Marnie -  Holly Wigmore and  Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Marnie - Holly Wigmore and Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Eddie -  R. David Wyllie,  Linda  - Shawna Nordman , Melissa -  Nicole Accuardi,  Marnie -  Holly Wigmore,  Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Linda - Shawna Nordman, Melissa - Nicole Accuardi, Marnie - Holly Wigmore, Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babin

Eddie -  R. David Wyllie and  Linda  - Shawna Nordman

Eddie - R. David Wyllie and Linda - Shawna Nordman

Frank -  Murri Lazaroff-Babin,  Marnie -  Holly Wigmore,  Eddie -  R. David Wyllie,  Linda  - Shawna Nordman

Frank - Murri Lazaroff-Babin, Marnie - Holly Wigmore, Eddie - R. David Wyllie, Linda - Shawna Nordman

Bob -  Tom Mounsey and  Marnie -  Holly Wigmore

Bob - Tom Mounsey and Marnie - Holly Wigmore

Great, right? Wish you had been in Portland to experience this first hand but I'm sure there will be other future opportunities for that!

Warm thoughts heading your way, my friend!

Much love,

mindy jo

New temporary mural at CoHo Productions!

Portland and those visiting Portland any weekend starting tomorrow through July 12th, please take note of the happenings at the CoHo Productions. Summerfest 2015!…/announcing-summerfest-2015….

CoHo asked me to do another temporary mural in their lobby! Each element in the mural represents one symbol for each production:

The quill: The Wildly Inappropriate Poetry of Arthur Greenleaf Holmes

The lamp: Butt Kapinski

The moon: LOON

The bitten apple: The Dissenter’s Handbook: A Collection of Riotous Tales by Dario Fo

The white whale: Drowned Horse Tavern (A Sea Shanty Cabaret)

This weekend is LOON...can't wait! Will be there on Saturday night.

Detail of symbols.

Detail of symbols.

Current mural...

Last Wednesday I started a large scale exterior mural on one wall--the south side--of the Tahoma Associates building in downtown Tacoma. My mural is supported through the City of Tacoma's Mural Project in collaboration with Tahoma Associates and its surrounding community. Here are some of my building's community:

Sheila King, Ava King, Mark Bader and myself.

Sheila King, Ava King, Mark Bader and myself.

My wall and boom lift:

After three days of gridding out the wall and drawing in my design, the next day I started filling in color:




This week's mural...

Just finished this mural for one of my favorite clients. I have painted in 3 of her houses and I love working with her because she always knows what she wants, has complete trust in me, supportive of my craft, and is consistently gentle and kind.

This project took me 4 days to complete and, as you can see from the photo, is located in a guest powder room.

This project took me 4 days to complete and, as you can see from the photo, is located in a guest powder room.

Open house!!!

Still working on completing the artwork I am creating on some of its walls and ceilings, but Erika and Kevin Eckert, Build LLC and I would like to invite all of our friends, family and colleagues to join us for an open house on Sunday, July 20th between 3-6 PM.

Address: 1027 NE 72nd St, Seattle, WA 98115

Detail on one ceiling

Detail on one ceiling

More photos to come!!

House project

Alright. It's official. The tear down date of my little temporary house in Seattle is next Monday, July 21st!

Oh really, what house, you might ask.

Well, I've been living in a cozy little un-level house in the Roosevelt district of Seattle for the past couple of months. Yes, I have. It's true.

Everyday I have had the pleasure of rolling out of bed and immediately drawing and painting on  some of the walls and ceilings. Which walls and ceilings? After entering the house I noticed there were small holes punched here and there on some of the walls and ceilings, all produced by construction workers looking for asbestos, a no-no in demolition. These holes, at first, became my inspiration-my creations would be in an attempt to connect them all.

As the project has developed, I'm additionally thinking of these little holes as small wounds, with the house's insides/ spirits/ history spilling out onto the surface-animals, reptiles, sea life, pipes, plants, shapes and objects, all making themselves known.

How did I come to live here? Friends of mine, Erika Eckert and Kevin Eckert, own it. Their life's work is to build beautiful custom designed modern homes under the company name Build LLC. Recently they bought the property with this house living on it.

Since they have been urging me to move up to Seattle, they offered this little house as a home space so I could see if I like it up here. A tester pad! They bought the property knowing they would tear down the house and build their new family home in its place.

I love this house! I feel so happy here. What amazes me is that I had an idea a year ago for an art installation that involved a white room where I could freely draw all over the walls and ceiling, but since that might be not appreciated by the wall/ceiling's owner, I pondered all other kinds of rooms I could create; all in response to my self imposed vagabond existence. Even thought about buying a Sprinter and converting it into a mobile studio. Alas, all of these ideas were too complicated so I dropped the idea. Then, a year later Erika and Kevin DROPPED this house into my lap. Couldn't say no.

And before you scrunch up your face in confusion (I get a lot of questions such as, "Why would you want to put that much energy towards something that will be quickly destroyed?"), I'll have you know I have been documenting the progress. Photos and film, with dreams of editing it all together to create a small visual story, is all that will be left of this project. Then I will move on to my next home..wherever that may be.

I think it is beautiful that me, this house and my artwork will be gone in a few weeks.