Online Art Sale April 29-30


Abstract ink and colored pencil drawing of a curl
Ink and Colored Pencil, 9″ x 12″, Original $200,  8″ x 10″ Print $30

I’m joining a group of Etsy artists in an online art sale this week. Each artist is offering at least 20% off the work in their shop. If you virtually attend, you’ll get 30% off anything in my online store.

Here where you sign up

Originals and Prints

Once you’ve joined the 24 Hours of Art Event, you’ll get codes for the discounts. Every two hours will feature a different artist, showcasing pieces of their work.

I’ll be offering original watercolors from the series I did for my Exploring New Options VisualsSpeak product. I’ll also have prints that are photographic reproductions printed on a special metallic-like paper that gives the colors a nice pop. They don’t look as washed out as some prints do.

Need Space

You may have noticed I have been doing a lot of new work. It’s accumulating! I’m doing this sale to help clear space.

Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit

Interested in Global Living?

Christine Martell Speaking on global life summitI would like to share with you an exciting upcoming event I’m thrilled to be part  of – the Living Your Ideal Global Life Summit taking place January 13-17, 2014. I’ll be the opening speaker on January 13, talking about creating a vision for your global life.

Cate Brubaker  and Sabrina Ziegler will host the free online summit about launching your ideal global life in the New Year. In exclusive interviews with 20 amazing guests (including me!), we will cover a range of topics from the basics of global living to going deep under the surface and exploring the topics everyone wants to talk about, but no one has – until now.

I would be honored and thrilled if you join us.

You can sign up for the Global Life Summit here.

What’s Included?

The global panel of guests will walk you through how you can create a global mindset, define your very own ideal global life, and start living it. Must see interviews for everyone, include “Global is a Verb”, “How to Create a Vision for Your Global Life”, “Taking Care of Yourself While Living a Global Life”, and “Traveling to Places that Scare You”.

The summit is for anyone, who wants to live their ideal global life, including digital nomads, expats, work-at-home moms, students, and travel newbies.

For those new to global living, interviews such as “Make Your First Time Abroad Rock!”, “Preparing for the Mental Adventure of Travel”, and “Re-entry After Being Abroad” are not to be missed.

We will even dig into how who you are, shapes your global experiences and adds to the richness of others’ global lives. Topics include “Race, Privilege, and Living a Global Life”, “Traveling Solo as a Woman”, and “Reframing Sexual Orientation in a Global Life.”

Other guests will share what it’s like to run a business abroad, how global living affects childhood, networking in new countries, and more.

Ideal Global Life Jumpstart Bundle

BundleImageOnly $47 until Jan 17

Can’t listen to the summit live? Or just want to hear the interviews over again? You can with this package.

You’ll get 7 high-impact resources created by our global life experts to help you live the ideal global life you’ve been dreaming about.

What’s more, you’ll have 24/7 access to ALL 20 Summit Week interviews.

Bonus! You’ll also receive action-oriented handouts for each Summit topic
and two special surprise bonuses from Cultural Detective and VisualsSpeak!

What’s in the Jumpstart Bundle?


20 Half-hour Summit Interview Recordings ($1500 value)

Watch and re-watch all the inspiring interviews from the Summit whenever and wherever you are in the world.



Amy Scott

Amy Scott’s Destination: Nomadtopia eBook ($17 value)
Create your vision for your ideal Nomadtopia, and launch it in 2014 with this amazing eBook from Amy Scott.

[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]

Natalie Sisson media photo outside

Natalie Sisson’s BYOB: Build Your Own Business eBook ($47 value)
Build Your Online Business to create freedom in your business and adventure in your life.[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]

Cate Brubaker

Cate Brubaker’s Re-Entry Reality: Your Guide To Relaunching Yourself After Being Abroad Workbook ($29 value)
Be prepared for re-entry, so you can not only enjoy it, but turn it into a rewarding experience, before launching your next adventure.




NathanNathan Agin’s Non-Stop Awesomeness in the Kitchen: Recipes from the Road Cookbook $15 value

Save money and stay healthy by cooking up your very own delicious globally-inspired meals during your travels and at home.

[/threecol_one] [threecol_one]

Eforward-150dpi-2x2Elaine Masters’ Indie Excellence Award Winning, Drivetime Yoga as an MP3 ($16.70 value)

No matter how long you’re in a car or a plane next to a crying baby, stay relaxed, healthy, and nimble with these award-winning yoga audios.

[/threecol_one] [threecol_one_last]

ScarfHeadShot09CompressedBeth Buelow’s Reflections on the Gifts of Being an Introvert: Special Summit Edition ($10 value)

Think a rewarding global life is only for the extraverts of the world? Think again! Beth describes introverts’ special gifts and how you can use them to create your ideal life.


PLUS 3 bonuses:  action-oriented handouts for each of the 20 Summit sessions, and surprise bonuses from Cultural Detective and VisualsSpeak!

 Buy for only $47 until January 17, 2014



Art of Personal Story

I’m excited to announce a three woman show,  Art of Personal Story will showcase three different approaches to combing art and story to explore our personal narratives. It will be held September and October 2014 at the gallery in the library in Hillsboro Oregon.

Rebecca Shapiro

Untangled installation by Rebecca Shapiro
Installation art by Rebecca Shapiro at the Portland International Airport

Rebecca is a Portland Oregon based painter, illustrator and installation artist. She’ll be creating a follow up to her current piece shown above, Untangled. She created this piece for the stage of the Tedx-Concordia. You can hear her talk about the story in the piece in the short talk she did for the event.

Lisa Sonora Beam

Lisa Sonora Beam visual journal page
Lisa Sonora Beam visual journal page

Lisa is an author, artist, and creative business consultant based in Marin, California. Much of her work has been in visual journaling. For this show, she’ll take some of the ideas she usually develops in the intimacy of the sketchbook space to the wall.

Next step in my Memoir project

I’ve been working on a memoir project, so my part of the show will be the next phase of this story. You can see the work and read about the stories I’ve been doing in the artwork section of my site.

Developing the Show

The three of us have been in conversation about our different approaches to our personal stories.  We will be sharing what we learn as we go about the art of personal storytelling as well as co-creating the show.

We are interested in connecting with other artists and writers who are doing cross-discipline work in personal narrative and memoir. Do you know anyone?  Let us know in the comments.

Facing the blank wall

blankwall 618
Location for WA Co. Open Studios 2013

I don’t find a blank page uncomfortable, I have come up with a range of ways to get my artwork started. Facing a blank wall to hang a group of work is another story. I just don’t get as many opportunities to hang a lot of work together due to lack of space.

My working studio is small, so for the upcoming Washington County Open Studio I’ll be in the VisualsSpeak office at 6443 NE Brighton St, Hillsboro OR.

Thinking Like a Curator

A few months ago I joined Alyson Stanfield’s Artbiz Incubator Silver group. It’s a marketing coaching group for artists. Last month I started her ArtBiz Bootcamp. The thing that has stood out for me so far is how Alyson thinks differently as a former museum curator than I have as an artist. I’m just not accustomed to thinking as much about the overall group of work as I am about individual pieces or series.

For the open studio I have a big blank wall. I hundreds of pieces of artwork to choose from. I’m not exactly sure what I am going to do yet. Since I’ve been working on personal stories, I’m looking to identify a story to show on this wall.


Ideas for Plein Air Supplies

After realizing I was not set up for painting as I wanted to be for the 2013 Hillsboro Plein Air, I decided to focus on gathering ideas from the other artists about setups. There was an incredible range of ways artists carried their supplies.

Hope this gives you some ideas for things you can try if you want to go on a plein air adventure.

Painting Bad in Public

2013 Hillsboro Plein Air painting at Rood Bridge Park
Painting in Rood Bridge Park

Why did I do something I knew I’d be bad at in public?

Wanting to re-open my eye

I’d been noticing that my work was in a bit of a rut. The work has been similar for a few years. Graphic, shapes, intense color. Lots of trees. I knew how to draw the basic shapes and fill in the colors. It wasn’t growing and changing as much as I wanted.

When I  scaled up from 9″ x 12″ to 20″ x 30″, some of the things I was doing didn’t work as well in the new size. I made two decisions. One was to shift from watercolor to oil. The other was I knew I needed to try some new things to help myself see differently. I know the secret is to SEE more than to control the technique.

Hillsboro Plein Air

I don’t paint outside. I don’t do anything near the typical representational work I see in traditional plein air. My work is about flat pattern, coming from my training in textile design.

2013 Hillsboro Plein AirI’m on the board of the Hillsboro Arts and Culture Council so I decided to try their annual Plein Air. I was a volunteer helping with the event, and I decided to try to paint. It was risky. I knew I was going to be bad at it. Most of my colleagues on the board have never seen my work, so their introduction to me as an artist would be seeing me doing something badly. Yikes.

I did it anyway.

It’s more important to me to facilitate the long term growth of my work. Besides, it helps other people be willing to take the risk to try something new when I am willing to do it too. I want to see this event grow, and to include a wider range of artists at different levels.

Overwhelmed by the Landscape

View Catcher tool
View Catcher tool

I didn’t pick the place I was painting. I wanted to be near my colleague Cynthia Herron so I could watch how she approaches the challenge. That may have been my first mistake. It might have been easier if I had picked a place that I was naturally drawn to? Not sure, but from the moment I sat down, I found the landscape to be visually overwhelming.

My usual approach is to spend time in a landscape and take a lot of photographs, which helps me identify sections and pieces. Then to allow all of that information to shift into my unconscious for a while. Only then do I go into the studio and start painting. They become landscapes of my mind influenced by what I have seen. It’s usually over days to weeks.

This event is timed. Everything has to be done during the two day time frame. I had volunteer assignments off and on, which was probably another complicating factor in my ability to focus on what I was trying to do.

Cynthia had her painting sketched out in minutes. I asked her how she did that, and always the helpful teacher, she handed me a view catcher tool. You hold it up and slide the bottom part to be either square or rectangular to help you frame what you are painting. Amazing how many tools and supplies you can miss by not doing a particular kind of art.

I started two paintings in the two hours I had. I didn’t feel ready, I felt rushed, and I pushed myself to just keep moving. The next day I worked more on one of them, in between doing my volunteer duties. Problem was, I made fundamental errors on the first day that guaranteed the painting wasn’t going to work.

Know When to Fold “Em

I started this painting without understanding the relationships of the shapes to one another. I needed to slow down and spend more time looking at the landscape rather than trying to draw something out on the page. As you can see above, the lines and shapes were off. Without the integrity in the first layer of drawing, all the subsequent layers just made it worse. I don’t usually paint foliage, so I didn’t understand what those shapes look like. I was trying to fill it in later, without looking at it. That’s not what plein air is about. It’s about seeing and interpreting what is in front of you.

This painting is never going to work. It goes in the trash. The time is better spent starting on a new piece.

 Lessons Learned

  1. If I’m going to try something new artistically, I need to focus and not try to do it between other things.
  2. I have to wait to start a piece until I understand the foundation lines and shapes.
  3. When I work from life, I need to spend more time looking at the life than looking at the paper.
  4. Failing at something teaches me more than being successful at it if I take the time to reflect.
  5. My eye is more habituated to particular ways of seeing than I realized.
  6. There will be a lot more bad art making in my future as I work to free up my eye again.


Setting Up for Plein Air Painting

Cynthia Herron looking for painting location in park
Cynthia Herron looking for painting location in Rood Bridge Park

I set off for my first Plein Air painting event with my experienced Plein Air painter friend Cynthia Herron.  I asked her if she wanted a cup of coffee, and she said no since she didn’t want to have to run to the bathroom all morning. I heard her, but gulped down a cup of tea and grabbed a full thermos.

My Preparation

watercolor paints in box
The watercolor paint I brought

The day before the event I picked up a book from the library, Landscape Painting Inside & Out. It opens with a recommendation to stick with a simple collection of tools and materials. There are some wonderful recommendations for what you have in your studio, followed by how to pack for plein air. The book is focused on oil painting, but there are a lot of other supplies suggested that apply to all media.

I put the things I hadn’t thought of on the suggested list onto my growing pile. I didn’t really know what media I would work in so I brought watercolor, water soluble crayons, colored pencils (3 kinds), and assorted pens and pencils. I didn’t own many of the things on the list, but since I didn’t know if I’d like it, I decided to go with what I had.

I put the loose things like paint tubes in boxes, then put the boxes and watercolor blocks in several sizes and all the other junk I thought I might need into plastic tubs with lids. Three of them got stacked on a dolly which I tied with a thin rope and elastic cord.

 Settling into the Painting Location

Chair and supplies set up for plein air painting
My painting setup

Here is my chair and supplies all set up in the park. Looks just lovely, but the reality was a bit different. To get here we had to walk a ways on paved paths. They had a rough texture which caused my not quite tightly tied boxes to shift around. Then every time I wheeled them onto the bark dust, they would tip over and since they did not have locking tops, everything would spill out. The paint in particular, since it was just in a cardboard box without a locking top would spew across the dusty bark. I think it happened five times.

New Wisdom: Use boxes with locking tops. Listen to recommendations to bring a simple collection of supplies.

Nice comfy chair. Heavy to carry, but the cover is nice. Not easy to get out of, so it didn’t encourage a lot of getting up and checking out angles. I’m still not sure about whether the chair was a good idea.

New Wisdom: Go on a practice run to the backyard or close by just to see how things really work under actual conditions.

How Cynthia Setup

Cynthia Herron setting up to paint
Cynthia setting up to paint

Cynthia had a limited set of supplies all neatly placed in her French Easel that had a nice secure latch. The rest of her stuff was in a reasonable size bag with a cross body strap. Her stool was compact and light. She assured me that the French Easel box was heavy, and having wheels was a good idea.

She brought the one panel she planned to paint on that was all prepared with an under color.

New Wisdom: Call and talk to professional friend well in advance to get ideas. Order books from library earlier so there is more time to actualize suggestions.

New Wisdom: Pay close attention to what the pros say. Don’t drink tons of tea or coffee because just when you get settled, you have to walk all the way to the other side of the park to pee.

Who wants to join my practice group for next year?

Washington County Art Tour Preview Show

Preview Show at Art on Broadway for Washington County Art Tour
Examples of WA county artists work

The preview show for the Washington County Artists Open Studios is up at Art on Broadway.

On October 19 and 20, 2013 fifty area artists and two galleries will welcome public visits to their studio spaces all across Washington County, Oregon.

From Sept 7 – 28, 2013 the Art on Broadway gallery will feature a sneak peak of the work that will be shown at the open studios. There is a wide range of styles and media included.

The gallery is open from 11 AM – 5 PM Tuesday – Saturday. It’s located at 12570 SW Broadway Street, Beaverton, Oregon 97005.

My work in the show

My painting is the one in the lower center of the photo above. It’s a watercolor with words carved into the surface of the paper. I then draw back into it with colored pencil to reveal the texture of the words. The painting is 12″ x 18″.

Story Grove: Watercolor and colored pencil by Christine Martell
Story Grove watercolor and colored pencil $350

Planning an art show in a hotel space

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of pop-up art shows. I really like the ability to show my work in a less formal setting, so the work is very approachable and affordable. I started experimenting with this in April by doing a one day show in an office.  Next I’m trying to do one in a hotel in conjunction with a book launch.


Hotels don’t like you to hang anything on their walls. The event spaces are usually designed for serving food or having meetings, not showing art. In this particular case, I am also adapting to another event, so the space needs to optimize for interaction around the featured book.

I can use the standard six foot tables covered in tablecloths. It’s possible to rent easels, but the rental fees add up really fast. Even more challenging is the space they take up. They can get knocked over when there are a lot of people milling around.

The show is happening at the same time as the World Domination Summit which I am attending. I won’t be able to be at the showing the whole time, so I need everything to be self explanatory and able to be staffed by other people.

artwork going to studio sale

Selecting the best art for the space

Deciding to do a series of smaller showings allows me to pick a selection of work rather than trying to show everything I have. The first thing I decided not to bring was anything in frames. They are heavy, take up more space, and tend to get scratched and dented. At the same time, I know the work looks better with some attention to presentation. I decided to put them in mats with protective plastic bags over them.

Next, I decided to bring things where each size was the same type of thing. The pieces that are in 12′ x 18″ double mats are all one of a kind originals. The prints in the 11″ x 14″ mats are  printed on an interesting photo paper with a pearlescent surface that gives the colors a nice pop. The prints in the 8″” x 10″ mats are standard photographic prints, as are the small ones on cards.

Getting the work displayed

I’ve been gathering things I could possibly use, several kinds of small easels and a simple magazine rack.


What do you think? Do these look OK to you? Some of them hold several, so people will be able to look at some options. My biggest concern is the magazine rack. I want people to be able to look through a number of original pieces. It seem a little low to me.


It might work better if it was lifted up a bit, but whatever I use to do it has to be really sturdy. I know people do not want to take the chance of knocking things over. I want people to be really comfortable around my art, and feel free to handle it.

Got any suggestions? Love to hear them.

 Want to come to the show?

Drop by if you are in the area and see how I solve this challenge. July 7, 2013 Heathman Hotel 2nd floor. 1001 SW Broadway Portland 12PM – 8PM.


Pop Up Sale at Wild Money Book Launch

BADGES-Wild-Money-Book-Launch-PartyI’m excited to be participating in Luna Jaffe’s Wild Money Book Launch Party  on Sunday July 7, 2013 at the Heathman Hotel 1001 SW Broadway in Portland Oregon from 12PM – 8 PM.

Luna’s new books are designed to help creatives be wise about money using design and language we can understand.  Wild Money: A Creative Journey to Financial Freedom covers everything you need to know to be wise about money. Wild Money: A Financial Field Guide and Journal is a workbook that gives you the tools you need to make it happen.

My Art Will Be On Display

studiosale 275

I’ll have a selection of originals and prints available for purchase at the event. Everyone is welcome, this is a public event. Please drop by if you are in the area, you are welcome to bring friends. There will be interesting things going on all day as well as special prizes and optional activities.

In the event rooms upstairs in the Heathman

tea_court_lounge_wide_shot_Heathman_Portland_original_-_This event will be happening during the World Domination Summit, a conference I will be attending next door at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. The event rooms are on the second floor at the Heathman, just at this top of the grand staircase. It’s a beautiful space, and lovely place to visit. The hotel is located at 1001 SW Broadway in downtown Portland.

I won’t be at the show every minute because I’ll be going back and forth to some of the conference sessions. However, my husband or one of my dear friends will be there when I am not.