Life:, Portfolio:, Sunshine Quotes, Video

Brianna: Wray of Sunshine

Hey y’all,

I’ve emerged from the finals fog to share the last of our Identity & the Moving Image assignment. I present Brianna: Wray of Sunshine

My classmates gave me written critiques which were mostly unanimous in wanting the music quieter and my voiceover louder. Agreed. I struggled with the levels and rushed it a bit. One person was concerned that I wasn’t wearing headphones. But, I assure you, they’re on. I’ve got these wee bluetooth ones. You just can’t see them under all the glitter…and hair. My professor noted that the entire second half of the video could be omitted (or made into its own video). I also agree with that, however in our individual meetings before filming I had two very different ideas and she suggested I combine them. Plus, with graduation approaching I thought it more important to document this workspace and the lovely people who populate it with life. Is it the best video I have done or will do? No, but it’s a collaboration  I am proud of.

Many special thanks to Ellen, Jeanne, Ellen and Matt who helped with ideation and filming. No thanks to Adobe Premiere which deleted my footage AGAIN and wasted 3 hours of editing time and 3 ounces of my sanity. I’m officially on team Final Cut Pro.

What do you think? Are you into video? Do you have any tips on software for me? I’ve used iMovie and Premiere, but Final Cut Pro looks similar enough to figure out. We’ll see!



Meet: Jennifer Wee

We met on a rainy day. I was under the safety of my black umbrella when I was joined by one Jennifer Wee. And, here’s the thing, I’m friendly as hell, but the modern umbrella is a further expression of one’s bubble. One does not simply enter anyone’s bubble. Yet there she was, comfortably in my bosom, so to speak. Her presence has since been a welcome one, which is a less stalker version of saying I make sure we’re in at least one class together every quarter. But she’s more than a great bubble buddy, she’s an artist, too! Meet: Jennifer Wee

State your name for the record, please. 

For the Record,
I am Jennifer Wee.
What media do you work with?

I work mostly in photography, but I have been branching into video. I
also very secretly enjoy 3D scrapbook-y art collages of doom and
drawing when no one is looking.
Which is your favorite?

Photography is by far my favorite. In fact, it was a conscious
decision on my part to spend more of my time away from developing
other skills and interests in favor or pushing my photography further
What about the quality of photography helps you express yourself?

I’d like to say that the tools don’t make the photographer because
they don’t. Really, they don’t. But I’ll throw my phone at you if you
suggest I do any amount of serious work using that thing. The further
photography develops, and the more control I have over it makes me
fall in love with the medium more every time I pick up that
slightly-too-heavy camera. Who cares if I have to trek through a
forest with a giant tripod and a heavy backpack filled with lenses. It
beats a portable shit-mera. (Shit-camera. Shit-mera.) (Also, with
control, you can play with intentionally under exposure which is a
blast to work with in photoshop.)
How does craftsmanship fit into your practice?

Craftmanship? What’s that? I’m very self-taught, but I’ve been doing
this for over eight years. Naturally one of the last things I figured
out is that your camera has a light meter that saves you unnecessary
(and excessive) time/effort in Photoshop. And naturally still, since
it was one of the last things I learned, I spent a majority of those
years in frustration and unholy determination (I’m born stubborn)
working through Photoshop until I breathed it into my very essence. As
a result, a lot of my work tends to be more transformative relying a
lot on interesting Photoshop tricks and effects.
What are your favorite projects you’ve worked on, or do you even have favorites?

I always have favorites, and they’re usually my most recent, but I’m
still in love with my bugs and latex project. Actually, I desperately
want to revisit that series with more bugs and new models. In
particular, I’d love to find a skeletal sickly anorexic person for
some of my bugs, as well as someone tall with an hourglass figure and
rolls and rolls of fat. Because I want to capture the “ugly” bodies as
something beautiful and breathtaking, and just a little alien.
How did you know you were an artist?

I don’t know I’m an artist, still, so I can’t answer when I found out.
I actually want to be a fashion photographer. I love interesting
designers such as Alexander McQueen and Fendi, and I would absolutely
love to capture them with my camera. My interests have always been
fairly commercial, and I’ve gotten a lot of flack for not being
more… well… exactly opposite that. But I like what I do, and I
like where I want to take it so if that means I’m not an “artist,”
that’s fine.

Oh, she’s an artist. Yeah, I said. Ar-tist. See more of Jennifer’s work. What do you think? I dig the latex and ethereal aesthetic she’s got going on. Thanks for visiting Wrays of Sunshine, y’all. Need more? Meet: Justin Blackwell, Tamblyn Gawley, Iris Scott, Scott Dalrymple or Lauren Napier.
Photos of Jennifer by Brianna Wray, all other images provided by the artist. Go to her website! Commission photoshoots!


George Tsutakawa’s Fountain of Reflection

George Tsutakawa was a celebrated sculptor and painter who taught at the University of Washington for 29 years before retiring. Born in Seattle on George Washington’s birthday, Tsutakawa’s work finds a natural home on the University of Washington campus.


I got entirely lost escorted some freshman from ART101 to see the Fountain of Reflection. The fountain works were off during our visit, but I appreciated the view to the inner eye.

Credits: Biographical information on George Tsutakawa from the University of Washington‘s faculty listing, and a cursory glance at his Wiki. Image from Seven Roads.







Illustration, Paintings:, Portfolio:, Printmaking:, Shop:


Wednesday, Mar. 2, & Thursday, Mar. 3; 11am-6pm both days

“The campus community and public are invited to a sale of work by current students and alumni.

This year, BUY ART is working with Strange Coupling to create two very different events, offered at the same time, and sharing the same goal – support of UW Art majors and alums.”

Strange Coupling is, “a student-run tradition in the Division of Art for over a decade, Strange Coupling bridges the gap between the UW and the greater Seattle art community by pairing students with professional artists for a collaborative project. This exhibit shows the work of student applicants, which is auctioned to support this year’s projects. The selected students and their artist mate will be announced at the Friday evening event.

The 2016 jurors are Jen Graves, Melanie King (MA 2008), Catharina Manchanda, Amanda Manitach, and Jeffry Mitchell.

The professional artists are Iole Alessandrini, Michael Alm, Byron Au Yong, Zack Bent (MFA 2008), Coldbrew Collective, Alice Gosti, Lauren Iida, Stephanie Liapis, Francesca Lohmann, Emily Ann Pothast (MFA 2005), and Norie Sato (MFA 1974).”

I had entirely too much going on to participate in both events, but you can find my artwork for sale in the BUY ART event. There’ll be monotype and relief prints. You can quickly distinguish my work by the sales number, #25.

Also, on display will be the works of some crazy talented classmates such as E.R. Saba. Her sales number is #41. Keep an eye out!


Fall by E.R. Saba | Oil on Canvas | 20″ x 24″ | 2015 | Image appears courtesy of Artist

This is a great chance to step into collecting, you’ll be getting in on the ground floor of Seattle’s up-and-coming arts community.

See you there, boo!

Brianna Wray Signature



Need more info: BUY ART & Strange Coupling Event Page.


These IVA Seniors

Contrasting my very regimented figure drawing class is the IVA Senior Studio. In it interdisciplinary artists roam, essentially free range, working on what pleases them most for a gallery show toward the end of the quarter. One day we even had art cake! We postulated what makes it art cake, are its elements handmade, and isn’t it delicious? Very serious, studious discussions.


But it’s not all treats. The projects we’ve chosen for ourselves are challenging, time-consuming and definitely labor intensive. On top of that, we each have committee work for the show. Some folks are creating a poster, a food prep team, install/uninstall point people, etc. There’s always more to do!


I’m on the media committee, which involves photographing my classmates–self included–as they’re trying to work and documenting the greatness as it comes to be. This is a thrilling assignment for me because I’m all about investigating artists’ processes and here I have a whole room full to bounce around. Excellent. This is valuable research for one day when I’m all alone in my studio and I don’t have the luxury of 15-20 opinions on an idea at a moment’s notice.

Our professor, Claire Cowie, does a great job instilling the feeling of community in the studio and showing us how much we benefit from each other. We’re encouraged to spread out, stake a claim on space and ask questions–both of ourselves and each other. My classmates are truly inspired and our projects are really diverse. There will be painting, printmaking, book-making, quilting, and sculpture to say the least.

So much so that I can guarantee* if you come to our show you will see something you love.

Are you working on any projects this fall? Comment below with details so we can follow your progress, too! And don’t forget to Like & Subscribe for more Wrays of Sunshine.

Brianna Wray Signature

*guarantee not valid in Sheboigan.

Make:, Portfolio:, Printmaking:

Make: Relief Prints

I recently graduated from Shoreline, but that doesn’t mean I could resist one more school project. It all started when my amazing printmaking professor, Natalie, brought up the idea of steamroller printmaking casually in class. Then again in an art club meeting. None of us knew what was involved so with a bit of prodding we found out that steamroller printmaking is exactly as cool as it sounds. Let me explain:

A relief print is made using tools to carve away the blank spaces in an image, leaving the portion that is to be black raised. Then you use a brayer to evenly coat the surface in ink and use pressure to transfer the image onto paper. Voila! Except, you can imagine, the steamroller version is much bigger. The width of the steamroller is about 4 feet, so our smaller boards are 4 ft x 3 ft and the larger ones are 4 ft x 8 ft.

Step 1: Design

Once the ball was rolling on our big idea, members of the art club went about applying for (and winning!) grant money from school. When we told the steamroller company why we wanted their services, they decided to offer them for free! With all that money we were able to get boards and carving tools for everyone. Being that we’re laying the whole thing out on the ground, I wasn’t sure which way would be up or if my design would necessarily flow into others’ work. This became the basis for my drawing. I wanted something I could flip either way and find pleasing. I also wanted my image to be segmented. Our theme was diversity in campus life. It’s vague and yet specific. Diversity makes me think less about how we’re different and more about how we’re the same. Down to the cellular level. Cell formation became the inspiration for the lace corner. Owls and trees are just a general recurring theme in my work. Oh, and I love that when you look at it owl side up, the other one looks almost like a bat hanging from a branch.

Step 2: Prepping & Projecting


The MDF board was extra soft. To prep it for all the carving, I coated it with one good layer of acrylic primer. Once my drawing was finalized I copied it onto a transparency sheet and used my projector to draw the image on my board with a Sharpie. As you can see, Pokie helped.

Step 3: Carving

Now that the easy part is done, it’s time to carve. I spent about 6 hours working on it so far and there’s still a ways to go. But you know I’m happy when my hands are covered in sawdust.


I’ll be back to show you what it looks like all finished and showcase our art fair (June 28th-29th)! What projects are working on these days? Making anything outlandish, awesome or outlandishly awesome? I want to know! Put in the comments below.

Ex Oh,

Sunshine Wray


Resin Rising

I love sharing bits of bobs of projects on Facebook. One time I asked if anyone wanted a custom piece and my friend Jason immediately responded. Unfortunately at the time, he didn’t have $ in the budget for custom artwork. Right around then, on the old blog I hosted a contest for a custom piece and Jason was picked by the randomizer!

To give me a clue as to what to paint and what to paint it on, the contest entrants were instructed to choose between the following prompts: Wintery or volcanic? Silk or tweed? Landscape, still life or abstract? Archival quality canvas paper or unframed gallery canvas?

Jason chose volcanic, tweed, still life and canvas, so I set to work. Wintery versus volcanic was the color story. Volcanic means warm. Silk or tweed is all about texture. Jason wanted it rough. Still life, which is my biggest challenge and gallery canvas.

Resin Rising 10 in. x 12 in. Oil paint on Canvas.


I love the way the resin just floats out of that little pipe on the bottom. Up close it almost looks glazed.

Thanks for peeking into my portfolio. I’ve got another custom piece in the works. Here’s a hint, it involves smashing a ukulele. Fun!




Meet: Briana Barrett

Meet: Bree.

I met her on the corner of 44th and Evanston, about five houses down from mine. She was trimming rose bushes with gardening shears–mind you roses that were in full bloom as the ones in my yard were just beginning to bud. I wanted to know her secret, but starting up a conversation didn’t seem likely. I was on my way to Marketime, focused and determined to stay on target. On the way back with a case of Session Lager, a shallot, garlic and a serrano pepper, we made eye contact and that was it. Lo and behold, she has the same name as me–give or take an ‘n’! And is probably the only person I’ve ever met who can hug as long and as hard as I can. Maybe its a Bri thing. Cool points well-earned. Our interview was conducted almost a year later, just after a few key transitions in Bree’s life.

State your name for the record, please.

Briana soon-to-be Squirrel-Barrett

Your art form?

The art of invitation, namely helping people feel welcome. Anyone could extend an invitation, the art of the thing is making it personal, asking what they want and then getting them to do it.

Seems like an important task that might go overlooked. How do you do it?

I focus on helping people make time for what they consider important. It all starts with asking, finding out what it is and then getting excited is easy because, usually, what people want is something that our whole community needs.

How does a motivator keep motivated?

Meditation and my mantra, “I’m an invitation. Don’t forget to mention…”

What challenges to you face as an invitation?

The same as everyone, shadows and fears and asking why. That nagging voice that says, “Why do I want attention?” As if I need a reason. I don’t need a reason!

To be effective despite fear is courage. What are your outlets for channeling your fears?

I write poetry, laugh at jokes and gather together with friends.

For Bree (and for all of us, I bet) doing the thing she’s afraid of quells the fear. Bree’s amazing! She also says things like,

“The force that causes leaves to unfurl is still coursing through it even after the buds have flowered and gone.”

What other sorts of solutions help you stay on track?

I have an accountability appointment with a friend weekly. So far we’ve determined that I needed some time to rest after having been sick. It helps to have the conversation, otherwise I don’t easily grant myself the gift of time for things like healing or taking care of myself proactively. I’ve also enrolled in a 9-week business course where I will meet other entrepreneurs and build community while learning.

Bree’s business, Neighbors on Purpose, is all about community and offers a whole heap of services such as cleaning, gardening, and consignment based yard sales. Wanna get involved? Go to and tell her Sunshine sent ya!


Meet: Jeri Mack

Back in February [practically a year ago?!] I created a page called Meet: where I introduce my blogworld to my friend-family who do incredible things. I answered readers’ questions for the first one to get things rolling and then was privileged to Meet: Bree. After that Meet: sort of fell by the wayside. Without some sort of deadline, I get nothing done. Like, period. That’s not acceptable because I’m constantly surrounded by such talent, such promise and everyone should know! And so, I’m very proud to Meet: Jeri. She was one of the original people I had in mind when I started this so there’s no one better to meet now that Meet: will be a monthly thing!

So, I sat down with Jeri in her Wallingford home studio and basically giggled for about twenty minutes. Here’s what we could make out.

Meet: Jeri

State your name, for the record [which isn’t a question, really, ha!]

Jeri Adrianna Mack and I created Objects & Subjects, I design and create handmade jewelry that incorporates up-cycled materials to create edgy, feminine, industrial-chic jewelry.

Do you prefer to work alone? Also, mention how you feel about in-home studios versus resources such as ActivSpace.

I do prefer to work alone; my mind goes to a lot of places when I am working in my studio. I like to sketch out new designs and start creating something new from those sketches, but a lot of the time the shapes of the metal inspire me in another direction. I’m constantly thinking, “Well, what if I do this?” Sometimes it doesn’t work out the way I would like, but that’s how I learn. I had a studio at Activspace for a year, and I am glad I experienced that because I learned that I prefer to work from home. One nice thing about having a home studio is that when inspiration strikes, I just have to go upstairs. With the community art space, I had to get in the car and drive across town which prevented me from going there as much as I would have liked. Had I met any of the other artists in the building or took advantage of the Artwalks, it could have been a completely different experience, but I was just starting out so for me it was just my space to learn.

studiophoto by Andrew Walsh

What sort of things do you do to get in the zone?
I start out a regular day with a nice, hot cup of coffee and check my online shop to see if I have any new orders. Sometimes I check out creative blogs or Pinterest to get my mind warmed up for the day. While I’m in my studio, I like to play Brazilian music because it’s chill and up beat…it puts me in a good mood.

Where can we find you?
I started selling on Etsy a little over 3 years ago. It’s been great and has taught me a lot about running a successful business. I remember when I made my first few sales… it was so exciting! When I made my first sale overseas, I wanted to celebrate! It’s been interesting bringing my business to where it is. There has been a lot of trial and error as well as the realization of what I want my business to become, and that is all in the learning process. You always need to be working toward something new, something different.

I also sell Objects & Subjects pieces at B.(resale) shop, voted the BEST resale shop in Minneapolis. It is an urban-based, used clothing store in South Minneapolis. They carry gently used men & women’s clothing, shoes, and accessories, as well as wonderful pieces by some very talented local designers. They also sell their goods online which is very cool!

Finally, I started my own website where people can buy directly from me! I am currently working on a collection of jewelry inspired by the modern-day gypsy and high fashion bohemian styles. I plan to debut the collection on my website when the pieces are finished and photographed.
Go there now, I’ll wait.

As a champion of a creative lifestyle, what advice do you have for up-n-comers?
Don’t lose your drive. If you want to make something successful, you have to keep at it and continue learning your craft and never give up. Sometimes I get distracted and want to spend my time doing other things. I have to remind myself that although I can’t do everything, if I want my business to be successful I need to be consistent and continue to learn things that will benefit my craft. A creative mind is easily distracted, and sometimes I just have to refocus and reexamine my goals.

What do you want the people to know most about Objects & Subjects?
I used to work at an award manufacture and there was always a bucket of off-cuts and scrap metal pieces that they couldn’t use so they would just send it out to be recycled. One day, when I was going through my supplies, I came across a few pieces of the scrap stainless steel. It just clicked, and I got my tools out and started playing. I recycle scrap metal as well as using other kinds of industrial pieces in my jewelry. Most of the beads and other elements are from old discarded pieces of jewelry found at thrift stores or vintage markets. I love giving something that was once loved a new life, and I feel it is important to reuse and do what you can to minimize your impact on the environment.

puts the hammer down

How much time do you spend working on O&S?
Everyday I work on O&S in some way. Some days it’s just a few drawings in a sketchbook and some days I spend up to 12 hours in my studio. It’s different everyday. I work as a cake decorator and when my husband and I get a day off together we like to go out and explore the city together, but if he’s working on my days off I spend all day in my studio.

What are your thoughts on style? How do you encourage others to find their own personal style?
I feel like jewelry is the icing on the cake when it comes to putting together an outfit. Your jewelry and clothing should compliment each other in some way, but I also love statement jewelry that stands on it’s own. My go-to look is a nice black sweater with some big dramatic statement earrings. I did not always feel bold enough to get away with statement jewelry, but I always loved the pieces on their own. I finally told myself to go for it and now whenever I wear my big earrings or big interesting necklaces I get a ton of compliments and that just boosts my confidence!
Meet: Jeri
Thanks, Jeri! I always have a ball when we get together. Unfortunately this interview ends on a bittersweet note for me as I’ve just learned that Jeri and her husband Jesse [who drums for Super Plaid] are moving back to Minnesota. Seattle will miss you in a big, big way. Honeybee and I wish you all the absolute best. All of it. Big smiles, big hugs, big love,



Meet: Matt Wray

When I started this blog back in 2009 I didn’t know where this adventure would take me [still don’t], I was just committed to documenting it here [still am]. So, actually, you were the first to know when I met Matt, now known as Honeybee. Do you remember? I’d seen him a few times, but things clicked when he came out from behind his checkstand and hugged me when my friend died. I don’t necessarily consider it love at first sight, but I do recall that when I first saw him, I distinctly wanted to talk to him. And when I finally worked up the courage talked to him I simply had to know everything about him. He’s addictive that way. But how weird is it to formally introduce someone to your blog-life? Is that even a thing? Let’s make it a thing.

It’s a thing now. And this tardiness allowed for the proper celebration of his birthday, St. Patrick’s Day [which is also the anniversary of his proposal]. I’ll admit, another reason this Meet: is late is for the simple fact that I underestimated being so close with my interviewee. Matt’s an all-in sort of guy so as I asked him questions he’d be looking ahead at the next question. I’m all like, hey, mind yo business!

Ultimately it was a very worthwhile challenge. Why? Because there’s more to Matt than dreamy boyish good-looks. And it seems that he’s in it for the long haul. This guy wants to marry me, blog and all, y’all. So, everyone, Meet: Matt.

meet: matt

State your name for the record please.

My name is Matthew Tyler Wray. I was born March 17, 1977 in Walla Walla, Washington. [See what I’m saying?! Who says that? Tell me you wouldn’t have a follow up question?!]

Do you know why you were chosen as this month’s Meeting?

I suppose I’d have to say no. Because I’m an interesting person? Maybe.

Aside from the nature of our personal relationship, we’ve worked together for three years now making music, yes, but we’ve also collaborated on paintings as well as other projects and I want you to know that terms of professionalism and work-ethic, you’re someone I look up to.

Can I touch my interviewer?

You can touch me. Later. Where did you get your amazing work ethic from?

It’s been a bit of an evolution, but my dad has always been a hard worker. And my grandma. And you never want to disappoint people you love, so you imitate those you respect most.

Where did you study?

I went to Shoreline Community College for digital audio engineering. Before that I attended Walla Walla Community College for pottery.

For pottery?

For pottery.

Tell me about some of your pieces. What were your specialties?

Bowls, plates and vases. What’s left around the house are the pick of the litter. I would love to do more pottery and sculpture.


So at this point just now what are you itching to produce?

Besides music? I have my bag of tricks. I’m working on traditional Native masks.

You’re working on a traditional Native American mask? You make those?

I did make one and I attempted to make another but the wood was bad. I want to create art across all media.

Agreed. Let’s! In the meantime, tell me about your day job.

I work in a grocery store in Fremont, Seattle.

He works at Marketime. And it’s locally famous.

Yeah it’s a nice place. I enjoy working there. It’s definitely a day job, but I enjoy the people I work with.

I think everyone enjoys you working there. You were in the I Saw You section of the Stranger as Marketime Matt by an admirer who called you dreamy! And I know you thought that was me, but that was not me.

I looked at every customer for while wondering who it could be. It’s a complete mystery. But it doesn’t really matter, there’s only one person in my line who gets checked out two ways. 😉

This interviewer will not ask who that person is but I’m sure she is lucky and gorgeous.

Yes, she is. Gorgeous, I mean.

[See? This is what I’m talking about. Focus! Bah!]

What does creative mean to you?

Making order out of chaos. Be it something you look at or something you hear, you’re taking that chaos and focusing it into something different that everybody can appreciate.

What is your pattern, or trademark that makes Matt-sculpture versus Matt-music versus anything else you would create? What is the thing that makes it yours?

I just have my way of looking at the world and it translates into everything I do. I’ve just finished one big project [Super Plaid’s second album End of Daze] and I’m feeling out what’s next. It’s a process.

You’ve been at it a while, right? How many albums have you put together so far?

Officially ten. And there’s a whole slew of unofficial mixes.

Honeybee editing

Matt Editing

Then there’s at least a series worth of paintings I’ve seen you create.

Yup, but music is my favorite. Standout hits are: It’s a Chupacabra Christmas, Jericho, Lando System, and the G. I. Joe Theme Song. But it’s a mood thing, too. At this point I have a category for every mood. Or a mood for every category.

Who are your top influences?

The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Medeski, Martin & Wood, and Beck.

my own personal guitar hero

What would you do if you were at a table with all those guys?

Spontaneously combust. I’ve never met a celebrity before [outside of work]. Do you just avoid asking them questions about their fame? Just talk to them like a friend? I don’t know. What do you do?

Well, that’s the thing. Actually that’s one of the reasons I invented Meet: because I feel like my friends are famous people. They’re, like, famous people that people don’t know about yet. I always wanna hang out because we’re friends. But then I also wanna be like, so what’s inspring you right you now? What are you thinking about?

So, what inspires you?


You’ve mentioned before that creating music for you is a means of creating a legacy, why is it so important?

It’s not really important to have a legacy of music or even to have a legacy. But, I suppose I’d prefer to be remembered, not forgotten. Like a forget-me-not. Perhaps down the line my great great great nieces and nephews will hear my music and maybe it’ll change their life.

in his natural environment

If there’s one thing you’d like the world to know about you, it would be?

I’m rich, bitch. Um…nah.

Well, I suppose I’m out of questions.

Does that mean it’s dinner time?

Yes. Feed meeeee!

Well, there you have it folks. You’ve officially met him. He’s uncommonly kind and clean. He’s a hard worker and dreamboat. What can I say, he’s my kind of guy. He doesn’t get to hang out as often as he’d like due to crappy mid-shifts at the Market, but he’s always down for a jam. He can play almost any instrument [guitar, mandolin, cello, bass, drums, piano, lap harp, clarinet, tenor banjo, harmonica, penny whistle, glockenspiel, and the dryer to name a few] and he’s got great hair. Eh?

at cello


[Ladies this one’s taken, but he’s got a single brother. Wha-WHAT!]