Yayoi Kusama: My Eternal Soul

The exhibit being held at The National Art Center in Roppongi goes on till May 22, 2017! We were so lucky to be there while this was still in Tokyo and had the perfect day at the museum. It cost 1600 yen which is about $14 and is soo worth it for such an extensive exhibition, and I do not mind supporting the museums that bring us these amazing shows. The first time I experienced a Yayoi Kusama installation was similar to the one pictured below, except it was in Copenhagen, Denmark at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. They had a set up in a small room which only four people were allowed to experience the Light of the Gleaming Souls at a time. This time they had a path set up so that viewers could walk through and out. Learning about Kusama’s childhood and seeing her early works was really fascinating — She strives to make art that promotes togetherness and unity which I also enjoyed from her, considering that she struggles with depression and actually lives in a mental institution. Check out my video below to see our experience!



Check out more of my pictures from the exhibit on my Instagram @nikkibrittain

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Monster Drawing Rally

Portland Art Museum held this event tonight, free to the public–
75 artists total, at 6 – 7 – 8 pm would draw for an hour.
Finished pieces sold for just $35 to support the PAM!
As soon as the art was put up anyone could buy it,
if two people wanted the same painting they would have to draw straws.


Family friendly! Art, drinks, and DJs — nice that it wasn’t 90º today—


Excited to see Tripper Dungan as I walked around the first corner!
I love his 3d paintings, and had always wanted to commission him for something…
big piece… probably a dancing block of tofu eating a double decker ice cream with googly eyes
drenched in hot sauce playing the piano… I don’t know. The start of his drawing looked epic—


Pretty sure I’ve ogled her illustrations online, so great in person.
I like that she seemed to be using her hour to work on one bigger piece!


I’m not sure what it is, but I always see these fluffy guys.
Or maybe their owners only buy them in pairs,
so far I’ve gotten pics of them in San Francisco,
our state capital, and now Portland… Same red leash as well!


APAK … his kiddos next to him doing some art as well 🙂
Would have LOVEDDDDDDDDDDDD to stay longer to watch the magic, and even try for it!
There were too many pieces I would’ve loved to acquire, ahhhh restraint!

Check out their work: http://apakstudio.com/apak/


AHHHHHH Bwana Spoons (aka @bananapoons on IG) and Kinoko Evans to his left!
Could hardly contain my excitement I felt like I was seeing Bob Ross in the flesh!
It was probably 5 years ago that I almost bought a Bwana piece,
being the starving artist that I was, despite already collecting art
I had to make the toughie decision to pass. Again, mesmerizing to watch
these guys free paint and see exactly what mediums and brand products they use.
This specific piece that Bwana was working on was gone before I even saw it posted,
thankfully it wasn’t over for me yet.


This little piece Alex was working on looked so rad!
I say this because the monster was holding pizza…
Took one of his mini comic books so I could look up his artwork later!


Some completed works waiting for good homes!


Waited patiently for some of the artists to finish.
The pieces were quickly whisked away and put up on one of two sides.
With some good timing I made my way through the crowd and scored exactly what I wanted!
Still can’t believe it! Check out @tripperd and #MonsterDrawingRally on IG to see more great stuff!

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Waschbear the cat, rides Rainbow the horse… aka Rainbear the comic duo was a little commission and Christmas gift for a friend– always a fun challenge to recreate a living being that can easily be compared back to the picture. Fun. This cat is unbelievable and I just had the privilege of spotting the reclusive WB in his native apartment habitat:


Apparently I forgot to post this finished piece here (maybe I just didn’t want to inadvertently ruin the surprise?) that I actually finished last December! Has that much time really flown by?! It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through 2015, and how much has changed in that short span—

The Gist

1. Feeling alive and truly content
2. Having my own place
3. New relationships <3
4. Planning trips and following through!
5. Living more minimally

I had a notion that this year was going to be a lot of change, I couldn’t say exactly what but so far I am happy to admit that I’ve never had a more positive outlook on life— so much to look forward to…

ONLY 170 days until Christmas!!!

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London: Art

After walking back from the British Museum (looking for dinner down a side street) I did a double take when I saw these oversized medicines*! It was Damien Hirst’s “Schizophrenogenesis” exhibition. “Sculptures of medicine bottles, pharmaceutical boxes, ampoules, syringes, a scalpel, and drug packaging that all play with concepts of scale – the tallest measuring nearly one and a half metres.” The proportions of these things makes you feel like a kid all over again, or maybe that’s just me. Haha. Those who know me will probably remember my amusement with miniatures and gigantics… so eye catching, they basically stop me in my tracks.




For a closer look at the individual pieces, check out the gallery website:

London being what it is, makes it possible to turn the corner onto something unexpected everyday. Installations, graffiti art, and architecture had me looking in all directions, mostly taking pictures like a crazy Japanese tourist [that I admittedly am].

These pieces also caught my eye because I’ve been planning to do my own mixed media artwork with real pills for a few years now. Collecting and hoarding all the colorful little gems so that I can cover a huge canvas with them… probably too reminiscent of gum-ball art or m&m world, but wayyyyyyyy better. Maybe Andy Warhol should’ve “painted” Marilyn in pills and actually said something. Either way I have other drugs {not pictured} which I am still formulating pictorial uses for… hehe. As of this moment, they will sit pretty on my desk until I get my next idea.


Name that drug!

*Like I said, I am overly amused (obsessed) with miniature and giant reproductions of things…

Polly Pocket

Jansport backpack
Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge

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Going through some old files on my computer and organizing ancient projects.
Realized that I’ve wanted to do something with this picture for awhile…



I’m thinking a Speed Raceresque rendition:
recently inspired by super detailed
abstracted type portraits. (Going to start one of those soon)

For this:
a lot of line work
fine black outlines or maybe none,
three dimensional play with my shapes

Picture 6


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Graffiti B.C. Stages













I’m pretty methodical about documenting my progress through pictures as I’m working on a project. Sometimes I get to a point I really like, although it wasn’t what I had originally planned. Do I go in the new direction? Continue on? Pictures help me as a literal step back when I’ve been working up close for too long. I love seeing behind the scenes, work-in-progress shots from other artists, so I figured I would post this even though it is from an older piece—


A lovely artist in India got this tattooed on her leg 🙂

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{ Coming Soon
To A Wall
Near You! }

I often ponder the accessibility of my art.
How can it be recognized? Where has it been shown?
Public art, whether it be signs, murals, or graffiti
reach masses on the daily becoming subliminal.
Graffiti in the forms of stickers seem fast.
Easy, risk free… Keep your peepers peeled!

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Daily Dose: Art Inspiration

Rocio Montoya – Paper Cutouts 8

Kip Omolade Diovadiove – Chrome Michelle (painting)

– Miranda Lorikeet


Nick Smith – Pantone 4



– Mech 01

Jolene Lai – The Garden

The Sound of efiL by Yosuke Ueno


Kikyz 1313 – Inopia

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Take 10


IMG_0189 18-18-30






Sometimes you find yourself in a place you assume has no beauty. It’s those times in the mundane, familiar surroundings that I like to take a few minutes to appreciate the details. It’s not always easy but again, a worthwhile endeavor for any artist… [waiting for the takeout].

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Destruction Construction

A few successful artists have been known to say that you should create and continue to create without hesitation… if you wait just for inspiration to hit you’ll be waiting a long time.

Sometimes a recent trip or photograph clicks something in my brain and I instantly need to draw it out. Other times, what seem to be random little memories/dreams sneak up to the surface and for whatever reason I want to cement that in a painting– something interesting for others to look at that they wouldn’t guess the story behind, and my personal life marker.

Drawing vs. Painting. I can draw greater details than I would be able to paint with a brush. That’s why I do both to get the best of both worlds. I also just love to play around with paint so I normally devote a few canvases to nothing but. Not expecting anything to come of it either– There is still a bit of a psychological game when starting a new piece… looking at the blank white perfect emptiness. The very act of creating is a direct act of destruction to a canvas. I gave up shooting for perfect lines every time, the pressure so high it stifled any free flowing creativity. This is why I earlier wrote about the transformation of my older pieces, into what they are now. With the first act of destruction done, I am free to ruin it to completion.

My first piece of 2015: no different.

Went through my stacks of canvases and found a bevy of things waiting to be “reconstructed”. Hallelujah! My favorite type of project to start. There was a 16″x20″ with a lot of paint spatters, an 11″x14″ with an abstract spatter skull, a 9″x12″ silver/purple scary face, and a 5″x7″ woodblock. I looked for the smaller canvas without a lot of texture from previously applied paints. The piece I was about to start (influenced by: Denmark) was going to be 100% painting, clean lines, and geometric shapes. I had lightly painted a ghostly face and drawn tribal designs all over, hated it and was not attached to it whatsoever. Perfect. I grabbed my trusty Sherwin Williams tinted white and painted a thick layer over the whole thing. A few spots still turned with the ink beneath but it looked like a fresh start—-


My method was to paint the shapes first, from lightest color to darkest. Then painting the base color background. Right is a photo of a photograph {sorry}(mural/public art in Denmark) which I was replicating.

Picture 9

Coming along:
Fixing the alignment of the shapes and how they fit in the space on the canvas versus the actual mural on the side of the building.

Picture 10

Time to clean up and add final colors. I mixed the correct colors for the final background. Then painted over the existing shapes, from lightest to darkest (white/yellow/green/red/blue/black) so that there would be no gaps from foreground to background. It did take a few layers to get the color to be bold enough to pop.

Picture 11

This probably looks about as hard as a paint by number but let me tell you–


Without a crazy amount of detail or line work there is nothing to hide behind here. Spent a few days on this from start to finish, had a lot of fun doing something out of my typical process. Can’t wait to keep up the painting!



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