Be green, support local business, get a reusable cup.

Southeast Grind reusable cup with design by Sarah Morrigan

For those who remember, I have designed this for Southeast Grind back in April 2009. Now you can own this piece of elegance and be green!

It is only $10 a piece and you will get a 25 cents off each time you use it at Southeast Grind (with your first coffee free). It is available only at Southeast Grind, 1223 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, Oregon, just east of Milwaukie Avenue/12th Avenue near the Gideon Street fire station (TriMet lines 9, 17, 19 and 70). It is open 24 hours!


October 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm Leave a comment

What a busy month!

As many of you already know, I started my post-graduate studies this past spring (majoring in feminist theology — with a plan to add fine arts major in the near future) and I have fifteen credit hours this fall semester.  Fortunately three of the classes either end early or start in November, so I need to handle only three classes at a given time.

So far I have completed 6 credits

  • 02.02.001 – History of Goddess Worship
  • 04.01.001 – Ecology and Spirit

and have 15 credits by the end of this term

  • 01.01.002 – Anthropology of Shamanism
  • 01.01.006 – The Shaman
  • 02.02.004 – Introduction to Thealogy
  • 03.08.001 – Contextualizing Women in Religion
  • 03.08.005 – Feminist Theology 1

(Why are the shamanism courses given 01.01.x prefix?  The college originally was founded as a training centre for shamans, now it is one of very few truly interfaith seminaries that is not tied to any specific religious institution and encompasses many non-mainstream faiths.)

In addition to this, I have two art shows opening in November (coincidence) and potentially one more that I might enter as well:

And also I have just joined the new curatorial team at the 100th Monkey Studio in Southeast Portland — this involves the organizing and promotion of the monthly art shows, and gives me a valuable practical experience from the side of those who run a gallery.  (In addition, it gives me a studio membership, which is great, as it is always nice to have a dedicated space to work on art.)

How do I get time for all this?  The fact is I operate almost round-the-clock, except when I am sleeping for about 6 hours.  My biggest challenge is to stay focused on the task at hand and have a determination to get it done.

And yes, I still volunteer as a GED tutor at the Julia West House (4 hours/week).

October 2, 2010 at 9:04 am Leave a comment

Fall and rise of empires?

This past week news outlets have reported that now the economy of Japan has been eclipsed by that of the People’s Republic of China (not certain if the figure includes Hong Kong and Macau).  It is interesting to see the history make a full circle, with the reemergence of both China and India as the potential next superpowers.  China and India (the other two being Egypt and Mesopotamia/Iraq) were known as the four major ancient civilizations.

On the other hand, Japan as a true empire lasted only from the late 19th century with its defeat of the Russian navy and ended in the 1990s as Japan’s economic dominance began to wane.

It appears today that Japan has no future, except through some kind of union with China.  Only a decade ago I could have proposed a union of Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Taiwan as a kind of “Oriental Union.”  Today it seems that Taiwan’s clout is soon about to evaporate, and no such union can possibly counter China’s increasing dominance in economy and geopolitics.

As I was thinking over this interesting historical development, I have conceived this proposed design for the new flag and emblem of Japan, if it were to become annexed into China.

Image Hosted by
By iridiacreative at 2010-08-31

Image Hosted by
By iridiacreative at 2010-08-31

This was a quick project just to show my conception of the design.  The purple, the colour of Japanese aubergine, is one of the traditional colours of Japanese fabrics.  The design of the emblem reflects common Japanese themes of the ocean waves, Mt. Fuji and a cherry blossom, while also conforming to the design standard of such emblems that include five stars of five points, evoking the national flag of China that features five stars, to symbolize the region’s ties to the People’s Republic of China.  Overall design of the emblem is also a cross between classical Japanese heraldic design (the mon) and a composition of a typical socialist national emblem.

This is intended to be a parody.  No further political statement is implied.

August 31, 2010 at 5:43 pm Leave a comment

Re-introducing Art Windows from IrisCat.

Art Windows.  Why get a “window splash” if you can get a real art from a real working artist?  IrisCat is proud to relaunch this after a period of re-evaluation.

This summer, after a period of re-evaluation and hiatus, IrisCat is redefining and relaunching the popular window painting service to do what IrisCat does the best.  It has come to Sarah that even calling it a “window painting” does not do justice.  After three years in business, some people have mistakenly called it a “window treatment”, and even more people have mistaken this for a “window splash.”  The problem is that they all serve different purposes from different technical approaches. What IrisCat Designs does is a commissioned temporary or semi-permanent works of art reflecting the artist’s distinct style informed by various disciplines such as illustration, hand-drawn letterings, and acrylic and watercolor paintings.  Generally, this suits much better for a smaller-sized project.  Unlike other businesses in the area providing window painting or “window splash” services, your project will be done by a real working artist with experiences that include solo and juried shows.

IrisCat Designs is here to provide an elegant, perhaps smaller, and light-hearted (but not grotesque) alternative for businesses that are conscious of the images they project to the community.  With all this, the prices are remarkably affordable (varies by various factors), and whenever feasible environmentally sustainable methods and materials are used.Southeast Grind, April 2009 Southeast Grind, April 2009

August 26, 2010 at 6:39 pm Leave a comment

New original paintings auctioned to benefit Operation Nightwatch Portland

This is a great way to make these sets of new, original paintings (all done this month) while supporting a worthy cause.

The paintings are mixed media, acrylic, paper and ink, and were produced in June 2010 here in the Portland area. Portions (15% of the winning price) of this auction will be donated to the same, to support future art programs and events to make creative arts accessible to those who are low-income, mentally/physically/developmentally challenged, and/or homeless. Operation Nightwatch (ON) is an ecumenical night ministry of friendship and community that has been serving the street population of downtown Portland since 1981. Now with the newly purchased RV unit, ON is soon expanding to the Johnson Creek/Clackamas/Lents area and other locations throughout the metropolitan region.

The Set 1: The Elemental Cats — Fire, Wind, Water, Earth
Acrylic, ink and paper on four canvas panels, each sized 3″ x 5″

The Set 2: A set of two watercolors — “A Summer Day in a Park” (a scene at Couch Park, Northwest Portland last week), and “Moon Cat”
Watercolor on two canvas panels, each sized 3″ x 5″

For links to the eBay listings use: (shows both sets) with the ending number 30327 as part of the address. If it does not work, you can access the page through

June 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

IrisCat Designs news updates for May-June 2010

It seems like I have gone pretty quiet on the art and art-business fronts, but things are still happening under way.  As you may already know, I have started my post-graduate studies this spring and it has been keeping me busy, but that does not stop me from my creative pursuits — rather they go hand in hand.  I am still discerning whether I should go double-major in both MDiv and MFA programs as my school will launch a brand new MFA program this fall semester.

In June I will be facilitating another open art studio as part of the annual Operation Nightwatch Portland spiritual retreat.  We are still yet to procure needed art supplies and if you can make a donation toward it I will be very happy.  Also, this year I am taking parts of this art project into the realm of the digital.  If you have extra digital cameras that we can borrow for a few days (caveat: we will be using this in forest settings, so unfortunately you would have to indemnify us in case if someone accidentally drops the camera into mud or creek… so that is why the “extra” camera, not your favourite one.) that would also be great.

[To make a contribution, go to  This is a 501(c)(3) and donations are tax deductible if itemized correctly.]

May Last Thursday art clearance sale: May 27 at Radio Room, 1101 NE Alberta Street, from 5:30 to 9:45 p.m.  All items must go; they are under $25 until 7:30, then will be “pay what you can and will” thereafter.

May 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm Leave a comment

May Last Thursday art clearance sale

This coming Thursday, May 27, 2010, I will be offering nearly all available original art for sale in order to clean out the storage space and stale creative energy, and also to raise funds to replace my bicycle that was stolen a few days ago.

I will also be offering (weather permitting) a quick portrait sketch (for a suggested donation of $5).

All items will be under $25 between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., then will be “pay what you can and will” thereafter until closing around 9:45 p.m.  This is a good opportunity to add affordable works of art to your home or office.  All items must go by the end of the day, so no reasonable offer will be declined — in fact, even a small amount will help me at this point immensely.  The recent theft of the bicycle has caused some unexpected financial strains and loss of productivity.

This will be at the parking lot of Radio Room, 1101 N.E. Alberta St. in Portland, Oregon.  As the Last Thursday is expected to be busy, I recommend using the public transit (it is hard to find a place to park even for a bicycle). TriMet lines 8 and 75 serve the area, and so does the 6 (on MLK at Alberta, about 7 blocks away).

May 22, 2010 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

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