Keena Hormel

Educator, Art Enthusiast

So, painting is something I love, but I don’t have any formal training in. I used to pine for my husband when he traveled. So I used to paint while he was away. We have lived in our house for 16 years, so over the course of the first 7 years, I would paint a room in our house whenever he went on a fishing trip or was gone for an extended period of time.

I would paint the walls. I would just apply the paint so we could have fresh color and a new look in the house, because I would so pine for him.  A lot of that came from my childhood and people entering and leaving. When we first moved back to Portland,  it was very hard for me. There was just this sense of abandonment… So, “Art fills the void”, is that sign on 11th Avenue. And one day, when I was young, I asked my dad, “What’s that?” He goes “Art fills the hole!” And it does, doesn’t it? We had to talk about that and what it means to be artistic.

I never had any training. I never really had any teachers that were that interested in art. Ceramics in high school was big thing for me. I took it as a kid in teacher’s basement with some friends and it was just our core groups of 5 or so kids I knew really well. And we were all really good friends and we did it for about 6 years (in this woman’s basement).  My good friend was visually impaired, so she would throw pots and I would glaze them. She had an amazing sense of center that I just never quite got.

This idea that we have to be so logical about everything in what we do is completely opposite to who I am as a human being.