Thursday, August 21, 2008

Old Friends and More Crow Man

The last two weeks have been filled with having old friends visit me here in Blue River. It was fun to host people here again, as the last couple of years were in Hawaii, where we had many visitors, but it was a different experience. My first company was a friend I've known 20 years and her daughter, Shari and Adrie. They came during our crazy hot days--103 degree days. Luckily our nights are cool and we have plenty of water here so we stayed pretty comfortable. We did a little traveling around, had a great afternoon with another friend we taught with years ago. We even fit in a horseback riding lesson for Adrie (the perfect activity for most 4th grade girls.) I realized after they left that I don't even have a photo of their visit.

My Hilo friend, Petie, came to visit next. She'd had a very busy time here on the mainland prior to arriving in Oregon, so we really enjoyed hot-tubbing, drinking wine, and otherwise relaxing. We did go over the mountains to Sisters, Oregon for lunch, shopping, and sight seeing. I always enjoy showing off the waterfalls and lakes in our area. The weather had made a ridiculous change to 60 degree days during her visit, which was pretty cold for a Hawaii resident. I did take a few photos of Petie before driving her to Portland to catch a plane.

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All the time I was enjoying my friends' visits, I was thinking about my latest Crow Man painting. I had started the peice, and knew it was sitting out in the studio waiting for me. This is the darkest painting yet.

I've definitely come to know the story of Crow Man as I become better acquainted with the character. It's a bit like writing in that way, as his own story comes to me, rather than my creating it. To me he represents all people who don't fit in and are living on the edge.

In this painting, I have my own interpretation, but would love to hear other people's reaction to it.

*Remember to click on the small image to see it enlarged.

Cast Out
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Salal Solitude

I started this painting July 17, while on the Oregon Coast. A fellow artist sat down near me to sketch and I was attracted to her hat initially. We were in a very typical coastal park thick with salal (a native Oregon shrub) on the ground and evergreen trees. Although she was sitting on grass, I liked the idea of salal moving over her, into her sweater, embracing her and gluing her into the scene.

When I got home, I had a painting with a woman, the tree she leaned against and the start of the surrounding salal. The picture went into a pile until this week. It's always hard to take a start of a painting and complete it in the studio much later. I had to pull up my intentions for the painting nearly a month ago, envision the coastal atmosphere, remember the color palette I initially used.

One afternoon I completed the bed of salal and put in the beginnings of the coastal evergreen grove.

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At this point I was committed to the background of trees, but walked away for the day.
I had time to consider the possible ways to complete the painting. I decided to complete the mood of the misty coast with a wash of veridian green, cobalt blue and burnt sienna, mixing them on paper to create a subtle, but varied light mist.

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Finally, this morning I painted a weaving of trees and branches throughout the misty background. I added some texture to the closer trees and put in my signature. A mixture of reality, imagination and pattern. Done for now!

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Heron's Visit

When my husband and I returned to Oregon after living in Hawaii for 2 years, it was an ideal time to sell our 5 1/2 acres in the country and move closer to town. We spent many hours discussing the pros and cons of staying 45 miles out of town. Our reasoning went from far out there (sell and move to a Greek Island) to practical (sell and buy a small place in or near town.) There have been times we were greatly influenced by our love of our family. We've always provided a little piece of paradise for people to visit and a magical place for grandchildren, nieces and nephews to explore.

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But this week, I found very personal explanations for being here.

It is home, and I can find my own magical moments any given day.

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I stepped out the door a couple of mornings ago and saw the early morning light glowing through the top of the wisteria on our front entry arbor. Looking down, I saw the beautiful garden with its stone walk and gazing ball which I created 3 years ago and I felt completely connected to this place and time.

Then this morning while high up on a ladder pruning branches of a cedar tree, my husband had this fellow fly over his shoulder and land in our back pond.

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Mike was able to alert me without scaring the great blue heron off, and I grabbed the camera.

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Yes, I know at some point this beautiful country home will not be the place for us, but for now it most definitely is HOME!