Sunday, July 22, 2018

A Mid-summer Ending

Our Arizona family comes up to Oregon to beat the heat of the desert for several weeks during the grandchildren's summer break. Their school begins at the end of July, so we had to say farewell (for now) this week. The summer was filled with lots of play on our acres, hikes, fishing, picnics, and, of course, art.

The younger two spent much of their time outdoors. They looked for and caught frogs. made up spy games, utilized the four swings and ran through sprinklers. Marin, at 13, spent time communicating with friends; baking cakes, cookies, and cobblers; and getting craft ideas from Pinterest. She also earned money scrubbing fence with a little help from Noah.

Here are some outdoor highlights. The pond photos make me think of Monet. (The small dory is a new addition to the front pond.)

Toward the last of their stay, the temperature soared to the high 90's, low 100's. Right after I had said to Mike that the young ones had outgrown Legos and Little People, the heat drove Hannah and Noah inside for play and guess what . . .

While out in my studio, Marin asked how I had done a certain painting. It was an idea I got from a book by Betsy Dillard Stroud, so I pulled out the book and we spent the last days using this technique.

Step 1: put down a watercolor underpainting.
Step 2: draw on top of the dried underpainting.
Step 3: mask out the part of the painting you want to keep in the underpainting with gauche (Betsy says use tempera paint which I don't have).

Step 4: let that dry thoroughly. 
Step 5: cover the paper with waterproof ink and let that dry overnight.

Step 6: Hose down the painting. (This is definitely the most fun and exciting part!)

The final step is to touch up, add detail, etc. after the painting has completely dried. 

Marin ended up with a wonderful finished product. For me, it was a fun reminder that there are so many ways to create art.

The end product reminds me of illustrations in books from my childhood. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Summer--So Far Part II

Art Life

As family, activities, and short trips take up much of my time, my art life continues in the background.

Yesterday I delivered 23 paintings to the Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay, Oregon. My solo exhibit  "Legends of the Northwest Rivers" will run from July 14, 2018 to September 29, 2018. This series features my years of spending time with my family on the white water rivers in our area. My hope is to help my viewers see the many layers of interest nature offers us from history to geography to flora and fauna. I really enjoy representing the rivers in an abstract manner, using symbols and collage materials for interest.

I also recently lined up a 3-day workshop at Oregon Society of Artists in Portland. The dates are February 22-24, 2019. I hope getting the word out early will help fellow artists plan ahead of time and sign up for this. Although I am using the title "Playing with Patterns" again, every workshop brings forth many new ideas, and my one on one time with participants is always appreciated. Contact me for more information.

I have spent enough time in my studio to work on 4 studies of my granddaughter's legs. I loved a photo I took of her looking for olives in an tree in Spain. As I worked on this, I went from more realistic to simpler and flatter. (My current interests in applying paint.) I left the olive tree behind to create a better design and composition. I also left behind my original idea of a more elegant attire for the contemporary outfit she was really wearing. After all the story is about a young girl climbing trees, the olive tree is an unnecessary detail. How many years does it take for me to let go of what is in a photo to paint what should be? Which of the 4 pleases your eye more. I appreciate hearing from you!

Study #1
Study #2

Study #3

Study #4

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Summer--So Far Part I

In my blogs, I like to include information about my art life, as well as my personal and family adventures. This summer, so far, my life is filled with both, and thus, my next posts will cover it all.

Road Trip 

On May 31 I flew down to Gilbert, Arizona to help our daughter Rachel and her three children (oh, and one beagle) take the long drive to Oregon--1221 miles to our home. (Josh, my son-in-law, was on a business trip to Hong Kong and Manilla.) I was only in Gilbert for one day before we started the drive, but that is plenty long to see why folks want to leave to beat the summer heat.

I had carefully and diligently looked at maps, TripAdvisor, and the internet to plan a four-day trip. If you look at a map, you will see that there is a whole lot of flat desert between Arizona and Oregon, but we did see a sight or two along the way.                         

Hoover Dam--a great achievement from the Great Depression.

Then on to Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area where we saw spectacular rocks and one flower.

Then it was miles and miles of sand and sage brush as we made our way to Tonapah, Nevada. Never heard of it? Well, it was a surprising gem of our trip, and well worth a stop. We arrived in the nick of time to have a great tour of the Tonopah Historic Mining Park late in the afternoon. We had a ride around in a quad-like vehicle with a guide full of information about the history, geology and the silver.

Later that night we went searching for ghosts at the Mizpah Hotel. Yes, it was a close call with the spirits that night!

We left Tonopah with the mission to cross the Oregon border for a night at Field's Station. The cafe stops taking orders at 3:30 pm, so we had to drive like crazy to get there in time for a meal. We found Field's Station to be an oasis in the Oregon desert. And we did make it in time to get burgers and milkshakes. 

The evening was topped off with nature showing us her might with a thunderstorm and high winds.

One more long day's drive and we were in Blue River. Whew!