Summer ends and Autumn is ~

Orchard Home ~ watercolor

Orchard Home watercolor, painted at Hummingwood Farm during Paint the Town plein air painting event in August 2015.

It’s been a while since I last posted anything on this blog. This past summer was eventful, and it didn’t stop…. Partly because the warm, dry, summer weather spilled into autumn and now, suddenly, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and it’s just beginning to feel like fall is actually upon us. I live in Oregon, and we’ve had one of our overall hottest summers ever, with more 90+ degree days on record than any other time in recent history. Finally, as the days started getting shorter, the evening temperatures cooled down enough to relax in comfort. And yet, there are flowers still blooming ~ in November!

Pinot Vines in Summer Haze - acrylic

Pinot Vines in Summer Haze – acrylic. Painted during Paint the Town event at Ankeny Vineyards, during a smoke-filled, hazey, summer day. 2015

In my little corner of the art world, I had quite a few opportunities to paint in the heat and I placed two of my plein air paintings in the annual “Paint the Town” show which ran through the month of October at the Elsinore Fine Art Gallery, in Salem.

 

 

 

Qick Draw - Westminster Fine Art Festival

Qick Draw – Westminster Fine Art Festival

 

Simultaneously, I had several paintings in the Westminster Fine Art Festival, which lasted three days, from October 8-11. I also participated in the one and half hour “Quick Draw” painting session, which was a scholarship fund raiser for high school students planning to study art in college. The paintings were auctioned off in a silent auction after the event.

Grape of the Vine - Acrylic

Grape of the Vine – Acrylic

Recently, I’ve been commissioned to paint a triptych painting (one painting on three canvases) for a couple who just bought a new house, in nearby Silverton, Oregon. The painting is going to hang on the wall over their living room sofa which is about 10 feet long and the ceiling is quite high. So I bought a set of three canvases, each one is 30″ w. X 40″ h.  and one and half inches deep (gallery wrapped). The imagery they requested is an impressionistic scene of Provence, France. So I have gathered several photos showing the French countryside, and I am creating a scene with a shady garden landscapes in the foreground, a small villa in the distance, and lavender fields in between. The size of the finish triptych will be about 9 feet long and 40 inches high once it is hung with space between the canvas surfaces. Once I have things going, I’ll add some photos of the progress.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving holiday!

The Month Before Christmas…

Winter is in the air and the spirit of Christmas upon us, and it always seems that the season creeps up slowly then hits suddenly. I’m never quite prepared for it, and I doubt I ever will be. I like to hold on to summer as long as possible, then fall approaches with Halloween, and when Thanksgiving is here I want to enjoy the harvest and warm comfort of good food and family. I don’t even want to think about Christmas until it’s December!

Pears in Square Dish with ApplesHowever, when I went shopping for some last minute Thanksgiving decorations, when Thanksgiving was still a week away, I had a hard time finding anything left in the store, or in the several stores I went to. Not even a single marked-down item for Thanksgiving was to be found.

Everything was already set up for the Christmas shopping extravaganza. Red and Green, tinsel and lights. Please don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas — but why do they get rid of all things Thanksgiving a week before Thanksgiving!

I realize that many stores start putting out Christmas trees and decor in September so that shoppers  get in the “mood” for holiday shopping, but that’s just not my game. Sure, when Christmas is here, I’ll wish I had started shopping for gifts in June, rather than wait until December, but I will probably never do that. I never have, so chances are slim I’ll start now.

Christmas, in my mind, is a time to celebrate our lives together in Christ. Born in a manger, with cows and sheep all around, Son of God ~ a Gift to us all ~ given to teach us what Truth and Love are so we can live in Peace and Love one another with Joyful hearts.

But what says Christmas, like Black Friday!  This year, Black Friday started early ~ a week before the day we Give Thanks for all we have. This is the biggest farce of all!

Does it make sense to you? … Not to me!  I stick with my old-fashioned belief that there is a time for every season under heaven. The marketing world wants us to move too fast, to jump ahead, making it impossible to take time for the present moments and enjoy the ambiance of each occasion. Let’s not be sucked into the money-grabbing capitalistic machine where the bottom line for the holidays is increased sales!

  •  I will have a Christmas tree.
  •  I will send Christmas cards.
  •  I will wrap presents and prepare gifts for my husband, daughters, sons, grandchildren and other family and friends.
  •  I will send packages to those I love, too far away to be with.
  •  But I will not make buying gifts the most important aspect of the season!

It’s a time to be joyful and remember the good in our lives and the love we have for each other! The gifts are merely a token of that love. It’s not about getting or giving the biggest, best, most expensive thing you can afford or add to your credit line ~ and its not about fulfilling everyones wishes and dreams. It’s about sharing something special with your loved ones ~ the hugs and kisses, the smiles, the laughter, the songs. Creating happy memories ~ the smells and tastes, the twinkling lights and candles, and sharing the traditional foods and treats.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

 If you are in Salem, Oregon ~

  • Be sure and join the Artists in Action on Wednesday, December 3rd for an Art Walk and reception for the Something Red show in downtown Salem. See the AiA website, www.artistsinaction.org for more information about this fun art event.
  • The Holiday open house at the Enid Joy Mount Gallery, for the Keizer Art Association is on Saturday, December 6th from 11 am – 4 pm, with the Small Works show and holiday gift boutique.
  • The tree lighting ceremony at Willamette University is in the evening on Saturday, December 6th. There is a free Christmas concert and sing along in the Smith Auditorium after the tree lighting on the WU campus.

November ~ already?

September and October flew by, with three art shows running simultaneously.  Not much time for painting or writing in my art blog, but it was a wonderful experience to have all of my recent paintings hanging in various locations, attending the receptions, and gaining exposure for my artwork.

Pacific Dream - APL show

Pacific Dream, oil on canvas. One of the paintings brought in later to fill the additional space at the Albany Public Library. September-October 2014

My husband, John helped me hang the paintings at the Albany Public Library.  I had never been there before, so I had no idea how large the spaces were and how many wall there were to cover, so we ended up making two trips to add an additional six paintings, with a total of 22 paintings on the walls throughout the upper floor of the building. I received many nice comments from the staff and patrons there, so it was fulfilling to show my artwork in different city and gain that exposure. No sales happened, but it was a good experience.  I left postcards announcing the show on display there as well as my business cards, so you never know what will happen. Someone could contact me about a painting in the future. Sometimes art lovers have to sleep on it, before they finally decide to purchase a work of art.

Red Hawk View, acrylic on canvas

Red Hawk View, acrylic on canvas. This painting was awarded an Honorable Mention at the Paint the Town exhibit.

The Paint the Town show at the Elsinore Gallery ran during the month of October. Paint the Town paintings are generally plein air paintings that were done during the Summer months at various locations in and around the Salem area. I had two paintings in the show. One of my paintings, Red Hawk View, received an Honorable Mention. I’ll add that ribbon to my collection. It’s very flattering and encouraging to receive an award for a painting. This particular painting was one of my favorite painting experiences, because I really felt connected with the landscape and the scenic atmosphere while in the process of painting it en plein air at Red Hawk Vineyard in July. So, it was very nice to get the perk and receive recognition for the work.

The Westminster Fine Art Fair was also in October. This is juried entry only show. It was up for three days, and there was a total of something like 63 artists participating in the show. Each 2-D artist could enter up to eight hanging pieces. I was very impressed with how well the show was hung, and the beautiful variety of artwork in the show. Everything flowed together, which is not easy to do successfully with so many different styles and subjects that are submitted into the show. Paintings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, as well as sculpture, jewelry, pottery, photography, digital art, and multimedia. Large and small works, landscapes, portraits, modern, expressive, realism, impressionism, and linear. The volunteers did a fantastic job of presentation considering the variety of styles and mediums. It was a very tasteful and upscale display.  I sold blank note cards of my artwork. It was good to have more exposure in a different circle of art enthusiasts and to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow artists at the reception.

Now it’s November already, and there is still another show to consider before the end of the year. The Something Red show is coming up in December. This an annual Winter show that Artists in Action organizes with local merchants in the downtown Salem area. Many artist (up to 300 in past years) submit work that focusses on the color Red. The work is juried by several local artists or business owners, and the Mayor. It is then hung around town in various shops that participate ~ usually around 25-30 merchants. On the First Wednesday of December there’s an Art Walk throughout the downtown area, with artists present  where their art on display and afterward a gala art reception with lots of food, music, and other refreshments, and the awards are presented to the winning artists. It’s usually very well attended and always a good addition to December Christmas shopping atmosphere for the downtown shops.

Vertical shelves

Vertical shelving for painting storage.

On a personal note: Last weekend, I built  a vertical shelving storage unit in my basement, so that all my paintings can be properly stored while they are not in a gallery or other location. This also frees up space in my art studio upstairs, so that I can paint indoors during the winter months. The storage unit came out pretty nice, using particle board shelving from Bi-Mart, turned onto the side and doubled up to create vertical shelves that fit most of my paintings.

Now I need to go through my photographs to find inspiration for a painting that features the color Red.  Each artist can submit up to three paintings. I will probably only have time to finish one new painting by the submission date. So I may go through my finished paintings, to see if I already have a painting  that features the color red — something I’ve never shown before at the Something Red event. Stay tuned….

So much to do ~ where does the time go?

The month of May was a productive month as I recall, but  it whizzed by so fast I didn’t have time to write. Aside from all the art activities, we also took a “mini-vaca” and I planted a vegetable garden. We celebrated birthdays, and other family events, and did some Spring cleaning as well.

I entered a watercolor painting – one that I had painted en plain air several years ago entitled “Botanical Garden Painters” in the Keizer Art Association Celebration of Flowers art exhibit in May at the Enid Joy Mount Gallery.

This year I managed to submit a CD and application to enter the West Minster Lutheran Church’s annual Art Fair, Creativity ~ A Gift of the Creator, and dropped it off at the last hour, before the deadline. This is a well attended art show held during October in large room in the church located in South Salem. It is a juried show and always displays some very well known artists in the area. I’ll find out in July if my work is accepted.

Again, at the last minute, I found out about a new show in downtown Salem, at the Salem Arts Building ~ Anything But Painting. And like the show’s title, the work could be anything except painting. It was a beautiful show with sculpture, pottery, fiber arts, collage, printmaking, and jewelry. I entered a large woodblock print that I had done while living in Alaska, when I was studying printmaking at UAF, entitled “Mountain Reflections ~ Denali.” The print was framed under glass. I’ve shown it before, but for many years, it’s been stored in my “archives” of artwork. It was nice to get it out again so people could enjoy it.

I think it’s sad when art is “stored” and not hanging somewhere where it can be viewed and enjoyed. I do a lot of paintings and other artwork that I’ve framed and shown but then no one buys it, so it sits in my attic or storage closet until I bring it out again. I’ve actually considered giving my work away, so someone can take it home, hang it on their wall, and maybe get some of the same enjoyment I experienced when I was creating it. But, it’s also meaningful when someone buys a piece. It shows that they truly care enough about the work you’ve done and they are willing to compensate you for your talent and effort. It also shows that they truly love it enough to purchase it for their own. I hope that in time, all my artwork will find a place to hang and be enjoyed by someone!

I was also very busy during May, designing the World Beat Festival poster,
program, advertising materials, etc. Working with the dedicated folks at
Salem Multicultural Institute to produce another annual multicultural event at
Riverfront Park in Salem, the largest of it’s kind, is quite an intense experience. The festival draws close to 20,000 people over the course of the weekend where the festival events and entertainment are widely varied, representing many cultures worldwide. I’ve been working with the World Beat marketing team to design and layout the printed materials for this event for over 15 years. Each year it is bigger and better than ever!

June is now in full-swing and the World Beat Festival is on the last weekend of the month, June 28-29. Part of my compensation for designing the poster and program is a 10 x 20 double booth, which I open to Artists in Action members to display artwork, demonstrate, and partake in the booth during the two-day festival. We set up the booth with our artwork, on Friday the 27th and the festival is open on Saturday from 10 am – 11 pm and on Sunday from 10 am – 6 pm.  The Artists in Action booth is located in the European Village. Hope to see you there!

Following Tail Lights

I entered another painting, literally at the last second, for the June showing at the Enid Joy Mount Gallery, with the theme Transportation. Again, I recycled a painting that I had painted and shown last December, “Following Tail Lights,” acrylic on canvas, which received an honorable mention. I just found out about
the award, because when the reception was held, I was busy painting outdoors at nearby
Sebright Garden with Paint the Town painters. It’s a beautiful location just north of Salem, with Hostas of all kinds and so much more!

Looking ahead, I’m scheduled to have a solo show at Dave Wilson Designer Goldsmith jewelers during the month of July. The art reception will be on Wednesday, July 2nd from 5-7. Dave Wilson’s is located on Commercial St. in downtown Salem, between Court St. and Chemeketa St. I plan to show paintings with summer imagery. More about that next month!

Continuing though April …

“Impressions Beyond the Mountains” — paintings in oil, acrylic, and watercolor are on display at Roy John Designer Goldsmith shop at 315 Court Street NE, Salem, Oregon.

It is so gratifying to see my recent paintings hanging together in one place along with paintings I’ve done over the past several years that have a similar theme: My travels to places east of the Cascade mountain range in Oregon and destinations beyond, including Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. Each painting brings with it a memory for me that goes far beyond the frame that contains the artwork.

If you’re in Salem, and happen to be downtown, I hope you will stop by and see my artwork. Roy John’s jewelry shop is open 10-5 Tuesday-Friday and 10-3 on Saturday. It’s a small shop where you will find Roy John working on his graceful jewelry creations — organic, aesthetic designs which he is well known for. He works in gold and silver, using beautiful precious stones and natural pearls to compliment his elegant craftsmanship.

The reception/open house for April will be on Wednesday, April 2nd from 5-8 pm, and my work will continue hanging at Roy John’s through the month of April.

Paint what you love – love what you paint!

Snow returns to the valley and the candle burns into the wee hours in my art studio. Looking forward to my upcoming art show which starts in March, I’m busy painting the desert and mountain colors that burn in my memory from the journeys we’ve taken over the past years to locations east of the mountains. The sage, the rocks, the mountain peaks, the lakes, the rivers, the sun shedding color, light, and shadows to the scenes that are forever etched in my mind’s eye. And with the help of the photos I have available, I’ve been able to paint several new works over the past month or two that will fit into the show I’m calling “Impressions Beyond the Mountains.”

Wallowa Lake Boat Landing
– after the storm – Acrylic, 18 x 36

 

I’ve been wanting to paint these images for many years, and after internalizing them through travel and countless day-dreams, imagining the colors on my pallet and brush, and visualizing them on canvas, I now have the motivation needed with the time to paint, the venue to show them. Sometimes things come together at long last, in a time and space that was waiting for it to be.

Through this experience, I’m realizing the importance of painting what you love, painting what you know, and loving what you paint. I’m also including several of my recent oil, watercolor, and acrylic paintings, from over the past couple of years, that fall into the category of impressions beyond the mountains. All together, I think it will make an engaging, captivating exhibit. I hope you will come by Roy John’s during the months of March or April to see the show. The art receptions will be on the First Wednesday of each month, March 5 and April 2,  from 5-8 p.m.  See you then….

 

 

Short days, chilly nights and snowflakes

Following Tail Lights

On a foggy freeway drive, I was inspired by the
red tail lights guiding me home.
Following Tail Lights, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20

We’ve stacked our firewood in the garage, I’ve put my greenhouse to rest for the winter, and although it’s not quite winter, the weather says it is. We have snow on the ground already today, on December 6th, and the temperature is supposed to be around 14° here tonight. This is cold ~ for Oregon.  I sent a couple of packages off to Hawaii today, in hopes of reaching their destination before Christmas this year. The roads were like an ice-rink and drivers were traveling at a snails pace. Winter is just early this year.

The Something Red event kicked off on Wednesday with a reception, December 4th, and it was very cold that night, but no snow yet, so there were many people that came out for the Art Walk and Reception. There is a whole lot of artwork distributed throughout downtown Salem for this event. I have two paintings in the show: One, “Backyard Garden with Adirondack Chair,” oil on canvas, is showing at the Art Department, Salem’s local art supply store; The other, “Following Tail Lights,” acrylic on canvas, is showing at Dave Wilson Designer Goldsmith, a jewelry store in Salem.

If you are in Salem during the month of December, pick up a “Something Red Art Walk” map (at the Art Department on Commercial Street), and browse the local shops while you take in the art. Art makes a great gift too!

 

October on the Metolius

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“October on the Metolius” – watercolor, painted while staying at Camp Sherman
for a weekend last October (2012) was entered in the Colors of Autumn Exhibit
at the Enid Joy Mount Gallery where it received the Juror’s Award from the
Keizer Art Association! This show runs though the month of October 2013
.

Colors of Autumn

Image

I finished three of my plein air paintings for the Paint the Town exhibit at the Elsinore Gallery, and had them framed for the show. The reception is October 2nd.

While volunteering as a gallery greeter for the Keizer Art Association’s Enid Joy Mount Gallery,  I found out about another show to enter there.  The paintings are due the same day ~ October 2nd. So when I had my three paintings for Paint the Town framed, I also had a watercolor framed for the Colors of Autumn show. It’s one that I painted one year ago, along the Metolius River. I love the fall colors I captured in this one and water reflections. It was such as peaceful and relaxing painting experience. The sun, the sound of the gentle waters flowing by, an occasional noise from a bird or cricket in the woods. One of those painting experiences you just don’t want to ever end. So I’ll submit this watercolor into the Keizer Art Association show, titled “October on the Metolius.”

 

This is what I live for!

The month of June is one of my favorites. I was born in June, and every time it rolls around, I get the feeling my year is just starting. It’s a time of hope and gladness for better weather, longer days, warmer nights, and strawberries ripening. The season just begs me to spread my wings and fly!

I  spend time outdoors, as much as possible, walking, gardening, painting, and so much more. The smell of BBQ briquets starting to smolder, the taste of spring harvest ~ new peas, strawberries, fresh herbs, and rhubarb picked in my garden. And the many delights from the Saturday Market overflowing with fresh, local produce.

Getting together with family and friends after a long cold winter of hibernation,  to bathe in the hot tub by moonlight, run in the park by day, soak up the sun. This is what I live for ~ the beginning of Summer!

Paint the Town will be starting up on the 8th of June. I won’t be able to attend the first session, as I have other invitations that day, but there will be many sessions throughout the summer months, that I will go to. This is my favorite all-time event in Salem, sponsored by Artists in Action, a non-profit art group I belong to and have been involved with for many, many years. It’s exciting to gather with other artists at a location and spread out over the landscape, so each artist can paint what intrigues them. It’s fascinating to see all the different compositions that result.

I plan to enter the upcoming show at the River Gallery – “Hot fun in the Summertime!”

The deadline for entry is July 7th, so I need to get started!  I’ve been thinking about what I want to portray for the theme ~ something that I love about summer. Like working in the garden, which is fun for me! Sunhat, work gloves, hoe in hand. Lots of lush flowering and fruiting vines and plants growing all around. That’s what I’m thinking about painting. Another thought: Sun glasses, Adirondack Chair, and a tall ice tea or chilled glass of chardonnay, just basking in the sun next to the garden; gloves and hoe on the ground nearby … also a thought.  So many possibilities for this topic!  Each to his own. (Hmmm ~  this could be a self portrait if I do it right.)

I’m also painting a series of paintings for a solo show that I’m planning for July 2014. Yes, it’s over a year away, but I intend to have enough paintings with this particular theme for my show at Roy John’s studio ~ All new, never before shown anywhere before. I figure it will probably take a year to complete.  I think it’s good for me to set a goal and work toward it, putting my best efforts into it, and making it my own.

So, now ~ along with all the summertime activities, places to go, people to see, things to do ~ I shall venture forward and begin my journey into the world of painterly practices.
I will make headway just as the sprout pushes it’s way above the surface of the soil to find the sun.

Remember:

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw

NOTE TO READERS:  If you have any comments you’d like to add concerning my thoughts and rambling about life, or my love of art and nature, or anything else related to art that might be a topic of discussion, I’d love to hear from you!   Also, if you are a Word Press person and can give me advice as to how I can filter my replies, please let me know. I’m fairly new to Word Press.  If you are responding with comments, perhaps in the subject line we can use a code, such as “Art Matters:” followed by your topic ~ then when I go through all the responses, I will know who is responding to my blog post rather than “spam.”