Fickel Spring: leading the way to a beautiful journey

May.  It should be a time to stroll through the park and sit in the sunshine under blue skies with puffy little white clouds floating by. Right?

Well, that would be nice. But this May has been filled with dark threatening rain clouds, downpours, chilly breezes and even snow on our last excursion to higher ground. OK. There have been a few sunny days that are suitable for working in the garden or mowing the lawn, just trying to keep up with the ever-growing weeds and grasses. But only long enough to get part of that caught up and then the showers return.

Spring. A very beautiful, but noncommittal season. Almost fickle. The whims and fancies of the day to day outlook are always uncertain and never very predictable.  Should I wear a sweater or a jacket? Should I wear sandals or boots? Should I bring my umbrella ~  heck ya! Because you never really know for sure what your going to be facing.

What does all this have to do with art? Not too much, really, but in my frame of mind at this time, I’m less likely to plan an outdoor painting excursion or go on a gallery art walk, since it might mean getting stuck in a shower or hailstorm.

The best thing about Spring is the scenery, the colorful display of flowers, the new green leaves on the trees, the light pouring down or sideways between dark clouds causing the high contrast of light and color that makes you say Ahhhhh. When that happens, I only wish I had my canvas ready to go, or at least, my camera.

As I sit here, at work, in my cubical, watching the dark looming clouds slowly nudge their way across the sky, heavy and ready to drop their water load when the time is ripe, I dream of those warm summer days, with my sun glasses on, wearing my large brimmed sun hat, feeling the bake of heat on my bare shoulders, with my flip flops flapping, carrying a satchel filled with paints and brushes looking for that perfect spot to set up my easel and begin a new landscape painting. That time will be here soon, my friend, and I will be there too!

I now look forward to my retirement years just ahead, when I can come and go as I please, to paint where and when my heart desires. If it is the Lord’s will, that is my plan. I feel that with time and expanding experience under my belt, I will be able to focus on the subjects I have always wanted to pursue with my paints. My official retirement date is July 1st – just in time for the summer sun and the landscapes that await me. I’m really happy and excited to begin this new life journey.

Upcoming art shows:

  • May 26, Final Friday Art Walk, Salem Arts Bldg., Salem, Oregon
  • June 24-25, World Beat Festival, Artists in Action booth, Salem Riverfront Park
  • October-November 2017, Roy John Designer Goldsmith, Salem, Oregon

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!