Sunday, July 31, 2016

at play with color

we wrap up this lovely month of july with paintings i did just for fun!  my assignment to myself?  use up four old canvases by working as quickly and joyfully as possible from memory about some of my favorite summer sights.  and this is the result.  a little about each piece...

"lavande" is french for lavender, which we have both here in oregon and in provence.  and--since there's nothing like my vineyard view here at home, round hay bales, and the sunflower fields in france--i combined them all.  (the texture is created using an icescraper!)
i love these bistro chairs; they come in everything from bright green to pink.  i wanted this painting to be in red, white and blue--the colors of the french flag.  in honor of their country's pride and solidarity, i titled this one "tricouleur".  it is my message of nationality for their bastille day.  nice, je t'aime!
there is an oil painting of bonfires in a gallery at the beach that i really love and can't afford.  so, while mine is not meant for a gallery, i decided to paint my own.  this sight makes me so happy, particularly from this vantage point in cannon beach, just south of haystack rock.  it's called "glow".
i wanted this painting to have a childlike matisse feel to it, with bright primary colors and chunky shapes.  it's entitled "encore" for the name on the kayaks we use to navigate local rivers and lakes.  this is an image of what it was like to float among yellow lily pad blossoms at trillium lake by mount hood recently.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

lost & found

i found the following in a frame at goodwill.  at first i thought it was just a piece of art (of the free church in central square, london) but then discovered it was a card.


it reads, "hi mrs carlson; i hope you like oregon.  burlingame misses you so do i.   i hope you like the poem i made up especially for you and mrs jackson it is my most sincere poem yet.  i'll always remember you as my friend, herbert gilbert"

and i can't help but wonder, what is the story here?

alert readers with any clues leading to the author or owner of this missive, please comment...

Thursday, July 21, 2016

by ee cummings


some good news?

i'll admit it, i'm a learned equalizer.  what i mean is, i have this deep drive to balance things.  for example, if someone is really complaining, i'll want to find a bright spot somewhere.  and, vice-versa, if i feel everything is too surface, i'll be the one most tempted to bring a reality check to the party.

honestly, i think this is sometimes because of my own discomfort with the strong emotions of myself and others.  but at least i'm aware of and in touch with that as a place to start.  awareness being key, i find i'm wanting to bring a LOT of bright spot to the news of the world around us right now. 

the gospel was originally meant to be good news.  God freely bringing himself to our personal, group and universal parties (see also "things hidden:  scripture as spirituality" by richard rohr) and, no matter how that has been interpreted, filtered by cultural biases, or maligned in the name of power/shame/guilt, i find myself drawn back time and time again to a story bigger than my own. the longer i am pursued by love, the more i find that experience (not knowledge alone) is what transforms.

i also find solace in the small things; the joyful signs of life right here, right now:  blackberries sweet on the vine (and the crisp my friend makes out of them), cloud-watching, colored pencils, the sound of water, ocean air, salted butter, real mail, and the deer in the backyard who have not yet learned to be afraid of me. 

what's the pattern here?  it's that wholeness resides in holding the tension between light and darkness, between joy and sorrow, and between good and evil.  it's in not having to know or understand it all and being ok with the unknown spaces, i.e. mystery. any expectation that is not communicated or agreed upon is just a wish, afterall.  so i guess you could say i have plenty of wishes for the world.  it might even be called prayer. or a question.  i don't know.  what i do know is the world can't have too much beauty. and that's something worth equalizing...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

gift from the sea, again

this photo captures my joie de vivre, especially during the month of july (untouched by obligations) where i am free and fortunate enough to spend endless days at the ocean.  i'm starting to think of it as a sabbatical month of sorts and the rhythm of the sea helps me mark time by walks and naps.

it was my wish to turn 42 here and, among other amazing forms of relaxation and enjoyment--including a crab dinner outside on the patio, i reread anne morrow lindbergh's "gift from the sea".

her writings spoke to me just as much--if not more deeply now--as they did when i first read them at age 20.  marveling at her wisdom (she really was ahead of her time writing in the 1950's) i am encouraged to continue to live life from a simple and authentic self.  i wonder what it will be like to read it yet again when i am in my 60's...

restaurante botin

this in from an alert reader traveling in spain:  the restuarante botin.  the oldest restaurant in the world, botin is just steps away from madrid's plaza mayor.

it was hemingway's favorite hangout, as he was friends with the owners who let him hang out upstairs to write before meeting friends for lunch--usually the roast pig special.

he loved the place so much he set his final scene of "the sun also rises" in the botin.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

colored pencil fun

i know coloring books are all the rage right now.  it's also fun to just break out the colored pencils and draw.  this is a recent sketch i did at the request of a friend.

just as delightful a process as when i was little, it's hard to believe i get paid to color!?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

did you know?

it's no secret that i love learning at least one new thing every day.  among other things, those seemingly random tidbits of information come in quite handy when making connections or conversing with a wide variety of people.

today's fact comes from "mason jar nation" by joann moser.  in this summer season when we think about canning and preserving food, did you know that the mason jar's history actually begins in europe?  nicholas appert, born in france in 1750, was a chef, baker and brewmaster.  in 1795, appert accepted napoleon's challenge to devise a means of preserving food for military consumption.

it would take 14 years (and further history with the mason, kerr, and ball families) for appert to perfect what we now call "canning" and win the emporer's 12,000 franc prize.

it's fun to look around the pantry (or your grandmother's pantry) and see the size and style of jars there.  some of them may have history and some not as much, but either way they are useful.  what will you store up for winter?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

the wave i ride

patagonia portland hosted a great event at their store featuring documentary "the wave i ride" about women's big wave surfer paige alms.  the free pizza and drinks were fun, as was the chance to look around at great outdoor gear, but what was really inspiring was the multi-dimensional life of this surfer.  not only that, but her perseverance through injury and rehabilitation to ride some of the biggest waves ever surfed! 

you can watch more at:  paige alms: the wave i ride

the glassblower of murano


the next thing crossed off on my summer list of adventures?  glassblowing.  before i went to the studio, it was fun to read the novel "the glassblower of murano" by marina fiorato.  it gave me insight into this italian world history and mastery of art medium that continues to fascinate...