Saturday, May 31, 2008

Journal Catchup

There have been many fun distractions here in life - one was a visit from a longtime friend of my husband's with whom he used to go to elementary school! So several days focused on play and touring.

The first evening of their visit we spent in Ashland experiencing their "Quick Draw". Local artists have volunteered to sketch, paint, mat and frame up an original painting in their favorite media to be auctioned off to raise money for local a art association - all in about an hour. Our guests seemed to savor the process and wondered why any artist in their sane mind would volunteer for that. But, now that I've seen the process, I just may be one of the insane volunteers next year!

The next day we traveled to Crater Lake, a must on all tourists lists. Amazingly, there was still up to 15 feet of snow surrounding the lake. We had to hike up a snowbank to peer over into the lovely blue water. Now Gaye and I got adventurous, and another spectator joined us, in hiking across the snowbank to see an infamous tree I wanted to share. My journal entry here shows that twosome smiling and sinking into the snow at various points. They were both great sports. The outing ended with sandwiches in the new cafe recently completed at Crater Lake. It was definately a story for their travelblog.

Now, I'm doing more sketches and paintings that are recent happenings in my life and will add the text to those here in the next few days. I relish this catchup time when I flip back through the pages and wonder at how full and good life is. More soon!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Prep for Upcoming Show

Contrary to appearances, I'm still here on the planet. This is what happens as a show approaches, I'm wrapped up in framing, matting, labeling and delivery!! And delivery is this Friday at 10am.

But good news is, that I finished the big Dahlia, which has now been renamed with her complete and distinctive title, "Silver Queen". So all you dahlia lovers can identify her and appreciate her special glory. I'm actually pretty pleased with how she completed. At the end I struggled with darkening the background as opposed to lightening it. But since I'm the "Queen of Darks" - you know which way I went :) Here she is for your approval.

I searched for a wooden frame for her, envisioning something in the Purple Heart Wood realm. But alas, there was none. I stumbled across a lovely, and expensive, muted purple with undertones of pale, cool yellows peeking through (see below). And thank goodness, I was able to get 25% off because it was carried "in stock" at Central Art in Medford. Big plug for them in their service, quality of joining, and promptness of delivery (early even!).

Now, the mats are all cut, and today, I mount and close the back up with accompanying hanging system. It's possible the next image will the be show hung.

Oh, if you're interested and in the area, my show is at Liquid Assets, 96 N. Main Street, Ashland, Or, 541-482-9463. The duration of the show is from May 23rd - June 27th. Do hope you will drop by. Now I'm off to frame. Happy May!

Friday, May 9, 2008

First Paint Out of the Spring!

The first planned paint out of my Thursday group was scheduled for yesterday. The day began gray and chilly (45 degrees) - burrrrr! But I really have been yearning for an artist's day and packed up any way.

Driving to Eagle Point, past Butte Falls Mill and on the day remained monochromatic. Lovely green pastures with cows and their playful calves, and giant bulls next to ole' barns began to appear. At first, I wondered if I'd gotten to the correct address, but our hostess popped her head out the door, welcoming me. Only one of the member of our group was there and she was inside, keeping warm.

I took my camera and traveled the sprawling ranch and gardens. The photogenic sheep posed for me (well, at least one of them) and eventually, I found this vista of zigzagging berry bushes along the irrigation ditch that traveled out to wide, yawning valleys dotted with green spaces. Ok, I'll sit down for just a bit to get the sketch in my Journal and soon I was painting - I was "captured"!

As time disappeared, I began to notice sprinkles of yellow sunshine on the far-away hillsides and - SURPRISE - the day had turned gorgeous! Of course, the color began to pop out with glowing light on the scene and I painted til content with my image. Simple, clean and fresh - better stop. While cleaning up I managed to spill my water reservoir in my lap, swell. But I took the opportunity to sit in the direct sun and write out my text along side my image. The horses across the valley whinnied, the cows behind me began mooing back and forth to one another - and the landscape just sang.

What a envigorating day outdoors with my Journal. Eventually, I dried out and packed up to come home, hoping to preserve this warm feeling.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Another Small Jewel

In between the tuggings of Spring, the Big Dinner Plate Dahlia and gardening - I have managed to finish another small "Jewel" Dahlia.

These are from the proposed threesome, sized 5 x 7 inches. I'm really happy with #3, she's intimate, vibrant and somewhat mysterious!

I did change my mind about the framing. Originally, I'd wanted to mount all four Dahlias in the same frame with the large on the left and the three smaller Dahlias, the "Jewels" as I've named the 5 x 7s, off to the right, stacked upon one another. NOW, I'm framing them all separately.

So for today, my creative juices rest happy. But you know they are ever changing and every flowing. Who knows what will come next.

Happy Creating!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Tangle of Delight

Ohhhhh, being home with the tease of Spring everywhere! The days grow longer and we are tap dancing between cold, hail, snow, cover-the-jade-tree weather to near 80 degree sunshine, wanna-buy-plants and garden weather!

And in between all that swing of weather is this "obsessive romance" that is culminating with my Dinner plate Dahlia painting. The more I paint and feel a part of this flower - I become more and more unable to leave 'her' alone. I just can't stop going back into my studio, contemplating changes, design elements . . . Also, it's a really exciting time in the process - the anticipation of how creativity will solve and unite the entire painting. Often, when I finish a piece - I sit back in wonder as to WHO really painted it. I honestly don't want to know - as long as I continue to be a vehicle for this kind of work, I'm very happy.

So I'm going to abandon you now, for the treasure time with my Dahlia and will report back soon. Well, at least as soon as I can pull myself away!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Travel Day

Today, we head back home. But the "busy-ness"of getting ready for our 3pm flight begins early, as Roland discovers he can't find the plane tickets. Now this isn't a giant problem because they were e-tickets and we just call the airport and tell them of our dilemma. The tickets will be waiting for us at the airport. The condo agreement includes washing and drying the towels and bedding. We spend the day laundering, hanging particles in the warm sun to dry and folding, along with journal catch-up and packing.

Once in the rental car and headed to the airport things transpire smoothly. We pass all the plantain plantations and wave g'bye to the vendors roadside stalls. At the airport we wait, are searched an re-searched, have our water bottles confiscated, and eventually board the plane.

Next stop, LA and Customs. They have forgotten to arrange Customs' buses to take us to Customs, so we sit in the plane for about 20 minutes. But eventually, we get all the formalities done and emerge out into the baggage pickup area. Fascinated by the lil' Beagle who is the trained "Search Dog", we stand and watch how his Master pushes down on each suitcase and the pup sniffs. We have a two hour layover but once seated and waiting in the loading area, we realize that our partners-in-travel have "well" used that time. Bringing back some chopped carrots for munching turned into a contraband search and "strong" questioning (the carrots were found by our lil' Beagle, by the way). I was astonished when I bought a salad, drink and bottle of water and the total came to over $20 dollars. Wow - airport prices!

The last leg home was solemn, yet anxious - we were ending a fun week - but - we were gonna see our lil' Cody pup! Our arrival in Medford, Oregon is met with crisp night air and we find our baggage and head home. We'd called our house/puppy sitter when we were in LA and she knew we were coming - but late (11-ish). As we drove up to the house our hearts were warmed to see the lights still on and lil' Cody come running out to greet us. We were h-o-m-e and very glad.