Sunday, September 12, 2010

Plein Air "Dip" before Anniversary

Oh my, I realized I have missed talking with all of you for weeks. A busy, exciting time is upon me ... birthdays, anniversaries, and preparing for my "Women's Lake Alpine Journaling Retreat" too.

Early in September my birthday arrives ... and my honey took me over to the coast camping on the Rogue River for a sweet get away ~ lovely mornin' view, eh? Sunshine, dinner out and sea air ... not a bad way to turn sixty. Yep, the big six-O!!! Doesn't feel that way tho :) On our way home, we stopped at the Jedediah Smith State Park where I worked up this lil' journal entry. Can life get any better?

The date 9-11 holds much meaning to the United States and what I chose to commemorate that date was a Plein Air Paintout initiated by the International Plein Air Painters ( Our group's site was at the Upper Duck Pond in Ashland's Lithia Park. I arrived around 9am and gave greetings to our small PAS-SO group, and traveled over to the other side of Lithia Creek. I love the way sun sprinkles across the rocks and the trees frame the entire scene. It took me several tries to get settled where I was comfy, had a good view and wouldn't fall into the creek. What attracted me to this crossing was the visual path of water, almost welcoming me to travel across the creek. I was emersed in painting when suddenly I heard russeling across the creek and in seconds, plotting right across the water opening were a doe and her two fawns. She froze, much like I did, but when I smiled and she sensed my tender feelings at seeing them ... she trotted briskly by with her twins in tow. No wonder I love painting in nature - what gifts we receive and are reminded to appreciate! Here's the start of a painting, where I had to stop cuz I had to find a bathroom :( But, for me it caught the essence of the morn.

I decided to take the most quick way back to the car - across the creek. So, carefully I selected a rock-hopping path, and with backpack on and chair in hand, I ventured across the creek. You'd have been very proud of my prowess and balance - - well - - until I slipped on a big rock and, yep, slurp, right into the water I went. Good thing I'm quick, so I saved most everything of wetness, save my right shoe and my butt. Kind of a funny and refreshing way to end the plein air day!

Next, it was my turn for some surprise planning. As I drive back and forth to Ashland to my Art Center Studio, I pass South Stage Cellars Vineyards. They are currently displaying Cheryl Garcia (, our local amazing Metal Scupltress' Giant Poppies. I'd been coveting them but knew their 12 foot presence as well as their price was not fitting to my budget. But I did mention to Cheryl I'd love to gift a singular, demure version of her magnificent florals to Roland for our Anniversary. We chatted via email and finally settled on a 27" singular blossom with a flourish of greenery. Cheryl, in her usual warm way offered to customize the base with our names and even included a very sweet loving statement, hidden under the base.

I picked up the adorable lil' poppy on my way home from Ashland on September 11th, yep, that's 9-11, and hide it in the back of the car. I waited til I was certain Roland was busy inside and I found a sunlit corner of the garage to display her "in wait". It was adorable when he saw her, he was on his way out to the store ... wouldn't even read the card, because he was sure he'd cry. Now our lil' poppy sits joyfully on our front porch - just beaming growth and happiness. Much like what our marriage has brought us.

Now I'm bustling around doing final preparation for the "Women's Journaling Retreat" at Lake Alpine. So I'd, literally, best get packin'.

Keep creating and feeling gratitude in our fascinating lives!

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