Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Growth, Relaxation & a Lil' Amish too!

More delight of Summer dance across my journal pages. Here I traverse opening my mind and heart then, opening my senses and spirit.

My first sketch was to commemorate and also, jingle my memory of a remarkable man and his work around healing and personal growth. Dr. Michael Ryce visited our church for a week - - a week of free workshops from forgiveness to personal relationships to "Why is this Happening to me Again?" (the name of his first book). I won't go into his process here, but I found it astutely revealing for my life. And even had me roping in friends and family to come examine their hearts 'n minds. If you get the chance to see/hear or experience his teaching, I'd recommend exposing your "open-minded" self to it. He spent hours at the board writing memorable ideas and examples . . . here he is . . .

This odd addition to my journal page is pretty much a graceful weed. Actually, it is an enemy we constantly find invading our rugs and socks, usually brought in by our Golden Retriever. But this one was still intact and had a lovely curve to it's spine. I had to save it and . . . just in time . . . our neighbor came over to have my hubby help her program her new cell phone. And in the refuse she left behind was this perfect black backing for my graceful weed. I love serendipity!

The right side of this open journal is from the refreshing camping trip up to one of our favorite quiet camping areas, Lake Lemolo. I won't detail this adventure because I did do a previous blog post on June28th ( with descriptions of a heavenly hike and other juicy parts. But DID want to re-share the lovely calm lake view and the adorable, peaceful Amish women we saw in the Rogue Gorge parking lot.

I choose to just sketch the simplicity of them . . . and the accompanying thoughtfulness that came with seeing them and perusing what I imagine their lives to be. It still brings me a stillness. And I'll take all of those I can get . . .

Friday, August 19, 2011

Start 'O Summer & Music Celebrations

The birthing of Summer for me comes with the diversity of activities suddenly available here. This full page double spread epitomizes just that.

First, we visit the Grand Opening of the Britt Festival in Jacksonville. In the last two years Britt has joined hands with the City of Jacksonville to celebrate it's opening city wide. Throughout town is music, antique cars, food and beverage samplings and, of course, art. Our local Jacksonville "Art Presence" took part in the festivities sprinkling a variety of artists in their booths along the closed portion of 3rd Street's north side. My booth was just back from the main street, California Street (I know, I always wondered why an Oregon town would have as it's main street "California" ... but, I digress) and I watched close on the merriment of bouncing balloons (some adorable photos of children reaching for the blue 'n yellow), the Victorian outfitted patrons along side their antique cars and later in the day, as the heat increased, an argument between motor vehicle drivers. I did start this sketch right there on site . . . was plunking right along with the painting of my sketch . . . then suddenly looked up . . . and my antique car was gone!! How rude ~ did they even ask me? Anyway, that part I had to finish at home from the digital photo I've learned to snap just for these situations.

Just in front of me, right on the corner of the main street was Dolores Schwalb. A spirited 80 year old (I believe) who had written most of her life and was showing off her several books written about local life in the area from years ago. We exchanged fun stories and she gave me this postcard promotional. I loved the photo of her as a young girl on the farm.

Later into Summer, I had the pleasure of finally dropping into a neighborhood cafe/bar in Ashland to hear one of my watercolor student's musical group perform. She'd been inviting me for months! I was determined to go this month because her performance coincided with an event at the Ashland Art Center. The Art Center had been presenting free art movies with popcorn too.

This month the movie was "Wasteland", a movie about a professional photographer who traveled, and produced this documentary of "pickers" at the Rio de Janiero garbage dump. He ended up doing personal "portraits" of specific "pickers" with them helping. They created the "portrait" in a giant warehouse's floor using actual garbage, then photoing it from above. AMAZING!! Now, you have to watch it to see what happened to the images and the "pickers" too.

Anyway, the musical interlude at the "Wild Goose" Cafe & Bar was a delightful contrast to the content of the movie. My friend Beth, her hubby and several other talented musicians entertained us til the evening drew late. I love the dark, atmospheric background that brings out the musicians in my sketch - oh yes, I did it later too, from that same digital reservoir.

Don't you just love the energy of Summer as it brings a vitality and energy of so many aspects to life? Savor the gifts nature and humanity offer up . . . we all live with such miracles around us!