Monday, August 27, 2012

Tahoe Eclipse with the Girls

This set of journal pages swells with some of my fondest memories . . . with beautiful women and amazing scenery.

My dear friend, Lena has been for years, inviting me up to check out her Tahoe "cabin" as a possible Retreat venue. Finally, I got it together, found a weekend Lena was available and was even able to get two of my "best-est" artist buddies to join us there too! Renie and I take off from Oregon around 10am, arriving at the Tahoe address (which we missed several times - Lewis & Clark we are not!). What a spacious, well-lite and elegantly homey atmosphere we found in the home. We trekked into South Lake Tahoe for a modest dinner (at Rosie's where the swinging front door was levered to close by the weight of a dangling pair of ski boots!!!).

Next morn, Renie and I drove round the lake to visit one of my favorite places in the Tahoe region, Fallen Leaf Lake. Before we came upon the small, crystal clear lil' lake, this meadow came into view. When I stopped to take photos, tears flooded my eyes and I began to cry. I'd not realized how much I missed seeing split rail (well, almost) fences, snow capped mountains and my quaking aspen trees. It still moves me to see the photo. So, you further know what a softie I am for nature's beauty. And I don't want to change.

Later that afternoon, Jean arrived from Bodega Bay and then Lena to create our fab four. We dined at home and giggled and laughed over a silly movie. Early to bed for a day outside together.

Our destination was Sand Harbor. I'd never stopped there and Jean raved about it ... once there I was dazzled by the views. I'd passed the turquoise water in vehicles but, being in the setting with white granite against the water was magical. Immediately I was drawn to the rocks that seemed to people the shallows. We all split up to spend painting time ... here's my family of rocks from right on site. When the sun chased me away, I moved over to sketch the sweet cove where the white sand was cuddled by rocks dotted with bold trees. I didn't want to stop painting. But the eclipse was drawing near.

We positioned where we could best have a clear view of the sun. Silly as we were, we'd not brought proper eye gear, but a gentleman had one extra pair of safe eye ware and gifted it to us. It was fascinating watching the bright, clear light change to an eerie yellow haze. I attempted to capture the event with this lil' time lapse sequence. And the sun really did appear that color through the 'magic' glasses. A special time with my precious friends. And wet or not (because some of us had to wade into the water even if we were wearing pants!) we caught dinner out en route home, savoring the vision of the lake and the rich companionship.

The following morn was the all-to-early ending to a delightful time. Lena and I took a long hike before packing up and cleaning the abode. Renie and I were the first to leave ~ we had the longest drive home. And g'byes were bittersweet. I could have lived like this forever ... such wonderful energy, encouragement and joy danced between us all. But change is inevitable ... and we launch on our trek homeward. Smiles and yummy memories re-running through our minds.

Thanks again, Dear Lena for this opportunity to share time and your beautiful home in Tahoe. It's a life event I'll never forget.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

From Gallery to Gold Beach

As summer approaches, outings open up the heart. Such are the postings on this journal spread. We start on the left with a visit to Grants Pass, Firehouse Gallery for an Opening, then travel over to the Oregon Coast to Gold Beach for play.

My dear friend and artist bud, Roger, has been taking numerous creative classes at the Rogue Community College. With encouragement they got him to do his own show at the Firehouse Gallery. He'd traveled the California and Oregon Coasts relishing time in nature and the discovery of new places. This series of nine paintings, quick, simple, and expressive watercolors are less detailed than his usual color rich pieces, but refreshingly succinct. Of course, after the viewing we had to have lunch. We stumbled across a totally new place to us called Hannah's Restaurant and Historic Steam Laundry ( The food was excitingly good and the space was majestically big and open. There was easterly huge windows and a well done mural of a southern plantation on the western wall, which of course, held my interest and therefore, the replica. Yummy desserts too, by the way!

Depicted on the adjacent page of my journal is the essence of a playful trip I was treated to by blessed friends. For months we'd tried to get four of us artist friends coordinated and finally, rounded up just three of us to head to a "three-day girl's weekend" in Gold Beach. I have to say the accommodations we enchantingly charming and bizarre at the same time. When we were told there would be three seperate beds, one for each of us, never did we imagine the layout. This sweet, tiny, one-bedroom cabin had one bed in the bedroom, one in the living room and, (yes, are you ready) one in the kitchen. Yep, in the kitchen! It was a riot! We spent the days hitting the beach for long walks with the puppies (two small, cuddly ones), chattering, reading in the sun and cruising the huge Gold Beach bookstore.

There I stumbled upon this giant book, Polar Regions, which hopefully you "get" it's size relative to the portable radiant heater and chair. For just $19.95 it's going to make a fantastic "Art Book" Project I'm hoping to enter in the April Book Show annually at the Illahe Gallery in Ashland (

My sketches are of our tiny, crazy cabin and an experiment. I'd read about these pens, Elegant Writers, hearing they were swell for black and white sketches because when  blended with a watercolor brush, they create these pinkish-bluish bleeds. Well, I was happy with the bleeds but - - you know me, I can't leave color out of anything. So in my attempt to add some color, the pens continued to bleed. Argh. So, my lesson was to do the color of the painting first, then sketch in with the pen to later blend! But it all captures the free, fun weekend had by us girls at Gold Beach.

Happier, sunnier days of summer continue . . .