Quilt Scraps…


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The “fall fix-up” around here has taken a lot of our time and energy…my quilting time has been limited, plus the sewing room was re-worked…(it was kind of a mess) so after I cleaned out the flat file and it went to the basement, the painters came…





cleaning outy

I took the glass doors off the white cupboard…got new carpet and re-loaded the shelves

shelves and b;lue f;oor

shelves and carpet

put the Juki on the little checkers table from years ago…


and just generally rearranged…

white shelf with Q

little red table

east wall

and then the curtain/shade question…(it’s sometimes a guest room and faces the street) inexpensive solution…


and meanwhile I got a couple of vintage quilts in great condition that I’ve been enjoying…




YQ 2



…and then Sujata Shah’s new book came, full of her gorgeous “fusion” quilts…most made by Sujata and hand quilted, but a few made by other friends and loved ones including…





ready, set, go!


One Fabulous Year!



Last week was a family milestone…young master Hull celebrated his first birthday, and we celebrated with him.  My brother Bru made him a card…

Sidney turns 1

Bru card

and the Hull/Decker tradition of the silver cup continues…

SRH cup

it was festive…

birthday room

Doug and Marie brought Finley’s Thomas train…

Thomas the train #2

Asher came and brought a gift for Sidney, (which he helped unwrap)…

SRH & Asher

there were many photo ops…with Mommy

photo op 2

with Dad…


Gma Cheryl…

Gma Cheryl



and of course…walking…

walking boy

the final serenade…

SERENADE 3serenaDE 2serenade 1

and the long and very fun day came to and end.  Happy Birthday Sidney….and many more…xo Nana





Open Studios, Studio at the Mill


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I took a new little studio this fall to do a drawing project away from my home studio.  It was very economical, in an historic structure, plenty of parking, 4 minutes from home.  It has been a pleasant and quiet place to work so far…and even though I share the space, I rarely coincide with my studio mate.  This Thursday though, concurrent with the opening of the new Compass Gallery on the main floor, the 12 artists who have studios will open their studios for a peek.  Refreshments will be on hand, work will be for sale, it’ll be festive.  Downstairs there will be more food and music…I mean really everybody, can you resist?  Thursday November 13th, 5-7.

The historic structure is the Willamette Heritage Center, still Mission Mill to many of us…front


My window is the tiny one just under the eaves on the second floor…


So you come one in, stopping at the new Compass gallery, brainchild of Catherine Alexander

Compass Gallery

Compass Gallery 3

Compass Gallery 2

down the hall past Max Marbles…


out the door and look right and you’ll see the sign and the stairs that go up..

open studios signSign

(don’t go this far though..).



Elizabeth Bauman is the first studio at the top…

Elizabeth Bauman

we have a “lounge” where refreshments will  be served (and that’s my quilt on the wall…)


studio F

laB J

I share with Rollie Wisbrock and here’s my half before move-in…


half-way through…


and fully up and running…


come say hi…




renew your acquaintance with a great Salem Building complex…

Mill out the window


Louis Bunce…the work proceeds…


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Louis Bunce has moved into a room in our heads these days, as R begins phase two of the intensive research and writing to prepare the show at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in 2017, and the book (working title “Louis Bunce: Dialog with Modernism”).  He’s wading through interviews, websites, newspaper reviews and other ephemera, and I thought you might like to see some photos of Louis Bunce immersed in his life…these all from George and Phyllis Johanson…  Louis Bunce (1907-1983) painted in Portland and New York all of his adult life.  He taught at the Museum School (now PNCA), and was important to several succeeding generations of Portland painters…including George Johanson, Jack Portland, Lucinda Parker, Jackie Johnson…and more.

Here’s Doll Gardner, Louis, George Johanson and Milton Wilson at an event…

Doll, Louie, George, Milton

Doll, Louie, George


more jazz

Here’s George and Louis George and Lopuie smoking kersone lantern L 1

Louis really liked painting to jazz…here with Jim Smith’s groupL jazz


…party time…

on his head  rly Bunce


and here as the young print maker.

Young Louie

Patination, the Chairs and Fanny Black Hull


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chairs tape 2 I’m cleaning the dining room chairs in advance of the new table that is coming in December.  What seemed a chore yesterday, today became a meditation on old family things, the patina of age, and my mother-in-law.  The chairs have been at our house for 20 years, since Mo died.  As the eldest child, R had been with his parents through all the houses and moves and narrative twists.  He chose something from each era…something that he remembered and cherished…and he remembered when the chairs had cane seats that were failing, and were used in the kitchen at 103 Jefferson Street in Salamanca, N.Y.  Mo had them refinished and upholstered in the 1960’s maybe, in Spokane.  I first saw them at 224 Cedar in Wallace, Idaho in 1969, and thought them beautiful in a plain way…like little deers or ponies, about to trot away.

Last week having rediscovered the word “patinated” we decided to “renovate” the old wood floors instead of sanding and refinishing…

floors before

floors renovated

and then I thought the faded old chair seats were a little nicer for this house with lots of patina…but the wood needed a little work…

so I masked them and cleaned them with a wood cleaning product (Howard’s “Restor-A-Finish)

chairs tape 1

Five of these chairs came from the Norton House at 103 Jefferson Street in Salamanca…the first house my in-laws owned.  My mother-in-law grew up in Salamanca (where her father Orla Black was a judge), went to Mt. Holyoke and on to Cornell…and here she is when she was still Fanny Elizabeth Black…


and here a bride, about to marry Piatt Harold Hull…

FEB wedding

In 1944 they visited Piatt’s hometown of Wallace, Idaho, with the new baby boy, Roger Piatt…little imagining that someday they would live themselves at 224 Cedar, then the home of Harold and Elizabeth Hull…

Mo Piatt and RPH

but they did.  They lived in two other Wallace houses and moved to 224 in 1963 when the senior Hulls wanted to down-size.

224 front

front door

And the chairs came with them.  And then the in-law kids started arriving…me in 1969.  Here’s one of the chairs in Mo’s  mid-1980’s kitchen… kitchen

So the chairs are done…upholstery to be cleaned next week.  I enjoyed thinking about Mo in this year, the 100th anniversary of her birth, and the big house in Wallace…and now the little ponies are ready to trot…

the little ponies


The Fall Fix-up, Part 1


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Annually, in the fall when the geese start south, we start thinking of doing something “new” in the house.  “The Fall Fix-up” we call it.  This year the project is growing like topsy…it began with just painting the trim around the upstairs windows after they were repaired,  and then we  decided to switch rooms on the ground floor…make the dining room into the living room and vice versa…and paint the “new” living room a different color.  Tonight we are part way through the process which now involves a re-do of the sewing room, the dining room, the living room…and it’s only Tuesday…who knows what we’ll have going by Friday…?

Here’s the dining room in 1939 when the McElhinneys lived here…I guess it was Christmas as I believe Santa is hovering in the background?

dining room 1939…and here’s the room in 1982 after we removed paneling, swept up, and just lived with it for a year (as a college teacher R could only do projects in the summer…)…

dining room 1982In 1984 we painted the room mauve (…well, I don’t know, it was the 1980’s?)

dining room 1984

but as you can imagine, buy the 90’s we were done with Mauve.  We painted the room a nice latte color and I painted a white grid-like arbor (…I had a restaurant called the Arbor…?…I saw it in a magazine??…)

Dining room with grid

But this morning the grid was on the way out as part of the transition…the table goes to Z&A, the loveseat (R’s grandmother’s) …we don’t know.

dining room last night

The painters arrived at 8 a.m. (obvously NOT retired)…what FUN!!

dinins room ceiling

they painted the ceiling first, reminding R of painting it himself in 1984 …

R paints the diing room, 1984

It involved doors…

dining rooom door kisses

dining room doors

dining room door as a movie star

color choices…

dining room color

we picked “porpoise” figuring that with 4 doors, 3 big windows, a fireplace and a built in china closet, the wall space was limited…and then they started “cutting”

dining room still cutting

dining room, cutting

the grid recedes…

dining rooom, oops

DR:LR Transition 4

and then finally the last stroke…the “twee” is gone!

DR:LR transition 1

DR:LR transition 3

One more coat, then the woodwork…they’ll be done tomorrow.  The rug will go to the “new” dining room…

DR:LR transition 5

DR:LR transition 6

to be continued…






















































































































Cleaning Out the Flat-File


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The painters are coming in November to paint the woodwork upstairs…which means I have to move the flat-file.  Oh “ye gods” as my Mama used to say.  It’s a mess back there…

the mess in the corner

Some paintings on paper, some just plain blank paper, but MOSTLY…drawings.  And most of them are life-drawings.  I was thinking of going to a life class again, but maybe I have enough…really though it starts with a few from high school…1958…


a self portrait from that time…maybe about 1962…

self portrait 1957

but LOTS from the 1970’s.  I had a drawing show in 1976 at Willamette, and just kept on going…starting with my family…

Zach and Chip

the young professor

the graduate student

the young professor 2

Shaving 2

R-thoise glasses

My cousin Irene

J & Z


…my friends

Steve and Linda




…my friends who were also models, like the amazing Audra who I drew over and over again…she of the many “costumes”…

Audra watercolor

Audra box

Audra 10

Audra 1

Audra 2

Audra 3

Audra 5

Audra 6

Audra 8

Audra 7

and Sandy, a beautiful young woman who I LOVED making into a hag…




Joann 1977

Joann 3

Joann 2

Ruth and Paula

and then the models…

sink lady 2

sink lady 1





2 girls at Carol's

bird girl

Doug the theater guy

frowning guy 2

frowning guy 1

blond guy

wonky girl

headpiece girl 2

head piece girl 1


Siskind 2


…some of the London drawings…

Muswell hill 2

England "Alone..."

England fan

bedroom window Muswell Hill


an English nymph

"Time Passeth Away LIKE A SHADOW"

“Time passeth away like a shadow…”



Harry Widman


The Portland painter Harry Widman died last night after a long fight against Alzheimer’s.  He was surrounded by his family and friends, and at home.

We met Harry and Mardy in 2008, when Roger Hull began to write Harry’s story and curate a show of his work that opened at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in 2009.  The warmth and friendship extended to us by Mardy and Harry made the project easier and more fun…and a visit to Harry’s studio was ALWAYS a treat… R&H beach

R&H studio

Harry explaining

R listening

"paiinted heads

R, M, H at the museum

Harry explaining 2

Goodbye friend…



Art in Portlandia: October


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We “scampered up” (as Harriet J. Connor used to say) to Portland Monday to see SRH and continue our training for a street Band…

yambourine man

and for me to get to play with his toys…

stackcamping tripkinky boots

but we worked in a nice visit with George and Phyllis where we saw the big version of Johanson’s  painting…recently back from Seattle…”Mirrored Porch”, 1984,

Mirrored Porch, 1984

and this is of particular interest to us as we have a small version of this painting that George made for R…2007…

R's George

we talked about Louis Bunce (this was a “research call”) and they shared some photos of Louis including this one with Doll Gardner, Louis, George and Milton Wilson…

Doll, Louie, George, Milton

more jazz

Louis painting to jazz…Jim Smith’s group “The Way out”

L jazz

and, well, fun…

on his head

Tuesday we headed into a full art day running some books by Blackfish Gallery where Carol Benson and husband Michael Knutson are showing together…nice vibrant show…

Benson 1Benson 2Benson 3

Knutson 3

Knutson 2Knutson 1

across the street to Upfor where I kinda loved these oddly nice paintings by Ralph Pugay…

Pugay "Violent Reaction" detail

detail "Violent Reaction""Frying Butterflies"

and then to PDX to see the VERY nice Storm Tharp show…here was R’s Favorite…

Tharp 3

and mine…


Jane Beebee said ROSE COTTAGE refers to Tharp’s favorite Joan Mitchell  painting called “Rose Cottage”, 1953…here it is, for just an art historical moment…

Mitchell, 1953

by now though, we needed a break and a tuna sandwich before going on to the museum…

Sweetie babies


The big show at the museum now is selections from the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Collection…

The schnitzers

and though various of our correspondents were under-whelmed by the show, we liked it.    First highlight a painting George had shown us in the show catalog the night before and the photo just seemed sooo dark…and the painting isn’t…(Geoge on the left in the eyeshade, Louis Bunce in the dark jacket, then Mike Russo, Jack McLarty, Sally Haley, Don Normark, and Phyllis on the right in profile…)

George family

the docent was telling his group “and he’s still painting”… true enough…

docent George

and then other work by “friends”…Henk Pander’s portrait of Arlene…


a nice James Lee Hansen sculpture…


LOTS of Louis Bunce pieces…

Bunce 1 Bunce chacoal:oil

Bunce 2Bunce 2 detail

Other things of interest included this nice big Katherine Ace…

Katherine Ace

Rick Bartow


…and I was delighted to see the Bay Area artist Squeak Carnwath’s painting…

Squeak 1

“Will or Won’t”

will or won't

since I’ve been sending these cards out for years…

Squeak cards

I was also particularly taken with these two Morris Graves paintings…the first is the catalog cover for the show and is way more vibrant in life than in my not too good photo…


Graves 1

Next Stop the really beautiful Blue Sky photo show.  Blue Sky Gallery opened 40 years ago and we were members right away.  Membership cards in the early years were spatulas, collapsible cups, and so on.  We have ALWAYS been big fans and members and were delighted with the show.  Go see it…lots of nice photos from “away”…but LOTS of nice photos made right here by Oregon photographers.

Blue Sky

or my iPhone panorama version (I’ve been “playing” with panorama)


FAVES:…Winston Link, there’s just SOOOO much going on in this photo, transportation wise…


and then this Abelardo Morell photo from his giant pinhole series that still knocks me out…


By now our energy was waning but we managed to get upstairs to see the newly hung and augmented room of Charles Heaney paintings (the museum owns 376, I noted on the label)…

Heaney 1

White store

but wait…what about this early Johanson?

early Johanson

and what about these gorgeous beaded bags from 1900-1920???

bag 1bag 2bag 3

Enough.  Off home.  Try to go look this month.











Quilt Group at Kate’s


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I first knew Kate Speckman as an artist.  Some years ago I bought a small black and white clay house she made, and sent it to a friend in Italy.  Then I knew Kate as an energetic events manager, a talented and organized volunteer arts administrator, a quilter, a friend.  In 2011 we co-curated a quilt show here in Salem called “Bits & Pieces” featuring innovative quilting from our region.  This year Kate invited me to join a new quilt group forming and I have loved this group of women of different ages, backgrounds, interests and…work.  This past week we met at Kate’s house…

kate house


Kate has chickens, big dogs, and grown-up sons…one who left home making room for Kate’s new sewing room….a very cool DIY project…three bookshelves from IKEA and a table top from their bargain room…

eggs 2chickens2 big dogs

Out of the basement, into the LIGHT!


she made her own giant ironing board out of industrial shelving, plywood and lots of padding…

ironing station


ornamentsfabric 2fabric 1chicken wire

She adapted the cross quilt pattern and made her own version…

cross quilt

cross detail

I loved this double fabric binding technique….

cool binding

and she even shared the tutorial for it that a friend gave her…

binding tutortial

The Frieda quilt is all done…

Frieda quilt detailFrieda Quilt detail B

the happy quilt is almost done…

Happy quilt

and she’s part way through her own version of the wedding quilt pattern LeeAnn and I made in 2012…

Kate's cool quilt

Kate's cool quilt detail

we had a great time…ideas and projects shared, once again…see you in November!



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