Wild Women 2015


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The annual Wild Women show opened at the River Gallery last night with Sloy’s paintings shining out like beacons…

Sloy 1

this one is called “opposite dimples” and there’s a nice article about the making of this painting in the current Salem Weekly. 

SLoy 2

One advantage of Sloy’s paintings is they are BIG in a room of small work…but really, it was so crowded you couldn’t see much…Wild Women 1

there was wine and deviled eggs (!) and music though…


and by the time we’d strolled down the street for a kale salad and back…things had calmed… (hi Jon, hi Irene)

Irene and Jon

…the show is up until Feb 27th so there’s plenty of time to head to Independence and take a look.

Art All Day…Again…


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I’ve used the headline “Art All Day” before, and it seems to refer to a day like Thursday…a day filled up from morning to night with a wide variety of art work to consider, which for people like us is about the best possible day.  We headed to Portland early and the first stop was the Laura Russo gallery to see a couple of Louis Bunce paintings…including this Portland view of 1939…

T:Bunce Portland view



and while there we looked at the current Sally Haley show with some of the earliest of her paintings I’d seen, my favorite being this self-portrait from the 50’s…

T:Haley self portrait

but best of all was this pair of paintings from the 1950″s…one of Sally Haley’s and one of her husband Mike Russo’s.  At that time they were sharing a studio and would often set up a still life and both would paint it…what fun to be able to see them both…Haley first…

T:Sally Haley

then Russo…

T:Mike Russo

I wandered in the gallery a little, being surprised by this BIG crocheted head by Jo Hamilton

T:Jo Hamilton

this nice small Jay Backstrand…


and this BIG Jackie Johnson painting I loved…

T:Jackie Johnson

coffee break…T:coffee

Now we headed south stopping briefly at 12×16 to see Cary Doucette’s new work on paper…

T:Cary 4

and these sort of Matisse-ian cutouts…

T:Cary 2T:Cary 1

In January of 2017 the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem will present a large show of the work of Portland painter and teacher Louis Bunce, curated by Roger Hull.  I won’t recite all the Bunce details here, but let’s just say this…Bunce (who died in 1983 after a long life as an artist) was prolific.  For an historian that means there’s probably a lot of stuff out there to see…if you can find it.  Thursday we were meeting with with Jon Bunce (Louis’ son) who was very kindly letting Roger (and me, as his documentarian) see what remains in 2015 of the Bunce estate.  First Roger was tasked with removing the clown…

T:the clown

That done we moved into the storage unit with a jumble of paintings and prints.

T: R in storage

My photos were purely notational as the space was cramped, I was using my cell phone and there was one light bulb…but a LOT to see…here are some of my favorites…

T:sweet little turq

T:small pink

T:late shoreline

T:head 3T:head 2T:head 1


T:storageT: drwg 1946


T:Bunce, ornage one

T: red on right

We managed to see most of what was there except work on paper, and Jon (who was still called John when Louis made this drawing in 1951)

T- Jon:Superbpy

kindly invited us back…

By now it was dark and rainy and rush hour so we raced back to Salem arriving JUST in time for a terrific lecture at the Ike Box presented by the Salem Photo League…

T:SalemPhoto League

which for this first in the 2015 series was a lecture on Salem photographer Kathryn Gunnell…

T:Kathryn Gunnell

presented by the talented Kylie Pine, curator and archivist at the Willamette Heritage Center.

T:Kylie the best

T:Kylie 3T:Kylie 2T:Kylie 1

and the crowd was interested…


the images were fascinating…

T: image box

T:Gunnell signed

early selfie…

T:Gunnell selfie

Mama, 1942…

T:Mama's birthday 1942

the old Thomas Kay house (long gone, sadly…)

T:Thomas Kay House

and many many more…T:G1

it was lively and a fascinating look into Oregon photo-history.  When Gunnell closed her photo studio in the 1930’s she painted her car with scenic views and drove around the state making short films of the scenic wonders of Oregon…some which still exist…


By now, even the intrepid were beginning to feel the need to stop…but what a day!


Souvenir Suitcase


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In the late fall my long-time friend Nan moved to Portland and took her studio with her.  Today I took a nap-time break on Sidney Day (Monday, the day when R & I routinely care for our adorable grandson) and dropped in to her new Portland studio.  Her business is called Souvenir Suitcase…

Nan 22

…and here’s her new studio in NW Portland…in an old building filled with artists…through the halls…

Nan 19

Nan 7

…staircase surprise…

Nan 9Nan 2

Nan 13

into the suite…

Nan 20


Nan 21

Nan 4

Nan 16Nan 3Nan 8

Nan makes Party crackers…made to order for weddings or holidays…filled with fun…beautiful…

Nan 12

Nan 17

Nan 10Nan 11Nan 1

…good light…

Nan 15

Nan 18

We had a long chat catching up on lives, condo living, kids, work…good.

Locally her terrific crackers are available in her Etsy store (see link above) and at the wonderful CARGO …which moved last fall to the east side and is now at 81 Yamhill SE…these will be delivered in time for Chinese New Year…

Nan chinese new year

and these…

Nan 5

The studio felt great with good lively energy…and made me want to get into my own!



Drawing Day


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I recently read an article that said to have a  happy life you need to do something EVERYDAY that makes you happy.  If you love to draw that’s so easy…drawing books and pens fit nicely into a purse…insurance against any “slow” moment…all good.  purse…and SOME days are really happy days because drawing and coffee join up.  This morning the Salem Sketchers group was meeting at Broadway Commons, and though I never have joined the group before, I have been a fan of Urban Sketchers for a few years…so I went along and got a coffee and started in drawing…IMG_4476

They suggest an hour of drawing, and then the group reconvenes to contemplate their endeavors….(sadly I didn’t get close-ups of ALL the drawings…next time…) they’re a good group…







and my finished drawing…


then off to an opening of a show of Dana Davidson Collins and Cynthia Herron’s collaborative paintings of the last year (at which I fell totally out of reporter mode and didn’t take a single photo, alas…go see the show called “Ricochet” at Roy John’s) and ANOTHER coffee,,,



here’s the urban sketchers from Brazil, and we looked about like this…with coats.urbansketchers




On the Picket Line


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“Picketing is a form of protest in which people (called picketers) congregate outside a location where an event is taking place. Often, this is done in an attempt to draw public attention to a cause.”

P 3

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been on a picket line.  Tonight I joined a few intrepid activists on Mission Street to protest the Salem Hospital’s removal of 32 trees yesterday from the former site of the Blind School…a site the Hospital has earmarked for parking and development…and worst of all their desire to remove the remaining 9 white oaks from the property.  The oaks are really why we all were there tonight.  Many of these trees predate white settlement…why cut down a 290 year old tree?

As I’ve thought about it over the last few days I’ve come to REALLY WONDER why the hospital doesn’t get on the “good” side….Why they don’t say…”Yep, lucky for us we have 9 historic white oaks on our property and we are going to celebrate them, to incorporate them into our building plans, and into the story we will tell this community about who we are, and who they are.”  It would be so simple…a slight plan revision, but simple.  It would buy enormous neighborhood and community goodwill.  (It would get us off their backs.)  They aren’t very nuanced though…so this won’t happen.

So, since we have no effect whatsoever on the Hospital and its plan, why picket?  As I stood there tonight, watching organizer Lois Stark speak to each protestor, thanking them for coming out on a cold and foggy night, I thought that I was glad to be there…to think that if things happen you don’t like in your community, you must stand up and say so.  So we did.  And Lois Stark plans to be on Mission street every night for a week from 5-6 leading chants, welcoming picketers.  Bring your own sign…

P 1

P squirrel

and these were my personal favorites…made by artist Jon Colburn…


P 5

P 6

P 7

shrine 1

The Quilting Year Begins…


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The lovely Tuesday quilt group met this morning at Lynda’s…always fascinating.  She has with an eye and a sensibility close to my own.  She has new quilts, collects old weird quilt tops that maybe have something quirky about them, and makes interesting combinations…always.

Here’s what we were looking at today…her own quilt on the bed…I don’t know the pattern but I think it looks like geese in a formation!

QG geese

QG Geese detail

Her own baby quilt, and a quilt her Mom made and hand pieced…and Lynda quilted…QG Lynda's own baby quilt

QG postage stamp

her first Sue Spargo wool applique…

QG Sue Spargo

a really old top with wonderful fabric…

QG old top with terrific fabric

QG fabric deatil

a quilt top from the 1930’s…

QG 30's fabric

a nice old log cabin

QG old log caBIN

and a terrifically funky tied quilt with a bunch of the ties left long…??

QG with hanging ties

this quilt cracked me up with of this and some of that all mashed together…

QG funky tied quikltQG funky 3QG funky 2

Lynda collects and makes pincushions..too much fun

QG pincushion

QG pincishion 2

this one was made with an old bottle cap…

QG bottle cap pincushion

and this one with a wooden spool in the middle…no wooden spools anymore…

QG Spool pincushion

except at Lynda’s…

CG spools

We had coffee, chat, sewing time, show and tell, and a lot of fun…

QG old pincushion

As we were leaving I saw a quilt that looked familiar…I had photographed it at a quilt show a few years ago…before I knew Lynda.  I asked her if it was hers and she said no, but she had liked it too so she got the fabric and made a duplicate EXCEPT, the other maker had lined up the house and tree squares evenly, and she didn’t.  When I came home I found the other quilt…here on the left and Lynda’s livelier version on the right…

Lynda?Lynda House 2

See you in February!



Another Hospital Disaster…Urban Logging


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As long as we’ve lived in Salem the darned hospital has been destroying, burning, and now logging land for more buildings, more parking.  The original hospital was in a residential neighborhood, near the university…a neighborhood we aspired to live in BUT, by the time we could buy a house, the neighborhood was gone for parking lots mostly.  A few of the oldest houses in Salem were used as practice burns by the fire department.  Then the absolutely lovely little Bush School was torn down for parking.

Next the beautiful and graceful 1920’s brick Building that housed the Blind School was razed.  The other day I noticed the chain link fence going up and a few days later the ominous blue plastic to hide the activities.   The several acre property is now an urban logging site with the plans to remove all but about 5 trees from this beautiful site…next to an historic neighborhood, an historic garden, across from Bush’s Pasture Park.  Sigh….if you love historic structures, old trees, history and the continuity of the built environment, Salem can be a disappointing place to live.


blue fence

blue fence 2

blue fence 3

future logging site

One neighbor created a shrine to the first cut tree.

shrine 1

shrine 2



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