Good News!


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On the whole this is NOT a season of good news, though at last the debates are finished.  The other day we noticed that something super-nice is happening downtown though…from the point of view of preservationists like us.

The building which housed the S&H green stamp store in the 70’s and 80’s is being restored!  The Starkey-McCulley Building of 1867.  Until recently these windows were totally covered…img_2713

Sometime in the 1960’s the brick was covered over with this sort of modeled stucco stuff which covered all the windows.  The black and white design motif under the cornice beneath the windows is actually part of the original cast iron front of the building (the cast iron made by the Oregon Iron Works in Portland, and thought to be among the oldest examples still existing in Oregon…).  The other half of the building was restored in the 1990’s by Robert Kraft and the second floor was a lovely residence apartment running the full depth of the building.  Kraft carefully restored the exterior to its historic look.



the block was originally called the Starkey-McCulley Block…check the internet for images, none of which would download into this blog, darn it.  And DO take a drive-by.  The building is now owned by the Salem-Keizer Schools Foundation.

Malia Jensen at Elizabeth Leach Gallery


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We went to see Malia Jensen’s new show at Elizabeth Leach this morning (up until October 29th) with Sidney…he came with us to her show last year (“Homey” at Weiden & Kennedy) and loved the fox lamp and the seal and the giant cockroach…here’s a review of Sidney’s favorites from 2015…


The show at Elizabeth Leach this year, “Ground Effects”, is more somber, more elegant and a bit more spare…but still intriguing in the way Malia has of looking at things and transposing meanings for us.  (Currently it’s a real trick to get into the 9th Avenue gallery due to massive construction on both corners, but DO persevere…the show is nice…and then go see the James Lavadour show at PDX Gallery next door if you get a parking space…)



We were going to meet Malia at the gallery but arrived early so as to look at the work.  Sidney is about to be three and yet has a way of asking questions that get to the heart of the matter…”what are these, how did she make them, why is there a big hole back here…?”




and so when Malia arrived he asked her…”are these rocks”?


Nope, clay, the last pieces she made in her New York studio and the first pieces she fired in Oregon on her return.  She explained her process to R…



and these brilliant, luminous, fragile, motion-filled glass bubbles…


blown in a glass blower’s studio on placed on “cookies” of glass…

and the bronze wolf eating his own tail…NOT made and cast from a mold—it is a one off…Clay and wax over a Styrofoam armature and then cast with the process burning up the Styrofoam chunks, hence the big hole in the back of the head…


And Sidney liked this big hand (take note of this moment…)


So we went for a bite of lunch and some more art chat as well as a fireplug moment and a coffee…



before heading over to Piccolo Park, our play venue for the day


where, though, something was noticed…


“Hey…there’s a hand down here…”

and up here…



and heading home for nap time we discovered hands were everywhere today…


Comfort Food for Fall…


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It’s been a stormy weekend here…though the worst of the wind has passed northeast of us, thankfully.  Yesterday there was a little tease of blue sky right before the next torrential downpour…


so it’s been that kind of weekend where you just want to hunker down by the fire and have some comfort food…(and in our case maybe sort through the piles of art that are in closets and other out-of-the-way places…).


I KNOW you all are perfectly able to read the NYTimes food section searching for the most comforting dish, but I was afraid you might have missed this one because of its total simplicity.  You won’t be sorry…

ITALIAN SAUSAGE AND CABBAGE (I’ve made a few changes as I often do, based on the reader remarks and my own good sense)

1 cabbage (I used a combo of Savoy and regular green cabbage)

1 pound bulk Italian sausage (I had some from Otto’s in Portland hence my recipe search…1 cabbage, 1 pound of sausage)

Butter, salt and pepper

That is IT!!

  1. preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Boil some water
  3. Core cabbage and roughly slice
  4. Put cabbage in colander, pour boiling water on cabbage and stir…use one whole kettle full of water…[note…the original recipe called for parboiling the cabbage, but I don’t like to do that, and neither did most of the readers who commented…the boiling water did the trick of wilting the cabbage a bit and reducing the mass]
  5. Butter a baking dish.
  6. Put 1/3 of the cabbage in the bottom of the dish.
  7. Add 1/2 of the sausage (uncooked) and then salt and pepper and dots of butter.
  8. Repeat with cabbage
  9. Repeat with sausage and salt and butter
  10. Top with the cabbage and dot with butter



cover the dish with parchment paper…


cover the whole thing with foil…

Bake in oven for 2 1/2 hours.  Yes, absolutely.  Remove foil and paper for the last 20-30 minutes, turn to 375, and continue cooking to brown the top.

Crusty bread, sliced apples, a glass of wine…OMG.  I forgot to get the glamor presentation shot, but you can see it was good….



Stay cozy!



“Still Talking”


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Today for me was a day of beginnings and endings…

Kay Worthington and I spoke today at Chemeketa Community College at the third quilt show we have produced together.  Last year we were invited by Tim Timmerman to show at George Fox University Gallery in the fall.

This year we were invited by Laura Mack and Kay Bunnenberg Boehmer to show our quilts at Chemeketa Community College’s Gretchen Schuette Gallery.  The 24 quilts in the show (12 from each maker) were all made since January of 2016, and all are hand quilted.


We dropped them off a week ago and just put them on the floor in pairs for Kay BB and her assistant to hang later on…and they looked kind of pitiful lying there on the floor…


here was one hanging suggestion we had…



But by today, for the opening, they were all on the walls looking good…







we had a good crowd for our opening remarks, lots of questions and lots of enthusiasm, which made us happy,  If you are out and about go take a look.  It’s open until October 28…Building 3 on the campus.  Closed weekends…


After grabbing a coffee (it was National Coffee Day today)…


R and I took down my paintings at the Compass Gallery at the Willamette Heritage Center, and turned off the lights…the end of a fascinating nine month experiment with Dayna Collins and Tory Brokenshire…



…and on to the next adventure…

“Outsider” Art


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I like the two shows at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art this fall.  Today we went to hear Collections Curator Jonathan Bucci talk about the Russell Childers show of wood carvings that Bucci curated and that is on view at the Museum until the end of October.  If you haven’t seen the Childers yet show I highly recommend it…the work is beautiful and poignant, the narrative almost filmic.  Childers was sent to the “Fairview Home for the Feeble Minded” by court order in 1925 when he was 10…removed from his mother who did not wish him to go.  Childers was deaf and could not speak, possibly was what we now call autistic, but was decidedly not feeble minded.  His mother died 4 years later, and with no advocate, Childers spent the next 38 years institutionalized.  The happy part of his story is that people recognized his talent and intellect, he was released at age 48, hearing aids worked for him and at age 50 he learned to speak.  He was able to spend the last 3 decades of his life making art among sympathetic people.  He had gallery representation (Jamison Thomas Gallery) his work toured the region and was collected.  It ended well.  I wrote about that show in early August and hope you’ll go see the show this next month.



The other show, in the big galleries and up until January is:


It has elements I LOVE…interesting narratives (here is “Woman With Bird and Flashlight”  Whaaat????)hfma-4-woman-with-bird-and-fklashlight

“Red Girl”


“Big Cat”


all by Alma Dexhimer.   And then the writing.  I’m partial to words appearing in work and have my own “font” (thanks Sloy) which I use in quilts and paintings and drawing books….here are three details from Jesse Howard paintings…



(now I’m wondering what DID become of John the Baptist’s head…?)


Zebedee Armstrong’s “Three Calendars”


…a couple from Howard Finster…



Benjamin Perkins’ terrific map…


(I mislaid the note with the artist’s name on this one…)


W.J.Blackmon’s “God’s House”…(think Giotto here…)


and very sadly only one quilt…quilts being perhaps one of the most vibrant of “folk art” forms…Sarah Mary Taylor”s quilt…sarah-mary-taylor

Andrew Johnson immigrated from Copenhagen, Denmark in 1865 and wound up in Montana where this was painted with barn paint on wallboard…”Tornado”


These artists are people from what we now call “the margins”.  People from institutions, people of color who lack a formal art education, people who work a day job and then make art on top of that. Looking at all this work, at other examples in the Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. , I long for a re-imagining of descriptors for art made by Americans, for an art world that is more inclusive of good work, no matter where it came from regionally and no matter what the race, gender or educational level of the maker.

In any case, go take a look and think about it, and while you are there…in these last few days of Barack Obama’s presidency, take note of this quote on the wall…







Pacific Northwest Artists Archive


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For longer than 40 years Roger Hull has been thinking about and writing about art made here in the Pacific Northwest, most especially in Oregon.  Since the inception of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in 1998 he has been curating exhibits of regional work and writing monographs about artists.  This has resulted in a mountain of ephemera at our house (show cards, posters, correspondence) much of which has come in very handy in research and writing.

As he thought his way forward after 1998, he became convinced of the value of archiving regional art in general, and of our region in particular…and he knew that these artists all had papers and drawing books that would need a permanent home.  VOILA!  The idea was born for the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.  Museum Director John Olbrantz immediately understood the value of such collections, but knew the Museum itself could not house them.  The University was lucky enough to hire the archivist Mary McRobinson, principally to deal with the vast political archival papers that are housed at Willamette (think Mark Hatfield, etc.)  Mary saw immediately that Roger’s vision of an artists archive was an excellent fit for the University Archive/Hallie Ford Museum connection, and the PNAA was born…


For the past ten years the collection has been building and now includes the papers of Rick Bartow, Tom Cramer, Jack Eyerly, Carl Hall, Henk Pander, Eunice Parsons, Harry Widman, Jan Zach and many many others.  There are drawing books, letters, show cards, photos, small art works and the PNAA has put together a fascinating exhibit of a smattering of items from the archive.  This show, curated by librarian Shanel Parette, is on the second floor of the library and will be there for two years…please DO come look and if you come before the end of October you’ll also have a chance to see the work of some Salem artists in an elegant small exhibit, “Insight and Imagination” curated by artist and former librarian Dayna Davidson Collins.  Below are Roger Hull and Mardy Widman looking at the Salem show with the PNAA show in the background.


Let’s take a look…PNAA first:

Henk Panderpnaa-henk

Tom Cramerpnaa-tom

Ruth Dennis Groverpnaa-ruith-1

Robert Hesspnaa-robert

Rob Bibler and Carol Hausser’s collection of the work of Nicandsloypnaa-robcarol

Myra Wigginspnaa-myra-1

Kathleen Gemberling Adkinsonpnaa-kathleen

Jeanne Momentpnaa-jeanne-moment

Harry Widmanpnaa-harry

Claudia Cavepnaa-claudia

Carl Hallpnaa-car

Glenn Alpspnaa-alps

and the PNAA show includes this nice shout-out.  Though the bulk of the work has been Roger Hull’s…I have gotten interested in including non-Portland local artists…”valley artists” as it were.  Plus I’ve even wielded a video camera on occasion!


But on to the Salem show as curated by Dayna Davidson Collins…(with apologies to the artists for my terrible photographs)

ii-1 ii-pano-1

Kay Worthingtonii-kay-2

Nancy Lindburgii-nancy

Elizabeth Baumanii-elizabeth

James O’Sheaii-james

Jed Thomasii-jed-thomas

Charles Hanneganii-charles

Kristin Kuhnsii-kristin

Dave Nichols (Nic)ii-nic

Ann Kresgeii-ann

Alexandra Opieii-alexandra

Sandra Loy Nichols (Sloy)ii-sloy

Kathryn Cellerini Mooreii-kmoo

Mary Lou Zeekii-mary-lou

Laura Mackii-laura

Carol Hausser ii-carol-tory

Tory Brokenshireii-tory

Rob Biblerii-rob-1

Cynthia Herron


Rebecca Rigsbyii-rebecca

Bonnie Hullii-me

Susan Trueblood Stuartii-susan

Heidi Preuss Grewii-heidi

John Van Drealii-john-van-dreal-1










Improv Quilting


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I don’t teach this Improv Quilt class to show people how to make quilts like mine, I do it to explain that there are no mistakes in quilting, that finding something unexpected is always best, and that the work and concentration of quilting transports us to “another land” like making music or art of any sort.  They begin with my idea but at the end of six hours they have a fistful of their own ideas…and what fun it is to see it happen right in front of your eyes.  Today was no exception.  We began with mine…

Quilt 2 Quilt 1

and moved right along.  I think really the pictures speak for themselves with only this one explanation.  They begin slowly, ask some questions and then…they are off and running.  They don’t know each other, but by the end they are friends and are giving each other valuable critical advice.  The biggest winner of the day was most certainly me…I got some great ideas from these intrepid nine workers….take a look:














Thanks you guys…it was fun!


Caramelized Corn with Fresh Mint


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Friday morning I was flitting through emails…including the NYTimes “What to Cook This Weekend” and I saw this recipe which looked super easy and super delicious…and it IS both of those.  I had to pass it on…the recipe is for “Caramelized Corn with Fresh Mint” and gives directions for using frozen corn, but NO…you must use fresh corn this time of year!  I won’t even give you those directions…

We were heading to the MIG (Minto Island Growers) food cart for lunch, so IF they had corn it was a go (we have mint in the garden).  Yay they had corn (and radishes too…not in the recipe, but irresistible to some of us…)



Caramelized Corn with Fresh Mint (New York Times)

4-5 cups fresh corn cut off the cob (they said 12 ears, but I used three ears and it was almost 4 cups…maybe the corn is dinkier in NYC?!)

1 stick of butter (I used less…maybe 3/4 of a stick of butter)

1/2 cup chopped mint leaves


Basically you melt half of the butter in a large flat pan over high heat until melted but not browned…add half the corn and cook until it begins to brown (and some will POP!) then add the mint leaves and salt and put in a bowl.  Add the second half of the butter, repeat the whole process…serve.  No kidding this is one of those dishes that is  totally simple, fresh, sweet/savory and delicious.  It looked like this…


(Hey check out the poppy seed cake R made for my quilt class…what a guy…and he can make orchids re-bloom too…)






…waiting for the salmon off the grill…TRY THIS…no kidding.



The Cruise Interval


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In the midst of the very busiest week of the summer we headed to Portland, met up with the art group members and mates, jumped onto Dayna and Howard’s boat “Rapture”, and headed out onto the Columbia River, heading west.  When we first arrived at the slip though, I thought it might be the nightmare cruise for me, one who doesn’t like to be photographed…


and there were plenty of photo ops…here our hostess Dayna snapping Katy and Jim…


and here the agile Leo getting a group shot…


but things calmed and once we got out onto the River the cameras turned outward…




the day was perfect, there was not much wind, the temperature was neither hot nor cold…Howard was at the wheel and we proceeded from the Columbia into the Willamette and decided to go see some of Portland’s bridges.  Most of us had never been on the river and were pretty much amazed every minute of our four hours on the water.  Howard was at the helm the whole time…but he did get some dinner…




a LITTLE hi-jinks (the female members of the group are all artists and recognized the interesting shadow possibilities…)


We headed west under the Interstate bridge across the Columbia…


then under the St John’s Bridge…



the Fremont bridge…



the Broadway bridge…delightfully red…


and then headed for the Steel bridge…the end of the line for us…


It’s just a little too low and the boat is a little too tall…it can just squeak under but it takes a slow half hour to do it…


Before we turned around we saw the Burnside bridge in the distance and noticed that as the river turns the bridges open out like a fan.  By now it was rush hour but the river was serene and quiet…time to eat…



…hey, what’s Katy doing?


“writing” in the guest book…Jim memorialized…


R contemplating…bridges I think…


and on the way back to the dock we headed east…toward the airport…and watched one plane after another take off up over the river…


And then the truly amazing part to me…how was Howard EVER going to put this huge boat into that little slip???





YAY!  We burst into spontaneous applause…(Nancy, Kathy, Howard and Calvin on the bridge) cruisevyay-howard

We jumped into our cars and headed home…with a more standard view of the Burnside bridge…


Thanks Dayna and Howard for a fantastic and memorable voyage…



The Proofs Arrived!


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Roger Hull has been researching, writing, interviewing and thinking about the Portland modernist painter Louis Bunce for 3 years, at least.  As usual I’ve had the most interesting time tagging along to lenders, archives, museums and galleries as Roger pulled together the story of Bunce’s life and work…a VERY fascinating story.  The book, “Louis Bunce: Dialogue with Modernism” is written, and yesterday the proofs arrived from the designer.  As many times as this has happened, and this is the ninth book about regional art and artists that he has written, this moment of the box arriving (nowadays from Fed-ex) is always exciting.  Of course these days there’s a PDF but Roger always prefers to have one hard copy for a final edit.  Here’s a sneak preview….

Bunce 1

Bunce 2

Bunce 4 (1)

Bunce 4

Bunce 5

Bunce 6

The big painting show will open in January with the work on paper opening on November 5th…more specifics as we get closer…this calls for a toast!!

Bunce 7