Today is Thursday…

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But for the first time in a few years we will not be heading up for “Sidney day” because he starts full-time preschool today.  Last week we had our last of such days, and though Sidney will still be a delightful part of our lives, the weekly conversation about this and that is complete.

Since Sidney and his family moved to Milwaukie a couple of years ago R & I have driven up on highway 99e instead of the freeway, and have our own set of “landmarks” so we took a few pictures and the day looked like this…

the “step-gabled” green building just north of town I’ve vowed to photograph, knowing it would be torn down one day…

the Sam Brown century farm barn miraculously restored…

the very beautiful Sam Brown house, sadly NOT restored…

Cloudy day sky

the Barlow house…

the driving head…

Ivy Street in Canby where we used to turn right to go to my Mom and Dad’s…

Pearson’s since 1934…

the old Oregon City houses all housing new businesses…

the tunnel

the Still (view of the falls from the deck)…

the bridges…

But, as we got closer, things got a little creepier…(Halloween is in the air)

and then the whirling dervish…the “Go Go”

The perfect outfit was found and off we go playing monsters…

first stop park number one…

“we’re going to Palm Springs”

then a little bit of art-looking (Marie Watt at PDX)

lunch and park number two…

home for a nap…(which on this day needed to be taken in a pile of pillows and quilts on the floor)

then a bit of a swim with the bike helmet for style…

and after some hugs and kisses…

 

 

 

 

Lucinda Parker, Alden Mason and a Research Road Trip

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A couple of weeks ago we hit the road to Seattle with stops along the way. I had mending, R drove and we zoomed north along with scary log trucks, heading to Longview, Washington.

R is deep into the manuscript he is preparing for a monograph on Portland painter Lucinda Parker, which will be published in conjunction with a show of her work at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art here in Salem in January of 2019.

We stopped in Longview at the Lower Columbia College to see a mural painted by Lucinda in 2007 and installed in the performing arts building in 2008.  We had seen the mural in her studio “back in the day”, but that was then and now is now.

The Mural is called “Where Water Comes Together With Other Water” and was inspired by a Raymond Carver poem, of which this is an excerpt:

“But the big streams have my heart too.

And the places streams flow into rivers

the open mouths of rivers where they join the sea

the places where waters come together

with other water.  Those places stand out

in my mind like holy places.”

the painting is huge, like most of Parker’s paintings it is filled with raw energy tamed by a refined eye, and an artist’s skilled hand.  Under the painting is a photo montage of the making of the painting…interesting to any viewer, but most especially to researchers…

this was my favorite image…ahhh the beginning…

The very nice woman working in the center directed us upstairs to see a charcoal drawing made after the fact and presented to the college…

and where we also got a killer view of the mural, feeling like we were falling into the confluence ourselves…

The woman proudly said the mural is lit at night and is “spectacular”…by day…nearly invisible…

I found a small “poem” at lunch break, in the bushes…

 

Smoke from forest fires hazed the Seattle area as we came in…

making our coffee stop at Shilshole Bay Marina a bit mysterious as the boats appeared and disappeared into the smokey haze…

We were lucky to spend a couple of nights with my brother Bruce and his wife Lee Ann and had a few hors d’oeuvres…

and several great meals including  one at the Cafe Munir…Lebanese and wonderful…

the talk was lively…

and luckily they had paper on the table for the obsessive-compulsive among us…

Bruce is a photographer and on his fridge was a photo from “back in the day” showing that he got an early start…the house we grew up in in suburban Chicago..

We left the peaceful Ballard house and headed downtown…

marveling as we do each trip about the familiar and the changing landmarks…

R was meeting Phen Huang, owner of the Foster White Gallery in Seattle, to look at some work by the Seattle painter Alden Mason (1919-2013).  Phen knew Mason all of her life and was his dealer when he was alive, and now is the dealer for his estate.  Phen Huang in conjunction with gallerist Greg Kucera (The Greg Kucera Gallery) and a group of others are publishing a book on Alden Mason with an art historical/critical essay by Roger Hull and contributions from other writers who knew Mason.  Though knowing a bit of Mason’s work over the years R needed to see more and as much as he could.  It was agreed that the gallery would get some things out for us to  look at (this is where I get lucky, readers…).  When we arrived at the Gallery there were maybe 15 paintings at the back arranged for the art historian…

a few early things…

and on…with a fascinating discourse from Phen about Mason’s work methods and how they changed as he aged and lost mobility…

file materials were produced and we left with a big box of research “stuff”.  We stopped at the Greg Kucera Gallery as there was a show of Gee’s Bend Quilts there that I wanted to see…

and Greg came in while we were there.  In addition to the quilts there are a series of prints made in conjunction with the Paulson Press in Berkeley, CA.  The printers developed a process where by a transfer was made…from an actual small scaled sampler quilt to an etching press coated with a thin layer of wax and then treated with acid to create the printable image.”  (From the Greg Kucera Gallery website)

He described the quilters at their sewing machine in the print studio making small samplers on the spot for the printers to use, a notion I really liked…here’s Louisiana Bendolph’s

and Mary Ann Bendolph’s

so bidding farewell to Seattle for a bit, we headed south to Centralia…to visit the library…now site of two big Alden Mason murals.

These two are located in the library at the college…they were commissioned by the Washington State Arts Commission in 1980, along with two others by Washington artist Michael Spafford for the Washington State House in Olympia.  Spafford’s murals were to be in the House and Mason’s in the Senate.  All four murals were constructed in odd semi-circular shapes to fit the space in the building.  Washington State Legislators found Spafford’s murals (the “Twelve Labors of Hercules”) obscene and had curtains made to cover them, and found Mason’s abstracts to be “out of place in the ornate, traditional marble chamber ” and that Mason’s murals “didn’t go with the new paint selected by an interior designer.”  All four murals were removed and put in storage in 1987.

Centralia College then-president Henry Kirk set about trying to get the murals for the college, including building a performing arts center with two spaces scaled to fit the Spafford murals…but I digress.  We arrived at the library and immediately found the Mason murals, looking rather beautiful…

(note the special shape Mason cut out to fit around a clock in the WA Senate chamber)

on our way into the library Roger spoke to a man asking how to find the murals and this was the VP in charge of Finance for the college who made a few calls and the performing arts center was opened for us to see the Spafford murals as well…which are just stunning…lucky lucky Centralia College!  These were installed in 2003, where I suspect they look a bit more elegant than they would have in Olympia.

By now we were hot and tired so after noting a few choices for dry gardening…

we headed to Portland for dinner at the P’s & Q’s Market

5 x 3’s on my brother Doug’s porch…

happy for an adventure and happy to be home…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dying Cedar

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We’re mourning a dying cedar tree when there are many more things to grieve about just now…but this tree has provided us shade and shelter for many years…a buffer from a busy traffic corner (our garden is the definition of rus in urbe).  It has that familiar dying cedar look to it (over the years two others on the perimeter have been lost.)  It isn’t our tree…and the owner of the house lives in Amsterdam (talk about absentee landlords!)

So as we were contemplating the matter one evening R wondered allowed how big the tree had been when we moved into the house…and it looked like this…

why, it was hardly more than a big Christmas tree!  And as it grew the garden got shadier and shadier and we replanted…

…something was added…

and so we’re waiting for the final chapter…

 

The Eclipse…

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The media is filled this morning…eclipse photos of great telescopic/cellphone beauty…ecstatic exclamations…large groups all experiencing together this moment of science and imagination…great fun.  I didn’t think I’d write about it since my pictures are blurry and unremarkable in every way…but…why not.

Maybe many of us though decided to experience this phenomenon in our own backyards…to watch our familiar horizons dim, to sit with our loved ones and our neighbors and just watch it roll.

The day before I scanned the empty blue sky where we would watch the moment unfold…

and then the loved ones arrived and so did the moment….

  

Jason brought Sidney some eclipse pancakes…

the neighbors began to gather in their own yards with friends and families…

the shadows began to lengthen…

the temperature dropped and the air became still…

…we all looked like we were in a black and white movie, and whether from excitement or solar intervention…ALL of my photos are out of focus (??)…

totality…

and then, way too quickly it became light again, the birds began to chirp…and we were off to Jim and Carol’s for the end of the saga…

and today it is sunny and bright, traffic runs as usual by our house…only the memory of an extraordinary moment is left…oh and one small creature left behind…

 

 

 

Sidney Day

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For three years R and I have spent one day a week with our grandson Sidney.  In September Sidney will be in school everyday and our daycare days will end, so these last few “Sidney Days” are precious…this week we had coffee and bubbles on the deck

then headed downtown to Blackfish gallery to see the “We the People” show…I asked Sidney if this was Wonder Woman…?

and he said “oh no Nana, Wonder Woman is the one in the underpants with stars”

Sidney made friends with Henry (visiting Portland from LA) in the park…

and we had PBJ at Pearl Bakery…as these days draw to a close I looked at some of the HUNDREDS of photos I’ve taken over these years so here’s a quick review…

wherein you can see that reading, park visits, Lonely Planet lunches, certain favorite locations for photos (like outside the cupcake store), visiting friends, urban hikes have all been terrific…

and as a result we are in the “NO PHOTO” phase…

but I’m sneaky…and though Sidney will still be a big part of our lives, these days of roaming around the city, conkers, snoopy park, the bubble dad at piccolo, dinosaur lunches are drawing to close, and they have been FUN!  The boy is growing up…

 

 

 

August Pursuits

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August and December are months when, for me anyway, not much art gets made because of family, gatherings, celebrations, weather…and so on.  And speaking of weather….we’re having a heat wave…last week three days in triple digits…so Tuesday when we left town it was already 99 but, blissfully, we arrived at the beach and it was a comfortable 66…52 miles away but over the mountains and down to the ocean.

The next day Sidney & Co arrived which livened things up considerably…

and we had a nice week of delicious meals (made by Z & A) and drawing and fun…

Spaceships….

Aliens…

the beach…

As the temperatures cooled the schedule of activities became a reality so off we went

taking the back road…

which we love, but only if we have time for the CARWASH INTERLUDE…

Which we did, so off to the wedding.  Meg, the daughter of R’s cousin Mary, was marrying Bryan and it was a lovely event with lots of time to catch up with family…however, the chairs were all in the blazing sun except for one little corner that George staked out for us so we sat in the back row…

which, as it turned out, gave me a good vantage point for catching a few pictures of the wedding party…however I wasn’t the only one who thought this was a good spot…

Never mind…Mary and son Al were all smiles…

…I got a few good shots (though I couldn’t hear what Jeff said to Meg as he walked her down the isle)…

and the Hulls took over table 5

the bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome and the room was filled with people who were happy and loving…though there was a bit of photo chaos…

but Rayanne got the shot…

Home we zoomed to repack the bags…next adventure ahead…

 

 

 

 

 

Roger Hull and Where He Works

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A loyal reader recently wrote and said she would enjoy seeing where Roger Hull writes his many monographs about regional art and artists.   As he is currently using both offices (the winter office and the summer office) I thought I might visit.  (Also, I have noted that when I write about Roger or quilts, my “stats” soar…)

Roger Hull is currently writing about Portland painter Lucinda Parker to go along with an exhibition at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in the winter of 2019 (January through March).  But here in the summer of 2017 the work is well underway.  Usually he writes upstairs…amid files and ephemera and work made by former students of yore….

like Kent Lew…

Dan Schmidt…

friends like DE May

 

Photos galore…

these days he uses two screens, one for images and one for text…

But…it’s summer and we don’t have AC…so when the fan and Lee Imonen’s “Basket” study fail to cool, down we go to the basement summer office…

past Matt Ferranto’s portrait of RPH (R thinks he looks like Woody Allen in this one)

to the basement, or…as we now call it…the summer office…

two screens…

So there you have it…work places abound in our world.  Oh, and here’s one for the quilters…I’m working on a “rescue quilt”…

 

Camp Sherman Retreat

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After the quilters left, I headed for coffee and a moment to regroup…

I was off to Camp Sherman on the Metolius River where Katy and family have a cabin.  For the last few years our Salem Art Group (SAG) has gone over to Camp Sherman annually to gather, make art, talk about making art, and sit on the river in a beautiful place.  Camp Sherman is “off the grid” and the five (of the 8 members) of us are all pretty addicted to google, email, instagram…the usual.  Four days without connectivity though led to communication, laughing harder than I have in a decade, talking about what’s coming creatively for each, looking at books (Kiki Smith, Morandi, etc.)., making books, eating healthfully (it wasn’t so bad!), sleeping soundly to the river song…

Susan cooked…

everybody worked…

I mended…

and sewed…on the deck

and it was so warm we ate out on the river’s edge…

Here’s to the chef…Susan Napack!

and we talked and laughed and began to draw as the night fell around us…

I had made everybody a little book and had worked on mine in the afternoon…

the dripping wax was incorporated….

and everybody began to work.  The next morning there was a flurry of workbook activity before hiking and painting…and sewing for me…producing a few more blocks…

and then the drawing…everybody

drawing everybody…

 

“Three Little Birds”

“The Flower girls”

and then the books.  We sat around the table late into the night talking and making and laughing.  The conversations found their way into the books…

pareidolia (seeing faces in inanimate objects…thanks Jennifer Hull) reigned…

and then, sadly it was time to go…

 

 

 

 

Quilting With Friends

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I headed east over the mountains after the fourth of July to meet up with LeeAnn (coming from Seattle) and Mary (coming from Chattanooga) in Sisters in our home away from home for four days (The Quail’s Nest on Airbnb)…

We toasted ourselves with memories of five years ago when we went to Alabama to quilt

This year we were meeting up to go to friend Sujata Shah’s class called “Lattice”…a quilt from her book “Cultural Fusion”…

We set up…

and set to work…

and Sujata gave us encouragement and tips…

It was fun catching up with Sujata at lunch, and in the afternoon the quilt tops started to materialize…

Here’s the beginning of mine…I somewhat dully chose neutrals except for the turquoise…

We heard Sujata speak, we heard the quilter Joe Cunningham speak (after playing some walking-around-quilter blues) and other famous people…then the quilt show…all photo failures…

then a celebratory dinner with friends at The Open Door (Yum)

and a final goodbye…

with plans afoot to meet up and sew before another five years goes by.  Goodbye friends…

The 4th of July

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Well, America.  All that it means to us…the history, the narrative, the many wonderful people just trying to live a life.  Maybe the fourth of July is when I can put aside the politics and the incessant bad news of NPR and just revel in what I think summer in America is…for me anyway…

Pie for instance…(apple in this case)

sunny and cloudy days at the beach…

picnics

drawing

Flags

traffic (unfortunately)…

fireworks…

builders…

the judging of the largest fern contest…

and then a change of gears for me…

off to Sisters tomorrow for quilting, on to Camp Sherman for Art Camp…see you soon!