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!

 

 

 

 

So What About Blogs?

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My blog posts have fallen off (and so have my statistics!)…maybe blogs are going the way of all things in this fast world of ours?  My need to provide a narrative thread for this blog is slipping as I do more and more on Instagram…quick image, one line…done.  The trouble with it is you have to have a smart phone to participate…which makes it kind of a “club”…something to think about. Opinions?

So my blog titles have been pretty generic and inclusive of a bunch of stuff…this one included.  Our weeks seem chopped up, disjointed, not narrative in form.  But, after 3 weeks, we HAVE done a bunch of stuff so here’s a sampling,  June as July roars towards us…

We visited Christy and Laura Wyckoff recently.  Christy is a master print maker, painter, glass artist, retired teacher, and Laura is a writer.  They live in a big old Portland four-square house that they have done interesting things to including removing all walls on the second floor to make a big studio for Christy to work in.

…and Sidney came too…

but “NO PHOTO”

I was chatting with Laura and Sidney and acting overly polite so neglected to get photos of the great wall texture, the nice sitting area, etc…I did get these though, painted by Christy some years ago on plaster fragments on a chimney after seeing all the frescoes in Italy…

Piccolo Park was visited at a rare time when we were the only ones there!?!

We took in Anna Fidler’s show at Charles Hartman Fine Art…

took a lunch break at Pearl Bakery

and saw Angelita Sermon’s paintings and glass at Waterstone…

did a sleep over at Fernridge (Sidney’s house)

and then of course…SUMMER!

Damien Gilley spoke informally about the mural he’s painting in a Salem alley

I taught a drawing class…and they were brave…

It was called “The Habit of Drawing”…week one they came and got a book and I gave them things to think about, they went away with the assignment to “draw every day” and came back a week later to talk about what happened and show the results.  It was fun…

“Do a selfie”

“Do something to the cover if you want…”

and then we headed to the beach to beat the heat…

Here’s my brother Howard’s watercolor of how our beach house might have grown…

Fog banks rolling in as the valley heats up…

Okay July…heading right at you!

 

 

 

Salem Sketchers

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For a couple of years an intrepid group of local artists has been participating one Saturday a month in what is an international movement of urban sketchers…very casual, very fun.  Each month they draw at a different location…I’ve dropped in and out, but decided to join today, even though the weather was iffy…(58 degrees on June 10th…yikes…thunderstorms predicted for the afternoon and it almost NEVER thunders in Oregon).  The group was led up to the terrace over the restaurant Orupa at the Water Place building and at first there was some watery sun…

I chose this view…

and everybody settled down to work…

Katy and I were at a table under an umbrella…

Uh oh…

and then the rain started and this person captured the moment…boing!

Still, in spite of the rain, it was a jolly morning…(Happy Birthday Jessica!)

some people headed inside…

Mike Bergen showed us his new book

and then “the reveal”…

duly photographed…

Way too much fun…better think of coming along…the second Saturday of every month.  In July the sketchers will be in the Gaiety Hollow Garden and in August at the Rogue brewery in Independence.  COME!  it’s free fun.

 

Creative Thinking When Zoning Fails

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“Densification” “Infill”…modern words.  These words weren’t part of the vocabulary 25 years ago when we bought this little beach house…

Across the street was a heavily wooded lot with huckleberries, salal, shorepines, rhoadies…it looked like this…and birds lived here…”habitat.”

For 25 years we rolled up to our house knowing that one day we’d drive in and find something different there…and it finally happened.  The people to the north bought the lot and for a couple of years left it alone, but plans were afoot for a garage with an apartment above for their children and one day we drove up to see this…trees all cut down…

and Friday, after a two week absence…

The thing to keep in mind here is that all but one house on Ebb Street is one story, and this garage is taller than the one two story house.  And here is the old view from inside, and the new…

We, on the other hand, were not allowed to put on a small front porch so made do with a pergola…

But, hilariously, I put a photo on Instagram this weekend and have received suggestions to think of it as an Italian villa…Roger and my brother suggested a paintings by Sassetta and Giotto…

and Rachel thought maybe just an Italian villa…

…so now, we are amused.   Sort of.

 

 

 

Art and Life, Again

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We took a little trip back to the 1950’s this week when we headed to Palm Springs with John and Kay to see the Abstract Women Painters of the 1950’s show at the Palm Springs Art Museum.  The show started in Denver and has been traveling but was in it’s last week at Palm Springs.  Since Kay’s son and daughter-in-law own a house there where we could stay, we collectively thought it might be the perfect four-day getaway mini-vacation, so off we went (R communing with the Louis Bunce mural in PDX)…

arriving after dinner but in time for a swim and a hot tub moment..

First, The House:  The house is in a development made by developers George and Bob Alexander called Racquet Club Road Estates in 1958-60.  There were three basic designs in the development of 350 houses, designed by architects Palmer & Krisel and one model looked like this…

similar to “Rancho Relaxo” ( a “model A with side entrance” ) which looks like this:

here’s a detail of the “Breeze Bricks” (oh, that’s Kay)…

The houses are small…about 1200 square feet, essentially each a 35 foot square box.  An original kitchen looked like this…

and the updated version at Rancho Relaxo looks like this:

Kay and John had the master with ensuite bath, R & I bunked here…

the living area:

of course, the best, a pool…a salt water pool… (and since two of the days we were there it was 110 degrees, we spent a lot of time in the pool):

(BTW this house is available to rent on VRBO # 710203)

Okay, now to the art.  In four days we saw a lot and were pretty amazed at all we took in.  The Palm Springs Art Museum is a lovely small museum and the show looked wonderful.

Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell are two personal favorites of mine and these paintings were smashing…energetic, lively and intricate.

Krasner:

Mitchell:

Frankenthaler:

The show included painters I did not know before, my favorites were Perle Fine

and Mary Abbot

Most of the paintings in the show date from the 1950’s except for this very early Krasner from 1942 (from about the time Krasner would have known Portland’s Louis Bunce in New York…it was Bunce who introduced Krasner to Jackson Pollock, who she later married)

Also in the museum was this fascinating show by sculptor Michael Parker revolving around a video of the construction of, and destruction of, a large cardboard piece on a wooden armature…the sections of which formed the display for many smaller sculptures…

AND, leaving no stone unturned, we dropped R at the Palm Desert outpost of the museum while Kay and I went to a quilt store (John went hiking, taking the Gondola up the mountain to a starting point where he would try to get to 10,000 feet…but the altitude kept him at a slower pace so he didn’t reach the goal, but had a great day hiking in 70 degrees while we sweltered in 110 down below).  When we went to pick R up at the museum he motioned me in, saying he thought I might be interested…and I was.

A few months ago I had read in the NYTiimes of artist Pat Lasch who was commissioned to make a “birthday cake” sculpture for the Museum of Modern Art’s 50th birthday (1979) and then was serene in the knowledge that her piece was part of the museum collection.  When the curator from the Palm Springs museum inquired of MOMA about Lasch’s piece for inclusion in a show they were preparing, it was discovered that Lasch’s piece had been destroyed…a “curatorial nightmare”.

So here was the show of other work by Lasch…

These “fabric” pieces are all constructed with Golden paint…rolled, piped, etc.

AND, of course we had to nose around Palm Springs itself, visiting the oldest house, the Cornelia White House built on railroad ties (1915)

wherein Kay and I found a terrific old quilt…

we did some car shopping…

ate at Trios and Lulu’s

jumped into the rental car and headed to the airport…

now, off to the beach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Life I Lead

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Life changes in a second or two…we have come to know that.  A misstep, a speeding paint truck, a diagnosis, a sloppy politician who has the nuclear codes, a tsunami or earthquake…poof…our beautiful lives are gone or irrevocably changed.  While we are in these lives though, it is worthwhile to notice them, to be impressed with a sunny day, a hilarious child, people and places to visit and things to think about, a decent cappuccino.

I’ve won the lottery, I know that.  I have a nice house, an interesting, loving and very witty partner, a family and friends so lovable it would take another 10 blog posts to describe.  I have the huge luxury of time to make things and look at things.  Art work, gardens, beaches, studios, books, meaningful work…these are what my life now is made of.  Next week, next year, who knows?  Since I know these will be taken from me by accident or design or just time itself, I want to look at one day…today for instance…so here it was…

Leaving home early and picking up Sidney (with new knee patches and sun hat)

We met up with friend Jennifer Viviano, newly minted MFA from the Applied Craft and Design program, a combined effort of PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art) and OCAC (Oregon College of Arts and Craft).  Jennifer was a very successful graphic designer of talent, but was wanting more creative time, a shift of scene from the graphic needs of clients to thinking of things in a deeper and more personal way.

Jennifer toured us through the “Otherwise Chaos” Practium Exhibition at the Bison Building (421 NE10th)…

We liked Becca Gore’s ceramic pieces a lot…

and this terrific cafe (didn’t find the artist’s card)…caught Sidney’s eye…

and then Jennifer’s piece…

plaster base, basalt blocks, porcelain “bones”…and as Jennifer explained the thought process and the actual physical activity of combining a plaster base, basalt blocks  topped with “bones” made of porcelain wrapped around rolled newspaper and auto glass, she explained the serendipity of what happened with the piece…

when one “bone” fell off revealing the charred paper,

and when people at the opening began scooping up the broken glass and throwing on the pile to hear the lovely tinkling sound as it trickled into the blocks…

Sidney found it irresistible…

and Jennifer showed him Maria Garcia’s light piece…

Aaron’s video construct…

the studios

the metal shop

the air stream…the Air Stream?  Time for lunch…

and then a quick stop at Cindy’s studio.  R’s begun the research and writing process about the work of painter Lucinda Parker in preparation for a monograph and show of her work at the Hallie Ford Museum in 2019…and he had to make a quick stop to pick up some files so we ran in to check the newest mountain paintings…pretty nice…

She’s certain this one is finished…

then some static electric sliding…

playtime (not sure what game they had going…?)

eventually heading home…

and so this day of interest, privilege, fun, family…a day not unlike so many days…comes to an end….and having written about it here I can revisit this day again…

City Day

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Saturday we left home early to hear George Johanson talk about his new show at Augen Gallery (in the DeSoto Building)…the paintings are lovely and lively, as is the painter.  I particularly liked this self portrait…(just above George’s head in the upper left of the painting is Louis Bunce’s life mask, which hangs in George’s studio…) but they are all nice.  Go take a look…

City lunch followed…

and then we took in the show of architect John Yeon’s work curated by Randy Gragg, which recently opened at the Portland Art Museum.  There are some rather fantastic new models of some of Yeon’s famous houses, and these GIANT photo murals of places he worked to save…it’s a nice show…go take a look.  Here’s the Aubrey Watzek House (1936-38)…

and this fascinating description of his idea of letting the balloon frame “show” and just inserting windows in the spaces between studs…

Leaving the museum I was reminded of Dale Strand’s gardening advice to me some years ago…”stake every stem”…

We headed to Sidney’s house and crossing the bridge saw a view of about the closest I’ve ever been to a rainstorm but yet NOT been in it…

then a hole in the storm…

then hail (or “kale” as Sidney later told us as in “there was kale all over the ground after the storm).

It WILL stop raining, right?  We chatted with Sidney while some activity was going on…

and did a sleep over so that we could be on hand for the Mother’s Day Brunch…Yum!!

then home to the Capital City once again for a quick 15 minutes of gardening before the next storm…

and a Blue Apron dinner…

off into the new week ahead…