Art Laundry and Where Art Comes From

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This week of working in the backyard studio with Carolyn Schneider, somebody I’ve known since the 7th grade when we met in an art class, has been fun.  Interesting.  Poignant.  Hilarious.  Sad.  Our own work, our dead mothers and fathers, our family dynamics, aging, our own work…all this talk whirling around while we have worked has brought feelings, ideas and thoughts to our dialog beyond just what the art project of the moment might be.   Depth of feeling and meaning in work have been our topics…

studio

sorrowsturbulencemeaning

and everything we have talked of and thought of was brought to the fore when we visited the Hallie Ford Museum today to see the wood carvings of Russell Childers.  Beautifully curated by Jonathan Bucci the show “Russell Childers: Oregon Outsider” is up at the museum until October 23rd, giving you LOTS  of time to see it.

A victim of the Eugenics movement (removing the “damaged” from society) the deaf and dumb Childers was placed by a judge in Salem’s state facility “Fairview Training Center for the Feeble Minded” (as it was then called) when he was aged 10, over the objections of his mother…and he spent the next 38 years of his life at Fairview.  He began to carve wooden pieces while there and it was his talent as a carver that eventually gained his release.  This work embodies all that Carolyn and I talked of this week and much more…feelings, memories, the desire to make…it’s all here in this beautiful work.  I’m not going to label each piece but reading the informative labels will deepen your feeling for the show I think, as it did ours.

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boys lining up for showers

they took his shoes at night

dog 2

tool chest

Also on view at the museum in another nice show curated by Bucci, are the drawings of sculptor Jan Zach…Zach and a student of his “discovered” Childers and his work, giving him some years of acclaim and inspired working.  The Judith and Jan Zach Archive is part of the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive of the papers of regional artists, and many of the drawings are from the archive.

Zach 1

Zach 3

Zach 2

In the “on-loan” section of the museum just now is a nice Milton Avery painting

Avery

…and then I visited my family blanket in the Marie Watt piece…

Marie Watt (1)

before we headed off for a restorative coffee…

coffee for three

Two more days of “Art Laundry” before Carolyn goes home and the Compass Gallery returns to a gallery…laundry no more.  1313 SE Mill Street…11:00-3:00.  Tomorrow Carol Green will be with us sewing bags.  Come on down.

Art Laundry card piece

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Laundry, III

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Carolyn Schneider and I met in a 7th grade art class.  Our first forays into the art world were on the subway into the city to go to the Art Institute of Chicago when we were 13.  We’ve been looking at art, thinking about art and making art ever since.  For the last decade we’ve had an annual studio event either in her California studio, or in mine…more talking, more looking, more art-making, some writing.

In 2012 we had a gallery show in Fort Bragg, California which we called “Art Laundry” and it looked like this. 

Art LAundry 1, Lost Coast Culture MAchine

Art Laundry 1

Drawings, quilts, mending, sewing, prints…it even included my little “Gallery of Plaid”

art laundry 3

and then in 2015 Carolyn and ART LAUNDRY came to Salem…and it looked like this:

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Peggy ironing

C ironing, 2015

Carolyn and Q, Art LAundry 2

Sue and HaroldJo and JimDave and San

Carolyn, 2015

me-art laundry selfies

birds, Art Laundry 2015, Roger Hull and friend

Art Laundry card piece

It was drawing, it was quilts, it was talking and masks and thinking of that interface between making art and doing routine work and domestic work, it was fun and serious.

This year Art Laundry III comes to the Compass Gallery at the Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill Street SE.  August 3 the gallery will be hung with Carolyn Schneider’s drawings, my quilts and monoprints.  Beginning Monday August 8 Carolyn and I will be in the gallery for 4 days, 11-3 daily.  Carolyn will be performing public ironing and talking about work of all kinds.  The “opening” will be Thursday night     August 11th at the gallery, from 5-7.  We urge you to come see us, bring some ironing, sit and talk about the work you are making, the work we are making, or how you learned to iron a shirt…see you very soon!

how to iron a shirt

detail how to iron

Ross Sutherland, 2015

The Melange That is July…This Year

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What a crazy mixed-up fun month this has been…so far.  Possibly there is a limit to how much fun you can actually have in one calendar month, but I haven’t maxed out yet.   The fourth of July of course (see below).  Then visitors…

How and Amy came and we looked at the bridge progress..

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How pointed out the end-of-the-day routine the workers have for the crane…

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we checked the local architecture…

examining architecture

went to the MIG farm cart and had a coffee at Archive…

coffee

MIG lunch

We drew…

THE LAST DRAWING

we hugged…

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Martha and I headed up to Yale Union to see the last day of the Susan Cianciolo show and to attend a “workshop” (we had no clear idea of what we’d be doing…but what the heck…).  Yale Union is just a beautiful space in an old garment factory/warehouse…you must go and take a look as it is now one huge open space with a running ribbon of windows…well, you just want to move in and start working.

Kimono 1

First we look at Susan Cianciolo’s work…I was especially interested in the idea of “kits”…of her mixture of fabric/quilted pieces and narrative and collections and the stuff of everyday life…the evidence of children and their ideas was engaging to me.

kit 9

kit 8

kit 7

kit 6

kit 5

kit 4

kit 3

kit 2

kit 1

kit 11

and now it was time for the workshop…

workshop 1

Susan Cianciolo

and the task at hand was to make a kimono.  I was more interested in her ideas of making notational books, and began to develop the idea of “workbooks” as I slouch toward “Art Laundry” (stay tuned for that one…) and so…voila, the kimono work book was the end result of my 2 1/2 hours of work…

Kimono workbook

Many people there though really did make kimonos, and it looked like this…

Kimono 7

Kimono 6

Kimono 4

Kimono 2

with three young designers, former students of Susan Cianciolo’s, there to help…

Kimono 3

Kimono 5

Ellen and Larry were here for a few days of total relaxation and I obliged by NOT photographing them…

“Waterlines” went up at the Compass Gallery and here I meanly only photographed my own work, but Dayna Davidson Collins has a bunch of lovely paintings…come take a look…up til August 1st.

waterlines

Quilt group met at our house this week for the “reveal”…all the things we made from Kate’s “ugly fabric” give-away last December (the fabric she gave us wasn’t ugly really…it was the color of a mouse)…true to form the projects were as different as the makers…and just as nice…

Berniece

IMG_0617

Eve

Deanna

Kate (1)

Kathleen (1)

Lynda

Olga 2Olga 1

Ethelwyne

We exchanged more uglies to be revealed next December…ate some yummy salads…

Salads

and then Deann’s homemade cheesecakes nicely presented (and yummy)…

D's dessert

and today I cleaned the sewing “cottage” and sewed all day…

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SEWING COTTAGE 2

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The framer called and they found How’s little piece that was having a frame repair and then got lost…

How's piece back home

SO, what next?  There are some “workbooks” all ready for “ART Laundry”…

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Art Laundry card piece

More info coming on that one…but now maybe the beach?  Drawing for sure, sewing for sure…there are still 10 more days…!

 

 

The Heart of the Summer

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That’s what I always think the 4th of July is, the heart of the summer, the time of blueberries and peaches…even though there are still three more months ahead and only one behind…(too many years on the academic schedule I guess.)  And for us the 4th of July means the beach…this year like most of the last 24…  Our little part of the beachy world looks like this, looking back toward land and then looking across the bay to the spit…

beach pano 1

beach pano 2

From our vantage points around our small neighborhood we look south and west, see the tides move and the sun set, watch the fireworks…

beach 3.5

beach 7 (1)beach 3beach 5

beach 4

beach 6

and this year there was special magic afoot…

beach unicorn

things that had been lost were re-found…

Bunny 3Bunny 1Bunny 2

Beach bunny 5

Beach bunny 3

Beack Bunny 1

NEW things were found…

Beach MLZ 1

Beach MLZ 2

…a few things found new life (thanks Lisa, thanks Zach)…

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there were games…

Beach games 1Beach games 2

Beach games 3Beach dressup

Beach legois 2Beach legos 2

drama…

Beach haircut 1

Beach lunch

sports…

Beach sports

the chef was in the kitchen…

Beach chef

the table was ready…beach house 2

the clean-up crew was efficient and worked fast…

Beach clean-up crew

and though our house is small…

Beach house 1

there’s room…

Beach story time (1)

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And of course a few traditions were continued…

culinary triumph

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Nearby we found the PERFECT view lot of our dreams (but sadly not our bank account)

beach wish

had waaaayyy too much fun…

Bach morning 1Beach morning 2Beach morning 3

and came home with a little bit of laundry (that would be 6 loads…)

Beach 6 loads

the only wish for next year?   A washer and a dryer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering “Newt”

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Francis John Newton was a curator at the Portland Art Museum from 1953 to 1960.  In 1960 he became Director of the museum until he retired in 1975.  He was very involved in the Portland art community, and well remembered.  We came to Oregon in 1970 and as “new kids from a different neighborhood (Salem)” we never met him…until now.

By a VERY indirect route we discovered that there still existed an archive of material about Newton in his old house…now rented to a friend of a friend of a friend.  We set out with Rex and Diane Amos, Linda and Peter Janke to do some art sleuthing and hit the mother lode.  The house…Newton’s house

Newt's house

…now belongs to Darcia Krause, daughter of the painter LaVerne Krause.  Krause, Newton’s partner, died in 1987, and when Newton himself died in 2004 the house went to Krause’s daughter Darcia.  Darcia generously welcomed the art sleuths to come take a look…

FJN archive

here R and Darcia look at photos…

Roger Hull and Darcia Krause

We discovered there wasn’t much about Newton on the internet, so much of this information adds to what little there is, and since most of what we saw were photos, the man came alive for me.  He was born in 1912 in Montana and grew up in Butte.  His paternal grandparents were from Ohio…

Newton grandparents,Ohio

he had an older brother Joe…

Newt and Joe in a goat cart

He graduated from many places over the years…(middle of the back row) Butte High School maybe?

Graduation 1

(far left) University of Idaho maybe?

graduation 3'

got an honorary degree (?)

Newt

Played baseball for the University of Idaho and later up in Burke…

ball player

Idaho Bulletin

was in the pacific in WWII…(on the right)

Newt (on the right)

traveled to Korea after the war before coming home…(again on the right)

in Korea after WWII (1)

was a curator at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts.

Newt Worcester (1)

He traveled…

passportt 1 (1)

passport 2 (1)

he lectured…

lecturing

he loved to bake bread…

Newt baking

and built a baking corner into his kitchen…

Newt baking corner

He had friends and partied a bit…here with Phyllis Johanson and Milton Wilson…

Phyllis

Ken Shores…

Ken Shoires

LaVerne Krause and Linny Adamson…

LaVerne and Newt

The Gilkeys…

The Gilkeys

George Johanson…

George Johanson

George and

LaVerne Krause

LaVerne Krause (1)

LaVerne Krause

and as always, there were a couple of amazing archival “moments”…three actually.  The first was when we stood around the table each reading something.  Rex Amos picked up a clipping and a note of condolence on the death of Newton’s older brother Joseph and as he read he realized the note was from himself…

Rex

Rex's letter (1)

A small wooden sculpture was produced that LaVerne Krause found in a junk store and brought to Newt…carved by the artist Russell Childers…who we know about because this summer the Hallie Ford Museum in Salem is mounting a show of the work of Russell Childers, opening in early August and curated by Jonathan Bucci.  (Childers was a self-taught artist who spent 38 years at the Fairview Training Center…and made many carvings while there…including another version of the Bear nursing her cubs.  He was deaf and could not speak, and was sent to Fairview at age 10, released at 48 when his work was then discovered by the sculptor Jan Zach.)

bearbear 2

and then, the final thing…proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is a small world…was this letter from July 4, 1960, congratulating Francis J. Newton on being named director of the Portland Art Museum and inviting him to a party in his honor, a letter written by Eunice Parsons (then Eunice Jensen) who this very summer is celebrating her 100th birthday.  (Luckily the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive at Willamette  University houses the papers of both Jan Zach and Eunice Parsons…and many more.)

note from Eunice

So very nice to finally meet you Francis J Newton.  Your life was full.

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SUMMER!

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I actually do have a serious and informative post for later in the week, but I’ve been doing some summer things of late…it began with a seismic upgrade which meant cleaning the basement, this of a house we’ve lived in for 36 years…can you IMAGINE what a momentous photo this is??

Summer 1

…and artist Kathryn Cellerini Moore has been working to make our garden so gorgeous before she goes off to an AIR at Playa in Summer Lake, Oregon, in August…it has been great to have an artist in the garden…

Summer 3

and gardens are key…ours and the gardens of friends…

Summer 4

summer 18

summer 13

Summer 13 (1)

eating outside…

Summer 12

summer 6

summer 19

good fresh produce…

summer 10

summer 7

summer 9

and for the third year having to look up my blueberry chutney recipe on my own blog…good quick summer cooking…(this was a garlic aioli potato salad)

summer 8

looking at fabric…this beautiful piece from Japan collected by a friend…

Summer 5

a little sewing…

summer 16summer 17

making an “artist-curated charm pack” (I stole the idea) for Sharon’s birthday…

Summer 20

and garden parties!  Kay and John’s 25th wedding anniversary in their beautiful and lively garden…

summer 22 (1)

summer 21

SUmmer Kay and John

summer 23

summer festive

summer sprinkler

and then in Sharon’s garden remembering Bob who has been gone from us for 5 years now… his ties were colorfully decorating Sharon’s tree today in remembrance…

summer, ties

happy summertime friends.

summer 11

 

David Selleck, Joe Rudko and Fathers

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Well we headed to Portland for Father’s Day festivities…

FD 1

Which started with looking at art, of course.  I’m a fan of David Selleck who had a show at Blackfish Gallery

FD4

FD3

FD2

FD6

R took a look at Steve Tilden’s small sculptures…

FD5.5

I liked this one…(sort of like a tiny Marie Watt)

FD5

The neighborhood is unrecognizable for those of us who navigate by landmarks…this building across the way was coming down that very day…

FD7

and as we went down the block to PDX we saw this thing which has sprung up in the last few months…

FD8

yikes.  But we did manage to get into PDX Gallery where we saw the wonderful show of Joe Rudko‘s work “Album”…go…the work is just nice, beautiful, lively, funny, original.

FD10

FD11

fd13

FD12

time for coffee…

FD12 (1)

and on..with the festivities of the next day including presents and good food and a pool party!

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and of course thoughts of Dads…and grandfathers

HCDPiatt ansd the kids sc00e33467 sc003f296e (1)PHH FBH

Harold Hull

 

 

The Heart of the Quilting Community

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It’s interesting how every community is composed of overlapping circles of smaller communities…we, for instance, are part of a neighborhood community, a preservation community, an art community, a university community, a garden community and more.  We value these circles and like the network they provide for us.

In addition to the above, I’m a member of the community of quilters and the heart of that little community for decades has been Greenbaum’s Quilted Forest.  It’s kind of like “Cheers”…everybody knows your name.  Store owners Sylvia and Bill Dorney are friends and neighbors…both are past traditional retirement age, both are wanting less work and more time with grandsons, travel, fun…we all get THAT.  The business has been for sale for two years, with the Dorney’s agreeing before it went on the market that after two years if it hadn’t sold they would close.  Today’s headline tells the tale.

G1 (1)

Sylvia and Bill took over the dry-goods business that had been in Sylvia’s family for 116 years and re-imagined it into a quilt store, just as people were not sewing their own clothes but WERE starting to quilt.  I wasn’t a quilter at the time and wondered how that would go for them…gang-busters is the answer.  Over the years the store was often rated in the top 20 of such stores nationally.

They knew their clientele, they were willing to order things you might need, and their stock was up to the minute.  So today I went in for a last haul BEFORE the sales start as a thank-you for all this place has meant to me and to so many of us.  I shopped big and it was fun…but sad.  No more turkey pops at Thanksgiving, no more red punch cards, no more good advice about the best way to do this or that, or help choosing the PERFECT backing or how to store 5 yards of wool batting…yep…we a little bit have our hearts broken today.  We know we’ll heal BUT…here’s how it looked…

G2

G3

G4

here’s store mascot Lovey…

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G9 (1)

G9

G8

Lisa cutting my batting…a 16 year employee with a LOT of know-how…

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G6

redeeming my last punch cards…

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The only good part was Sylvia’s grin from ear to ear.  Good bye friends.

 

What to Do in June…

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Well the month is half gone…the light remains until 9:00 p.m….there’s lots of time to do stuff.   Things comes into the house as shares …

Julie

Claudia's thankyou

Melanie's thankyou

San's cherry jam

DAVE;S RACE TRACK

there are the activities of house-holding…

bean patrol

tidy up 1Tidy up 2

artist in the garden 1artist in the garden 2

picnic

play…

S2

read (1)

Christine's water (1)

Christine's stuff

…oh…draw…

coffee break

IMG_9636

sew…

binding

look at art…

watching the video

Nelson Sandgren (2)

Royal Nebeker

Brice Marden

send off the last Circle 8 drawing book…

J 2J 3J 4

J 5J 6J 7

J 9Janet 1J fabric

J package

Draw…

Kathy-Katy

and draw…

Nancy

and it isn’t even summer yet…ahhhh.

Sky show

 

Tuesday Quilt Group

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Once a month we come together from our different lives and different points of view to sit for a few hours, do a show and tell, and then companionably work.  It is this exact thing, this feeling of sitting and working in a group of talented people, that I am only now coming to understand as a truly energizing moment in my life.

Yesterday we were at Deanna’s and the show and tell was beyond lovely.  Deanna’s grandmother and Lynda’s grandmother were sisters.  They each have quilts made by their grandmothers, and both Deanna and Lynda come out of a tradition of quilting.  The first quilt Deanna showed us was one with a familiar star…

the flower-star

the day a few months ago that I showed this wacky quilt I was working on…

trip me 2

Deanna and Lynda spotted it immediately as a pattern their grandmothers had used…

f-s 2

f-s 4

and then we saw some more quilts…

q 4q 2q 1

with the best/worst story of this quilt…

car quilt

which Deanna rescued from her brother who was using it on the roof of his car to pad his bike….arggghhh?!

and then we  had some coffee and did some work…

Lynda

Kathleen

Kate (1)

Eve

Berniece

Olga

See you in July at my house!

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