At A Glance

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While in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art the other day I went up to the corner on the second floor where new work is often shown, and found these three nice prints, gifts of Greg Kucera and Larry Yocom of Seattle.  Collections Curator Jonathan Bucci had alerted me to the Louisiana Bendolph print “Shared Legacy” which was donated in honor of artist Marie Watt.  I had seen the show of Gee’s Bend prints back in 2000 or so at Kucera’s Seattle Gallery but had forgotten how really nice they are…certainly referencing the Gee’s Bend Quilts but also Korean pojagi construction.

Additionally Kucera/Yocom have donated this handsome Kerry James Marshall print “Untitled (Young Woman)” in honor of artist Stephen Soihl

and this print by sculptor Martin Puryear …

and hanging with these is a perennial favorite from the museum collection…a lithograph by Faith Ringgold “The Sunflower Quilting Bee at Arles”…

So even though Louis Bunce has departed there is still a museum full of artwork to go see…

 

 

 

Farewell to Louis Bunce

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The Louis Bunce show “Dialogue with Modernism” closed at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art Sunday, with curator Roger Hull leading one last gallery tour.

Here’s Roger talking about Portland painter George Johanson’s portrait of Louis and one of Bunce’s beautiful Harold Street paintings (on the right)…

and here’s a snapshot of Louis talking intently with painter Willem de Kooning in de Kooning’s Long Island studio in 1972, with Portland sculptor Manuel Izquierdo on the left and Portland painter George Johanson just behind Bunce…Bunce and de Kooning were old friends from “back in the day” when Bunce lived and painted in NYC…

and Bunce’s studio on Harold Street in Portland…

The four years of sleuthing, of archives, of visits with collectors…all came to an end…all the things Roger found and put in the show, and all the things that got away…

What a fascinating process as we’ve slowly come to know Louis…a terrific painter and a person who had a lot of fun…(here with George Johanson)

the last paintings…

curator Roger Hull

painter Louis Bunce…

 

The Lan Su Chinese Garden

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The Lan Su Chinese Garden (poetically “Garden of Awakening Orchids”) in Portland was completed in 2000, and I’ve long wanted to go for a visit.  R noticed this year that our Oregon Historical Society memberships gave us free entrance to the garden in March so it became the birthday excursion last Thursday, my birthday AND Sidney Day.  The three of us did a little fern trimming at Fernridge and then headed downtown…where Sidney petted a fierce Foo dog before we went in…

The booklet given to visitors told us that “The Lan Su garden is considered the most authentic Suzhou-style Chinese garden outside of China.  The more than 500 tons of rock in the garden are from China.  65 artisans for Suzchou (Portland’s sister city) lived in Portland for 10 months while they assembled and completed the structures that were crafted in China.  The garden features more than 300 plant species and cultivars found in traditional Chinese gardens.”  The “LAN” in Lan Su represents PortLANd and the Su from SUzchou…hence the combining of the two sister cities.

If you go on a Thursday morning you might want to take advantage of the free tai chi group…on the terrace of the Hall of Brocade Clouds…

But my delightful first encounter was with a beautiful Edgeworthia…

which took my breath away.  There were tree peonies in evidence everywhere, though not in bloom until May.  Around the grounds in various of the buildings was a temporary show of botanical drawings which were beautiful and I delighted to find several by my neighbor Aislinn Adams, including this one (sorry about the photo Aislinn)…

Sidney, however, had found the koi and we did lots of running the paths as the fish swam back and forth…

and the paths are also beautiful…

and all of the traveling revealed MORE Edgeworthia…hooray…

Mine has a ways to go…

there were waterfalls…

and many gorgeous wooden details on the buildings themselves.  Really, put this on your calendar for May and go see the garden in Spring bloom…I know I will, and you won’t be sorry.

Then on to lunch with the dinosaurs and a little drawing…

Back to Fernridge for some birthday action…

and then the lovely day had to end…

 

MY LIFE SO FAR

I published this on my birthday in 2009 and every year since, but I still think it tells my story so let’s go again…

Today is my birthday and I’ve attained a certain age.  I have plans, things to do, places to go.  But today I’m looking back.

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(I tried to cut my own bangs–oops.)

For a few years after “the war,” I was an only child.  We lived in an apartment in Chicago where I played.

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I REALLY wanted to be a “cowgirl.”  I dreamed of the far west.  I idolized Hopalong Cassidy.

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While I was running around the streets pretending to be this and that, my parents were building a new house and having a new baby.

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I noticed immediately that the driveway made a PERFECT stage:

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Time passed and many new houses were built filling up the street, new brothers arrived.

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Eventually they all moved into a bigger  house, but by then I was gone, starting a new life.  I moved to the far west to be a cowgirl.

Here’s to another year of fun, out on the ranch!!!

The One Sunny Day

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What a wet winter this has been…and still is.  One sunny day seems like a miracle, and the most recent one coincided with Sidney Day which meant more fun…the usual early departure…misty sun along the river…

Playground action all morning…”who’s that trippy-tropping on my bridge?”

a great slide…

producing some static electricity in the hair department…

lunch with the dinosaurs…

and a piece of art making me reflect on another morning activity…

home past the falls…

and just north of town, at the end of the day, the sky seems so big…

 

Old School

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That’s a phrase now, “old school”…meaning the way things used to be done or even how things used to look.  My brother Doug was here the other night and the talk turned to his blog about a real old school in the Alameda/Alberta district in Portland.  He was writing a blog post about the Old Vernon School in Portland which he “published” this morning (https://alamedahistory.org/2017/03/11/old-vernon-forgotten-neighborhood-ghost/)…take a look for a fascinating story of land development, neighborhoods, shifting perceptions.

Originally, many public schools across the nation were big wood-frame schools, buildings that occasionally burned down with disastrous results.  The trend in the 1920’s and 30’s was to tear town such schools and replace them with brick buildings, and Salem was not immune.  When one of these schools came down it was a total shift in the surrounding area as schools always serve as community centers, in a way, and there was usually a shift in the resulting land use once the school was gone..  I wonder if you know of old East School in Salem?  Here it is in it’s glory days…

Many photos of the developing neighborhood around the school were taken from the top of the school building, like this one looking east along Marion Street

and here’s a view of the old State Capitol building in the upper right before the dome was added…with Center Street, Chemeketa Street and Court Street visible…

and seen from the old State Capitol building, East school is the large white building on the left in this photo (you can see the turn in Center Street as it heads out to the State Hospital).

…And here’s East School ready for demolition…

Have you guessed what sits on the East School site now?

 

Artist in Residence at the Annex

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I’m having fun this month, doing one of the things I love to do…drawing.  In 2010 I was lucky enough to be the first Artist in Residence at the Annex at Bush Barn Art Center.  The luxury of having a project-oriented studio was new to me and very exciting, and I so appreciate this program that Salem Art Association has as an on-going part of the community arts and education arm of the organization.  This winter I’ve been lucky enough to reprise my experience in the newly remodeled Annex and the same sense of excitement is in the room.  I started February 13th and work on until March 8 and urge you to come down and draw or chat or sew.  I’m formally there Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 to 3, plus some other times too.  The beautiful new Annex is open during Bush Barn open hours and my work is on view.  The other day there were 4 artists sitting at a table drawing and talking and it was fascinating and fun.  Here’s some images of my day to day work…come on down…

Day one was setting up…I’m using plant material as my starting point and the Annex sits in a beautiful rose garden…some plants were saved for me and I brought them inside…

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Paper went up on the walls, panels have been prepared…

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luncheon has been served on rose plates I made in 2010…

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witch hazel has crept in…I’m working with wax and graphite and ink and gouache

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Elizabeth even brought me some witch hazel in bloom from her own garden…

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Lindsey came and brought some plant material from Gaiety Hollow…

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Kay came to sew…

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Christine and Katy, Corrie and Jim and Jo…

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one morning I found something somebody had left for me…

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See you soon…

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SRH and “Nasty Women”

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Thursday was Sidney day and though it had a fort in it…

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it was more about trains…

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Harry was playing…

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but we got dressed and headed out…

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this week to Eutectic Gallery

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to see the “Nasty Women” show…interesting from the perspective of one who has no cultural perspective…

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or rather, from one who has a particular cultural perspective…”why is Elmo gray”

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sculptures

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As you know, looking at art is a strenuous activity so off to Laughing Planet for some lunch and frolic with our friends…who were playing leap frog until the chips arrived…

 

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(they kinda made a mess…)

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cupcake choice …

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and a little mugging with my hat…

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and a video moment I include here because when I played this back for him he totally cracked up when the chocolate frosting hit his lip…

and then nap time when I commune with Harry…

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The Deckers

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The other morning I was sitting with a group of friends, sewing, and the talk was of memory and aging (and politics, but that’s another whole ball of wax…) and this morning I was tidying the bedroom and walked by this photo, as I do daily, but was drawn in today.  As I gazed at my parents, long gone from us (my Dad died 18 years ago this month) I thought what a very nice photo this is, and how fortuitous that the photographer (my brother Bruce) caught them at what was arguably one of the happiest moments of their lives together.

They were retired, they had moved far from the place where he was born and where they together had lived most of their lives…(Chicago) and here they were in Sequim, Washington, in the far west, on an adventure once again: building a new house…their dream house, building new lives and new friendships.  Survivors of the Great Depression and World War II, part of the generation that returned from war and built new houses and suburbs (and began the urban sprawl engulfing us)…here they were again, building a house.  A house with a view of the Straits of Juan de Fuca where they watched the giant ships through telescopes and binoculars…a house where each had a large office/workroom, where she had a pantry and a big modern kitchen.  Hats off to them…to June and Howard!

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