Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Lake Oswego Open Studios coming in October

   For reasons unconscious and deliberate, I became involved with beginning an annual open studios weekend for my community, Lake Oswego, and also including West Linn next door. During last years Portland Open Studios, I asked all the local artists who wandered in if they thought our town was ready for its own. Yes it was. So six artists, me included, created a nonprofit organization and began organizing. During the meeting where officers were elected, there were four participants and each of us became an official. I am the treasurer. The president and undisputed motor behind the whole project is Ha Austin, a ceramic artist.

   In this first year we decided not to have a jurying process and to welcome as many dedicated artists who would want to be part of it. If anyone local is reading this and has not heard of this event in the making, please visit our website or write to lakeoswegoopenstudios@gmail.com for more details. We will need from you $100, three high quality photos of your work, and a short bio about your practice. All the artists will be featured on the website as well as any sponsors who contribute to our cause. This is going to be fun and I believe the community will be responsive. The pandemic allowed us to slow down and appreciate the local again. The time is right for LO artists to reveal themselves.

                                              Spring Willow watercolor on Yupo 14x11 inches

  Unfinished paintings surround me in the studio but it is not bothering me. Usually I`m so obsessed I can lose weeks pursuing something that really deserved to die. My time is more chopped up than it`s been in years and I just keep moving until I need to sit down.
  I walk often in Bryant Woods, a nearby natural area that must have been homesteaded at one time. There are fruit trees in the forest and this old weeping willow in the marsh. It is slowly being reduced by windfalls and I wanted to paint it before it`s gone.   

                                               Midnight Cove oil on canvas 30x24 inches

I needed to paint a nocturne, something dark.

                                                  Portrait watermedia on paper 24x18 inches

  And this which is barely visible. 
Since 2017 I have tried to get the right face into that rectangle without success. When both of my new knee implants became infected early that year, I entered a new reality of being at the mercy and wisdom of the medical establishment. There were several more surgeries and boatloads of antibiotics. During that time I had a recurring dream. I was visiting some kind of religiously affiliated institution. Sometimes it was a school, other times a library or summer camp. I would have lunch in the cafeteria where I knew the women working there and then I would get permission to go to the cave adjacent to the buildings. I always insisted I had to see it. Actually it was a piece of art it contained. Sometimes it was carved into the stone at the mouth of the cave, other times it was a painting deep inside. Both were of an extremely dark portrait. Not menacing but really unpleasant. I was never hurt and I went alone. There was a great need to see this bitter face, though it was almost too dark to see. 
  I tried repeatedly to paint it but it was so vague in the dream, nothing looked right. Until this latest effort. I don`t recognize it as the same but it has the bleak stare I remember. 
It is really nice that I finished it at last.

                                                                Phyllida Barlow sculpture

  Phyllida Barlow died in March. I`m sorry to say I had not come across her. Probably because sculpture is rarely on my mind. Oh boy, she was so different. I was reading obituaries and sad that her commanding work had eluded me. To the credit of the UK, she seems to have been celebrated there. If you have the time, watch these two short videos. Her personality is as remarkable as the sculpture. I wish I could see some of them. They seem casually powerful with an odd intriguing presence. Her humility and focus are so moving.

                                                               by Genevieve Scholl

  My pal, the magnificent lover of wet forests,Genevieve Scholl nailed it here! Take a good look at what she does and read her thoughts on her Instagram posts

  Yes, let`s stay standing with Ukraine. This was in a neighbors yard with the big spider sculpture. It is so important that Ukraine exists. We can`t let Putin`s war crimes succeed. This I know yet the slaughter of unprepared, drafted against their will, young Russians sickens me too. I completely support the efforts of my government in assisting Ukraine. May this horror end soon.

                                                                          Gary Larson

click HERE for work for sale in my studio

Sunday, February 19, 2023

new works

                                           Rio Grande Gorge watermedia on Yupo 19x13 inches

 Finally painting with some regularity again. That was the longest break I`ve ever taken other than through illness. First time in my life I`ve questioned my identity as well. I know I`ll always make art but their afterlife isn`t certain and my intentions have shifted. Since my economic survival isn`t bound up with it now, I`m hoping the experience of painting opens up in a new way. I want to be a better artist and that may take being a more deliberate person.

Here are some new pieces;

                                     [untitled-Cook`s Butte] watercolor on paper 19x14 inches

                                           Algodones Study watercolor on Yupo 12x9 inches

                                                     Winter Alders watercolor 12x9 inches

                                               Silver Creek watercolor on Yupo 26x20 inches

                                                Cloud Forest acrylic on Yupo 10x30 inches

                                               Local Marsh watercolor on Yupo 19x14 inches

                                             Late Fall Canal watermedia on paper 19x14 inches

Public Service Announcement; Local artists take note, Lake Oswego will have its inaugural open studios tour next October 14 and 15. That is the first weekend of the Portland Open Studios as well. Since art lovers will be out and about our hope is that they will venture into our community too. I believe the city will support such an event and I know there are plenty of artists who live here. No doubt the first one will be sort of rough and homemade but no matter. It`s just fun when artists meet the public, we have such solitary lives. Save the dates!

Another Public Service Announcement; The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology is accepting applications for their artist in residency program. This is a unique opportunity to get serious work done in a pristine and magnificent environment. Two weeks up to three months perched on the side of Cascade Head with views of the sea and the adjacent rainforest. It really is wonderful. If you need to concentrate on your book, or score, or series, this place will nurture you.

                                                                Wellness Check

                                                            In any given moment,

                                                             on any given day

                                                              I can measure

                                                             my wellness

                                                              by this question:

                                                                is my attention on loving,

                                                               or is my attention on

                                                                              who isn`t loving me?

                                                                  __Andrea Gibson

                                                                         Cuno Amiet

This handsome Swiss gentleman painted over 4000 paintings in his career and 1000 of them are self portraits! He always had a willing subject close at hand. He was new to me a few years ago and it took me a long time to warm to his post modernist paintings. Then I became obsessed with all things Cuno Amiet. From what I`ve read, most of his work is still in Switzerland. You have to visit the homeland to see this national treasure up close.

                                                                           Cuno Amiet

                                                                            Cuno Amiet

                                                                            Cuno Amiet

                                                                              Cuno Amiet



ckick HERE for paintings for sale

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Comfort and Joy, please

                                              Winter Copse watermedia on paper 19x14 inches

 I didn`t know I needed a break, yet after the Open Studios in October, I`ve been in thoughtful retreat. Next year I`ll be 70 and I want to meet that milestone with eyes open,  receptive to the privilege and challenge of being an undeniable elder. Should any of us be lucky enough to reach that venerable age, I`ve read it`s a particular time of significance. Battered and exhausted maybe, we finally give up on Plan A for one uniquely our own. The life waiting to be accepted and with an updated identity.  Bring it on. Meanwhile I`ll be working on my flexibility. I need to be as mobile as possible and recent struggles putting on my socks have forced me to admit I have to limber up! Friends, older than me by many years, have no trouble tending to their footwear. Decades of running and now walking have given me outstanding cardiovascular health but with the flexibility of a matchstick.

 This prolonged period away from painting is the first voluntary withdrawal I can remember. So what have I been doing if not making art? Netflix. At last I understand some of the cultural hum around me.I also wanted to experience just being. Without the artist persona.

Lots of ideas and strategies are percolating. I tend to think best when I`m actually painting but now I want a consciously different approach. I know what interests me visually, but not how to express it. Whatever kind of image I make I know there must be an element of chance in the process. You can`t build in accidents but sooner or later a leap is required.  

                                                                             by Roz Chast

 This how I reacted. How can we be caught off guard year after year? We know the short days will be upon us soon and yet still there is shock and dismay. I would love to spend a winter in Scandinavia and see how the experts cope. A tour guide in Iceland said the public pools and spas were essential. Dark at 3 pm? go talk with friends in the pool. She said most people do. This strategy seems sensible when facing such long nights. The latitude of Portland Oregon where I am is north enough to only have daylight 7:30 to around 4 in  December. That`s hours more than Fairbanks but still seems ridiculous. In a  week the north we will begin tilting back toward the sun, and hope will slowly return. It`s all about the light. The temperature is blamed for the bleakness but it`s the light we crave. Even if the sun is blinding us every time we try to drive somewhere. Those days are rare however, most Northwest days are made even darker by piles of heavy wet clouds bearing down just above our heads. I`m a winter enthusiast but sometimes it is just comically too much. I stood on my porch the other day around 1 pm and surveyed the dark soggy and freezing cold yard. Most of the people I know who live in other states would struggle mightily with this bleak reality. It is the only question that matters when considering a move to the Northwest. Can I endure if not thrive in this climate? This is when human interaction is critical and I`m glad I live in a city.

                                                                  oil on canvas 15x60 inches

  Many years ago my mom asked me to paint a backdrop for her snowy miniature Christmas village. I tried to ignore her but year after year came the request. It was relentless. Finally I woke up enough to realize I would regret not doing it when she was gone. So in 2005 she got her mountains. They were supposed to be the Alps but I`ve never seen them. The Rockies I have. She left this world seven years ago and all the art of mine she had came back to me. Unfortunately.                                                                Anyone want a winter mountain scene ? Two 15x30 inch canvases hinged together. Perfect for a winter diorama of your choice.

                                                              Sea Cave watercolor 16x12 inches

 On vacation last Sept. we drove down the coast from Newport on the way to Ashland. If it still existed, I knew we would pass the Sea Lion Caves. This reliable tourist trap was healthy and had been remodeled. My parents brought me to it while we were camping in Honeyman State Park to the south. I was probably ten and found it completely amazing. You take an elevator down into the rocky headland and emerge into a rough dark 'room' maybe 20 feet above the sea. From this side view you see into a huge cave lit with dim light from an opening to the sea which isn`t visible. There is a mysterious gloom that fascinated me then and now. No sea lions in sight. It was summer both times and they sensibly preferred being outdoors. Caves are winter lodging. So I was given a raincheck for a free visit when hopefully the cave would be occupied.

 This is what my grocery store had on hand when I tried to buy assistance for the illness that was overcoming me. I got it from John and the clinic told him he had influenza A. We are both up to the minute on vaccinations and I don`t like thinking about how much worse it could have been. It is a big deal let me tell you. I haven`t been sick in a long time and forgot how miserable it can be. Four days of sleeping almost nonstop, night sweats, aching muscles and joints, constant coughing, zero interest in food and a true loss of time. Please be careful. It is definitely time for masks again in public places. 

It doesn`t seem to be getting the attention it deserves. China is on fire with Covid. An estimate I heard on the news today was of 800,000,000 new infections in the next few months. That is too staggering to believe but what their government did defies logic. In an instant, a policy of zero tolerance of covid with massive unpopular lockdowns, quarantines and constant testing to nothing! No interim period of mass vaccinations, just boom, it was over. ??? Oh this is bad. If that prediction comes anywhere near the truth, the world is in for some hurt. The disease does seem milder now but new variants keep coming. The world economy is so dependent on China, a real catastrophe there would affect everyone. Every time we think we are 'safe' there is something new to threaten us. How in the world does the war in Ukraine end? Atomic bombs? Dear god.....

 Well at least the election offered some hope that democracy is alive in my country. I braced for the worst and was so encouraged by the results. The new voters of Generation Z turned out and proved all the pollsters wrong. Again. A denial of reproductive freedom is indeed unacceptable. I thought, if this doesn`t motivate citizens, nothing will. But it did. Those 72 million Trump voters still make me nervous but they are not a majority. Most Americans still have common sense and can recognize a liar. Like him or not, Joe Biden has proved to be a wily politician. The things he has accomplished are remarkable. The country is so much better than it would have been. 

                                                                 Nathaniel Russell

Click HERE for available work

HERE and HERE for prints

Thursday, October 13, 2022

My Marsh

                                        Bryant Woods Marsh 1 watermedia on paper 19x14 inches

                                      Bryant Woods Marsh 2 watercolor on Yupo 14x11 inches

 Is it a demo if no one sees it? This years Portland Open Studios has not been the love fest it was last year. Then, there seemed to be a palpable need for culture and beauty. The pandemic had exhausted everyone and the common wish was to be restored. I don`t think I`ve ever felt so appreciated. Well last weekend the weather was sublime, no one is at fault for preferring the sun. I went for walks myself both days as soon as it was light. The visitors that did come bought some paintings so it was certainly worthwhile economically. The only problem was me being tethered to my studio all day. After completing the collage below by noon on Saturday, I was at loose ends between guests. So Sunday I decided I would paint. Though my studio has been transformed from a workspace to a display area, I still had access to my plein air gear. I had recently been in Bryant Woods in the fog, so had some photos and a dreamy memory to launch me. I made two versions, one on Hahnemulhe Cezanne hot press paper and the other on Yupo. Both were augmented with Caran d' Ache watercolor crayons. I love those! Proper color right where I want it!

 One more weekend of the Open Studios. Again the weather looks unbeatable. For those who join me in my underground lair, prizes, toys, cash and gratitude await!  10 - 5pm

5373 Lakeview Blvd
Lake Oswego OR
ph. 503 380 4731

                                                         watercolor collage 20x13 inches

                                             Winter Walk watercolor collage 24x25 inches

Could you be a Super Recognizer? Apparently some people can retain the memory of a face even after just a brief exposure. This has proven useful in legal situations. Take a TEST! Being visually adept, I thought I would ace it. I made my selections quickly, certain of my accuracy. Not so fast Randy. I only got half of them right.

 I was not an enthusiastic supporter of Joe Biden. I`m a tree hugging, socialist, tax and spend Democrat. But as my brother Tom says, he had only one job to do; not be Trump. He has done that spectacularly well. 
Having once been raged at for my ignorance of the misdeeds of his son Hunter, I`ve kept an earball open to any new developments. It appears his poor judgment has caught up with him now. Addiction will make anyone stupid. No shadows fall on the president however though Fox News tried to make a voicemail between father and son appear pathetic.

 The poison Fox pours out daily is in large part why our country is so polarized, so gripped with anxiety and anger. This was just an attempt to demean Joe Biden`s family but reasonable people saw the love he has for his only living son. This Joe Biden I`m completely proud of.

                                                                     Cicely Cottingham

 There is always something new to say about the landscape. Look at what Cicely Cottingham has done. This work is sensual and yearning in its presentation of timeless nature. In a recent body of work entitled "Everything is Sky" a beautiful yet indifferent world reminds us of our small supporting role in the scheme of things. There is true peace in knowing we are just one part of creation. Her paintings seem to me to be urging acceptance.

                                                                      Cicely Cottingham

                                                                    Cicely Cottingham


click HERE for work I have in the studio for sale

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Local travel, anniversary, Portland Open Studios

                                                   Deluge watermedia on Yupo 26x20 inches

 An abstraction of natural phenomena. This intrigues me. The juxtaposition of different textures and colors gets me going. My fate as a painter has always involved the landscape.


                                                                     Todd and Randall


                                                                       Blue Morning

                                                                        Cliff Reflections

                                                                      Sea Lion Cave !!

 Even in beautiful Oregon, it`s great to get away and see some other gorgeous corner of my adopted home. We met my childhood friend and his new wife who had traveled to the coast for this rendezvous.
Many years ago she was on a business trip in the Northwest and somehow stumbled into the Inn at Otter Crest. That is not easy to do. It is difficult to find even when you know it 'has to be here somewhere'. She kept coming back for good reason. It is a spectacular location with stunning views everywhere you turn. There isn`t anything lavish about it but it is super comfortable. A perfect place to hang out and be with old friends. Though I can`t find the motivation to paint them very often, I do love seascapes! Here are three of my favorite painters of the sea;

                                                                     George Bellows

                                                                        Emil Carlsen

                                                                   Frederick Judd Waugh

 Once again this summer, I spent Friday mornings painting with my pal Mitch.


The conversation was good but the paintings were not. Here are the best. I keep trying to do it different and nothing engages in a meaningful way. The weather was always fine.

                                                                   Community Garden


                                                                     Phantom Bluff

                                                                         Sun and Shade

                                                                             River Turn


 Twentythree years! 
Almost missed him! We were at two different Starbucks 50 yards apart but out of view of each other. It was a crystalline September afternoon, much like today. 
My husband John is a kind and generous man that I waited a long time to find. 
When my cat Louie vomited in the kitchen and he sprang up from the couch where we were watching a movie to clean it up, I knew. Yes, it was his training as a nurse but still, it was my cat. 
I also noticed I liked who I was with him and that seemed significant.

                                                              apologies to AngelaFV

OCT  8 and 9. OCT 15 and 16.  10am to 5pm
Please come visit!

503 380 4731

I`m ready for some feedback and I`m sure the others are too. Portland Open Studios happens on two consecutive weekends. Enough time to get immersed!

My friend in New Mexico, Judith Shaw Beatty, posted this on Facebook. She is passionate about vaccinations as she had polio as a child. It`s so heartfelt and extravagant, I thought my visitors would enjoy her version of gratitude on that day;

Good morning. Grateful today for my health; my friends; my little loving dog; beauty everywhere; cool nights and warm days; my big and growing family; my Facebook friends, most of whom I will never meet; art; my writing; the food in my fridge; Social Security checks; a good book; my spiritual world; being able to laugh, even when I'm alone; my trusty car; Zoom; this beautiful little condo and the people who rent it to me; hummingbirds; equanimity; my job and the dozens of helpful, kind, loving people I work with; my leg brace that supports me; a dishwasher; cobalt-blue skies and fat black clouds that pour down delicious rain; and always, always having enough.

please click HERE to see work for sale in my studio