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

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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


Thursday, August 18, 2022

Fair Kansas!

                                   Across the Canal, Aug. 22, watermedia on Yupo 26x20 inches 

Thank you Kansas! Your unequivocal common sense vote to uphold reproductive freedom sent a clear and strong message to our countries 'leaders'.  No, you can`t roll back 50 years of settled law to reimpose limits on a woman's right to choose her own destiny! No one thinks of women as property anymore, who do you think you are?? A 6 to 3 vote of the Supreme Court to allow laws forcing a woman to bear a child is an outrage. Even the conservative citizens of Kansas understand that. People have sex for pleasure, women cannot be condemned if there is a pregnancy. Every child begins with the sperm as well as the egg, yet men are nowhere to be found in these ridiculous laws. This really does change everything. The Republican Party is trying to forcibly inflict its religious views on everyone. This will not prevail and it could very well hasten the end of that cruel, criminal and delusional party. The sleeping tiger is now awake, be careful what you wish for.

Human beings have a splendid new example of what we can do when talent, resources and vision are united toward a worthy goal. The James Webb Space Telescope is a triumph for all humanity. Twenty six years in the making, this incredibly sensitive device will be able to see some of the origin of the universe. Projects like this and efforts to slow down global warming are the tasks that should animate governments now. And maybe, finally, can we find a better, more efficient way to desalinate water? When the glaciers are gone, we will have no choice but to drink the ocean.

                                 Over the Sea, Aug. 2022 watermedia on Yupo 26x20 inches

  Another new painting, this one inspired by a day on the coast that was perfect. Warm and clear as a bell. The towns were packed with visitors loving this rare occurrence. This far north, the Pacific Ocean doesn`t deliver many calm beautiful summer days. If it is hot inland, that usually sucks in a big cold fog bank onto the shore. I wanted to paint the joyful feeling.

                                               Rivershore watercolor on Yupo 26x20 inches

 And another though this was preceded by a study from a couple of years ago. The problem with those small experiments is they can satisfy the original impulse. Nothing more evolved or ambitious is necessary. This idea lingered because I found the monochromatic quality so interesting. Below is the brush I used for the grasses. I think it is called a dagger. I don`t remember buying it but I collect all sorts of brushes. They each do at least on thing really well. This one seemed magical it was so responsive.

 Because I was using Yupo, I mixed in some gum Arabic with the paint to make those pale washes and strokes stick instead of slide away. That is a real negative aspect to Yupo, it wants to flow with the gravity.

                                         Crossing the Stream watercolor collage 14x11 inches

More repurposed paintings turned into collage.

Nieces, nephews listen up; The second Sunday of August, every August, is National Gay Uncles Day! Yeah, no one told me either, but here we are. Now we know. Now the gratitude can commence. At last a little justice. Dear nieces and nephews, don`t hold back any longer.

                                                                Maja Lisa Englehardt

                                                                      Emily Mason

 These two painters have done what I have attempted. They have merged abstraction with landscape in a personal, unique way. This kind of work is exciting.

I can`t help but find this funny. I`m completely sympathetic with her plight but this cows affection would not be denied. I hope there was a nearby bathroom.

click HERE for work for sale in my studio

HERE for big prints and merchandize 

Sunday, July 24, 2022

What has happened?

                                                     Morning oil on canvas 24x20 inches

A new Bryant Woods painting.


Randall David Tipton.
Randall David Tipton.
Randall David Tipton.
Randall David Tipton.
Randall David Tipton.
Randall David Tipton.
Randall David Tipton.
Randall David Tipton.
Randall David Tipton is a self taught Northwest contemporary landscape painter using an experimental approach to explore pure abstraction in both oils and watermedia. Derived from direct observation in forests and wetlands, Randall approaches each painting in response to what he finds is most compelling on the site of these fragile ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest. With minimal use of drawing and photo references, he constructs a framework upon which to improvise. Specifically during the pandemic, Randall has developed a more conscious attempt at pure abstraction while involving a classic question of balancing form and substance with atmosphere.


This is what I`ve been doing, getting this show ready. Hanson Howard Gallery, Ashland OR July 29-Sept. 10

Does it seem like 2022 has gone seriously south? I think so. Not as bad as 2020 with it`s pandemic terror but not as fun as last year when I felt more release in my survival. Lots of life and death and I`m thousands of miles from Ukraine.


This helped a lot. Meet my newest Great Niece Mira. Granted I haven`t been around a lot of babies, unfortunately, but I`ve never seen one charm a crowd like this one. Her parents were so natural to their new roles. Young humans are so vulnerable for so long, yet the human race just keeps on. No matter how bleak the world may seem, it is an ultimate act of faith to have children. Cherished babies like this one, are always good news. Every kid deserves the unequivocal love and support Mira will have.

That being said, I was utterly disgusted by the Supreme Courts decision on abortion. That was not about babies. To me there is only one issue here. no one can tell a woman what she must do with her body. That personal autonomy is sacred. Period. This is a truly spiritual issue. If women can`t make choices for themselves, then they are not accorded full human dignity. We all know this by now. 

When I first learned about patriarchy in the 70`s, it was such a broad, encompassing concept, I thought it too simple. As a white man, I know now how difficult it is for the privileged to see their advantage. I don`t feel like I understand Patriarchy's biological origins but its tenacity is always on display. As if our country weren`t divided enough, those sanctimonious justices made certain this issue will engulf the culture for years. You cannot remove 50 years of respect and law. It will not stand, though getting to a national legality again  for the procedure will be a political battle like we`ve never seen. How unnecessary. Conservatives, especially the religious type, are about to learn what they have done.

                                                                          by Fred Cuming

Fred Cuming recently died at 92. He was a British landscape artist whose sensibilities melded perfectly with the local weather. He was ignored for much of his career and supported his family with teaching. I suppose he has been a role model, I sure loved his work. You can read more about him Here. Four years ago his son and his wife died. Yet he still painted.

                                                                       by Fred Cuming

                                                                           Ruth Gordon

"Oh, there is so much bullshit out there! Your age is the Golden Age. It's a gift. It's yours. Make it work. The time in which you are born is meant to be, and it's yours to use, improve, expand. All this looking back is good, because we should honor and respect those who came before us and learn from them. But take from what they did and do your own work in your own way. Get on with it! Jesus! Nostalgia is a narcotic. Avoid it. Make things work. This is your time and my time. Right now. Look back too much and you're over." Ruth Gordon/Interview with James Grissom

Click HERE for work for sale in my studio