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

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