Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Goodbye Summer

                                                The End of August oil on canvas 30x24 inches

 It can end overnight in the Pacific Northwest, It recently did with another week of August still to come. Everywhere now, summer arrives with anxiety if not dread and the traditional hope of good times too of course.  We were blessed again with livable temperatures and relatively moderate fires. When we had a good rain two weeks ago, I began to feel safe. The fires of 2020 scarred us all. Though we were deep into the pandemic then, that local fire dwarfed any threat of contagion. Evacuees slept side by side each other in school gyms across the county. 

The carefree idea of summer is a thing of the past maybe but I hope it endures for kids. Adults have a trickier dilemma. How to relax into the season without bringing pessimism alongside every cookout,  hike, ballgame or outdoor conversation? How do we love our lives honestly with the world becoming  hotter than anytime in human history? I`ve given this some thought. My simple imagination can only think of one hopeful counter measure which is to plant trees. Or plant some vegetables, or hang out with children, or foster puppies or kittens, or create something completely unexpected. The antidote to grief is to focus on the young and new. The grief is worldwide and acute and shared. Maybe we can do something with it.

                                                 Lake Oswego Open Studios artists

 A bunch of local artists were in my studio a couple of weeks ago. As a board member of the brand new non profit organization, I set up my studio like I would during the real event. In case some of the artists weren`t quite sure how to do so. We spend so many solitary hours in our spaces working, it`s shocking when it`s filled with strangers. That is the best reason to participate in something like this. It is really valuable to talk about our work with people we don`t know. They bring their own perspective and hearing it is often illuminating. And just being praised is nice too. If our efforts to get the word out about our event succeed and our community responds, it`s going to be a fun weekend. The president of the organization, Ha Austin, is the incredible engine behind it all. It is her vision and efforts that are making it happen, she is a force of nature! Any locals reading this, save the dates; October 14 and 15, 10-5 pm. Check out the website to view the art, read the bios of the artists, find the map to the studios, see the sponsors who chose to support this fledgling celebration and get a feel for the arts community here in Lake Oswego. This town is more than lawyers, doctors and financial planners. Come see.                                    lakeoswegoopenstudios.org 

                                                     Summer Canal oil on canvas 20x16

                                       End of the Island oil on canvas 20x16 inches [improved]

                                              Cook`s Butte Winter oil on canvas 40x30 inches

                                          Willamette River Morning oil on canvas 20x16 inches

 Some new work. I`ve sure been painting a lot but I sometimes lose my discernment. When that happens, I set the painting aside until some objectivity returns. Maturity at last!

 Below is the work of Frederic Fau, a French artist.  From the first image I saw of his I could tell we were in league. His mostly black and white pieces suggest a depth and atmosphere that is very evocative. He loves the forest. This video is a nice presentation of the artist and his work. It`s in French but enlightening nonetheless.

                                                                      Frederic Fau

                                                                       Frederic Fau

                                                                       Frederic Fau

                                                              Sauvie Island Study-RDT

                                                                 Willamette Falls

Willamette Falls is one of the coolest places in Oregon. Supposedly the the second largest waterfall in volume in the country. After Niagara. Visually, it`s not at that level at all but the history is fascinating. Only 20 miles from Portland in the eclectic town of Oregon City, the region`s first capital. It was a sacred fishing spot for Native Americans originally then the source of the first hydroelectric power in the West. Early Oregonians relied on the river to transport goods from the farms upstream. Locks were built to raise and lower boats at the falls. Paper mills were built at the site because of the abundant power. Those mills were still operational when I moved to the area in 2010. It was quite a scene visiting on a winters day with the falls raging with runoff and the mills engulfed in swirling steam. And it was loud, you could say operatic in a way. Just thrilling to watch from atop the bluff rising behind it. Here is a nice video on the efforts to open up the falls to visitors and transform the old paper mill into something contemporary and significant. This is an exciting project.

 click HERE for work in my studio for sale


Lavina said...

This French artist also reminds me somewhat of your work--although your paintings are more colorful & detailed: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100060329631655

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work, my friend. Wish I could come to your Open Studio weekend. Looks like a vibrant community of artists!
But….reclusive? Not a word I associate with you who have many connections and people who care about you. 🤔 😉