Friday, June 19, 2009

New Work, In Praise of Local Businesses, AOL Group Work and Rob's Birthday

Reinker, acrylic paint, and glaze medium on panel

Cornwall, 1865
Reinkers, tissue paper, used teabags, acrylic paint and
garnet gel medium on panel.

Reinkers, vintage book text and illustration, stained shop towel

Above, some new work. Below, the photos I've finally been able to download from my digital camera. As noted in my last post, I misplaced the USB cord for the camera that I'd only had a few months. I tried to order more online and was sent cords that didn't fit. Thanks to Citizens Photo, where I bought the camera several months ago, I now have a new cord.

Photo by V J PDX
here to see more excellent photographs by this artist

Before I contacted Citizens, I phoned the huge corporation that makes the camera. Their response was a robot-like reply: "That part is no longer available." No amount of pleading could raise a suggestion, an apology, or anything but this response from a human trained in robotic customer disservice.

Citizens Photo, a small independent business, was helpful and promised to do their best to find a cord if I'd bring the camera down. I did so, and they found me a cord, testing it with my camera to make sure it worked. I insisted on paying them something for it. I value our small local businesses who CARE!

On this subject...

Vintage chest stuck in vintage Neon

Recently, I bought a very reasonably priced 20's chest/bureau from a nice person who advertised on craigslist. A couple of friends of hers managed to get it in my car. I tried to get it out of the car a couple of times after I got home, once with my daughter helping and once with my carpenter helping. No luck. I decided maybe the car door would have to be temporarily removed. I drove car and chest up to Beets Autobody a few blocks away. These folks have been wonderful when I have needed repair work done, and I thought maybe I could pay them to remove and reattach the door. (Obviously, I was desperate.)

Two of the friendly Beets employees were eager to help try to get the chest out. They struggled mightily, until Paula, the manager, receptionist, poet, negotiator, and cultural attache of Beets, calmly removed the headrest on the passenger seat (who knew?) and the chest easily slid out. Then one of the fine employees drove the recalcitrant bureau home, where it now reposes waiting to adorn the new studio.
They refused to charge me anything.

Hooray for Beets!

The chest/cabinet/whatever --looks better out of the car

Below is a Fantastic Free Find. It was out on the curb of a nearby house in the soaking rain. I saw it as I was returning from PSU. I couldn't move it by myself so I drove home and asked Steve, Carpenter/Contractor Extraordinaire, who was there working, if he would help me bring it home. He was just as excited as I was, so we jumped in his van and rescued the heavy oak vintage table. It has some cotton batting like stuff stuck on the top, but it scrapes off. What a find!

Great studio table!

Most excellent tool house built by Steve to house all the tools, boating stuff, and more that can't be in the garage-soon-to-be-studio

Some pictures formerly stuck in camera:

Weird old handbuilt trunk/box thing found in bushes in back of our aging fence

Work by Sarah from The Art of Life group

Collage in progress by Renee, a new group member who heard about the AOL group when I spoke on professor Marlene Howell's
show on KBoo
(Fridays 8 AM.)

Jodi's Asia-inspired piece. She used one of my favorite tricks for the stems. She squirted on black puffy paint and then smashed the paint.

An alcohol ink painting by Jacey, another new group member and
counseling student

Cindy's mysterious painting--she's not sure what it means--just worked with what came to her.

Last but not least, a tribute to my wonderful stepfather Rob. His 80th birthday party was held yesterday at Fishermens' Bend Park. In addition to being a retired scientist, Rob is still an active, expert kayaker. He's my role model for continuing to do what you love, no matter what your age!


His cake

Monday, June 15, 2009

Camera Issues, Dragonboats, and Hunting and Gathering

I have a bunch of pictures in my camera that I can't unload. I misplaced the usb cord that connects to it. I ordered two more from an online site that I've used before. They sent the ones that are supposed to fit, but they don't. While I figure out my next move and while I wait to get a reply from the online company, here are a few pictures from other sources.

Dot the tiller for MissFit Dragons at the recent Dragonboats races (at the rear of the middle boat.) I'm so proud of her and all her team. They did great and made it to the semi-finals. Next year, the finals!

The past few years I've been getting rid of a lot of old junk, and am still at it. The garage is cleaned out. The contractor/carpenter, Steve, is building a shed with a gabled roof for us where we can store tools, boating stuff, etc. At the same time, I've found myself stricken with the Hunting and Gathering bug, ostensibly to collect some cool stuff for my new studio-in-progress.

There's something insidious about searching garage sales, antique malls, ebay, craigslist, and etsy for "just a few little things." I'm trying to rein myself in but meanwhile, here are some recent finds:

My ebay santa find. Better pictures to come.
Her painted glass eyes are beautiful.

Some Civil War era "bone" buttons from etsy. Mine are similar to these.

Several etsy sellers have old dolls and doll parts dug up in Germany around a defunct doll factory. I'll be getting one that looks like this. My brother says it's way too creepy.

This pitcher is exactly like the one my family had in the 50's. Apparently ours got broken somewhere in the 80's. I found this one on etsy. I have such happy memories of my mom serving lemonade from it on hot summer days in the 50's.

Nostalgically yours...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

We Have a Winner!

With fierce concentration, I chose a name from the hat

Dayna Collins is the winner of the giveaway! She will receive a copy of L. K. Ludwig's book, True Vision. Congratulations, Dayna!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Gasp, GASP Has Started!

Recycle Pile

Why am I so very excited to see this pile of rubble in my backyard? Because it means the Garage Art Studio Project is finally underway! Today contractor Steve came in and tore out and arranged loads of old wood, old built-in shelving. old motor oil and various related products, and more stuff.

Chris mowing the jungle behind the garage area

Helpers Julia and Chris came over to tear out thousands of vines encroaching over the fence from the neighbor's yard and to mow down the jungle between the garage and the alley. They did a ton of work. The back yard looked almost twice as big after they were through.

Behind the crumbling old fence they found a good-sized handmade trunk. It was decaying and had nothing in it, but ??? Why shove it in the bushes behind the then-new fence? What lies beneath the unwieldy concrete slab added between the old paving and the garage? Stay tuned...

This old pillar was unearthed (again) during the mowing. It matches the pillars on our porch, but we don't know why it is here.

Whirling Dervish Steve

Steve also got a ton done today. Here he's dismantling one of the built in cupboards in order to make room for the bathroom. He declared the cupboard one of the most overbuilt items he's ever seen. I'm glad the man who painstakingly built this area for his shop work couldn't see it coming out! There's a twin cupboard with counter that I am likely going to keep on the other side of the soon to be studio.

Some pieces I salvaged from the old cupboard. Good for lots of things!

In the midst of all this, Mike came by to have me slightly alter a commission he had me do of and for his wife, Sandra. She loved the painting, but regretted that her hair wasn't redder. (I'd just had an old picture to go by.) I was happy to add a reddish glaze to her hair.

Sandra (blonde)

Sandra (red)

Yuk. I remember this green shag carpet we took out of the dining room in 1991. I'm glad the old dead thing is finally leaving us!

The recycle pile at the end of the day. What a lovely sight. I especially like the sun's reflection off the 1950's storm door...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Journal to the Center

Today I'd like to tell you about my next class coming up. This fun and informal workshop will be a great way to begin visual journaling or to get re-energized!

Journal to the Center

You'll bring a blank journal to begin your artful descent to your center with visual journaling! You'll receive written and visual prompts to inspire you to begin writing and illustrating your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Whether your subjects are profound or everyday, you will create a lavish and enticing book in which to record and honor your life.

When: June 14, 2009 12-5

Where: The Art of Your Life Studio
1210 SE Oak St., Portland

Tuition: 50.

Registration: Online here or call 971-404-7664

To see more journal pages click here.

GASP update: We start the Garage/Art Studio Project construction this week! Finally! Yay!