Saturday, July 21, 2012

Shakespeare Summer

The Central Park, NYC Shakespeare in the Park isn't the only one worth seeing!

A couple of weekends ago I went with my grandson (almost 13) and my daughter and her boyfriend to see the Original Practice Shakespeare company in As You Like It at Irving Park in Portland. My grandson belly laughed through the play, though we were sitting a bit far away to hear as well as we've had liked to.

What they mean by original practice is that each actor carries a roll of paper with his/her cues and lines only. Little or no rehearsal is done and performances are filled with improvisation. The actors perform in a motley assortment of modern dress items and gender blind casting prevails. The prompter is a character in the play. He dresses in a referee's outfit and stops the action at intervals to command an actor to improvise on a subject the prompter chooses.

This makes for an hilarious afternoon. Like Shakespeare's players, these modern actors succeed in conveying the precision and beauty of Shakespeare's language while still providing slapstick amusement for the "groundlings."

Poster designed by Mike Wallace

Last weekend my grandson, partner, and I were treated to a magnificent production of Midsummer Night's Dream. This was performed by Portland Actors Ensemble at Milepost 5 as part of the Post 5 Outdoor Shakespeare Festival. This was a magical production. and one of the best productions I've seen here for a long time. We sat in the courtyard and were transported to Athens (for this production, Georgia, not Greece.) The director and actors delivered a perfect blend of poetry and slapstick and the three of us were enthralled. I have no doubt that Shakespeare would have loved this production. The actors had clearly rehearsed a lot, but all the playful liveliness of an improvisation remained.

 In just a few hours we are going to see this company's production of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged.) Can't wait! Neither can my grandson, who has been beguiled by the Bard away from his computer into the fresh air.

Shakespeare in the Milepost 5 Courtyard

If you live here in Portlandia, check out the remaining summer performances of these groups and others. If you live elsewhere, see if there's a Shakespeare in the Park near you. Watching Shakespeare outdoors on a summer afternoon is a magical experience.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Layered Papers

Recently a wonderful Art and Soul student, Pearl Winne, sent me a box of decorative napkins. I had been admiring hers when she took my classes at Las Vegas last month. She said she had too many of them and would send some. I was amazed to get a good sized box of tons o' napkins! They are soooo gorgeous.

I decided to try an experiment whereby I'd decorate mulberry paper with fragments of the napkins and some other stuff. I was so happy with how they turned out.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"Exquisite Wax" opens at Newport Visual Arts Center

The Portland Chapter of International Encaustic Artists has a delightful show at the Newport Visual Arts Center in the Nye Beach Area of Newport. I found the show fascinating (not just because I'm in it.) If you get a bunch of encaustic artists to create, they will all create differently. The show offers abstract, figurative, portrait, 3-D, and mixed media pieces.

We'll be having another opening on Friday, August 3rd that will include talks by the artists about their work. If you are in the area and want to try this fabulous medium for yourself, we'll be offering two workshops at the Visual Arts Center. On Friday August 10, our IEA chapter president, Manuela will teach "Introduction to Encaustics". This workshop is from 9-12. Robyn will teach "Monotype Encaustics and Specialized Techniques" from 1-4 on the same day.

Lots of other people took photos so I hope to be sharing more pictures of exquisite wax pieces not shown here.

The show runs through the end of August, so if you find yourself on the Oregon Coast, stop by and take a look!

 Closeup of our 8" x 8" pieces

 Display Case Showing Encaustic Materials and Tools

 My Egyptian style paintings in the center


Artist Group Photo