Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Hunting and Gathering Report

Yes, dear h-and-g aficionados, it's time for another report. I can take no credit for finding the following item, however. The honors go to artist Sierra Briano, who gave me this wonderful record of someone's passion for Italian art. Sierra is of Italian heritage, and she knows I'm a serious wanna-be. Though I've never found an Italian in any branch of my family tree, Italian art lives in my heart.

This unassuming three ring notebook contains copious notes and illustrations hand written and drawn with great care, all on the subject of European art, much of it Italian.

The book has a few blank pages, but most are filled with notes by Margareta Buhnsen of Salem OR.

Here's her floor plan of Santa Sophia Church.

Margareta lived in Salem with a Rural Free Delivery address written in her notebook. Did she make notes from a class or did she study on her own? Did she ever see the wonders she wrote about or did she visit European paintings and churches only in her imagination?

Above is her rendering of a painting by Duccio. Below is her drawing of various Roman temples of antiquity.

In addition to notes on art and architecture, Margareta included techniques and recipes, like the one below for a medium or mordant for oil paint used in block printing.

I hope she got to try her hand at creating. I looked for traces of her life online. I did find a Margareta Bahnsen, born about 1900, who was living at Salem Ward 1, Marion, Oregon in 1920.

What will become of our passions and creations when we go? I hope my family will hang on to my unsold art work, but there may be too much of it, as I'm pretty prolific. Maybe some will be sold after I die--that would be just fine. What about all the stuff I've collected, like Margareta's notebook? Maybe it will move on for another hunter/gatherer to find. That would be pretty okay also.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

See More Art from Collage!

Please visit my other blog, Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop, to see the lovely art students created in my "Visual Haiku" class at Collage on Alberta here in Portland!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Strata of Time: Work from my cold wax/oil class at collage

Here, at last are some images from one of the classes I taught at Collage on Alberta a couple of weeks ago. I've been longing to show them to you, but I've been lethargic due to a cold, so haven't posted for a while.

Coming up: Images from my other wabi-sabi class at Collage, a hunting and gathering report, and info. on my new DVDs coming up from North Light.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The enthusiastic students played with oil paint, cold wax medium, and mixed media elements. They created lively and stunning work over the two day class. We had so much fun! Cold wax is kinda messy, but so satisfying to work with.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Few Spots Open at This Weekend's Workshops

I'm so looking forward  to this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday when I will be teaching at the fabulous Collage store and classroom in Portland's Alberta Arts District. There are a few spots left for the 2-day class on Friday and Saturday and for the Sunday class. 

In our 2-day class, Strata of Time, we'll explore the rich range of texture and color offered by painting with cold wax and oil. We'll use a variety of tools to shape our wax and oil mixtures. We'll also experiment with plaster, oil pastels, mixed media, and more! To find out more go to the description on the Collage website.

I will be signing copies of my book at Collage on Saturday evening. Come join us for refreshments and art talk! 


Sunday's class is called Visual Haiku. We'll create wabi-sabi pieces inspired by traditional haiku. Our media will include re-inkers, alcohol inks, acrylic paint, vintage papers, specialty papers, and recycled elements. For more about this playful class, go to the description on the Collage site.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Hunting and Gathering Report: A Wabi-Sabi Find

At Art and Soul Retreats we have Vendor Night on Saturday evenings. I had a table where I had copies of my book for sale and some art pieces. I was wandering around looking at other tables and booths before the event officially opened. I came upon a booth called Vintage Passementerie. I've seen the owner Margaret's stall frequently at Monticello Antiques here in Portland. I perused some antique Japanese prints and talked with Margaret about my love of wabi-sabi. She disappeared for a moment and then reappeared with the most lovely book I've ever seen! Reader, I fell in love at first sight. I happily parted with enough money to become the custodian of this lovely and most wabi-sabi item.

The book is really a series of Japanese account books, intricately bound together with rope. Each section has a tab. Some of the pages are blank, but each section contains plenty of breathtaking calligraphy. 

Both the top and bottom covers of the book has a large, exuberant, calligraphy character on it.

Many books bound together

The front of the book with tabs for each section
Imagine a world where something so potentially uninteresting as an account book could become almost a sacred object! Well, really, it is a sacred object because the design and the craftmanship with which it was made and used, must have lent itself to a mindful and appreciative carrying out of a daily task. At the same time, this book was not made for show. It is just itself, humble and beautiful. . Part of the art of everyday life.

P.S. I am not going to cut this book up! I'll scan some of the pages and print them out on lightweight paper.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Many Windows Class at Art and Soul Retreat

I'm finally getting pictures up from last Friday evening's class at Art and Soul. Students made mini art galleries by creating small collages and mounting them on a larger canvas or board. The projects were diverse and all were exciting. 

Students used collage and specialty papers, vintage photos, paint, decorative napkins, and more to make the collages.


Now this is how a classroom should look at the end of class!

To see photos from my class, "Papers Wabi-Sabi" visit my other blog, Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop.

Classes for Art and Soul at Virginia Beach are now online!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Layers of Memory and Imagination at Art and Soul Retreat

Monday I taught my first of four classes at Art and Soul Retreat, here in Portland OR. I had a lot of warm, funny, friendly, brave, and talented students. They experimented with creating complex and mysterious collages that evoked people and eras past. We also played with four kinds of transfers. I was very impressed and delighted with the quality of work that came out of this class. The students had fun and were open to trying new things, which leads to wonderful art! 

I was too excited during our final class moments of picture taking, leave-taking, hugging, etc., so some of the pictures below are blurry and a few didn't come out. Darn. I think you'll get an idea of how fresh and lovely these pieces are.

(To see the fascinating work from my Tuesday class, please visit my other blog, Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop.)

Our Class (minus a few)