Monday, October 15, 2012

Drawn Lines

Vickie Dodd portrait--Sound Healer
I went over to have dinner with my brother, David, in Port Townsend last Friday night. He said, "I don't like to draw, it's too hard."

I, myself, do enjoy the discipline of drawing. It's something that one must keep after, like practicing a musical instrument or a sport, like trying to have a sensate conversation with a bipolar schizophrenic must stay on one's toes...and always wonder what will initiate a misstep, right off the tight rope, onto the rocks below.

I've allowed myself to get side-tracked from my series of 100 Hot Flash Women for way too long now, first paper dolls, then the fabric journal, then vacation.

David's wonderful big, big studio at Fort Wordon
 I did a little drawing when we were in Ashland, but nothing that I'd want to show.
Painting is scary for me, which is probably why I postponed resuming, but I started this painting of Vickie Dodd before I side-tracked, so it was a little easier to come back on the second or third try.

I guess the things that we Really want to be good at are the scariest. I bought Kaffe Fasset's autobiography in Ashland...I just love to read about how other artists succeed. Here's a quote from one of his teachers, "Paint as well as you can. Don't worry about your style. It will arise from the weaknesses you can't correct."
                                                                      David collects and arranges in his wonderful
                                                                      pieces...and layers and stitches...more layers of
David's approach is arranging

           I was eating grapefruit on Sunday morning, and 
          looked at my spoon, a small sterling one, with a
           slightly pointed tip, perfect for digging out the    
           sections. On the handle was my grandmother's
           initials: HL, on the back: May 23, '07

Grandma's silver spoon 

The spoon is a line drawn between me
and my grandmother, over a hundred
years ago, with my ancestors' lips
touching the same silver.

The tarnish from storing the silver in the
sulphorous air of my last home is starting
to wear away in my "new" home, with use
Grandma's spoon back
and washing.

USING--objects or our talents--keeps 
them fresh and bright.

Let your self be infected by the Excitement of Possibilities--jump in and create!--Don't worry!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Travel:New Perspectives

Large possum--OR
I have resigned myself to not being able to afford much more travel, but had a wonderful opportunity to experience the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR, with Hugh and Connie at the end of September.

I have sung the praises of traveling alone in these pages previously, but like living alone versus living with someone else, the Other brings new perspectives to the experience.

Thanks to the modern convenience of GPS, I was able to pick up Hugh and Connie at the airport in Portland. They were returning from a gig touring the mid-country to sell Holland America trips.

They share my love of Roadside Attractions,
and there was a town on our way south
that boasted 3 of them! Connie set up her
office in the back seat of my Honda Fit, and
used one of her several electronic devices
to locate these: The Large Possum in front
of a muffler store, a residence disguised
as a volcano/waterfall, with surrounging large animals, and a giant miner with a mule
at a car lot. I think the house belongs to the guy with the spray foam concession---very tempting to contemplate the possibilities!!!

Large Miner in a car lot, Connie photos

I have always wanted to live in a Roadside Attraction...almost bought a full-sized camel...or was it an elephant? back in Saugerties, but we spent the money on building materials for the house instead. Colonel Hudson's, soon re-opening with indoor dining in Port Angeles, sports a life-sized gorilla and bear, and who knows what else by now. I'll meet you there 10/10/12 for the best burgers in town!

Morning Glory, our favorite breakfast in Ashland

Connie has been going to Ashland for Shakespeare since she was in junior 
high in Winatchee. Hugh, since he acted
at the Shakespeare Festival, maybe just
after his Masters in Theater at UW, so 
they  knew all the best places to eat and see...and shop.

Great paved hiking trail. Hugh and I started out well, then...

I specialized in buying gorgeous
hand-dyed fabrics and books, Connie in an actress, she has to look 
good ALL the time!

Perhaps all tourist towns have a geological backdrop. For Ashland it is TALL mountains surrounding (more on that later), but the constant is low rolling brown muscular hills, with a few dark spots of hardy brush.  I took many photos of the hills, like Cezanne with Mt. St. Victoire (?)

The Hills from behind our motel
As we drove around, I saw bits of landscape that reminded me of other
places I've been...flashbacks!

VT will always be Home to me, intimate rocky hillsides, deciduous trees, little villages. I see echos here in the Olympic Peninsula from time to time.

What is Home? What is our Frame of Reference? I will probably spend the 
rest of my life 3000 miles from VT.

The Hills from the top of the parking garage in downtown

I saw the dry beauty of Ashland, the excitement of Any place the arts are celebrated and supported. Diversity and textural/intellectual interest attract interesting people...and Money...see Richard Florida's books on creative cities.

I can see why Justine Blank, my friend from our first book group, is happy with her move to Ashland, because it has all the advantages a writer craves--good internet and intelligent/curious people for conversations. The Plus for her is that it's like her California, and close to her kids.

For me, the Olympic Peninsula is close
to a large portion of my family and I
Hugh talks with a young street performer
find that I've always craved the back
drop of salt water that I have here.

Sesame, my favorite Ashland Restaurant

Always fun to try new foods...never a bad meal, many pleasant ones outdoors in the dry, sunny, 80-degree days and evenings, the restaurant corridor along the stream.

Hugh, edamame...we tried 4 kinds

Oh, yes, and we saw PLAYS! Henry V, The Very Merry Wives of Windsor, IA, All the Way (my personal favorite, about LBJ...don't fall in love 
with a politician!), Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella--required paying CLOSE attention, Romeo and Juliet--ah, foolish youth and first love, As You Like It--exquisitely staged in the outdoor theater....Also the OR Cabaret Theater and the new movie: The Master--lots to talk about there!

A continuing game of May I in Lithia Park...we each won one

The Big Mt close to Ashland, more in distance

The flat blue layers of receding mountain ranges
in the distance, we called Japanese Mts. If you 
squint, you can see them above the trees.

This was all new territory for me...the Western 
states are just SO BIG! We were almost south
enough to see California, but in OR and WA the
whole time. I haven't had much time or opportunity
to travel since I moved west 7 years ago.

                                                                                     We went into the gift shop at Crater
                                                                                     Lake to buy postcards before I saw
Crater Lake...I'd never been here before, either
       the real thing...pretty Impressive! 

       I'm used to cozy New England, but
       everything in the West seems to be
       Very Large!  Many miles of Mountains
       and passes, and using the GPS, got
       to Portland just in time for dinner at
       Kenny and Zook' and white 
       NYC deli. Sorry, I was too tired to  
       take a picture...pastrami, coleslaw, 
       chopped liver on rye. I miss chopped 
       chicken livers.

Happy Birthday, Connie!


Birthday Cake for breakfast in Seattle...Hugh and
Connie had been on the road for over a month.
I dropped Connie at work, and continued north through
the city--HAPPY I have an automatic transmission

The Edmonds ferry home, since neither of us could
figure out how to get to the Seattle ferry. The down-
town is torn up to build a tunnel that no one except 
the Developers seemed to want...better views for 
new condos...dang! I try to stay away from direct 
politics here, but REALLY! Is there any chance for
Regular people to take back the US??? I do see
positive things going on in small communities and 
corners of cities...Keep up the good work, and VOTE!

Port Gambol, the salt water in the distance
A mini vacation on my way home, in Port Gambol, which is rather unreal, but fun in its way, home to the salt water back drop, Mike's 4 Star BBQ for hand fried chips and one rib--what a great idea!

Like Relationships with People, a relationship with a place is what we make it...add your best to wherever you choose as your HOME!

A bounty of blackberries in front of my house

I bought tons of fruits and veggies at Sunny Farms, made roasted peppers to save for Mexican Thanksgiving, pasta sauce with lots of basil...Home is food. Anita invited me to a sharing of summer vacation adventures party the night I got home, and I made a blackberry cake that was very well received. Should be, with a whole stick of butter...I LOVE butter!

Blackberry cake...YUM! with whipped cream

I just ate the last piece of blackberry cake with whipped cream for dinner, after a first course of beet greens.  Attended the artists' reception for the Fiber Arts Festival show at the MAC in Sequim. The show will be up for several weeks, and I recommend that you see it. Nice to see my 2 soft sculptures and the fabric journal in cases. More about that on my other blog.

Just one more day before I have to go back to work, appreciating my ability to continue to make the money to support my "lavish" life style!

Next Round Robin doll and new fabric
I do have a great life in my chosen Home! Back
to Art Works, arranging the stones in my yard, and 
all the rest. Would love to keep my house cleaner
and my body leaner...but creative activity keeps
getting in the way, and I can't say no to that!

If we were as accepting of our spouses as we are 
of our brothers, all marriages would go more smoothly. I have renewed my determination to
let my job-for-money flow, as I did my vacation...
I hope I can hold onto that resolution.

As I could see so much more clearly right after my cataract surgery, I see my Home more appreciatively
after being away...May I make that last!