Monday, February 06, 2006

Current Events

I took my first Heroine's Journey in 2002, when I came to the West Coast to travel, teach, sell, and be on my own. After leaving a long relationship and familiar territory in the Northeast in 2005, the occassion of my 60th birthday in March of this year called for a similar trek. Here I'm starting West around Lake Crescent, in the aftermath of a late-winter snow storm.

As you can see by the size of the car compared to the trees, the trees are very tall here. I came West almost two years ago by myself, and am learning that taking both physical and spiritual journeys on my own can be very rewarding, if lonely at times. Most of my family lives less than 100 miles away in Seattle, and I've made lots of wonderful friends here, so it's not bad at all.

I did get to see a lot of the Northwest corner of the Peninsula when I worked for Home Health as an occupational therapist my first year here. Ruby Beach is going south along the Pacific Coast from my familiar territory. The strange hummocks in the water make me want to come back and explore when the weather is a bit more temperate. This spot is about two hours from where I live, and Katie and Diane said they'd come along for a visit to Ruby Beach this summer. There will be lots more cars and people around then.

Further south, along the Pacific coast is a Tsunami escape route sign, something that doesn't exist in Vermont. In my quest to explore my new home state, I was traveling down the west coast of Washington to stay in a Bed and Breakfast that I'd read about in COASTAL LIVING in Long Beach, on an isthmus almost at the Oregon border.

My cute and cozy room at Boardwalk Cottages was just a block from the beach and contained a table for my laptop and art supplies for working on HOT FLASH, the book. I know I've been talking about doing this book for years, but getting away and foconcentrating on just one project, creating collage journal pages, and reading a box full of books gave me time to come up with ideas that are as ecclectic as women's experiences with being HOT.

The beach and boardwalk at one of the less rainy times that weekend. There were no crowds until the very last day, when the sun came out. Originally I had hoped for some male companionship on my oddesy, but as it turned out, I had more interesting experiences on my own and not having to worry about entertaining someone else. I was fed scones or biscuits every morning, found a wonderful neighborhood Thai restaurant, as well as the exquisite cooking provided by the ARK. Met interesting people in the internet cafe around the corner, and I got a better sense of the size and scope of Washington state. finished lots of mixed media journal pages that will become part of HOT FLASH the book.

Self-portrait at Long Beach, WA--not too bad for 60 years old. I took a class from LK Ludwig at Art Fest in 2002, in which she preached the importance of looking at how we look, no matter how embarassed it may make us. This is one of the best I've done.

Try taking an outing on your own, even if it's just to the next town. Bring your camera and your journal and an open heart, and you will discover interesting things about yourself.

My opening on February 10th was spectacular for me--I love an art party! I so appreciated my family and friends and book group, who all showed up and bought paintings. See more of the paintings in the Gallery and on the painting section of this blog. I appologize to Doug and Katie, who don't look as gorgeous as usual in my quick shot.

Here are some pictures from a doll-making class I taught locally...why didn't I photograph the Art Paper Doll class, too? Gloria has a whole building for art projects and a garden full of her sculptures. It was a sunny early February day.

Daffodils blooming in a pot by my front steps in early February. I LOVE this place!!! Now, at the end of March, all the trees that could possibly flower are doing it with great exuberance. In the Northwest, spring and fall last forever.

OK, I've been very, very bad about posting, and I'll work backwards from Christmas 2006, in Seattle with brother Doug, Amal, Serene, Thayer, Hugh and Connie...David was enjoying the sun in Mexico.
Serene performed in a Christmas show outdoors at the Bellevue mall, cast by Connie, and complete with a snow storm that reminded me of my New England birthplace.

Thayer was home from his international school in New Mexico, and spent a lot of time catching up on his sleep. It's wonderful to be close to most of my family and be able to see them more than once a year!

1/30/07 I have plenty of updating to do here, but have been busy preparing for a solo show of my paintings at Art Supplies Unlimited, 118 West First St, Port Angeles, WA, with the opening on Saturday, February 10th, and an Art Paper Doll class on 2/17/07.
The show is of paintings I've completed since moving to PA, with accompanying narrative. I'm working out my life and future direction in words and pictures, as always. I will do a limited-edition from the show's words and images, but please join me at the opening. email me for more info. If you're just too far away to make it, I'll be posting the paintings on my Gallery, under More Art.

My friend, Patti Gibbons, has a sad story to tell, about her daughter, Megan, who was a soldier in Iraq and is now fighting stomach cancer. To find out more about Megan and her daughter, Alanna, please visit Patti's blog at
The World Wide Web allows us to reach women who need our love and support all over the world and to nurture the forces for Good in the world.

Posting images from Christmas is on my endless list of things to do. The Solstice party was so much fun, no one remembered to take photos--next year! The New Home is perfect for entertaining!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! Here's my flamingo wreath, and I'm celebrating the return of the SUN with a Solstice party with lite-up flamingos and Mexican food. It's also the year and a half celebration of my move to Port Angeles, where pansies are still in bloom in spite of the recent snow storm. You can join me in celebrating vicariously--check out this plan to generate World Peace at on December 21st, 2006, alone or in groups, any time of day or night will work.


Looking north on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, snowflakes the size of saucers. Since I've left the cold and snowy Northeast, I enjoy seeing the snow on the mountains--far away. I took a picture at the start of this storm because it was unusual, never imagining what was to follow.

Looking northeast Monday after the storm passed, 18" of wet snow in my looooong driveway. Knowing that the temps were dropping, I felt compelled to shovel, even though Monday was a snow day for Everyone. Down by the water there was only about 6". It's so different here from the now, 12/7, the snow is mostly a memory, the famous storm of '06, to rival the one of '96 in the local lore. Will even heard about it in Florida.

Thanksgiving was a blast! Fourteen people...the Seattle family plus assorted friends The new house is perfect for large gatherings and celebrations, and of course the food was Excellent--everyone contributed. It is a good thing to know people who are great cooks! We have a lot for which to be thankful, especially good friends and family.

As promised, I'm going to start publishing an article and a free pattern for a fabric or paper doll mid month. I'll start another post for them, and change each month.

10/06 I've been working on small sculptures that are morphing from dolls into Art Objects. Here's one I did back in the Old Schoolhouse, probably in the late '70's, early 80's. You'll see current ones in my gallery, under More Art.

Yet another event at Odd Arts: an Erotic Arts show, for which the front of the building was decorated with a garland of bras.It was a typically rainy October evening in the Northwest, so the colors outdoors were dulled. Inside was lots of color and excitement.

My piece is a very explicit painting, so I won't post it...or maybe very small...I don't want to offend anyone. I was thinking about the many aspects of nudity and sex, and why they are so taboo in this culture in some areas and so over-used in other areas. Sex can be a dramatic merging of two separate beings...or is it self-serving pleasure?
I had the honor to exhibit at Odd Arts in PA in August, otherwise known as "the Big Yellow Building" at the west end of town. It used to be an Odd Fellows Hall and Maureen Wall refurbished the building, installed wonderful apartments with Italian tile, a classroom upstairs, and a very classy gallery downstairs, where you see me standing behind a glass case containing my "objects." I'm not sure if I can call them dolls any more, although I still like the human form.

Here I am, doing my part for ART in PA's Fourth of July parade 2006.

There is a motley and growing artist community in PA, and we participated in the parade of businesses on July 4th, 2006.

Discovery Bay is about as far Northwest as a person can get. I treated patients close by in Neah Bay, and just south along the coast are long smooth sandy beaches, with the strange tall islands.

For my first year in Washington, I worked for Olympic Medical Home Health, which meant driving out west two days a week to provide OT care in Forks. It doesn't snow much down at sealevel, but you can see the snow line crossing the mountains around Lake Crescent 2/2/06. Microclimates abound, and one night I drove home in whiteout conditions to the west of the lake, to find Port Angeles snowless.

I have not only the ocean and the mountains, but also a perfect bottomless glacial lake, Lake Crescent, to the West.

I live in the land of perpetual festivals. Here's brother, David, in one of the perfect lavender fields of Sequim...hard to believe the Lavender Festival has come around again already, and someone was starting a sand castle downtown this morning for the next festival.

Me at last year's Lavender Festival--a few months later, I had my hair chopped short and easy. I lost a few years along with the excess hair.

New Painting and Other Art Works

In spite of starting a new job in May (I went for my final interview on moving day 5/5/06), I've been painting. Here is a group arrayed in my studio. With Tuesdays off work, I can go to life drawing, and alternate between painting nudes from my drawings, and autobiographical works, with writing.

Go back to the Gallery, to see all the finished paintings. I'll post more works in progress here.

Since I've moved to the Northwest, I've been inspired to start painting again. I think the temperate weather here is conducive to creativity. I'm revisiting my perennial love of combining words and images and feeling like a teenager again, bursting with ideas and things I want to try.