Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to friends and family far and wide. As you can see, we like to cook and eat, two smoked turkeys, five pies. My home is perfectly set up for lots of people in the kitched at once, and the buffet counter becomes a work table for big dolls after the holiday is over. In case we've never met in person, that's me on the right, wearing the vest with photo transfers of our grandparents getting married and a very full plate in my hand. My body is working very efficiently to store fat to protect me from possible famine, and I enjoy each mothful. I just returned from a walk around the long block, up the hill where the housing developments are starting to take over from the forest and down with a grand view of the harbor and Canada in the distance. Even though it has been unusually sunny for November, Mt. Baker hasn't shown himself for a while. I am very very thankful for friends and family and you, my viewers, who keep me coming up with new things to show and talk about. I may just jump ahead with a small book, A MOMENT OF PURE JOY ON AN ORDINARY DAY, a compilation of paintings and writing done in the last two and a half years since I've moved here. Now go and give the person your'e with a big hug and tell them you are thankful for them!

Brother, Doug, and Amal in front of their fireplace with his latest paintings above and below. Was he influenced by his twelve years living in Isreal?

If I had my camera with me for David's recent opening in Seattle, I forgot to use it, but you can see David's work at his website:
A talented family! Thanks, Mom and Dad.

Doug, at Thanksgiving. I need to post a picture of the painting he's been working on. I admire his persistence in working on the idea more and more. At the right is Doug's wife, Amal, and their daughter, Serene. We spoke on the phone to Thayer, their son, attending his first year of college in CT.

The Big Doll project is still creeping along, creeping, partly because it's cold in my garage, where the armature is, and partly because I just find so many other things to distract me all the time.

Here's a front and back view of yet another small sculpture I've been working on. Small is SO much quicker and easier than BIG. But then BIG is SO much more impressive!

Even now that I am mostly at my "regular" job only four days a week, I find that there are so many other things to distract me from making art. Cooking has been a big one lately.

Why is it when I know that what I really want to do is make art and see what comes out next, I can spend whole weekends on other things. I just start to hit my creative stride when it's time to go back to work. Maybe I can let this forum be my impetus to do more in order to have something to show you.

One of the many benefits to living in the Northwest, is lots of opportunities to get together with family to have FUN with FOOD! Hugh and Connie came up in early November to do one of their volunteer jobs: watch and give positive feedback on a high school play. We saw a fun musical in Sequim, then spent the rest of the day cooking, apart from a stop at Ed's party to say hi and collect more of his Sequim potato rocks for my yard/art. So what if dinner wasn't until 10:30! On the left, Hugh, with a long piece of beet raviolli dough, on the right, dinner at last--doesn't Every family take pictures of their meals and plan the next one while consuming the current one?

Here is a painting I finished recently, another in my story painting series. A number of my good friends have lost people close to them in the last year, some sudden, some after illness. I suppose the chances of loss increase as we get older.

I read Dalai Lama's ADVICE ON DYING AND LIVING A BETTER LIFE, and I see how the process of letting go is so very challenging, both for the ones who are going and the ones who are left behind.

Tell the people you love how wonderful they are, while you still have the opportunity. Take a walk outside and just breathe and look. Do something that you've always wanted to do...every day, even if it's just a tiny piece of a step forward.

I took an oil painting class last spring from Eric Swangstu, Director and Curator at The Art Mine Gallery, (remind me to create a link to the gallery from my site). Eric represents me, so he sees all the work I do, and says this is the best painting of mine he's seen.

His style of teaching is suggestive, rather than directive--a lot like my teaching style. I didn't think that I would like oil painting because it involves a smell, about which I am ambivalent, and cleanup, which I hate. The idea was to paint Everything we saw and to keep building, which is quite unlike the way I have been painting lately.

It will be interesting to see where all this goes. I raised a question in the Artique Group last week--is our individual style of art making as ingrained and unchangeable as our handwriting? PS: the painting sold.