Monday, October 17, 2016



Stack of boxes in the bathroom
I'm coming to the surface after a hectic move. In June we decided it was time to do a major downsizing, quickly found a wonderful one-level home, prepared our home to sell after living there 24 years, and finally moved in early September. Whew!  Some major decisions were in order.


Many things went to charity. Many things were sold in the estate sale to end all estate sales...household goods as well as art and art/craft supplies. It had to go.  Believe me, I could have stocked a small art store, because I'm an education junkie and bought supplies for many workshops and classes, and for experimenting with a wide variety of techniques along the way.

But in the end I decided to keep most of my acrylic paints and supplies, all my watercolor supplies, most of my drawing papers and tools, and let the rest go, including most of my fabrics, patterns, sewing notions, encaustic supplies, craft paints, books, artworks, and small canvases.

Drawer of brushes
I measured the footage of my one bookcase and determined that I could pack 10 small boxes of art books, and knowing which pieces of furniture would fit in my smaller studio I packed the supplies I knew I could shelve and let the rest go.

I don't regret one decision.

However, I haven't unpacked my studio yet so who knows what I might long for enough to buy again.

RE-PURPOSING the rooms in my home

Over the years I've created studio space wherever I've lived...
The corner of a desk
An armchair
The dining table
A tiny bedroom
A table in our bedroom
The rec room after the kids left home
A huge purpose built loft studio
And now my studio is in what was the master bedroom
Planning center

We aren't ones who use the bedroom for other than sleeping so when we bought this 3 bedroom home which has no studio space we decided to sleep in what was formerly the guest bedroom since it has a bathroom attached. My husband re-purposed the smallest bedroom for his den, and I got the master bedroom. It's plenty large, has a wall of windows on the south, a door to the outside, and the nicest studio bathroom ever! I haven't unpacked my art supplies because we're waiting for our contractor to free up some time so he can replace the carpet with cork flooring. That'll happen soon.
Stacks of paper, scanner, basket of cables, printer

I've been lying fallow since June. Perhaps some of you have experienced this...that during a time of intense change there's been no time to make art, nor any desire to do so. That's me. Once we gained access to this house all my creativity has gone into feathering my nest. It's still that way, though I'm getting antsy once again, making plans to pick up a paint brush and spread some paint around on canvas or paper. But I know that if I get it out I'll just have to pack it away again when the flooring guy arrives at the end of the month.
Intact maps waiting for a new purpose

So I'll spend the next 3 weeks getting ready to teach the next Collage Bootcamp  which is November 5 at the Village Gallery. I hope some of you who live in the Portland area will join us. Enroll at the gallery: 12505 NW Cornell Rd, Suite 14, Portland, OR 97229

Journals for BootCamp

Friday, October 14, 2016

Portland Open Studios 2016...DON'T MISS OUT!

Saturday and Sunday, October 15-16, 2016.

Once again it's time to visit the studios of working artists. 

Poke around and ask questions. Watch his/her process and try it yourself. It's practically free and happens so seldom. Phone apps with maps are available from Apple and Android App stores, some free.

We visited half a dozen studios last weekend, way fewer than is usual, but we cut a wide swath across the city, from NW Germantown Rd. to Oregon City. This year I decided to visit only the studios of artists in my art group, and what a good decision that was.

Marilyn Joyce was my grand kids' art teacher at Glencoe High in Hillsboro. She works with maps, making some absolutely gorgeous non-representational collage using strips of maps, as well as drawn paintings that she calls "mappings" which grow out of her daily walks. Marilyn has a dedicated studio behind her house that's a study in the art of Zen. Simplicity at its finest. 16835 NW Germantown Rd. Portland, 97231, just south of Kaiser Rd.

Image result for marilyn joyce artist
Scott Conary is an oil painter, a master of his brush. His studio is a converted garage behind his home at 5105 NE 18th Ave. Portland, OR 97211.  He's working on several medium-large paintings that I find very intriguing. And he has "orphans" for sale (name your price, he says).

Mona Cordell draws with apple twigs and charcoal, and paints animals and figures in acrylic. There's no way I can accurately describe Mona's beautiful work. Go see for yourself. Many of her paintings combine an animal figure with a human figure on a divided panel. And for several years she has had access to two local ballet companies whose practice sessions she attends in order to fill sketchbook after sketchbook with gesture drawing of the dancers in motions. Visit her studio at 4650 NE Ainsworth St. Portland, OR 97218. Don't miss it!

Ruth Armitage works in her home studio at 21288 S. Leland Rd. Oregon City, OR 97045. Ruth was one of my early watercolor teachers, chosen because I loved her images which were then based on family photos. Ruth is now painting the family farm using her enormous talent and acrylic paint,. The series is called "Down on the Farm" and depicts her memories of the farm, done is a highly abstracted and colorful way. Her studio is lined with many of the pieces she's painted this year, some of which have won national awards.

 Amber Waves Final

Then back in my own neighborhood we stopped to see Annie Salness who paints with water-soluble oils. Annie does lots of commission work which often includes favorite pets and she just completed a commission for a family member, a stack of her relative's favorite books. Each year Annie publishes a calendar. Her 2017 calendar features 12 different vegetables, printed from the originals which were done on  12 x 12" canvases. She published both a wall calendar and a desk calendar and has the calendars and the original oil paintings for sale. Annie's story is amazing. She was a bio-medical illustrator for many years until a recent stroke that left her paralyzed on her "good" side, forcing her to switch to being a leftie. Now she draws and paints with her left hand, loosely and with great courage and control. You need to meet Annie. 12545 NW Coleman Dr. Portland, OR 97229.

You wonder why I'm not participating this year. It seems God had other plans for me. I applied to PDXOS but wasn't chosen. I also applied to Washington County Open Studios and it was a go until the day before the deadline to withdraw, and withdraw I did because we bought our new home and I knew I couldn't get ready. It's fun to participate, to talk to friends, old and new, and to encourage other artists.

Even though the weather forecast for tomorrow and Sunday is grim please don't let that stop you from visiting my friends or other artists who've gone to such effort to open their studios to the public. This is the last weekend. Portland artists are joined by Washington County artists, so there'll be lots of opportunity all over the city to go see some good art.  I'm going out again.

Here's some artists whose studios are quite interesting, too.
Gretha Lindwood 1830 NW 138th Ave. Portland, 97229
Kitty Wallis, Christopher Mooney, Sara Swink, Marcy Baker, Marla Baggetta, Therese Murdza, Jesse Reno, William Park, Linda Baker, Susan Gallacher-Turner.

When you see a bright yellow sign with a black arrow pointing toward an artist's studio simply stop for a visit. You'll be welcome, guaranteed.
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