This is a part of an illustration for "A Year by the Klamath River." The robins are back in full force. It has been such a beautiful weekend, working outside, painting inside, reading and getting inspired. Below is a sneak peak at a portion of a page I am doing for Seth for our deco exchange. It was hard to get the tree in focus because of the bead. The whole page will be inserted and glued into Seth's beautiful book and mailed tomorrow. Check out his website The Altered Page for more on this and other amazing projects.
This weekend my friend, Stacy, and I went to a retreat at the McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove, Oregon. The lodge is very close to Portland, and about a five hour drive from our home in Southern Oregon. All over the town and the grounds the Magnolia trees were blooming. I draw, paint and collage this tree's flower so often, but our climate here is too cold for them. I got up early one morning to walk the grounds and photograph them. Their beauty is in the way they bloom, their petals burst out individual beauty, uneven and independent of the other petals, but still with one common thread.
The retreat was for art teachers and guests of the Oregon Art Eductors Association Board. I share this position with another friend who could not make the trip, so I invited Stacy.
This lodge was restored by the McMenamin Brothers who are famous in Oregon for restoring old buildings, schools and hospitals and making them into lodgings, restaurants, pubs and gardens. The Grand Lodge used to be a Mason meeting house and each room was named after a different mason and their portraits hang the walls as well as their stories, (wild Irish men they were!). Our room, had a high ceiling filled with noisy colored pipes, a bunk bed and a sink and was very close to the "Doctor's Office" a smoking bar, (very rowdy). It was like the little room that Harry Potter had in the first movie under the stairs! This picture is complete only with the random sound of an imagined little monster tearing open a bag and chewing candy all night, ( really the steam going through all the pipes at various intervals to heat each room). Decorating each joint of every pipe, in the whole lodge, was a whimsical face painted on by an artist with a sense of humor and history...
The most important thing I got from this weekend was meeting and sharing stories with other art teachers especially Stacy who i drove with. I am not good at phone calls, deadlines or organizing events, but I do have a vision and I can communicate it and try to help others find theirs... The best part of the retreat was when our new president, Susan, after breakfast, filled the center of each large round table with dozens of pairs of glasses, art supplies, papers and scraps of metal. Somehow through these glass frames our job was to communicate our vision of our purpose as teachers of art in Oregon. The creations were extraordinary. My picture's do not do the glasses justice.
So how do I describe my vision? To help my students spread their wings, come out of their shell, try something new, appreciate their own mark on their paper?
I will have to finish this tomorrow, my family is calling....