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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Heading to Summer Camp


Let's start with food. I'm hungry.


John got up on his tall fruit ladder to show you his jack in the beanstalk sunflower. 


We did a big blueberry picking this cool, overcast morning before the sun came out.


Hauled in 17 more quarts to add to the 14 we already froze.


Here is the way John waters some plants. 


We have a very fast draining soil so it he starts them in sunken areas inside pots with no bottoms, then he can pull out the pots at some point and have a depression that will hold water. 


 Sewed a coptic book block for my next journal.


Covered it with buckram, a book cloth that you can see through. So the stitching is visible through the spine cloth. But then painted front and back. This is the front.


This is the inside front.


This is the back.


Inside back.


I got out my photos from a trip a few years back to Spain and Portugal. Did some sketches from them.


Some of you know that I signed up for Danny Gregory's Sketchbook Skool. I love hanging out with sketchy friends from around the globe. Love looking at their work and admiring the variety and enthusiasm.


One conversation today was about how art school can really take the fun out of life.
Telling you to only make high art and not have the fun you had as a kid, just being carefree and enjoying the materials.


For me that was drawing in the spirit of the comic strips that came to the house every day in the newspaper.


Sundays were extra good. An entire newspaper of colored comic strips. I devoured them. And with my allowance I bought Katy Keene comic books. Brenda Starr and Katy Keene. They were my mates.


So for reasons I can't quite explain, Sketchbook Skool has freed me to do something that's playful and entirely fun; return to that mentality in my journal along with my morning pages.


It's just fun. No expectations, no rules, just playing with my art supplies in the quiet of my studio.


The best things happen when I let myself drift and be useless. I become serene and happy. 


Monday morning I load up the van and return for the 4th year to teach at EncautiCamp. I look like I'm putting out a huge effort in my drawing but the truth is that this is when I come to life. Summer camp. July!! Seeing familiar faces and being an encouraging voice.  Giving mi amiga Trish Seggebruch a huge hug. I'm counting the minutes.

So I think the take away from this week at Sketchbook Skool is this: That it's okay to enjoy what you're doing in art. To make beautiful things if you want or silly things or the stuff your professor said was junk.  Amuse yourself to high heaven and don't let anyone step on your heart. 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Summer Bliss


I spoke to a friend recently who asked if I was still on "that sketching kick". Uh, yeah. I'm still adding notebooks, pens, new watercolor sets and heaps of enthusiasm. 


Meanwhile the garden is bursting at the seams.


One daughter has moved to downtown Portland. Wow, do I love their new neighborhood.


The family continues to meet weekly for walks in the forest.


Shellie and her dad.
Mi amor.


Whenever I make a trip to the bank or grocery store I rip off a sketch. 


We had a great cherry harvest this year. Over 4 qts of pie cherries and eleven qts. of the sweet ones named "Sam". I made a galette for our Garden Group and will make a second one for the 4th of July.


Oh, I do love summer!




The kale is burying us. Smoothies and baked kale. Yum.


This above is a soup of fava beans, sweet pea pods and asparagus in veggie stock.


I love the Creaper pens but not the Lamy. The point is too stiff for the way I draw.




My beautiful family. Out for Father's Day celebration. 


My beautiful friends. Play time in the studio.


The blackberries aren't quite there yet.


My good man.


Tomatoes ripe before the 4th of July. Woo hoo!


Everything is always changing.


I just play.


Drew some portraits of my friends in Sketchbook Skool.


Wrote a bunch of thoughts down.


Worked on some monotypes in wax that I have to keep under my hat awhile longer. A gallery show in Sydney. Pretty exciting. 

Just made my reservations to Bali this morning and ordered a mosquito net for my head. John came in and saw what I was doing and informed me that they'll probably have mosquito nets over the beds. Well. Don't blame me if I dont know what I'm doing. Dang mosquitoes aren't going to get me.


 And some of my Sketchbook Skool friends drew portraits of me.


Yoga in 15 minutes so I gotta finish this up!!
Aren't those tomatoes cool?




Go forth and make the best of wherever you are in life and whatever hand you were dealt. You only get to be you once. xo