Thursday, December 29, 2011

Family Art Show at the Plum Gallery

I had a great Christmas.   My daughters Louisa and Jenifer were both in my house for a few days, as well as my brother Jeff, my son-in-law Peter, and my grandchildren Griffin and Sophia.  It was a full house, and we enjoyed our time together.

On Christmas Day, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary (my step-daughters) and their mother Jane joined us....and also Matt and John, plus many grandchildren and a Japanese exchange student.   We had the usual over-the-top feast, stockings so full of special gifts that it was almost too much to take in, and traditional festivities....but we added something new!  It was a family art show in the Plum Gallery.  It was great fun because it was a "pop up" show.  We had no idea what would be shown....until we started putting it up.

There was a wonderful series of drawings by Jane Rondthaler called "The Bernie Packer Series."   Above is a shot of some admirers (Catherine Rondthaler, Matt Jolley, Elizabeth Jolley, and Louisa Reynolds) of Jane's work.  Helen Jolley is in the background.  Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary remember when Jane would do this kind of drawings to include in letters.  They were glad to see how many were saved.  Here's a sample drawing:

Elizabeth showed two types of art.  One was a hat knitted for her mother "many years ago":

The other was illustrated recipes...very creative, I'd say, especially since there were copies of the recipes to take home:

Mary (Howard's youngest daughter) showed a series of drawings from art school:

My daughter Jenifer entered an interpretation of "The Scream" that she had done a few years ago:

Granddaughter Rebecca also had some entries:  

Grandaughter Caroline contributed an origami and light creation she had made for her brother.  It was in the Plum Gallery, but we brought it upstairs and photographed it draped on a chair.  I used the slightly blurry image because it really plays up the lights:

Grandchildren Sophia and Griffin contributed some of their art, too:

There was more.  Catherine and John brought some great pieces...and my photo was too blurry to use.  I hope to add those in another post...assuming someone else got a picture.

I had some art in the show, too....several labyrinth paintings were up when we first started.  I took those down to make room for the show, but left a small labyrinth and a rubbing of a finger labyrinth.

It was fun!  We need to do it again!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dragonfly chimes From Patty

My friend Patty gave me a beautiful chime with three dragonflies and a bell.  I only painted two of the dragonflies.  I call the bell a Gary Snyder Bell.  Patty and I both enjoy poetry and so Gary Snyder, as a Pulitzer Prize winner and a former Portlander, is a favorite.  I use this kind of bell to reminded me to stay in the moment--that's what I learned from Gary.  Thanks, Patty, for the reminder, and for something beautiful that I have hung in my entry hall.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A beautiful scarf from Nancy

From this picture, you can't really tell that it is a scarf.....this is just one part of it.  The ball fringe goes all around the edge.  It is reversible, so I turned back the edge a little bit to show the other side....a little darker.  The design is very intricate, but I simplified it.  I love how this turned out and may use it as a card.  To me, it is abstract and fun at the same time.  If I hadn't explained what it might have your own interpretation!

The scarf itself is a triangle, so I think the best way to wear it is around the shoulders, with a knot in the front. Nancy's last name is Hugg---this scarf feels like a hug when I wear it that way.  

It was an early Christmas present.  My pleasure in receiving gifts, documenting them in a thank-you note, posting it here, and mailing the thank you to the giver continues.   It has been so much fun that I might continue it in 2012.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Moravian Cookies!

Christmas is soon and the Moravian cookies are here.   I get them in the mail every year from Howard's sister.  A little family history is necessary here.  Catharine was younger than Howard.  When their mother was pregnant, Howard was told a baby was coming.  He always pronounced it "bobby" and called her Bobby when she was born--others took it up, and she is still Bobby today..especially in the family.  Howard and Bobby grew up in Clemmons, North Carolina. The Moravian cookies are made by hand in Clemmons by Mrs. Travis Hanes, and her crew of workers.  They are very thin, crispy, and ginger-y, and they come in a wonderful bright red tin with a plastic resealable strip.  There is nothing quite like them!

In Clemmons, nearly everyone is a Moravian.  Moravia was once a part of Czechoslovakia, and the Moravians are an old Protestant denomination. They predate the Reformation.   The Moravian faith was originally formed by John Hus whose protests and teachings caused him to die a martyr's death at the stake on July 6, 1415.  His followers formed the first fully organized Protestant church in 1457, which they called the Unity of Brethren.  They were persecuted, driven from their homes, and imprisoned.  They migrated to Germany and were protected there by Count Zinzendorf, who was interested in their beliefs.  While in Germany they were referred to as "that religious group from Moravia" and so they became known as Moravians.  When they came to American and settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and Winston-Salem, North Carolina they were proud to be called Moravians.  Clemmons is near Winston-Salem.

I thought a painting of a red round cookie tin might be a little "ho-hum," so I rested a Moravian star ornament on the tin and included that in the painting.  The Moravian star is three dimensional and usually illuminated.  It is used in holiday festivities connected to the Advent season.  This is a good time to make a little painting of my humble version of it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Very Thought of You

Virginia sent me a book called "The Very Thought of You."  This little sketch is my idea of the picture on the cover of it.  It is about a girl who, in World War II, was sent out of London to a countryside estate for her safety. Many children were.  It is a whole new perspective on war.  The book is very well written, and is one of the best I have recently read.  It is about loyalty, love, friendship, disabilities, and all kinds of human emotions.  I loved reading it so much, and it is one of the few books that I think I may read again.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


So, is a very little fire, but very pretty.  A gift from my friend Celeste.  It has a label saying "creativity" and a quote "Allow me to explore new dimensions, discover new thoughts, ideas, and emotions."  I've been lighting it when I'm painting.  The painting above is from our sketching yesterday....glimpse of a "bouquet" of brushes arranged by Carrie, a japanese maple leaf, a pencil, a piece of newspaper, a blue alabaster globe from Italy, and the candle firing up our creative spirit.  You can see other results of yesterday's sketching session here.  Just me, Carrie, and Celeste.  Thank you, Celeste...I love the idea of firing up some creativity.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sketch day at my house

It's a lot of fun when you find out that your friends like the same thing you do.  Yesterday, I had a few friends sketch with me in my kitchen.  We all took out our sketchbooks and found that we all had the same brand and size.  They are "Aquabee Super Deluxe" and the size is 9" x 9."  We put them on the table and Celeste took this picture.  The red stickers on three are, I think, on newer ones.  I've had mine for quite a while, and it doesn't have that sticker....but is the same sketchbook exactly.  I especially like that it is made in Beaverton, right next door to me.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First Thursday

Tomorrow night is the opening reception for the Nature in Our City Parks show.  It's at City Hall from 5:30-9.  Above is a picture of the poster.  Hope all those in Portland will be able to attend.  Should be a lot of fun.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nature In Our City Parks

This is a painting that will be in a show at City Hall.   The show features natural parks that are also Portland City Parks.  This is spot is very near my house, at a park called Marshall Park.  When you're there, you do not feel at all like you're in the city.  

The technique I used was fun.  I took a floral watercolor painting that wasn't looking too great, turned it upside down, and made this watercolor painting over it.  

The reception will be this Thursday, part of First Thursday art openings in Portland.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Two Scholars

This painting is hanging in the Buchan Center of First Unitarian Church, which is kind of fun for me.  Once I week, go to Spanish class and go right by it.   

I have two figurines of Chinese Scholars which are about 15" high and are "faux ivory."  I did this drawing of them as a modified contour--mostly looking at them while I drew, and looking very little at the paper. Then I painted it with gouache and used some metallic gold highlights.  

It's fun to see my painting in a permanent display! 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Labyrinth X

Here's the tenth labyrinth.  It is different from the others in that it is an acrylic painting on canvas.  The size is 20" x 20. " The others are watercolor, and in the same size range.  I might be done now with labyrinths....though I recently was intrigued to learn about a double spiral labyrinth and I might have to explore that!   We'll see.  

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Something to Spice Up My Day

Here's something fun....a pepper plant!   My friend Celeste surprised me with a very cheerful potted pepper plant.  With the dreary weather outside, it is a welcome red/orange with green leaves.  I put it in a turquoise Bauer pot.  Does anyone know about Bauer pottery?  It's a classic!!!  

Thanks, are well represented in my "Thank You Card" series, and I've probably missed something. It's because you are so generous.  Generous with tangible gifts and with a very nourishing friendship.  It warms my life as well as my kitchen on these shortening days.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Labyrinth IX

Hey, labyrinth lovers!  Here's number 9.  This is one called the Santa Rosa labyrinth and it is contemporary.  The designer is Lea Goode-Harris.   It fits into a smaller space than most of the other designs and yet the paths are wide enough for wheelchairs.

Well, of course, I made some changes and this is my own interpretation!   My painting is currently on display in the Plum Gallery.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another day...another present

At another recent dinner party (Hey, do I have a good life or what?) Nancy surprised us all with dragonfly plant ornaments.  I put mine next to a couple of lilies in a pot.  For this card, I decided to show only a little of the stem.  The plant ornament is so pretty.  It has copper highlights.  In the card for Nancy, I used water-based metallic copper paint.  The lily died  back, but the ornament is still looking great and now decorates an indoor plant in my front hall.  That plant is about five years old, so I am confident it will be the right spot to show off the dragonfly for some time to come.

Thanks, Nancy, for your thoughtfulness and on-going friendship.  It means a lot to have friends like you, and little gifts that remind me how special you are.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Fun Project From Jan

Not too long ago, I went for a dinner at my friend Jan's condo in the Pearl District in Portland.  It's very nice and we had a special group of friends.  She had organized an art project for us, but we got busy talking about it and ran out of time.  The art project was a picture frame for each grandchild, and monopoly letters to glue on and spell out their names.  I brought the project home.  It took me awhile to do it, and even longer to do this card.  It turned out to be fun.  The frames are different, but related, just like the children.  Griffin in his bicycle helmet and Sophia with a welcome sign she made on one of my visits.  This was a "just for fun" painting on a thank you card.

Thanks, Jan....this is something I will treasure and the kids will love it when they visit in December.  I think they know I think about them all the time, but they always like physical reminders of how important they are to me.  

And, as always, thanks Jan for your friendship.  It was great to march for peace with you yesterday.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gamblin Factory Tour

Yesterday, some of the Plein Air and Studio Painters took a tour of the Gamblin paint factory.  Scott Gellatly was our tour leader.  It was great to learn how oil paints are made and packaged.  Here's a link to some pictures I took.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Labyrinth VIII

This is the eighth in the series.  I think it is my favorite so far.  It validates my love of the uneven path and unpredicatability of our life's journey.  In the design, I included only steps (or lack of steps where a "leap of faith" is needed), and no other symbols.  Sometimes, choices need to be made because there are several possibilities and most times, it won't matter a lot.  Other times, though, choices lead to the path that needs to be taken.

Thanks to those who have joined me on this exploration of labyrinths and the images they inspire.

Tomorrow, the Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters will visit the Labyrinth Show in the Plum Gallery, and I'll be interested in seeing their reactions....and their comments in the guest book.  This series is not at all about plein air or landscape painting, but I have come to think of it as an interior landscape work.  I love the colors, too.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Guest Book in the Plum Gallery

Since the opening of the Plum Gallery in June, 2009, I have encouraged guests to sign my guest book and make a comment.  The comments really mean a lot.  Actually, I look at them fairly often and love to re-read them.  The comments for the opening were particularly exuberant--"very exciting launch!" and "great use of the space" are examples.  The help me recall the excitement I felt at just doing making the Plum Gallery happen.

Other favorite comments are "a beautiful idea come to life," "a visual feast,"  "What a surprise!" and "a great presence."  A special favorite is "Fantastic! Fabulous! Fun!"

Recently, I had visitors to the new "Labyrinth" show, and was especially warmed by comments in my guest book.  It is nice to know that others are inspired by my work, and that it brought one viewer "peace."

I paint to express myself, especially in the labyrinth series, but this sort of encouragement makes it more fun. I'm glad I started that guest book.  I will have a special reception for Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters on Tuesday, and I'll encourage them to keep the tradition.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Labyrinth Show is UP at the Plum Gallery!!!!

The "Labyrinth" show is up in the Plum Gallery and so ready for viewing.  Portland friends:  let me know when you want to see it.  Out-of-towners:  I could put you up in the guest room if you want to make the trip!

These are the five currently showing--Labyrinths II, III, IV, V, and VI.  You've seen them on the blog before.    I have three more ready that need to be framed, and one in O'Connor's Restaurant that I will trade out on Tuesday for one of it is a "rolling" show.

Here's a quote from T.S. Eliot that reflects some of my thoughts about labyrinths:

"     We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

I'll post that in the gallery as part of the show.  PS:  I haven't reached the end of my exploration of the labyrinth yet!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday is sketch day

Celeste and I were the only ones sketching today at my house.  We had a nice visit.  She is such a good friend.

This lily is very pretty and short, but so colorful.  The surface I worked on is a gessoed piece of cardboard.  The paint is gouache--it's the first time I tried gouache over a gesso ground.  It ended up with a lot of texture, and I like that.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thank you Sheryl

This is a little late, but is a very sincere thank you to my friend Sheryl.  While I was in California for my recent 50-year high school reunion, I visited Sheryl and we went to an extraordinary concert.  Sheryl and I were THERE in the sixties and have stayed friends since.  There have been many changes in our lives, but our friendship endures.  Sheryl  prepared a great dinner and then took me to the concert.  I knew it would be good because I trust her.  Marianne Aya Omac was the headliner, but (get this) the "also featuring" artist  was Joan Baez.  Anyone who knows me knows that was a "hook" for me.  The concert was wonderful, and Joan's support of Marianne is well justified.  I am sure you will hear more about her--she is very talented and forceful.  What I found remarkable was that ALL of the music was obviously chosen by Marianne.  Joan tried to play "second fiddle," but (of course) she always shines.  I hope I captured her spirit in this little painting.  She still ROCKS and has the voice.

PS:  readers of my travelblog know about this, but hadn't seen the little painting.  Hope I didn't overdo it, but it was so memorable, that I am indulging a little.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Little Fun Today

Our art group (Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters) had an opportunity today that turned out to be even better than expected.  We were invited to paint on the Portland Maritime Museum, which is a steamship sternwheeler docked at the waterfront in Portland.  The staff was very gracious and gave me a tour of every nook and cranny of the ship, even though I didn't know what most of it meant.  There were so many good opportunities for paintings and sketches--it was difficult to choose.  However, Carrie and I chose to sit in the wheelhouse and make some sketches there.  This is one of an old stool, which you can imagine the captain using while he steered the ship.  We will go back, and do more.  It is hoped there will be a show of paintings done over the next few months.  I can  hardly wait to go back on one of those stormy Portland winter days and paint from the inside looking out.  Hope it isn't too "rocky!"  I want to give it a try.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Labyrinth VII

Here's my seventh labyrinth.  It is based on instructions to draw "the simplest possible labyrinth" in a book called The Unending Mystery--A Journey Through Labyrinths and Mazes.  Of course, I modified the pattern to show that the path is uneven and has some predictable and unpredictable elements along the way.  I also included some symbols from my Camp Fire Girls days.  I loved Camp Fire Girls.  We got to dress in long brown "Indian maiden" dresses and decorate them with honor beads.  We had Indian names and designed symbols around our names.  This labyrinth is in memory of my mother, who set me on that path...Camp Fire Girl, young woman, mother, grandmother, and now the somewhat wiser (but still learning) person I am today.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labyrinth VI

This is a variation of the "Mother and Child" Labyrinth.  I converted the design to a circle, still with two labyrinths.  The outer one (Mother) encloses the inner one (Child).  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesdays are sketching days

Today, my friend Celeste brought a new art surface to our Tuesday morning get-together at O'Connor's restaurant in Multnomah Village, a Portland neighborhood gathering point.  It is gesso on what is essentially a throw-away cardboard surface.  At the meeting she made it available to all the artists who were there.  Celeste is a very giving person.  After the meeting, Celeste and I went to my house for our regular Tuesday sketching session (Carrie couldn't make it) and we further explored that surface.  This is my painting of some small sunflowers in a vase.  I used an Elegant Writer pen and then did some blending with water.   We did a lot of other work, but I think this was the best of my work today.  Other work can be seen at the link above.  Thanks, Celeste, always fun to sketch with you!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Labyrinth V

Here is another Native American design--this time from the Hopi tribe.  At their Oraibi pueblo, which may have been settled as early as 1100 or 1200, there are five small square labyrinths carved into stone.  There is also a sixth one that is more rounded.  They are only five to seven inches in diameter.  The native name for this labyrinth is tapu'at, or "mother and child."  It is actually two labyrinths, with the child in the womb surrounded by the mother. No one knows for sure, but it is possible a newborn baby would immediately be placed on this symbol.  Some southwestern tribes used to make a sandpainting while a woman was in labor and placed the new baby on it.   This may have been a more permanent version.  To emphasize the design, I simplified the steps along the "paths", using round positive shapes for the child and square negative shapes for the mother.   I got the information about this labyrinth from a book called The Unending Mystery by David Willis McCollough.  With the Plum Gallery, sometimes you get a little history as well as an interesting image.

The Plum Gallery is planning a labyrinth show!  More details later.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Labyrinth IV

I learned about this, and many of the unique labyrinths around the world, from a book called The Unending Mystery by David Willis McCullough.  This one is from a Native American culture, specifically People of the Desert and People of the River.  The basic design is seen in baskets, mostly, and is called "Man in the Maze."  I took that design and added some images that I connect those peoples.   The size is 22" x 24" and the medium is watercolor with metallic gold highlights.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A book from Matt

Through my church's B&B program, I had a houseguest last week.   Through this program, I provide Board and Breakfast and the guest pays the church, so it makes money for the church.  My guest last week, Matt, was a great guest.  He was great fun, very interesting and a perfect guest.  Although it was "above and beyond" the call of duty, he also gave me a gift, a book titled A Singular Woman, about Barak Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham. That was a surprise, and I explained to Matt that I would want to make a painting of his gift on a thank you card, acknowledge the gift on this blog with a posting of the painting, and then send him the card, as I've been doing since the first of the year.  Doing that has been fun for me.  In addition, the book is good reading.  It is very well-written and thoroughly documented.  I'm learning that Obama's mother was much more complicated and interesting than "the white woman from Kansas" as she has been portrayed by the media.

But wait! There's more!

I provided dinner on the first night Matt was here, and he brought wine.  He also brought other goodies during his stay, such as ginseng juice and vanilla.   We drank one of the bottles of wine, and it's already been recycled.  The wines here are an Australian wine, "The Chook," which is what they call chickens in Australia and an Oregon wine, Lipa.  This little watercolor sketch is on the back of the card.  Matt lived in China for many years, so always has something interesting to talk about.  He also lived in Australia, and we enjoyed talking about his treks in Tibet.  A very good, interesting guest!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Wonderful Art Day with Friends

I'm taking a break from the labyrinth project.  Today I went to the Franciscan Villa at Bridal Veil in the Columbia Gorge with my art group--the Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters.  My dear friend Kathy Allegri organizes these opportunities at the Villa at least once a year.  It is a private setting, not open to the public, and so it is special to go there.  It is the residence of Franciscan nuns who teach at a Montessori School in Portland.  There are both natural and cultivated gardens, and even a waterfall!  This is a small watercolor of some planted  urns in a formal garden at the back of the house. I liked the light and shadow pattern.  There are so many wonderful places to paint at the Villa that it is almost impossible to choose.  We hope to go back again when the Fall colors are out. I especially like this place because it was the inspiration for my "Stepping Stones" paintings, done four years ago.  Those paintings are, in fact, directly linked to the labyrinth paintings because they deal with the complexities of the paths of our lives.

PS:  Thanks to the followers of my "Labyrinth" series.  New postings will come soon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Labyrinth III

When walking a labyrinth, a person travels a well-defined path that eventually winds up in the center and then returns to the entry following the same path.  I worked on this painting in more-or-less the same way, and incorporated various symbols and steps as I moved toward the center.  On the way back, I refined those symbols and steps, and reflected that we don't really get that chance in real life!!!  I think this labyrinth painting reflects the beauty of living...even when there are some "snakes" and "bugs" along the way...and I am very happy with the colors in this work.

Working in a series is very rewarding and leads to thoughts like those above.....and more.  I am continuing with labyrinth studies and will be posting more.  This one is 20" x 20".   I will be framing these in simple black wooden frames with no mats, using "Artspacers" to separate the art from the glass.   

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Labyrinth II

I call this labyrinth "History of the Labyrinth" though, of course, it doesn't even touch the full history.  The pattern was drawn through instructions entitled "How to Draw a Simple Labyrinth."  The drawing was simple, but I added a lot of complexity along the paths (that's what life is) and also added a path around the labyrinth before the entrance.   In this piece, I used symbols that I have come to associate with the labyrinth, such as the "rose" at the center, which is similar to the Chartres center.  The Chartres labyrinth is probably the most famous one.  Also, the things that look like polliwogs are images similar to the first drawn labyrinths...they were found in Scotland.  The unpredictable path continues....there's a few rough spots in this one, as well as some easy, peaceful ones!  The painting is 20 inches wide by 22 inches tall.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Labyrinth I

I was inspired to create this painting when I walked a labyrinth for the first time about three months ago.  While I was walking I was reminded that the path of my life, or anyone's, has wide parts and narrow, easy passages and difficult ones, ones that take your breath away by their beauty and ones that cause you concern, etc.  I imagined a labyrinth design in which I could express that.   It contains big and small steps and symbols of some of my encounters and experiences along the way.  This one is called "Personal Journey"  It is 22" x 22"  While researching how to draw a labyrinth, I discovered some very intriguing labyrinth patterns.  Consequently, I want to paint more of these. This is the first painting of a series that will be at least five labyrinths.  A whole new direction for me!

Friday, August 5, 2011

End of NaSkeDraMo Days 29, 30, and 31

Day 29 I did a sketch of my big flower purse.  It was a lot of fun to do this one, and it harkens back to  my project of making a sketch of gifts I receive.  This purse was a gift I gave myself!

Day 30  Last Saturday (July 30) I went with some friends on the Mt. Hood Rail Road.  We had a 30-minute break and I did this sketch:

Day 31 was a lovely Sunday.  I took a little time Sunday afternoon to make a sketch of flowers in my Roseville Vase.....very old, very pretty.

It took a while to get time to post this because I have moved on  to a new project...a series of paintings based on labyrinth designs.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

NaSkeDraMo Days 21-28

I have fallen way behind, so this will include a lot of sketches.  I have kept up with the Sketch a Day project and have done one a day....though I fell behind on posting them!

These are not being posted in order, for reasons I will explain shortly.  The "Shooooz" above were the sketch for Day 27.

Day 21:

I did a pretty complicated sketch of a small sculpture of "Blind Justice" that is on Louisa's mantel in her home in Washington DC.  It's about 12"tall.  I have not been able to get a good jpeg image of my sketch, but am posting what I have.

Now is a good time to say why I didn't want to go chronological on this posting.  I think this sketch will not show up well on the Facebook thumbnails, and I have learned that most of my friends and followers use the Facebook as a trigger to have a look at the blog.  I am thinking that if I have something that can't be seen very well, no-one will take a closer look!  The "shoooz" are more dramatic in thumbnails!  Tell me if that is silly.  All in all, my "Justice" rendition is a good drawing, but not necessarily something that "shows well."

Day 22:

July 22 was, for me, a moment of personal history as it was the maximum temperature I have ever experienced.  It was so hot.  It was 120 degrees when you take the temperature and the humidity into account--called the "heat index."  My grandaughter Sophia had indicated an interest a few days earlier in making a sketch of the soccer coach's cooler.  I was impressed then that she had picked up on the importance of shapes because the shapes are what make the cooler "cool."  I made a sketch of the cooler that day and it was a total failure. When it was so hot that we had to stay inside on July 22, I had the idea of making a new sketch from a previously failed sketch and my memories.  I wanted something "cool."  Above is the result.  I found the exercise helped me simplify a lot.

July 23:

Well, this was a big day for me because I returned to Portland.   My friends Celeste and Carrie joined me at the Horse Brass Pub in Portland.  We made quite a a few sketches, but this is the one I posted for "NaDraSkeMo."  It's a table and chair at the pub. 

Day 24:

The first thing I saw when I came home was the beautiful begonias on my front porch in a big they were the logical sketching choice.  I ended up with a watercolor effect, and I like it a lot. 

Day 25:

I had sold some cards at the Trail's End Art Association Gallery in Gearhart and they have an annual show coming up, so I took the opportunity to drive over, pick up my money, and put a painting in the show.  One of my favorite places on the way to Gearhart (and back) is Camp 18.  I stopped on the way back, ordered a Marionberry cobbler a la mode and requested a table with an interesting lamp. I got all that, and more!!!   I was travelling solo and intended to make a sketch...and I did.  I'm thinking:  You need to ask for what you want...and enjoy it!

Day 26:

 On Tuesdays, we (Portland Plein Air and Studio Painters) have breakfast at O'Connor's in Multnomah Village near my home and then some of us (usually Carrie and Celeste) come to my house to do some simple sketches.  Carrie had sketched the my storyteller bear before, but I had a strong urge to do it myself.  It was fun.  We made many sketches, but this is the one I chose to post for the Sketch a day project. It's a bear with a story-teller and children hanging on to hear the stories.  The bear is happy to support the activity.

Day 27:  It's the shoes....they're seen at the top of this post!

Day 28:

I have an amazing clematis vine in bloom.  This is just a brief glimpse into the glory.  They are really spectacular, and this is only a small part of the show.  I hadn't used gouache for awhile and used it for this.  It was a little difficult, but I want to get back into least sometimes.