Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blue Kangaroo Coffee House



Sometimes, it is a good idea to check out other galleries and not just hang around the Plum Gallery.  Yesterday, I went to the Blue Kangaroo Coffee Roasters to see a show of paintings by Celeste Bergin.  It looked great.  The place smells terrific--that good fresh coffee smell!  How I love it!  Here's some of Celeste's paintings, featuring figures:


The mother and daughter in my picture were charming.  They were practicing grammar---mostly the difference between verbs and adjectives.  It really was quality time. Here's some more of Celeste's paintings:


This is also a good time to say, "thank you, Celeste"...for your friendship, for being a great companion on the mural varnishing project, and for all around good times...such as a great lunch at Brasserie Montmartre...and more.

PS:  David McBride is also in the show, but I wanted to feature Celeste.  

Friday, May 20, 2011

Origami Box



I'm a little behind on my posts, but here's another gift!!!!  Actually, part of it I made myself. 

Recently, I went on a women's retreat at Menucha, a retreat center in the Columbia River Gorge with friends from First Unitarian Church.  It was a stunning spot, with amazing women, and incredible positive energy.  Kate Lore, Social Justice Leader, led the retreat.  I was a fan of Kate's before the retreat....now I am just "in awe."  While there, I learned that I had kind of lost touch with my "radical" side.  I used to be an ardent pacifist and a Saul Olinski-type community organizer.  Racial equality and the Equal Rights Amendment for women were big deals, too, and I wouldn't shut up and go away.  Over the years, I kind of lost that radicalism. At the retreat, I reconnected with with my inner radical, and with Nicole, who is much younger than I, but a real inspiration.  She reminds me of who I was and will be again!  She wrote that I gave her "courage."  She "heard me" when I talked about moving to Canada when the Vietnam war was expanded to Cambodia.  She is working on a book about soldiers who are refusing the repeated re-enlistment requests.  She gives ME courage, and she will get this card.

Nicole led an exercise in which we all made origami boxes.  They are beautiful and it was fun to do...and then they became very meaningful when each of us wrote wishes for each other on slips of paper that fit inside the box.  I have a note from each woman in the group offering me encouragement and support.  In the painting above, I stacked them beside the box.  I can pull them out whenever I feel the need and re-read them for inspiration and a "kick in the butt!"  It's not so much the origami box, but the wishes inside that are important.  They help me remember what I learned about myself and what I hope for.... By the way, I also wrote a note to myself: "Love yourself. You are a true beauty and very radical!"    

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Bracelet from Celeste



My friend Celeste is so amazing.  Recently, she took me out to lunch and gave me a beautiful bracelet.  The bracelet is the image of Ouroboros.  You can wear it with the snake swallowing his tail or you can wear it with the tail laying alongside.  It is quite lovely, and is from Victorian Trading Company.  My painting does not do it justice, though it is "sparkly" because I used a metallic silver pen!  Fans of Jim Gronsand will notice that the bracelet is also evocative of one of his paintings.

This is a continuation of my series of thank you cards, so it will be sent to Celeste.

Celeste gives so much---she keeps our art group "together," she is a caring and thoughtful friend, AND she is a very good artist.  I am honored to call her "friend." 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Russian Nesting Dolls-Matryoshka



This is a very interesting doll  who actually holds several more.  The set is called a "Matryoshka."  When Celeste and Carrie were at my house on Tuesday, I made this painting of the biggest one of my set.  My set is special because my mother bought in Russia many years ago.  There are a total of six in the set, and they look like this on the ledge in my stairwell: 





The painting is pretty simple, but I like the fresh look of it!  







Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Painting- Koi at National Arboretum




On my recent visit to Washington DC, we had a family outing to the National Arboretum, one of our favorite spots.  The highlight is always the Koi pond where these glorious fish are beautiful and huge.  Usually, we feed them food that is bought from a dispenser.  The view is gaping mouths, as they have big appetites.  It's amusing, but not as pretty as just seeing them swim around.  This time, we couldn't feed them.  Evidently there has been some over-feeding, and so the feeding isn't every day now.  The fish are smart, and knew that there was no food, but still came close to the edge.  I painted this from a photo, though I have painted the pond and the building behind and over it "en plein air" many times.  It was quite a challenge to work to get the fish, the reflections and the shadows from a tree. 

This painting is 22" x 28" and is framed with no mat...using "ArtSpacers" to separate it from the glass.  It probably will be my choice for the new show "The Eight" will be putting up at O'Connor's restaurant on Tuesday.   

posted by Carolyn Rondthaler, owner, Plum Gallery