Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Artist's Way: Recovering a Sense of Faith

Tuesday night was the last meeting of my most recent Artist's Way Creative Cluster. Our group has shrank in size since we began ten weeks ago, but the women who remained were enthusiastic and open to the process up until the very end. The last evening is always a bittersweet time and Tuesday was no exception.

Midway through our evening we gathered around the kitchen table and shared a bowl of Stone Soup and a loaf of Dave's Killer Peace Bomb bread.

A ritual for all of my Artist's Way Creative Clusters is the presentation of an Omega Project. This is a project that each woman makes and shares on our final evening. It can be something in response to one of our chapters, an art form they wanted to pursue in more depth, or just something fun and creative. Their three projects were fabulous!

Angela transformed a plain, black journal into a luscious work of art using a photocopy of an encaustic painting of herself done by her friend and Portland artist, Kelly Williams. (I tried to keep the journal, showing Angela how perfect it was on my wooden easel . . . it didn't work.)

Joanne had fun over the past several weeks designing and making three personalized books using the on-line bookmaking site, Blurb. For her Omega project, she completed a book about her grandson, Jack.

Beth took several of her travel and nature photographs and made them into a beautiful array of cards (and we all got to pick out our favorites to keep!).

My gift to the ladies was an Itty Bitty canvas for them to do a small piece of art and enter it in an art exhibit at our local art store, the Art Department. I also gave each of them a teeny Lingam rock, a small version of what we passed each week as our speaking stone.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Laughter Really Is the Best Medicine . . . along with some creating

I've just returned from a weekend retreat with members of the Portland Art Collective. The last time I attended one of their retreats it was back in October and I was attending as a guest. Well, the May retreat is for members only and I was there as a member. We arrived on Friday afternoon and from that point on it was non-stop laughter, creating, and way too much eating. The retreat is held at Menucha, a conference center about 25 minutes east of Portland in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. The lovely Menucha grounds (and their labyrinth, which I walked during a rain break on Saturday afternoon):

I spent most of my retreat time preparing to make 16 journals that I plan to sell at the PAC's annual Open Doors holiday show and sale, which is held the first weekend in December. I didn't get my journals assembled, but man, did I ever get the components prepared and ready!

On Saturday afternoon we held our annual garage sale, which is basically a time for everyone to clean out their unused art supplies, books, and art magazine, bring them to the retreat, and dump them onto tables and the floor. It was supposed to have been a trunk sale, but the weather didn't cooperate, so we just moved it indoors. At the appointed time, everyone began shopping. When it was over, we just paid what we thought our goodies were worth with the money going into the PAC Open Doors show fund. Here's the shopping frenzy:

And finally, a peek into the Greenhouse, the space we used for creating (and a look at some of the projects we were working on).

It was a great weekend!

Mar Goman's Lucy

I ran into SCRAP on Friday afternoon and while passing by SCRAP's Vision Gallery I did a double take. I entered the gallery and began trembling. The show took my breath away. It really did. As I began scanning the room, I noticed the artist bio near the door and put together that the artist had walked into the room. I knew it was her because she has such a unique, funky look to her. I asked, "Are you the artist?" Yep, it was Mar Goman herself. I told her how struck I was by her work, by the entire installation. She shared a bit of the story of how she created her work for the show, Lucy: A True Story. It all began when she found a blanket from the Oregon State Hospital in an antique store . . .

The closing of the Oregon State Hospital is what got my whole project going....I was interested in the proposed memorial for the patients who died and were buried on the grounds there. And this research led me to other websites, and eventually I came upon the Lucy its all connected. I found the Oregon State Hospital blanket in an antique store, and that was what led me to 'imagine' the location as OSH---plus it was timely. Lucy could actually have been in any one of a number of hospitals with the same ultimate result. Mar

Here's a photo of Mar and then, with her permission, photos of her show.

The show runs through June 26th and I highly recommend you stop by SCRAP to see Mar's show. I plan to go back for another look.

Lucy died at the Oregon State Hospital in 1922 . . .