Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Lovely Day For a Walk

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and I needed to get outside for a walk. I didn't have to walk very far to reach Salem's Pioneer Cemetery, established in 1841. I love old cemeteries and the beauty of the old headstones. Walk with me . . . .

I came home and quickly did a little sketch for possible artist exploration.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Abstraction Through Distortion

I started a new art class last Thursday, just a week following my previous one. I've become accustomed to going to class on Thursday nights and I must admit I like it. For this class, some of the women from my Salem Art Group contacted local artist Cynthia Herron about offering her four-week abstract landscape class to us and she agreed! I've long admired Cynthia's art work (I have one of her originals!) and several years ago I took a mixed media class from her, so I already knew that she was a great teacher: patient, generous, prepared, encouraging, and talented. Since my next class is tonight, I thought I better get crackin' with a post about last week's class when we studied abstract landscapes using distortion.

My landscape is not finished and our homework is to work on our piece during the week and bring it to class for discussion. Oh dear. I did work on mine, but I'm not ready to reveal. Instead, I'll give you a peek into Cynthia's private inner sanctum. It's a cozy space with the wood stove burning, inspiration on the walls, and Cynthia's current landscape on the easel.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


A couple of weekends ago, we took a trip to Astoria to see friends of 40 years (not saying how old we were when we became friends so you won't be able to do any math to figure out how old we all are!). Vicki is originally from Astoria, then met Dave and moved to Portland, where they both lived for lots of years. Several years ago, the home that belonged to Vicki's grandparents when Vicki was a child, came on the market and Dave and Vicki scooped it up. Over the past few years, they have slowly been refurbishing and making it their own. It is now such a beautiful treasure, that I wanted to share photos of the house, the view, and Vicki's art studio.

I don't think I'll offer much narrative as you'll be able to figure it out enough by the photos. I'll just preface it all with these tidbits: There is a basement (no photos of that), main level, second floor, third floor. Three bedrooms on the second floor, two on the third, Vicki's studio is on the second floor, but she also has a work space on the main level. One room on the third floor is so cute, but I didn't take any photos because there had been a grandchild storm in there last week. I think you get the idea of what a warm, inviting space they have. Lots of beds. Lots of chairs. Lots of love.

Dave and Vicki's sweeping view:

Bye . . .

. . . until next time!

*Sisu is a Finnish term loosely translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. However, the word is widely considered to lack a proper translation into any other language. Sisu has been described as being integral to understanding Finnish culture. The literal meaning is equivalent in English to "having guts", and the word derives from sisus, which means something inner or interior. However sisu is defined by a long-term element in it; it is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain an action against the odds. Deciding on a course of action and then sticking to that decision against repeated failures is sisu. It is similar to equanimity, except the forbearance of sisu has a grimmer quality of stress management than the latter. The noun sisu is related to the adjective sisukas, one having the quality of sisu. (From Wikipedia)