Wednesday, August 22, 2007

So It Begins ....

There's always one telltale sign in our back yard that fall is on the way. It's not the autumn crocus or the hardy amaryllis, but the lowest branches of the American sycamore that signal the turn of the seasons.
So far it hasn't been the warmest summer on record. In fact, I will be surprised if this September - usually a warm month - is any better.
Why, land's sake, I can remember in the '60s wearing a new wool skirt or a hard earned sweater (my own money, picking strawberries and beans) when school began in September and regretting it because the weather was so hot. Nowadays, there are many times I have worn sweaters this July and August, and not only because of air conditioning inside.
In the Oregon of my youth the summer days seemed warm and long. As I walked through fields of dry grass, the grasshoppers, with their brightly colored wings, fanned out from all around me. Now, I haven't seen a grasshopper in so long, I really wonder if Mother Nature makes them any more.
The summers were warm and my sister and I slept in a small bedroom upstairs where all the heat went during the day. We would gather around the one window that could be opened about 10 inches, because that was the size of the only little screen we had. That was our sole protection from the mosquitoes that could detect the scent of us from miles away. It was torture to lie there in the darkness and hear them whining away. So sleepy ... but we didn't want to doze in case one started drilling.
A rolled up newspaper came in handy, and eventually my sister would screw in the light bulb in the ceiling (the only way to turn it on or off) and start thwacking away at the bugs that alighted on the ceiling - trying in their obscure way to hide from us.
The light bulb in the ceiling: Ah! It's been a couple of years since I thought of that. What great arguments we used to have over whose turn it was to shut it off. It was usually so hot we had to put a sock or something else over our hand so we could touch it and (literally) "turn" it off.
Of course, thwacking mosquitoes on the ceiling and fighting about the light usually only brought a shout from downstairs. "You kids go to sleep! Right now!"
Well, I've come a ways from leaves turning color. What's it like where you live? How do you know fall is coming? I'd like to know. - femminismo

Sunday, August 19, 2007

This Weekend's Work.

I decided to heat up some wax and slapped down a torn photograph of these wonderful musicians from a book I had. I added/drew a woman's face and thought it looked as if the trombone player and the young woman were in some way a "couple." I named the woman "Marcella" and the trombone player "Francis." He plays with the Gibson Brothers Band while Marcella remains in the city and attends business school. She is going to be a secretary and save her money up for their wedding. Will Francis ever settle down, however; that's the question.
The imagination is surely one of the more fascinating aspects of being human.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mona? Is that you?

Mona like you've never seen her before. The wonderful illustration is from a yoga magazine and don't you think it makes a wonderful, cozy pullover for Mona? However, she might seem scary to some. She's got a great hairband and earrings that are extra special. I may cover her in wax ... just because I've been wanting to heat some wax. The weather has been cooler, so the time may be ripe.
I am still continuing with my art/journal pages. I have been back to work and busy after vacation. Hoping to enjoy a leisurely, artful Labor Day too. Ciao!

Friday, August 10, 2007

From Oregon to Washington

We left on Sunday for Ellensburg, Washington. Up the Columbia River Gorge - a most beautiful place - across at Biggs Junction, to Goldendale and then on for miles and miles through Washington territory to E-burg.
Across the Columbia, on the Washington side, the hills looked as if they were covered in brown suede or nubby golden corduroy. Most of my scenic pictures are "speeding" photos, which means from the car window as we sped on our way. Going 70 mph was the norm for most of our trip.
We met family in the town of Ellensburg and had dinner and then went to the "bed and breakfast" my sister operates when family visits. She really doesn't have a bed and breakfast, but she and her husband do have a wonderful log cabin. So peaceful there, with only the birds - tanagers, grosbeaks and many, many hummingbirds. (Well, there are elk, deer, mountain lions and bears - from time to time - but the only wildlife I saw was birds and chipmunks.) Check out the photos at the bottom of our views from the cabin.
We went to Roslyn, where "Northern Exposure" was filmed, hiked and climbed in Ohme Garden, in Wenatchee, which you really should visit, and buzzed through Leavenworth. Our quest for a new sparkly wind twirler was realized. Yippee!
We ate and ate and had a great time. Thanks, Judy and Gary, for the fine welcome. Happy birthday, today, Judy!
Now we're home watering the yard and scrubbing road grime from the car. Back to the real world.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Windy, artsy August night

Tonight was the First Wednesday of the month, and at the art gallery where I volunteer there was a great turnout for our eight local artists' reception. The food was good and wine tastings were going on all over town.
The wind blew along the street and flapped the colorful flags outside the gallery so loudly it was hard to hear yourself think.
The farmers market at the end of the street was filled with early, luscious produce and beautiful lilies, sunflowers and annuals of all sorts. The air was scented with basil and tamales and I met an artist from Louisiana, driven away by the lack of work and depressed economy, and another artist who paints toys with other objects. There was one painting of a sock monkey next to a rubber ducky. The monkey was looking very tenderly at the ducky, like he'd either like to take it on a date or for a ride in a tub of water.
Another artist had wonderful, impressionistic fused glass and still two other women artists - sisters - who had jewelry and "totem" people, all inspired by their upbringing in South America, Chile and South Africa. "Tribal art" they call it. Ah, the minds of artists - and so many of them say "We'd like to quit our jobs and do only this." So I'm not the only one ... no big surprise. Good night, now.