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Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunny Weekend Adventures

This past weekend we emerged from our entrenched fog to sunshine and mild temperatures. That coincided with a planned hike Saturday morning and when we woke to bright skies Sunday, I insisted we get out again, and find a sunny place to explore. I believe this is somewhat a reflection of my upbringing. When I was growing up, I loved nothing more than curling up with my latest book and flying away into my imagination. That would come to an abrupt halt when my Mom would insist I put my book down & go outside and play - it was sunny! Since we lived in Oregon, the land of rain and little sun, the appearance of that brilliant orb was a rarity. Mom must have had an inner belief we needed sunshine, before all the benefits of vitamin D were even realized. She was ahead of the times as she'd nudge me out the door. Now, I feel a bit guilty if I'm indoors on a rare sunny day, so this weekend, we made sure to get out and enjoy it!

Saturday morning I met up with a couple of friends and we took an ambitious hike from one friend's house to Fitton Green, a lovely natural area that is west of town and has a terrific view of the Cascade mountains and the neighboring town. Here are a couple of photos I shot that morning. The first was just starting out on the trail, the last 3 were at Fitton Green.

This is a great place to hike in winter, with plenty of open areas and terrific views.

Sunday, we headed to Snag Boat Bend, a part of Finley Wildlife Refuge on the east side of the Willamette river. It's about a mile south of Peoria and we decided to go there for the open fields and abundant sunshine we hoped to find. We'd stopped there before, but had never walked the trails. We had the place to ourselves - well, almost... Ducks flew off as we came upon the waterways, a heron squawked as it headed skyward, upset at being disturbed, several hawks soared overhead, calling out to one another, 3 small nutria scampered under a duck blind and a bunny froze hoping to be camouflaged in some blackberry bushes. As you can see from the photos below, we found sunshine!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's still January, barely.

This month I've been painting on tiny, little canvases - 2x2" and 2x4". This small size has created some unexpected benefits. Because I work in pastels which are often almost as big as these canvases, it means I have to simplify and not put in a whole lot of detail. It also means some serious painting with non-serious attitude! They're playful, because you just can't get too wrapped up in something that tiny - you run out of room quickly which means you can work fast, which also makes me have to think fast. I can make decisions without a lot of pondering 'cause when the piece is that small, there just isn't that much area to figure out! They become precious when finished because of their size, but while working on them you can get beyond their preciousness and not worry about becoming too attached to an area since in a sudden swipe of a pastel, that area has disappeared to be replaced by another swatch of color that's just as fascinating. I'm also working in several series, exploring different color combinations with the same or similar subject matter. This is almost like sketching, but with a finished product at the end. Can you feel my enthusiasm? Here are some photos of some of the tiny paintings I've completed.

This snowy scene below is one I've recently listed in my Etsy shop

This is also listed on Etsy

Here are a few more I painted in November and December:

Truly a challenge to see what can be placed on such a small surface. A challenge I'm willing to keep playing with. Stay tuned to see what's next!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Home - Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros Acoustic Cover (Jorge & Alex...)

This is fabulous!! You have to watch - the little girl reminds me of one of my daughters at that age...

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, couldn't pass up the opportunity to post something on 1-1-11, so here I am, after two very busy months, ready to take this new year and make something amazing out of it! I'm toying with the idea of 365 photos this year - trying for at least one a day and will be taking one of my cameras with me as often as I remember. Today I was lucky to catch these pics during a quick visit with my parents. Swish decided to entertain us, and here was what she was up to!

Who's a naughty girl???

Happy New Year!