About Me

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Documenting a period in my development that could become pivotal

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Third installment of Darion Painter

Darion just had to paint whatever caught her attention like the sunset peeping from behind the rain scowl. Soon Diane will paint a portrait of Darion as the wild painter who just can't get enough of painting. the painting is acrylic on a cradled wood board 8" x 10". A great deal of dilute acrylic matte medium kept the paint very juicy wet. As promised in the previous installment of this novel experiment, I will make portraits of various aspects of Darion Painter's personality.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thoughts forThanksgiving Week

(a visiting buck in our back yard) (safely in city limits)
I am thankful that I am not Darion. For those of you who have not read my recent blog entries, Darion is the main character in my first novel that I am writing in daily installments on my blog. It may become a novel. I am having to think if this story of a daily painter has enough plot and character to develop. I think there is drama enough in the development of an artist.
Darion does come from my experiences but I have much more than she has to be thankful for because I have a supportive husband, family and friends and art patrons who are buying my art and a commission to do children's book illustrations for JH Sweet's series FOO AND FRIENDS. http://www.jhsweet.com/

The next installment of I AM DARION will be December 1st. This week I will take off to devote to family and friends.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Second installment of the novel I AM DARION PAINTER

Tucson Adobe Home

I brushed the dust off of TUCSON ADOBE HOME. Then hung it up where I could study it.

I am amused to think that it doesn't really belong to me in my dream. It belongs only to part of me - the worker in the dream office. The first thing I notice when I look at the painting is the dream land colors of coral and teal green. I feel the warmth and breath in the fragrant desert air. Then I saw the path moving past an open mailbox curving towards the front door of the entry porch. The empty mail box tells me the occupant of the house is waiting and open to and hears the world. The interior beyond the covered porch is made of two buildings and a mysterious inner garden. The garden is cool and peaceful on a hot day. This painting reminds me that my home is the structure of my relationship to living. My home and life is an art creation.

An Internet friend, Rain Song, pays close attention to the meaning of dream symbols. She says a house in your dreams means you need to organize your house. I believe she is absolutely completely correct. Two places in my dream house are my dream office and another is the TUCSON ADOBE HOME.

I think part of the significance of the painting lies in the adobe home being made by hand by artists. The home is environmentally in harmony with the hot climate of Tucson. There might be more to this painting than I was aware of when I painted it to become a dream symbol of mine. How I journey in my dreams will determine who I will become.
I get up every morning and ask myself if I have some ideas for what I will paint each day. The need to be relevant is always a pressing matter for me. Every morning starts as a cross road but now I am at a particularly big crossroad. I don't have any more commitments to do shows or exhibit my work. A very freeing feeling!
There are obstacles ahead. Or maybe I should say challenges. My house is full of paintings and keeping it free of allergens means frequently reviewing the contents with a donation bag. Opening up to me are some exciting avenues. There is sharing art and giving back to the community. I might be satisfied with helping hospital patients express themselves in the arts. But that Penny in me wants to jealously save her time to paint for herself. She is always hungry for more. I have so many styles I wonder which one is my truest me. Excuse me I am going to paint now. Or rather Penny is going to be staisfied as I paint now.
Here is the painting she is working on. I am calling it Sunset Peeping Around Stormy Scowl. Well it isn't ready yet but will be coming soon along with self-portraits of Darion Painter.

Friday, November 21, 2008

First installment of the novel, I AM DARION PAINTER

The Office

I was in line waiting to voice my complaint. I was going to bring Penny to justice for slashing all four of my tires. But then on the other hand, I might be in line to defend myself. Dreams can turn the tables on me. Anyway behind the desk lined up against the windows were some of my very own paintings. At first I thought good. I can pick them up at the same time as my interview. Saves time! But what paintings are these? One was a 1999 painting I did of Mockingbird Lane in Tucson. It was of the humble but aesthetically sensual, adobe home of Professor Robert Colescott. He was a former inspiration from my college days. Then the other paintings were the ones I was trying to place in my mind.

'Oh no!', the strange woman said from behind the desk. 'I like these paintings , I purchased them. Don't you remember? They are not hanging yet because we just moved into smaller quarters. With the economy so bad we couldn't afford our larger office. I still have hopes, though, in a few months we will be moving back. Our service is crucial to a changing world and doesn't cost the tax payer a dime. We are the office of dreams.'

Now we could proceed with the charges I had in mind, but the dream ended.

As I write this afternoon, enough time has passed so I see more clearly the meaning of my dream. I am Penny who opened my car door, and put her face in mine after slashing my tires. But I still can not see the meaning of Colescott's house.

I AM DARIONE PAINTER, my first novel

Oh oh! Here I go again dreaming about those paintings I did in the days when my paintings sold, before the great recession of 2008. My mind was still groggy as I was beginning to wake up trying to hold on to this dream and begin to analyze the meaning of it all. Was it when we first moved back to Oregon's industrial arm pit on Interstate 5? No, it must have been when we lived at that Washington State boarder town or was it 42 years ago after graduate study in painting at the University of Arizona. Yes, it was when I felt complimented by people saying I painted like a man. The paintings came from before women's lib while painting all year full time with a stipend awarded to me by the Lake Oswego Art Guild. Might have been when Marion Munger tirelessly moved the show from library to library to a Salem department store.
I feel a chill of worry. My memory is gone. I can't remember for sure if the paintings in my dream were ones I actually did and sold or if they were the dream paintings I see in my dreams over and over. Is forgetting caused by not caring enough about each painting? Or coming from making saleable products? No I always put myself completely in all that I do. My laps of memory must be a senior moment of sorts. That is all I thought.

Going back over the dream in my mind as I still lay in bed, I gradually remember the beginning. While driving our car on a snowy slushy road there were two pedestrians ahead crossing the road. No, THEY WERE NOT CASUAL WALKERS. One was chasing the other. Then one fell and my car went out of control in a little sideways slide and I feared that I may have hit one of them. So I stopped and waited. Every muscle tensed up, realizing my danger. The two people in the dusk were wild and irrational. I wanted to lock the doors but couldn't move fast enough before a dreaded familiar face appeared. Lean and hungry, jealous Penny opened the door and grinned a I gotcha smile.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sylvia Beach exhibit goes up Thursday

(update: The show is up. Below is most of the paintings. Click on picture to enlarge.)
I am painting memories of the beach accessible from the Salishan Market Place Nature Trail. The dunes were high in October giving me the idea for "Tide Reaching Over the Dunes" I loved the way the sea foam was so light and marked the water's receding edges. This will be one of the 30 paintings going up at Sylvia Beach Hotel. The painting is acrylic on a wood cradled board 12" square. Until the exhibit is over January 20th the only place to purchase this painting is at Sylvia Beach Hotel.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sylvia Beach Hotel featuring Widler Wenzel small paintings

November 21 to January 19 at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon I will be exhibiting over thirty of my vignette acrylic paintings. http://www.sylviabeachhotel.com/ These works were made while living several months each year for the last three years at Coyote Rock RV and Marina Park on the Alsea River, Kernsville, Lincoln City. While these Oregon Coast paintings are on exhibit, all sales of them will be through the Hotel and not over the Internet. Pictured here are three of these paintings from this year. Update Dec. 19th:The second painting of Rocky Reach sold.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Window on Nature, Watercolor Workshop 2008

An example of an 8 page accordion folded watercolor paper (click on pictures to enlarge)

One Method for studying and remembering an experience in nature

Paint large color areas in a random arrangement upon which you arrange your focuses flowing through time from page to page. The purpose here of open color is to have a direction in your observations of nature. The two illustrations below are 6 continuous pages of an accordion watercolor book. On some later trip I will decide if this accordion sketch is complete or if I can arrange what interests me to tell a picture story.

Yesterday in the morning 26 folks of all levels of experience gathered to hear me and start their watercolors in nature. In the afternoon I had 4 or 5 women who continued on from the morning and mostly families with three to five children each. All ages working together helping each other making art a family event. This was made possible because I had two volunteers who helped me set up and conduct the logistics. I very much enjoyed the stimulation and the gratitude of everyone. We made accordion watercolor sketch books and small watercolor paintings looking out the windows at the rainy forest and rushing creek at the Fall Creek Fish Hatchery Research Center.

My tips for viewing nature through watercolor painting were: 1) The sketches were for ourselves and need not be a framed piece of art. I enjoy preserving my memories of nature experiences in a cardboard box. 2) There are many ways to go about starting. One can do an outline with pencil or pen or make a random quilt of color patches. The colors can come from what we see outdoors or from memory. Memories can be assisted by found treasurers we have collected. Then we absorb what we see outside, count and rearrange them to fit in the free colors. 3) The accordion folded sketch book is an excellent way to interpret the landscape as time passes by. The sketchbook becomes like a scroll picture story.

In retrospective I could improve on some of my responses to my talk. For example a father tried to help his youngest child find inspiration by taking him around the room to look at the pictures on the wall. The son chose to copy a poster right after I said that there were no rules on how you go about working from nature. Well, that is not completely true. Right at the start when the boy began to copy a poster, I should have stopped him and his father. The boy must have been four or five. I could have said it was wrong to copy but we can look at the art work and ask what it is he liked about it and sincerely show appreciation for the strength of work done by others his age also on display in the room. Or I could have said we all get ideas from others but when we are older some of us naturally develop to a point where our copies can be so close to the original that it is wrong for us to copy without permission from the artist.

I am very happy to have been invited back next year to teach a similar workshop.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Plan for Fall Festival Watercolor Workshop

An example of a watercolor spontaneously painted on the river focused on linear energy 6" x 9"
Saturday, November 8, the Fall Creek Art Festival will offer free workshops as a family activity. I expect some families will come with 3 or 4 generations from grandparents to babies in arms. The workshop I will be leading will be looking at nature through the window of watercolor painting.
My credentials include painting with children outdoors and for 43 years painting on outings with a fisherman husband ever since my completion of a bachelors of arts degree in drawing and painting from Portland State University. I have taken my accordion folded watercolor paper on boats like in Milford Sound, New Zealand, on a small boat at the foot of glaciers in Alaska and often on the South Santiam River here in Oregon. I've painted in the rain on mountain tops in the State of Washington and in the snow in Stavanger, Norway and on a white water rafting trip on the Owyhee River, Oregon.
The purpose of my painting is seeing and interpreting with the most immediate and direct response. These notes are for myself not for framing and hanging on a wall. I keep my memories in a box for later reference. Sometimes I use them as greeting cards. The idea is that it is worth doing the painting for the sake of seeing and experiencing the moment so I can store my favorite memories.
The essentials of equipment will be on display. The equipment will be for my own safety and chosen with respect for the environment. Also I will give a few tips on how to get started looking and recording our feelings about the great outdoors here at Fall Creek.
There are many approaches to getting started. One is to do a line drawing on location with a plan later to color the picture. Some examples are started with black ink lines. Others are colored pencil. Some linear responses are color linear energy. The second approach is making quilts of colors we see or remember in open color. the colors can be hard edged shapes or soft wet into wet. Later going back and counting objects or life for focused detail. The third approach is using the accordion folds to symbolize the changes you see in the passage of time and make a journal and adding writing. writing maybe your own words or quotes from literature.
The web has some excellent instruction on making accordion watercolor sketchbooks. One that is very much in the book tradition with 16 rectangle pages foldied into an accordion is on a Swedish art teacher. http://ninajohansson.blogspot.com Amazon has a wonderful children's book on making books by Gwen Diehn, Making books that Fly, Fold Wrap, Hide, Pop up, Twist, and Turn