Friday, December 28, 2018

Art Escapes and Life Updates

I started this blog 12 years ago; long enough to watch the children of our friends grow up and embark on adulthood. So many times I've almost deleted it, certain that no one has time to read blogs any more. Or maybe that's just me. In my present decade the days seem to have shrunk. So thank you for being here despite all that.

The photo above was taken Christmas day at my daughter's new house. Our family gathered to eat, play games, and watch a movie together. The best plan where we each cook a few dishes and then bring them together for our feast. The last 2 years have been mostly vegan and it's fun to experiment with new dishes. One change among many in this new decade.

I continue to paint like a fiend and you can see those paintings (gobs of them!) at judywiseart on Instagram. I post occasionally on Facebook to keep in touch with friends from all over the world and I have a website now that features non-representational paintings which is what I'm doing these days.

Since my last post I've travelled; taught in the UK and visited Santa Fe twice. I sold at the Lake Oswego Show again and last September sold at Art in the Pearl here in Portland. That was a blast. I love sitting at an art fair where I can schmooze and show my work. It's in my DNA. I love conversations with others about art, philosophy, art, travel, art.

Kathie Vezzani at Bellissima Art Escapes has asked me to share a few of my thoughts on the 3 art retreats we have planned for this coming year. I'm so excited to travel again, to meet new friends in beautiful settings and to paint together far from the demands of home and family. I attend art retreats myself as a student as well as an instructor and I do it because it puts me in touch with other artists which I think is the most wonderful way to feel connected and to learn. I think it makes me a better person. I love widening my circle whenever I can.

So first, Zipolite, Mexico. The owners of the Red Tree House in Mexico City have opened this new resort at the playa here. These owners are the best at providing the ambience necessary for inclusion and relaxation. We will have our classes here on site; time to paint every single day, to journal, beach comb or sun, discuss and share our work and goals over incredible food and leisurely afternoons.

I'll be teaching every day; demonstrations, various ways to approach painting, how to get started (I have a secret to move you into the studio that always works for me) and how to get your work seen in your city or online. I will do my best to mentor each person attending on ways to move forward toward their goals. I have some pretty good ideas. The dates for this retreat are from April 6th -19th and we need a couple of signups pretty quickly to make it a go. If you are on the fence about this retreat, please dont delay; we will take very good care of you.

Then in September from the 4th to the 14th, I'll be teaching with Gillian Smith in Umbria, Italy. We will be staying in Rome for 2 days before traveling to Piegaro for the remainder of the tour. You really should go to the Bellissima site to read about this trip; sightseeing, a cooking class, a visit to a winery, the Vatican and Sistine Chapel ... well, it's going to be pretty amazing.


I'll be teaching modern icon painting with gold leafing (inspired by the spectacular Renaissance examples we'll be seeing) and Gillian will lead us in making accordian sketchbooks to record the surrounding scenery; wonderful class time as well as absorbing all the history around us. Kathie's trips are always rich in new friendships, making personal art, and exploring the countries that we visit. Italy will be incredible. Oh, and the food! Never forget the wonderful meals.

The third retreat I want to tell you about will take place from September 16th to the 25th in Greece and Corfu. We'll start out in Athens with a visit to the Acropolis where we will photograph and study the art there (among other things) for 3 days, then we'll fly to the island of Corfu where we'll have our studio work and cooking class. Maybe you saw the Public Broadcasting series "The Durrells of Corfu" and if you did you will be entranced by this island as I was. It's breathtaking.


Here, I'll be teaching watercolor and line and we'll use some of our photographs as subject matter for value study paintings. We'll also experiment with line drawings; focusing on line quality and expression in contrast to exact renderings. In other words, you don't have to know how to draw.    


Then Gillian will be teaching expressive drawings into monotype printing; something I'm really looking forward to learning from her. I think our classes will dovetail perfectly and will give us the opportunity to play with the myths and history of Greece. 

For all the details of these retreats, visit the Bellissima Art Escapes site here and consider joining us.  

My New Year's Resolution is not to let this blog languish for another long nap; in the meantime come visit me on Instagram, Facebook, or at my website. 

I hope I've put a dream on your list for 2019. Be well, give thanks, keep making art. xo

Monday, July 31, 2017

This Summer's Garden

John's hard work. Finally I got out in the garden and shot some photos for you.
King and Spitzenburg.

Those are the 2 kinds of apples we have on the place.
John's grandpa was an orchard man.
John inherited that gene.

But he grows veggies as well. Like artichokes.

Beans. Lots of beans.


Lots and lots of blackberries.

Blueberries. I've been picking and freezing and giving away.

Bosc. Pears. I'll show you the seckels soon. They are soooo cute.

Corn. This short bed is for the 2nd coming.

The tall bed will be eaten soon. Hand shucked and all that jazz.

A sweet corner of the patio where I sip my mint julep.


Different kind of cucumber grown on a trellis for easy picking.


Alphabetical order. See what I did?

Matelija poppy. Not alphabetical.

These are the plump green figs that are ripe now.

John has an eye for a little color among the edibles.

And he planted tons of glads this year. 

We have many grape varieties.

He can't resist trying new ones.


This long row of grapes was here when we moved in. Very old vines.

The color of kale is exquisite, dont you agree?

As is lace hydrangea.

Lacinato kale.

Perfect little lettuces.

Tomatoes, tomatoes!




Gorgeous black variety.

Pink Daylilies.




Seckel pears. They are the dainty, sweet ones.

Seedheads. Which the birds love.


Tomatoes. Ripe and juicy.

Walking onions. Walking over to the fairy roses.

Walnuts. Many walnuts.

Thanks for stopping by and admiring summer's bounty and John's hard work.