Saturday, August 16, 2014

August Journal, Garden and Paintings

Hello from sunny Oregon. August is wrapped around us and we are loving the weather, the garden, having time to play in paint and to sit on the porch in the quiet evenings listening to the crickets. August is sweet.

John and I seem to be having a contest to see who can spend the most time with the doctors and dentists this month. He's winning but I have my maladies as well.

Lots of opportunities to make off with x-rays for drama in the journal.

Yeah. You don't want to know.

When the going gets gnarly it's friends who make all the difference. Friends and family. 

And the journal. Lots of acceptance of what is and making peace with life happens right there for me.

Consolation for me is my painting and writing. For John it is his garden.

This week a friend wrote to me about how her garden was massacred by bugs. Here are a few tips from the farmer.

We have a lot of cabbage moths here so John made a little conestoga wagon out of row cover for his little kale sprouts. The cabbage moths are incredibly smart at finding the defenceless seedlings.

This is an isolation box for bok choy. Same deal with the cabbage moths. They're one of our biggest pests.

This screened in box has chilis de aguas in it and the screen is to prevent cross pollination. Sort of a chastity belt for plants.

And in the fall the rain that comes causes blossom end rot so the tomatoes live under a plastic house that can be shut tight until after the deluge.

More protection. This above is our blueberries under their bird netting. If you look closely you can see the hoses that feed the misters. Those misters keep the plants from getting sunburned and have protected the blueberries from the same sunburn which causes all the fruit to fall. 

Couldn't resist showing some of the bean crop.



Tomatoes. We have a zillion varieties. Maybe I'll do a special post on those.


Ha ha. Woodpile. How did that get in here?

An overview.

Here's one crop that I get excited about.

Now a couple of paintings.

Hearts Entwined. For all my friends, near and far. Enjoy August. xo

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Mexico City March 2015

I know there are a few of you who are on the fence about joining us in Mexico City. Allow me to dangle a few morsels in front of you to entice you to join us there. Katie, Kathie and I are planning a wonderful trip for you that you'll hold dear forever. Here's how we hope to win your heart.

photo credit:

First of all, we'll be staying at the gorgeous Red Tree House in the beautiful Condesa neighborhood. Here is what TripAdvisor has to say about this neighborhood:  "Condesa ... is often refered to as the Soho of Mexico City. This was once part of the estate of the Countess Miravalle and hence the name Condesa, the countess.  In the early 1900s, in the era of Porfirio Diaz,  the racetrack or hipodromo flourished here.  The track is now the circular Avenida Amsterdam and within it is another circular street, Avenida Mexico.  At the center is Parque Mexico.  Close by is  Parque Espana.

Most of the residential development of Condesa followed the end of the Revolution in the 1920s and 30's and much of the optimism of this period is reflected in the many remaining examples of Art Deco and Modernist architecture.  ...
... Condesa remains a charming mix of new and old,  trendiness and traditional Mexican life.  The area fills in the evenings with cars from all over the city as people go out to the many restaurants and clubs.  The parks and tree lined streets accommodate joggers, residents out for a stroll, dogs being walked, and young lovers.  Along with the stylish shops, restaurants, and galleries are the upholsters covering sofas on the sidewalk, carpenters sawing, and the auto mechanic fixing cars at the street corner."
photo credit Sigfrid Lopez,

Another shot of this charming and hip neighborhood.

photo credit Joe Routon,

My one previous visit to Mexico City was in 2001 when John and I stayed in the Majestic Hotel on the zocalo across from the magnificent Cathedral (above). This is the largest cathedral in the western hemisphere and we walked around the perimeter at night where we saw people cooking food on braziers and sharing with each other. The cathedral is built on Aztec ruins which are being excavated and studied. After our single sleepover here we moved on to other areas and I've dreamed of returning here ever since.

photo by Linda Janse

Another shot of our neighborhood. The LA Times called it an oasis in the middle of stressed-out Mexico City; home to the artists, musicians, novelists and filmmakers who give Mexico its global identity.

Photo credit:

Photo Credit:

 Frida's desk. Yes, we will visit Frida's Blue House.

Condesa neighborhood.

Photo credit:

Photo credit: Caroul Lou

Photo credit: David Bank

Belles Artes Museum

Photo credit: Susana Galindo

A boat ride on one of the famous Xochimilco canals.

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico City. Built in 1908 with this stunning Tiffany Stained Glass Ceiling. 

Photo credit: Agustin Victor Casasola
I love this photo of young men out nightclubbing. It was taken in 1935. Ah, black and white film! Ah, youth! 

I've left out many details of our trip on purpose. Please go here for the full itinerary. See if it fits your dreams to come with us. We would love to include you in this experience.

Friday, August 01, 2014

EncaustiCamp Collographs

Yes, I'm going to show you some of the collographs that came out of the EncaustiCampers but first wanted to share one of the three palettes Willow Bader paints from on. Because images like this make us encaustic artists' mouth water. All that waxy goodness.

But for the collographs we are working with the wax only to create textured plates that we can ink up with Akua waterbased inks and then print onto paper.

The above image shows the acrylic plate with a matrix of wax that has been inked and is ready to print.

And this is the print. We had the loan of a pin press which some of us used as well as printing with barens. We experimented with damped as well as dry papers; many varieties.

The inked encausticbord above.

A print pulled from the encausticbord.


Same plate for the print above, turned in a different direction.

And above is the acrylic plate and wax matrix that created it.

The acrylic inked plate above along with the print it produced.

Another inked plate.

Same thing - inked acrylic plate.

An encausticbord with wax matrix and Akua inked.

Acrylic plate waxed and inked, ready to print.

After we pulled prints from the encausticbords we kept the boards themselves as substrates for further work or as finished works in themselves.

Several students made triptychs.

Really cool.

We also made small encaustic pieces to "bomb" Pioneer Square and other locations in downtown Seattle. That was really fun and the local news station showed up to report on the fun.

This is a momoprint in the above photo. I missed posting it yesterday.

I only did one little sketch during my stay. We kept very busy socializing, napping and gadding about. Trish left little love bombs outside our doors each morning and I got quite a collection of them. Her practice is generosity and kindness; her goal is to promote artists and leave a legacy of a better world. It's pretty amazing and wonderful.

Perhaps I should say that on the last evening the entire camp honored me with a retirement champagne party complete with slide show and tearful good-byes. After 4 years of teaching at camp the time came for me to admit that younger and more energetic teachers deserved their chance to shine. Erin Keane and Amanda Jolley will be stepping in and they're going to be fabulous teachers.  

I'll still pursue teaching at other retreats however. I can't imagine my life without that connection. And I'll be visiting EncaustiCamp next year to bring you a report and this time photographs of the participants there. My beloveds. Those who have and continue to enrich my life both in person and in memory.