Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane, co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about ideas and creativity. Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments, relating to the topic, are welcome as it turns an article into a discussion, but must be in English, with no links (unless pre-approved), use of profanity, or threats.

Painting in header by Diane Widler Wenzel and on my wall-- lucky me :).

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A catalyst

 by Rain Trueax


Spirit of Tatanka by Denton Lund - giclée

There might have been more divisive times in history-- we already know there have been, but they have not been in my lifetime. What has been going on felt bad when we were in Tucson; then, we had a little break (for us) as we drove north. Being on the road takes a person away from news or anything but road conditions and how the park will be for the night. 

Back up here, at first, there were things to get done-- sheep shearing, getting in the hay, concern over how low the creek is (lowest we have ever seen it in 40 years), family stuff-- and that all distracts from what is going on in the country.

Now though... Yeah, we can't avoid it and don't like it. So the question for here is-- what can we do about it? How do we take enough deep breaths to feel better even though stuff is happening we don't like. Frankly, that happens on either side of the partisan divide. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

What does painting from the mind’s eye mean?

Straits of Magellan

When I was 17 and knew I was going to be an artist I met a well traveled  Reed College student who claimed he could never be a fine arts painter because he could not visualize in his mind's eye the kind of non-verbal vision that could be seen with the eyes.



Back then I was unaware of the possibility that paintings could come from a complete detailed image in your brain. Some savants have photographic memories and can look at say the Portland city scape and then paint a large mural with exact detail of every building without any additional reference to photographs or repeatedly looking at the scene..

  I like to think that the term "mind's eye" might be more about creating an interpretation or knowing how to create feeling in a painting.  My painting comes from a complex process not just from my brain but muscles of my whole body responding to my emotions. My emotion enters into how fast or deliberate I paint. My process is a necessary collaboration between the paint and surface and the atmosphere. Any mark that starts the painting  stimulates a response whether I was work from my imagination or working from what I was seeing around me.

Intrigued by the Reed College student's belief that the "mind's eye" is necessary to be a painter artist,  I still try when I am awake at night and not going to sleep, I try to visualize marbles in my mind's eye. I get so I can almost see a blue marble like the earth, a crystal clear ball and a cobalt blue ball but I can't see them independently of labeling them with words first. 

If I think of the term "visualization in the "mind's eye" in a wider sense, I come closest to painting the first response to a place when I have a strong feeling and a need to put it down in the most direct and economical way.  During the painting that could be considered coming from my "mind's eye" I am in the present and feel alive and thrilled. These three paintings are rare paintings that are completed without dramatic modification after my first reaction to an outdoor place.

 
 
 
 





This one was almost completed in one time without modification.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Marketing challenges

by Rain Trueax

Following is about the business end of writing, although it could fit many marketing endeavors. I've been learning some things and have some questions that I'd appreciate others taking a bit of time to consider. Hey, it's better than politics today... I think lol

the view out our window toward the creek. At this time of year, I live in a world of green

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A dream painting commission

A 24" x 48" oil painting for a daughter and son-in-law who know I like to paint large



A daughter of mine wanted a painting I did from Church Lake in Washington State. It sold 17 years ago.  A few weeks ago the owner brought it back for painting over repairs to a tear mended by a conservator.




Looking at the results surrounded by my other paintings, I wanted to do more like the daisies. It was a memory painting of Church Lake but I tipped the background to make the distances closer and more dominate as though the painting was in a canyon.








 I have done one other landscape painting in which the foreground drops into a hole in the middle ground.
I am happy to paint a commission for my daughter especially since I already wanted to do the subject. But she wanted it larger and a longer panoramic view.








I found a photograph taken from low on the ground which makes the snow peaks appear higher and gradually creating a hole in the middle ground. The picture was taken on the Coffin Butte Trail near Iron Mountain in Oregon.  Photographs are one thing my paintings another form of expression.


I like challenges and do not want to repeat a past painting. The requested a 24" x 48" size made it more difficult to keep the juicy oil effect all over the canvas than the smaller one my daughter liked. The representation of the photo was not my goal making it more difficult to know when the painting is done.














 I wanted the energy feeling as though I was painting "a la prima" on location. So I didn't look at the photo as I began laying in thick oils to the upper left corner then working all over. So I needed to keep up the rhythm of my first "all over the canvas paints. The painting could have been done the first day except the paint wasn't all thick and juicy all over. So the next day I did a sketch trying to firm up in mind the placement of visually recognizable flowers, driftwood, rock and mountains then just as it was almost complete I sketched again to warm up before I began for the two hours it took to finish the painting.  Maybe this painting will stand up to the test of looking at it for a few months before it is hung in my daughter's and son-in-law's home.

 


 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Road trip for us

by Rain Trueax

at its farm home 
Road trips come many ways, and we've done most of them at one time or another. They can be driving between motels/hotels. Camping with a tent works when the travelers are younger and don't mind setting up every night. I've seen those who get from Point A to Point B in one long day-- 24 hours driving with changing off drivers (we haven't done that one).

When it came time to leave Tucson, there was no choice for how we'd spend our nights. That choice had been made in January when we came down with our 26' travel trailer and four cats. Seriously, even motels that allow cats (not a lot of them), four? Not likely. Besides cats don't enjoy motel rooms-- too many smells and sounds.

From the time we had gotten to Tucson, we had debated what route to take north. For a while, we thought-- Utah and make it into a vacation. Lots of beautiful scenery in Utah. By May, we knew that was too many extra miles, not to mention the heat and our cats. Nevada is a way we both like, but there are fewer places to eat, stop, or refuel-- especially since we have a 14 year old diesel truck. Any possible problems would have limited options for getting a fix-- and we've done that too, been on a trip with a vehicle that was in trouble. 

In the end, we decided on the shortest route (still 1400+ miles to the farm) right through California with freeways most of the way. We planned to spend 5 hours or so driving and needed parks where that would end up. We researched and made some calls.

Weather impacted when we'd leave in a way it wouldn't so much have had we been doing a motel trip. Pulling a trailer when it's windy is not much fun and heavy rains also make driving more difficult. Since California was getting some of that, we waited. We considered leaving when it would involve driving through Memorial Day. Calling likely RV parks found them already booked.  We could have left the Tuesday after it, but I wanted to stay as long as possible, as despite the heat, I love the birds and time in our Tucson home. What was the rush, I asked, knowing much of my concern was that we'd no longer be subsidizing the quail families. 

Ranch Boss called the guy from whom we buy hay. They weren't cutting until later in June, which eased up the pressure. He brought the trailer around to begin loading and then ran into the A/C problem (read about it in last blog by me). So June 1st was finally when there would be no more delays.

The advantage of a trailer is every night, you have new views out the windows; but when you get set up, you are in a familiar home, one with all the basic necessities.
  
Our first destination was Bouse, Arizona. The drive wasn't bad for traffic; and we got to the park, Desert Pueblo, about when we expected. The uncertainty would be how it would be for inside temps with outside over 100°F. As soon as the cats and I got into the trailer, Ranch Boss plugged us into electricity. I clicked on the A/C and crossed my fingers. It was hot. To reduce the direct rays, he put out the awning. The cats and we settled in and got things organized. It cooled off well-- not down to the 70s but the comfortable 80s. We were pleased.


Bouse sets in the midst of barren desert and mountains. Rock hounds, miners, sun lovers, and those who want freedom from the dominant culture come here. In the winter, it's full of folks, many boon-docking in the hills, to be even farther from others. There is a VFW hall, Octoillo Lodge and Bar, Family Dollar store, and little grocery store. The RV park looked like it had a few permanent residents but some had left their rig there and would return when the intense heat let up-- October probably :).

People in RV parks are a mix of travelers like us but some who live that life permanently either on the road or in one place. I like YouTube vlogs where some of the full-timers have channels, a few make their living that way by sharing their experiences with those who might like to do it or are just curious as to what that lifestyle is like. I don't see myself ever being a full-timer, but it would have appeal to me. I get to do it vicariously through those who do.

The older, lean guy, who managed the Bouse RV park got us a spot with some shade from tall but sparse eucalyptus trees. He was friendly, had three or four little dogs, lived in small, bright yellow rig. In his cowboy hat, he looked like a true desert rat, a term I use with affection. Those guys know a piece of terrain in a way most of us never will.

In such places, Ranch Boss gets out more than I do, as he does the hookups and sometimes walks around. RVers ask each other questions about their rigs, where they are going. It's kind of a communal system with similar problems to discuss. For me, I stay with the cats and what I see is out the window or what I hear. I like a quiet park.



Saturday morning, we drove into California over the Colorado River, passed though Earp, which is an unincorporated kind of community, where Wyatt and his wife did some gold hunting every winter. We passed through the California border crossing, where they only ask about fruit. That might change if the state really secedes. They may not care who crosses their southern border but to protect their agricultural industries, they don't want pests arriving (Oregon makes all pulling boats to get inspected to protect its fisheries). 

The road west and then north between Bouse and Needles is two lanes with more of a desert highway's whoop-de-doos.  Alongside, there are many signs of old lava flows, not what a person tends to think of where it comes to that stretch of desert. Mostly the traffic was sane, the pavement in good condition, and we chatted up all the issues we could think of, as week-ends aren't days to find talk radio, something that helps pass the miles on week-days. From Needles to Barstow it's mostly four lanes and seems to last forever, with little to comment on beyond maybe Peggy Sue's Diner-- no pictures of it.

Before we left Tucson, we had called several places to see if we needed reservations since it was a week-end.  We had made one at a park, which shall remain nameless, where we'd stayed before. By eleven that morning, we both felt we'd like to get farther. We called them to cancel. Their policy was we had to pay for the whole night anyway-- even if someone else rented that site. It was worth it to us to get farther, and we reminded the nice lady that their policy would discourage anyone calling to cancel. It wasn't her decision or fault. Next time though, with that particular park, we will not reserve until the same day when we know for sure where we'll be.


Saturday night, we made it to just outside of Bakersfield and the Orange Grove RV park where we'd stayed on our way down. Very nice park, many sites, and I highly recommend it for ease of access and quiet. A/C was again essential as the temps were over 100°F  but pleasing in the trailer after the A/C took it down. That had been an 8 hour day, the longest we did the whole way but given the quality of the road, not that hard on us. When we were younger, we'd do 14 hour days. We discovered with age that led to getting somewhere with our backs bad and needing a week to recover. One of the nice things about traveling with a trailer is long days on the road aren't required.

One big plus for this trip was for the first time getting set up where we could get the cable that all these parks offer. Someone might say-- you watched TV when in your trailer. Yes, we did because we had a lot of time there thanks to the shorter travel days. I don't do as well with the computer there, since unless we will be somewhere for more than a day, it's not worth it to set up my little desk with the split keyboard. Once Ranch Boss figured out how to make it work, it was nice to be able to check the news or opt to watch a movie at night as we would at home. Most of the parks offer a nice selection of channels but we mostly only watch the news or Hallmark for its movies. 

For internet, most parks offer it but we generally depend on our Verizon hotspot. The quality of the internet in parks varies and there is the risk of going onto a 'communal' line.

Sunday, we finally got onto I-5 and once again thought there is not a rougher freeway possible in the section below Sacramento. There would be smooth sections but mostly it was just rough. I worried most about the cats with such jostling. We learned that every overpass or bridge would be rougher than the highway on either side-- not sure of the motive for that. 

Literally, the stretch of road just north of Stockton is the worst highway imaginable. It jostled our trailer so much that the steps, even with a bungee cord holding them up, were knocked down. Fortunately, we were almost at our next stop in Lodi, and the RV park we had stayed in while driving down-- Flag City. These people had been nice to say they'd hold a site for us without our needing a reservation. People skills is always a plus when dealing with businesses that cater to the public.


Because we'd forgotten how to get to the park, we went out of our way and saw something we would see several times while traveling north-- a gypsy caravan. I don't mean that as ethnically but a group of people with rigs and semi-trucks, traveling together for who knows what businesses. That one had 7 rigs with it and some of the people were walking between them. They weren't the last we would see on the road. The other thing it reminds me of is Grapes of Wrath.

The freeway improved as we went north. We had also stayed in that camp before, out of Anderson-- JGW RV Park, right on the Sacramento River with no neighbors right on top of us.  When we can get one on the river, it's very relaxing. I found myself singing Moon River, when I was alone, of course. The cats didn't mind.




Another short day took us farther north and Yreka, with the Waiiaka RV park. The people there were especially nice. It's connected to a casino, which we didn't visit. They even came around that night to offer us fresh popcorn. The park had nice big trees and again was quiet. 


We had decided to give ourselves one more night on the road, and this time we'd have to drive farther off I-5, the first time we went more than 1/2 mile. This site was called Twin River Vacation and was on the North Umpqua, just east of where the North and South Umpqua join up to head to the ocean.



Getting to this park was amazing and we want to go back as there was one winery after another. Pretty farming communities and then the river. The park itself was big trees with grassy areas between rigs. By that time, we were well past the worst of the heat, but we did use the A/C for an hour or so.


While on the road, we only had one restaurant meal that in Yreka from the Black Bear. We hadn't had chicken fried steak in years and found it on their online menu. We figured the portions would be such that we could get one dinner. It was more than enough. One of the big pluses with an RV is not having to eat out. It's more relaxing and keeps us with the cats; so they don't feel deserted.

This is not wilderness camping. It is staying with water, electricity and sewer when we wanted it. It allowed us to use the A/C freely. Basically with fees generally under $50 and being home as soon as we stepped up into it, trailering is a good deal. In California, vehicles pulling a trailer have to go 55mph. I like that as driving fast makes me nervous. The trucks are also supposed to go 55 but a lot don't. They do though not go 75, like they do in Arizona, which can push a rig around when they pass. 



Other than some bad pavement stretches in California, we had good highways all the way, more 4-lane than the last trip, as they constantly are upgrading roads because of all that is sent by truck in our country. The photo above is heading toward Mount Shasta and a pretty typical view when traveling. Trucks go in bunches, it seems and they come on us like a pack before they go right on past and we'd get a little break. It makes a person very aware of how vulnerable we are as a people where so much of what we need to live is on a freeway somewhere.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Honoring the Stars and Stripes at a High School Graduation; my biased report?


At the Woodburn High School football field and track, on a dark, Oregon, rainy June 8th, 2018, the
families and friends gathered in a joyous, celebratory mood not dampened by the weather and the uncertainty of their future. Most arrived early to be seated.  Among the crowd were children unable to just sit and wait for over an hour. A few ran on the track and two of them jumped into the puddles.  A couple of the helium balloons escaped the grasp of a few well intentioned spectators. Others walked here and there with bouquets of flowers they planned to give their graduate. New mothers pushed strollers or passed the baby from one member of the family to another. Grandparents tried to entertain their young members of their family.

Then the Commencement began.   As the procession led by faculty began, I listened to the recording of "Pomp and Ceremony".  My eyes teared up.  Through my blurring eyes I tried to locate my granddaughter in the long processional line of over 300 students led by faculty.  I was surrounded by the energy of  my family and the equally excited families and friends of the other high school seniors.
Diplomas were handed to students on a covered stage.
 Do you see anything missing in this picture?

When the procession found their seats everyone stood for the National Anthem also a recording.  Everyone in my field of vision stood reverently facing a flag to the far left end of the football and track field.

So how am I doing so far on reporting without bias?

Earlier while we were waiting a politically right leaning, very patriotic young man noticed something wrong with the flag. He was even more upset than I was by the poorly hung flag.  (another subjective judgment) The flag was only attached at the top. Luckily at the start the air was still and the flag hung at slack so the problem was not too noticeable during the Anthem.

 I conjecture with some bias that many highly patriotic citizens would say their own patriotism is not a bias. They would say that the flag and our nation was not given proper respect by this school at this event. As a Liberal, of course, I would agree on this incident.  And furthermore as a Liberal I missed not having a student Honor Guard of Boy Scouts conduct the ritual of displaying the flag visible at the podium. I would have liked a student soloist singing the Anthem. I believe bias is necessary and not bad. We all have a point of view.

 But I strongly disagree with those who would use this incident to disparage the school. Sorry about leaving my intention of not being biased. In this objective report my aim is not to compare Liberals and Conservative views. My point will not be political fuel for either side.

Again I deviate from strictly reporting by making conjectures because I have an inner need to defend public education.  I am tempted to make up possible excuses for Woodburn's programing without the usual attention to the flag ceremony like the ones I have witnessed at other commencements.

 Maybe Woodburn High School acted with the best action in their situation by using a recording and a flag outside of the stage area. ( I am voicing an unsubstantiated statement because of my assumption that within any large gathering of Latinos of every age, there must be Dreamers. But even if there are no children of the undocumented in this class of 2018,  history shows that governments separating children from parents of  illegals trying to enter our country can lead to anyone with Latino or minority features or Latino sounding names being imprisoned next. I imagine some Conservatives could be appalled that such an escalation could occur and I can imagine them yelling, "You are hateful". Yes, I can be hateful even when I believe I am above hateful behavior.

I conjecture low key flag honoring was conducted out of  respect for those in the crowd who no doubt already have close ties to those who have been arrested, separated from family, put in jail and wait deportation. Again I repeat my assumption is not a verified fact.
My point is not to make a case for my bias. Instead it is an example of how both sides will grasp  imagined explanations to support their bias.

The purpose of the ceremony is to celebrate the graduating seniors rejoicing on well earned recognition for their accomplishments and the right to speculate on a hopeful future.

"The seniors are to be praised for having the tools to go on to more education. Because in this age a high school education is not enough. The graduates are prepared to be successful  whether it be college, trade school, on the job training or the military." said the faculty and administrators in short introductions. Impressively the Woodburn School district has a curriculum based on the needs of their students. The high school is divided into five schools - Academy of International Studies; Wellness, Business and Sports School; Woodburn Academy of Art, Science and Technology; Woodburn Arts and Communications Academy as well as a place to give students who have made bad choices a second chance - Success High School. From each school the Salutatorians and the Valedictorians and Student of Distinction from the Success High School gave short speeches all adding up to the message that all people are equally worthy individuals.  The salutatorians and valedictorians had a message: They thanked family, the faculty, the community and our country for giving them an education.  All the speakers demonstrated that they learned to work together.

I paraphrase the theme of the talks: Everyone has an inner light equal to everyone else and the same ability to create change for a better world. So my fellow graduates go forth and shine your light on a darkness in the world. The future of the world is yours to shape.

The Student of Distinction from the School of Success talked of how he made bad choices and how thankful he is of the second chance he received. Fifty-seven students like him graduated after rough beginnings who would have dropped out if not for this program.

 I focused on how thrilled the Latino families were that their graduating child had an education. The ceremony was inclusive delivered both in English and Spanish. I estimate over 90% of the school is Latino with a small percentage of  Northern European ethnicities that included a few children of Russian immigrants. Also mixed ethnicities and races! ( Here I am aware that I organized this post to leave until last the extent to how few Northern Europeans there are in the class of 2018. I feared it would turn on sensitive buttons for some and my point would be lost.)

Writing without bias is more than difficult and humbling. Even when trying to write with a good heart, the way we are connected through the media and not often talking face to face we do not explain our experience well.  More study and thought of the dynamics of our human reactions to our current media and processing current events would help to break our current divided politics. My explanations  of my observations are time consuming to write and I am not sure people will read long complex thinking.

We all have more in common than our thinking and communication is allowing us to realize.

Monday, June 11, 2018

a link

I don't generally do a blog just for links but this is an important one. Our nation is going through a lot of depression. It is not from a political source, despite how some might want to blame that. It's something maybe about our culture, changes we can't predict or control, the environment, who knows but don't blame a party. Just look for answers to it that don't involve suicide. I think this is an important insight into it. If you don't have depression, maybe you know someone who does. I wish it was an answer. It's not. It's an insight.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

road trips with cats

 by Rain Trueax

Leaving Tucson on June 1st, I didn't really want to go; but knew it was time. I worried how the newest born baby quail would manage. I loved the house, its convenience to everything. I loved even the heat although June is my least favorite month in Tucson as it's before the monsoons arrive, which makes it humid and hot. I've been there before A/C, when all we had was a fan and towel or a swamp cooler; and it's miserable. A/C changes that, but it also means less time outside although Ranch Boss put up our first mister and that surprisingly, since it's water, made it nice enough to sit out watching the birds even in the mid-90s. It can't overcome the 100s.

In addition to my own hating to leave, I knew how the cats would hate traveling again. The thing is we can't leave them and they just have to buck up and accept we know what we're doing... we hope.


 

June 1st, we put all four into their own carriers (with no scars). Our cat kids and us were heading 1200+ miles with a 26' travel trailer, and above 100°F days until we got to Northern California.




We had debated various travel plans for the cats. One idea was two in the truck and two in the trailer. In the end, we decided it had to be all in carriers for the first day.  Coming down from Oregon, we had discovered cats don't share a carrier-- even if they sleep cuddled together otherwise. We chose having them all in the truck because we thought their first day of travel might be scary if not with us. It's impossible to tell a cat, who hates travel, that it's a family thing.


Cats hate carriers. They consider them prisons and with only one purpose-- to destroy them. Their dislike doesn't lessen with the miles. The smallest one, Babe, makes the loudest and most horrific mewrrooowws. The oldest one, Blackie, is peaceful on a drive and was allowed to get out of his extra small carrier and lie between us as a reward. The other three alternated who got to meow, with Babe sometimes issuing something ear shattering. We all had to just make the best of it including one incident of car sickness for Raven. She does not like whoop-de-doo roads, and we expected the cleanup. 

When we got to our first destination, Bouse, Arizona, the temps were well over 100°F. This is a kind of roadside community for desert rats, those who love to explore the nearby mountains for minerals or want the freedom of not being tied to a town. A few rigs in the RV park were probably permanent. Some had left their rigs there while they headed to cooler climes. A bit north of Quartzite, this is a place of mountains, sand, barren, desert landscape, flags flying, VFW halls, and communities called Vicksburg. I like it.

Once the cats and I were in the trailer, Ranch Boss hooked us to electricity and I turned on the A/C. Since this was our first time with the trailer in this level of heat, we weren't sure how effectively it would cool. There was worry also since when loading it, when Ranch Boss had endurance tested the A/C, it failed. He did some research and decided he'd used too small an extension cord. Still, with any failure, you do worry. 

The cooling worked-- not to the 70s during the daytime but into the low 80s. To add to reducing the pressure on it, he put out the awning. We settled in with one more question that would resolve the next day's travel.

How would the cats get along with the stress of travel and tighter quarters? It would determine if they could ride in the trailer, as they had in January, or would they have to, at least some of them, ride with us?

We had a peaceful night. We would continue to monitor how they got along but this meant we'd all have an easier travel day on Saturday.  


Many don't believe in leaving pets in trailers while traveling. It's illegal for humans although if we get a Fifth Wheel someday, humans could also ride in it-- not sure many would want to do so. The cats much prefer the trailer with a dirt box, food, and water to the boxes. When traveling, mostly, they hide under the bed. My main worry has been an accident but in that case, the cab of the truck wouldn't be safe either. 

Heat during the summer is another issue for letting cats be where there is no A/C while traveling. On the hottest days, we cooled off the trailer a lot in the morning and crossed our fingers that by not driving into the late afternoon, we'd be okay; and we were. They handle some heat, after all, they had wanted outside when it was 100 in Tucson.


During our time of travel, there were a few cat tiffs-- usually at 3 am. The reasons appear to be to wake us up in the middle of the night out of maybe boredom or being too close for too long. We resolved all the disagreements with the squirt bottle (cats hate getting wet)-- and one night closed the door so that at that time, the most aggressive cat, Blackie, slept with us.

All photos of the cats from Tucson this year.

More coming on our road trip. It may be of interest to those who use RVs or even have considered using one. Where to stay? Who else is there? Why do we do it-- especially with four cats? Well, I can answer that one here. We are moving between two homes, can't leave them in either when we are gone a long time. So with that many, what motel would let us get a room? Transferring them from the vehicle to the room would be difficult even if we found such places. Cats, unlike more adventurous dogs, prefer a familiar home and the trailer is that at night.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Joy and Sorrow of Being a Prolific Painter in a Small Space

Interestingly my studio has all paintings that satisfy me and the rest of the house has more unfinished work that I  like seeing from many different angles and lighting before making changes.
I feel satisfaction and contentment and joy when I surround myself with work that satisfies me as comfortably completed. It need not be perfect. I like looking at work that over a long period time never says to me every time I walk by, "Psst, as soon as you have a moment, I need to be  touched up with a face lift. 

Being as prolific as I am, I  could quickly fill our home with art giving me the feeling that I am caught in an uncomfortable web. I  learned to withstand the sadness of destroying some of my work. 

Happy am I since I almost always keep space open.

To make space for both my husband and I to live comfortably, and welcome visitors, downsizing my collection of my own art is necessary even if it is like pulling teeth.  I go through my archives over and over again.

We need to keep space open for both of us to work and play. Conscious effort is made to display my art work,  improve storage. We keep only the stuff of everyday living that we need in addition to retiring some of my older work.  So various methods are helpful in reducing both excessive duplication in everything that surrounds us. Over the years I am always bagging stuff to donate. Many trips to the grocery store include dropping off a bag of donations. Last year I was lax and now I am back on track on donating.
Just working at  tackling  a little at a time giving me a feeling of accomplishment with each little step.  Happy am I that I have a few paintings that from the start all the variables fall in place.

Even if others do not like some of my alla prima paintings, they are among the ones that worked for me and I am fondest of them because I remember every time I look at them the experience of painting them.

Painted on a pea green background every color I put on was working with the whole right from the first stroke.  I kept the added patches of color open with the green threading through the entire painting.  Then just a few lines drawn  more from a muscle memory of a dance than thought out beforehand.  With the lines I decided the abstract was pulled together.

Hart Lake Creek  on a 1971 pack trip on our way to Lake Chelan, a sentimental painting! I treasure remembering our trips every time I look at these paintings. I do not care that some art critics would say this painting is two paintings, one being the tree trunks and the other being the creek.

 
I am a sentimentalist so my permanent collection is a diary of my life memories.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

a land of dreams-- big, little and sometimes broken

by Rain Trueax

I wanted to write about the quail, with what I've observed and learned; but I want to do it when I have time to do the subject justice. We are getting our Tucson house ready to leave and packing the trailer for the long trek back north. I always hate leaving here but I also love Oregon. I wish the places I loved were closer together, but I have so many of them. 

To go north, our 26' travel trailer will mostly stick to freeways as the shortest route is through California. We don't have time for recreation with the four cats not liking their limited range. They can't go out, although i have had cats where I could use a leash-- not these four though. We do keep our driving days relatively short for their sake and ours with finding nice little RV parks each afternoon-- and hoping they'll be quiet ones.

I always hate leaving Arizona. This year it's  especially hard when I hope the babies do well with no one supplementing their diet, but haying season is almost here, sheep have to be shorn-- if the shearer ever gets the time for a small flock. So northward we must head and leaving this house well-secured, fortunately with neighbors who look out for it when we're not here.

In putting off the quail until I am back in Oregon, I happened across some photos from 2008, when we had a wonderful trip through Montana, Yellowstone, and Idaho. Choosing only a few is tough. It's a big country with a lot of variety in scenery. Loving the American West, which has been inspiration for some of my books, I can't say I have just one place that is better than the rest. Life for me would be simpler if I had one such place,

On these photos, I am not labeling where these are. They are not in any particular order. They represent to me so much of what I love about the Rockies and the American West. You can find places all across the West that look liked them. It's big country.