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.




Saturday, September 28, 2019

from a dream

by Rain Trueax

I wrote this post a few weeks ago and kept adjusting where it'd show up. It's an example of how, for me, books emerge from a dream and a simple thought into a full book. 

On other levels, my life has been evolving on many levels. One is that I'm trying to create back covers that work with the covers for Ranch Boss (whenever work here lets up) to put together the spline that lets the book become a paperback. Those matter mostly for giving away but also could be important if I do some book signings, which I've yet to do. Also, if I want my books to be in libraries, there must be paperbacks and a Library of Congress number. Working on it all. Meanwhile, this is an example (there are many) of how books begin with one thing and turn into another. Fun. :)


Sometimes a book begins with a dream. In the fall of 2013, I lost a cat I loved very much. I'd have paid a lot of money to save her life. She was too young to die, but something was catastrophically wrong inside. All I could do was let her go, which happened when the veterinarian came out to the house and gave her a merciful end. I cried so much. I still cry when I think about it, which is why I don't include her picture here.

Friday, September 27, 2019

by Diane: Architectural design in Paris

 
Architecture from waiting at Paris Disney to...
 
architecture from the roped line that organized the crowd waiting to enter the Louvre in the early morning shadows of delicately designed marble palace spleander juxtaposed by the sleek simplicity of glass pyramids...


 royal residence dating back to 1200s
 becoming a museum during the French Revolution in 1793.











to architecture seen waiting to enter Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral



 
Thank you for viewing my series of posts with pictures of our trip to London and Paris - a gift to granddaughter McKenzie's high school graduation trip.
Absolutely not intended to be primarily an art trip.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

By Diane, Design encountered in Paris

The best curated exhibit we saw was at Center Pompido:." Prehistory: A Modern Enigma" at Centre Pompidou was a journey we walked through on a serpentine path through room upon room.   Artists like Paul Cezanne was exhibited with 23,000fueled their creativity with scientific findings about prehistoric images.  They speculated where we are in the course of history now and in the future.
The last room of the Prehistory; A Modern Enigma exhibit featured an artist who made fanciful animals out of cardboard and painted them with poster paint. Children's craft tools!  The artist must have had a blast of fun. One important part of being human is having fun releasing the child in us. For the first time I see people of prehistoric times capable of creating just for the fun of it when survival needs were satisfied.

 I do not recall Gaugin being represented, but the exhibit's theme reminds me of Paul Gauguin's "Where Come we? What are We? Whither we Go?" his masterpiece after he left France. He was drawn to and respected the natives in Tahiti. He painted the women solid like prehistoric Venus of Lespugue.


                           We were stunned by this chair and foot rest provided to customers of the Bon Marche. Melissa and I liked the look but wondered if it was comfortable. It sure was we both agreed.
 
Arts de la table at the Bon Marche reinforces what I think.  We are all participants in creating art knowingly or not. The more we are aware, the more enriching it can be to design. 
Fast food is packaged and as a tourist we were hungry and sometimes tired or in a hurry so we purchased food at grocery stores. The packaging has far less plastic than I am used to here in Oregon. The folded paper boxes are also more aesthetic than molded plastic.
 Not all fast food cutlery was wood.
 

by Diane: a visit to Henri Rouseau's fanciful flight from Paris in Paris

My two adult granddaughters were graciously accommodating to an addition not on our list of the things we wished to see during our four days in Paris.  I wanted to see where Rousseau found what he needed to see to paint his jungle inspired painting.  One of my recent paintings is derived from Rousseau's  THE DREAM.
        Le Jardin des Serres d'Auteuils ( The garden of green houses ) is  a distance from the usual tourist attractions.
 On a Saturday the park attracts Parisians. We saw some families picnic on blankets and playing on the lawn, some were sitting on the benches reading. I was not surprised to see a few art students getting a semi-private art lessons.
 The art instructor provided a variety of materials. In the morning they used colored pencil. When we left at about 1:00 PM the instructor was demonstrating colored felt pens. He agreed to me taking a quick look but I didn't feel he was open to conversation as he was intense and highly engaged with his two student.  The instructor also had raw canvas and paints presumably for the afternoon.
 
 
 Inside one of the glass enclosed arboretums I saw two women with their children having a jungle themed lunch imagining that they were in the tropics.
The garden lends itself to surreal day dreaming now as it was for Rousseau who imagined into his painting a nude women on a couch in Paris pretending she is a mermaid in the jungle.
 
photo copied from the NewYork City MOMA web site
Different plants but same dreamy atmosphere was a delightfully relaxing change for all three of us.  
 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

by Diane: London brings to mind the question - what is great art?

My early September trip with two of my dear, wonderful, fun granddaughters  to London and Paris was filled with memories to treasure. This was a bonding trip not to be focused on art but to encompass all our interests. Fortunately culture and art was abundant and I got to see art as a younger generation sees it.  Melissa organized the trip scheduling transportation and lodging and prearranging some attractions.  She listed all our most desired attractions giving McKenzie the first priority since this trip was to celebrate her graduation from high school.
The first day's weather in London was what must be typical mist with light showers.We took the Hop on Hop off Bus Tour. Our first stop was the Memorial to War Animals that I believed was promoted by a great aunts and cousins. If great art changes my perspective of how I see the world, then this memorial succeeds as great art by my definition.. Seeing images of so many animals forced without consent into war convinces me that forcing animal to war is an animal rights violation.

We took both the blue and the yellow line Hop On Hop Off Bus. We hoped off after crossing the Thames with the purpose of exploring the Globe Theater, a choice of McKenzie's.

Close by the theater we heard organ music and investigated.  We entered the Southwark Cathedral and listened to the organ recital. Coming across this recital was a happy surprise especially for Melissa who plays the organ. The organ was thunderous and at other times meek but tremendously emotional. The effect of organ music in a resonate church is definitely a great art that can change how we see the world. I was impressed by how many steeples Christoper Wren designed to replace those destroyed by the Great London Fire.
                         H. W. Janson's  HISTORY OF ART.
We had lunch in a restaurant under the London Bridge.

Then continued through the covered open Borough marketplace
with gorgeous displays of food. Is it art?
In the afternoon we took a ride on a boat up the Thames River.
 
Tuesday, September 10th we went on the Harry Potter Tour.
Movies like the Harry Potter series are a popular art form for the general public like in Shakespeare's day his plays entertained the populous. Not only has J.K. Rowling's phenomenal book caught on but the movies are the work of many artists being orchestrated by Warner Brothers.
For me  her perception changing theme is seeing the magic of kindness. Motivated by kindness Harry and his friends break school rules and magically escape severe punishment.
The Warner Studio's creation could be considered great art on another scale. The scale of phenomenal craftsmanship and creativity!  The jaw dropping phenomenal cinematography effects stands out as art of high accomplishment and greatness. A story well told is great art.
 
 
 
 
Wednesday morning September 11, we walked to Buckingham Palace. We watched a guard do a little marching. Then we walked the path around a monument with a monumental statue of petite queen Victoria. The pomp and ceremony of British royalty is culturally interesting to my granddaughters but the glamorous is not strongly  resonating with me like when I was 9 years old. I pretended my dolls were the  queen and her court after watching the crowning of Queen Elizabeth on TV. In the mean time I have lost this glorious imagining. Maybe seeing the palace and gardens with my granddaughters effected me a little like how I define great art.
 Then from our hotel we took an Uber ride to Pancreas Station where we checked our bags so we could go to the British Library where we saw the exhibit of old books and the Magna Carta.of 1215. "The Great Charter" established the principle that everyone is subject to the law, even the king, and guarantees the rights of individuals. King John repealed the charter but being great it was not only reinstated but is a foundation of republics like ours. It affects all of us every day.
After a quick examining of beautiful old hand made books and original  musical compositions we rode the Euro Star to Paris Disney. More how I am enlightened by the younger eyes of my grand children tomorrow.
Tomorrow the post will be about our experiences in Paris.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

tips from authors


by Rain Trueax



Promoting books is tough for me. To mention them, as a product, feels like I am pushing something onto someone; and yet if writers don't get their books seen, they cannot get readers. Some pay someone else to promote their books. Sometimes a writer gets lucky and has fans promote the books they liked. I've been lucky that way and even with some who may not read everything I write but like my writing style. I've also had those who email me they loved what I wrote; but they won't tell that to anybody else because after all these are romances-- not well respected by literary types. When someone tells me my writing compares to the best they've read but they won't tell anybody else, I have to respect their choice and don't say--- grrrrr followed by lol.

I have contemporary books that I am convinced (of course, I am) someone somewhere would like if they just saw them. Getting the right person to see them is the problem. I've read some claim marketing is 50% of being an author, and I could believe it. The question is what is the best way to do it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

by Diane; The elements in my photographs that speak to my painting

Seeing  interesting pattern, shapes, line, and color in the landscape is a step in framing my photographs to a rectangular window. Then without copying any photograph I repeat natural pattern, shape, line and color learned in taking pictures.
Or does the exercise of painting inform my picture taking with the camera at the same time taking pictures with the camera informs my painting?
I without intending to
selectively photograph these natural elements of design
 which are similar to what I have painted.

painting


photo

 
 




 
 
 
 
 

 
Practicing with the viewfinder of the camera, is similar to composing many paintings. It helps me see the emotional impact of the design elements. Only in a painting I have the license to make changes spontaneously.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Philosophy in a romance???

by Rain Trueax


Since doing a word for word edit with a book from my backlist, I've been thinking more about philosophy in my books. First of all, I should define what I mean by philosophy. I am using it as a way of thinking about the universe, the world, and culture. When we look to philosophy, it is to ask basic questions as to what life is all about.What we find can be taken into our own lives to help us in the future or be discarded if it does not fit.

There are, of course, philosophers, some famous for generations, whose words many generations have looked toward for truth that fits what they know of life. But, philosophy itself is about our own way of thinking as well. It asks the question-- what principles guide your life, your decisions, your view of the world? Do you know? Do you look for books to challenge and help you form your own views?

Sometimes the thinking comes from poets and a phrase will leap out. I have always been a collector of such words. The one by Robert Frost didn't make it into Luck of the Draw, but it fits the story. "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." It has been a guiding principle for my own life that I not follow what everyone else does-- unless it fits my life.



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

by Diane, On grooming our flower garden for painting

Every evening a black cat crouched in the cosmos waiting for the unwary finch. So in an effort to make the hunt more difficult, I pulled yet more cosmos.  Don also continued his war against the invasive clover threatening to cover and smother all low growing flowers.
 
A small baby garter snake hiding in the damp cool of the clover
is one of the healthy benefit of weeds.
 I  was dutifully pulling the top leaves off the clover,
 when I spotted this wee little one.
Now I wonder if we should
think more about wild habitat in our gardens.
Clover is also good for adding nutritive nitrogen.
Yet the greener clover spreads over flowers mercilessly.

I like the clover carpet when it is just recovering from
being somewhat scooped  with hoe and shovel.
Roots remain: The clover grows back.
Constantly grooming clover is more back breaking labor than what we want to do.
Past years Don covered the clover with mint compost.
Fall crocus used to push its way above the mint compost.
Recuperating from gall bladder surgery,
Don is waiting to spread mint for a few more weeks
until his ten pound limit is lifted.
The mint is so strong it stinks and grows
ugly orange fungus
 and with the slightest disturbance clouds of mold spores rise.
Even smolders as it decays!
When the mint is first spread,
all my painting of the garden is from my studio window.
 
 



We agree only that a change is needed in our flower garden next year.

More plants that tolerate dry conditions!
More plants that will be compatible with wildlife.

 

Saturday, September 07, 2019

how it begins

by Rain Trueax



If you are wanting to become an author, the first thing you will hear is write to the market. It makes sense. See what is out there and find your own version of it. There is nothing wrong with that for painters or writers. It's not though how I've done it and hence-- here's how it works for me, the process I use, which varies with the book, of course.

Often, I start with location, a situation, and then who might be involved in it. Once in a while, the situation and the who might be reversed. Most of the time though location is the initial inspiration.

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

by Diane: How much money is my painting actually worth? Not the purchase price?

WANTED THESE SOLD PAINTINGS
The money received for a short time
made me feel good
but now these paintings would be
more valuable for me to study.
 

 
How much money a painting is worth depends on the person -  the artist or the buyer. Obviously the amount the buyer is willing to pay for the painting is how much the painting is worth to the buyer. Right? No! Some buyers like bargains and want to hear the painting is worth more for their self satisfaction.

 The first time I was asked was in 1965 by Hale Wellman who purchased  several watercolors of palm trees painted in Tucson, Arizona. For insurance purposes he wanted to list my paintings as his belongings.  Since his daughter was one of my best friends, and my husband and I were newly married living as students on a tight budget, the paintings were very reasonably priced to sell. Hale wanted to know their actual value that must be different than what he paid. It crossed my mind that they were not even worth as much as he paid. Putting a monetary value on art is a superficial construct of our capitalistic society. Paintings were like gold ingots to keep wealth. At the time I was dumbfounded by this question making me see art in an unfamiliar light.  I do not recall rising above being wordless.

Even if not including the sentimental attachment I have for the memories my paintings give me, the worth of all my paintings are priceless to me. The value I have for them can not be measured in dollars. The true monetary value of my painting is not something I usually have in mind. I should hope my work is worth more money than the cost of the materials. But is it worth a salary for the amount of time I put into living and working with each painting?  Figuring that way I am working for free even if I sell a painting now and then for hundreds of dollars and once a few times for $1,200. Does it pay for my education and experiences that went into painting? Not even close!

What I make in money is less and less important to me in my senior years.  In 1965 I was encouraged by all sales when I needed the income for buying more art supplies. The small budget years when my husband was a graduate student  at the University of Arizona, I enjoyed going to the student store and buying supplies for a small fraction of what they cost now. Knowing the money came from someone who wants to have my work was a boost to my ego. But the supplies did not last and neither did the glow from the sales. my patrons from the 60"s have either down sized and in many cases have passed away. Some work has sold on e-bay or the Portland Art Museum Rental and Sales Gallery for several paintings that were once part of the  First National Bank Permanent Collection.

These days all my older work informs my new work. I welcome my older paintings back into my collection. Some friends have put my paintings in their will to go to me or my family. I am willing to pay to get the work back.