Today I am sharing more of the watercolors my students did at the workshop I taught last week at Sitka Center for Art & Ecology. Subjects range from foxgloves in forests to Sitka spruce giants to Proposal Rock at Neskowin Beach to Cascade Head.
Today I'm sharing more of the work students created last weekend in the landscape watercolor workshop I taught at Sitka Center for Art & Ecology. As always, I was very impressed with their sketches of the enormous Sitka spruce that grow just outside the studio.
Today I'm sharing some of the work students created at the recent workshop I taught for Sitka Center for Art & Ecology. We went to 3 sites for painting, Three Rocks Road with a view of Cascade Head and its basalt cliffs, Knight Park on the Salmon River Estuary, and Neskowin Beach, with a view of Proposal Rock and its keyhole arch. In addition, we looked at giant Sitka spruces and foxgloves growing on the Sitka Center forest grounds.
Last weekend I traveled down to the Central Oregon coast to teach a landscape watercolor workshop for Sitka Center for Art & Ecology. It was the 9th summer I have taught there! This time, I got to teach in the beautiful Boyden Studio. What a delightful environment for teaching and painting! And I stayed in the McKey Cabin, with a view through the ceiling-high windows of Sitka spruces that moved me every time I walked in the door--experiencing the outdoors from indoors! I'll be writing more about our painting locations and sharing the students' work in coming posts.
I am currently reading the first volume of Fermor's travel narrative, A Time of Gifts. His trip occurred in the 1930s but he didn't write the book until 30 years later and I am struck by the number of things he must have re-visited and even invented so long after his journey. This lack of scrupulously truthful reporting takes nothing away from his story at all--in fact it only makes it better. An example is his visit to the Groote Kirk in Rotterdam, one in which he is certain he can imagine the famous interior church paintings of 17th cenutry Dutch artists come to life: I did a little research and discovered there are no well-known paintings of that church. But it doesn't matter because we may be equally confused as to which churches those famous and iconic paintings were about--like Fermor, we have a kind of template in our minds, that helps us supply the specific details of those great Protestant churches, including the floor of the nave: a chessboard of black and white flagstones..... So compellingly did the vision tally with a score of half-forgotten Dutch pictures that my mind's eye...furnished the void with those 17th cenutry groups...burghers wth pointed corn-coloured beards--and impious spaniels that refused to stay outside--conferring gravely with their wives and their children, still as chessmen...
Reading Fermor's reaction to this church reminded me a visit of my own to the island of Torcello in the Venetian Lagoon. I think I was very moved by the Byzantine mosaics in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta there. I seem to remember the entire apse being flooded with light, which was very unusual and dramatic after seeing San Marco in Venice. Last fall I saw the mosaics of Ravenna, and none of them were light-filled either. So my own first experience awed me, without knowing that I was seeing something quite rare. Ruskin wrote of the mosaics and the light in The Stones of Venice: what is very peculiar to this church (is) its luminousness. This perhaps strikes the traveller more from its contrast with the excessive gloom of the Church of St. Mark's... I remember thinking that these mosaics had really captured the optimism of Christianity in a way I had never seen before. Strange, really, considering that many of the scenes depicted were dark and depressing--the crucifixion, the harrowing of hell, the called-forth sinners rising above the seas. But high above them are Mary and the Apostles bathed in an earthly sunshine that in that church becomes the light of heaven. I don't know how much of this I truly thought at the time, but it doesn't matter. To reflect on what we have lived and seen is the human condition, and to write about it as movingly as Fermor did is what only a rare artist can do.
I've spent the last couple of weeks offering Summer Reading programs for the King County Library System and have visited many far-flung libaries in the system, from Maple Valley to Woodinville and many places in between. The program is called A Day at the Beach, and I've brought many beach finds as subjects for the children, including moon snails, sea stars, whelks, clams, scallops, limpets and beautiful bird skins which Seattle Audubon kindly loaned me. Among the birds are: a Glaucous-winged Gull, Surf Scoter, Rhinoceros Auklet, Common Murre and chick and Caspian Tern. The chidlren are having a fantastic time and I'm sharing some of their beautiful work here.
From July 11th to September 6th my husband, David Hashimoto, will be exhibiting his paintings at Hiroki, a tea/espresso/dessert cafe in Wallingford, 2224 North 56th ST. Hours are 12 to 4 on Tuesday, 12 to 9 Wednesday to Friday, and Saturday and Sunday 9am to 9pm. Half of all sales will support local non-profits: Provail's Art is Not an Option, which provides art materials and volunteer assistance to people with disabilities who want to paint, and to the University Churches Emergency Fund which helps prevent homelessness by offering rent and utility assistances for people in the neighborhood.
Next Friday through Sunday, July 18-20 I'm teaching a workshop for Sitka Center for Art & Ecology. We had filled the workshop, but unexpectedly several people had to drop out and we now have an opening. Sitka is wonderful at this time of year, still quiet on the Salmon River Estuary, Swainson's Thrushes trilling happily in the trees, Sitka Spruces bright with new growth, the beach at Neskowin not as crowded as in August. We paint at the estuary, the keyhole arch at Neskowin Beach, and Three Rocks at the very mouth of the Salmon River. Each of the many times I have taught there, I've appreciated the diversity of the landscapes we've painted--the temperate rain forest, coastal meadows, beach--they don't occur anywhere but the Pacific Northwest and it's such a privilege for me to experience and teach how to approach each of these landscapes.
I just received my Birds 2015 calendar from Pomegranate. It's a mini-wall calendar and sells for $7.99. It features 12 of my bird block prints. I'm excited to see them in this new format. The calendars are available directly from Pomegranate's online store, and they'll also be sold at many outlets nationwide, including University Bookstore in Seattle.