Friday, October 19, 2012

Bring on the rain!

The spectacular stretch of dry weather has finally come to an end in western Oregon. Sarah and I completed our psychological and physiological preparations by spending as much time in the sun as possible while at the beach several weeks ago.

Back at the house, we made agricultural and structural preparations as well.

We pulled down our tomato vines and salvaged what we could for storage as sauce or pickles. 

The extended sunshine served our tomatoes well. The indigo rose, which produced the purple-colored fruits above, was exceptionally productive this year. The unripened ones will become purple pickles.

A crew is finishing a new roof for our house and we had a new heat pump installed this summer. So for the first time since moving in 2010, I am looking forward to any storm the Pacific sends our way. Now we can turn up the heat,  fill up on dark beer, and complete some indoor projects. 

This year, I have taken to carving and painting images of loons (last year it was rockfishes). I am not sure what I will do with my loons when I am done. Luckily, the holidays are approaching.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wild Arts Loon

   The Audubon Society of Portland's Wild Arts Festival is one of many things I look forward to in the fall.

I love contributing to the festival each year by completing a small painting for their 6 x 6 fundraiser.
This year I decided to create a Red-throated Loon, one of my favorite birds to watch in foggy coastal waters.

In winter plumage, the Red-throated Loon is a study in minimalism with its mostly white head sparingly patterned with black streaks.

In constructing my piece, I decided to run with the minimalism thing.

I took inspiration from a story I heard on NPR that described huge concrete sculptures created by Donald Judd in Marfa, Texas.  I removed the cloth from the donated canvas and painted the wood frame gray.

 I used my scroll saw to cut a Red-throated's silhouette out of a cedar shingle and I painted it white.

I inserted my loon in the frame so it could be visible from both sides. I left some space in the middle so outside items can become part of the piece.

I can't wait to see how it looks on display at the Arts Festival in November!