Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Holiday In Oregon or Recovering From An ArtFest

What a great day our friend Donna gave us today in and about Wilsonville, OR.  The Monday following an art festival is always our "hangover" day - sleeping off the effects of standing on our feet for 10-12 hours, chatting with prospective clients, smiling, smiling and more smiling.  The idea of course is to give the art festival goers the impression that we are completely relaxed, happy to be there, ready to explain our techniques and styles to the inquisitive, even if it's someone's five year old or a would-be artist wanting some info about tools, colors, how did you get this or that effect.  So, by Monday we are shot.  No two ways about it.  Mostly we don't have the energy to research the area we are showing in so we don't know that there is a terrific museum or a trail to a swimming hole or a collection of antique sculptures of miniature crab apples (just kidding - don't think I would go out of my way for that).  So, when we stay with Donna and she plans the Monday for us, makes omelets for breakfast, does the driving, AND takes us to wonderful places to just "be"with the natural beauty that is Oregon, it's pretty special.

Here is a place that was not only nature at its best but an artist at his best, as well.



This is Jim Barton's Pudding River Studios, Aurora, OR...but we didn't know that we were doing anything but walking down a forest path....until we began to come upon these beautiful wood sculptures, mostly done from fire damaged wood.  They stood as guardians of the forest, sentinels, plates of a sort of Buddhist armor on healthy trees, silent prayers of Quan Yin, invitations to wander further...and then there he was, standing at the edge of a large fork lift which held the rough beginnings of a long table bench, filling a small crack.  Tall and skinny, shaded by the canopy above him, he smiled and gestured for me to come closer so he could hear me.

The sculptures speak for themselves.

 Jim is open and sharing, at home with both trees and people. Read some more about him in this article from Conversations. From his property we walked on through his neighbor's (with her permission) only to be delighted by a different kind of nature - acres of mown pasture that was home to many sheep until a flash flood of the Pudding River p them.  No signs of the misfortune remain except the water line high up in the trees.  Today the pasture was alive with singing birds, dandelions, and about a half mile of wild blackberry bushes grown high above our heads.

 I think I picked (and ate) enough berries for a large pie!  There were no cell phones there, no iPads, no ear phones...just blackberries, sun, the river and a good friend who wanted to give us a special day.  Thanks, Donna.

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