Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Bishop's Close

The Bishop's Close is another Portland treasure and this week's sketching site. The Elk Rock Gardens cover a bluff overlooking the Willamette River.

Double anemones bloom along the path.

A trail hugs the cliff edge and we decide to sketch the landscape to the East from here.

We're rewarded with a beautiful view of the river and Mt Hood.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Garden Wonders

This week, we sketched at the Berry Botanic Garden. The six acre estate in Dunthrope area of Portland is full of rare plants from around the world as well as native NW plants. It contains the largest public rock garden on the West Coast and is a national historic site. Rae Selling Berry developed the garden and was known internationally as a pioneering plantswoman.

The troughs really spoke to me. These minature garden landscapes contain a variety of plants and vary in size and construction. Some troughs are 30 years old.

Here's another of my favorite roses- 'Dainty Bess'. It's so delicate and almost looks like a dogwood blossom. Pink roses symbolize happiness, gratitude, appreciation and admiration. This is how I feel today about nature and the world around me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Reconnecting to Mother Earth

'Chicago Peace' roses bloom in a great bouquet in my garden. Their fragrance permeates the air as I go about garden maintenance. Morning watering and pruning start the day out right with the world.

The Edgefield Manor gardens in Troutdale, OR are amazing and it's fun to walk their vaired paths. Yesterday, Martha and I spent the day sketching these garden treasures sitting under the grape arbor.

The grape arbor frames sunflowers in the distance.

The old, red door and it's surrounding garden kept us sketching all morning.

What is it about sunflowers that speak to me this summer? I remember how they kept guard over the northside of my father's garden on Maple Avenue. They looked down with their grandeur on the corn stalks, tomatoes, pumpkins and cukes. We collected and roasted the seeds in fall. The fields of sunflowers in Southern France or in Justy's garden turn thier heads with the sun, an amazing sight. Nature journaling has reconnected me to Mother Earth and her bounty. She's grabbed my attention to see anew what I often take for granted.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Collaged Calendars

I'm really enjoying my 2007 collaged calendar. The visual images bring me right back to the experience just like a remembered fragrance. I include copies of my art, drawings, photos, covers of books read and notes. The borders highlight words that express the month. It's a great way to catalog time with friends and family, accomplishments, see progress made, journeys taken and new directions being formed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Summer Art

Last Saturday, Suzie led a workshop on Visual Journaling with Soul Collage. Selecting one of our cards for inspiration and deeper understanding, we let our bodies and emotions create the art to see what feelings and awareness emerged from the images. Before, this bird represented to me flying, spreading wings to new ventures. This day, it spoke to me about voice and being heard. Soul Collage is a wonderful way to explore ways images speak to us about the workings of our subconscious mind and inner world.

Laurie Weiss made this wonderful book for a scholarship raffle at the Oregon Focus on Book Arts Conference in June. It's become my " A Summer in Portland" sketchbook.

The inside has a great mini-book and pocket to store little treasures.
Tuesdays, Martha, Cynthia and I sketch together and eat lunch. Afterwards, Martha and I attend Jude Siegel's "Nature Journaling" class. It's great fun to practice drawing and paint with watercolors. Now I want to know the botanical names of flowers and mix yummy colors.

These sunflowers and dahlias I bought at Justy's produce market off 224 near the corner of Johnson and Lake Roads. He sells dahlias for 20¢, zinnias for 15¢ and sunflowers for 50¢ each. It's the best deal in town and they are so gorgeous. I just love the colors. Fresh flowers in the house do wonders for the soul.