Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Two Art Exhibits by Renee Manford

On one of our many outings to the Saturday market I stopped on the way to the car at the Karin Clarke Gallery just through the alley between W. Park Street and Willamette Blvd. The gallery spokesperson was Renee Manford. She was kind enough to show us the art in the gallery and during the conversation I gave her a business card with my web page address and email.

Well last month I got an email from Renee about two shows she was having of her own work at two galleries in Springfield. Being the organized person that I am I went to the gallery last Sunday.

There was a great mural on the wall of the Emerald Art Center so I took a couple of pictures.

It is a huge mural and depicted the Native American Tribes of Oregon.

On the west side of 5th street was another great mural.

Then I saw the sign in the window - yes this was the right place.

This was the Emerald Art Center. One problem though - Closed on Sunday!!!

I did take this picture through the window. Last week I got an e-mail from Renee asking if I had made it to the show and I had to tell her how goofy I was going on Sunday. She was kind enough to offer to meet me there and guide me through the images in the show today at 11:00 am.

Her art wonderful full of colors shapes and images and dreams. The display was very well done and arranged to show the diversity of her skills and the blending of nature with beauty.

The frames are wonderfully made, she told me, by a woodworker at the Senior Center of Springfield and they are a work of art themselves.

The nice thing about having Renee there was I was able to get the story behind the images. One is at Dorris Ranch a Springfield area "open" Filbert Farm/Ranch. Another image was a swimming hole one of her favorite places to swim. I was also able to ask tons of questions about style and technique.

We then went to the Island Park Gallery at the Adult Activity Center. Renee and Susan Lowdermilk were having a show titled "The Printmaker's Perspective." Above you can see a detail section of the next image of a corn field.

I am amazed the, what seem to be random, tracings on this print when seen as a whole make a brilliantly organized image of a field of corn complete with sunflowers and watermelons.

Renee did pose next to two of my favorite images both rural and on one of my favorite local roads and farm country that's breathtaking.

One more shot of a wonderful artist and art guide. Renee Manford is featured on my "Art for the Soul" Blog right now. Renee also has her own blog at http://manfordrj.wordpress.com/ so to get a better view of her work and for more information visit her site. Also make sure you click on the "View All Images" tab beneath the slide show for a wonderfully well done view of all the images in both of these shows plus other images. It's a great blog and I'm glad I went back to explore it further.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 324 - The contender 325

Quote of the Day ~
"My love of fine art increased - the more of it I saw, the more of it I wanted to see." ~ Paul Getty - His personal fortune was estimated as about £1.6 billion.

©Paul Viel

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Things could be worse...

Yup here it is the Mini-Musemobile in a sad state.

I'll not say much about how this happened because there may be a pending lawsuit - Just kidding. I always wanted to be evasive and say something prepared by a learned lawyer.

Well the Mini-Musemobile got crunched from the driver's door to the aft panel.

The bulk of the damage is on the driver's door but amazingly the window is not broken and still works. If you notice there is a horizontal crease a couple of inches above the trim. That crease is a steel bar Honda puts in the door to protect the driver/passengers. With all this damage the side impact bags did not deploy because they were not needed. Neither Scrabble Queen nor the Contender were in the car or driving The "Kid" went to see Pete and the accident happened on the drive back. I don't relish the expense or the expected higher insurance rates but the bright side is there was no one hurt and the Honda proved why their cars are so highly rated.

After any traumatic incident like this we tend to lose our marbles and rant and rave. Well I found my marbles and they are all just fine.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 317 - The Contender 312

Quote of the Day ~
"Whenever books are burned, men also in the end are burned." ~ Christian Johann Heinrich Heine (December 13, 1797 – February 17, 1856) was a journalist, an essayist, and one of the most significant German romantic poets. He is remembered chiefly for selections of his lyric poetry, many of which were set to music in the form of lieder (art songs) by German composers.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Around the House on a Sunshiny Day

What does a silly person do on a sunshiny day in Oregon when the sun pops out and he has a new camera to play with? He takes pictures of anything he can find from metal bell wreaths to Texas Bricks.

We have had this metal wreath of bells for may rust accumulating years. Since we have been here in Oregon it's also a wasps nest I have to deal with every year.

This brassy bird is actually a faucet head that just doesn't fit on the outlet so I planted it in the flower planter on our front porch. Winter here is a little cold and rainy but the clouds are the a real downer. The thing I miss most are the flowers. Scrabble Queen did a wonderful job of designing out garden to have blooms from early spring with the Helleborus, Tulips and Daffodils but nothing blooms in the winter except this little red flower.

Who knows why we bought this Greek Key in Pasadena that year but we did and I think there is something very mystical about this simple design. Maybe it's a wave.

Then there is Louie the glass fish and he has been around for quite a while.

I liked this shot for the contrast and now like it even more for the optical illusion of the crocked shadows that make the slats look altered.

I've really liked this birdhouse and the way Scrabble Queen painted it but never got a decent picture.

Now this is the Texas brick I mentioned earlier. It's from the town Aunt Vivacious lived in and raised her children [my wife's cousins] tall and straight.

"FERRIS, TEXAS. Ferris is on Interstate Highway 45, U.S. Highway 75, and Farm roads 660, 664, and 983 fifteen miles northeast of Waxahachie in northeastern Ellis County. It was named for Judge Justus W. Ferrisqv of Waxahachie, a county business and civic leader. The community's establishment was associated with the construction of the Houston and Texas Central Railway in 1874. Railroad employees surveyed and laid out the settlement on land donated by the McKenzie family, pioneers who had arrived in the early 1850s.

Its population rose from 1,734 in 1952 to 1,807 in 1964; the number of operating businesses decreased from sixty-eight to forty-six. Known locally as the "brick capital of the nation," Ferris had four brick plants during the 1950s. "

Just a pipe sticking out of the ground on the edge of our property. I've been curious about it since we moved in but was never interested enough to ask about what it is.

I took two shots of the Tulip Magnolia in our front yard. It's not blooming right now but there are plenty of buds.

"Only relatively recently has this magnificent tulip tree been imported from China. “Yellow River” (Fei Huang in Chinese) is a rare variety bearing superb, sweetly scented, vanilla-yellow coloured flowers that open from deep yellow buds."

I can't wait for spring.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 327 - The Contender 342

Quote of the Day ~
"You'll never have that kind of relationship in a world where you're always afraid to take the 1st step because all you see is every negative thing 10 miles down the road." ~ Ben Affleck & Matt Damon from the movie "Good Will Hunting" one of my favorite movies.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Holiday Bridges

As so often happens in my life Scrabble Queen suggested a field trip that turned out to be a great opportunity for shooting some pictures and was fun as well. This time it was to go see the Christmas lights at the Westfir Covered Bridge.

Wesfir is only a few miles (41)from home and a pretty easy drive - unless it's dark and rainy. Well actually it was dark and rainy but the drive was easy despite the weather.

When we arrived the rain let up and gave me a chance to to do more testing with the Canon (Micromuse) Camera. This was the first picture I took.

I didn't have a flash so all the pictures were taken with available light and long shutter speeds. I took the Tripod along and used the countdown delayed shutter activation in order to have no movement of the camera.

Walking closer you can see the Westfir Covered bridge has separate tunnels for vehicles and pedestrians. It's not hard to tell the car tunnel from the people tunnel.

This is the car roadway and ...

This is the one for people walking through.

I took another inside view of the pedestrian side.

From the outside it's hard to see the bridge but the windows are easy to spot.

I finally took one more from the other side of the bridge - it was pretty special to see.

Halfway to Westfir is the Lowell Covered Bridge over Dexter Lake. It was built in 1945 when I was two years old. I liked shooting here because of the reflections on the water.

I thought it was interesting how the light on the water was so much brighter than the lights in the windows.

We arrived home and I figured if I was shooting Holiday Lights I should take one at the house to show I am not just a light viewer but also a big believer in letting the lights shine for Peace in the spirit of celebrating renewal and life.

Scrabble Score ~ Scrabble Queen 327 - The Contender 326 Arggggghhhh!

Quote of the Day ~
"Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what--at last--I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me." ~ Bertrand Russel [Prologue to his Autobiography]

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Klootchy Creek Giant - Broken in Two

On November 3, in this blog, we had visited the Worlds tallest Stika Spruce . Yesterday , a month later, it's been broken in two by the high winds along the Oregon Coast. Some accounts put the wind at 120 miles per hour on the Coast in Lincoln City and elsewhere.

We are still getting strong winds from the storm and plenty of rain. It's sad to see this 700 year old tree be humbled and maybe destroyed yet I am glad we got to see it at its magnificent best.

SEASIDE, Ore. -- The world's tallest Sitka spruce near Seaside survived 700 years of storms and a threat from chain saws, but snapped in half during Sunday’s powerful winds.

The 204-foot tree was badly damaged in 2006 during a powerful storm and officials had considered cutting it down.

“Its such a landmark. You drive by and you stop. You take a picture with your kids and you keep going. It’s a sad day. Kind of lost a piece of Oregon coast history,” said one local resident.

Some visitors stopped by the tree on Sunday to take pieces of it as keepsakes. The coast attraction drew about 100,000 visitors a year.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Birthday Girl and Shore Acres

It's Scrabble Queen's Birthday [5 minutes ago] so off we go in the RV and here she is after just closing the laptop. It's a nice time to be out and rainy days are not as grey when we are out on the road.

We are off to Coos Bay and out to see the lights at Shore Acres but stop on the way at the Elk Preserve where we saw these Elk resting in the field. I'm armed with a nice Canon EOS 30D camera, thanks to my sons Isaac and Matthew. I wish I knew how to use it but in time I'll learn so please bear with me on this blog.

Across the stream from the Elk was this Grey Heron.

It's a nice observation spot with lots of informational signs.

And a great railing with lots of angles.

Our neighbors, Charlie and ...

Sharon came for the birthday with a Happy Birthday apple pie and a big smile.

Since I was taking their pictures Sharon took one of me.

So after a nice dinner at the Mill Casino off we went to Shore Acres and the light show. The Whale was spectacular ...

...and this Octopus and friends were right at the entrance to the gardens.

The whale was swimming in a sea of lights.

Ok so it was raining and I was clueless how to use the camera and had no tripod but if you imagine 5 times the number of lights you might have some idea of how this picture should look.

The Pelicans were there for a return visit.

Then there is the Whale again spouting off [this is an animated display]

The lights we very nice on the Pavilion.

A new addition was the Puffin Twins.

I really liked the look of the bridge in the Japanese Water Garden.

The Mushroom were also a new display.

The Cranes are one of my favorite subjects here and looked very nice tonight.

Also new were the frogs and ...

... the Butterflies

It's not very clear but the Hospitality is lit much better in this shot.

This is a shot from inside the Hospitality House looking out. It was nice to get out of the cold and rain.

They even had Santa inside taking a bubble bath.

Last but not least a jiggly shot of the Hospitality House. I may have been shaking from the cold but had a great time. One of these days I'll return and take some better shots, sorry.

No Scrabble

Quote of the Day ~
“Last week the candle factory burned down. Everyone just stood around and sang Happy Birthday.” ~ Stephen Wright quotes (American Actor and Writer, b.1955)
Happy Birthday dear, sweet, kind, loving and beautiful wife


©Paul Viel