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George C Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

George C Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

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Last week I accompanied my friend Bonnie and her husband on a day trip to the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary in British Columbia.  This was my first trip to this refuge, and it was a spectacular place for walking groomed trails and watching birds.  They do allow visitors to feed the birds (they sell birdseed), so many birds seem accustomed to people and you can get very close.  This was wonderful for making photographs.  I find it very difficult to take pictures of birds because they move so quickly and it is hard to anticipate their moves.  Too often my photos look like this:

Photograph of lion swallow

Photograph of lion swallow

Here are some of my better photographs of the wild birds and views within the sanctuary:

Female mallard ducks

Female mallard ducks

Female and male wood ducks

Female and male wood ducks

Northern pintail

Northern pintail

Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary

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Canada goose

Canada goose

A bird in the hand . . .

A bird in the hand . . .

American wigeon

American wigeon

Birder on a dike trail

Birder on a dike trail

We were very lucky because a vagrant Great Gray Owl had made a temporary stop at the sanctuary.  The owl had settled in a non-public area, but the staff took people back in small groups to see it — a rare sighting of this wild bird.

Great Gray Owl

Great Gray Owl

Watercolor sketches of wood duck

Watercolor sketches of wood duck

Watercolor sketches of female mallard

Watercolor sketches of female mallard

 

 

 

 

 

An exhibit featuring Georgia O’Keeffe paintings just opened at the Tacoma Art Museum.  Her paintings, which focus on some of her New Mexico still lifes,  are juxtaposed with those from Pacific Northwest artists.  This exhibit has travelled here from Indianapolis and the Tacoma Art Museum is the only West coast venue for this show.  So it is well worth a day trip to check it  out.

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Georgia O’Keeffe (1887−1986), Yellow Cactus, 1929. Oil on canvas, 30 × 42 inches. Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, Bequest of Patsy Lacy Griffith. 1998.217. (O’Keeffe 675) © 2015 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy International Arts ®.

I like this article in which the Indianapolis Museum of Art talks about still life painting:

Rarely do we think of still life painting as depictions of a specific area, which is why Georgia O’Keeffe and the Southwestern Still Life is such a unique and important exhibition.”

I am very fond of Georgia O’Keeffe’s art, and I was particularly pleased with this new exhibit which featured several of her paintings that I had never before seen in person or reproduced in books such as a cockscomb and a wooden virgin.  Here are some of the other new (to me) paintings:

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Georgia O’Keeffe (1887−1986), Mule’s Skull with Pink Poinsettia, 1936. Oil on canvas, 401⁄8 × 30 inches. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Gift of The Burnett Foundation. 1997.06.014. (O’Keeffe 876) © 2015 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy International Arts ®.

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Georgia O’Keeffe (1887−1986), Deer Horns, 1938. Oil on canvas, 36 × 16 inches. Collection of Louis Bacon. (O’Keeffe 941) Photography by Christie’s Images. © 2015 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy International Arts 

You can read more about this exhibit from this article in the Los Angeles Times.

While you are at the Tacoma Art Museum, be sure to wander through its new addition, which houses “Art of the American West: the Haub Family Collection.”  It includes another new (to me) O’Keeffe painting, Pinons with Cedar, 1956.

Pinons with Cedar, 1956

Pinons with Cedar, 1956

 Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887 ‑ 1986)
Piñons with Cedar, 1956

Oil on canvas
30 × 26 inches
Tacoma Art Museum, Haub Family Collection, Gift of Erivan and Helga Haub, 2014.6.91
© 2014 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

 

 

Road Trips and the Mind

August 3, 2014

“Carried along on the hum of the motor and the countryside passing by, the journey itself flows through you and clears your head.  Ideas one held on to without any reason depart; others, however, are readjusted and settle like pebbles at the bottom of a stream.  There’s no need to interfere; the road does that work for you.  One would like to think that it stretches out like this, dispensing its good offices, not just to the ends of India but even further, until death.”
— Nicolas Bouvier, The Way of the World

Nearing sunset on Hwy 101, Olympic Peninsula

Nearing sunset on Hwy 101, Olympic Peninsula

This has been a vacation-less summer for me, and I’ve been craving a getaway.  This weekend my husband and I took a daytrip to a few ocean beaches on the Olympic Peninsula.  We drove from sun up to sun down — a long day — but relaxing in the way Bouvier describes in the quote above, the miles stringing along with free-flowing thoughts and impressions.  The day was a tonic.

We explored two beaches I had never been to before near La Push on the Pacific coast and Rialto Beach where I had taken my niece last year.  Our summer weather has been hot and sunny lately, but interestingly, a fog bank had settled right where the water met the land, and it stayed cool and gray on the beaches.  We could barely make out the silhouettes of sea stacks off shore.  Still, being by the ocean was restorative — the fresh smells of salt and wet sand, the rhythmic crashing of the waves.

First Beach in LaPush with fog-enshrouded sea stacks

First Beach in LaPush with fog-enshrouded sea stacks

Jetty at First Beach

Jetty at First Beach

Through the "eye" of driftwood

Through the “eye” of driftwood

Watching the waves

Watching the waves

Mile+ path down to Second Beach included stairs down the bluff

Mile+ path down to Second Beach included stairs down the bluff

Fog at Second Beach

Fog at Second Beach

Surf fishing at Second Beach

Surf fishing at Second Beach

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Second Beach

Second Beach

Sand sculpture

Sand sculpture

Pebbly shore at Rialto Beach

Pebbly shore at Rialto Beach

The sun never made it out

The sun never made it out

Stacked beach rocks, Rialto Beach

Stacked beach rocks, Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach

Seagull

Seagull

Seagull

Seagull

 

 

Folding Paper origamai exhibit at Bellevue Arts Museum

Folding Paper origami exhibit at Bellevue Arts Museum

Yesterday I travelled by bus across Lake Washington to see the origami exhibit at the Bellevue Arts Museum, which is an easy stroll from the Bellevue Transit Center.   The exhibit, “Folding Paper: Infinite Possibilities of Origami,” runs through September 21st.  I love papercraft of all kinds, and this exhibit showcases the intricacies and magic of folded paper.  Many of the pieces on display were constructed from a single sheet of paper.  I can’t begin to comprehend the vision, engineering skills, and artistry needed to create such amazing art objects.  I was astounded and delighted by these imaginative works.

Paper dress and shoes

Paper dress and shoes

Pli Selon Pli No. 2 by Koshiro Hatori

Pli Selon Pli No. 2 by Koshiro Hatori

Twirl Rhombuses by Kystuna and Wojtek Burczyk

Twirl Rhombuses by Kystuna and Wojtek Burczyk

The Plague by Siphon Nabone

The Plague by Siphon Nabone

Square Limpets by Polly Verity

Square Limpets by Polly Verity

Giotto's Circle by Andrea Russo

Giotto’s Circle by Andrea Russo

Frog on a Leaf by Bernie Peyton

Frog on a Leaf by Bernie Peyton

Mother and Child by Christine Edison

Mother and Child by Christine Edison

The staircase at the Bellevue Arts Museum is very origami-like, too, don't you agree?

The staircase at the Bellevue Arts Museum is very origami-like, too, don’t you agree?

I learned that paper folding has real-life applications that go way beyond creating art objects.  Scientists who want to transport large objects, like sun shields or telescope lenses, into space might engineer a folded apparatus to save space during the haul, only to be unfolded at its destination in space.  Or doctors might transport tiny folded repair materials through a blood vessel, to be unfolded and applied as a heart stent.  Think of the miraculous properties of the air bags in your car — another piece of origami-like engineering.

You can read more about the origami in this exhibit in a book, Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami by Meher McArthur and Robert J. Lang.

 

Riding the ferry to Bainbridge Island

Riding the ferry to Bainbridge Island

My friend Carol and I made a day trip back to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art to see its new exhibits.  The ferry ride is always a welcome transition away from city life, and it is a joy to stroll the streets of Winslow and enjoy the small town ambience.

I love that the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art changes its exhibits so frequently.  Who knew that there is so much local talent to showcase!  The current exhibits, which run through January 5, 2014, feature the works of oil painter Gayle Bard and children’s book illustrator and artist Richard Jesse Watson, as well as new selections from its permanent collection.  Admission is free, and the museum is a short walk up from the ferry terminal.  No need to bring a car.

Gayle Bard: A Singular Vision exhibit

Gayle Bard: A Singular Vision exhibit

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From Richard Jesse Watson: Inner Zoo, Outer Orbit exhibit

From Richard Jesse Watson: Inner Zoo, Outer Orbit exhibit

Richard Jesse Watson, Quilted Angel

Richard Jesse Watson, Quilted Angel

Richard Jesse Watson, Infinity Within

Richard Jesse Watson, Infinity Within

Richard Jesse Watson, Star Gazer

Richard Jesse Watson, Star Gazer

Gordon Skagit Farm

Gordon Skagit Farms

Yesterday I took a drive to the Skagit Valley to meet up with some women friends for a few hours of painting at Gordon Skagit Farms.  This was my second trip to Gordon’s, which is open only during the month of October, and I hope to make it an annual tradition.  I’ll write more about Gordon Skagit Farms in my next two posts, but for today, I will share the experience of making art with friends.  The setting couldn’t be more convivial — Eddie Gordon displays his own paintings around the farm (quite an inspiration), we’re in the glorious countryside, and the sheer variety of pumpkins, gourds, and squashes is mind-boggling.

Weathered barn at Gordon Skagit Farms

Weathered barn at Gordon Skagit Farms

One of Eddie Gordon'ss paintings displayed outside with pumpkins and squashes

One of Eddie Gordon’s paintings displayed outside with pumpkins and squashes

I loved the colors in this squash.

I loved the colors in this squash.

Mary drawing

Mary drawing

Libby working on her journal

Libby working on her journal

Here's the page Libby completed at Gordon's

Here’s the page Libby completed at Gordon’s

Nacy painting

Nancy painting

Anne sketching

Anne sketching

Missy's journal and palette

Missy’s journal and palette

Missy starting a new painting

Missy starting a new painting

My first watercolor sketch at Gordon's

My first watercolor sketch at Gordon’s

My second watercolor sketch at Gordon's

My second watercolor sketch at Gordon’s

Watercolor sketch from a photo I took at Gordon's last year

Watercolor sketch from a photo I took at Gordon’s last year