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Drawing Memorials: Talent’s Old Town & Skate Park

Drawing Talent, OR

I find that there are always “things” to do around the house.  Sometimes, I just have to put things aside and get down to the business drawing or painting.

Recently, the urge to draw was calling my name.  I “needed” to do another “Drawing Talent” piece so I went out in the southern Oregon heat to find a shady place to draw.  It was in the 90s in the sun; not quite so bad in the shade.  I walked by a place I’ve drawn before, the sculpture outside of the Talent Skate Park.  I was attracted by the shapes of the water fountain and the sculpture.  I decided to draw it again, this time from a different view.

To explain, Talent has a skate park that is part of the Old Town Park. The sculpture, though its outside of the skate park, is right next to it in the Old Town Park.  Its a park with a sub park.

Memorials in Talent Old Town Park & Skate Par

Skate Park Sculpture

The sculpture in the park is titled “Heaven Is A Half – Pipe” and is sculpted by local artist Kevin Christman.  It is a memorial dedicated to the memory of two local young men.  The young men were skate boarders, friends and mentors to many in our community; they are remembered.

Water Fountain and Memorial

Right next to the skate sculpture is a water fountain.  I have passed in several times a week for two years.  Yet, I had not noticed that it had a memorial plaque attached to it.  It reads “Her message to children:  Drink pure water for your health.  Lois V. Edwards”.  Ms. Edwards was another member of our community.  I think she knew what she was talking about!

Regarding Memorials

As I was quietly working, it struck me that the memorials speak volumes in a quiet way too.  They stand quietly for us to see, contemplate and remember.  I do like the fact that this is a place of quiet, even as the young people enjoy the curves and rolls of the skate park.

Skate Park Memorial Sculpture Talent OR


Previous Drawing

For those of you who have followed my various blogs over the years, you might have recognized the sculpture.  I drew it about a year ago.   I thought I’d include the drawing as one of my first “Drawing Talent” type drawing.  Plus, you can see a different view of the sculpture.  I was sitting on a bench near the water fountain as I drew this version.

I enjoy this park and  I imagine I will be back again someday, working on yet another version.  Thank you.



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Selling without selling out

An inventory of Gertrude Stein's favorite objects

An inventory of Gertrude Stein’s favorite objects

Interesting post from Brain Pickings on how to succeed–in the sense of making money (in my book, Van Gogh succeeded even though he wasn’t a “success”)–without lowering your standards:

 . . . for many working artists, who straddle the balance between creativity and commerce, art swells into a form of uncomfortable self-consciousness . . . cartoonist Hugh MacLeod captured this perfectly in proclaiming that “art suffers the moment other people start paying for it.” Such sentiments, argues artist Lisa Congdon in Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist (public library), are among the most toxic myths we subscribe to as a culture and reflect a mentality immeasurably limiting for creative people.

It includes a nice compare-and-contrast guide to the “Starving Artist Mindset” and the “Thriving Artist Mindset.”

Never give up

make your bedmake your bedThis is one of the best commencement addresses I’ve ever heard, and though it isn’t addressed to artists, it certainly applies to anyone who struggles in obscurity with few tangible rewards. From Admiral William H. McRaven, who has been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. “Every morning in SEAL training our instructors would show up in our barracks room and the first thing they would do was inspect my bed. Every morning we were required to make our beds to perfection. It seemed ridiculous at the time since we were aspiring to be real warriors. But if you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day and will encourage you to do another task and another and another, and by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. The little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you come home from a miserable day you will come home to a made bed. A bed you made.”

It applies to painting as well. What you make is what makes you.

Drawing Talent’s Train Depot


Hi!  I’m still working on my “The Gallivanter’s Adventure 2014″ blog.  But, drawing doesn’t ever stop.

Recovery Task List

Part of returning from camping or a trip is “recovery”, that’s what we called it in my Army days. We had three days of tasks to recover equipment and materials.  We had a formal task list.  Me, now that I’m retired, I have informal task lists.  Never-the-less, I have my recovery task list.

As part of today’s recovery tasks, I went for a walk around my home town of Talent OR.  Armed with a small sketchbook and a ball point pen, I had a look around town after being gone for a couple of months.

Talent Train Depot M Stermer-Cox

The Railroad Depot

Aha!  The town railroad depot!  Its not used as a railroad depot today, but the building is in good shape.  I have wanted to do a drawing of this building, so that is what I did.  I think I may do more!

Adventure 2014 Lesson Learned

The lesson of our “The Gallivanter’s Adventure 2014″ is to seize the moment when it comes.  A project that I have wanted to do is draw variation locations around my home town of Talent, OR.  Perhaps the time to start working on the project is now.

Drawing Talent

This is not the first drawing I’ve done around Talent, but I’m getting close to forming a project.  Maybe I’ll call it “Drawing Talent”. And, why not?  I think this would be a great way to get to know my town.  Life seems to get in the way, but I have to ask myself, what are my priorities?  I think its time to get on with it!

As I ponder, but not too long, please enjoy my sketch!


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Telluride Plein Air ~ Homeward through Silverton & Bryce Canyon

Starting homeward day, a bitter sweet air floats in the breeze today. We start on our trip home, leaving my beloved T-ride. Yet our travels in the westerly direction hold adventures too. So, off we go.

Because I’d left my favorite and best gortex coat in the classroom in Ouray … we were leaving via Ouray. But as you can see from the sketch, going over the Red Mountain Pass is thrilling! Not only the colors of mineralized landscape, waterfalls and
mining remnants, but the views too as we head to Silverton. Touring the streets there provided smiles at the charming ole’ town and the bustle of the summer months. After lunching in Durango, we start into desert landscape. Long stretches of emptiness, broken with Indian Reservations, unusual rock formations and a sand-pelting
wind. Our attempt to stop at the Four Corners ($8 per person entry fee) was discouraged by that wind, 100 degree temperatures and a very long line to just stand in the four different states at once. We overnight-ed in the eerie town of Page.

Next day we reach Bryce Canyon mid-day. Rock shapes become magical and color drenched! We locate and check into our KOA Campground 20 minutes from Bryce, where we’d reserved a tiny cabin. Charming and very, very small, the cabin also had no AC nor cross ventilation. Cody was suffering and, I have to admit, we were too in the 100 degree, sun-drenched temps. So we launch off to find a nearby (well, we got lost so it wasn’t so near) reservoir for a dunk! As the sun began to set we head back to the Bryce Canyon Park for the sunset. Absolutely magnificent! ABSOLUTELY!!! Even Roland said it brought tears to his eyes – the unimaginable beauty! We are impressed!!! We dinner-ed at a restaurant where the waiter was the chef and old, found relics were all over the wall – - a taste of local color for sure!!

Next day we are up early for the magnificent Bryce Canyon sunrise (wow! again) and return to our lil’ cabin. As the heat rises, we find we are so uncomfortable we make a decision to leave and seek a cooler climate. I’d researched the Highway 12, headed north and a tad east and we found it fascinating. Such diverse country – - first we travel across colorful, solid rock undulations that roll together like “silly puddy” (remember Silly Puddy?), then after lovely, green-stretching agriculture fields we begin to climb. I’m in heaven – - high country with groves of my Aspen friends and free range cattle!! Gradually we curve down into a wide valley of horses and lush fields – - the quiet town of Torrey. We find an air-conditioned hotel with this bucolic view out our back window and picturesque sandstone ridges around us. We’d “arrived” – - so much for us ever being desert rats!!

The double page spread exemplifies one of my very favorite journaling exercises: linking together two images across the center, spiral binding of the journal. And this illustration gives you a sneak preview into our last rubbing shoulders with the monumental red rock formations of Utah, Capitol Reef. Another mesmerizing spot amongst Mother Nature’s gifts.


Bansky pastiche, done with Lego blocks

Bansky pastiche, done with Lego blocks

A Banksy re-imagined (in a Lego medium) at

I’m shamelessly stealing this link from Heather Armstrong’s blog, Dooce, which is worthwhile simply for her fantastic photographs of her kids and dog. The frisson of her potty-mouthed Mormonism is cool and occasionally she lists a ton of odd/fun/interesting things she’s finds while maundering around the Internet. She’s like Kottke; she must spend half her life surfing the Web, she comes up with such randomly good stuff. Or she’s got Snowden on retainer, combing through his archives for her.


Back in The Saddle Again…Blogging Soon

I was speaking metaphorically, naturally!

How have you been doing?

I will be back blogging soon.  It was my intention to be blogging while on our extended trip around the country.  Reality hit and my husband and I decided to focus on our “The Gallivanter’s Adventure 2014″ blog.

It was hard enough keeping up with one blog; two would have defeated the purpose of the trip.

I have been drawing and painting from time to time, though.  I’ll catch up as soon as practical.

In the meantime, here’s a drawing from one of my sketchbooks.  I did this when we were in York, Maine. We have had a most excellent time.  We have been through more than half the states in our country; met lots of interesting people; visited with family and friends; and have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We are not quite ready for this all to end.

I do hope you have had a most excellent summer!



The post Back in The Saddle Again…Blogging Soon appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Humans of New York


Unidentified NY painter on Instagram

Unidentified NY painter on Instagram

“It seems that the more I tried to make my life about the pursuit of art, the more money controlled my life: collecting unemployment insurance, the humiliation of borrowing money from friends and family, tossing and turning at night while trying to figure out how to pay the rent. To survive I had to work hard jobs and afterwards I’d feel too tired and too stressed to paint. It’s very hard to create under those circumstances. Creativity is a delicate process. Often times I wonder if I should have just pursued a career for the first half of my life, obtained some degree of financial security, and then transitioned into art.” from Humans of New York instagram feed

If you wait to make money and then paint, you’ll never paint. Gotta juggle.

Signature style

albrecht_durer_signature_monogram_necktie-rece9d3580b2244b9bf08dd07899ac993_v9whb_8byvr_324Business Insider ranks Albrecht Durer as having the fourth coolest signature in human history. For some reason, it always looks kind of samurai to me. Go Al. Ahead of Picasso, but behind Banksy. (That’s just wrong.) Somebody needs to unseat John Hancock.

Current exhibitions

Baboon, detail

Baboon, detail

I have work in several exhibitions this month and into September:

Next April I’ll be showing new work in a two-artist exhibition at Oxford Gallery.