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To Paint is to Love Again

To Paint is to Love Again: Jacksonville Artist Celebrates 20 Years of Painting

Artist Image from the retrospective show To Paint is to Love Again: Untitled Study, 4” x 5” (1995), by Anna Elkins

Untitled Study, 4” x 5” (1995)

South Stage Cellars hosts a retrospective exhibit of the works of Jacksonville artist Anna Elkins from April 3 – May 7, 2015. The retrospective will include selected paintings from across two decades of Elkins’ visual arts career. The exhibit of Elkins’ paintings will be on display. Meet the artist and enjoy fine wine and complimentary hors d’oeuvres during the reception on April 11 from 5-8 pm.

Anna Elkins earned a BA in Art & English, and an MFA and Fulbright Fellowship in poetry. She has written, painted, and taught on five continents. She is the author of the illustrated vignette, The Heart Takes Flight, the novel The Honeylicker Angel, and the poetry collection The Space Between. As both a poet and painter, Elkins often incorporates words into her art and imagery into her words. She took the title of her exhibit from Henry Miller’s rare and out-of-print book of the same name: To Paint is to Love Again. In it, Miller wrote: “To paint is to love again, and to love is to live to the fullest.”

In addition to the exhibited paintings, some of which have never before been displayed, there will be some more surprises on offer—a secret until the reception.

Learn more about the artist at

South Stage Cellars is located at 125 South 3rd Street, Jacksonville, Oregon.

Parahawking in the Himalayas

“Preparing to Fly” photo by Siddharth Gupta

Such an adventure to write this photo essay…happy to have it up at the BBC: Soaring over Nepal with threatened vultures. Stunning images by Siddharth Gupta and GoPro shots by Scott Mason of The Parahawking Project.

Brick of History

This brick—this one,
right to my right
on the terrace
of a Himalayan café—
this brick reads like braille
gets tickled by bougainvillea
and loves its neighbors.
This brick looks
like sand gone solid.
It is the face of time,
sun-chapped, ruddy
wearing the pocked
skin of its youth
forever on its aging face.
This brick smells of cellar—
secret-scented. It hints
of rooms beneath streets
where roots break through
what man has made.
This brick sounds
like the wind, like centuries
of flux from every place
earth’s been dug down into
to pull up clay
(shape, fire, stack)
to build back up.
This brick would taste
like history if I licked it—
savor of fog and wind
blurring all desires
through time.
This brick feels
like solid chalk
like it’s flexing its muscles
like it’s about to speak.
I wait.
The bouganvilla
shivers across it
saying shhhhhhh.
This brick blows a kiss
to its cousin in Kansas
then whispers—
Keep holding up
the crumbling world.

Sketches & Stanzas 1

Windows wish to be wagon wheels.
Meanwhile, they move us closer to sky, sun,
and the promise of beauty above the ground we travel.

Jacksonville, OR
January 2015

I close my eyes to see the world

Prayer flags in Kathmandu, Nepal
I close my eyes to see the world
We leave Kathmandu by bus.
It is a smog-sunny afternoon
after watching cremations
across Bagmati River.
I lay a thin scarf along
my west-facing arm.
Beneath the pattern, my skin
turns the color of ash.
But I am alive.
I close my eyes.
In the lull and lurch of rough road,
I doze.
The city goes on for traffic hours.
I open my eyes
to steep villages
to rice terraces lipping down the hills.
I close my eyes.
The scarf above my body
becomes a line of prayer flags
kissing my skin.
Have I embodied prayer?
The bus steels to a stop.
I open my eyes in a sleepy blink
and think I see a strand of prayer flags.
But noa line of laundry
bright with the same five colors
clothing for bodies belonging
to spirits I’ll never meet.
I close my eyes on this bus
full of people wrapped in prayers,
wondering at our highest arrival.
Behind my eyes, new worlds begin
with new words for old fabrics
and skins and habits.
I don’t know if I am praying them
or they are praying me.

Second Annual Angels Show at GoodBean Jacksonville Opens Monday!

Angel, original painting by Karen O'Brien

Angel, by Karen O’Brien

The GoodBean is proud to announce its second annual Angels show, opening Monday, December 1, at our Jacksonville cafe. Last year’s Angels show made the shop’s owners so happy that we decided to make it an annual event!

This year’s show has all new angels in a variety of media, including oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings, mixed media, and photography. This year’s angels were created by new artists along with several returning artists from last year’s inaugural show. We called out to artists for angels that were not necessarily traditional Christmas or religious archetypes, but the artist’s interpretation of an angel. This has resulted in a wonderfully diverse collection of beautiful and uniquely inspired angelic art that everyone can enjoy.

Come to our Angel reception on Friday, December 12 from 4–7pm to see this beautiful collection of angels and meet the artists who created them! And remember to shop local and shop ART to help support our region’s immense treasure house of artistic talent, many of whom have been struggling since the onset of the economic crisis in 2008.

World Peace Angel, dye on silk by Judy Elliott of Dragonfly Designs West, Grants Pass, Oregon

World Peace Angel,  by Judy Elliott

Participating artists in this year’s exhibition include one or more pieces by these esteemed artists, all members of the southern Oregon art community. There may be more by the time the show is hung up and ready for viewing as well:

  • Wendy Gell
  • Katharine Gracey
  • Lewis Anderson
  • Debby Fischer
  • Judy Elliott
  • Karen O’Brien
  • Sue Bennett
  • Judy Marshall
  • Anna Elkins
  • Eve Margo Withrow
  • Marie Neder

GoodBean Coffee Co. Christmas logoGoodBean Coffee presents a new exhibit of art by local and regional artists each month for the enjoyment of our customers and exposure for outsider, emerging and established artists from Jacksonville, Oregon and surrounding areas. Please be sure to take a moment to appreciate the art on exhibit while enjoying a custom beverage or hot cup of fair-trade, locally roasted organic coffee served by our wonderful barristas. Investing in the work of our local artists supports our local economy, helps young artists get established and rewards the generosity with which these artists donate their work to many charitable causes. Visitors from out of town have the opportunity to take home a unique souvenir created by local talent. Please consider purchasing a piece of fine art or photography while you’re here.

If you are interested in purchasing a work of art you see at the GoodBean or are an artist interested in showing your work with us, please contact Hannah West at 541.899.2012 or [email protected] for more information.

Le fruit de l’Espirit

“l’amour” | 8″ x 10″ | Mixed Media on Canvas
Almost a decade ago, I was traveling with friends through the south of France, researching for my novel, The Honeylicker Angel. We stopped at a massive, open-air flea market near the Sea. I could have spent all day there, picking through boxes of photos, running my fingers through bowls of buttons, shrugging on vintage jackets. I still have two of the treasures I bought that day. Well, now just the necklace.
The other treasure was a bit inexplicable at the time: a window valance made of burlap. The bottom edge was scalloped in wine-colored stitching, and the images embroidered across it depicted women circa the 1920s, frolicking in bucolic farmland.
I never hung the valance in a window. Over the years, I kept rediscovering the piece in my basket of fabrics, unsure what to do with it—even whether to keep it.
And then. I bought a set of small canvases and envisioned them with sky-ish blue backgrounds as if they were windowpanes. Maybe with a dash of red the color of Mourvedre—and then I remembered the fabric. I pulled it out and stretched it across the floor. I got out my scissors, cut a knick, and ripped off the first figure. The burlap tore into marvelous, rough edges. All of a sudden, I could see the paintings: the women and animals adhered to the canvases as individual vignettes like windows to history, each with their individual story. Finally, the valance would have not just one window, but many.
I knew words were waiting, too. And they would be in French to honor the fabric’s origins. One day, walking by the almost-finished paintings, I thought of the words we often see during the holiday season: love, joy, peace—some of the “Fruit of the Spirit.”
Voilà. I looked up the translations in French. The paintings had their words, and the series had its title: “Le Fruit de l’Espirit.”
May these fruit and their power extend through all the seasons. May they be the windows through which we see our lives and those of others. 

l’amour, love
la joie, joy
la paix, peace
la patience, patience
la bonté, gentleness
la bénignité, goodness
la fidélité, faith
la douceur, meekness
la temperance, temperance

You can view the full set of paintings at Fine Art America, and they are on exhibit through the end of 2014 at Art Presence in Jacksonville, OR

We can read!

March 2015 update: This piece was published on Dare to be Fabulous, where you can read it in its gratitude-filled entirety!

Save Our Bees Art Exhibit, Edgy in October GoodBean Reception

Save Our Bees!

Oregon Wild Iris with Bees, by Judy Elliott

Oregon Wild Iris with Bees, by Judy Elliott

Curator Hannah West and the ownership, management and staff at GoodBean Cafe in Jacksonville, Oregon are delighted to announce a special artist reception in conjunction with the second annual Edgy in October art event. Our featured art exhibit for October is Judy Elliott’s Save Our Bees, a collection of new works inspired by her concern about the plight of the honey bees. Her delicate and colorful paintings on silk depict bees and other pollinators paired with native Oregon wildflowers. The paintings don’t immediately suggest activist art, but Elliott’s passion to raise awareness of their plight and to share simple and inexpensive things anyone can do to help give bees the edge they need to survive the pressure they’ve been experiencing is anything but passive. As 80% of the food we eat depends on bees, we need them for our own survival, and Judy will share information about our long standing relationship and simple, inexpensive things anyone can do to help them at the reception.

The Honeylicker Angel, by Anna Elkins (book cover)

The Honeylicker Angel, by Anna Elkins (book cover)

We invite you to join us for Judy’s artist reception on Wednesday, October 15, from 5–8pm. She will give a brief artist talk at 6pm, then Jacksonville artist and author Anna Elkins  will read a brief passage about beekeeping from her most recent book The Honeylicker Angel at 6:30pm. Anna will have copies of her book available for purchase, and we’re sure she will be happy to sign them for you, too. Organic Dragon's Blood Braggot by Fire Cirkl Brewery, White City, Oregon

Complementary refreshments include sweet treats made with honey, created with love by the artists and the GoodBean’s in-house bakery, and tastings of organic Braggot, one of seven ancient varieties of honey mead, brewed and served by James Romano of Fire Cirkl Brewery in White City. Fire Cirkl produces 2 types of Braggot: “Dragon’s Blood” Braggot is a a hearty, warming drink, rich ebony in color and infused with juniper berries; “Naughty Heather” Braggot is a drier, copper colored mead with a generous amount of heather tips and flowers. Heather has been used to make meads and ales in Scotland for between 4,000–8,000 years (who knew?). If you like the taste, you can buy a glass!

GoodBean will also have a beautiful honey latte special until 7:30 pm.


Our reception coincides with two other Edgy in October receptions happening the same evening, both within walking distance of our location:

Oregon Tiger Lilies with Bees and Butterfly, by Judy Elliott

Oregon Tiger Lilies with Bees and Butterfly, by Judy Elliott

  • Across the street, our neighbors at the Jacksonville Barn Company are featuring artist Patrick Beste and avant garde watercolors by Mikey Staub. Beste, a member of Jacksonville’s Art Presence Art Center, paints wonderful abstracts. Jacksonville Barn Company’s artist reception, with wine tasting by John Guerrero, winemaker for Valley View Winery and producer of his own fine wines, and hosted canapés by Gogi’s Restaurant, begins at 6:00 pm. Oh, yes, we will be walking across the street to check out their reception for sure!
  • The Britt Festival is featuring photo artist resident Rita Ashley for Edgy in October. Ashley uses her camera to reveal the beauty in ordinary things. Her first camera was a gift from her father when she was 9 and she has never been without one since. Her work finds the art in chaos and reveals the hidden in the apparent. Ashley’s show will be on display for the Britt’s “On the Stage” concert featuring The Quiet American on Wednesday, October 15, at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7pm, so come early and take some time to view her show!

Edgy in October is a Rogue Valley-wide art event facilitated by local artist Cammy Davis to promote cultural tourism in southern Oregon by pairing exhibiting artists with local businesses for an “Edgy” themed event. The month-long event is broken down into four weeks, with a different area of the Greater Rogue Valley featured each week. For a complete list of all events and venues visit We hope you will come to our reception for Judy Elliott’s Save Our Bees art exhibit, and will add any further details to this post as they are confirmed.

If you’re sure you won’t be able to make it to the reception, maybe you’d like to buy Anna’s book now? It has 100% five star reviews on and an average of 4.33 stars on Goodreads!

31 Days of Poetry and Painting

This year, I participated in the annual Poetry Postcard Fest. The idea: you write a new, spontaneous poem on a postcard and mail it to a person on a given list. You do this for 31 days, working your way down the list. They do the same. You give. You receive. ‘Twas fun.

I decided to sketch my own postcards, too: “draw-without-looking-at-the-page” kind of sketches. Like the poems, I created the images in minutes–no edits, no copying over. I enjoyed the rhythm and some of the results. Here are my top ten…or at least the 10 I uploaded! The front image is followed by the poem I composed on the back.

If you feel inspired, join up next year!