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My Favorite Classroom

It’s back-to-school season, but you might say I’ve been in summer school since July 4: the day I got married. I never knew that marriage would be my favorite classroom. I also never knew that no matter how much reading I did ahead of time, nothing would compare to experiential learning!

 

So-o-o much to learn. Such a variable curriculum, such a huge canon—love languages, personality styles, bathroom habits.

 

And I’ve never been more excited to study. 

 

I couldn’t really prepare for it like I did in my student days, by plowing through the required reading list and over-achiever-ing by plotting out the syllabus on my calendar. 

 

I couldn’t prepare for it like I did in my teacher days, by plotting units and setting assignments all the way till Christmas. 

 

So even though preparation is my superpower, I find myself releasing the ways I thought I learned best. 

 

And I am embracing every unplanned moment that arises. This photo is from last Sunday, when I looked up to see my husband smiling as he loaded the car after an afternoon on the lake. We had made a  detour there after an active camping weekend near the Deschutes River. The river was splendid, but he knows I love lakes, so he suggested we find one. 

 

On the obsidian-rich shore, we read aloud, napped, and played on the stand-up paddleboard. (My play looks more like a wobbly attempt to not to fall off. He can do a handstand on the thing…on a moving river). 


He is learning to enjoy the stillness I love, and I am learning to enjoy the motion he loves.  

 

It’s actually because of—not in spite of—our differences that we are on the trajectory for a master’s degree in communication someday. 

 

At this moment in our culture (and at any moment) we might do well to adjust our usual learning styles. We might do well risk wobbling as we try for new balance. To be still when we prefer motionor vice versa. Generally: to push the limits of our personal learning curves.

 

Here’s to embracing the classrooms of life: marriage and more. 

Zoom Inspired !

My friend and fellow Artist, Pam Hounschild and I have been teaching a Water Media Textures Workshop via Zoom. Pam is a more linear thinker than I am which was essential in pulling this off. Our first online class was through the Mendocino Art Center in Mendocino, CA. We will teach the class again  October  5,8,12,15 with them also. . In the meantime we are also teaching September 14,17,21, and 24.through the Emerald Art Center in Springfield OR.

Its a quite different experience for all of us to not be in the same space but we are finding our way and everyone had fun and produced some great pieces.

Leading up to this new zoom life, I had decided I was tired of cutting mats, handling heavy glass and framing my work: too labor intensive and the glass made it difficult  to view the work because of the glare. So I have been working smaller and experimenting with adhering images on paper to wood substrates and layering on acrylic medium to seal them and applying a final couple of layers  of UV varnish to make them lightfast. I really like the immediacy of images and the detail preserved.  

Here are some examples of the current works.

Grants Pass Museum of Art August Adult Art Classes

Grants Pass Museum of Art August Adult Art Classes - image of GPMA logoGrants Pass Museum of Art is offering more “Sketch in the Park” August Adult Art Classes by popular demand. We are also trying them out as a weekday morning class. Classes will be held at Reinhart Volunteer Park (All Sports Park).
Each week will have a demo on the chosen theme, followed by plenty of time to draw onsite. Kristen will go around to each student and give one-on-one help throughout the morning. We ask that each student bring their own supplies and a mask (to wear if Kristen needs to get closer than six feet).
Advance registration is required and class size is limited to 9 people. All levels of students are welcome.
Each class is $10 for GPMA members and $15 for non-members.
Grants Pass Museum of Art August Adult Art Classes - Sketch in the Park with Kristen O'Neill
Thursday, August 6
9 am to Noon

Demo theme: Rhythm– using the principal of Rhythm to create cohesiveness and interest.

Thursday, August 13
9 am to Noon

Demo theme: Values – How to turn a colorful world into lights and darks.

When: Thursday, August 20
Time: 9 am to Noon

Demo theme: Composition – How to create a great composition and why it is important.

When: Thursday, August 27
Time: 9 am to Noon

Demo theme: Contrast and Emphasis – How to create a dynamic drawing with a strong focal point.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know. We appreciate your support of the arts in our community. To register for an August Adult Art Class, please click on any of the pictures or click here to go directly to our website.
Thank you,
-Grants Pass Museum of Art
541-479-3290

The Corndog Compromise

When Jared proposed this spring, he had a wedding date in mind: July 4. Beyond the general delight, I was also delighted he’d already thought of the day. I was game for the holiday wedding—we’d have anniversary fireworks forever! 
The venue that first came to my mind was Plaisance Ranch, a vineyard owned by dear people we both knew. We not only loved the connection to them, I had also written the poetry wine labels for Plaisance’s beautiful vintages. 
Perfect! I thought, we’ll have a wine and cheese reception.
Thing is, my now-husband is more of a beer-and-corndogs guy (though we’ve also shared plenty of cheese and wine). Still, I thought he was joking when he said he’d like corndogs as an appetizer at the reception. Beer in addition to the wine, of course. But corndogs? That would mean renting a deep-fat fryer, and…it kinda clashed with my vision. 
Enter our first compromise. 
Just after the proposal, we were talking with the Pennington’s, who had helped introduce us once upon a time at their bakery farm stand. They make a wow version of pigs-in-a-blanket, complete with honey mustard baked into the crust. Cathy suggested, “How about we make little ones and put them on a stick, and you can call them corndogs?” Wisdom from a woman married for forty years. 
And then, Jared’s parents asked if they could cater a full dinner for the wedding in addition to the planned appetizers. My solo vision expanded into something better when shared. 
There might be a lesson in there somewhere. 
And so, we had “corndogs” at our wedding. One of the moments I asked the photographer to capture was us biting into a compromise—aka corndog—together. It’s more important to me than the traditional feed-each-other-cake thing. This, we made possible together. A symbol of many things to come. May they be sweet—or at least savory.

More Tangents, More Fun

These three Paintings are part of a series exploring a new painting surface as well as new ways to use the layered painting process . They are on wrapped canvas instead of watercolor paper which alters the way of the interactions of surface and paint. It also nudged me to follow the process with exciting new curiosity and awe; keeping the excitement fresh.

Lichen-12×24

To Be Clear -12×24

Heavy Metal 18×18

Various Tangents

These 3 images are part of an experimental tangent of the serendipitous  following of random threads layered onto paper: layered onto underpainting or by creating a new and vibrant base for further exploration.

 

Thicketed Moon 24×30

Fog in Sunrise- 6×9

Cracked Foundation- 6×9

Land That I Love: Scenes From the Cascade Siskiyou

Purchase artworks featured in the show here. Artwork can be picked up or delivered locally after July 13. Contact Sarah at [email protected] with questions. Shipping available.

Photograph Bobcat in tree

“Bobcat 23”

Framed Photograph by Dan Elster
Framed dimensions 39” x 27”

$395.00

“Trying to Help” Gopher Snake

Framed Photograph by Dan Elster Framed size 19” x 23”

$185.00

“Looking Toward the Light” Northern Spotted Owl

Framed Photograph by Dan Elster
Framed size 19” x 23”

$185.00

Camas

Screen print by Amy Godard
Ready to hang
17” x 20”

$100.00

Rose Hip

Woodcut Print by Amy Godard
17” x 20”
Ready to hang

$125.00

Red Cedar

Framed Woodcut Print by Amy Godard

Framed dimensions 12” x 14”

$100.00

Garry Oak

Framed Silkscreen Print by Amy Godard
Framed dimensions
16” x 18”

$125.00

Mount Shasta California

Framed Oil Painting by Sarah F Burns
16” x 20”

$580.00

Vesper Meadow with Mount Pitt

Framed oil painting by Sarah F Burns
20” x 35”

$1,150.00

Plant Diversity In the Siskiyou Mountains

Oil Painting by Deb Van Poolen

$7,000.00

Spring Buttercups at Vesper Meadow

Oil on Canvas by Jeanine Moy
10” x 10”

$250.00

Old Juniper

Framed photograph by Matt Witt framed dimensions 13″ x 17″

$100.00

Flowers at Horseshoe Ranch

Framed Photograph by Matt Witt
13” x 17 “ frames dimensions

$100.00

View From Soda Mountain Range

Framed Photograph by Matt Witt

$100.00

View Toward Grizzly Peak

Framed photograph by Matt Witt
Framed dimensions 13” x 17”

$100.00

“The Sentinels”

Gouache and Varnish on Panel, Framed Painting by Katy Cauker 11″ x 14″

$475.00

“Rock to Mountain”

Gouache and Varnish on Panel, Framed Oil Painting by Katy Cauker 12″ x 9″

$445.00

“Peak to Peak”

Acrylic on Canvas Framed Painting by Katy Cauker, 18″ x 36″

$833.00

“Hi-Lo Country”

Oil Painting by Nikolai Klein 40″ x 60″

$1,500.00

“Juniper Along the PCT” Oil Painting by Sarah F. Burns SOLD

New Small Works

These images are just completed. I’m attempting to move away from cutting mats, dealing with heavy glass and framing my work. I’m too old to deal with it. These are lightweight! I like the immediacy of the images. All are acrylic on paper adhered to wood panels.They are sealed and UV treated for easy care. I’m all for easy these days and am loving the exploration.

New Small Works

“Earth Protectors” 15″X11″

New Small Works

“Red Flash” 15″X11″

New Small Works

“Coral Reef” 15″x11″

New small works

“Eb and Flow” 15″X1″

Solstice Eve


Solstice Eve
On the longest
day of the year,
I want to choose
the shortest path
to joy—the one
with no distance,
no time. The one 
we can know
as close as our skin
& in any season. 
I want to go to sleep
& come awake
to this lengthy day, 
to sun—to all 
that’s possible
in hours of light. 
But may I remind
myself of all I can also 
do when darkness 
begins again—when 
joy will dress in shadow
but still glow, 
nevertheless.