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La Vía Poética

How is poem born on a pilgrimage to the homeland of Pablo Neruda? I’m happy to say you can find out in the inaugural issue of Hidden Compass, where my essay & illustrations await you!

A Thousand-Word Morning

I wish I’d written a thousand words sitting by the bank of the Chetco River that morning, wrapped in a red-wool blanket. And though a picture is worth that word count, I heard a thousand word-songs. The birds singing to the dawn, my own voice reading Annie Dillard, the riffle of water around the bend, and the chalky clack of stones as a friend walked down the bank to bring me coffee. May our summers always share moments like these.

Artists Workshop of Southern Oregon Annual Show & Sale

Artists Workshop of Southern Oregon Annual Show & Sale

Artists Workshop of Southern Oregon 2017 Annual Show & Sale Announcement

Southern Oregon Society of Artists July 24 Meeting

SOSA February meeting : sosa logo southern oregon society of artists

The Southern Oregon Socity of Artists ( SOSA)  July 24 meeting will be a juried critique by renowned artist Gabriel Lipper at 6:30 pm at the Medford Public Library. While everyone interested in art is welcome, only members may  submit their art to be juried.

4th of July Sale and FREE Summer Art Event at Natural Earth Paint!

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Screenshot 2017-07-03 15.17.20

Click to Watch!

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Join Us for Our FREE Summer Event!

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Happy Fourth of July from your Earth Paint Team!

Words in Red Exhibit by Masterpiece Christian Fine Arts

Masterpiece Christina Fine Arts Foundation logo and header imagePresents

 Words in Red logo for the art exhibition presented by Masterpiece christian Fine Arts Foundation in 2017

“Words In Red, – the Direct, Uncensored,  Provocative Words of Jesus”
July 1 – 23, 2017
 

Opening Reception Saturday, July 1st in Ashland, Oregon

    Ashland is known for its world renowned Shakespeare Festival. What guests will also find this July is the traveling “Words in Red” fine art exhibit.  Guests and tourists from across the country can stroll through this fine art gallery to view Nicodemus at Night, The Woman at the Well, Healing of the Blind Beggar, The Woman Caught in Adultery, the demise of the demon possessed pigs, the crucifixion, the resurrected Christ on the shore of Galilee.  A visual plethora of compelling artistically rendered scenes by contemporary art legends Michael Dudash, Ron DiCianni, Frank Ordaz, Chris Hopkins, Glenn Harrington, Mick McGinty, Dan Chen and local artists Austin Maloney, Cathy Gallatin, Debby Fisher, Veronica Thomas, and Melanie Cardinal.

Plus the cinematic sounds of the Words in Red music score, “Sanctus” by Willem van Wyk
Experience this enrapturing sound
July 1 – 23rd

Rogue Coworks at the corner of East Main and 64 N. Pioneer St across from the Black Swan Theater .
Join us for the opening reception
Saturday, July 1st  at 7:00 pm.  $7 at the door/reception or advance tickets here
Daily   11 a.m. – 7 p.m.    Sun. noon – 6.   Regular admission is free

Group tours available . Call 541. 601.7496  for info.

Santus CD cover, music by Wilhelm van Wyk, Masterpiece Christina==an Fine Arts Foundation

Can’t make the show, but want to explore the Words in Red exhibit?   Order the full Gallery Guide here with artist bios, full color depictions and more.

Experience the Incredible Music!
Listen now to the cinematic-esque original music score for the Words in Red exhibit by international composer Willem Van Wyk

Sanctus takes you on a moving journey with a blend of fusion and ethnic world/folk music, rich with haunting vocals (Clara Sorace, Celica Soldream and Victor Sordo) and orchestral grandeur that speaks to the heart. Inspired by the Words of Christ and the artwork of Words In Red, these musical tracks accompany the exhibit experience . Listen now and download one or more of these compelling melodies.

Artists Workshop Plein Air Event Show and Sale

Artists Workshop Plein Air Event Show and Sale

Coming July 1, 2017

On the front lawn at Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville, Oregon!

Artists Workshop July 1, 2017 Plein Air Event Show and Sale at ARt Presence ARt Center, Jacksonville, Oregon

The Artists Workshop is holding their 2017 Plein Air Event this year from June 28-July 1, 2017. Participating artists will paint on location for three days, then present their work for judging, a show and sale on the front lawn of the Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville, Oregon on July 1 from 9 am – 3 pm.

There will be an exciting quick-paint competition from 10 am to noon, and the awards ceremony takes place at 2:30 pm. Over 30 artists are participating in this year’s event, which means there will be a wide range of plein air painting styles available to interested collectors. Jurors are Willo Balfrey and Richard McKinley, so you know the awards will be decided by two of the most highly respected artists in the Valley!

The event takes place side by side with the July reception for the new art exhibit at Art Presence Art Center, so be sure to come inside and view the paintings and other art works in the gallery too!

An Afternoon with Stefan Baumann

Art Du Jour Gallery Presents "An Afternoon with Stefan Baumann", Friday, June 23rd, 2017!  Enjoy an afternoon lecture/demo by renowned artist Stefan Baumann of The Grand View (PBS/SOPTV) at the Medford Library, from 1:30 – 3:30pm. There will be a reception immediately to follow, with a chance to meet Stefan!  Art Du Jour Gallery  213 E. Main Street Medford, OR 97501  Hours: 10-4, Tues.-Sat. and 3rd Friday 5-8.    For information, call (541) 770-3190.

Art Du Jour Gallery and Central Art Supply Present “An Afternoon with Stefan Baumann”

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Enjoy an afternoon lecture/demo by renowned artist Stefan Baumann of The Grand View (PBS/SOPTV) at the Medford Library, from 1:30 – 3:30pm. There will be a reception immediately to follow, with a chance to meet Stefan!

For information, call (541) 770-3190.

The Wordbody Blog Turns Ten

Sunrise, Sunset:

Today also happens to be summer solstice—
a great reason to watch the sun set!
Ten years ago today, I started the Wordbody blog before flying off to a tiny island in Micronesia. To celebrate, I compiled an entirely random assortment of things I learned between then and now.  

1) Earplugging fear. Might as well start with the main event. Ten years ago, I flew to Saipan to teach public high school because I was afraid of public speaking. I decided it was time to face that ol’ fear. A wise man once said, “The dogs of doom bark at the door of your destiny. But when you step through the door, you usually find a Chihuahua with a megaphone.” Truth. Today, I teach locally and globally. And I do love it. It is part of my destiny. When those dogs start barking, plug your ears and keep walking.

2) Own compassion. We’ve all heard it before: we can only be as compassionate (or honoring, or respectful, etc.) to others as we are to ourselves. But it’s really, really true. We can’t give what we don’t have. Speaking of giving….

3) Give like a river. I read this somewhere, once upon a time. What you put in from where you stand on a river’s shore will likely be carried downstream. And what you receive may come to you from upriver—from an entirely unexpected, unseen source. As I continually learn this, I’m getting better at releasing the illusion of reciprocity (bonus: this is a great antidote to bitterness).

4) Some reflexes & assumptions can kill you: While driving over the Siskyou Pass in sub-zero winter behind mud-spraying semi trucks, don’t reflexively squirt the cleaner fluid on your windshield. (If you do, you have about two inches of visibility beneath the wiper line to see enough to pull over!) Assumption scenarios with fellow humans can be equally dangerous.

5) Happy day. Years ago, while traveling in Asia, I read Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss. By that point, I had lived and worked on several continents, and all but North America knew to take more than two weeks of vacation a year. In Weiner’s search for what makes people happy in Thailand, he found that the Thai people are less likely to take big, long vacations. Instead, they have learned how to build breaks and rest into their everyday lives. I loved that idea. Since reading that, I’m constantly reminding myself to intersperse my freelance work day with hammock time, cups of tea, reading poetry, or just staring out the window. Happier (and more productive) me.

6) Metaphors for the “Big Lessons.As a writer, I love metaphors. As an artist, I also love visual ones. You know the adage about giving people a clean slate? I remind myself of that figurative clean slate by keeping a literal slate (aka a mini chalkboard) above my door. It’s clean—nothin’ on it. A nice reminder.

7) Low fat! Low carb! Paleo! No! While standing in a wedding buffet line in my early thirties, I picked up a piece of bread. One of the women across from me noticed and pointedly said to her friend how great she felt when she avoided bread. That comment felt like a slap on two levels: it felt shaming, and it showed me how my own “didactic diet” had likely annoyed or even hurt others. Sure, if a person has a serious disease or food intolerance, it’s wise to let people know. Otherwise, food trends come and go. Unless someone asks, it’s probably better to figure out what works for ourselves and eat it—not preach it.

8) We are spirit, mind, and body—in that order. I wrote about that in a 2011 post called “Bikini Season for the Spirit.” Reading it again was a good reminder. 

9) The best investment. As a poet/painter, I’m not exactly a Fortune-500-level investor. But a couple of years ago, I decided to give up financial insecurity for Lent. For 2-3 hours a day after work, I read books, watched instructional videos, and navigated websites to figure out how to build a nestegg. When friends asked me what I was up do, I would tell them, and we’d end up sharing our good and bad financial adventures. Over those 40 days, I realized something. The best investments are relationships. My Roth IRA may fluctuate, and the few stocks I bought certainly will, but investing in people—regardless of reciprocity (see #3)—is always savvy.


10) Mistakes are often creativity in disguise. When I first returned home from the island of Saipan, I missed the 180-degree views of sea and sky. I had watched most sunrises and sunsets. One afternoon back in Oregon, I wanted to paint with some leftover red wine. I made myself a cup of coffee but bumped into something as I went to set it down. I splashed just enough over the rim to leave a coffee ring on my paper. At first, I was annoyed. I wanted to use that sheet of watercolor paper to paint! But then, as I looked at the common “mistake” of the ring, I saw the beauty in it. I dipped the cup in wine, and voilà: a tribute to watching sunrise with one beverage and sunset with another. Here’s to seeing coffee rings and other mistakes with new eyes.
 

The Wordbody Blog Turns Ten

Sunrise, Sunset:

Today also happens to be summer solstice—
a great reason to watch the sun set!
Ten years ago today, I started the Wordbody blog before flying off to a tiny island in Micronesia. To celebrate, I compiled an entirely random assortment of things I learned between then and now.  

1) Earplugging fear. Might as well start with the main event. Ten years ago, I flew to Saipan to teach public high school because I was afraid of public speaking. I decided it was time to face that ol’ fear. A wise man once said, “The dogs of doom bark at the door of your destiny. But when you step through the door, you usually find a Chihuahua with a megaphone.” Truth. Today, I teach locally and globally. And I do love it. It is part of my destiny. When those dogs start barking, plug your ears and keep walking.

2) Own compassion. We’ve all heard it before: we can only be as compassionate (or honoring, or respectful, etc.) to others as we are to ourselves. But it’s really, really true. We can’t give what we don’t have. Speaking of giving….

3) Give like a river. I read this somewhere, once upon a time. What you put in from where you stand on a river’s shore will likely be carried downstream. And what you receive may come to you from upriver—from an entirely unexpected, unseen source. As I continually learn this, I’m getting better at releasing the illusion of reciprocity (bonus: this is a great antidote to bitterness).

4) Some reflexes & assumptions can kill you: While driving over the Siskyou Pass in sub-zero winter behind mud-spraying semi trucks, don’t reflexively squirt the cleaner fluid on your windshield. (If you do, you have about two inches of visibility beneath the wiper line to see enough to pull over!) Assumption scenarios with fellow humans can be equally dangerous.

5) Happy day. Years ago, while traveling in Asia, I read Eric Weiner’s The Geography of Bliss. By that point, I had lived and worked on several continents, and all but North America knew to take more than two weeks of vacation a year. In Weiner’s search for what makes people happy in Thailand, he found that the Thai people are less likely to take big, long vacations. Instead, they have learned how to build breaks and rest into their everyday lives. I loved that idea. Since reading that, I’m constantly reminding myself to intersperse my freelance work day with hammock time, cups of tea, reading poetry, or just staring out the window. Happier (and more productive) me.

6) Metaphors for the “Big Lessons.As a writer, I love metaphors. As an artist, I also love visual ones. You know the adage about giving people a clean slate? I remind myself of that figurative clean slate by keeping a literal slate (aka a mini chalkboard) above my door. It’s clean—nothin’ on it. A nice reminder.

7) Low fat! Low carb! Paleo! No! While standing in a wedding buffet line in my early thirties, I picked up a piece of bread. One of the women across from me noticed and pointedly said to her friend how great she felt when she avoided bread. That comment felt like a slap on two levels: it felt shaming, and it showed me how my own “didactic diet” had likely annoyed or even hurt others. Sure, if a person has a serious disease or food intolerance, it’s wise to let people know. Otherwise, food trends come and go. Unless someone asks, it’s probably better to figure out what works for ourselves and eat it—not preach it.

8) We are spirit, mind, and body—in that order. I wrote about that in a 2011 post called “Bikini Season for the Spirit.” Reading it again was a good reminder. 

9) The best investment. As a poet/painter, I’m not exactly a Fortune-500-level investor. But a couple of years ago, I decided to give up financial insecurity for Lent. For 2-3 hours a day after work, I read books, watched instructional videos, and navigated websites to figure out how to build a nestegg. When friends asked me what I was up do, I would tell them, and we’d end up sharing our good and bad financial adventures. Over those 40 days, I realized something. The best investments are relationships. My Roth IRA may fluctuate, and the few stocks I bought certainly will, but investing in people—regardless of reciprocity (see #3)—is always savvy.


10) Mistakes are often creativity in disguise. When I first returned home from the island of Saipan, I missed the 180-degree views of sea and sky. I had watched most sunrises and sunsets. One afternoon back in Oregon, I wanted to paint with some leftover red wine. I made myself a cup of coffee but bumped into something as I went to set it down. I splashed just enough over the rim to leave a coffee ring on my paper. At first, I was annoyed. I wanted to use that sheet of watercolor paper to paint! But then, as I looked at the common “mistake” of the ring, I saw the beauty in it. I dipped the cup in wine, and voilà: a tribute to watching sunrise with one beverage and sunset with another. Here’s to seeing coffee rings and other mistakes with new eyes.