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Blue Fern

January 26, 2017


With the depressing state of the US government, I’ve decided to take a few days off from social media to work on art projects. First on the list is completing a small edition of the screen print tea towels. The fern image required a bit of touch-up before moving forward. Half of the morning was spent prepping ink, which I hadn’t expected. It’s been over a year since last checking ink status: some have deteriorated and have hardened/dried out. Not the best start to the new year! Anyway, I managed to crank out 21 tea towels once everything was set up properly. Hemming and an additional wash or two to come before gifting or selling.


The studio partner hasn’t been the biggest help for any project. All she does is follow me around meowing and attacking my feet/legs for not doting on her constantly. Is it better to work in the cat zone or be surrounded by the crazy dogs? The cat is probably better, but not the ideal partner. After an hour+ of dedicated lap-time, she eventually left me alone for longer stretches of time.

Besides art & cat therapy, I’ve been receiving farm animal therapy! Below are a couple of pictures from Tuesdays visit with the friendly bunch (3 out of 6 animals are super friendly). I’m always thrilled to see them. The sheep/llama manage to put up with the extra treats and cheek/neck rubs. It must be hard for them to have a fan club.


Fizz the Llama


Mookie the Icelandic Sheep


Tractor the Jacobs Sheep with wonky horns.

One of my friends commented that he thought Tractor should become a lead character in a children’s book. Hmm, I might have to explore that thought this year as I continue to focus on animals in art.




A New Year 

January 16, 2017

holiday-pix-2-2After an almost 2+ month break, I’ve decided that it’s a good time to get back into a blogging routine. The holidays are over. Winter is very much here. The studio is aching  for attention from me!

2016 certainly held several projects with art and life:

Art in Rural Communities is still up and going as of the beginning of 2017. You can continue to visit the work until the end of January (maybe longer? The weather has been difficult.)


Major house renovations continue. Demolition and new framing of our bedroom closet continues slowly. Outdoor lights arrived and are waiting for installation.

The dogs continue with their classes. Moby completed his first Reactive Dog class and will now start on Scent Work like Hazel. Hazel continues to push forward with her skills. I’m still trying to figure out how far this experience will take us. It’s also an expensive game to fund. I’m finally feeling like I need to make my artwork pay for the dog games. Another way to motivate myself forward to sell/create artwork.

Meme has become a full time indoor kitty. She occupies the downstairs and seems satisfied for the moment. Her eye problems have decreased after 21 days of treatment for Bartonella aka “Cat Scratch Fever”. In 6 months she will be retested. Hopefully the antibiotics took care of the problem.

So, keep your eyes open for upcoming art. I have RSVP’d a spot in the Wingtip Press Leftover Print Exchange. It’s the one way I can make sure I’ll produce something fun.

Happy New Year to you all!




Time Off

November 30, 2016

It’s been 2 months since my last posting. I think that’s the longest I’ve ever gone without writing. No art is being produced. The house is a disaster zone with construction and clearing out of old stuff. The dogs are both in class and Hazel has her first odor recognition trials on December 3. The cat has been sick and now diagnosed with Bartonella, a lovely zoonotic disease( totally curable). Philomath Open Studio Tour came and went. Art went to city hall, a coffee shop in Brownsville, and currently works in the Benton County Museum. The horrible election is over and the worst choice won. The country is stepping way back in time. Way way WAY back to eras we shouldn’t be repeating. I’m not going to go into discussion on this subject because it’s too depressing.

The exterior house work has stopped due to the weather. Most of the first coat of paint is down. Siding replaced. Grey is the new color. Exterior lights have been selected, but not ordered. I’ll wait for spring to start figuring out what to do with the landscape. Inside, the battle continues with mouse eradication. Holes are being covered, dogs are alerting us to our hidden friends in the garage, snap traps have been used successfully over and over. Not a pretty thing, but necessary for all involved. 

The ceiling repair work will start moving forward once I figure out how and where to purchase the wood. I got the idea from visiting my friend in Bend the other weekend. Why not install a beautiful wood surface rather than skim coating the full ceiling? It will be much more expensive, but I think the look will be super. 

 We still have flooring to replace, but that won’t happen until I upgrade the master bedroom closet. Time to move out of the funky 70’s into a useable space. I’m passing on several show opportunities in order to create a better space for work. January will be set aside for dealing with buying out my brothers share of the coast house. Then I can become serious about turning it into a rental. 

Here’s a look at what I’m doing with Hazel. We took advantage of a rain break and did some training outside on the back deck. ​

The Install of “From the Land”

September 23, 2016

It’s been several days since the actual installation and I’m finally feeling rested enough to show some photos! It was a beautiful warm fall day and a 20 ft long blank canvas!


Walter B and Hester Coucke (The Arts Center Curator) were hard at work hanging the informational signage.


Starting off seemed pretty simple. Lay out the bottom line, drill the template holes and voila, everything would fit! Well, that would have been in a perfect world, and as we all know, that never happens! My templates were off just enough and I didn’t bring a larger drill bit, so an extra hour was wasted making a trip back into Albany for new Forstner bits. Eventually we got into a swing and it only took double the time that I originally thought.


Along with my fabulous husband, who took the day off from work just to help out, my best friend Maria was part of the hanging crew. Thank goodness she was there because it really did take three people to deal with everything going on.



So far the community is really enjoying the work. Bonnie Meltzer hung her piece the day after mine. The wall has never looked so interesting!

On Tuesday,September 27, 2016, there will be a gathering in front of the wall and at the public library across the street at 6:30 to celebrate the artwork. Both artists’ will be on hand at the event. The address is : 838 W First St, Halsey OR

A big thanks to The Arts Center of Corvallis, The Oregon Arts Commission, and DLF Pickseed for their support!

Plus a HUGE thanks to my husband Dave who helped keep the household running while I was in production mode, for his insight on the different designs, for taking the dogs out running when my body was incapacitated, and for being the muscle man during the installation. I promise not to take on another big project next year that overwhelms our summer plans. Seriously, I swear!



Early Rain

September 18, 2016

It came early. The rain that is. It’s been a bit of a guessing game as to when it would start. Would it be Saturday or Sunday? Will it start around noon on Saturday or around 9am? It chose the 9:30am Saturday time slot.

This early rain puts a damper on the final painting push. I was delayed a few days this last week due to back problems and sciatic nerve pain starting Tuesday morning. I could hardly lift my left leg three inches before massive pain shot through my body. It’s now Saturday and I’m almost fully functional, only twinges of pain here and there. During the pain period I still kept pushing forward, but not at a rapid pace. Ice packs and heating pads throughout the days. I finished scraping down and prepping the large and small panels, soapy wash and a good rinse, and the alcohol de-greasing wipe down. Two coats of primer on everything then two to three coats of paint. I’m still working on the paint.

The garage/workspace is a disaster. I’ll probably spend a bit of time cleaning up aluminum shavings and everything else. Empty spray cans, vinyl wrapping, chunks of non-usable sign material chucked in a bin with good stuff. Looks like a creative bomb went off in the space. I do need to finalize my mounting design before drilling holes in the two parts (metal silhouette and backboard). I also have not even started the two small panels that fit in the center of the quads. Since they’re so small, I hope that I’ll be able to pop them out pretty quickly compared to everything else!

The push continues until the end, that being Tuesday! I’m really looking forward to getting my life back. My husband is looking forward to getting me back as well! Nothing like a major project to disrupt the household.



Getting Closer

September 12, 2016


I’m working like crazy to get the project completed by this Friday. Why Friday? Because I want the weekend to myself! I’m so tired of the whole thing. Yet, I have to keep plugging along and try to forget those negative thoughts as they arise.

Today I started bracing parts together. What does that mean? Well, I only had 4 ft of product to work with and I required 5 ft in the long panels. So splicing occurred and now extra aluminum is being epoxied both front and back on the seams. The center granary is requiring extra bracing before it receives a few more curvy cuts. It was easiest to add the extra foot at the bottom of that design.

I had hoped to join in a show this Thursday during the Corvallis Art Walk. A friend asked on Sunday if I would be interested and I (of course) said YES! Silly me! My plate is far too full for jumping ship right now. The show is titled Then and Now, looking back at the art from our early years and comparing it to current work. Sounded like fun!  I declined the invitation this morning but I’ll post the image of me at about age 4 and a drawing I made during those early years. The image was of a card I received for my second birthday. The framed piece hung in my fathers studio until I cleared out the house in 2013 after his death. I didn’t even know it was my work until asking my sister. It’s nice to have older siblings. gale-age-4-and-drawing

The baby I’m holding isn’t a sibling but the child of family friend. I think it was the only child they had since the husband died mountain climbing on Mt McKinley in Alaska.

Back to the project!


Push to the end

September 6, 2016


This small strip pretty much says it all. The project is coming soon. Very soon. Like, the 20th of September for my work. Two weeks from now. And yes, I’m in the freak-out stage of work.


I spent several days scraping off aluminum burs and ragged plastic parts on all 8 major squares. Not a very fun job, plus it took a couple panels before I discovered that the above blade was the way to go. I also discovered what sections were on the loose side and now have to figure out a bit of strengthening repair work prior to painting.

Ah, the paint job! That other bit of decision work that’s been put off for a very long time. I’ve chosen basic black because it helps pop the images more against a lighter background.


I did play around with a blue color, but it wasn’t going to read well enough with everything going on around it. Black will keep it closer to the actual cut paper look. I’ll use a creamy light yellow for the background panel. Don’t tell the Beaver Believers that I’m using Duck colors!  Today it’s raining so painting has been put on hold.



And then there’s those two outer panel designs (plus a couple of little 1 ft x 1 ft panels to design as well). On Sunday I connected with my best friend and took a road trip back out to Halsey. The weather was beautiful with puffy clouds in blue sky. We wandered around the countryside, down roads I’d never taken, looking for the right barn. Eventually I ended up at one I had been eyeing for many weeks. I trudged across the field to get a better reference shot to work from. The golden fields are now under a blanket of smooth tan. The lush greens have left, but will return in a few weeks with rain. A few more alterations to the above designs and I’ll print them out and attach to the remaining panels for cutting.

The left barn is on Lake Creek Rd and the right is on Powerline Rd.

So much more to accomplish in the next 2 weeks.

For those checking in for the first time: This is my journey to create a public artwork for the city of Halsey, OR. The work will be hung September 20, 2016 and will remain up to 6 months at 838 W. 1st ST. I was inspired by Halsey’s connection to the land: agricultural crops and the scenery looking west from town. This project is sponsored through The Arts Center of Corvallis, DLF/Pickseed USA, and The Oregon Arts Commission.