Saturday, May 23, 2009

A visit to the garden

Ralph welcomes Georgia & Gail

Every year in Spring, I feel so privileged to visit a few gardens
on Whidbey Island.These visits started many years ago.
The annual garden party created a way to share interests among myself, my staff and a few artists.
While enjoying lunch together,
we talk about art, gardens and plants.

Tree Peony

Driving south to the bottom of Whidbey Island, I stop by Gail Gwinn's place in Coupeville for a studio visit. Her husband Joe Patrick, undertook a huge gardening project last year. This year he is doing the house remodel thing, so not much time left for gardening. This past winter, Joe was able to renovate Gail's studio. It is a beautiful place for Gail to create intaglios or paint in.
Everything had a place and it seemed just right. No garden party here.

Continuing driving south, I stop at Anne Belov's home. Anne built her home at the edge of the woods. It has taken a few years for her gardens to fill in. Her gardens are a beautiful mix of plants, some given from friends and some bought. These plants take turns
flowering thru out the year. Always looking beautiful. No garden party here.

Anne & Gail in the garden

The location of this years party was at Anne's good friend,
Ralph Hastings home.
His fabulous home and gardens are called Froggwell located in Langley. This garden was planted approximately 25 years ago. Lots of design and intent are evident by each of the garden areas. The artistic views down the garden. The egrets nest high in the trees. A place for all types of peonies. A boxwood hedge. A bronze Scottie dog named Kelz. An unkempt section with Columbine and the biggest Trilliums I have ever seen. Lots of Rhododendrons. Maples and many plants whose names I cannot remember, some very unusual. Over the years as plants live and occasionally perish, this garden has evolved. Truly magnificent and stately in an unpretentious manner. This is the place to be the first weekend in August for an art exhibition.

Personally, this garden visit represents the arrival [finally] of SPRING.
Some years not much in bloom, this year the garden is spectacular.

After the garden walking tour led by Ralph, we adjourn to the table.
The delight of sitting in this magnificent garden setting, eating fabulous food,
drinking the occasional glass of Proseco and sharing all sorts of stories.
This is very special to me. This year was cold and a bit wet.
An experience I treasure, a story still unfolding.

The cast of the garden party group
is of Anne Belov, Gail Gwinn,
new to the group, Georgia Gerber.

Pictured from left, Gail Gwinn, standing, me ,Georgia Gerber, Anne Belov and Ralph Hastings

Unfortunately, my fabulous shop girls, Carla Wright and Julie Anderson were unable to join me. Little do they know if this weather holds on, we have agreed to do this garden party again.

Summer hats will be mandatory not rain hats.

Ahhh here's to spring and the beauty of gardens.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Love Always, Live

Somehow this past weekend, I ended up at 2 different theatrical events.
The first one is the San Juan Community Theater's presentation of the Patsy Kline story entitled, Always, Patsy Kline with 2 amazing and talented woman, Kate Schuman as Patsy Kline and Julie Greene as her friend, Louise. The play about the short life of this country singing artist, Patsy Kline was well done. Having a live band of local musicians on stage was fabulous. I did not know that she died as young as she did. What I loved was how the songs touched my heart. The songs were sung with gusto and grace. I gained a greater understanding of this singer's short life as the show was based on the correspondence of these 2 woman over a 2 year period .

This play is up for the next week at the San Juan Community Theater, if in Friday Harbor, go and see it. You can sing , dance and yes even a bit of a cry!

The next day I had the pleasure of getting on the 8 Am boat to the mainland. My idea of fun for Mother's Day was to have an experience to share with my 21 year old son. My choice, the Seattle Opera's presentation of the Marriage of Figaro. I had taken my son to another opera,The Skagit Opera's LaTraviata at McIntyre Hall in Mt Vernon. I wanted to share my enthusiasm of how wonderful the Seattle Opera is at McCaw Hall.
Turns out, I was not alone in my idea of how to spend Mother's Day! [Another story]

The singing was wonderful, the sets were very minimal, and the sounds produces by a live full orchestra are music for my soul! For an opera, it was very funny and contemporary in issues. Love as a theme. Love as an object lesson and love lost and regained. [Hmm no war in this one] I loved it, even though that song [think cartoon] that you think of in Figaro, is really not in the opera the Marriage of Figaro. My son, sat through the opera, though he did admit to dozing off. I asked him what he thought. He stated, Mom, I loved the music, but it took so long to get through it! Hmm to me this was enjoyment. I will find a new artful experience for us to share on Mother's Day next year.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Unleashed - Catherine Eaton Skinner

Warm and sunny. Gorgeous day in the neighborhood !

I have spent the day,hanging,talking,typing and cleaning up here at the gallery. The vacuuming is yet to be done! Catherine dropped off the books for the show. The gallery looks great !

A bit of background on this show I am opening on Saturday. In fall of 2006, this exhibition of mixed media encaustic paintings Unleashed was premiered. There were approximately 30 paintings in this show. It was a wonderful exhibition of paintings of the animals that dwell in the wilderness of the landscape. The range of animals ran from a Yak to Lizards, Zebra to Monkeys, Antelope to Polar Bear. The show was a compilation of images. Some animals where seen in total, others an element, specifically an eye.

Saturday's show celebrates the book Unleashed, published in conjunction with the University of Washington Press and the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. All paintings from the original exhibition are featured in the book. The book retails for $ 50. Catherine will sign and dedicate your copy.

Selected mixed media encaustic paintings on view at the gallery and
posted on the gallery's web site

Selected animals from the book, have been reproduced in an edition of 9 prints.These images are pigment ink prints pulled on rag paper that measures 36 x 24. A few are hanging at the gallery. Stop by and see the show