Way Back in the Woods

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It’s been so long since I posted. I’ve been painting instead of writing. Got into a semi-abstract painting phase and I love it. I have an interesting show in Baker City, Oregon right now at the Short Term Gallery. Baker City is a small town with lots of art and truly creative people. Since I got home from the opening of the show I’ve been reading, walking my dog Cody, wrangling cats and doing a lot of thinking.
I like having a break. I’ve lived in the woods for a long time and am used to being alone. Timber Valley is totally different from Portland, Seattle, The Dalles or Hood River. Sometimes it can seem really lonely when you are fourteen miles up from the Columbia River Gorge and you aren’t a windsurfer, kayaker or fisherman.  The woods and mountain are beautiful.  Lots of places to hike and hang out on the Klickitat River or the Columbia. But if we want to go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner it involvesmaking a plan“. There are no meals to buy within walking distance. The closest actual business  is the Appleton Post Office…with an outhouse and a tiny woodstove. Even it is only open four half-days per week.  There is no Starbucks or even a Taco Bell (my favorite) in Timber Valley.  It’s a 50 minute drive to get to the nearest place to have a meal out.  When we moved up here from Portland years ago I’m sure some of our friends thought we had disappeared into the wild. We are out of sight, unreachable by car especially in the winter, invisible, gone but not forgotten. Everyone is busy.  I know.  I don’t often leave home for Portland to visit either.  Our lives are too fast and complicated even though we would like to keep in touch with everyone. Living this far away from civilization is even harder when you have the curse of slow dial up on your computer.  Because of that most of my life is off line. I know that not being “connected” is unheard of these days.  I have totally accepted it. I try to keep up with what everyone is doing. Believe it our not I am on Facebook. I am on S- L- O- W  Facebook.  For me to write a simple post it takes at least ten times longer than anyone else. The computer keeps timing out. Often it freezes. Any unwanted advertising, or “Like this Page” notifications get so complicated that my computer will sit forever before it downloads anything and usually will just turn off. I’m “timed out”. I must “refresh”. I spend most of my on-line time just waiting for something to happen. But I love to see what my friends are doing…they are so amazing.  I’m beginning to accept the wait just for the news.  Sometimes I feel weird putting my life into short posts for everyone in the universe to read…or  not read but just respond. Facebook sometimes makes me sad for the silliest reasons.  I don’t have a better connection. I don’t have more online friends (I guess over 200 isn’t enough for me).   I don’t get enough likes. Am I crazy? I never know what to post. I have some odd interests that don’t seem to be anything most people want to chat about or share. I guess I’ll have to learn patience, wait, and accept my own slow cyberspace or perhaps get up out of my chair and take a hike!
Bear Wakes Up (acrylic on canvas) 14 x18 175.00
It is bear season in Timber Valley. It’s always bear season in Timber Valley but this year there are more than usual. They have been clearcutting lots of the properties on SDS lands. Log trucks, chain saws, mud and old found tires litter the roads. Think beautiful Doug Firs, tall and elegant, ripped down, cut and stacked on now barren properties. Much land that used to be green and lush is now brown. The lupine is gone, the vetch is gone and all of the ground cover is gone. The animals are all confused. They have to move into new territory, rebuild nests, hives and other homes. Logging companies leave enough green to make it seem “not so bad”. They re-plant baby trees…usually pine instead of Doug Fir…and line many of them up near the highway hoping no one will notice how many are missing. This year our favorite pond, Disappearing Pond, has been so disrupted we only have one nesting pair of ducks and only three ducklings there.  More bears are around this spring. Mother bears and baby bears. Bears up trees and bears climbing up phone poles are seen early in the morning. I haven’t seen our usual bear who steals our crabapples yet. Who knows where he is hanging out now? Maybe he’s thinking of moving to Portland or Seattle.
I’m going to post a couple of my new acrylic pieces for anyone that wants to see them. Remember these are at Short Term Gallery in Baker City if you want to buy one. Hope you “like” this post. I don’t get lots of hits on my website but it is certainly a good place for me to ramble.

15 thoughts on “Way Back in the Woods

    1. Jerry Fenter Post author

      Let’s actually get together this summer. Thanks for the compliment. It’s fun doing new work. Missed you guys in Mexico. I think of you often. J

      Reply
  1. Kathleen Kiefer

    Wow – that was refreshing Jerry. You write like you talk…its a non-jiggling, straight ride to the visual expanse of I can see it all word story. Nice. The stuff about the bears was fascinating…you are channeling those bears. I see it in your paintings at crossroads. Kellie Trone bought one of your bears, the one I wanted. Now I will look your other bears in the eye and see which one wants to go home with me, though I will give it away. Mostly because I don’t have much room in my tiny place, and also because I know someone who channels bears too and your bears have real eyes and souls and my friend will feel comforted, like he strangely does with bears. I really liked this blog. I’ll read your earliier ones before long.

    Reply
    1. Jerry Fenter Post author

      What luck that I met you in Baker City. I know we’re going to see a lot of each other. Say hi to Nancy when you see her! Let me know which bear becomes yours…J

      Reply
  2. diana wild

    I would like to know what those mentioned “odd interests” are? Also, I feel so much the same way in Condon as you do in Timber Valley. I enjoy the excitement of the city on first thursday art walks but there is nothing even close to that here. I think city vs. small town living is a toss-up, though. There is so much to be said about living closer to nature, peace and quiet, no crime, easy pace, clean air in Condon.

    I’m enjoying your abstracts….

    Reply
    1. Jerry Fenter Post author

      I have many odd interests…I don’t find them odd but they are pretty nerdy. I love oddly strange movies, bird watching, talking to deer, reading books all of the time and discussing them (although up here I have no-one to discuss them with). I love dancing and putting on shows…I collect small things and oddities..(all are packed into my messy messy studio. I love people who share really odd things on the internet. News stories and such. I love poetry of all kinds. I love bad art and hang out on occasion at Artifacts in Hood River…good books and bad art. I like dressing up in costumes when I can. I love just driving around with my camera and finding odd things to photograph. That can include almost anything. I could go on. Hope to get over to see you this summer. Jerry

      Reply
      1. diana wild

        I hope you get to Condon to visit. I can’t seem to get out of here. We have oddities in common…or is it oddnesses? :>).

        Reply
        1. Jerry Fenter Post author

          We will. I promise. I thought of so many more odd things I like. We need to talk about them. Lunch and an afternoon. J

          Reply
    1. Jerry Fenter Post author

      Pat…It’s so good to hear your online voice! I’m planning on coming up to Goldendale to visit after school is out…I’ll let you know. Hope things are going well. Jerry

      Reply
  3. Kendra Hume

    I like your abstract. Poppy Dully, a friend of mine posts a sketch a day. I look forward to seeing them. I will send you one.
    Hopefully this summer we will be able to get together someplace. If you are in town the Raccoon Lodge is close.

    Reply
    1. Jerry Fenter Post author

      Thanks, Kendra. I miss you both. We are hardly ever in town. We could meet halfway in Stevenson. Great restaurant there! Jerry

      Reply

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