Tag Archives: artist



Magic and Miracles

Action Painting in Mexico

March 11-18 2017

Jerry Ann Fenter…Instructor and Guide

I’m excited to be offering another art experience in Mexico! This year’s workshop is again located in Melaque, Mexico. Melaque is a beautiful small town in the state of Jalisco on the west coast of Mexico. The class will be held at La Paloma Resort in Melaque right on the water. This year we will focus on some loose, experimental and fun types of drawing and painting that will help you capture the joy and energy of Mexico itself, its colors, its texture and its magic. It will help you to let go, free yourself from any self-consciousness and create your own special kind of art. I will be working alongside all of you as your teacher, your coach and your fellow experimenter. This class is for all levels of experience. Don’t worry if you haven’t done art in years or ever for that matter. I keep the class small.  This year we will be able to get most supplies (paper and paints) in Mexico.  I’ll send suggestions of anything else you might want to bring with you closer to March.

This year we will again be in Melaque during St. Patrick’s Day. There is celebration in town on that day that we can be a part of! The cost of the workshop is $475. (Not including airfare). Housing for the week will be arranged through La Paloma Resort www.lapalomamexico.com/. It will be up to each student to contact Kyla in the office to pay for your stay and choose your room. Mention you are coming for my workshop and you will get a discount. Travel, Art and Great Company plus plenty of time to relax! It’s a promise. You can find my work and my blog at www.jerryfenter.com.

To sign up for the workshop please fill out and send this form and a check for $475 made out to Jerry Ann Fenter. My address is 26 Frontier Road, Appleton, WA. 98602. Questions? Call me at 509-365-5119. My e-mail is fenter@gorge.net. The class will be limited in size so sign up now.



Painting in Paradise



I’m so proud to be offering another wonderful painting workshop in Mexico. This year we will focus on nature, flowers, plants, color and the wonders that you will find in Melaque, Mexico. Melaque is a beautiful small town on the west coast of Mexico. It is a magical place and alive with color, excitement, texture and inspiration for artists of all levels. The workshop will be held at the beautiful La Paloma Resort right on the water. I’ve been painting for over 30 years and will be there alongside you both inside and outside the studio as your teacher and coach. For those of you who are beginning…don’t fear. I keep the size of the class small and will work with you at your own level. For both beginning and experienced students I try to focus on bringing a touch of Mexico into your work. This year we will be in Melaque during St. Patrick’s Day. There is a lot of celebration in the town on that day that we can be a part of! The cost of the workshop is $600. (Not including airfare). Housing for the week will be arranged through La Paloma Resort www.lapalomamexico.com/. It will be up to each student to contact Kyla in the office to pay for your stay and choose your room. Mention you are coming for my workshop and you will get a discount. Travel, Art and Great Company plus plenty of time to relax! It’s a promise.
To sign up for the workshop please fill out and send this form and a check for $600 made out to Jerry Ann Fenter. My address is 26 Frontier Road, Appleton, WA. 98602. Questions? Call me at 509-365-5119. My e-mail is fenter@gorge.net. The class will be limited in size so sign up now.

(Photo at the top of the page was taken last year during the workshop at the Flower Market in Melaque.)

Timber Valley in Moonlight

Moon 1

Moon 1

It has been snowing in Timber Valley almost every night for a week.  It snows during the day and stops at night. Late in the evening the sky clears and a bright moon can be seen off the back deck of the cabin through dense Douglas fir trees.  The sight of the moon through those trees reminds me of why I choose to live here.  I went out on to the deck last night, barefoot in snow, at about midnight to look at the moon.  Even Cody had gone to bed and it was quiet and clear and the air smelled of fir.  I thought about a painting I once painted called “We Share the Moon”.  I did it when I was traveling almost all of the time and missed Timber Valley and Ron and all of our animals.  I had almost forgotten about that painting.  I thought about how the moon is feminine in Spanish…la luna.  Why feminine?  Is it because of the changing nature of the moon, the fullness of the moon?   I remembered the places I’ve lived before and how I saw the exact same moon then and now.

Moon from the deck

Moon 2

Cody likes the moon.  I know all wise scientists say that a dog never looks back over his shoulder but Cody does.  He does this when he looks up at the moon.  I can hear coyotes during all phases of the moon.  I notice it more during a full moon.  Wolves too sing to the moon.  My cats like a dark moon, the moon you can’t see.  It keeps them hidden from juicy night prey.  I read somewhere that a dark moon is a good time to light a candle and burn it until it goes out. That will rid your life of anything that needs to be gone.  Kind of like smudging a house with sage, it will purify.   I don’t know if it’s true.

I watched a documentary on the artist Ai Weiwei last night.  I’m fascinated with him.  He is a brave man and a stellar artist.  He puts himself in danger with each piece of art and each statement he posts on the internet.  He’s not just a flavor of the month as an artist.  His studio is in China, but he finds a way to let the entire world know about the way the Chinese Government lies to everyone.  They tell lies that are outright and lies of omission.  Take a look at his art.  Google him.  Give him a chance. By the way, he sees the same moon as we do.

We Share the Moon

We Share the Moon watercolor by Jerry Fenter

My shoulder is still injured.  I go in for my second cortisone shot tomorrow.  Hopefully that and one next month will keep me from surgery.  Since I can’t paint, I’ve been reading and watching lots of TV.  High point:  The Oscars.  Why? The clothes, the silliness of it and the fact I don’t think I’ve ever missed the awards as far back as I can remember.  I love movies.  They are real.  Low point:  The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Yep, I used to watch Beverly Hills 90210 in its heyday, too.  Why? The puffy lips, glass refrigerators, ugly tasteless art and clothing and my never-ending  search for how can they be so unhappy when they have so many shoes in their closet.  Hot shoes too.

Moon 3

Moon 3

I also watched a mini-series called Generation Kill.  It’s based on an article from Rolling Stone by Evan Wright called “The Killer Elite”.  I give it five stars.  Don’t forget to watch the extras on the DVD.  They are worth it.  Also it stars Alexander Skarsgard….always a feast for the eyes.

Now I’m off to read Sanctuary by William Faulkner.  I’m about halfway through.  It’s dark and disturbing.  This is a book that takes some focus to read.

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” Mark Twain


“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; Show me the glint of light on broken glass.” Anton Checkov

What are your favorite movies?  Best dressed nominees?  Ideas and thoughts on the moon?  Make a comment!!

Good luck on Wednesday Jeremy.





Forest Friday


A reporter on MSNBC just called it a “fast moving Friday” on the news.  The world is moving fast in the strangest directions.  Everyone has their individual opinions on everything. We live in a confusing, fascinating and uneasy world.

Forest Friday

Friday isn’t moving fast up here if I turn off the TV and the radio. I’ve been feeling like staying around the house and property.  I joke a lot about country living.  But the quiet of the woods is peaceful and simple. Plants and trees are starting to seed.

Last of the poppies

Poppies, sweet Williams, maples, even some of my bloomed out tulips actually have seeds left in pods after blooming. To see them you have to be patient.  Sometimes I get ahead of the slow pace of nature and pull out bloomed tulips or day lilies.  This year I waited.  I’m glad I did.

Sumari from a maple

Fires have been burning all around us.  Smoke stings our eyes. We’ve been lucky.  We haven’t had to evacuate our cabin. We’re told to just be on high alert.  We watch out for our animals and our neighbor’s animals.  The woods are dry.  It’s going to be a dry dusty fall.

Cody on deck

I’ve been spending lots of time outdoors.  It’s cooling off during the evening and nights are cold already.  We’ve ordered wood for the stove.  Birds are everywhere.  So are frogs.

Frog on the run

The frogs at night sometimes drown out the noise of the TV.  The birds love our little outdoor fountain and the big dusty dirt piles near our barn.  Bathing is part of their Friday. They fly from water to dust and back. I’ve been seeing pileated woodpeckers eating bugs on the trees.  The fires on Mount Adams seem to be driving them east.  They are big, over 16 inches long, and their feathers are black, white and red. I chase after them with a camera trying to be quiet. They seem to sense me no matter what.

My animals are quiet and follow me from place to place as I try and take some pictures.  Berry is very happy to be outside after falling from the rafters in the barn and having to make a trip to the vet.  She lost hair on her tail and now looks very much like a poodle.  Cody loves his walks.  Sometimes we’ll walk for an hour and not see a car or a person.

We found a nest on our walk yesterday.  I think it belonged to a robin because of the mud ring around the top.  It had blown out of some high trees.  I have heard that nests that fall are just part of the natural selection.  The bird that builds the best nest wins.


Fallen nest



      by William Stafford

Of a summer day, of what moves

in the trees.

Of your own departing.  Of that branch

no one elses notices.

Of time, what it carries, the sideways

drift of it.

Of hiding important things because they don’t belong in the world.

Of now.  Of maybe.  Of something

different being true.

“Lend and Ear and Listen to my Version”

I've got my fare and just a trifle to spare

My mom passed away last week.  I found myself wanting to call her yesterday even though she’s been in St. Anthony Village with dementia for about seven years and wouldn’t even know what a phone was.   We’ve had our ups and downs over the years, but she was a strong and talented woman who loved to dance and listen to music.  Especially 40’s music.  She once was pulled up on stage with the Ritz Brothers to dance with them.  That night she was wearing an angora sweater and the band, acting silly, pretended to pull  fluffs of angora off of their suits the rest of the night.  She was buried at Rose City Cemetery with a view of Stanich’s Restaurant and Sports Bar…something she would like.  She loved northeast Portland, the Rose Festival and living in Oregon.  Born in Nebraska she was with the part of our family that moved out to the Northwest to live in the late 1940’s.  I’ve been trying to write some sort of epitaph for her.  She was a realtor, worked for the US Forest Service and a mother and housewife.  I found all sorts of smalchy poems and epitaphs but found the lyrics from one of her favorite Glenn Miller songs most appropriate.  She adored Glenn Miller and his music.

Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?

(Yes Yes) Track 29

Boy you can give me a shine

(Can you afford to board, the Chattanooga Choo Choo?)

I’ve got my fare

And just a trifle to spare

There’s gonna be a certain party at the station

Satin and Lace

I used to call funny face.

She’s gonna cry

Until I tell her that I’ll  never roam

(So Chattanooga Choo Choo)

Won’t you choo choo me home.

Margaret West Erickson 1924-2012

Thanks to everyone who helped me care for her over the years.  St. Anthony Village was one great “swingin'” place. She had the best care anyone could want.

Swing Kids


I think it’s finally showing a little bit of spring here in Timber Valley.  First came a huge windstorm on Monday night.  We had winds of over 65 miles an hour.  That doesn’t happen here often.  One BIG tree fell across Frontier Road and had to be chopped up and moved out of the way of the traffic…as if we had much traffic.  I was inside watching branches fall, calling to Cody to come in before he “got his head bonked with a humongous branch” (my exact words) But he loved the feel of the wind in his face like all of us mountain people.  So he stayed out until he heard the call for treats.  Then he ran inside by the fire.  There was also a 30 degree temperature outside.

Cody enjoys the wind storm

The day after the storm everything started to bloom and push out of the ground.  Solomon Seals, given to me by one of my favorite watercolor students, Nancy Rooper are pushing up.  I really didn’t think they would come up with the weather being what it is here.  Daffodils of course are starting to bloom. Everything is coming alive.  I haven’t planted much yet since the mountain environment changes so quickly.  This year I’m trying some Chinese Lanterns and more Bleeding Hearts.  We have so much shade it’s hard to find space.

First blooms

Miniature gardens are growing everywhere in the front of our cabin.  Little forests of tiny Douglas Firs all coming up at the same time.  I wish I could shrink down and explore these little worlds.

Tiny Doug Firs

Students remember to sign up now for my “Avatar” class at The Dalles Art Center.  Call me with questions at 509-365-5119.

The Problem With Moths

the lesson of the moth By Don Marquis, in “archy and mehitabel,” 1927

(Jerry: The narrator is a poet reincarnated in a cockroach’s body. He types by jumping on the keys of a typewriter…no caps. This is a good introduction to my next post that will be written tomorrow morning with full explanation if all goes the way I plan.)

i was talking to a moth

the other evening

he was trying to break into

an electric light bulb

and fry himself on the wires

Moths are swarming at the Fenter household

why do you fellows

pull this stunt i asked him

because it is the conventional

thing for moths or why

if that had been an uncovered

candle instead of an electric

light bulb you would

now be a small unsightly cinder

have you no sense


plenty of it he answered

but at times we get tired

of using it

we get bored with the routine

and crave beauty

and excitement

fire is beautiful

and we know that if we get

too close it will kill us

but what does that matter

it is better to be happy

for a moment

and be burned up with beauty

and excitement

than to live a long time

and be bored all the while

so we wad all our life up

into one little roll

and then we shoot the roll

that is what life is for

it is better to be a part of beauty

for one instant and then cease to

exist than to exist forever

and never be a part of beauty

our attitude toward life

is come easy go easy

we are like human beings used to be before they became

too civilized to enjoy themselves


and before i could argue him

out of his philosophy

he went and immolated himself

on a patent cigar lighter

i do not agree with him

myself i would rather have

half the happiness and twice

the longevity


but at the same time i wish

there was something i wanted

as badly as he wanted to fry himself


(Jerry: I will continue with a rant on evil  moths tomorrow morning. My thanks to the late Don Marquis and to whoever took this beautiful picture of the swarm.)

Things To Do in Nebraska

Each Night I Dreamed of Nebraska


 You might want to re-read my last post to catch up. I’m sure everyone’s forgotten where I was in my Nebraska story. Trips to Seattle, big snow, and an ongoing head cold have kept me away from the computer for a while.


Nebraska. The Junk Jaunt. Let me tell you they were right when they advertised the jaunt as “Shop ‘til You Drop”!

Since we got into Columbus a day late we didn’t start our jaunt until Saturday.  WOW 300 miles of treasure! Amy, me, Janet and Jerry (my cousins) were ready. We all climbed into  Jerry’s truck (in case we had some BIG stuff to bring back) and started out toward the first town on the jaunt. It was like a “pickers” dream! The entire town was filled with places participating in the jaunt. Each place had a number. So we cruised…we’d check out each sale by slowing way down, staring at the treasure, checking to if baby clothes or old clothes were out. (This is a SURE way for the professional junk PICKER to know a good sale)  Good…no clothes or old shoes. Bad…all clothes no good stuff.

Choosing the perfect Scythe

Amy fixed her goal on buying a good scythe (pronounced “sigh” in the mid-west). We saw some great ones at lots of places on the jaunt but just couldn’t find the one that perfectly fit her hands. Now she wants one for Christmas! I was looking for small stuff to carry on the plane. Jerry was open for anything. He and Janet ended up taking home an entire turntable and speakers for a friend of his just to get the needle to fit his friend’s old record player so he could play old 33 1/3’s! We circled around the town for the entire day…because of a shortness of time we missed all of other towns that were participating in the jaunt! We had the best day. We came home with some crazy and great treasures. Janet got some beautiful little shadow box wall pictures.  Amy was walking on air because she found an original “Moulie Grater” in its original box. We were shopping in a giant barn when she spied it in a pile. She was so excited everyone jumped when she shouted out “Wow, I found MY Moulie!” Laughter. I brought home some small things including a tiny (1/2 inch) porcelain doll that I may put in my manger scene at Christmas. We are hoping to return next September more ready to spend three days picking and having a way to get cool stuff home. A U-Haul? Who knows?

Into the woods to the "Deer Stand"

The most fun in Columbus was just spending time at the Kneifel homestead and hanging out! We spent time outside. The weather was beautiful. We also took long walks on the property. Jerry was especially excited to show us his new “Deer Stand”. A Deer Stand is kind of like a big boy’s version of a tree house…with windows that you can stick a gun out of and shoot at game as it passes by on the ground. It is VERY high and has a zillion steps to climb, at the top of the stairs you pop up through the floor, come to a square room that I think has a heater and probably everything else needed to be comfortable while hunting. (I’m surprised Jerry doesn’t have a big screen TV up there!)

Zoi before the fall

Amy and I walked out to the blind with Jerry and Zoi. Zoi is Jerry and Janet’s RED (Go Big Red) poodle that is the cutest thing on four legs. She is a chunk though. Round and sweet. As we were getting ready to climb the stairs I casually asked Jerry, “Do you think Zoi can make it up?” I was afraid with that round body she might fall. Jerry’s answer was, “Oh no, she’s good.” (Last famous words.) We got almost to the top, Jerry was inside the stand when Zoi tripped, flipped and fell feet to the sky past Amy and down next to the stairs. She bounced off some trees and landed so far down we couldn’t see her. We all ran to her rescue. Thank goodness she got up. She limped a bit until Jerry picked her up and then just looked kind of sad and surprised.  She was probably sore the next day but she was fine! What a tricky dog. All of us thought we were going to collapse from fright but she toddled home just fine. Disaster averted Nebraska style.

One of the other highpoints on any Nebraska trip is watching a Cornhusker game. Go Big Red!!!! Football is right up there with religion in the mid-west. Here’s what you do.

Me at the Nebraska Football Store

1.  Dress up in your Nebraska “Big Red” clothes. This can be a tee shirt, hat, socks, gloves, corn-head, jacket or whatever has caught your eye at the Husker Store (which you’ve visited earlier in the day).

2. Head out to the nearest tavern with the least people, the most Big Screens and the best food and beer.

3. Find a table right in front of the Big Screen.

Popcorn Machine at the First and Ten in Bellwood

4. Get some popcorn from a real pop-corn machine.

5. Order a bucket of beer.

All You Need at a Husker Game

6. Order food.

7. Get all crazy and watch the Husker game in all of its glory.

8. Cheer on the team and watch Bo Pelini, the Husker coach, go crazy during the game!

9. Pray for a Husker win.

It was a wonderful night and a great trip thanks to my family! Amy and I are already talking about a return trip next September for the jaunt. I miss my cousins and Columbus. It must be in my blood.

For more information on Columbus, Nebraska, number 84 from the 100 BEST SMALL TOWNS IN AMERICA, go to www.columbusnedowntown.com

Toto, We’re Not in Oregon Any More


 (There is No Place Like Nebraska)

There is no place like Nebraska

 Dear old Nebraska U.

Where the girls are the fairest,

The boys are the squarest,

 Of any old school that I knew.

There is no place like Nebraska,

Where they’re all true blue.

We’ll all stick together,

In all kinds of weather,

For Dear old Nebraska U!

 Here it is. The Nebraska Fight Song. You can hear it on line! You can get it as a ringtone! Just grab your Corn Hat and your Official Husker’s wear and you are set for a good time! I promise.

Cousin Jerry in a Cornhead Hat

I just got back from (according to Money Magazine) the 84th Best Place To Live In America. Amy and I spent almost a week in Columbus, Nebraska. I know what you’re saying. “Why Nebraska? It’s so hot and humid there. Just a lot of corn fields and conservatives.” Yes it can be hot and humid… but it’s Heaven in late September. Warm days, cool nights, football and family…I’ve finally found my roots. I’m totally thankful for this.

We started our trip at the Portland Airport. Our goal was to get on the plane, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Well, we tried.

We did some serious gift shopping for the relatives in the tiny Airport stores, got to talking and laughing, bought a U of O monkey doll (a scary present for Husker fans) and some Huckleberry Jam.

We headed for our gate. I wanted to play on the moving sidewalk… so we fooled around on that for a while. We road to the end of it, checked out a few more shops then as an afterthought looked at the time. I checked my ticket. We were OK. The flight didn’t load until about 7:45. We walked to the gate and the room was empty except for one crabby lady in a wheelchair. We thought we were early! “The plane is gone,” the wheelchair lady said flatly.  I ran to the window. Our flight was still there but locked and loaded. I knocked on the window trying to get the attention of one of the luggage attendants on the ground. No luck…they all wear earphones. I could see our plane, it was still sitting there. I went for the gate door (closed), ignored the security signs (Do not touch this door or you will face horrible Federal penalties) and did what anyone would do. I banged HARD on the door. Panicked flight attendants, who must have just exited the plane, opened up and gave me suspicious looks. “What the hell are you doing?” one shouted. I begged for them to let us get on the plane. No chance… It was full. The plane DEPARTED at 7:45 am. I had mistakenly read that he plane was BOARDING at 7:45 am. Thus began our long tedious story of being on standby, our luggage already in Nebraska, too many expensive cab rides, a trip back to Amy’s for the night, outrageous change of flight penalties (Thanks American Airlines for being so hard to deal with) and a thousand calls to my Cousin’s cell phone in Nebraska. Amazingly ALL of us stayed calm.


We arrived the next day at the Omaha airport. My cousin met us with special Nebraska Gift Bags. Each bag included a cool Nebraska lei made out of corn-cobs, beads, and beer caps, a Husker hat, Big Red Gum, Husker’s Beer Cozies and watches from Wal-Mart (my Cousin Jerry’s idea of a joke because of our lost sense of time). A great dinner at Glur’s Tavern (Home of Columbus’ Best Burger) and (National Historic Site Circa 1876) finished off the day.

Amy looks out on Nebraska fields

A short ride through the cornfields and we were safe and home at my cousin Jerry’s in Bellwood (A small town outside of Columbus) by bedtime. We needed sleep so we could start out early the next morning on the JUNK JAUNT. Shop ‘til you drop, 300 miles of treasures. What a concept! Amy and I were stoked! We love to pick and it runs in the family. For more about the Junk Jaunt go to www.junkjaunt.com.

 (To be continued)


Old Clothes or Neat Stuff?

Amy Wants a Scythe for Christmas!

 The Amazing Falling Poodle!

Will Bo Pelini’s Head Explode at the Husker Game?

Who is Bo Pelini?

Coveting Everything  at The Husker’s Store!





“Where there  is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ingnorance.”

    —St. Francis of Assisi 



“When did the future switch from being a promise to a threat?”

                                  —Chuck Palahniuk



Good luck today Serina!