Tag Archives: Creativity Coaching

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.

 

 

 

 

Toto, We’re Not in Oregon Any More

DEAR OLD NEBRASKA U

 (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)

NEXT:

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!

 

Show Opening…”Iconography and Beyond”

I’m excited to announce the opening of my newest show at The Dalles Art Center.  It’s title is “Iconography and Beyond” and will run from June 1st until June 30th.  Natalie Hassell, Tory Brokenshire and myself will be showing the results of our interest and love of Icons and things that are sacred in the world and the universe in an exhibition of our art.  

 Natalie paints Icons. Tori makes Santos.  I paint the things that have become iconic to me over the past year.  I get my ideas from my own life and travels. I’ve done so much this year that makes me happy. I’ve been to Yellowstone…an icon in itself and problably the most breathtaking place I’ve ever been. I’ve been to Nebraska where I’ve found what it feels like to have family who include me in their interests and their history. My Cousins are such great and iconic storytellers that they remind me of my favorite uncles I’ve missed for so many years. We even have a poet in the family.  And the iconic Cornhuskers…what else do I need to say.

 

 

 

   I’ve spent time in Mexico…a place I love with a culture all of it’s own.  Meeting and talking with people from  Jalisco has changed me in so many ways.  In my work you’ll see sacred hearts and mangos, Yellowstone Park and it’s beauty and an image diary of my own soul. I’ve really grown as an artist this year in so many ways.  I seem to have opened my eyes to  many possibilities that I would have ignored earlier in my career.  I’ve started following paths that prior to now I would have been afraid to follow for fear of people thinking I was silly, sentimental or simply crazy in what I want to do and what I want to paint and write.  I’ve found anything is possible.  I’ve always said that but never really knew it was true until now.  My work is creative and unique and I’m proud of it. Somehow I’ve finally found ways to get all of the creative noise out of my head and on to paper and  canvas.  I do lots of commissions, of people’s families, dogs, horses and distant memories.  How lucky am I to be taken into  their lives and trusted with their ideas, images and thoughts?  I work as a creative counselor and as a teacher and get as much excitement out of successes my talented clients and students achieve as they do.  Who else is lucky enough to spend two full days surrounded by enthusiasm, paint, color, flowers laughter and great food and at the same time can provide encouragement to new experimenting artists? (Picture me teaching the class “Eat, Drink and Paint!”)

Join me at the Opening Reception of the show “Iconography and Beyond” at The Dalles Art Center on Thursday, June 2nd from 5-7pm.  Meet the artists, eat, drink and get inspired.  The center is located at 220 E 4th St. The Dalles, Oregon.  The phone number is 541 296-4759.  For information about the pieces just e-mail me at fenter@gorge.net or call me at 509-365-5119.  If you can’t make the opening the show will be up all month. 

Go and see the installation of Running Fruit Ladders as soon and you can.  For information go to http://www.gorgeartists.org   and click “Running Fruit Ladders”. If you’d like to donate to the project (which I know you will) call John Maher at 541-478-0171.

Threads and Christmas and New Year’s, Oh My

The Way It Is

 By William Stafford

 There’s a thread you follow. It goes among

 things that change.

 But it doesn’t change.

 People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread.

 But it is hard for others to see.

 While you hold it you can’t get lost.

Tragedies happen; people get hurt

 or die; and you suffer and get old.

 Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.

 You don’t ever let go of the thread.

 I thought I’d start the New Year out with a piece from one of my favorite poets that I think might answer some questions for people about why artists become artists. I think Stafford’s poem makes clear what I’ve been trying to express out loud for years. Artists are born with a thread they will be compelled to follow. It’s there from the earliest of memory. The artist will chase that thread of creativity from the time of birth until the time of death.

A person doesn’t choose to be an artist. The arts somehow choose you. I’ve felt the pull of the thread since I was a child and got up two hours earlier then my parents to read novels, books about art and poetry and to write and draw. No matter what practical paths I tried to follow with all  good intentions,  the wonder that is creativity seemed to be always close in my consciousness and easy to access at any time.

 My parents always encouraged me to be practical and safe. They wanted me to be a lawyer or a doctor.  They saw money as the only survival tool; they wanted me to be successful in a financial way. I can’t blame them for that. They made it clear that I would be the first one in my family to finish college. I did fine in school, and of course I wanted to please my parents, but I never quit feeling the strong pull of that thread towards the arts.

 I was constantly stretched in two directions. One practical and safe (psychology, teaching, research) and one magical, (dance, the arts and theatre). My life has been a constant game of Tug-O-War. When I played it too safe and was pulled to the practical side I felt as if something was always missing. Of course I’d enhance my practical life by reading, drawing, cartooning and always being around the arts but the strong tug of that unbreakable thread was always tipping me further towards the magical and the creative.  I had to overcome being afraid of the unknown and conquer my fears of free falling without the security of a monthly paycheck and retirement program.  I feel fortunate to have been brave enough to do this. When I finally chose to let the thread take me where it will, I started to feel energized (Tug-O-War can wear a person out). Decisions come easily. I do anything to keep supporting my art.  If travel presents itself to me, I’ll travel.  If a project interests me I’ll become involved in it.  If I feel the thread pull me in strange and unfamiliar directions, I follow. I don’t play safe anymore and it’s scary…it’s dangerous…it’s exhilarating.  Hanging on to that thread has also kept me from falling into deep depressions, the loss of loved ones and other passing tragedies.  The thread is strong and unbreakable and always healing. 

 Now for the news.

 Christmas with our friend Bill…wonderful. Having Patty and John over for Christmas Day…totally fun. Exchanging presents with our kids and grandkids to be finished up on Saturday at Amy’s…crazy fun. New Year’s stay at the Oregon Coast…restful and beautiful. And it’s not over yet. Even more Christmas with Erin, Sara and Jeff…can’t wait. This is going to be the best year!

 Don’t forget my monotype class at The Dalles Art Center on January 15th and 16th. (For information call 541-296-4759). There is still time to sign up for my Mexico Class in April. E-mail me at fenter@gorge.net or call 509-365-5119 for more information and a flyer.

 “A work of art is good if it has sprung from necessity.”

                                                                          –Rainer Maria Rilke

 Any comments on your creative threads are welcome!!

FENTER HOLIDAY SALE!!!!

 

We missed having a sale last year so there is lots of art for our sale this year.  We look forward to seeing all of you that can make it.  We have a variety of gift items and all types of inventory  including our newest cutting edge artwork! 

WHAT? Ron and Jerry Fenter’s Holiday Sale!

WHERE? 210 NE Fargo, Portland, Oregon, 97212 (Located one block west of MLK Blvd.  Look for a Popeye’s Chicken for the turn.)

WHEN? Saturday and Sunday, November 6th and 7th, 10:00am to 4:00pm.

PHONE? 503-282-4520 or 509-365-5119

E-MAIL? fenter@gorge.net

We’ll have acrylics, watercolors, collages, prints, sculpture, prints, pottery and MORE!

We will also have sweets and treats.

FEEL FREE TO COPY THIS AND PUT IT ON YOUR REFRIGERATOR TO REMIND YOURSELF TO NOT PLAN ANYTHING ELSE.  MARK IT ON YOUR CALENDARS! WE WANT TO SEE YOU ALL AT OUR SALE!

Students:  Don’t forget figure painting (see previous blog) on October 16th and 17th at The Dalles Art Center.  For info write fenter@gorge.net.

New Class, New Energy, New Process

Making Monotypes with Pastels and Metallic Crayons

Instructor Jerry Fenter

Saturday and Sunday February 27th and 28th 2010

The Dalles Art Center

541-296-4759

 

Learn to make wonderful one of a kind prints using crayons and pastels by coming to a 2 day workshop at The Dalles Art Center.  The workshop will be limited to eight people and the cost is $80 for the workshop, with a one time $10 supply charge.  Jerry will bring paper for printing, crayons and some pastels.  (However, if you have any old pastel sets, crayons, etc. around your house please bring them to share with others.) 

We will be printing on a copper sheet, heated with an iron, so dress for mess.  Bring some drawing paper to sketch ideas, pencils and a roll of paper towels.  You must come both days.  This is a crazy process!  Fun too!  SIGN UP AND PAY BEFORE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH AT THE ART CENTER OR USE A CREDIT CARD BY PHONE.  THE TOTAL IS $90.00.  

THIS PROCESS IS TOTALLY FUN! 

This is going to be an exciting week.  The Olympics, Valentines Day, a three day weekend and I’m going to finally get back in the studio and do some work.  I’m hoping to get a full class for Making Monotypes.  This is such a fun process, crazy, wild and it takes absolutely no experience in art.  I’ve put three small pieces I did using this process on this post.  They were all done especially  for a past Day of the Dead show I did with my artist friend Sandy Visse so they have a Mexican feel.  You can create abstracts, landscapes, portraits and anything else you have hidden deep in your creative brain.  So sign up ASAP.  It’s going to be a fun event. 

I was so sorry to read that Laura Russo died last week.  This is a huge loss to the Portland arts community and to all of her friends and customers.  She has supported the arts in the Portland area for many many years and she will be missed.  The gallery will continue in good hands. 

Don’t forget to send out your Valentines.  Happy Valentines Day.

 

Creativity Coach

I am now a member of the Creativity Coaching Association. I’m accepted, and when I get the time, will fill out my forms to be listed as a Creative Coach on their website. I had a good conversation with Beverly Down who is the President and CEO of the association. While talking to her I realized how much we had in common. It was uncanny. I feel like I’ve finally found my tribe. At least I know it’s another tribe to add to my existing ones. (Painters, Artists, Instructors, Counselors, Mothers, Mexico Lovers, Students, Fans of Mad Men, etc.) As we all get older our tribes seem to multiply as the years go by. But I’m excited and proud of myself for becoming a member. I hope to get more clients through the connection and also learn more about this strange new community of creativity coaches. The ideas never stop.

Yes, to those who are asking, I am giving a workshop this weekend at The Dalles Art Center. We will be learning watercolor skills while painting fruits of all types and hearts (because love and Valentines are in the air). I know this sounds a little crazy but it is going to be fun. We’ll be working and playing from 11:00 to 4:00 both Saturday and Sunday, January 23rd and 24th. We’ll go crazy with color and insane with insight. Lots of famous stars from my class will be there. I think it will be a great way to spend a weekend.

Also, I’ve just finished my two pieces for The Red Show at Columbia Arts Center in Hood River. The images are small, 10” x 14”, but will be framed. They are juicy, fruit watercolors based on some of my favorite poetry and embellished with a little collage.

This first piece is titled from a poem written by Sylvia Plath called Metaphors.

Metaphors

By Sylvia Plath

I’m a riddle in nine syllables,

An elephant, a ponderous house,

A melon strolling on two tendrils.

O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!

This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.

Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.

 I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.

I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,

 Boarded the train there’s no getting off.

 

The second piece is titled from William Carlos Williams’ poem This is Just to Say.

This is Just to Say

By William Carlos Williams

I have eaten

 the plums

 that were in

 the icebox

 

and which

you were probably

saving

for breakfast

 

forgive me

they were delicious

 so sweet

and so cold

Poems can really inspire the writer and the painter in me. I would love it if some of you could send some of your favorite poetry to me and I’ll print some poems here for all of us to enjoy. It tells a lot about a person if they share with you their favorite poetry, books, music or visual arts. Feel free to send some of your own poems if you’re not too shy. I have at least one excellent poet that reads this blog (Victor).

The holidays are over and it’s time to take some risks in the New Year. Try some new things but stay safe.

The Art of Selfishness

I’ve been working with my creativity coaching clients and have gotten onto the subject of things you love, producing art and being selfish. Producing art can mean many things. It can mean being a painter, sculptor, writer, gardener, comedian, hairdresser, designer, movie maker, actor, architect or chef. The list could go on and on. We all wish we were more creative (I hear this every day from almost everyone I come across). We wish we could produce a product that will make us proud and in the best of situations might even make us financially happy. Creatives are lucky people. They have plans and the drive and stamina to take the things they love, the experiences they’ve had, the interesting people they’ve met and the craziness of life, mix them all up in their brains and produce a product, a work of art, a book, a song, a poem, a meal, a joke that is good enough to be shared with the world. Creatives are brave. They may be afraid to show their work to others but they find ways to overcome fear and put it right out there. They know that what happens then, the public response, is beyond their control. Creatives must learn to give up control and love that unexpected, no limit, unrestrained free flowing flight without becoming terrified or blocked. Some think artists are born that way. I think artists are born with the ability to imagine creative things and the selfishness to keep themselves on a creative path. Being selfish in our society is considered a bad thing. But if a creative type is blocked by others from pursuing their dreams, or easily disappointed if barricades to their chosen direction appear, they will give up, give in and will not see their ideas come to fruition. Creatives must be selfish. They must love themselves, their talent, the ecstatic feeling they get when something beautiful and unexpected happens in a project they are working on, and really love the time they are actually creating a product in their studio or place of work. There is no more fulfilling feeling than relaxing after a productive, successful and creative day. To be an artist is to love YOURSELF first. Even with all of your faults, interesting adverse situations, good and bad surprises, shitty or good parents, crazy or wizard kids, bad marriages or good marriages, you have to somehow make LOVING YOURSELF right at the top of your list. Does this shock you? If you are a creative the work comes first along with the time it takes to make the work. If you have an ideal partner or good close friends they will honor and support your need for producing work. Creatives need to be both compulsive (about their work) and flexible to make way for unplanned surprises, adversity, tragedy and unexpected sudden changes in life. It’s these surprises and experiences that make for great and interesting work. If everything were perfect it would not be a creative world. I love to hear that “we live in interesting times”. I’m glad we do. As artists we should never feel alone. Most creatives have had difficult lives. Read about Alice Neel, Robert Rauschenberg or any other artists you admire. For meaning to shine in creative product you must have the experiences that cause you to want to express your hidden feelings. It makes us interesting. Artists are a brooding type but they love community. Talk to other artists. Read about artists. You’ll soon see that most have had to be self centered to be successful. Guard your creative time. If you need help with this hire a creativity coach. I’m available. Check out the Coaching part of this website.    

 “I assumed that everything would lead to complete failure, but I decided that didn’t matter—that would be my life. –Jasper Johns 1930-

Movie to watch: Adam Sandler in “Funny People”

Ideas For the New Year

I’ve been reading lots of lists of New Years Resolutions and would like to share my own strange list of suggested resolutions for artists, writers and all those outrageous creative types who walk daily on the rough path towards creative meaning.  Take them or leave them but I’ve tried all of them at one time or another and found them invigorating and inspiring. They will really get those juices flowing. Trust me. These are in no specific order. 

1. Take some of your supposedly awful ideas…long rejected…and transform them into a miracle piece. Rework it. (Terrible ideas…don’t you just love those?) Do this at least twice this year.    

2. Set aside a whole day: No plans, no responsibilities. Start driving, biking or walking. Go in unexpected and random directions. Document your day with photos, sketches and odd memorabilia. Do this at least once a month. Warning: This may bring lots of new ideas into your brain. Welcome them, write them down, sketch them, remember them and maybe even sing them.

 3. If  rejections make you crazy (I know this is true of all of us) do this. Write an incredibly cold and generic rejection letter to that irritating gallery owner, book publisher, juried show, reviewer or person that has pissed you off in the past. Explain why you won’t sell any artwork /stories/songs/books to them, no matter how much money or fame they might offer. Make it clear that they are not worthy of your talent. No amount of compensation will change your mind. The price to them will always be too high! Don’t mail it.  Treasure it.   

4. Nourish your childish enthusiasm each day of the year. For instance read a small part of a favorite childhood book, look at your old view master discs, notice smells and tastes that remind you of the good parts of being a child. Buy a hula hoop.  

 5. Give away things, without hesitation, to someone who does need them at the time. You can do this anonymously.                                               

6. Share your talent for free with at least one person per month.

7. Spend a whole day without speaking. Try this once a month. Warn your family and friends.

 8. Look for signs during all of the seasons.

9. Be discerning in who you choose to spend time with. Don’t waste your own precious time with unworthy people.

10. Paint, draw, joke, laugh, write, sing, talk and laugh as much as you can.

11. Write, draw or tape a long personal letter. Send one of these to a special person each month. Enclose a picture, photo or clipping that makes you laugh, cry or ponder.

12. Actively acknowledge the people and animals that you love each and every day.

13. Celebrate your birthday for at least a whole week but always try for the longest celebration you can negotiate.

14. Tired and crabby from over creativity? Curl up in your new Snuggie and watch Law and Order, Criminal Minds or Top Chef to rest your brain and renew your energy. (Other programs on TV can be substituted but they must be mindless and must not make you think). Mad Men is a must see. Artists need to be up to date on the latest cultural happenings, news and weird trends. Artists are the canaries in the mine shaft. That is why it’s important to read and watch as much as you can.  Become familiar with more of the world than your own little space.  Expand your thinking.

15. Find yourself an incredible mentor or creativity coach if you need help on your path.

As I re-read my list I realize it’s a little crazy, sometimes too sentimental and sometimes a little cruel. But I guess so am I. Have a good new year. This list is dedicated to one of the craziest and most influential people I’ve ever known.  He was a loved and respected professor and mentor to me.

 

Don Berry 1931-2001

Find out more about him at donberry.com and berryworks.

 

 

Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth

Just a short post to wish all of you Happy Holidays and thank you all for being part of my life this year.  I’m looking forward to next year and keeping my fingers crossed and my prayer flags flying for the whole country.  Hopefully the economy will begin to come back, we’ll start bringing our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, and that all of us will get some form of public and affordable health care.  I am optimistic that this will happen but need all of you to be aware of what needs changing and to be an active part of that change.  We are the force behind this country and we need to get much more creative about our ways of solving problems.  The old politicians in a back room with cigars, pat on the back, closed door type of policy making should be left in the past. (Can you hear me President Obama?) Our elected leaders should answer to us…not to the insurance companies or to the drug companies.  Think of the money we would have to take care of our poor and homeless if we weren’t spending such disgusting amounts on war. The troops would come home, have health care, get jobs and go on with their lives.  I support that.  Ok…my rant is over now on to other things.

Here are Ron and I and Cody in a photo together.  This is a rare occasion.  To get this shot our neighbor and friend Sara Draeger took many many shots, most where one of the three of us was moving.  And it’s true, we haven’t stood still at all this year.  Ron is working on art and driving school bus, I’m working on shows (you can still catch The Darkside Show at the Attic Gallery until January third), teaching at The Dalles Art Center (check out the last post for January class), and teaching a Magical Realism Class in April in Mexico (there is still room in the class for you to sign up).  We are also working around the property getting it ready for  winter.  Ron has done a great job on our new pump house which is now finished until spring. It actually looks better than our cabin.  We should move into it.   We have wood, our animals, and a  giant Costco food supply for survival, although most of the neighbors here think the winter won’t be too hard.  I also will be starting my creativity coaching in January.  Please pass the word on to friends that may feel a need for this type of coaching. I think I’m pretty good at it.  Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. So have as little stress as you can during the rest of the year…life is short.  Spend time with the people you love and don’t waste time on guilt and anger.  In Cody’s words, “Wag more, bark less!” Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.