Tag Archives: magical realism

COLORS AND TEXTURES OF MEXICO

COLORS AND TEXTURES OF MEXICO

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.

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A Story From Mexico

Palms Mexico smaller Mexican Time by Jerry Fenter

“Get in the damned car”, barked Richard from the passenger side in the front seat. “This is going to be an adventure!” Richard never just spoke, he barked.

Like a decorated general from the old English Raj he talked to Nancy and me like he was addressing his troops. Car fully loaded we shot out of the parking lot of the Costco in Puerto Vallarta into bumper on bumper traffic. Traffic on the main highway was particularly slow this morning. We passed small accidents. A crowd of people stood in a circle around a crushed ice cream freezer pulled by a bike. It seems the driver had been distracted by what he thought were three people carrying a kicking goat in the lane next to him. Watching the goat and not the road, he’d rear-ended an old rusty Chevy. The impact caused him to fly through the air into oncoming traffic. He bounced off the hood of a tricked out Ford with a decal of Guadalupe on the back window. His bike and its contents were destroyed in the crash. Traffic was stopped. People watched the ruckus from open windows, cigarettes dangling from their lips. Street dogs were having their fill of the sweet melty liquid spilling out of the tiny broken freezer. They lapped it up. They rolled in it.
“I swear I saw them crossing, the goat was kicking and I didn’t want to hit anyone,” the ice cream man explained.
The Chevy driver was pissed. He hadn’t “seen any fuckin’goats or nothing”. Richard didn’t stop. The accident disappeared from view. Richard pulled out his map.

“By map it’s only two hours to San Sebastian.” Richard shoved the tail end of a Costco kosher hot dog into his mouth. “Piece a cake!”
Nancy rolled her eyes. She knew that two hours Mexican time could mean anything. In Mexico time can be bent, go backwards, even stop. Time will always surprise you. We turned left onto an unmarked road just past the Botanical Gardens. The car stumbled up the vertical highway, over topes, past broken parts of huge boulders, some that blocked parts of the road. Each of us took turns moving obstructions.

“And this is the new road,” said Richard, relaxing into the passenger seat while hooking up the new hand held gadget for driving directions he’d just bought.
“Check this out Nancy. It’s called the Tom-Tom. It’s the latest thing in getting to wherever you want to go. No getting lost. Saw it on TV. Picked it up back at Costco.”

Nancy looked hard at the little screened device. Her attention was fully on the gadget in Richard’s hand. I held on tight as the car absently drifted to the left side of the road just missing a noisy large group of crossing chickens. As we rumbled over loose rocks The Tom-Tom guided us with its feminine voice and detailed map. The voice was confident with a strong English accent. You could trust this that voice to get you anywhere.

Trucks full of livestock, cars stuffed with oxygen tanks and old pickups sped downhill, swerving just in time to miss our car. Signs saying PELIGROSO marked hairpin turns. Yet somehow I felt safe. I had moved into a fearless Mexican mode. I was invincible. I had lost all doubt. We had the Tom-Tom and the English lady’s calm reassurance. Also, luck seemed to always stay close to Richard.

An iguana languidly crossed the road. The blazing sun was gone. We had entered the jungle. Unfamiliar plants entwined road signs. We crawled by dwarfed pineapple trees and overloaded banana plants. A mist rose up from the pavement and clouded our windows. I couldn’t get enough air. It was like breathing under water. I cleared my window. Gold light shined out of small openings in the trees like a promise.

The map on the Tom-Tom was harder to follow as we drove higher. Roads on the screen split, turned and even curled backwards where no roads could exist. The calm female voice repeated that we’d missed our turn over and over despite the fact that there was only one way to go and that was straight up.

We were surrounded by jungle. I imagined ancient animals peering through dark branches. Irrational geography confused the real with the unreal.

We drove around potholes as the pavement became cracked and broken. To our right the trees opened up leaving a half moon shaped clearing by the road. We slowed to a crawl. Too our right was an entire traveling carnival alive with dwarves, sideshow characters and workmen trying to push a dilapidated fallen trailer to an upright position out of a deep muddy rut. People appeared from nowhere just to watch. They talked and smoked as Siamese twins tried to wedge a plank under the trailer’s sunken back-end, every careful movement the exact copy of the other’s. The twins whispered to one another as they struggled with the weight.

“Tamales, tortillas, pan dulce,” a birdlike man called out to the crowd hopping from one foot to the other then setting his platter down to spin around and around. People surrounded him. The food was gone.

Nancy and Richard were arguing about directions. The road grew narrow. Moss dripped with moisture as bright pink leaves and dirty speckled lizards fell on the car. So many bugs smashed to death on the windshield made it hard to see. I turned and watched the circus vanish as we rolled up the steep hill.
The screen on the Tom-Tom went blank.
The English lady went silent.

“Shit, let’s get rid of this God damned thing.” Richard rolled down his window and tossed out the Tom-Tom. It vanished, sucked into the shadow of the jungle wall.

The mountain air was fresh and fragrant with mangoes. I could breathe. Above the mist of the jungle the sky was cobalt blue. Two hours turned into four as we crossed a one lane bridge. We looked down. A creek ran under us surrounded by white water. Standing birds lifted their wings and danced near the shore. We had entered a place where magic could happen. Church bells chimed the hour. The road now was cobblestone. The city of San Sebastian Del Oeste shined white with casas de adobe. We were inside living history full of old haciendas, gold and silver mines protecting ghosts from the past, acres of sharp blue agave plants and broken down tequila tasting stands. Bakeries displayed pan dulces fresh from the oven. We passed the Catholic Church in the square, drove another half mile and pulled to a stop. A statue of San Sebastian pierced with arrows shone in the afternoon light. We had arrived at La Galerita de San Sebastian, once a ruined hacienda and now our destination.

Richard’s voice quieted as he and Nancy settled into their private casita. I was alone with the jungle. Tiny birds moved from tree to tree, each telling their own story. Coffee beans brushed against my face. I carefully pulled one from a cluster carefully leaving the stem. Smoke rose. The roasting coffee smelled amazing. The statue of St. Anthony with his tortured eyes watched as I picked up my bag. I stopped at the door of my own casita. Two dark purple orchids shifted then turned toward me from their tree branch. Their spicy aroma teased me as I walked up the steps into my own private sanctuary.

Hi everyone. I thought you might enjoy a story an experience I had in Mexico. I’m hoping to get a few more people to sign up for my painting workshop. This years Mexico Class is in Melaque, Mexico at www.lapalomamexico.com/. The place is beautiful, and so much fun. Check the last post on this website for a sign up sheet. If you have any questions just give me a call at 509-365-5119 or fenter@gorge.net. Our dates are March 14-18, 2016.

Painting in Paradise

WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP MARCH 14-18 2016
JERRY FENTER INSTRUCTOR

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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.

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

Magical Mexico Adventure

Happy mid-July everyone. My post is back! Still having a few technical problems but I’m working on them. Since we still have dial-up here in Timber Valley I guess I’ll have to start writing from my favorite coffee shop down by the river.

Great news! From March 21st-28th 2015 I’ve scheduled another teaching event that will have your artistic minds spinning.  During this week I’ll be coaching and teaching a 5 day clinic in Melaque, Mexico. This clinic will explore “Color as a Central Expression of Mexican Life”.  The  small town of Melaque is alive with color, excitement, texture and magic. So we will come together at  one of my favorite places in the world the La Paloma Resort on the west coast of Mexico. To take a look go to www.lapalomamexico.com/. The resort has a beautiful studio and is right on the water.  It is a relaxing and inspiring destination.

It’s never too early to plan.  So I’m writing this .now because it will give you plenty of time to  set aside this week for yourself or for you and your friends to explore color and art with me, Jerry Fenter, as your coach, teacher and guide.  For those new to art…don’t fear.  We can work with watercolor or drawing at your level.  For those more experienced or who have a special area of expertise (all media…for example oils, acrylics, pastels, soft cloth work, drawing, ink, photography etc.)   I will be there to help bring that color into your work with my past experience in Melaque .  This will be a true magical art week to remember. Surprises are everywhere. These dates are before Easter so all local restaurants and sites should be open for us to explore.  Seeing and experiencing is so important in making art.  Also this will be a great adventure.

I will have details in flyer form soon.  Please forward this to anyone you might think is interested.  To  talk to me write to fenter@gorge.net or call 509-365-5119.

Magical Mexico

Magical Mexico

MAKING MAGIC IN MEXICO

2011 Watercolor and Art Retreat

Making Magic In Mexico

April 13th through April 19th 2011

Melaque, Mexico

Jerry Fenter Instructor

It’s winter here and time to plan for something exciting, fun, relaxing and creative in a truly magical place. Reserve your spot in Jerry’s 2011 workshop in Melaque, Mexico at the beautiful La Paloma Resort! Open to both experienced and inexperienced students of all ages, this year we will focus on magic, Mexico, figure drawing and painting along with some surprise projects guaranteed to jump start your creative brain. We will learn to relax into Mexican time and loosen up our painting styles by soaking up local Mexican culture. Jerry is an experienced teacher and creativity counselor whose goal is to bring out and develop your own style of creative work.

La Paloma is a small boutique hotel/retreat. They offer a pool right at the ocean’s edge, studios with cooking areas and many more amenities. We start class each day in the on-site studio after enjoying a complimentary service of fresh orange juice, all the Columbian coffee or tea you can drink with toast and jam. Studios run $700 per week double occupancy. ($350 per person if you share a room.)

Sound great? The price for Jerry’s workshop is $650 per person for the 5 day workshop. Total cost? $1000 for the 5 day workshop and two free play days in Mexico!!  Airfare is not included but we are staying Wednesday to Wednesday for savings. For more details or questions call Jerry at 509-365-5119 or e-mail at fenter@gorge.net.  To see the beautiful La Paloma Resort go to www.lapalomamexico.com/. You’re invited to Mexico for a great time!!!!
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SAVE YOUR SPOT

To save your place, fill out and send this form and a check for $50 made out to Jerry Fenter ASAP. This check is non-refundable but will go to the price of the workshop. To make reservations at La Paloma, e-mail retreat@prodigy.net.mx Questions? Call Jerry. The address is 26 Frontier Rd., Appleton, WA 98602. DON’T MISS OUT!!!

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Ron and Jerry’s Holiday Sale 2010

Ron and I are busy getting ready for our Holiday Sale in Portland on Saturday and Sunday November 6th and 7th.  The hours are 10:00am-4:00pm at 210 NE Fargo (if going north on MLK turn left on Fargo…when you see the Popeye’s Chicken).  We have lots of great items for gifts and for indulging yourself.  Plus we’ll have some sweets, wine and cider for your enjoyment.  I wish I could put on a show, but I know I’ll be much too busy writing up sales!  We (as artists) really need your support this year.  Times are tough…BUT we have been lucky enough to survive this “recession” because of our loyal customers and are confident that our callings as artists are the right and true path for us now and in the future. We are obsessed with our work and will always keep making art. The quality of our work reflects years of experience and growth. Our Holiday sale is a blast!  See you there. (503-282-4520 or 509-365-5119 or fenter@gorge.net)

Saturday and Sunday November 20th and 21st I’ll be doing another class in “Figure Drawing and Painting” at The Dalles Art Center.  We’ll be working on drawing the figure, painting the figure and developing your own style of expression.  The class is $40 per day. (509-365-5119 or fenter@gorge.net )

I have the Mexico class dates!  The dates are April 13th-19th 2011.  That is a Wednesday to Wednesday. (This will save us on airfare.)  I’m very excited about the class and will be sending out flyers soon.  Nancy Lennie and I have been cooking up all sorts of fun experiences.  I can’t wait for the sunshine, magic and creativity.  If you are interested please send me your names and addresses or e-mails to get specifics and have me send you a flyer.  (509-365-5119 or fenter@gorge.net)

Here’s a plug for The Attic Gallery.  I have lots of work there just waiting to be put under someone’s tree.  Go and check it out or click to www.atticgallery.com .  Thanks Diana,  Maria and Becky for being such great support to me.  Your gallery is the best in Portland!

 

Mondo should have won on Project Runway!  He is a genius. 

My birthday was and still is a huge success!  So many cards, so many presents and so many good wishes.  I’m so fortunate to have the friends that I do.  Maureen (my pen-pal of over 50 years) called me from Liverpool England!  What a treat. Also my family was great.  Ron, Hans and Amy never forget and I love them for that.  My friend Bill (even though just out of surgery) sent a special “variety” package that was Halloweenish and Birthdayish. Thank you, Bill.  I look forward to sharing gifts with Rick Harvey when we see each other at my sale.  He and I were born one day apart!  I still look at all my cards each day!  No, I don’t feel old, just energized. 

If you haven’t seen it yet, watch Boardwalk Empire on HBO.

The deer are playing tag in my front yard.  How lucky can one person get?

Oh, Mexico

I’m back and I’m feeling great. The class in Mexico was amazing. I had a class of strong, independent and creative women who worked hard, played hard and experienced the magical realism of Latin America first hand. We experienced

an irrational geography where you can be born with a star on your forehead, a sign of the marvelous;”  Isabel Allende’s Of Love and Shadows

Magical realism has it’s origin in the remembrance of childhood. Wonder and imagination runs wild. Mexico is a place where time can seem bent.

 “Why shouldn’t time slow down and stop occasionally, or even go into reverse?”  Isabel Allende’s Eva Luna

 Melaque was a beautiful setting for a wonderful class. I had an exceptional group of students who weren’t afraid to dive into the Mexican culture with everything they had. We each will remember it differently. One of the high points of the class was sharing our work and passing on the communal crown after a wild week of work and play.

 

We played and worked without boundaries like the children we are inside. We realized the need for stories in our lives. Each experience was a story. We created our own personal myths and shared some common myths that developed during the week. All around us was magic. It surprised some of us and others accepted it without question.

 The things you’d least expect speak. There they are: speaking.  Bones, thorns. Pebbles, lianas. Little bushes and budding leaves. The scorpion….the butterfly with rainbow wings. The hummingbird….One and all have something to tell….I learned the story of some of the animals from them.”  Vargas Llosa The Storyteller

 

 The classroom became a sacred space.

“Books, quiet during the day, opened by night so their characters could come out and wander through the rooms and live their adventures.” Isabel Allende Eva Luna

We saw things we wouldn’t have seen without being aware of the sweet culture of Mexico.

“He knocked on every door up and down the coast, sweltering in the hot breath of the siesta, feverish in the humidity, stopping from time to time to give assistance to the iguanas whose feet were stuck in the melted asphalt.”   Isabel Allende Eva Luna

 We painted and wrote stories about the experiences we had.

 

 “All day they hauled mangoes, until there were none left on the trees and the house was filled to the roof-top….In the days that followed, the sun beat down on the house, converting it into an enormous saucepan in which the mangoes slowly simmered; the building…grew soggy and weak, and burst open and rotted, impregnating the town for years with the odor of marmalade.”  Isabel Allende Eva Luna

 The class seemed too short. It was over in a blink of an eye. I was lucky enough to stay for an extra week, traveling into the mountains with Nancy and Richard Lennie. Thanks to them for a wonderful time. And a special thanks to my students, Mary, Vonda, Judy, Cherie and Signe. I’ll soon have the dates for next year’s class. Again, I can’t wait.

 “Oh, Mexico, it sounds so sweet with the sun sinking low.”  James Taylor Mexico

Adios.

Sweet and Magic Mexico

 

I’m back from beautiful Mexico.  I have so much to tell.  I need a few days to let my thoughts, mix, combine,  rise and make sense.  I spent the first week with a most powerful and beautiful group of talented and creative women.   The second week was spent in the Heaven that is San Sebastian Del Oeste. 

 

I haven’t the words yet to describe my feelings.  During my stay I read even more magical realism.  I’d like to quote part of Barbara Kingsolver’s book The Lacuna here.  In just these few words she captures the essence of Mexico in a way that truly involves all of the senses.

“Most of all, Enrique cared for pan dulces made with wheat- flour dough.  Puffy and soft with a grit of coarse sugar on top, filled with pineapple, sweet and tart from the oven’s wood smoke.  Pan dulce is no easy trick.  The vanilla has to be from Papantla.  The flour is ground in a stone metate.  The flour must be ground so fine it comes up into the air in clouds.  The hard part was mixing in the water, going too fast. 

Let me show you how to do this.  Begin with two kilos of the flour.  Make a mountain on the counter.  Into this mound, with your fingers, crumble the flakes of butter, the salt and soda.  Then pull it out like a ring of volcanic mountains around a crater.  Pour a lake of cold water in the center.  Little by little, pull the mountains into the lake, water and shore together, into a marsh.  Gradually.  No islands.  The paste swells until there are no mountains left, and no lake, only a great blob of lava.  The dough should be smooth, fluid and solid at the same time.  It will sleep overnight in a covered bowl.  In the morning roll it flat, cut it with a machete into squares, spoon a dot of pineapple filling on each one and fold it into a triangle, sprinkled with sugar grains soaked in vanilla.”

                                                           from The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

I’ll have more to write later.  So much to tell about the class, the group of  beautiful exceptional women, my hosts Richard and Nancy and the magical new people I’ve met in Mexico this trip. 

I’m having surgery on May third.  I’ll continue my posts when I recover.  Much more on the class and the country.

Mexico, The Jerry Awards and Barbie Dolls

It’s getting very close to our week long workshop in Mexico.  I am so excited I can hardly sit still.  Melaque is so beautiful, I have a wonderful collage of people in my class, and everything points to one of the best weeks I’ve ever had.  I’m madly re-reading all of my Magical Realism literature and spent time on E-Bay getting some DVD’s to take to La Paloma and share with the class.  This year I’m bringing Love in the Time of Cholera, starring the handsome Javier Bardem and based on the wonderful book of the same name by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Everything is Illuminated, starring Elijah Wood and based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, and last but not least Pan’s Labyrinth, a movie that will shock us and make us more fully understand magical and grotesque realism.  I also always bring Y Tu Mama Tambien starring Maribel Verdu, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna…”Wildly erotic,” commented Rolling Stone Magazine on this movie.  The actors in this movie actually stayed at La Paloma while filming in the area so it’s fun for Nancy Lennie and I to share stories with the class. (Those guys are as hot as the Mexican sun!)  So I’m ready.  Anyone interested in holding a place in next year’s class please contact me by e-mail at fenter@gorge.net and I’ll put you on the exclusive list! 

Speaking of movies, the awards season now has passed.  The Hurt Locker took best picture at the Academy Awards.  My friend Bill was devastated by the loss of James Cameron’s Avatar.  Both he and I loved the message in the movie and of course the special effects.  So I started thinking.  We live so far up in the woods I don’t get to see all of the Academy Award films until they come out on Net Flix so….get ready for it…here are a few winners I’ve chosen from movies I’ve seen on Net Flix during the last year.  Announcing THE JERRY AWARDS.

Best Film: Riding in Cars With Boys.  Made in 2001 and Based on the autobiography by Beverly Donofrio, directed by Penny Marshall, (Laverne) and starring Drew Barrymore, Steve Zahn and James wood, this is my favorite movie that I saw on my big flat screen (47″) this year.  Every time I watch this movie I cry for at least an hour afterwards.  It’s about a hesitant teen aged mom, who is very smart, but not smart enough to not get caught up in the moment and get pregnant.  She has plans.  Her plans change.  The story is sweet, sad and true.  Drew Barrymore is excellent in this role, as good as she was in Fifty First Dates.  Steve Zahn (who I’ve never noticed in any other movie or TV show) plays the teen aged husband, who attempts to do what’s right but just can’t seem to make things work.  His heroin addiction might have played a part in this.  His performance is award level!  What a ride.

Another of my “best” awards goes to The Invention of Lying starring my favorite comic of all time, Ricky Gervais.  He was the person responsible for The Office,  British style.  I won’t be a spoiler and tell you the plot but it is a funny movie. 

I also have some favorite TV shows that I try to catch each week.  Here are some of the winners. Breaking Bad will start it’s new season soon.  I miss Mad Men like crazy.  I will watch any of the three Law and Orders at any time during the day or night.  I especially like Law and Order Criminal Intent.  By the end of the day Ron and I are pretty tired of thinking so we also really enjoy The New Adventures of Old Christine, Medium and Two and a Half Men. I think Charlie Sheen is wonderful and I love his retro shirts. Pure eye candy.  I’ve just started watching American Pickers and Pawn Stars.  Great shows that involve finding and selling old junk and antiques.  Collecting is in my genes.  It’s so much fun to see some of the odd things that people value and carefully collect.  I can totally understand where they are coming from. 

Oh, we finally got a “new” car!  Ray Schultens Motors in the Dalles pulled through for us and found us our perfect car.  It’s a 2005 Ford Explorer, white, Eddie Bauer Edition, with four wheel drive and a moon-roof!  Austin Woolsey was our salesperson.  He was very good to us.  He used to be the chef at the Baldwin Saloon in The Dalles.  I would recommend him to anyone in this area looking for cars.  After selling us the car he’s off to Disneyland with his five kids for a vacation.  I think we wore him out. Photos of our new car (possibly named Eddie) will come soon.

I’m going to talk about the new “Mad Men” Barbie dolls in my next post.  I only wish they had the cigarettes and booze as accessories!  Unfortunately the designers of the dolls thought that these additions would be inappropriate.  But I remember the 60’s in suburbia…barbecues, parties, booze and cigarettes kept my parents busy while the kids played and got radical ideas about “free love” and “the war in Vietnam”.

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.