Tag Archives: newest work

Way Back in the Woods


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.

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.

Waiting for My Jimmy Choo’s


I had such a wonderful time this last weekend.  Of course I was teaching…one of my very favorite things to do!  I gave a class on figure painting…without a model…kind of a tricky thing to do but I think turned out just fine.  Nude models in areas like The Dalles or Hood River are hard to come by.  Many people around this area are…what can I say…a little bit back in the early eighteen-hundreds?  To be fair, that’s not everyone, and things are moving into the twenty-first century… slowly but surely. 

 I taught two great students on Saturday and Sunday.  Both creative people open to new ideas, funny, serious and very inspiring all at the same time.  We played with the theme of “Fashion Week”, a yearly fashion “happening” held a few weeks ago in both New York and Portland.  For class,  no models?  No problem.  I had prepared early by tearing out “model” pictures from various fashion forward magazines…some actually ripped out at my doctor’s office as I waited for an appointment (sneeze…rip) no one noticed.  I also love New York Style Magazine for great exaggerated poses and blank dramatic kind of ignorant looking model expressions.  It must be a surprise to some of you that I think about fashion.  My usual uniform (as described recently by artist and writer Nancy Coffelt) is jeans (left over from the 70’s), sometimes grey sweat pants (the kind with elastic around the bottom and covered with acrylic paint…from wiping brushes on my knees), Birkenstocks (also splattered with paint) topped off with my hair in a messy ponytail tied back with a scrunchy.  BUT I consider myself a fashionista.  I can say honestly that I’ve never missed an episode of Project Runway and I read Vogue and Vanity Fair.  In fact I just asked the Uggs Company to trade art for some new Jimmy Choo designed boots.  I fell in love with their ad that came to me like magic on the internet.  Of course I painted the experience.  Waiting for My New Jimmy Choo Shoes (watercolor) was done with inspiration from my figure painting class and the great styling of Jimmy Choo.

    I started thinking (dangerous) as I was teaching. Since I began to sell my work…over thirty years ago, people have labeled me as “whimsical”, “funny”, “weird”, “uninhibited”, “shocking”, “cuckoo” and “not to be taken seriously”.  I’ll cop to the first six labels.  But believe me, humorous painting, movies, stories, books, cartoons and the like are serious art.  I’d like to add a quote from a daily letter from Canadian painter Robert Genn that many artists subscribe too.  It lit up in my mind like a light-bulb. You can read the entire letter at rgenn@saraphina.com if you like.  I’ll just touch on the high lights.  Genn was advising a young painter of the usual landscape type who was complaining that traditional landscape (what I call the mountain with two trees on the left and two on the right) was “not even me, I want to do something fun, imaginative, whimsical, goofy, cuckoo.” Robert didn’t disappoint me.  He answered that “Cuckoo is serious business…comedies are the toughest movies to make.  Context is everything, Marcel Duchamp, the patron saint of visual humor, made art of the incongruous.”

In fact Duchamp said, “Humour is very important in my life.  It’s the only reason for living.”  (Right on Marcel!)

 Woody Allen said, “Humor is just truth, only faster.” (Always happy to quote one of my most favorite directors and writers)

Now I’m not putting down good and expressive landscape painters.  There is always a place for a beautiful take on a special place. Painters Judith Cunningham and Becky Joy come to mind.  But paintings with unusual subjects, cartoons, humor, bright colors and things that make you laugh and sometimes question your very values cannot just be considered done on a “whim”.  All of us need to learn to treasure individuality.  Because something is the same as the other, matches your recliner, your friends won’t be disturbed if you buy it, or it is just a pretty picture are NOT reasons  to buy a painting.  As I told my students over the weekend, “There are no rules in art.”  Let go. Buy and create unusual outrageous things just for the fun of it. Our society has slowly been becoming a society of fear.  We’re afraid to take stands that aren’t popular, afraid to express our real feelings, afraid to make a mistake when we’re just putting paint to paper.  We’re afraid of offending anyone. I say try and stand out and be seen and heard.  Be original! Comb your cobwebbed brains for what you’ve always wanted to say or do but have been afraid to make real.  I have lost most of my filters as time passes and I feel free! 

A few notes.

Hooray…don’t ask don’t tell is a thing of the past!

Bart and Homer Simpson have been deemed Catholics by the Vatican press!  Hilarious!

Thanks to my students Ginny and Sandra for making my weekend special.

My birthday is coming up October 24th…just a reminder for anyone who wants to buy me clothes or other trifles.  I consider my b-day a month long occasion.  I’ve felt I’ve been living on borrowed time since I passed my seventeenth birthday. 

Don’t forget our Holiday Sale on November 6th and 7th in Portland.  Write to me at fenter@gorge.net for more information (also can be found on my previous post).  See you there.



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.


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.

Important Breaking News

Two important happenings in two different parts of the country this weekend. First a show by my good friend and exceptional artist Sue Martin at Art at the Main in Salt Lake City. The reception is Friday, August 20th. For information go to www.artatthemain.com!

Also my talented husband and well known artist Ron Fenter will be at the Maryhill Art Festival this weekend showing and selling his new line of pottery and sculpture.  He has brand new work after almost selling out his show at The Dalles Art Center.  For information go to www.maryhillmuseum.org.  Everyone come out and support him!

Darkness Becomes Me

Touch Me and You Won't Live 'Til Morning

Touch Me and You Won't Live 'Til Morning

 “It’s not the people who are in prison that worry me. It’s the people who aren’t.” —Arthur Gore

 I have a very strong dark side to my personality. I admit it. I would guess that anyone that says they don’t have a shadow side, dark and somewhat unholy,  is lying to themselves. Religion and philosophy have discussed dark and light, good vs. evil and law vs. lawlessness for centuries. People are usually surprised when I reveal this slithery more secret self. Most of my art that is shown in public is fun, whimsical and humorous. It makes people laugh. I use humor to cover up that darkness that is in me and my fear of the unknown. The “Day of the Dead” is one of my favorite holidays. Death is mocked and not feared but celebrated.

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!

  I first recognized this natural part of my personality when I was five. I would sneak under my favorite uncle’s bed and secretly read his True Crime magazines with horror and fascination. I felt some fear. My stomach jumped. Even though the pictures were in black and white, my talented and gifted brain could clearly imagine being right there at the crime scene playing any of the parts, the deceased, the perpetrator or the cop. I loved doing this. I also loved making up scary stories, telling them to and with friends in darkened backyards in the summer, Grimm’s Fairy Tales (the real ones), and flirting with being bad instead of good like the Bible told me to. I’d lay down under the coffee table and pretend I wasn’t breathing (re-enacting a crime scene). Step on a crack you’ll break your mother’s back. I was afraid of the dark but also felt like I was more alive when the unknown lurked in my closet and under my bed. The first movie I ever saw alone was “The Body Snatchers” at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland. When I came out of the movie, ready to walk home, I just knew that everyone I encountered had been snatched and changed and could possibly change me too and I ran as fast as I could to get home. I LOVED it.

Dirty Pretty Thing

Dirty Pretty Thing

As a teenager, my dark side tastes changed. At that age I think its part of the purpose of growing and becoming an adult to have no fear. Teenagers need to be a little fearless to break away from their parents, their protectors. I had no sense of mortality. I would never die. I was a rebel with a cause even though on the outside I was the good girl that my parents hoped I would be. I liked fast cars; I raced trains at railroad crossings, studied dark magic and Edgar Allen Poe. Hell fascinated me. I began to see that good vs. evil is a basic theme of life and art. I read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and could understand his struggle with morals and inner darkness. I liked bad boys. I was friends with bad girls. But, mostly I just flirted with this darker world. It held my interest. At age sixteen I found art and drama where I could express unspeakable things without actually doing them.

Fast Car Seaside

Fast Car Seaside

  As an adult, I’m still mostly fearless. I still like to drive at a hundred and five, I still like encounters with the darkness, reading and writing true crime, and meeting unusual people.  I crave danger. I’d like to climb high rugged mountains.  I love carnivals, freak shows, the midway and haunted houses. I love to go where I’m not supposed to be. For a long time I worked in juvenile corrections where I encountered the occasional murderer (about seven on the average per year), rapists, crooks and child prostitutes. I learned how to pick locks. I witnessed things so disturbing that I have kept them to myself.  I tried to understand these unusual and unforgettable people. Is it nature or nurture? I still can’t figure it all out. Are there people born without a sense of right and wrong? I would swear that there are. Can some people be changed for the better? I hope they can. But who really knows? So I’ll keep searching for answers. I’ll continue to watch Law and Order more than I go to Sunday Mass, my true crime library will keep growing until it overflows and I’ll keep that adrenaline pumping. You’ll see darkness in my art, all over the walls of the Attic Gallery in December. Some of the paintings shown in this post are from that upcoming show. Pick a dark character, dress up and come to the opening!  Drive fast. Take Chances. “Northwest of Normal…the Darkside of Jerry Fenter and Sandy Visse”.  Break the rules.  Scare yourself.


Your Own Risk

Your Own Risk



Is an art, like everything else.

 I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like Hell.

 I do it so it feels real. 

I guess you could say I have a call.

                                                   —Sylvia Plath  from her poem Lady Lazarus


Curiouser and Curiouser

The Real Queens of Romania

“To the Looking-glass world it was Alice that said, I’ve a scepter in hand, I’ve   a crown on my head; Let the Looking-glass creatures, whatever they be Come and dine with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and me!”

Yes, it’s been a queen’s week for me. I participated in the show at Maryhill Art Museum and showed for the first time my watercolor/collages of the Queens of Maryhill. They were a big hit and I think “Royalty for Everyone” will now be my motto. All of us want to be Queens or Kings in our heart and rightly so. The weather out on the eastern gorge was beautiful and cool. We passed lots and lots of wineries on the drive out. The whole of highway 14 after the Dalles exit seems to be grapes, grapes and more grapes. The art at the show was high quality and all in all it was an excellent weekend. There was an astronomy booth filled with the guys from the Observatory in Goldendale. (If you know nothing about this you must Google it and you’re in for a big surprise). There was also a Three-D art booth that of course I loved. I bought two cards, one Three-D card of Multnomah Falls that I will send to my friend in Liverpool, Maureen. She’s in love with Multnomah Falls as am I. The other three-D card was one of a painting of Van Gogh’s made into a viewer so it looks like it pops right out at you!  This will go to my friend Bill who needs a little laughter right now.    

This is dangerous

 “Then fill up the glasses as quick as you can,And sprinkle the table with buttons and bran;Put cats in the coffee, and mice in the tea–And welcome Queen Alice with thirty times three!”

This Queen Alice (aka me) spent Wednesday trying to wrangle three squirrelly black cats to the vet on her own. First the problem was finding the kitties that seem to hide when their carriers come anywhere near them. They find impossible places and seem to disappear into thin air as easy as the Cheshire Cat. I finally got the two little ones into one carrier. Since they are both about 10 pounds a piece I had to strain to get them into the back seat of the car. Then I tried to find Arlo. Arlo, being very smart and awfully sneaky, ran past me, up the stairs to the bedroom and flew under the King size bed, stopping and lying down right in the exact center spot so I couldn’t reach him. Of course Arlo knows about my fake knees (long story) and the fact that I cannot crawl under the bed to reach him so he just grinned at me as I tried to figure a way to chase him out. I went downstairs and left him there. I got the treats. I shook the treats. I could see his head pop out at the top of the stairs. I went after him. He ran into the closet and I dived (YES I dived) and grabbed him, finally putting him into his carrier and getting in the car. They whined and cried all the way as we drove to Bingen. My kitties hate not being at home. We get to the vet. Holly and Berry run out of their carrier and proceed to jump up on to everything in the exam room, knocking down soap and solutions and exploring everything. They finally open all of the cupboards and decide to shut themselves up in one deep space  under the exam table. Then there was Arlo. I had to shake him upside down out of his carrier and then he went straight to the corner of the room, under a little ledge and flattened himself out like a pancake. He figured if he made himself very small and flat no one would notice him. He would be invisible.  When Dr. Craig Vance (our hero) came in he and the nurses laughed at the two girls hidden away in the cupboard, by now playing with anything they could get their hands on. Arlo, I swear, looked like a small piece of lint by that time.  And so it goes.

 ‘You are old,’ said the youth, ‘and your jaws are too weak For anything tougher than suet; Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak— Pray, how did you manage to do it?’

I found out my diabetes is worse and now I’m trying to take meds for it. The meds make me sick and I feel like my body is turning against me. So…I’m trying to change my old lunch-mouth habits and going on a low carb diet and learning to take my blood sugar. For a long time I was in denial, but now I can’t ignore it any more. My blood sugar is a mystery to me but I have classes at good old Kaiser next month that should help change all that. I swear when I die they’re going to chisel that Kaiser number on my grave. Anyway, I crave all sweets, cookies, gallons of real Coke, potatoes, fries, and all that good stuff. Never to be enjoyed again. Splenda is my new friend and I don’t like her so much.

 No new news on the Anita Wolf situation. I have an interview with a close personal friend of hers during the second week of September. Maybe I’ll find out more good stuff then. She is not allowed visitors or correspondence at the Goldendale Jail. Hornets have surpassed murder as the subject of discussion here in Timber Valley for the time being. But Cody and I will be back on the job soon.

 “In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die.” –Lewis Carroll

Saint of the School Bus Drivers

 Happy back to school for some of you! Be kind to your bus drivers. It’s Tavish, my grandson’s first attempt at public school. I wish him to be the best! He’s of course the most gifted and creative.  I’ll be doing the Kings Mountain Fair in California over Labor Day.  All of you pray that I’ll meet Neil Young in a bar in the Redwoods.  I’ll be drinking water of course.

Live Like There is No Tomorrow and Buy Art

Me and My Sharks


It’s very hard to tear myself away from the uplifting National Geographic Channel’s special Shark Week that I’ve been watching to lighten my mood. The exciting video of sharks attacking man, attacking women, attacking in fresh water, attacking in salt water and especially the top ten most feared beaches for shark attacks has kept me staring at the screen to just cheer me up. This has been some week. It has truly been surreal. First, the hornet story continues. The hornets grew more and more ferocious as the week went on. We tried environmental sprays on the hive hidden in the wall under a log…we have a log cabin so can’t tear into the hive through a wall. Then, as you know, we got out those big guns, HOT SHOT, probably the most poisonous substance known to man or bee and waited for sundown. Actually we waited until it was totally dark because Ron and I both get really nervous when hornets come around us. I’m not allergic but Ron is so we keep Benadryl around at all times. So it was dark. We got flashlights, went outside and sprayed both cans of the Deadly Toxic Poison straight into the hornet hole. We came inside. We washed our hands as if we were surgeons, got some bottles of water and fell into our chairs. Even over the sound of the TV we heard a slight buzzing noise. Both of us acted like we didn’t hear it at first. Denial. Then it got so loud it was unmistakable. We muted the TV and the wall sounded like…well I don’t have the words to describe it…the wall hummed. We looked at each other and calmed ourselves by saying that the loud humming was happening because the hornets had been stirred up by the spray and were in their death throws. We sat down. We watched TV. Then we looked over to our coffee table light and saw two hornets spiraling around and around the lamp. I jumped into action, grabbed the fly swatter and a copy of The Sun (academic literary collection that comes monthly as a magazine) and started swinging at them. I smashed the first two. More were coming. Soon the living room and kitchen were infested with bees. It seemed that the more I killed the more that came in. In the meantime Ron is checking the baseboard to see where the hornets were entering the cabin. There were four tiny holes in the baseboard and they were also shooting out of the end of the baseboard under the stairs to the loft. I ran to my computer and googled “How to Get Rid of Hornets”. This was very wise because the article said NEVER to use a flyswatter or a copy of The Sun to smash hornets. That is because when smashed, hornets give off a strong pheromone that attracts all other hornets right to it. I threw The Sun and the swatter out the front door and kept reading. It seems that the best defense for ridding your inside house of hornets is to get out that vacuum cleaner and suck ‘em up. So we did. I also found some of that putty that you can hang posters with and plugged the little holes.  We shoved two washrags into the big hole at the end of the baseboard. Kind of like Ma and Pa Kettle would have in those old Timber Valley like movies.  We spent until about 2:00 in the morning running around the house like crazy sucking up every hellish hornet that we could get to. It felt good to see them inside the clear bag less plastic container of our Dirt Devil. It was FUN! Is this the start of a whole new serial killing part of our lives? I don’t think so. But the next morning the hornets were still going in and out of the hole. We had to repeat the whole thing last night and so we shall see.  No sign of them coming in from last night. The living room is quiet so far.  Good news.

 Landscape With Lenticular Cloud All Trees Have Fallen on My Car

 Life is short. Live for today. Be in the moment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that to students, friends, relatives and to myself almost like a mantra. Well, last Wednesday I was driving home from Portland going down Interstate 84 just thinking about keeping my speed down below 65 (I’ve gotten two tickets so far outside of Hood River for speeding and one for “careless driving”.) So I’m driving well, I’m proud of myself. I’m thinking how good a driver I’d become after the interactions with Johnny Law (from an old Betty Davis movie). Out of the corner of my eye, just before the turn off to Hood River at exit 62 I saw movement about halfway up the embankment…which is high. All of a sudden something hit HARD on top of my car, scraped the whole right side and bounced off. I pulled over off of the road, shaking by this time, and saw that the car behind me had also been hit and its front window had also been destroyed. A dead tree had fallen and hit my car hard, bounced off and hit the car behind me.  I called 911. They hooked me up to the OSP who gave me a case number for insurance purposes after finding out that I was all right.  A girl from the car behind came up to see if I had been hurt. They also had gotten a case number. Shaken up, I drove home. We couldn’t check out the damage until the morning in daylight and it was awful. One second later and I would have been a statistic. A statistic with a branch sticking out of my head.  So…be prepared for everything and enjoy each day.

 Our Powerful Lady of Apple Pie

Oh, I have a question that I started on my face book page. When you were small would you rather have been a Queen, King, Princess, Prince, Count, Countess, Bad Girl, Bad Boy, Mysterious Woman or Superhero, Madonna or Mad Man or Mad Woman like Zelda Fitzgerald? Think hard and send an answer in my comments section. I myself have always wanted to be a Bad Girl but never have quite gotten that far. I always loved those bad boys though.  I get closer and more like Joan Crawford as I get older.  Thank goodness I’m too old to have a baby.  The series of paintings that will be coming up at the Maryhill Arts Festival will explore these themes as will our “Dark Side” show at the Attic Gallery in December. No news on the murder. Cody and I are still working on it.

Late news flash….I just have gotten an interview with two “knowing” people who are on the board of the Timber Valley Ranchers Association about the Anita Wolf Murder.  They have filled me in on lots of detail surrounding the murder and will be happy to share information with me.  I will be talking with them after our annual TVRA meeting and then I’ll have lots more detail on what happened.  Right now the air is full of rumor, threats and lots of gun talk. It’s also full of hornets.

Paint, Twitter, Detect and Save Bees





What a crazy week.  I’m wearing so many hats.  I’m being a painter (finished eight paintings), I’m being a reader (more on that later), I’m being a detective and a damned good one too, I’m being a creativity coach with three clients who at this particular time are happy with what they’ve been doing, I’m being a researcher (goes with the detective work) and this morning I was a bee shooer (very dangerous).  Also I’m now on Twitter and still can’t quite figure out how it works.  It is pretty amazing though and here’s why.

 Dave Chappelle


    Last week on a weekday my daughter called me and said there were rumors of Dave Chappelle being in Portland.  Mr. Chappelle, or as I refer to him as Dave, is one of the best comedians I’ve ever seen.  He used to have a show called “The Chappelle Show” on the Comedy Channel and he was raw, sometimes racial, often silly, a great impersonator, and always hilarious.  After a few seasons Dave left TV after getting offered a fifty five million dollar contract with the Comedy Channel.  He was going through a crisis of meaning of some sort and he turned it down.  He has been pretty reclusive ever since.

So when Amy told me he might be in Portland and might be giving a free performance at the Pioneer Courthouse Square I was excited, wished I lived closer to Portland and wanted to know if it was true.  I turned to Twitter.Tweets were abounding.  Dave was seen on 6thavenue, Dave had stopped to have Mexican food, Dave was staying at the Heathman Hotel, Dave was really going to give a free show at the square.  Hundreds of tweets, maybe more like thousands.  My computer was buzzing.  I watched Twitter until midnight when he was supposed to show up.  Amy had gone to the square to wait for Dave after she got off work at 10:00 pm.  Already people were gathering.  By midnight there were about three thousand people.  I called her and she said it sure looked like he was going to give a performance.  I said to call and let me know in the morning.  I WENT TO BED.   


In the morning I called Amy and she said that yes, The real Dave Chappelle did show up at the square, but all he had for a microphone was a toy bull horn run by batteries.  He started the show by thanking Duracell!  By this time five thousand people were gathered, it was crowded and noisy, police were there and everyone was trying to set up a sound system.  The power had been turned out on the square at midnight.  Amy heard a few jokes.  One was reported in the Oregonian to be “I’ve never seen so many people so close together and not being violent,” but Amy said she thinks he said “I’ve never seen so many people so close together and nobody getting pregnant.”  That sounds more like the Dave I know.  Anyway it was a great Portland Happening and not to be forgotten.  Thanks, Twitter for keeping me up to date.  And thanks, Dave, for being there.


I just finished eight paintings.  How I got so inspired is thanks to my class I taught out at Maryhill.  “The Real Queens of Romania” is the title of one of the paintings.  Also I’ll be teaching another workshop at The Dalles Art Center on July 25th and 26th.  I’ve got a great assignment in mind that will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

 Murder Scene Number 27

My detective work on “Murder in Timber Valley” is really keeping me busy.  I’ve been researching murders around this area, reading Appleton history and interviewing some of the people who know Anita Wolf.  I even called the jail in Goldendale to see if I could send a letter to Ms. Wolf but was told she could not have any letters or contact.  I’m gathering up lots of theories from various people but so far I’m still in the investigative process.  I did take pictures of the scene of the crime and I’ll share a couple here just to get you interested.  Cody (my assistant, see picture at top of post) and I went up Rustic to # 27 and checked it out. 

It would be easy to hide out in the woods around here for a long time.  We have thick forests and natural brush.  Creambrush Timber Valley


As far as my dangerous bee shooing, this morning our pump on our well went out.  No water.  This is a disaster of the highest sort up here.  We called our local “pump” man and he said he’d come up this afternoon.  Ron had to take the pump house apart and open it up so Ervin of AA Sales could reach the pump to find out what’s wrong.  As Ron took it apart he found a honey bee hive starting up under the insulation.  Ron’s deadly allergic to bees.  So I put on my sweat shirt and bravely took a long piece of re-bar and knocked the hive (which was round and smallish) out into our front field.  Bees flew at me but mostly they followed the nest.  I whacked it over further from the house and figured they would set up their nest in a better place.  We didn’t want to kill them…they’re honey bees.


If you have a chance read Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer.  It’s a wonderful book, can be placed in the magical realism realm and is a great read.  Foer is so creative with his characters and writes expertly from different points of view. 


    “Read it, and you’ll feel altered, chastened—seared in the fire of something new.”

                                                   Washington Post Book World


More later.  Please look at my work and buy something to support the arts. 

Resting Spirit

Here’s my latest watercolor.  Of course wolves are close to my heart, especially after living with so many huskies. 

Thought for the day

” When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.    —John MuirResting Spirit

Resting Spirit…watercolor by Jerry Fenter 15″ x 15″ $500.00