February Ocean

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Our February adventure at the coast was different in a number of ways.

First, we decided to stay over a Sunday and Monday night instead of a weekend, which changed the ebb and flow of tourists. On the drive out, most were “going home” driving in the opposite direction.

Secondly, while we are used to rain, we did not expect horizontal rain which turned our windows into camera filters.  I call this rain filter, “Monet” because it reminds me of paintings by Claude Monet.  The splashing against the windows was soothing and I think gave the ocean a dreamy effect.  Once the horizontal rain stopped, we had very clean windows.

Lastly, our usual eating spots were closed, so we explored different places.  While I like to hold up in the hotel (we paid for it, I want to BE in it) we took some trips to walk around the local mall and also eat at a famous landmark, Mo’s.

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The food was good and the place uncrowded.  On Monday morning we ate at restaurant that had recently changed hands.  It was decked out with surf boards and nets…entitled “Macadangdang’s Reefside Bar and Grill.”  What a name!  We asked about the history of the word “macadangdang” but the new owners just shrugged and said, “It’s what the last owner called it.”

The service was friendly and the food hearty.  But that word – still a mystery.  A bit of advice: If you look up the word in the Urban dictionary, you may choose not to eat there.  I assure you, the food is fine.  The owners are about the get a smoker in and the menu will change to include BBQ. *happy dance*

While some things were different, there were many things the same.  Two little girls squealing as they chased the waves and were chased back.  Loads of soaring seagulls and floating black birds.  “Our” seal even made a showing.  We were worried we’d miss it.

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Wednesday morning we arose at low tide to see all the branches, seaweed, and logs that the surf had left on the sand during the storm.

As we got ready to leave, I was reminded of my dad, who loved the ocean as I do.  He would say, “I wonder how long it would take for me to get tired of this view.”

I wonder that, too, dad.  I wonder that, too.

January Ocean

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Our visit to the coast in January was clearly separated into two parts: the traveling and the ocean.

We started our trip over the pass, basking in the glories of giant evergreens heavy with snow.

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I would be lying if I said we didn’t break into a Christmas song or two along the way.  The roads were clear and the traffic light.  The trees, however, were putting on a winter show we don’t often experience.

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The second part of our trip began as we sat before our glass windows and soaked up the view.  Once at the ocean, the temperature was less snow-like, although it was “frigid” for the coast (the locals told us).

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There were three surfers beyond the waves, not wanting to tear themselves away from their fun at sunset.  A seal, much closer to shore kept an eye on these three.  I wonder if it was thinking,  “Food, foe, or friend?”  It was a most curious seal and stayed out as long as the surfers.

Saturday was the real show.  Ten surfers marched out to sea, at different spots along sand, to surf, sit, and play in the waves.  I wondered if it was a convention of sorts.  That seal showed up again, swimming back and forth, its little head peaking out to watch the surfers with me.  After a couple of hours, the surfers further out were greeted by a pod of seven seals, swimming, dipping, jumping, and rolling around some of the surfers.  What a joy to watch!

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Robert went out for a long walk, and sure enough…that curious seal popped up to check him out.  Made me wonder if we go to the coast to look at sea life and they come to watch US?

Sunday morning was clear.  Long shadows stretch out at low tide.  Breathtaking.

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What a joy, this “year at the coast” one weekend a month.  Goodbye January ocean.  See you next month.

 

 

December Ocean

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Our third monthly trip to the coast is a rare view of the winter ocean since we rarely come over so close to Christmas.  First, I’m not so keen about traveling the pass if we have to use chains.  Second, the list of “to do’s” for Christmas is getting rather long.  Are we crazy to take off three days the week before?

We are committed to our “Year at the Coast” as explained in an earlier blog.  Off we go, chains in the trunk.

We arrive to a gray sky, but the 45 degrees make the place seem downright balmy!  Instead of seagulls hogging the sand, there are these black birds sitting between the first and second waves.  HUNDREDS of them….just sitting there.  Dawn to dusk  Anyone who knows bird habits may have a clue to these little sturdy birds.

I watch the waves as the “to do” list melts away.  We enjoy three days of art work and reading.  The TV is rarely on and we don’t take any day trips.  We simply relax.

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Robert sketches waves while I work on my “Goldfish Diaries” cartoon series.  Later we switch out to books, then back to art.  What bliss.

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I get up early on the last day to watch the ocean at sunrise.  Since we face the Pacific on the west coast, the sun rises in back of us.  However, the ocean changes as the sun rises and begins to peek over our hotel.  It hits one wave at a time turning it a glowing white until the sun is high enough to  turn all the waves white.  A wonderful, slow, peaceful transition.

What an incredible winter holiday.

Oregon State Fair

The last of August and the first of September has been the traditional 11 day run of the Oregon State Fair.  It’s a friendly combination of food booths, musical shows, and critter watching during the day and bright lights, fireworks, and rides at night.

Robert, my husband, puts his hard work and love into his booth, which is part of the Artisan Village.  This unique part of the fair features artists who not only sell their work, but demonstrate it.  He brings his torches, kiln, supplies, and even sets up a special viewing area with safety glass.

As much work as there is, Robert loves the customers that drop by the booth.  Most of the year he works in the shop behind our house (a rather solitary task).  But during the fair he embraces one and all, shows them his newest marbles or turtles, and touches bases with the other artisans in the area.

The highlight of the fair is when his grandkids drop by for a hug before prancing off to visit the petting zoo or buy a special fair treat.

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This year was Robert’s 8th and last year.  Sadly, Oregon has bit by bit privatized more of its attractions, on the backs of artists who can not afford doubling or tripling booth prices. He has loved it, but it’s time to say goodbye to the Oregon Fair as it moves into its new more commercialized era.

He’ll remember the fun and all the great people he worked along side in the Artisan Village. Robert will even probably take a day and visit the fair he has been too busy to see for the last 8 years.  There’ll still be plenty of 4-H kids showing their cows, sheep, and llamas.  Music with the crazy good smells of food booths will fill the air.  There’s not a better place around to people watch.  Hope you can make it there some year.

 

 

Caroline Patrick BorNei: Featured Artist

Caroline and poppy

Caroline Patrick BorNei: Featured Artist

Medium: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor

Home: Camano Island, Washington, USA

Email: caroline@fengshuiartistry.com

Website, combination Feng Shui and Art: http://goldmountainpublishing.com/

Caroline, thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to share your passions.  I was captivated by your paintings of poppies, but understand there is so much more than painting those rich colors.

Everyone loves the Fire Element of Poppies. Washington state, in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, has these lovely poppies up and down the back roads.I took a picture on the way to a painting class a few weeks ago. Several of us get together and paint every week.

I like the idea of getting together for painting.  What are some of the first memories you had relating to art before you could just snap a picture of poppies by the side of the road?

My first memories of doing art was when I was around 3 or 4 years old and I remember drawing on the back of my mother’s Sunday Church bulletin (or program).  I remember working with oil clay to make furniture for my doll houses. And there was that time I drew with Crayola on our home walls!

Yikes, I guess that is something you don’t forget.  Were you always drawn to art?

Yes, I loved the outdoors and studied nature and environment from pulling   petals from flowers and seeing how they were formed to seeing perspective of buildings and all things. The brilliance of light and the beauty of darks. Seeing the vibrancy of life through color, sounds, smells, texture, memories of places and things. I feel an urgency to record things visually or from dreams and experiences.

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The above picture looks as if it came straight from a dream.  

I call it “The Guardians” It relates to the Heaven section of a home in the immediate far right corner of a home when coming into a house by the front door. This relates to my expertise in feng shui principles.

I can see that you take pleasure from combining your skills in both art and feng shui.

At 6 years old my father bought me a box of oil paints and found my first teacher which was a distant aunt. Later a summer time teacher and as an adult would take workshops from instructors whose work I admired. But I am mostly self taught.

On the road to being self taught, I noticed you studied the masters.  Share the process you went through to make your version of the famous “Madonna.”

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This is my rendition of Botticelli’s Madonna. It was a picture I admired which I completed in the old master’s way of painting in oil. The painting was done on unfinished Masonite which I cut and sanded until it was as smooth as glass. Layers  of varnish were applied, then dried and sanded each time…over 10 or 12 times. Then I drew the figures and begin painting the flesh and facial features and sanding them again each layer. This way the paint builds up bit by bit giving the piece a glow. This painting took many hours and layers of the linseed oils. After drying for weeks. I added gold leaf to the background and sealed the picture. A woman from the East Coast saw it in a California gallery and flew out to see it and bought the picture. This woman is a healer and uses it to help her bring the Christ energy to her clients. I wish I hadn’t sold the painting. Some pictures can never be reproduced, but I’m happy she saw the value of its healing properties.

I understand how an artist can be happy and sad when a special work of art has been sold. Seems you have taught yourself well, because now you are a guest teacher at the Lotus Institute in Seattle, Washington, USA.  www.lotusinstitute.com  Wonderful how you can combine both your passions so effortlessly.  I understand there is a new book on the horizon.

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While traveling in China with a feng shui group, we rode almost to the top of this sacred mountain called Jiuhan Shan. I followed behind the group taking pictures of monkeys and soon found myself alone on this mountain top as the group had gone on to the top passed the Monastery. Not knowing where they had gone I became tired and decided to go back down the steep stairways to the gondola cable car and on arriving realized I didn’t have a ticket to descend to the village. A kind Chinese woman paid my way to the bottom. We could only talk with our eyes and hands, but she understood my dilemma!  This is an acrylic and oil painting of the Monastery which was chosen as the cover to my book which is on Kindle.

A great book cover.  What would you say to an artist who is reading this and thinking….I want to have adventures and paint, too.  What would you say?

Don’t wait another minute, sign up with a teacher that resonates with you and the medium that pulls at your heart strings. Although I do all mediums such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, conte’ crayon, clay, pastels, pen and ink and all new things, as there are new products every day to explore. For instance I would rather teach someone who has never picked up a brush, in fact I love to create with sticks dipped in ink or maybe crinkle a piece of rice paper and drop watercolor or ink to see what shapes inspire me.Another big piece of advice is to treat yourself to the best watercolor paper, I use 300 lb and the more expensive paints. This is your gift to yourself as cheaper supplies will only be frustrating. Save all the ‘opps’ paintings and cut them up for a new creations.There are no mistakes!

For people who want to make a living as an artist? Paint every day or at least 3 days a week. Take advantage of all the new paints and products, get friendly with technology or find someone who loves this piece of the puzzle. Giclee or prints are the norm for sharing your work affordably, such as cards, prints, wearable art and more. Get a website or use constant contact and go on facebook and show your work to prospective buyers. Learn all you can from artists who are making it happen. Join organizations if possible. Don’t let anyone stop your dream and of course in my opinion since I am a Feng Shui professional practitioner use feng shui in the home and or your studio to support your dream!

Very inspiring, Caroline.  Thanks for participating in this interview.  It’s good to know we can see more and even buy some of your art on http://fineartamerica.com/artists/caroline+patrick