Kingston & back to La Conner
Had a molten golden flat run up to Kingston on the Kitsap Peninsula. Den tootled off on his bike and I wandered off by foot, stopping in at the very nice quilt shop to buy 2 Fat Quarters. Nancy’s Green Garden above, is a charming little place with shabby chic displays of antiques, buttons and all kinds of wonderful things for the garden, very tempting. There are many places closed here though so we try to prop up the local economy as we can, buying groceries, some tasty pub dinner and some audiobooks cds at Mr. B’s Books, a fantastic jam-packed second-hand book store.
Stumbled across Kingston’s nice little library so went in and spent time going through their stacks of American Craft and Somerset Studio magazines, making note of interesting artists to look up online later. Enjoyed seeing many of my fine figurative artists in American Craft including a great article on the enormously talented Christina Cordova, ceramic sculptor extraordinaire. I don’t often have access to these magazines so like to devour them when I can, notebook in hand.
Next morning brought thick fog and some trouble with our dear friend Otto aka Auto Helm. Poop! Oh well, we just had to steer all the time instead of letting Otto do it some of the time. We had a glassy run up to La Conner. We awaited an auto helm repair in Bellingham in a few days so we had a nice few days of enforced leisure and boat maintenance in La Conner where we settled in. We cleaned the engine room and it was so bright and shiny that we celebrated by having our lunch down there! Too funny! I only just had time with a 10 second delay then 3 exposures to set the camera then squeeze back into position over on the other side. Hilarious! American Tug engine rooms are very beautifully laid out with all the cables and tubes, bundled up and labeled. An inspiration for the RIGHT way to set things up. Our Kidzsmart office is moving while we are away and I emailed them to remind them to carefully label as many wires as possible when they move the server room, saves lots of pain later when you can’t reach the damned things!!
A few days in La Conner
Had time to visit the very handsome Skagit County History Museum. Lovely displays and learned about the significant agricultural wealth of the region which is famous among other things for growing seeds and flower bulbs. This is a hugely rich growing area. Boy, between the rich land and the rich sea you could not starve to death easily around here. Fruit is falling off the abundant trees, something which is strongly discouraged in my home town where it attracts wandering bears on a ramble down from the mountain.
Popped in to the little La Conner library and then just down the road I lucked out with their GREAT fundraising 3 day sale. Buy a sturdy bag for $10 and then fill it with 10 books from their big book sale. Well, I cleaned up on the audiobooks cds!!! I got 10 audiobooks so at just $1 each I’ve got LOTS of great listening time for the studio. Ya-frigging-hoo!! I love to listen to audiobooks when I’m puttering, prepping or sewing but not really when I am actually painting as my brain needs all its channels for that kind of work.
Final Friday’s Art Walk has only been going for a short while, maybe 6 months, was the idea of David Cassera of Cassera Arts Premier, a very lovely gallery with African and Pacific, Inuit and Native art, specializing in the kind of African sculpture that was pivotal to inspiring Picasso and Modigliani and all that set. He also carries important Northwest artist Guy Anderson. He has a small sister gallery in Vancouver Foot of Main which is featured in a classic Fred Herzog photo from days gone by. David, wearing a dandy cream linen fitted vest and trousers and a snappy little hat shared many stories about his many fascinating pieces. David hosts Tribal & Textile Arts Fairs around the country.
At Likid Koulé & Fibersoul, you can buy fiber art made with thick wool felt and embroideries. She’s also set up to do artistic tattoos so if textiles don’t light your fancy you can sit down and get a colorful tattoo!
Two Moons has wonderful eye for functional design, art textiles, lovely jewelry, ceramics, glassware for the body and the home. They had some distinctive candlesticks, above, by Lalo Oma, made with acrylics instead of glass so they are much lighter and less breakable. I have some great Lalo earrings that deliver a lot of color and ear art without the weight! Anne Marie Chagnon jewelry from Montreal also delivers lots of bling blang for the price and weight, very original, found her work this summer in Salt Spring Island. Incredible painted nesting boxes by Russian artist Coacehne Aponhon. Always an excellent gallery to visit.
There was a big opening for Matika Wilbur, a local artist from Swinonish band is photographing 562 tribes federally recognized tribes in USA. Good moody narrative black and white photos mounted on woven cedar backgrounds. This is a very good body of work and she’s off to a great start to her ambitious project but is looking for funding so check her out.
I made sure to tell the owner of Hellam’s Vineyard that it was the first time I had come in there and the First Friday Art Walk was what brought me in the door and I would come back in for the wine and other things again. It’s important to let people know what brings you in through their door, especially in hard times when advertising dollars are very important. Sure enough we went back the next day and bought some nice wine.
Picked 6 plump apples from a roadside tree for another pie before we get home. Curled up in La Crema Café with some Southwest Art magazines and combed through for some artists to check out. I don’t write down only figurative artists but anyone whose work really catches my eye. I love brushy landscapes and mixed media work and subject matter is not really the point at all but the whole package of paint handling, light and dark, color and content. By keeping a list of artists whose work grabs my eye, I am building my own personal art gallery of links that feed and inform me somehow. And because I can find their sites online, I can visit my favorites in my pj’s at 9 on a Sunday morning wherever they are in the world. That is sort of how the FigurativeArtist.org site grew.
Picked up a fun little black and white book STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST by Austin Kleon. Gee, I wish I’d written it. It’s very inexpensive and has some good words of advice and motivation. For about the price of 3 Starbucks coffees, this is worth checking out and considering giving as a gift to anyone who is struggling along in the creative department.