Friday, December 16, 2011

You see... It is not goodbye: Photos taken at the open house by my husband David Harris

I won't say goodbye. I will only say I love you.

I had my last few days in Inverness at the J.B. Blunk residency. I worked so hard and completed four paintings and three drawings. I started a few others and made one total flop that will never see the light of day. That always happens... But, I am so very happy with all of the good work that I produced. Through the beauty, silence, fog, sun, rain and many new friends found up on the mountain, I gained some new insight into myself and my work. I started including human eyes in my composition where only animals were once allowed. I noticed abstract shapes in nature, where it had not been on my radar before. I learned to get a little loose with my mind and my application when I used both paint and pencil. I know that I'm totally nutty detailed, but I really did loosen up on some of those lines. A visitor pointed out to me that much like Gordon Onslow Ford (The painter), I was using line, dot and circle. Well, I looked really closely at my tree stump drawing and WHOA! They were right. It's all made up of those three symbols, beloved by Ford. I was influenced and I didn't even know it.

So, here are some photos of my last couple of days at the residency. My six year old son told me on the day I left to come up here: "Mom! I will NOT say goodbye. I will only say I LOVE YOU!" And that is just how I feel about all of the people of Inverness, Pt. Reyes Station and the Lucid Foundation. I won't forget you and I am so happy to have stayed for a little while.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Working hard and observing nature at it's best

This is a perfect short story shown with photos of my fantastic days up here. Art, nature and coffee at the Blackbird Cafe in Inverness. Can it get any better than this?! I think not.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Midway into paradise

Sometimes, you just gotta try and capture the essence of the place......

I have been very interested in all of the green shag carpeting that covers everything in the forest. It has been fun to just stand next to a random tree and peer into a small world filled with it's own ecosystem. All in a space the size of my head. It is wet and dry, soft and hard. Bright and dull. I want to try my best to draw some of this....

Last week I was lucky enough to be high up enough on the mountain to see the orange moon rise up over the trees. It was so huge and of course my camera couldn't capture it's size in a realistic way at all. But, you can use your mind-power and imagine it as a giant glowing orb moving slowly over the mountains across the water and trees.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Living over at JB's

I am just loving the residency here at JB's house and studio. Everyday is different and exciting. Last Saturday my family came up from Berkeley to visit me for the day. We went out for a hike and some lunch before we came back here to watch it rain. Here are some photos that my husband David Harris took that day. There is my favorite shower in the whole world! Out door showering at it's best! Above that photo is one of my son Otto and I looking around the back deck. The views are amazing. The one "art" photo is one that I took the week before, of a painting I was working on. It was early in the morning and I brought it into the house because it was so cold in the studio. I wanted to see what the cat would look like with a bunch of spider balls all around and above it. So, I borrowed a few bowls from the kitchen and pushed them around the composition. I took photos of many options so I could "see" it better. The last photo is of the beautiful old kiln that is slowly making it's way back into the earth. Maybe it will come back to life someday? But, for now... it is like an art piece all by itself.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Friends and art at J.B.'s place

I have posted here one of the medium sized paintings on linen that I have been working on in the first week and half of my residency. I was happily surprised by two new friends as well!

Just in a few days really, I have gotten to know some fantastic people here in Inverness and in Pt. Reyes Station. Everyone is so kind and has a moment to say hello. I was invited to a lovely lunch with the folks that run the Lucid Foundation yesterday. What a memorable event and we all seemed to have dressed to match the amazing beet and fennel soup that was served. I only wish I could cook like that.....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Artist in residence Tara Tucker/ Winter

Hi, it's my first week here at the J.B. Blunk Residency and I've spent the last several days getting to know this amazing and wonderful home and studio. I'm from Berkeley, CA. so I know the area a little bit, but not too much. The people are nice in Inverness and Pt. Reyes Station. I draw a lot of animals and the locals pointed me in the direction of the main Ranger Station. A volunteer there told me all of the local wildlife gossip! People here are serious about their wildlife and land.

Today, I drove out to the furthest most area that I could and hiked a beautiful ocean cliff trail for a few miles. The Tule Elk were out in force and I got so close I could see the tick bumps on their hides! On the hike back, I thought and thought about the ravens and the other animals that I was noticing all around me. I also thought about the sculptures that Blunk made out of stone and wood. He left parts of the materials raw and in a natural state or recognizable. Other areas he honed to a shine or silky smooth surface. His work is abstracted further because of this push and pull with the materials. One of my favorite Artists: Leonard Baskin did a similar thing with his sculpture and drawings/ paintings. It made me think and wonder if that could be something to try? Something to experiment with? This last year I fell in love with raw linen and simply painting on it with fluid acrylic paint. I always finish them off just like my drawings... I think I might just try something new. Slightly more abstract.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Peter McLean Open Studio

Open studio happened last sunday, and we had quite a stream of interested people by to look at the work, and enjoy this wonderful location. Certainly kept my busy talking and doing demos all afternoon. Here are a few photos of my installation for the day. Thanks to everyone for coming along!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Mountains Keep Secrets

If I go walking in the afternoon, it is habitually across the rough foot-track towards the headwaters of the small creek that runs below the house, and then up to the saddle. From there a broader track continues up to Point Reyes Hill at 1336ft. Most of this path is through thick, close, regrowth forest, with more open areas of shrubs and grasses nearer the top. The views are extensive, but usually at least partially shrouded in one direction or another (or all at once) by fog. If I go walking in the morning, it is usually down the fire trail that reaches the top of Perth Way, winding down into town (to get some groceries from the store, or a coffee at Blackbirds), and then up the Highland Way. The track passes down through older mixed forest of moss covered Bay and Oak with scattered old pines, Red Alder in the creek lines. There's an enticingly narrow side track which spirals up a small hill halfway down, covered in a scrub of stunted and knarled pines and lots of red trunked Madrone and Manzaneta.

It was time to take a different route. Even before reaching new territory, I was treated to a close up view of a Turkey Vulture, settling down for the evening. I knew then this walk was going to be special.

From the map Max and Gemma left in the house at the end of their residency, I knew there was another track up the ridge, starting from the top of Perth Way and leading to Mt Vision. Somehow it hadn't attracted me before, I thought it would be much the same, and besides, Point Reyes Hill is higher than Mt. Vision and with a clearer view, so despite it's grand name, Mt Vision wasn't high on priorities. Yesterday I discovered it has has been keeping secrets from me. As I branched off the Perth track, and headed back up the steep hill, I soon realised this track had much to offer. There was much more of the stunted and lichen covered scrub that I thought was an anomaly on the other hill. The pines in this area all take on fantastical shapes, even as they get taller, higher up the hill. As I climbed further the Bishop Pines took on yet another forest structure that I hadn't seen before. The trees grew tall and close, with no other larger species of tree, creating and expansive open feel. For a species with restricted range, it is certainly very variable.

Just before the ridge, there is a sudden boundary between the tallest of the pines, and the line which must have been the edge of the vision fire. From there on the pines are young and close, but soon opens out entirely into coastal scrub. The views of distant mountains from the top was the best I've seen here yet, and made even more dramatic by hovering above the thick and luminous fog that filled the bay and valleys below. Just the night before Josh had told me the temperature inversions start to occur around this time of year, and this was obviously it. Despite being late in the day, the hill top was warm and sunny and calm. The fog was glorious from above, but town must have been gloomy and cold.

I was feeling energised and excited, like in the first days of exploring this new place. A quick chat with a local out walking, led to being shown the unofficial track leading to 'the ponds', a spring filled dam, perched here on the top of the range. How fortuitous to discover this place on a warm afternoon! My first swim in America, and it was glorious, swimming in the golden light above the fog.