I can’t believe I haven’t entered any events this year. It always seems something else took precedence over talking about us. But it was a good year. In particular,I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for the joy in continue to have in working with my classes. The interesting and delightful people who wish to learn how to become better painters gives me such pleasure. It is a thrill to watch and listen (lead and suggest) as they discover new or dormant resources within themselves. I may gain more than they. And I thank them. How can I ever stop when it is such fun?
Another of the great pleasures of the year was drifting a drawing the shoreline of our island in a folding sketch journal. I started drawing the west side of our island on the first page of one side (above left), drawing left to right, passing our property and ending at the cove at West Beach (drawing at the start of this post).
On the other side of the first page was the other side of the NW point and — drawing right to left — ended at the NE point, looking across Rosario Straits to the mainland.
I started it in June of 2014 but my broken arm ended that year’s efforts. This year, when rowing to my May Basic Watercolor class, I discovered that I could drift with the tide both going and coming. I started leaving an hour early, drifting and drawing the rocky shoreline with the outgoing tide. Each day I arrived at class happy and relaxed.
On the way back, I drifted on the incoming tide. Most of the morning rocks were now underwater, but the trees were now closer and easier to draw. Such fun!
Each day of the summer that I found time to work on the drawings was a good day. Several times, visiting artist friends accompanied me. We talked and drifted and drew.
Spring and summer were warmer and dryer than ever experienced here; beautiful — flowers blooming earlier, spectacular — long conversations on the decks in the evening watching the slow decent of the sun into the water, but worrisome as the dryness continued.
Our summer was filled with summer classes and visits from family and friends. My daughter Catherine came with her family but stayed for several more days by herself. How long has it been since she came by herself? Half a lifetime!
James’ two daughters, Pali and Callie were here for their week. I feel so lucky that at 13 and 15 they still like to come to the island, still like to play on the beach, sing when they walk… but instead of running to catch up as they did when they were small (see Callie Running in the Gallery), they got up early to run different courses on trails through the center of the island, now training for their fall cross country teams.
Jeffrey and I took a short road trip to Eastern Oregon in late August, celebrating our 20th anniversary in Baker City and our grandson Jae’s 20th birthday – in Ontario. His sister Meli just graduated December 15 from the University of Washington — with a major in art. Younger brother Cole is finishing high school at Chadwick International in Songdo Korea where his mother, Catherine, heads the middle and high school libraries. Cole was in the charter class and over the four years they have been there, she has built the high school library’s collection from the ground up, including advance college-level courses. Some interesting conferences in Brussels and Thailand. Also she has brought many inspiring authors to speak at the school.
Meli, Cole and Catherine in 2014
I have to brag on my son, James, turning 50 next July…. and my neighbors Beth and Sean Maloney. James came up Labort Day weekend to compete again the Steve Braun Triathlon (see James took a Tumble, August 14, 2013, and the Triathlon, Sept 2012). James completed last years Triathlon but was barely walking at the end of the run sections after excellent times in the first two events. This year Beth did the swim and Sean the run. James took off mid-pack for the 17-mile bike ride and came in 4 minutes ahead of the next contestant. Sean held the lead and they won for the relay and best over-all time. James was clocked at averaging 47 mph for the section between the road up Constitution and the Artworks. Quite a comeback from the broken pelvis. Mom wouldn’t mind him slowing down a bit however.
Jeffrey hasn’t quite finished building his shop but is far enough along that he has made some lovely tables for the house out of mahogany as well as a headboard for the bed. He also made two redwood tables for the outside entry. Currently he is turning some of the maple killed in the fire of 5 years ago into the fronts of cabinets and drawers for the shop. That is a true phoenix rising.
On that note, I will end the summary (although I could rattle on) and wish you much happiness in the new year.