Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Musings

Every two years, we venture to Wisconsin for a family reunion. This is Vonnie's dad's family, and I love them dearly. My niece and two nephews have a piece of property just outside of Rochester, MN that they purchased 12 years ago to facilitate hunting. It is 160 acres of paradise with a huge 3 story barn that has been converted into a cabin....the perfect place to accomodate about 100 assorted family members.

Minnesota and Wisconsin -- the land of bratwurst and beer; dairy cattle, mosquitos and lightning storms. Gotta love it. Our family is spread out all over the two states --- we stayed in Onalaska, WI. I suppose there are times in the winter when it seems like Alaska. Not sure where the name came from.
If it is possible to fall in love with a grocery store -- then I did. Onalaska has the most fabulous store I have ever seen. The deli is amazing and produce to die for. It even beats Nature's. They were having a bratwurst sale.

Abby was a good sport. We just couldn't resit the photo op.

Yesterday, I went out to the pond to feed the koi and almost had a heart attack. The pond was filled with suds -- looked like someone had put a whole bottle of Dawn detergent in the water. I frantically called the pond experts all the while worrying that my fish were probably going fins up. As it turned out --- they were spawning! Koi spawning is interesting to watch. The females who are full of eggs are chased up and down the pond by the male fish. Two or three large males push the female up against the sides of the pond and force the eggs out of her. Then the male fish spread milt over the eggs. The "suds" were from the males fertilizing the eggs. We have 6 fish; four of them were pushing and shoving our largest fish, Maybelline----aptly named. The boys are Sushi, Filet, Gorton & Flipper. We also have Mrs Paul. Now Abby and I are anxiously watching the pond for signs of itty fishes.

Flipper pushing Mrs. Paul

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Danny Gregory in Portland!

I am so excited! Danny Gregory has agreed to come to Portland and be our Opening Night speaker! His lecture is entitled: The Drawing Habit: Get it Back and Change Your World. I have loved his books for years and never thought I would have the opportunity to listen to him speak.
Danny Gregory is an author, illustrator, creative director, copywriter and teacher. His books include Everyday Matters: a memoir (lauded by R. Crumb, Chris Ware, Ronald Searle and hailed as one of the best of the Year by Comics Journal; available in hardcover, paperback and even a Korean edition); and The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are (one of the bestselling art instruction and inspiration of the last year). Danny has illustrated books for Workman and F+W. His illustrations regularly appear in the New York Times, Black Book, Print, HOW, More, LA Weekly and other publications. He is also a contributing artist to The Morning News. He is an award-winning creative director who has created advertising campaigns for Chase, Crayola, American Express, IBM, Ford Motor Company, Burger King, AT&T and many others.
Danny was born in London, grew up in Pakistan, Australia and Israel, is a summa cum laude graduate of Princeton University and lives in Greenwich Village with his wife and son. Every day, thousands visit his website for discussions about art and creativity and a regular dose of his watercolor journals.

Read an interview with him on the artist site: Illustration Friday

He will be here Sept 29 at the Holiday Inn Airport Convention Center. Maria will have his books for sale -- and he will be available to autograph them after the lecture. Cost is $25 for registered attendees and $35 for non-participants. Tickets are now available on line (Merchandise Page) -- space is limited so sign up early!

Some samples of Danny's work.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Champion Ribbon

My baby girl was stunning at her first competition. It was a very exciting weekend!!

Miss Tahitian Pearls getting ready to load up.

Yippee!! The first of many to come ---- I hope!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Asilomar 09

Asilomar is such a wonderful location for a creative retreat. Everyone who attended loved the setting and it truly is quite spectacular. I attempted to have a good time, but had to leave early due to strep throat and the beginnings of a nasty bout with shingles. If you have had them, you understand only too well. If you have NOT --- GET THE VACCINE! I never want to go thru this again -- even after all this time, I still cannot wear a bra and must take a dose of heavy medication to make it thru the day. No fun. But if you email me midway thru the drug dose --- I'm pretty darn happy!

Vendor Night


Michael and students

Making certain that everyone stayed on the paths and did not litter!!

Could there be anything sweeter?

Can't live without my daily latte. We found a Starbucks in Pacific Grove.....and found more than coffee!!

Look closely in the R and B