An Original Acrylic Peace Tree Painting

My newest Peace Tree painting is titled “A Peace Tree Gathering“. I like the way the trees have their arms around each other. They are standing in community.

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The painting wraps around all the sides, top and bottom.

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I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the cool things I like about aspens are that they share a root system deep under ground.

I like what I read on Wikipedia about them. There it says, “Each individual tree can live for 40–150 years above ground, but the root system of the colony is long-lived. In some cases, this is for thousands of years, sending up new trunks as the older trunks die off above ground. For this reason it is considered to be an indicator of ancient woodlands.”

My trees are from ancient woodlands.

The one I painted is on a wood box frame. It’s 11″ tall x 8″ wide x 4″ deep.

It looks good on the wall.
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And it looks good sitting on a shelf. I like that it can do both.

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I’ve noticed my aspen trees are getting more and more colorful. It just seems to turn out that way. Someone told me at the gallery where I show my art in Bend, “You sure aren’t afraid of color.” Indeed, that is one thing I am not afraid of.

To continue my blog post from the 3rd…We hiked Lava Butte again this afternoon. This time I took more pics of the surrounding area.

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It was beautiful from up there! And we could see snow coming our way. It was chilly and a bit windy!

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We went to the Fire Lookout again and went inside where it felt warmer. The room below the Fire Lookout feels like a solarium. I think they need some benches in it though. We ended up sitting on the floor.

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The dogs rested outside. They were pooped from running and playing!

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Then the dogs came inside and we had a family photo taken. Course it’s hard to get our doggies to pose nicely so Greg is holding Cody still (he’s really not choking him) before he sinks to the ground.   🙂

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We ate some appetizers while we were there. Food always tastes better when you’re in the outdoors and just exercised! We admired the view and then headed home for some warm soup that we new was awaiting us. Happy Sunday to you all!

On Sunday we hiked Lava Butte

I love hiking in the outdoors. No matter the season, it’s all good to me!

What’s interesting about Bend is the diversity of temperature and weather because of the elevation gains throughout the area. Just a couple miles from our house the elevation rises and it is much colder and hence much snowier just south of us.

Yesterday we decided to go hike Lava Butte which is in this area. It ‘s a short drive and a fav, easy hike. It was goreous and sunny with just a few clouds in the sky. A great day for a hike!

Although it was cold at our house, there wasn’t any frost in the trees but when we got to Lava Butte there was frost everywhere and lots of snow!

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I’ve never seen the road that winds up Lava Butte plowed before but it was and made things much easier for our walk since we didn’t bring our snow shoes. Our dogs had a blast running and playing!

We saw this big, beautiful bird along the way. If anyone knows what kind it is, I’d love to know.

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Here’a a closeup.

Closeup-Bird

Once we got to the top of the Butte we found that the room under the Fire Lookout was open. So we went inside, signed the guest book and looked at all the diagrams all along the top of the room. They point out the various mountains and buttes that you can see. It’s pretty cool.

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We went up to the top of the Fire Lookout to check out the view! It was gorgeous seeing all the mountains in the distance. I wish I had taken a photo looking out at them but I forgot to. Instead I was wrapped up in getting a good pic of Greg and I.

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But Greg got one of me and the dogs with Mt. Bachelor  in the background. This one cracks me up because Belle looks like she is saying “I don’t want my picture taken.” 🙂  Cody is being the good dog, posing sweetly.

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We hiked around on the top of the butte.  We made snow angels and tossed little snow balls down the long, snowy banks of the butte, watching them make their trailing paths. We admired all the great views. What simple fun. And then we went home, built a fire and sipped hot, delicious drinks. It was a great afternoon!

Art Show and Southwest Road Trip Travel Pics

My show at the Tumalo Art Co. is coming to an end this Tuesday. It’s been a great show! And Opening Night was so fun. Here I am with my friends Sandy and Wes.

Oct Tumalo Art Co. Show OpeningI talked with lots of people about my art that night.

Oct2010I was very grateful to be showing with Dorothy Freudenberg. I love Dorothy’s art and her work goes well with mine with vibrant reds and oranges.

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And then we came home and started packing for our Southwest road trip! We packed up our gear, a bunch of maps, 2 mt. bikes, 2 kayaks, our 2 border collies and off we went. Travelling through Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and California, we had quite an adventure!

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Here we are so happy to be on the road and at our first camp spot. Our trip lasted 23 days and this photo below is our first night out. In the next few days, I’ll be posting some of the images from our trip and telling you about some of the highlights.

First Camp Night
One of the best things that happened during our trip was I was able to meet a kindred spirit… artist, blogger and wonderful writer, Kristen Randle, and some of her family too! I find it quite amazing that we were able to meet in person! How cool is that!!

The Randles opened their arms and home to us and we were overjoyed to spend  an evening with them! Kristen let Greg ride her horses which made Greg’s day and since it was his birthday, even more special!

The sad thing is…I don’t have any photos from our visit! We just got a new camera before we left and somehow one of us accidently deleted the images from that day! I am so sad about that. But you can see some photos on Kristen’s blog — go over to the K Street Journal to see some pics.

Early on we decided we would try to hit some hot springs during our travels. The Randles told us about some beautiful hot springs in their area that were well worth going to. So we headed on over there the following day. The leaves were changing color and it was a magical walk up the trail with our two dogs, Cody and Belle.

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An approx. 2.5 mile walk along a creek leads to the hot springs. There was not a soul in sight. Probably because it was still morning. When we were leaving we passed lots of folks coming up the trail.

Note to self: Visit hot springs in a.m. if you want them all to yourself.

5th Water Hotsprings

Fifth Water Hot Springs, Utah

These are the lower pools and if you walk up the trail there is a waterfall with even more pools.

One thing I didn’t know about sulfer hot springs is that they will turn your silver jewelry lovely shades of turquoise, green and blue.

So take your jewelry off before you go in unless you want to see it change color! Although it does go away and turns back to silver once you’ve been out of the pool for awhile.

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And then we were off to Moab. A place I had always wanted to visit and ride my mt. bike at. Moab is home to Arches National Park and the coolest big red rock canyons ever.MoabSign

Tomorrow I’ll post some photos of this leg of our journey.

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Happy Travels!

Our Backyard Garden in Bend, Oregon

A couple weeks ago we went on Bend’s Backyard Farm Tour. It was really fun. I think there were about 18 backyard gardens to go to. There was a handout and map to follow. We hit about 7 or 8 of them before we had to be somewhere else.

Backyard farmers are a happy bunch. They love sharing their knowledge and the fruits of their labor. I got some great seeds from one farmer. We talked to a Master Gardner for quite awhile at one community garden here in town. And we came away with lots of ideas.

We got really inspired. Greg got especially inspired. So much so that he came home and started building a solar greenhouse over two of our raised beds so we can grow food as long as we can into Fall and Winter.

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He build a cool door that lifts up.

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The door has a natural wood handle.

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He dug down into the earth between the raised beds to make more head room for when we go in there.

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He added twinkly lights to the ceiling and we can sit in there and pick veggies, even when it’s dark out. We added wood chips to the path too so we don’t get muddy.

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I’m thrilled. Maybe by next year, we’ll be in the Backyard Farm Tour as one of the stops. Maybe. People do.

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This is Greg surveying his work. The solar part of it hasn’t been built yet. It will have tubes with water in them that will get heated by the sun.

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This is what we see from our back deck. I love the below shot. Those are aspen in the background that will turn a beautiful yellow as Fall progresses.

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Happy full moon and sweet smell of fresh pine!

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The Art of Gardening

I am just in love with our garden this year. It’s bringing us lots of veggies and satisfaction in knowing we’re growing our own food.

We’re planning on having an even bigger garden next year. We’re even talking about maybe building a greenhouse. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Here’s a few pics I took the other day.gardenbounty2

Ever the artist, I decided to have fun arranging the carrots on the counter before I cut them into the salad. And then I made a delicious carrot soup too.

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Green and white look so fresh together.

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3 onions and 2 marching men on the cutting board.

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I thought it was some nice synchronicity when I got an email announcing that Bend is having their first Backyard Farm Tour this weekend as a fundraiser for Neighborhood Impact. What a great idea for a community to do. Love it!

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Celebrate the season! Yes!

Brrrr, it's a cold winter's day

It is so cold outside! I am grateful to be inside and have a wood stove sending toasty warmth into our home. I did get outside though to take a few photos and play with the dogs. It is beautiful with the light dusting of snow. Below are a few photos.
our border collies
Our border collies, Cody and Belle. "Let's play", they say!
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Big snow covered Pine.

A snowy view.
A snowy view.

Our snow tipi.
Winter tipi.
A few light snow tracks
A few light tracks.

Wishing you peace, calm and warm thoughts!

Holding the Energy VIII by me.
Holding the Energy VIII by me.

Happy December 27th!
Happy, Happy New Year ahead!

High Desert Landscape

I was reading Kristen’s blog about the Lake drive she and her husband went on and where she took a bunch of beautiful photos of the landscape where they live. It inspired me to get outside and take some of my own photos. I live in the High Desert of Central Oregon. There are many who are inspired by this landscape and I am one of them. I don’t often paint pictures of the land though. In fact, the below painting is one I did awhile ago titled “Superstition” and it is one of only two landscapes that I’ve done of the  Central Oregon countryside. I liked the way I captured the color though and I am inspired everyday by the sights right out our front door.

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So it was about the time of day when the long shadows are beginning to stretch across the land when I decided to go outside and take some shots.

landscape5This is Mt. Bachelor. It is one reason why Bend, Oregon is considered a resort community. People love to ski and play on the mountain.

landscape1I love the way things look when the sun is beginning to set and shadows stretch across the grasses and sage.

landscape2Central Oregon is known for it’s many Pine trees, native grasses and sage brush.

landscape3The colors in the landscape are muted this time of year yet the textures and patterns give it so much life!

landscape4We have tons of lava rock in these parts!

landscape6You can see the tip of my tipi sticking out amongst the Pine trees.

landscape7In 2004 I made a 70′ labyrinth (classical style, 11 circuit ) from bricks and stones and found objects from around our property. The labyrinth is beginning to age and look quite ancient as the bricks begin to break down and hide in the grass.

landscape8I like the way the circle of friends sculpture sits in the middle of the labyrinth, waiting to greet those who enter it’s center.

birdhouseBefore I head back to the house, I check out the birdhouse that oversees the labyrinth and make sure it’s still sitting sturdy and straight on it’s pole. It is. And I head back home as the sun begins to set deeper into the sky.