Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ellensburg Art Tour

This weekend my daughter and I drove to Ellensburg and Thorp to go on Gallery One's "Art About" tour of artist's studios. I was surprised by how much patience my daughter had. It probably helped that we started the day with a visit to the Home Depot Kid's Workshop and bought her some stickers with which to decorate her newly crafted box and some hairy squinkies with which to fill said box. The stickers entertained her for the entire drive north. On the way back we took the Canyon Road and she and I discussed boats and bikes and cloud shadows on mountains until she fell asleep.

Because she was patient, and because several houses on the tour ended up being more fun for her than for me, we visited more houses than I thought we might get to. After Gallery One, we started at Dick and Jane's spot. I've driven past it before but never went in. We spent about an hour there and most of that time was in the garden. My daughter liked looking for reflectors and marbles and other surprises. I liked looking at the flowers. My favorite part of the built garden was the twisty kiln/tower structure. I overheard someone saying this is what the Secret Garden must have been like. I would have preferred the book if that were the case.

horseshoe path

twisting tower that makes me think of a kiln chimney

following the "blue and red brick road"

my kind of secret garden

reflectors on spinning wheels

We went into the house and one of the volunteer/hosts gave Alison a flashlight to shine directly at the late Dick Elliot's reflector art. Jane Orleman (his widow) turned out the light so we could see better. I was surprised what a difference it made to hold the light right at eye level rather than looking at it at my daughter's level. When the light is coming from the viewer, the reflectors are very bright. When the light is coming from below, the reflectors just look like they have a spotlight on them, but no more. Jane was very nice to my daughter and brought her through the rest of the house, but the kid wanted to get back outside to the garden. The volunteer/host out there helped her feed the fish in the heart shaped pond with the hubcap floating in it, then she and I played hide and seek until my stomach growling started to scare the neighbors.

feeding the fish

this nail assemblage swayed in the wind in a very interesting way

I like that the shape of the "fountain" cacti is mimicked in the rosette tile mosaic above

can you find her?

After lunch we took a circuitous route (I misunderstood the map) to Stephen Robison's and Kathleen Guss' home. I was mostly interesting in seeing their kiln and their studio. I hadn't though much about the likelihood that the kids would be there. My daughter and their youngest son proceeded to bury her new hairy squinky in the gravel, play in the water and the sandbox and explore the irrigation canal at the back of the yard. The canal was very small and mostly dry. I discovered this after looking over at my daughter and realizing her stance meant she was going in. She did, but just to dig "witch dirt" for their magical rock and sand brew.

gathering "witch dirt"

I talked to the adults briefly and finally dragged the kid away (she was not happy to go) so that we could get to Renee Adams' and Justin Gibben's house in Thorp. I adore Renee's work and only really really like Justin's. Ironically we own his work and not hers, but only because it was an inexpensive print rather than an original. The work in her small studio I hadn't already seen was better than everything I had seen, meaning I loved it! My girl was more interested in playing with their dog in the front yard so I was only able to have a short conversation with Justin.

We ended our tour at Bob Fisher and Carol Hassen's house. It was the only place we'd both been before. It is a lovely house, though the wind was a problem since I was wearing a short light skirt. I was forced to play Marilyn Monroe on the way in. My daughter hugged my legs on the way out to ensure propriety. We visited a short time, but little girl's energy was flagging and I've seen their work frequently.

All in all, I thought it was well worth the price of admission. I guess I'm glad that my daughter had so much fun, though it would have been nice to see more without being (literally) tugged away. Its funny that we went to 4 homes and a gallery, spent about 6 hours and I didn't feel like I saw much.

Walking in the garden did give me lots of flower forms to look at and think about for the summer. The countdown is on. I have 3 days of finals, a week before grades are due and next Saturday is June Art Fest (yes, I know the link is old). Then I get to work on my own work!

It was very bright, sometimes hard to see whether the phone camera was in focus. Many flowers were open, but many others were just opening, my favorite moment.

I like the three lobed "bud" about to split open.

water lily bulbs

The flower reminds me of delicate china, but the color and texture of the interior contrast in every way.

layered triangles of the bulb below the flower

what are these?

The camera didn't capture the striped or lobed look of the side of this round form.

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