Spring 2020

With more time on my hands and with the sheltering in challenges, sometimes  my emotions take on an entirely new dimension. Occasionally I experience a sense that I’m lost in a world completely unfamiliar to me then a “strangeness” washes over me.  Usually it’s easy to regain my footing , but not always.  When I’m having a “corona moment”  its time to dive hard and heavy into gratitude, to find just one thing I’m grateful for.  That seems to pop me back into the bright side of reality.  Yesterday’s post depicted 17 years worth of gratitude in my life.  It’s Ellie. I’ve been blessed to have her near since the moment she took her first breath.  She was surrounded by her loving family in her first moments, and that has not, and will not change.

Ellie is 17 today.

More gratitude.  An organized and cleaned up art space is not a good sign.  To all my artist friends and to me it means no art is on the easel.  So yes, I am grateful, kind of, for this forced time to get busy and mess up my art room.

Good Sign, Art is in Production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This image has emerged from a reference photo taken some 30 years ago.  It’s been waiting to be painted but simmered on a back burner for two reasons.  One, I didn’t want to tackle the detailed challenge it presented.  It was a rather difficult piece for me.  Secondly, my readers aren’t required to go along with this idea, but I believe that art has a deep intelligence and quantum relationship with the artist.  A piece will emerge when its time is ripe.  The title I’ve assigned it asks a relevant question, “Locked In or Locked Out?  I think it has an answer, and that’s “Yes.”

Corona Virus question and answer .
Cabin in Cascades
Locked in or Locked Out?

 

Over the years I’ve accumulated pounds and pounds of family photos.  This week I tackled a small box, that I could barely lift, and came up with a blast from the past…reaching way back to high Jr Hi, and High School days.

This is either Leslie Jr. High or the South Salem Jr. varsity rally squad.
From left to right, Jeannette, Bev, Sara, Carol, front, Larry K, and Larry H.

A few years later:

Judy, Donna, Barb, Sara and Su

Recently I have, once again, kept pretty busy healing from another bout with cancer and now normal pressure encephalitis.  Since my beautiful white Chow lives on the other side of the Moon, I needed fur.  One of my fondest memories of childhood up through college was life with my best friend Corky.  He and my dad were great pals too.

 

Corky helping my dad mow the lawn.

This  animal is most highly recommended for folks allergic to cats and/or those who don’t have the energy to feed them and deal with a litter box .  Her name is “Me Owe,” because she doesn’t know any other words.  She shakes her head, licks her paw, rolls onto her back, purrs and closes her eyes and goes to sleep…when she gets bored.  I have videos which are very darling, but they won’t play on my blog site…yet.

Take care and find something to be grateful for every day, no wait.  How about each hour in these strange times?

New Mascot, Me Owe.

Watch for more paintings and conversation from the East side of the mountains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Been Awhile

Christmas has come and gone already and the “longest night of the year” has also passed.  Our family had a wonderful Christmas Day together.  We met at Flora and Han’s home, and they prepared a feast beyond compare.

Flora cooks with Han’s assistance. What a team.

We always marvel at their cooking, Flora at the helm, and Hans her right-hand man in the kitchen.  We all agreed we could not find more delectable Chinese food anywhere from Bend, to Portland, or maybe even down to San Francisco.  Her cooking not only reflects the joy she has for her country of origin and their cuisine but also her new life in the U.S.  Her love for Hans and their new home is obviously in the mix.

Authentic Chinese food from one end of the table to the other. What a blessing.
Clockwise: Terry, Ellie (16), Jade (14), Su (almost 81), Jack and Patty, Flora, Renee, Friends from Portland, Ashley and Spencer.
Jade and Ellie stuffed from the dinner – and gratefully no desert.
Hans and Flora’s Christmas gift from Mom.

Happy New Year Everyone.

January 17th, Still Snowing in Bend. Keep up the good work Mother Nature, a truly amazing artist.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.

 

 

New Art Shows

Invitation
Invitation to Show At UU’s

You are welcome to stop by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the beautiful newer building located at the bottom of Skyliner’s Rd. off Skyline Ranch Rd.  The artist’s reception was on June 2nd, but the show will be available for viewing until August 4th.  This is a juried show, and there are some very amazing pieces submitted by local artists.  It is All About Birds, their habitats, nests, feathers portrayed in fabric, wood, sculptures, and paintings.  Look for mine entitled, “Waiting.”

Beginning June 28th I will have two new paintings hanging at the Redmond Hospital in the halls just off the main entrance.  In the works are large poppies, like the ones out my back door and all throughout my yard.  Here’s a peek at the reference photos I took.  By the way, the deer don’t eat poppies.  Isn’t nature the best?

As a side note, painting has been so helpful in my most recent cancer recovery.  I’m doing better each day.  Thanks for the support.  It means so much.

Christmas Eve

Peace to all on this Christmas Eve.

Peace to All

This morning’s rain promised a dark, gloomy Christmas, but by this afternoon the temperature dropped and we are blanketed with a layer of pure, bright, beautiful snow.  Perfect for Christmas.

5 pm Christmas 2018

Happy Birthday Terry and Terry ll

November 12th, the birthdays of my son Terance Olaf Skjersaa ll and his dad Terance Olaf Skjersaa, was celebrated at Anthony’s.  Ten Skjersaa’s were around the table celebrating this grand and fun day. Wishing both Terrys a great year to come.

Terry Skjersaa ll
Happy Birthday
Terry Skjersaa, Judy Skjersaa, and Terry Skjersaa ll Birthday at Anthony’s

Terry and Renee – Desert time.
Ellie, 15, almost 16 and excited about driving on her own.                                   

 

Jade, 13, was her fun and funny self.

Art Show November 13th

 

Art Show

Forum in Terrace Lodge

Tuesday November 13th – 10:00 to 4:00

I hope you can join me, along, with many other artists, for a one-day art show at Bend’s Touchmark Lodge.  It is located adjacent to the Bend Athletic Club, just below the Century Dr. and the Mt. Washington Dr. roundabout. I look forward to seeing you there.

I will be showing framed work plus many hand painted holiday cards. Originals and prints are available.

Below are a few samples.

Ivy
Christmas Rose 2

 

Christmas Rose 2

 

 

Let it Snow

Cards are available at: susart.inbend@gmail.com

Originals $15 – $25.  Prints $2. – $4.50

Happy Holidays to Everyone

 

Jade Skjersaa on the Run

Here she comes.

Another track star in the family.  Jade is in middle school, and a devout athlete. She’s an “A” student, skies, loves water sports, is an outstanding young visual artist, plays piano and violin, and was an up and coming gymnast. Recently multiple joint injuries forced her to discontinue her training.  That was a sad transition for Jade.  She loved that sport and trained at the gym at least three to four long afternoons and evenings a week.  It’s nice that she has more free time to be with family and friends, or not.  Her schedule, like most kids her age, is packed to the gills with activities.

Jade, her sister, and other neighborhood kids used to run back and forth past my front window on their travels between each other’s houses.  Jade was so little but could run like the wind.  They all wore flip flops, the road was a dirt lane, and Jade was usually out in front of the pack – her little legs going like a windmill.  (I was often on “grandma alert” waiting for one of them to crash.  Never happened…flip flops and all.) You know what they say about early childhood experience!  She’s got some fast memory stored in her DNA.  GO JADE.

 

Jade was born beautiful, both inside and out.  She is sweet, fun, so funny – and eternally impossible to beat at any board game.

Birthday Time. 1st iPod
Jade – so graceful
Can you do this?
Happy 13th Jade
13th Birthday        
Jade and Mo Jo’s head.

Congratulations Ellie

Congratulations to my oldest granddaughter, Ellie Skjersaa, a junior at Summit High in Bend.  She took first place in the 2018 NW Classic XC race at Lane Community College last weekend. I just now called her, all excited and proud, exclaiming, “Ellie, congratulations.”  Her reply was, “For What?”  “The race, you won.” I said.  “Oh, that was just a JV race.  Can I call you back later?”  She ran against 200 other girls in her “just a JV race.”  She’s always been a winner, always humble and a very good team mate.  Not only that, she’s a wonderful granddaughter, daughter, sister and is loved every day of her life by everyone in her family.

Ellie crossing the finish line. Captured at The Invitational XC meet at Lane Community College on September 15, 2018 by Matthew Lasala
Ellie on the left – always a good sport and super team mate. Captured at The Invitational XC meet at Lane Community College on September 15, 2018 by Matthew Lasala
Ellie in Yellow, First Track Meet
                                                                                  Super Gymnast. A career ended with a back injury.

 

Look at Ellie on Ice. She’s about to do a triple axle.
A Fun Day in the Fairy Forest.
Beginning Cyclist- on first solo trip from home to grandma’s.
…and Now, she’s an expert. Her fingers race across the keyboard to a point that they blur out of sight.

 

And she’s off, dad on her heels.
Ellie co-staring in “High School Musical,” Tower Theater, age 13.

 

Thunder in the Garden

Out of a blast of thunder my Iris took wings.  In Central Oregon this time of year hot dry days can create violent storms such as the small, isolated blast that shook me awake from an afternoon snooze.  A wave of boldness seemed to overcome me, and knowing this painting was no “show stopper” I relaxed, had fun, put some paint down and am happy with the outcome.  (Still no show stopper.)

Wimp
Thunder Iris

 

Art in the Very Hot Garden

The temperature here in Central Oregon has dropped from the high 90’s to the low 80’s, so around seven in the evening the garden was pleasant and  inviting.  The star gazer lilies are abundant and lighting up the back yard with their intoxicating fragrance.  Maybe someone named them “Star Gazers” after their star-shaped blooms and the way they tilt toward the skies searching for their mirror-like images that shine in the night.  Or maybe not.  The ripe blueberries on the bushes got picked – before the birds discover them.  Cherry season is just ending here on the eastern slope, and I managed to get enough off my tree to make a few jars of cherry jam.  It’s so good.

Greg Brown sings a song, “Canning” that comes to mind as I’m preserving a little taste of summer in my jars:

Peaches on the shelf
Potatoes in the bin
Supper’s ready, everybody come on in
Taste a little of the summer,
Taste a little of the summer,
You can taste a little of the summer
My grandma’s put it all in jars.

Well, there’s a root cellar, fruit cellar down below
Watch your head now, and down you go…etc.

Star Gazer Lily

Blueberries

Blueberries
My Blueberry Bush

 

 

Cherries

Cherries
Under the Cherry Tree

Art in My Yellow Garden

Hello Yellow

The yard seems that it’s in its Yellow Phase.  Here, only the end of July, and Fall colors  are in full array.  The yellows are pure, full and vibrant, especially in the slanted light of morning.

 

 

 

Watercolor Journal Entry

Dazed Gardener

It is the heart that recognizes we are all unique expressions of the Love that is the essence of Life, and it is the heart that will wake us up to the truth that we are all in this together, floating on a tiny, blue-green jewel of a planet that is dancing through vast oceans of space. Mary O’Malley, “What’s in the Way is the Way.” (72)

 

 

 

Art in the Garden, May Snow

May 9th,looked like it had snowed again, at least on the cherry and the apple trees…and on Isabella.  No snow, just cherries and apples being themselves.  As for Isabella, her groomer took about 10 years off her life with this new cut, and she, too, is simply being herself.  I’m not going to paint her, but the apple blossoms were irresistible.

Watercolor

 

Not Really Snow?
Isabella lounging in her garden bed…just back from the groomer.

 

Art in the Garden Spring and Summer 2018

OnMarch 4tha light snow covered the ground, the streets were icy, and winter showed no signs of leaving.  After living in the mountains for 18 years at 1000 feet above Bend (4500 feet) I was no stranger to spring snow.  Lots of it.  Up there in a land where, maybe,when spring had passed a few daisies and daffodils survived the summer deer.

But, surprise, all has changed down here in the city.  That which came after the snow had melted around my little cottage was amazing.  In the following posts I attempt to share a bit of summer as it blossoms behind a precious six-foot fence.

Spring Snow in the Garden.

March 30th, Spring Equinox, 2018.  Light was returning in our hemisphere, snow had melted in town, and I was in the back yard rooting around mysterious foliage in my thickly planted garden.  Crunched between a fir hedge and an adjacent monkey tree, appeared my favorite fantasy flower, a Lenten Rose.  Never had I seen one in real time, I’d only seen pictures of this plant, also called a Heliotrope. It was my favorite image that I had painted on Christmas cards – the year I set out to paint each and every card I sent individually. (Out of 100 friends on my list, I made it to 50.  Fun, but too much.)  So, here it was, in person.  It’s not clear why I have such fondness for the Lenten Rose, sometimes referred to as the Christmas Rose.  Maybe it’s the colors, the faded mauves and light greens, the shapes, the way the blooms grow close and back- to-back to one another.  It awakens something deeply spiritual, or complete, or maybe ancient within.

It was at this point I decided to paint my garden, flower-by-flower as each new botanical wonder displayed its unique expression of creation.

Lenten Rose.
The first bloom of Spring

April 28, 2018 on my early morning stroll, the weather still, sunny, and cold I discovered  this tiny little tulip.  It seemed shy nestled up beside a pinecone, maybe for a little comfort.  Small as it was, it sounded a fanfare for its many sisters, brothers, cousins and family members who soon awakened showing random colors, shapes, heights in many locations throughout this half-acre garden.

Painting my garden continues.

Tulips, Tulips, and More..

 

 

17 Candles

17 Candles to light the way

 

 Music from my last post played as  a candle was lit for each of the students and teachers now gone.  This was all I knew to do, at this point.

Our hope is that parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles and friends alike will join together to stop violence, especially gun violence.  Bless us all to:

Go in Peace, Go in Kindness, Go in Love, Go in Faith

Leave the day, the day behind us, day is done, go in grace.

Let us go into the dark, not afraid not alone.  Let us hope by some good pleasure

Safely to arrive at home.