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Monday, June 8, 2020

Market shopping in Corona Time

I can deal with a lot of places being closed but I'm really happy that the Olympia Farmer's Market isn't one of them. We've been able to wind our way through the stalls albeit only "essential" vendors (food and plant related) are allowed.

The Olympia Farmer's Market has a long history. Ever since women gathered with the produce from their local victory gardens. In 1983 when I returned to Olympia after a 10 year absence, the farmers' market was a muddy path next to the local Shakey's Pizza on Plum Street in Olympia. From there it made it's way to the Yardbirds Parking lot. Some miraculous turn of events occurred and voila, the market stands in it's current location the westernmost end of Capitol Way--our own Lincoln Memorial.

I had been to the market a couple of previous weekends but this was the first time there was a line to enter. So I drew the line of masked visitors first, then joined it. 

I had a muffled chat with my line neighbors, a couple whose children went to elementary school with mine.  Two young men monitored the entrance and exits relaying how many were exiting so the other could allow an equal number to enter. There was a traffic pattern, clockwise only, entrances to the stalls from either end only, not the middle. Handwashing station at the entrance.

One vendor had built a mountain of early Walla Walla Onions- bulbous and begging to be drawn.

Since I had stood drawing them I felt compelled to buy a bunch as well that I later drew at home.

There were flowers, seeds, bread, tomato plants with flowers no less, cookies, baby apple trees, sausages and ribs and so much more. People did a decent job of keeping distant; most wore masks. The hardest part was staying alert to those who stopped mid-stream to contemplate a purchase.

For better or worse Olympians want to shop the market and I'm glad the city has found a way to accommodate both shoppers and vendors. Long live the market!

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Dipping my toes into oil

During this lockdown I needed a project so I decided to get out the oil paints that have been sitting on a shelf for 18 years. I had hoped to dive in but it's turned out to be more like dipping my toes gingerly. It takes so much set up and I don't really have a dedicated space so I have to protect the floor and surroundings. It's interesting to feel like a real beginner. It's hard to stay motivated when the results are so much different than my expectations. 

And I'm floundering a bit with where to go with it - Where do I start? How do I set up my pallette? Representational or abstract? I'm trying it all out but my resistance is amazing. As I told a friend it's like climbing a mountain in a blizzard. And the drying process--I'm impatient with watercolor--it takes days for layers to dry. After so much drawing on location, painting from photos feels weird, but it's a start. 

Here's my studio set up:

Here are some of my first attempts. 

Detail of above. This is what I love about oil. All the layers you can do. 

Kind of cheesy subject matter but I wanted some darks agains lights. 

Detail of Above. 

Detail of Above. Loving pushing paint around. 

Value and composition.