Saturday, December 5, 2009

Dec. 13 Farmhouse Salon: Jeff Pevar, Inger Jorgenson and Friends

    The transition movement emphasizes localized exchange as a way to avoid the environmental problems lingering on the horizon, but that is not the only reason why local is good. The local is the people we know, the people who live in our community, and when we celebrate as a community, we also experience the intimacy of a localized connection that can only grow by living together as friends and neighbors. In community we can celebrate life and beauty together, with people we know, respect and enjoy. But there are bound to be people we don't already know at these celebrations, so we also get the chance to expand our sense of community by connecting with new people.
    This sense of community is one of the many reasons I love living in the Rogue Valley. I love walking downtown and seeing familiar people. I love the exchange of ideas and the abundance of enthusiasm these people offer. And I love discovering the valley's people, niches and enthusiasms previously unknown to me.
    Similarly, I love the opportunity to read my poetry to groups of people anywhere, but especially in the valley. Last July in Ashland, we did a house concert with Jeff Pevar and Inger Jorgenson, Alison Van Olphen, Aeada Cains, Sasha Lithman and myself. Although I probably saw somewhere between 75 and 100 concerts last year alone, very few of them offered the level of intimacy and sweetness we--the performers and the audience--experienced that night. Needless to say, I am very excited for next weekend, December 13, when Jeff Pevar and Ingerson return for another house concert, this time with fellow musicians and Rogue Valley neighbors, Cornflower and Jaese Lecuyer. Very grateful to be a part of what looks to be another amazing night, I will be reading poetry at the event as well.
    Jeff Pevar is a wonderfully dynamic guitar player and multi-instrumentalist who has toured with Ray Charles, Rickie Lee Jones, Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills and Nash, Jazz is Dead and Phil Lesh (making him a musician very close to my heart!). Inger Jorgenson, an amazing painter, is the co-owner of Bohemia Gallery and Framing down on A Street (known for their happening First Fridays). Not only can you see her work at the "Winter Farmhouse Salon," as we are calling the event, but you can also hear her singing her eclectic R&B soul voice, which you may recognize from the Ashland band, Bohemian Soul. Inger and Jeff will be performing together. If you come, expect great intimacy and sweetness from their duet.
    Cornflower is just as cool as Inger and Jeff. Using loop pedals, vocal percussion and scat, he moves and groove. Listening, I might cry, or least experience bliss.
    I have never met Jaese Lecuyer, but he has recently located himself in the Rogue Valley. A Canadian singer/songwriter, I hear from Inger he's damn good.
    I will be reading poetry. It is always a blessing to share my poetry with people, and to share performing space with such amazing people, is an honor. I am really looking forward to it.

    If you want to come: The event is Sunday, December 13, at 6:30 PM. It is taking place at the home of Cathy DeForest (of Gallery DeForest) and Leon Pyle, who happen to be my parents! This is also the location of Jubilation Press, you are welcome to check out our studio on Sunday. As this is a house concert, space is limited and you need to get tickets in advance. We had a full house last July.
    Tickets are $25 and you can purchase them at Bohemia Gallery and Framing, 552 A St. in Ashland, unless you go in on a Sunday or Monday. They are closed those days. For more information, call 541-488-5227 or email After buying tickets, you will get more info about things like the address of the house. I hope to see you there.

Have a great December. We hope to see you December 13th, 17th or some other time soon!
          Derek Pyle

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Final Artist Book Exhibit at Santa Reparata International School of Art

Barbara Mortkowitz showcases her creativity with a series of artist
books inspired by wanderings through the streets of Florence.

Cathy DeForest exhibits her solar etching based on
the Egyptian exhibit of the Venice Biennale 2009.
Rebecca Dant reveals her accordion book based on photographs of
gelato shops in Florence, which stands on colorful gelato spoons.
Mary Laird shows her newest letterpress book, Kindred Flame.
Maritza Davila, exhibits her prototypes for her book
based on sense of place, friendships and life's journeys.

Artist books created in Florence

Raffaella Macalusa exhibits her book inspired
by the 500 year old deed for her family home.

Len and Diane Lea showing the medieval binding of her
letterpress book sewn and printed at Santa Reparata.

Kathleen Rydar exhibits her books which includes a tribute
to the letterpress printer who inspires her recent work.

Nancy Jo Mullen exhibits her artist book featuring
the marvels of paper throughout the ages.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Book Arts Adventures with Mary Laird and Cathy DeForest

Our days at Santa Reparata have been filled with creativity and wonder. Participants have made books out of bags (the original idea for a bag book came from Betsy Davids of SF). Our photos tell our story: Kathleen Rydar of SF presents her idea for her bag book inspired by shopping adventures and Nancy Jo Mullen tells the tale of how important paper has been to civilization as she hold up a bag from one of our favorite paper stores. 
We also made solarplate etchings and turned them into a collaborative book bound with copper corners via Mary Laird's instructions. Cathy DeForest is shown here printing an etching from a photograph she took on her trip to the Venice Biennale. 
Participants also worked on a book based on a found object. Rebecca Dant can be seen here showing her book to Dan Welden documenting the glories of gelato in Florence. The book stands on gelato spoons gathered by fellow classmates.
Stay tuned for more book art photos as we gather them up to share with you. 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Dan Welden Teaching Solarplate Printmaking at Santa Reparta

Bottom row: Barbara Savadori, Michael Gaffney, Jacqueline Aust
Next row: Pamela Gordon, Susan Overill, Sue Doyle, Hanneke Barendregt, Dan Welden, Amy Orange, Theresa  Airey, Deborah Riley, Jill Landau Reich, Rosalind Weinberg,

Susie Overill, Barbara Salvadori, Pamela Gordon, Dan Welden, Michael Gaffney, Amy Orange, Cynthia Boynton, Rosalind Weinberg. 

  It was an international happening under the Tuscan Sun. We came from all over the world…Bermuda, Netherlands, New Zealand, England, USA, and Italy.  The studio was a cornucopia of sounds, languages, dialects and laughter. We were Professionals, teachers, writers. photographers, painters, mothers and fathers, all who wished to take a sabbatical from the real world and expand our true selves... our creative selves. We were living a dream many never get to experience. What better place than the heart of the Renaissance- Firenze?  Master printmaker, Dan Welden, was the glue that held us together and made it work. Dan was our leader- inspiring, encouraging, honest. He is a great teacher, artist and humanitarian. 
  We learned the technical side of printmaking…how to determine the density of a transparency, expose and develop a Solar-Plate, wiping a plate, adjusting the pressure on the press, and pulling a print. We learned techniques: creating collagraphs, chine collĂ©, making monotypes and monoprints.
The Santa Reparata School of International Art is a jewel in the heart of the city for all artists to come together and enjoy Florence, to experience what Italy and art is all about and a place to call home for those of us in a strange land.  We thank you Santa Reparata, we thank you Dan Welden for all your instructions, help and encouragement, and we thank Jessica Bayer, program administrator, who keeps Dan organized and took care of all the endless details that made these three weeks enjoyable and possible.  
Photographs and text written by Teresa Airey. Class portrait photograph by Cathy DeForest.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ben Long Teaches Digital Photography in Florence, Italy

Ben Long was an inspirational leader, who was knowledgeable, accessible and great fun! We each brought our photographs to a higher level and learned so much from one another as the weeks coalesced into an extensive search for images. Thanks to Ben, we travel home with a successful experience under our belts and friendships that will endure. Our work is our statement. Check out Ben Long's website: His book Complete Digital Photography is in its fifth printing. 

From left to right: Pat Beary, Barbara Kitzen, Carol Valstyn, Jessica Bayer, Ben Long, Judith Hochroth, Fraser Shein, Len Lea, and Erin Astrup
Photo of class by Susanna Lamania. Text and photography of work by Judith Hochroth.

Photographs of work by Judith Hochroth. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Printmaking in the sun of Firenze!

Michael Gaffney, Dan Welden, Elaine Bennett, Amy Orange

Jill Landau, Sue Crosby Doyle,  Rosalind Weinberg,
Jacqueline Aust, Hanneke Barendregt, Dan Welden

Photos by Theresa Airey and Cathy DeForest

Juliette Aristides' Classical Painting Students in SIRSA studio

Back row: Eileen Shaloum / Julie Barbeau / Zoe Franks / Toni Jones/ Charles Prutting / Aron Hart/ Juliette Aristides

Middles: Llewellyn Matthews / Stephen Brunner /Skia Laurence / Kristi Clarke / Kathy Troyer / Roger Clarke

Front: Elizabeth Zanzinger / Osamu Tanimoto /Sue Menkes / Tenley Dubois / Celeste Giordano

Juliette Aristides Teaching Classical Painting and Drawing in Florence, Italy

The Classical program instructed by Juliette Aristides focuses on learning foundational drawing skills. Surrounded by the beauty of FLorence we can not help but be inspired. We are joined by Carol Hendricks our resident art historian. In the morning Carol takes us to see artistic masterpieces and helps us put the work into context. Carol lead us on a path from early Renaissance in Venice, the middle period in Florence and the high Renaissance in Rome. Half days we are found drawing on location in front of a landscape, painting, sculpture or piece of architecture. 

Our day begins under the Loggia de Signoria, drawing the classical sculptures of Roman antiquity, followed by espresso and a trip to the many museums that house the treasures of the Florentine Renaissance. In the afternoon we move into the studio to work from the life model. It is here in the studio that we learn the theory behind the great art that we are looking at and how to incorporate it into our own work. We are enjoying this amazing opportunity to study the language of design as it has been handed down through the ages. Check out Juliette Aristides' art at:
Her books include: Classical Painting Atelier and 
Classical Drawing Atelier.
Photograph by Cathy DeForest

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Philippa Blair Painting Workshop In Florence

Dorothy Helyer in discussion with Philippa Blair

Paintings by Philippa Reed.

Kathy Birdsong, Phillipa Reed and Marion Vidal.

Photographs by Phillipa Reed.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Philippa Blair Painting Workshop In Florence

Philippa Blair is taking her class on a physical and metaphorical journey, exploring Florence, Fiesole and Venice, through archways, pathways, canals and history. We have crossed oceans and decades to come here and now we trudge pavements, board buses and bob along on vaporetti to uncover new layers of meaning before us and beneath us, oh and above us, but don't forget to watch your step and not trip.
We have stood transfixed in front of frescoes in medieval monkish cells and as well as taken in the bold graffiti next to the rows of bicycles and scooters to the doorway to our studio. We have gathered the materials for our journeys from favorite art supply stores, kitchen benches, pavements, hillsides and rubbish bins in the spirit of re-cycling and rediscovery. This is a personal exploration for all, as well, a "vulnerable journey of learning", so please treat our new steps and discoveries with care as we share them with you. Check out Philippa Blair's web site at:
Photos and text by Philippa Reed of New Zealand. From left: Philippa Reed,
Brett de Gregoria, Dorothy Helyer, Michelle Librett, Marion Vidal, Kathy Birdsong

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Samantha Budy discussing Fragmented Self Portrait with instructor, Kristi Colell. Myrna Ratcliffe and Jason Nyugen working.

Myrna Ratcliffe at work during the Mixed Media class session, August 16th.

Samantha Budy at work on watercolor
Fragmented Image.

Mixed Media Workshop with Kristi Colell

Kristi Colell, California Lutheran University art instructor, got her mixed media students off to a jump start by photographing their first impressions of the streets of Firenze early in the morning. Returning to the San Gallo campus, their slides were developed and the process of Polaroid Emulsion began. The Mixed Media class then joined Dan Welden and Juliette Aristides Solar Printmaking and Classical Drawing and Painting classes on a three day journey to the Venezia Biennale beginning August 10th.
Thee Venice trip inspired more visual information to incorporate into the students own artwork. In addition to the Biennale the Mixed Media class visited Ravenna and Bologna.(note attached photos) The group returned to the studio August 13th and began applying their Personal Italian Visual statements by incorporating the medias of watercolor, carbon lithography, solar plate collage, Polaroid emulsion, photo emulsion, collage and figure drawing. Photo: Kristi reviewing Sharon Dyer's Colors of Florence and fragmented in Florence ideas.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Letterpress printers: (left to right) Raffaella Macaluso, Diane Lea, Rebecca Dant, Maritza Davila, Elaine Bennett, Barbara Mortkowitz, Nancy Jo Mullen, Mary Laird and Kathleen Ryder (not in photo).

Friday, August 14, 2009

Mary Laird Teaching Letterpress in Florence

Mary Laird, book artist and letterpress printer came from Berekely, California to teach artist books at Santa Reparata. She reconditioned the Swiss printing press at the studio to get it in working order. After her magnificent introduction, the class went to work setting metal and wooden type for a book based on a medieval form of a laced binding with copper corners. The class used Bodoni metal type and and an assortment of wooden type to create the book. The book is entitled, Le Sorelle del Libro and will contain a collection of solar plate etchings created by each student. Mary Laird is proprietor of Quelquefois Press and teaches at the SF Center for the Book as well as in her home studio.

Ben Long Teaches Digital Photography in Florence, Italy