Monday, May 2, 2011

Vacation, Year 2

Last week was the second annual art vacation with my mom. I went up to her place and we stayed a couple nights in a cabin at Silver Lake. The rest of the time we just stayed at her house, but that is great because she has a wonderfully full art studio.

Thursday morning, Abe and I drove up with Le Poops (the dogs, that is) and I had a stack of 22x30" paper (wrapped in butcher paper) on my lap because that was the only place it would safely fit. It wasn't so bad though. I don't actually remember what we spent the day doing, but we had corned beef for dinner. It was Jim's first time cooking a boiled dinner and he did a bang up job. Except either the turnips or the rutabegga had a thick rind on it, but I just skipped those. That night, and nearly every night I was up there, I read The Elegence of the Hedgehog before bed. I am really enjoying it, though I feel bad for both characters. If you have read it, you might find it odd that I pity the concierge more.

Though I don't remember much of Friday, I do remember that Mom and I spent a large portion of the day making practice books. It was an interesting construction that she found in her book Creative Bookbinding. It uses pieces of cloth glued to the front and back of each page. This works really well for thick pages because you don't have to fold them - all the bending is in the cloth of the spine. But it takes a really really long time. I am going to do a bunch of linocut prints of the crow story and I wanted to bind some of the originals but the original paper that I boght is pretty thick. I might use thisbinding for some, but it is really time consuming. One, sure. But 10-50? No way.

Anyways, Saturday I went to a Storytelling workshop by Doug Banner with Jim. It was pretty fun. It was about revealing involuntary memory to expand on your own stories. We eached grabbed an item from a huge amount of random items he had spread out on the stage and then we all wrote down the basics of the story that the item made us think of. The workshop was to then tell the story and the audience would ask questions with the goal of helping the storyteller to find more details and expand on the story. He, another lady, and Jim all told their stories. He told a story about his grandmother based on some rosary beads. She told a story about a time in a canoe in Belize with her friend and a fella with a lucky rastaffarian hat. Jim told a story, which I had heard before, about his brother poking the nose of a dead nun during a funeral. The questions people asked were interesting and at the end of each story and Q&A Doug pointed out what he would have told differently, such as where to try to add more detail to really get at the point of the story and about pacing.

Then, after lunch, Mom and I finally made it to Silver Lake. We unpacked (we had the only cabin with its own bathroom!) and went for a little walk to draw. We picked a nice little spot. I drew a tree and Mom drew some bushes next to it in the little books we had made the day before. When we were back and spending time doing art in the cabin, which was severely lacking in natural light. We started listening to Oliver Twist, which I had borrowed from the library especially for the occasion. (We didn't finish it until Friday!) For dinner, Mom made a delicious stroganoff from scratch. We had just a little too much to eat, but Mom made sure to finish off the meat.

Here's a picture I drew of what I thought the Oliver Twist narrator would look like before I learned it was a woman. She was great though!

Sunday was Easter and we were at the cabin for the whole day. We each drew our bunks in our handmade books and I painted a 5.5x8.5" watercolor from a sketch I had with me of Umbrella Girl. I think it turned out pretty well. The trees in the background are based on the pine trees outside our porch and the other tree is based on the tree I sketched the day before. For Easter dinner we had some lamb, potatoes, and brussel sprouts. Yum. :)

Here's a comic I drew about our time:
Panel 1: Attended a storytelling workshop with Jim.
Arrow pointing to fella: Doug Banner.
Arrow pointing to hand: Rosary beads
Doug: Stories
Panel 2: both: To Silver Lake!
Caption: Me and Mom (Anita)
Panel 3: Angela: I don't have the shoes for this!
Panel 4: Anita: Another jumping fish [note: there were a lot of fish pecking at the surface of the lake, but some actually lept out of the water!]
Angela: Wow. A bald eagle's nest. [note: we forgot binoculars. But there was a nest across the way with two or three babies.]
Panel 5: Angela: PB & honey like mom used to make
Arrow at speech: Mom made my sandwich.
Panel 6: Top caption: Birds we enjoyed.
Caption 1: Hummingbird
Caption 2: Robin that walked up the path nearly to our cabin
Caption 3: Eagles across the lake
Panel 7: Caption: Mom's pyromania reaches a head
Panel 8: Caption: Happy Easter!
Angela: To Son Frog! [note: we had gotten a growler of Son of Frog from North Fork on the way up - yum.]
Anita: And sumo! I mean, sumi-e. [note: she kept calling it sumo instead of sumi-e all weekend. dork. :) (more about the sumi-e later.)]

The rest of the time we spent in Mom's studio. I used her press to make some prints of the Crows in a Tree. We also made some handsewn books in the Japanese style, which is what I think I will use for the crow story and I will use a lighter paper. Mom showed me some mulberry, so I will take that around and see if I can find something similar. I also got One Lemming's Loss fully printed and did a hand-sewn binding, which was really really fun. Just a simple Saddle stitch. I also pencilled and drew a mini-comic about a sasquatch that I thought up on our drive back from Stumptown. We even got to spend an evening writing haikus (more on these later). I think my mom is intimidated by limericks. :) In the end, it was a mighty productive week, though it didn't feel like it the whole time. I had a great time and I can't wait to do it again next year.

When I got home, Ernie finally forgave me, which was nice. He hates when I leave. And we went to Fred Meyer's and bought some patio furniture. Thay were having a sale so we got $165 worth of stuff for $106: two folding chairs, a folding table, and two cushions. The folding table and chairs lock, so we don't have to worry about it too much. Though I did fall off the side of the deck while we were playing Bananagrams (which was our final Xmas present from Mom and Jim). I squealed, "Help, Abe! Help, help, help!" Abe just stared at me, chewing his lunch, while I flailed around. Eventually, after he had finished his bite and thought about what to do for a bit, he grabbed my arm and pulled me back up.

Phew! Now that I wrote it all down, I understand why I was so tired when I got home. I didn't even get everything. We played lots of Bananagrams. I really like it. Though it seems to be much harder to play with two people than three.

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