- By Jerry Ann Fenter
New City, New House, and New Directions
An experimental watercolor...translation...Open Your Eyes...Mexico...by Jerry Fenter.
Wow! It's been so long since I've written a post. I do have a good excuse. We've been moving. We sold our cabin in Timber Valley in December and moved to Olympia, Washington in January. It's been so long since we moved anywhere that both of us thought it would be much easier than it was. Moving all of the household items and two studio spaces was really hard. Good results though! I now have a small studio outside in our back yard. I'm getting it ready so I can paint again. Ron is doing an amazing job of using an old garage space and a spare room together to get his clay studio started up again. Always too much to do and too little time. But by the progress we've seen so far it will be totally worth it.
I'm not used to living in the city again even though I grew up in Portland, Oregon. There is so much going on in this area and so much to explore. We've spent almost 100 percent of our time on the new house, the studios and the garden. Let's see...we're in a house and not an isolated log cabin. Here people actually come to the door randomly for sales. Kids trying to sell their old skateboards, guys offering to clean our rugs for "free",many kids and adults come to welcome us and want to chat about Jesus.Some invites from neighbors for back yard get togethers. Every morning one of us goes outside to the driveway to pick up our newspaper (wrapped in plastic) and right behind our parked car. This makes me happy. The Olympia paper is smaller than the Seattle Times but bigger than the one day a week Enterprise in Timber Valley. I'm liking it. I'd love to order the New York Times, but hey...one thing at a time. City life is harder than I thought it would be.
It's easy to get lost while driving (my special handicap), a HUGE Fred Meyer store, Costco and Home Depot are all very close to our house. If we need something we don't drive miles and miles to get a light bulb! Also there is a Regal Cinema with like 20 shows going on at the same time (Only in my wildest dreams before we moved from the mountain). We've already seen three of them and had great pizza afterwards at The Rock...that's the name of the restaurant right next to the Cinema. They play all vintage Rock and Roll so we can eat pizza and hear good music at the same time. It's a great place.
The Olympia Downtown is a fun and interesting place to shop, eat and just hang out. We both
realized at the same time that most of the owners of the shops there are Old Hippies...just like
us!! it's nice and kind of unusual. Its a place anyone would enjoy visiting this area. We felt welcome there. Not much time before winter so we haven't had nearly enough time to explore the tons of wonders of the area yet!
Me in some magic glasses. Sold in downtown Olympia. It's true you can find most anything there.
Cone Flowers....in the front garden. Hummingbirds on the porch.
Ron has been working hard on a new studio. He took an old half of a garage cleaned it up...cut a hole in one of the guestrooms wall...Then put down a new floor. It's getting closer to being done and it's exciting. Lots of work but he can hardly wait to get his hands on clay!!
Ron's new floor...Soon it will be a working clay studio.
Our yard has been surprising us since we got here. First...the fence. It's made of
wood. It's falling down in many places and looks like it was put in at the exact same time as all of the other fences in the neighborhood. It looked like a bigger project than we want at this time so we went for the garden first. We have a Big front yard...hard soil, lots of "sad grass" (my name for it) weeds everywhere and thriving! Lots of flower gardens front and back...covered with dead leaves. We cleared these areas and recycled anything we could..but also uncovered lots of beautiful planted flowers...some we hadn't seen since we moved from a city. Squirrels....at least a million of them live here, and all of our neighbors are feeding them! All were carrying peanuts and burying them all around every plant. Lots of birds wanting food at the same time. The squirrels would even walk up to the windows in our sun room and hold out their tiny hands while begging to both of us! Squirrels...dig holes for hiding food, dig up bulbs of any kind and then chew all of them or put them in the ground and move them around from day to day. Of course I went to the computer for advice."How do you keep squirrels from eating your plants and bulbs?" No real answer there. One suggestion caught my eye. Get a package of plastic forks (?) from the store. Take the forks outside near the plants and shove them into the soil near the plants with the pointy ends up. I guess because the sharp ends of the plastic forks hurt tiny feet if they walk on them. BUT I had no idea how many forks I would need to stop them. I tried it. It did not work. The sneaky squirrels would just go around the forks and take what they wanted. Failure!!! Later, I forgot the forks were there , went outside barefooted and stepped on one. I think I heard some squirrels laughing. We don't feed the squirrels. We get less of them than the always feeding something neighbors. Bunnies come by on occasion and our kitty, Mookie has found what he thinks is a very beautiful invader cat named Luna. Who is an outdoor kitty! Mookie likes that he can watch her and stalk her from the many windows in the sun-room! But he does not know about cars or cities. He wonders why Luna sleeps in HIS yard and sometimes on his mom's studio porch. The whole yard is like an animal soap opera!
Our Lady Gives Thanks For Her Perfect Tomatoes...by Jerry Fenter
I guess I should say something about art since this IS an art blog. Art is everywhere for me. I've been getting ideas during our move and will in a while be ready to start working in my new studio. I'm excited about a whole new series of paintings based on my own old family photos! Black and white photography fascinates me. My Nebraska cousin sends me lots of the old family photos. All from the Nebraska era. I add some of the newer ones. Some from when my dad enlisted in the Air Force and flew into Europe and then into Korea. I love his photos, all restaurants, pretty women and night clubs. I'm getting to know my dad better now than when he was alive. And I love him even more! The last time my cousin and I sat down to look at each other's photos we each found one strange picture (a family posed studio photo with lots of people in it...dressed all in black). We had no idea who these people were. Who are they? I was inspired. Nobody in the family could recognize them. SO I can see a new series of pictures of this family. How did they sneak into my family pictures?
I NEED to paint. I'm attaching a recent commission I did for a wonderful couple from Spokane. It's a painting I'm very proud of. It's a painting based on the Last Supper and inspired by global warming. It has animals seated in place of the disciples. The animals are behind the table and behind them are downed trees, signs of global warming and nuclear danger. The animals don't notice...they are innocent. All humans need to think more about what this painting says and have a little strength to make some positive changes.
Wow...this is long. Check out the art on this site and think about taking one of my classes. Mexico in March 2020...March 16th-20th 2020. The first class of the year. We have a new phone number...360-763-5750. Can't wait to hear from you. Jerry (City Girl Now!)
Last Picnic in Paradise....Watercolor....by Jerry Fenter
To all of you...Happy Holidays!!!!