Daily Visions:



The Journeys show is up and has already been enjoyed and contemplated by hundreds. The gallery is introduced, the show and the artists work, each time new folks visit the gallery. This show is yet a special invitation to go through a visual Journey guided by the artists work throughout the gallery. It is parsed into Journey genres like 'Journeys at Sea', 'Journeys in the Trees', 'Journeys into the Sunset' and more. At the center of the gallery, is this beautiful installation about centered-ness and Balance. It is adjacent to the 'Inner Jouneys' section and makes perfect sense as a nucleus from which all other Journeys radiate. These two sculptures were made by Phil Sconce whom used found local and worldly objects to build them. They have been on journeys of their own, like the driftwood spire that was kept preciously for years while living on a sailboat, and the metal hardware from huge spools that Phil works with on the daily at his Bayfront job. Explore these Journeys through August with an ever-changing show of new art.


It is easy to get carried away out the bay windows at the Ozone, but into another time frame is a whole new experience. The good ship, 'Lady Washington', is cruising the bay these days until Memorial Day. The crew dresses in garb reminiscent of those pirating, adventurous, scurvy days and awaits the next tall ship to meander into port with which to engage in some cannon battle. If you are a fair soul, with good timing, you can even climb aboard for a tour or even a mission at sea (or at bay in this case). Perhaps just watching that all play out with this view over a flight of wine and Our Journeys show at the Ozone might be plenty enough adventure!



Gotta love a rock that has ruby red lips to kiss you back. This is a flashy little thunder egg I can't wait to cook up. The Rhyolite, or matrix stone around that pretty crimson agate, is green making a striking contrast. The stones tell the tales of their locale. It's fun to imagine the epic volcanic explosions birthing green ash bubbles with glowing agate ember centers that mimic the colors of the lava itself as if frozen in time. The colors of the thunder eggs indicate what minerals are hanging around during the hot event and are found in every hue of the spectrum. Who knows what the delicious center of the next one will reveal.

 There is a beautiful blue hue to the tide line and an 'oh wait, what's that smell?' on the beaches right now. My mom called them 'By the Wind Sailors' and they are a form of jellyfish. In the same phylum as the infamous 'Man of War', these jellies dazzle less with sting or size and more with colors of brilliant electric blue are an artist's envy. They have an amazing translucent 'sail' that sticks up out of the water with the typical jelly-under-belly. That above water foil is the sole means of propulsion, by the wind, and the tenticles down under are for catching a snack. Unfortunately for the Vellela vellela, they are at the mercy of the wind and will get beached in large numbers when the tides converge and their number is up. Close up marvelling reveals the masterful design of this unique creature and a palette that is difficult to recreate. Perhaps worth a try with paint or print, stay tuned!


The Daily Vision takes us on a closer view of a tradition we used to have called the Daily Detail. Have you ever been at an art museum and tripped the proximity alarm because you wanted a closer look at a piece? Especially when hanging an art piece I get that unusually close embrace with a piece. So much can be revealed upon intimate inspection. This detail, or close-up shot, of Sandra McCourry's encaustic is incredibly satisfying in the intricacy of the mixing of media. She uses all sorts of found objects to add to her locally sourced, natural raw bee's wax in keeping with the current show's theme, ReNEW. The piece in its entirety below, joss paper used to honor ancestors is the prominant visual texture layered in sentimental and harmonious fashion.


Not to double down on gull pictures, but I guess there may be a few of them around here. Actually, today was an unsettling day in the Ozone. The wind warning was for gusts to 70mph with a stong surge. At high tide, the bay was white capping and the surf was pounding on the pylons of the pier. Yes, this is the moment you remember that you are working over that body of water on stilts. The jiggling of the gallery had the kinetic sculptures dancing and the tea in my cup sloshing. Out the window, looking Southwest towards the bridge, the gulls were taking aim to hunker down on the fish factory roof. It was interesting to watch them try to land as this young bird was coming in hot.


You see one seagull, you have seen them all, right? Well this little guy was fishing around the pier and he didn't look like all the other gulls. See that cool black hood he's sporting? He was also only about 2/3 the size of the regular crew. No, he was definitely a Johnathan Livingston loner. Bird lover that I am, I poured through my books to find this cutie that entertained me all morning. Couldn't quit find this one in our range but had some friends offer suggestions of Black Headed, Sabines, Bonaparts, and some others. It does appear to be one of those in breeding plumage and how cool! He moved on by afternoon and haven't seen him since. Bon voyage, traveler.


In Oregon, the typical beach attire is a parka and jeans or a wetsuit as opposed to a bikini. Instead of barefoot frisbee, one is more likely to be into an alternative beach sport. Rain at the beach makes most people sad but not the kite-boarder or fat tire bike rider. The storms and high tides groom the beaches flat with hard pack sand turning miles of terrain into a bike and skate paradise. Above, Steve is playing in the wind between storms on his mountain board and kite carving tacks and ollying driftwood. Not only by day but often even at night, fat tire riders can be seen cruising around the sandy expanses with no worries of traffic and some of the best scenery pedals can buy. After these sessions, creative inspiration is stoked to the maximum.


Showed up to work the other day and it seemed like the whole bay was stirring with sea lions. Sure enough, hundreds of them were racing around, breaching, splashing, and barking with an entourage of seagulls in tow. What gives? Happily, I had the luck of one of the older locals coming in and educating me on the Herring run. Ahhhh, that explains the enthusiasm in the bay. Fisherman were out in skiffs pulling up the fluttering silver scores on multi-hook lines while plenty of us on land gawked on at the somewhat rare occurence. I have come to understand that the run used to be regular and huge though it has greatly diminished over past few decades.


Sometimes nature delivers the most incredible visions, and sometimes the artists do. After all, that's what we're supposed to be doing, right? We may translate the inspirational views and feelings we get from the world into artwork and share that emotional content directly with the viewer. We just opened the ReNEW show and this is the first big wall you will see when you come in. Leighton Blackwell has created his Octopus and Rockfish after his typical choice of substrate and subjects; upcycled woods and local marine life. Robert West shares his 'electric trees' created with 3000+ volts of electricity, bonzai aesthetics, and a passion for the exciting outcome of using a variety of woods and conductors. The mixed wood-tones, textures and subjects are naturally satisfying surrounding your eyes when you stand in this section of the gallery. Come in and see, some of the pieces are already sold so this vision won't last long.


 Like a painter's palette of hues to play with, the newest batch of hand polished, wild agates are peaking my imagination. The art of polishing offeres many approaches when creating a new gemstone. 'Facing' or creating a window into the stone is an intriguing way to see inside while preserving some of the original shape of the stone. In the case of the fossils and some of the agates, I played with the facing to retain outter 'skin or rind' and have the best of all visual and textural worlds. Some of these are popping up on the New Jewelry  page and some of them are already gone!



I like to say that there is never a wasted walk on the beach. Fresh air, salty breeze, sounds of the waves crashing, all clear the head and the visuals are always artistically inspiring. I have to come clean about an alterior desire to find some cool agate, driftwood, ancient float, or fossil amid the tide's flotsom and jetsom. 'Ground scores' always make me gleeful. The latest round of heavy surf and high tides had revealed the ancient forest and some delicious gravel beds. Keeping a keen eye and ear out for sneaker waves, you can wander the surreal landscape looking for anomalies. If you're lucky enough to have the sun shining for you, the agates glow and pop right out for you. Agatized fossil shells make me right weak in the knees and this one was no exception. I've got some nice plans for this pretty, what would you do with it?


 Just finished setting up some of the pictures on the Yaquina Head Snow Day  page. Check out the familiar Newport and Agate Beach scenes with an unusual coat of white. I have quite a few so there will be more postings on this page, so check in again for updates. This particular tree is a personal favorite. It hangs on to the basalt cliffs in Quarry Cove and is really begging to be painted or perhaps a woodcut, probably both.


On the coast, we woke to a blanket of snow left from the previous night's winter work. The entire Agate Beach was covered white to the tide line. Normal, daily views were drastically altered. The Yaquina Head beckoned an icy adventure but it was so quiet. Too quiet. What was missing? Answer: the sound of the ocean's massive energy crashing on the basalt cliffs. The sea was utterly calm, so calm that you could get a rare glimpse of the ocean floor. This bird's eye view was snapped just before the Quarry Cove with the contrast of texture in the trees, snow and black rock with the smooth, opal like ocean below. 



Newport, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Wait, is that rainbow landing right on the balcony of the Ozone? This is a welcome sight after our cold snap and icy rains. The commercial fishing fleet is readying for the crab season to open and we are all gearing up for our holiday festivities. With that, Season's Greetings to you all.  



 The inner worlds of the stones are captivating and drive me to 'open' the next rock in line time after time. They seem to have perfect compositions and artistic value inherently without the fettering of the lapidary artist. It's my privilege to help the stone along to a finish that can be enjoyed by all who see it (instead of just by those of us with the imagination to dream of what it might look like finished). In this case, the chore of editing the pictures to load to the website became part of the creative process. The file became discombobulated and 'saved' as what you see before you. Better by far than my original file! Nature and my computer danced and created art together. It would be wonderful if that was the fruition of every marriage of that kind. This stone is currently being polished at the Ozone, come see.



I always find it fascinating when the weather is the perfect analogy for how you're feeling. No surprise that when I take a rare sick day off of the gallery, the sky serves up a gorgeous show. Inspiration definitely comes by way of cloud bursts, hail stones, and high surf. The energy is infectious (sadly, so am I). Web updates, raw stone sorting, and wood block cutting are all good, low key, uses of the muse fuel. 


Petrified Wood and Agatized Limb Cast; what is it? This close up of the two comingling gives you an idea of the complex secret lives within the stone. We find an odd looking rock on the ground that has clear areas and texture like tree bark and one can't help but be intrigued as to how it looks inside. When polished, the striations of the woodgrain come out, depth of pooling clear and blue agate as well as 'fortification' banding. These dynamics are comprised of silicates setting up as agate and petrified wood permineralized with agate and the ambiant minerals that seeped in with it. In this case, the coloring is primarily reds and earthtones which is probably caused by iron and other impurities. Within a cavity, like the one the wood provided, the silicates and minerals swirl and dance together creating interesting patterns and shapes. It's an incredible, detailed tiny world that is one of a kind within every rock. 


Out of the Ozone Window, fluffy suds could be seen drifting whimsically in the bay. Next best thing to snow for the festive holiday decor? All of the bubble stuff could have been churned up by our monster seas that were expected to be 20-24 ft. with surf 28-32 ft. That's wave watching material, folks, very impressive. The bay waters undulated with the force, diminishing before reaching the safe harbor where the boats, no doubt, still rocked and bobbed. Gulls are always hanging around, waiting for their next meal off of a commercial fishing boat, stolen from a crab pot, or even an unwary tourist. This gull had impeccable timing photo-bombing the shot in super-star form with the NOAA pier and ships looking on in the background. 

Daily Visions April-14-2017
Featured Artist April-14-2017