The end of 2015 brought me to a new job - in retail work. The months have flown by since I last posted, while I got "trained up" and went through the holidays. However, my art work did not lie idle. In December and January I had the honor of being in the Small Pleasures Invitational at the Jacobs Gallery in Eugene, Oregon. All works had to be no larger than 12" in any one direction. Prairie II was one of my pieces. It was inspired by a photograph I took at a place called Ebey's Prairie on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington. Below is the original photograph. I think you can see that I greatly simplified the scene. The good thing about it is that I can come back to this photo again for future ideas.
Prairie I was also part of the Small Pleasures show. Although this is a marshy scene it is actually a place in what we call Central Oregon, an environment that is considered high plateau desert. Yes, that's right, Oregon has a vast area that is considered a desert ecosystem. Although the landscape can be very stark, it has a beauty that can grab my heart. I have always loved great wide open spaces with an unobstructed view of the sky.
I tried my hand at being a little more abstract in Shangri-La. Moving more toward the abstract has been a struggle for me. I get caught up in the details too easily. Often I start with a fairly abstract design as I build my background but then the stitching detail takes me back down the path of life-like representation. In Prairie I, however, I think it is the detail stitching that makes the piece really shine. In Shangri-La I was able to hold back a little better. So, the battle of personal style continues.