Murdock Beach

Did you ever see a round rock?  Not round 2D like a pancake. Round 3D like a perfect sphere.  Well I hadn’t,  so I was intrigued when some friends told me about a beach where you can find them.  So was Oola.

The place is Murdock Beach, (sometimes known as Round Rock Beach) off of Hwy 112, down a rough dirt/mud road to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Being that Oola and I are novices, my friends kindly showered us with examples.

Murdock Beach on a brighter day, minus tide
Murdock Beach on a bright day with a minus tide and with Vancouver Island in the distance

Here is a “round rock”.

spherical rock

It is called a “concretion” or a “nodule”. What happened is when a marine critter died, something about it created a chemical reaction in the mud surrounding its remains and the mud hardened.  There is a fossilized sea creature inside this rock.  Here is a youtube video to explain the phenomenon better.

My friend artist/quiltmaker Diane Williams found this one.

Concretion inside a matrix
Concretion inside a matrix
Artist and teacher, Diane Williams
Artist and teacher, Diane Williams.  She also organizes the art shows for the Library in Port Angeles.

You can see that if you take the spherical part from the matrix, you would have something that looks like a pitted avocado.  And that is what Pamela Hastings showed me, along with something that was created by a creature with different ambitions.

Pamela Hastings
Artist, Doll Maker, Pamela Hastings

murdock14

That rock on the left would make a great head for one of her dolls.

Actor and sometimes teacher in musical theater at Cornish (and Pamela’s little bro), Hugh Hastings  found these.

Hugh Hastings
Hugh Hastings

There are more stones that look like “hot dogs in a bun” that hold fossilized items such as reeds.

fossilized reeds

My new friend, artist Katie Yeager found these spheres.

Katie Yeager
Katie Yeager

Then a few minutes later she displayed these with an explanation:murdock6

Here we have two balls, a tit, a penis circumcised and a penis uncircumcised.  (What is art without sex?  Nothing, I tell you, Nothing!)

Sound of throat clearing — Oola and I love rocks that have messages or drawings on/in them.  She found these strange drawings all over the place.

linear drawing on rocks
linear drawing on rocks

We didn’t find any pictures of Jesus’ face but this reminded me a little of octopus paintings from Minoan Crete.

snail trails on stones
Drawing of an Octopus?

If you click on the image to enlarge it, you may even see the artists!

BTY.  Murdock Beach is part of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  A sign indicates that rocks are catch and release.

PS Warning, the dirt/mud road contains surprise whoop-dee-doos, so unless you have a FWD, take is slow.  Take it slow anyway, and enjoy!

going home

PPS Warning.  Check your tide chart or wear your Wellingtons.  There is no beach at high tide.

Amtrak to Olympia

Amtrak station, Emeryville
Amtrak station, Emeryville

We are traveling on the Coast Starlight, but won’t see much of the coast since we are getting aboard in the Bay Area instead of LA.  This is not a good way to travel if time is your major consideration.  But if you want to experience the old days, with sleeper cars and full service, this is one of the last.

Our trip would take 20 hours and there was much to see.

Bridge and Reflections
Bridge and Reflections

So much that at first I didn’t notice that Oola was missing.

Getting into the upper bunk requires the skills of a contortionist but we finally fell asleep to alpha waves produced by the rhythm of the train climbing into Mt Shasta territory.  The shadows of trees pointing to a misty moon were mesmerizing.

I awoke to a stunning sunrise.

sunrise
sunrise and irrigation canals somewhere in Oregon

And when I could finally start putting one thought after another, I realized that we had forgotten to bring Oola.  I think she overheard the Mysterious One’s comments concerning the pillow, crawled into one of the packed boxes of art supplies in the Oakland studio, and will not be found again until we are all safely in Port Angeles — permanently.

Snow in the Cascades
Snow in the Cascades

The scenery was stunning.  Too bad on her for missing it.

Mount Hood
Mount Hood

The other passengers pleasant to talk with.  But Oola didn’t think the joke was funny.

Tomorrow we will rent a car and drive the rest of the way to Port Angeles.  Meanwhile, I have to think of a way to make it up to Oola.

The Mysterious One says he will get her a corn dog.

 

 

 

Magic Carpet

Oola and I are packing for our road trip to Tennessee and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.  Oola has dragged out the old magic carpet and is practicing.  Mom’s Memorial Prius has been lubed, aired, oiled, vacuumed, and is being packed.  When you think of it in the historical perspective the Prius really is something that would have been seen as magic transport.

Oola on magic carpet
Tennessee or Bust

But now, it is very dirty and not about to be washed soon.  The drought in California is much worse than anyone thought — even groundwater is showing the strain.  Right now, it is very anti-social indeed just to wash the car.

We don’t know what we will see but will keep you apprised of the Sierras, the desert, the Platte River, the meeting of the Missippi and the Ohio maybe, the Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, the Smokey Mountains, and other wonders as we encounter them all abounding .  And of course, Arrowmont itself and my teacher,  Daniel Mayer.  I’m taking his week-long workshop “Low Tech/High Octane: Printmaking for Artists Books.”  No computers!

We will post whenever wi-fi is available.

 

 

 

Work at Blue Mountain Center

Today was the day.  When I came to Blue Mountain Center three weeks ago,  I thought I would like to try to create two books, one that pays homage to the water here, and one that pays homage to the land.  The water book has been finished for a while, but rain has kept me from presenting it to the Lake.  This morning opened just a little cloudy, so I told Oola, Today is the Day.

All picts can be clicked on to get enlargements.

The photoshop file looks like this.

Waterbook
Waterbook

and it is divided into 28 panels, printed on clear film, and bound loosely into a folding book.  I attached little floaties and prints of waterlily leaves.  (The waterlilies here are beautiful and endangered from acid rain.)  (I had a remote encounter with a river otter, and a mink.)

Right after breakfast Mike – another of the residents and a fine writer – and I took the Water book down to the shallow part of the lake and launched it.  A little while later several other residents showed up.  Jen and Danica took these great pictures.

a corner of Waterbook
a corner of Waterbook
Waterbook floating
Waterbook floating

I bet a few of you were wondering where Oola has been.  Well, she’s been plenty busy, but she helped out with this art installation.

Oola and Waterbook
Oola and Waterbook and some real waterlily leaves

Soon it was time to take Waterbook out of the water, and start thinking about a suitable bound box for it.

Taking Waterbook out of the water
Taking Waterbook out of the water

Then it was time to start folding up Waterbook for the trip to the studio.

folding Waterbook
folding Waterbook
folding Waterbook
folding Waterbook
2waterbooktext
once more

Here you can see some of the text.  It consists of water related definitions from which I highlighted selected words to create an I Ching sounding poem.  Here is part of it.

………………………

a house down by the lake

your story:
to breathe
under water,
flowing water,
an abundance.

dumbfounded
she swam on the surface.

he went for a swim
against) the tide.

……………………….

The second book, an homage to the land, is nearing completion.  Hopefully I can finish in the next 6 days.

More later.

Road Trip to Dallas

It’s time to hit the road again.  Oola and I are going to Dallas – with stops along the way –  to a family wedding.

Before the camera, people on the Grand Tour would keep their observations in a sketchbook.  This ties in perfectly with my conviction that I remember places and things I take the time to draw much better than if I only take a photo.

I have this app that lets you draw and paint on the iPad with finger, stylus, or special brush.  The plan is to post a drawing each day.  It’s new to me, so let’s see if I gain any facility with it.  I also got an app that alerts you to roadside attractions along the way.  We’ll see what oddities we can find – and draw.

You can click on the drawing to see an enlargement.

Blue Prius
Mom’s Memorial and VW

Here is the first sketch.  In the parking lot, under the magnolia tree, ready to go.  On the left is Mom’s Memorial Prius, still with her bobble-headed chihuahua who has acquired the name Bruiser.  On the right is a Volkswagen van of venerable age.  It bears the decals of many trips, and would love to go, but, alas, is no longer a long-distance vehicle.  I have a greenish memory of morning sickness in this van, brought on by the child who is now getting married.

We’re leaving tomorrow morning, heading to the Sierras, maybe Tioga Pass.  We are trying not to plan to much in advance.  Just generally heading East.  Though we do have reservations to camp on the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

Oola vs the Forces of Evil and Dismay

Oolacentricityevite

Click on the card to see a larger version.

Following on the chicken/egg question – and along the lines of  “Does language express our concepts, or does language create our concepts” – in this body of art and tomfoolery Jan asks “Are images the result of our perceptions, hopes, and fears, or do images create and perpetuate our cultural/social experience.”  How important is “High Art” and what is it doing to us?  Oola takes on all questions in her own inimitable style.

Oola rides again.  And there will be hotdogs with yellow mustard at her reception!  All welcome!

http://www.jandove.com/index.php/oola

Saint Oola

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Bob Sennhauser asked if he should light a candle for a grant I was applying for.  Any help at all would do, I thought.  But then Oola said that she should be a saint so that HER candle could be lighted. Hmmmm.

Murillo came to mind and the short of the story is:

St Oola candle, front
St. Oola candle
St. Oola candle, back

I’m thinking of creating another website devoted to the Commodification of Oola.

Another friend, the Mysterious One, said that he hopes I don’t get stuck in the head with lightening.  Wasn’t that SWEEEEET!!!??