Like bees to the hive, visitors buzzed around The Art Hall to meet Jacqueline Freeman and hear her colorful story of encountering and photographing the Elementals on her farm. Indeed, it was a sweet night!
The event shared the evening with Cedarwood’s Back to School Night, which made for a very full house, rich with a variety of interest, and two beautiful hospitality tables.
Jacqueline is a natural storyteller: she speaks from her heart and soul of her own experiences. She lives as part of nature and has a keen awareness of the nature spirits and listens to them carefully. “You could feel the exuberance when the Undines were happy with the (new) pool of water.” She respectfully asked each plant that she photographed to guide her…the message being “look in between.”
Well…given that the nature spirits are beings that do live in between the physical and the spiritual world, Jacqueline really paid close attention! She learned how to Photoshop and “naively” split and reflected the images of her plants and indeed, there they were, in between.
Frightened by the intensity late one night while looking at the screen, Jacqueline closed her computer and didn’t look again for a while. The spirits then stopped showing themselves to her and so she began to apologize in an almost prayer-like manner for “shutting them out”, asking for their forgiveness and for them to appear again. Eventually they did and this exhibit is an honoring of these beings.
Jacqueline captivated the audience with her further description of the healing properties of many of the images on display. And Jacqueline generously came back to The Art Hall two days later, Saturday morning, to share stories of Flower Fairies to a transfixed group of children and parents alike.
Several of the hanging images have been sold. The exhibit will remain open until Thursday, November 09, 2017. A portion of sales will be donated by the artist to The Art Hall in support of its mission to share art created out of the spiritual impulse of anthroposophy, keeping art alive into the future.
All photos courtesy of Cedarwood parents, Ben McLeod (DBM) or Linda Brown (LKB).
“This is a time to honor the bees together and share our stories. Close your eyes and reflect on their gifts. Please turn to your neighbor, as we’re all part of community, and share an encounter with bees that you’ve had in your life.” And that’s how Katie Montgomery kicked off her personal and intimate presentation on her exhibit!
Katie went on to describe the strong kindred spirit she feels with these sacred messengers; the bees are our modern day alchemists, hard working and beautiful (like Katie)! It all started in around the time she was in college, when she gradually noticed the activity and life of the bees while doing field research (literally…in a field). Her perceptions sharpened, her observational process like Goethean phenomenology, learning to slow down and listen in wonder, like a child, the bees teaching her about themselves. Katie also shared her own mystical bee story, the medicine of the bees, a lesson about attachment and letting go.
All the photos in the exhibit are those bees she met in Portland over the last eight years. Only seven of the gorgeously-framed, sensitive images of the original seventeen are still available. You can contact Katie to purchase any of these seven or unframed images for $50 and 6” square cards for $6 each (or four for $20). All prints are of exceptional quality. Please contact Katie directly at 818-605-2071.
A special thank you to professional photographer, Kristal Passie, and also a dear friend of Katie’s, for capturing the warmth and beauty of the evening.
This unusual exhibit is the first of its kind for the Art Hall. Rather than displaying finished works our artists from the Regional Artists Sketch Group were asked to share their sketches, their research, allowing us a glimpse at their processes. (Frame a sketch you say? Why yes! We see many framed sketches of great artists’ work in museums!) The resulting show reveals varied qualities of the artists and their work: imagination, inspiration, courage, beauty, love, devotion, joy, perseverance, community, and even the alchemical merging of earthly and cosmic forces, to name just a few.
The works invite the viewer to participate in our artists’ processes as they investigated nature, working from Rudolf Steiner’s Nine Nature Sketches for Artists for guidance. While one can see some similarities in the various artists’ work, the differences are equally apparent and illuminating. Whether viewing a large single motif or a series of smaller sketches elaborating upon a theme, an abstract work or something more representational, one can experience the living quality of color in the range of possibilities.
Wade Cavin, High School Life Sciences and Mathematics teacher at Portland Waldorf School, enriched the understanding and appreciation of those fortunate to be present at the opening reception through his eloquent and clear presentation, briefly and impressionistically summarized below, including a description of each of the nine sketches which came out of Wade’s meditation on prints of Steiner’s work.
These first three express spiritual warmth and light, followed by the gradual emergence of earthly influences, death, and then a harmonic integration of all.
- Sketch #1: the main thing: it is a warm color sketch
- Sketch #2: the Sun; what was orange is now red, and some blue appears
- Sketch #3: blue now surrounds the cosmic image…the Sun…the moon phase
- Sketch #4: earthly; nothing cosmic; green and a mysterious yellow/orange (warmth again) streaming through, with some brown flat green.
- Sketch #5: appearance of black (death), with yellow and greens in the trees; lifeless black below, warmth in the trees
- Sketch #6: both earthly and heavenly qualities; enter a strange blue
- Sketch #7: more earthly brown; the cosmic is now entering the earth; the alchemical merging of cosmos and earth has a circular aspect
- Sketch #8: sunrise 2; a cosmic sun on the horizon like #7, with a triangle, often the symbol of light, while the circle is warmth
- Sketch #9: we achieve harmonic composition
The original works of Steiner invite us to delve more deeply into our own capacity for imagination and inspiration. Color is not just physical; it also has a spiritual component, a subjective quality that comes through the spiritual world. How do we approach this and know what’s going on; how do we engage with our consciousness, other than simply feeling?
Steiner told us that in the future we will be able to see color not attached to an object. So, what’s out there in nature? For example, what is this black telling us? How can I work with the warmth quality, life quality (green), with lively blue all around them? How do we develop the new eye for these; how does warmth turn into light…and into death? How can we be inspired by color into this new sensing? What is inspiring us into color can really change our level of inspiration.”
The works will hang through February 23. We invite you to see this interesting and compelling exhibit, preferably by appointment, with Robin Lieberman (503-222-1192) or one of the artists. And if you are interested in purchasing a piece, please contact the same.
- Wade Cavin
- Carrie Gibbons
- James Lee
- Patricia Homan Lynch
- Jannebeth Roell
- Barbora Bakalarova
- Phyllis Helland
- Kathy Reardon
- Marcia Seymour
- Laurie McCloskey
And last, thank you to Patricia Homan Lynch, one of the artists, for taking up the work of matting and framing many of these works and, once again, for her keen eye in hanging the exhibit!
A loving crowd representing various periods in Valerie Miles’s career as teacher and artist here in Portland attended her opening reception for Playing with Color, Rhythm and Form: students, from high school seniors who were in her last 8th grade class at the Micha-el School to a fourth grader who had Valerie in her first year; parents of students; Waldorf teacher colleagues; artists; other professionals in our community; and her ever-present husband and partner in life, John—all eager to hear her eloquent presentation amidst her gorgeous and riveting works of art.
Valerie took to the podium with the familiarity, ease and confidence of a professional. She began her inspiring presentation declaring that her life’s work comes out of anthroposophy and how out of personal tragedy, losing someone very close, she came to work with color, learning from the well-known German painter, Karo Bergman. In this relationship (Karo spoke no English and Valerie spoke no German!) they communicated through the being and essence of color. After this time in Germany Valerie and her family returned to England, enrolled their children in a Waldorf School, and John and she began their training. She told us that Waldorf Education contains every aspect of anthroposophy and has the power to heal and change lives, most of that streaming through the Arts.
Valerie delighted us with a story of awareness, explaining how one of her teachers once said, “an artist should not be a teacher”. Her reflections:
That’s an interesting concept and I had never thought about it before. Now I can think about it…I like it! Why did she say that? I think as an artist now I can just start to feel the communication that I need to bring the forces, and what I see behind those forces, and bring them into the Arts. When you’re a teacher you’re always preparing, marking, giving out, going to meetings…You can’t hold that space, not if you’re a Waldorf teacher. I’m just about getting to that place. But what I found most of all, most satisfying, and this has always been so, ever since the work with Karo Bergman and later at Tobias School of Art, and (with) many other teachers: that power of color.
We’re forgetting what’s in our environment…what’s God-given, if you like, what sustains us. The power of color, all that rhythm that lives, how it changes…This is why I’ve always been so fascinated by the seasons and what’s happening.
Sharing her process Valerie said: I’m a very fair weather artist and I have to be in the mood. But I’m getting past that a bit…If I feel inspired I just take a color—any color—and put it on paper and then another color and another and I just play with them; I literally play with them and hope—there’s a lot of trust involved here— “is something going to turn out?” And fortunately, a lot of times it does work! It’s a trust process.
Most telling, a child in the captive audience asked a question at the end of Valerie’s presentation “What inspires you?” Valerie’s beautiful response was “children, like you, who are closest to the spiritual world.”
Thank you, Valerie, for your dedication to the Arts, anthroposophy, your impeccably executed work, and a most beautiful exhibit at the Art Hall! Many, many beings received the healing power of the color you shared. We hope you’ll come back!
With the gentleness of an attentive caregiver, the thoughtfulness of a good friend, and the knowledge of a true master, Jennifer Thomson humbly and fully shared her Path as an Artist with an intimate group of attendees on her opening night, Friday, September 16th. Everyone remained perched like a nest full of open-beaked baby birds waiting to be fed and no one left disappointed.
Jennifer poetically and generously shared a rich biography, from her roots in Tennessee through her attendance at the Fort Lauderdale School of the Arts, where she and fellow students first took up of the task of realism and where Karl Voster, an anthroposophist, then awoke in them an awareness to “what lives inside, such as the soul of a human being or essence of a flower. Studies with Beppe Assenza at the Goetheanum followed.
Documenting a number of artists with whom she worked, learned from and taught, Jennifer led us further through a carefully curated slide presentation of all the stops along the path of her life as an artist. We learned of her early years as a fellow student with Larry Young, who continued on the path of painting the evocative soul portraits of human beings. We saw slides of her beloved teacher Beppe Assenza, her former student and fellow Art Hall exhibitor, Laura Summer, and others woven into a complex and compelling story of her emerging as an artist who has learned through lots of hard work to paint with a sense of freedom, joy, laughter, intense observation and living consciously.
Jennifer’s show remains open by appointment through Friday, October 14th. Please contact Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 503-222-1192 if you’d like to stop by! And last, please check in here again soon for a post about Jennifer’s week-long retreat.
All photos provided by James Lee.
Pamela Whitman poured warmth and wisdom from her heart and soul at her opening on Friday evening, March 11th. Drawing on her years of continuous study, independent research, teaching students, and treating clients, Pam provided a clear and accessible explanation of how Light, Color, and Darkness manifests in the three-fold nature of the human being as described by Rudolf Steiner. Pam further explained how this concept of color resulting from the interaction between light and darkness has been researched and shared along the lineage uniting not just Goethe, Steiner, and Liane Collot d’Herbois, but going as far back as Aristotle and Plato.
First, there is the connection of light with our thinking and nerve-sense system, the upper pole. Expressions such as “I see”, “a bright idea”, and “it dawned on me” all show our common experience of light as a spiritually creative principle.
The connection of darkness with our willing and metabolic/limb system, the lower pole, involves those functions usually outside of our conscious awareness or control, such as digestion, the precise details involved in how we move our limbs (e.g., lengthening this muscle while contracting that one). In this realm, whenever our awareness is heightened something is usually wrong and pain can result. Yet the darkness is also a spiritually creative impulse, as warmth, as love, as the darkness of the earth nurturing a seed until it germinates and grows toward the light, as the darkness of the womb carrying and nurturing the fetus, and even as the warmth of our bed as we sleep at night to refresh for the day to come.
Color is the meeting of the two in the middle realm, the rhythmic system of breathing and circulation. We often associate color with our sensations and emotions, e.g., feeling blue, in the pink, seeing red, etc.
As Pam further explained, she has been drawn all her life to the meeting place of science, art and spirit. She came to veil painting through Waldorf education, first taking a course with Ted Mahle. Afterwards she viewed some veil paintings in a gallery in Tahoe City, recognizing that that was the kind of veil painting she wanted to do. These paintings had been created by a student of Leszek Forczek, who had studied with Collot d’Herbois. Years later, he became her painting teacher. It was slow going at first, one workshop a year with Lois Schroff, then going to the Emerald Foundation to study the therapeutic principles behind the work, where she continues to study today. Pam seeks to learn from all the available teachers of Light, Color, and Darkness and to share this meaningful work with others.
Pam studied with Liane Collot d’Herbois during the last five years of Liane’s life and learned that doctors had sought out Liane’s impressions of their pediatric patients which followed from insights she gleaned from their paintings in the home where she worked. Liane also collaborated with Dr. Ita Wegman, who further developed and explained the connection between Light, Color, and Darkness within the human being, sharing her gift of wisdom so that others could learn it too.
Pam then described the process of veil painting, furthering our appreciation of her exhibit and the laws of color it reveals: building up layers of transparent watercolor, allowing them to dry before adding another layer, creating unique color nuances in the process; first creating a color atmosphere, then color weaving, and only later form. Creating a space in this manner for color on paper creates a space in the soul for spirit. When veil painting is created while following the laws of Light, Color, and Darkness, something in us resonates with it, recognizes it. That’s what attracts us to veil painting. Often we expect to get something from a painting, but these paintings can instead evoke something already within us and thereby help us be filled from the inside.
Pam expressed her appreciation for The Art Hall, as it is providing a space for work like this which might not be seen in regular galleries. This exhibit has been an opportunity to share her striving, her process in Light, Color, and Darkness.
Nine participants also had the benefit of immersing themselves in an intensive, two-day veil painting workshop with Pam the weekend following the opening of her exhibit at The Art Hall. In a beautiful, forested setting with floor to ceiling windows—and a pot of soup on the stove—Pam guided us further into this world of color with her finely-tuned experiments, illustrating color behind and in front of the light, and walking everyone through her “color tunnel” after reading Liane Collot-d’Herbois’ description of the movement of colors.
With this teaching, participants were then better equipped to press on with their own work with a richer understanding of how color veils were forming out of light and darkness. Pam’s clarity and compassion provided excellent support for everyone to develop improving capacity to follow the laws of color and to allow form to emerge, developing subtly at first and then more robustly over time. While our group was quite eclectic, Pam graciously met the needs of each painter. Her breadth and depth of knowledge, experience and sharing was so generous and thoughtful!
Pam’s stellar exhibit will remain hanging through April. We recommend spending some time with this work, for the healing potential is clearly felt, and encourage scheduling an appointment. Even if one was not at her presentation, Pam’s evocative veil paintings and pastels speak volumes to the human heart and soul.
Many of the works are available for purchase. Fine giclée prints and art cards are also available or can be ordered through Robin at 503-222-1192 or email@example.com. As has been the case for other visiting artists, Pam will be donating 50% of all sales to The Art Hall (a kind of pay-it-forward gesture!) in support of the Hall’s ongoing growth. Current proceeds are intended to help us procure gallery-quality lighting.
Thank you, Pamela Whitman. You have graced us all with your beautiful spirit and art. We look forward to your return!