By Cindy Gardner
Born and raised in The Dalles, Oregon, Diane Colcord upon graduating from high school, headed to University of Oregon in Eugene, “because at the time, Oregon was considered the best art school in the state.” She finished with a B.S. in Art Education although she didn’t ever teach a day with her teaching credential! Along the way, before she graduated, someone suggested a summer job with Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and that was all it took for Diane to turn her opportunity into her career of 28 years with the federal agency-working five years at the Portland Service Center, five years at the Denver Federal Center in Colorado, and the remaining eighteen in Reno, NV.
“At first they didn’t know what to do with me,” Diane quipped, “so they had to figure out how to use me.” At that time there was only one other person in Washington D.C. who did art work. All work was in black and white and could be from anything to do with public lands, including range management, wildlife, wild horses and burros, mining, lands and records or law enforcement. So Diane began drawing wildlife pieces needed for different projects. Because not every state could afford to have a skilled artist, Diane had eleven western states that looked to her for her artistic abilities. All of her work was “on the job training” and largely in black and white. Special permission was required at that time for anything in color.
Hanging proudly in Diane’s home right along with her wildlife pieces created over her career, is a brightly painted tree---her first masterpiece when she was only five years old. Truly, a natural from the beginning but probably encouraged by her artistic mother as well who had a kiln in their home and made dishes, mugs and other art pieces. She mixed her own clay and allowed Diane to make her own pottery items as well. Diane said her mother was an expert seamstress, embroidered beautifully and was herself a natural artist.
In 1995,after twenty eight years with BLM, Diane retired to The Dalles to help her aging mother, and then decided to move with her mother back to Tillamook because of the moderate climate. It was a homecoming of sorts as Diane’s mom had been born and raised in Tillamook. “Grandpa had built a house as a wedding present for Grandma, on 1207 West Fourth in downtown Tillamook in 1914.” Several years ago, her friend Margaret Winslow encouraged Diane to get her artwork in front of the public-specifically Margaret encouraged her to enter her pieces in the Tillamook County Fair. She finally did in 2017, and she won awards on all of her entries. After that experience, she sought out Art Accelerated and found a home for her work to be on display and for sale to view at the Gallery on 1906 Third Street in downtown Tillamook.
Always interested in what inspires artists, I asked Diane, “What inspires you?” Diane said she likes to “try something out just to see what happens.” She thought back to advice her high school art teacher gave her, who always encouraged her to “try things to experiment!” Right now, Diane is contemplating a watercolor or an oil painting possibly of a friend’s cute little granddaughter.
Art isn’t Diane’s only passion. Diane is the ultimate volunteer in our community volunteering her artistic abilities whether newsletters, brochures, posters or serving on committees and boards. She serves or has served on Master Recyclers, Pioneer Museum, the Historical Society, Latimer Quilt Center, Old St. Peters Landmark (The Dalles) and the local Democrat Committee where she helped create the prize-winning backdrop at the Democrat booth at the Fair this summer. She was pleased that the backdrop made people feel happy.
Currently, Diane’s work (original pieces as well as cards) can be viewed and purchased at the Art Accelerated Gallery at 1906 Third Street during the hours of Thursday and Friday from noon to 5PM and Saturday from noon to 4PM or by special appointment.
This is an article from Edutopia.com that I have been sharing my Graduate Education students.I felt it might be helpful to share it as school begins next week.
(Edutopia is a website published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. Founded in 1991 by filmmaker George Lucas and venture capitalist Steve Arnold, the Foundation "celebrates and encourages innovation" in K-12 schools. )
The Research Is In: The Science of Drawing and Memory - Want students to remember something? Ask them to draw it.
By Youki Terada
March 14, 2019
It’s long been known that drawing something helps a person remember it. A new study shows that drawing is superior to activities such as reading or writing because it forces the person to process information in multiple ways: visually, kinesthetically, and semantically. Across a series of experiments, researchers found drawing information to be a powerful way to boost memory, increasing recall by nearly double.
Myra Fernandes, Jeffrey Wammes, and Melissa Meade are experts in the science of memory—how people encode, retain, and recall information. At the University of Waterloo, they conducted experiments to better understand how activities such as writing, looking at pictures, listening to lectures, drawing, and visualizing images affect a student’s ability to remember information.
In an early experiment, they asked undergraduate students to study lists of common terms—words like truck and pear—and then either write down or illustrate those words. Shortly afterward, participants recalled 20 percent of words they had written down, but more than twice as many—45 percent—of the terms they had drawn. This experiment helped to establish the benefits of drawing.
In a follow-up experiment, the researchers compared two methods of note-taking—writing words by hand versus drawing concepts—and found drawing to be “an effective and reliable encoding strategy, far superior to writing.” The researchers found that when the undergraduates visually represented science concepts like isotope and spore, their recall was nearly twice as good as when they wrote down definitions supplied by the lecturer.
Importantly, the benefits of drawing were not dependent on the students’ level of artistic talent, suggesting that this strategy may work for all students, not just ones who are able to draw well.
Across a total of eight experiments, the researchers confirmed drawing to be a “reliable, replicable means of boosting performance”—it provided a significant boost to students’ ability to remember what they were learning.
Why is drawing such a powerful memory tool? The researchers explain that it “requires elaboration on the meaning of the term and translating the definition to a new form (a picture).” Unlike listening to a lecture or viewing an image—activities in which students passively absorb information—drawing is active. It forces students to grapple with what they’re learning and reconstruct it in a way that makes sense to them.
The researchers also suggest that drawing results in better recall because of how the information is encoded in memory. When a student draws a concept, they “must elaborate on its meaning and semantic features, engage in the actual hand movements needed for drawing (motor action), and visually inspect [the] created picture (pictorial processing).”
At a neural level, the strength of a memory depends largely on how many connections are made to other memories. An isolated piece of information—such as a trivial fact—is soon forgotten in the brain’s constant effort to prune away unused knowledge. The opposite, however, is also true: The more synaptic connections a memory has, the more it resists eventually being forgotten.
So when we draw, we encode the memory in a very rich way, layering together the visual memory of the image, the kinesthetic memory of our hand drawing the image, and the semantic memory that is invoked when we engage in meaning-making. In combination, this greatly increases the likelihood that the concept being drawn will later be recalled.
This Is Not About Learning StylesIt would be a mistake to think that drawing is beneficial because it taps into a particular learning style. Research has debunked the idea that students learn best when teachers try to match instruction to a single modality.
Instead, what’s happening is that drawing taps into multiple modalities—visual, kinesthetic, and semantic—which is superior to tapping into only one. When students draw something, they process it in three different ways, in effect learning it three times over.
In the ClassroomThere are several ways that teachers can incorporate drawing to enrich learning.
Art Accelerated's Fall Art Expression Program starts October 7th & 9th. See details on our Art Education page and sign up at the Tillamook YMCA
I have heard that most people want the same things, no matter their creed, politics, gender, religion: the elementaries of healthy, nourishing food, shelter that gives comfort, water, heat or cooling, safety, a good education for their children, and connection to one another, face to face, heart to heart.
The older I become, the more I see we are all connected—the blood of green things has only one thing different from human blood. Plants have chlorophyll and we have—whatever it is we have. Iron? Hemoglobin? The rest of what flows through us is the same.
You know how when someone massages your lower back and your shoulder or your toe tingles and twitches? Just like our nervous system, there’s a network among all living things, atoms and nano particles, that recognize one another. When you realize this connection, you understand the need to treat others, who are also some part you, with kindness, thoughtfulness, and consideration. Nothing is happy if you don’t.
To set others apart by differences rather than celebrating our sameness, never takes us anywhere good.
Even when we are wicked, it’s because we feel lost from that center that connects us all. Once we find that center and hold, we right ourselves again.
Listen to what people want--
They don’t want to be afraid.
They don’t want to be alone.
They don’t want to be no one.
They want to be seen.
They want to be heard.
They want to be felt.
They want to feel worthy and accepted.
Instead of demonizing others, casting them away, let’s find common ground and go from there, celebrating each other.
Karen Keltz is a local writer, her book: "Sally Jo Survives Third Grade" is available for purchase at Art Accelerated. Karen is a member of Art Accelerated and a regular attendee at the Writer's MeetUp, first Wednesday of the month, 6 - 8pm, Art Accelerated's Annex, 1906A Third Street.
by Cindy Gardner
“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
Apprehensive but determined, I decided to sign up and get started on my activity list in retirement: painting. I’ve always wanted to paint and have painted off and on a little bit in high school and then again a few years ago, but never really over a long period of time. Both of my grandmothers painted in their retirement and we were always fascinated with what they created. Of course I’ve always had the plastic crayola watercolor sets, paper and brushes for our children, Natalie and Sam in their childhood years. I always wanted to make sure they had an opportunity to explore art even though I didn’t really know what I was doing as a teacher of art. Sam seemed to take to painting and drawing and most things art, but now as a young father-not so much! Young fatherhood requires a different time commitment at this point for him. I always make sure one of his Christmas presents is a sketch book or pencils though: I won’t let him forget! Painting and drawing weren’t really Natalie’s forte’ even though I know she still has an eye for design and color. She mainly didn’t want to spend time on art, preferring to play school, restaurant, store, make lists or better yet-ride her horse and be outside.
But the paints and the art supplies still stand at-the-ready on the kitchen table when our grandchildren come up, and during the summer, we fortunately get more grandchild time. Chloe (15), Carsen (12) and Callan(8) have both acrylic or oil pieces for the Fair all ready to be entered. Sawyer (5) worked on a watercolor titled, “Ted’s Reds” inspired by a bouquet of red dahlias from our garden named for dad, and Hayden (3) worked on a masterpiece titled, “Ocean.” At three, there’s mainly a lot of dipping of the brush in the water and at least two or three spills of the water cup all over the entire table of everyone else’s work and paints and .....you know how that goes! All that’s required of this grandma: supplies and sets for each child; excitement for what is in progress; encouragement for what might be the next step; help with cleaning up the water all over the table....yet again; and a great, big refrigerator door for displaying their most recent work! And in some cases, unending patience. Instruction on my part is pretty much limited to “a little less water makes the color darker”; “you might want to bring the sky clear down to the mountain top”; “what would look good here?” So, I didn’t really have an expectation of what I was getting myself into with an acrylic painting class.
It was finally my turn to be the art student, but then the questions started rolling around in my head: Are you sure? What if there are people who are so much better and my work looks like....? What if this isn’t your thing at all? How will I know what to do when? What if I don’t hold the brush the right way? I don’t know what color and what color makes another color. Will anyone talk to me? Who else will be there? Am I going to be the oldest? What if they have taken classes before and I haven’t?
Of course my apprehension was short-lived when I started painting on Thursday nights at the Art Accelerated Annex behind the Gallery at 1906 Third Street. I joined a small group of people who are all trying to figure out what to do next with their painting project. Most of us have an idea of what we want to paint, but don’t know where to begin or what color to mix to get the desired shade or what brush would be best. Christine, our instructor, has had years of instruction practice with children and adults, and being an artist herself, knows what will help each one of us grow as an artist. She’s there to help and encourage at whatever our skill level. Another positive aspect of being in a small group of painters is that we get feedback from each other about our pieces: how the petals on the flower have depth, or how we like how the wave is flicking its frothy self all over the canvas. The feedback gives us even more ideas of what to do next or how to keep going. It’s a positive, encouraging environment-a place to delve into your artself. And one of the benefits of learning about your artself? Everything else seems to disappear,and all you think about is the canvas in front of you. A wonderful escape.
What have you always wanted to paint or draw or create? Come join us, the water is warm!!!!
Acrylic Painting Class: Thursdays from 6 - 8 PM at the Art Accelerated Annex, 1906 Third Street, downtown Tillamook $45 for six sessions, supplies included, Christine Harrison, instructor. This class goes through August. New class starts October 10th.
Open Studio: Tuesdays from 1:30 - 3:30 PM at the Art Accelerated Annex...bring your own supplies/some supplies provided/some available for purchase...work on whatever art project you desire with Christine’s help if wanted. $5 per class or 5 for $20 with punch card
For questions or more information: artaccelerated.org
Born in Portland, Oregon, but raised largely in Pinole, California, Thea DeFeyter, the oldest of six siblings found herself oftentimes retreating to her art---painting, drawing and always taking pictures. Thea’s passion, even as a child, was art. Her art professor once told her, “Thea, you have paint that flows through your veins.”
Her passion for painting and photography continued as did her lifelong dream of living in Tillamook County at the beach in Oceanside. Her family vacationed in Oceanside throughout her childhood and even in her young, married life, Thea brought her own children to vacation in Oceanside and always looked for property, but nothing fit her budget. Not discouraged, she always promised herself that “someday, I will live here.” From oldest child of six to Mother of three grown children and four grandchildren, Thea decided it was her turn to get her degree and so enrolled at Portland State graduating in 2005 with a degree in psychology and another in sociology taking art courses all through her years at PSU. Her education also included visiting all of the art museums in Western Europe studying art, architecture and the Impressionists.
Thea’s first art installment was in downtown Portland at Twelfth and Jefferson. She’d noticed when driving by how the building had huge windows with equally huge black cases ringing the inside of the windows. She imagined how her work could be beautifully showcased in the cases and so contacted the building owner to inquire if he was interested in her work. He liked the idea and so for the next year, she saw her work “shining like jewels” everyday when she drove by. From that installment, Oregon Gardens commissioned her to paint their oak tree on the Oregon Garden grounds. Her piece, “The Rings of Life” became the focal of an elaborate outdoor Summer dinner celebration event with the Oregon Symphony playing background!
When asked about her first art experiences, Thea described when she was seven or eight years old, she walked two miles to school everyday. “Not wanting to bring attention to myself, I kept my head down and noticed all of the ‘bits’
of stuff—neat, cool, sparkly glass, and other stuff—all the variety left in the gutter as I was walking by. One day, my eyes came upon this most beautiful piece of blue/teal chalk I had ever seen, and right beside me was this gorgeous red brick wall. The chalk had a soft, waxy feel to it and felt so good in my hand. I began coloring and coloring and coloring on the wall until there was nothing left of the piece of chalk. I stepped back to admire my work, my design and I absolutely LOVED it. It was the most beautiful design EVER.......and then I turned around to find a policeman who proceeded to lecture me about coloring on the businesswoman’s wall and of course, I had to go in and apologize and she told me to clean it off immediately. And of course I did with just my hands. But, my parents never did find out about it!”
Thinking back on that childhood experience, Thea wishes there had been someone who might have said, “please, work on your art project over here or let’s get you involved in this art class.” It was a different time and place though. So imagine how excited after twenty years to find an art home in her dreamland: Tillamook County! Thea was asked to participate in Art Accelerated’s first Pop Up art show, sold a painting and was so thrilled wanted to find out more about what the group was all about. “Art Accelerated welcomed me and accepted the art in me! I’d been all over to many different places, but never really connected with other artists like I have here. They listen to me as an artist. They push me.”
Thea’s mural project involving teaching young art students was “transformative” for herself as well as her students. “We had to work together as a team and as a community by defining the task and then creating how to complete it together along with figuring out financing and all of the details that go into creating a piece of art for public display.”
Thea continues to work everyday on her art—usually at night and every Sunday. Currently, she’s working on “Fractal Science...kind of like chaos theory. The idea is that you paint into the base product and then begin manipulating the paint with as few brush strokes as possible so there aren’t any delineated lines.”
Come and see Thea’s current work at the Art Accelerated Gallery in downtown Tillamook, 1906 Third Street, the Tillamook Forest Center, 45500 Wilson River Hwy, and special one person show Garibaldi Boathouse, July 20 - August 25. Opening Reception: July 20th, 12 - 4pm, music & refreshments.
By: Cindy Gardner
One of the best parts of my day this week, was spending the afternoon with two 6 year old friends. This was the first time they had visited the new annex space. Aaron Yarnell’s large canvas, a work in process was in the corner. They immediate went over to it...oh yes, it’s a big wave. They were very impressed. I said we would paint on some small canvases. That sound good but when I pulled out the Lime green paint smocks, that was the topper. Paint with color and wear some too! What joy! In the hour and a half the girls worked on the the canvases, found packing materials that would make perfect castles, if painted and drawing on paper. Now, they asked for little help with this final project but, they had decided on masks. I was just need to help get the project started and cut out the eyes. Everything else they would do. I must say since they first started coming a year ago Fall, their cutting skills have vastly improved. I guess that’s just the teacher talking.
I think what hit me afterwards was how the space with art on the wall and paintings in the works all around seemed to just generate their own art.
I know this, yet forget how having a dedicated space for making is really important. One chance experience with a painting can open so many new possibilities.
Part 2 - Paint Night
I had promised to write a blog post after the Storming the Museum Paint Night on Saturday, March 2nd. Lana Hetchman Ayers mentioned at the Writer’s MeetUp March 6, that writing together with a group of writer’s gives encouragement just by doing the work together. I think this is true of paint night’s too! I have had so many people say in hushed tone, “I haven’t ever painted before!” When I assure them that there are many other people in the room that are beginners too, I can see their shoulders relax and they look around...and before long they are painting, talking and laughing with the people around them.
Personally, I am so amazed how different everyone’s approaches are! In two hours, a room full of people have very different finished pieces!!!
Is this creative combustion? I think so.
As an only child that drove my 40+ mother crazy with my childish energy, I enjoy alone time. For me, it was time I could do whatever I like (even if later, I found myself in deep trouble with my mother). A writer friend told me how reading poems told her that others understood what she was going through. For me, it was paintings that said that. They said to me: you are not alone. This is not forever, there is more to life...take a look.
So, the idea of needing the encouragement to create from a room full of people is foreign. But watching the room buzz, it clearly isn’t true for other people. One friend came in depressed with troubles overwhelming her and left laughing. That was worth it!
One creative act can create a creative reactive explosion that makes new paintings and creative endeavors happen!
It is one thing I can say I believe.
Next Paint Night, June 7, 2019 at Blue Heron Cheese Factory, $45, Fundraiser for Art Accelerated Art Education Program
Life is amazing. And then it’s awful.
And then it’s amazing again.
And in between the amazing and awful
It’s ordinary and mundane and routine.
Breathe in the amazing,
Hold on through the awful,
And relax and exhale during the ordinary.
That’s just living--
Amazing, awful, ordinary life.
And it’s breath takingly beautiful.
Ah yes, Knost’s words resonate watching two young spikes in the farmer’s almost-Ireland-green field play tag in circles amongst the herd, then pursue Mr. Crow hop, hop, hopping just out of their reach seemingly to tease them before finally taking flight. They buck and kick and twist in frustration or maybe their effort to fly as well?
And then: news of yet another massacre of innocents-moms and dads, grandmothers, grandfathers, brothers, sisters and children in their place of worship-their refuge. New Zealand’s darkest day. Heartbreak for them, for us, for humanity. But still, remember the morning prelude: the brilliant pinks fading to blush and lavenders before the sun appeared warmly urging the lone magnolia bloom breaking through protective gray felted buds, and too, the trilliums’ scarlet red early shoots peeking from protected cover behind the rotted stump.
But chunky floors need sweeping, crumb-laden counters need wiping, and windows from the last storm’s gusts need washing before yet another steaming cup of tea and time to contemplate what’s next, all while remembering my day just last week this time with Grandson #2. A sick day off from school because of his croupy seal cough, turned into some fort building time with Grandma down where his Mom’s and Uncle’s fort still stands under the roots of mammoth old fir trees. How fortunate to live here on this mountain all of my life and now build a fort with my grandchild in this place with deep cushy moss, an abundance of sword fern and a menagerie of sticks perfect for roof building.
Yes, “heart-breaking, soul-healing,/amazing, awful, ordinary life/and it’s breath takingly beautiful.”
Lana Hechtman Ayers, local writer/author shared this quote from Anne Frank: “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Art Accelerated’s Writers’ Meet-Up, with Lana facilitating, meets Wednesday, April 3rd from 6-8PM in the Art Annex behind the Gallery. You are most welcome to join writers in progress and “shake off everything” too!
FOR MICHELLE, ON THE OCCASION OF HER EIGHTEENTH BIRTHDAY
Where is that little girl
who came to the Rockaway Library
so many years ago?
I've watched her grow and glow
as the young woman she's become.
Her enthusiastic smile
greets me no matter
where we meet --- Fred Meyer, Yo Time,
the Fairview Grange, the library.
There she was with her
"OH MY GOD! LINDA!"
And always, always, a big hug.
How can one not feel loved
with that smile, exclamation, and hug?
So, where did that little girl go?
She grew. Taller each time I saw her.
Hair longer, too. Her curiosity peaked
by the people, events, and the world
around her, posturing herself
to fit in, to be like everyone else.
But there's only one Michelle,
the little girl who came to the Rockaway Library
so long ago, the smiling, exclaiming, hugging young girl,
and now the young woman she's become
when we weren't looking!
I love you, Michelle. Be the best Michelle you can be.
Your forever friend,
Remember yearning for a snow day as a child, hoping and praying when you woke up the ground would be white and school would be closed? Maybe there would be even more than one day off to build a snowman or a snowhorse, and maybe a chance to dig out the old sled to take down the steepest hill. Growing up on the Oregon Coast, we didn’t have many snow days, however, funny thing is, the wishing and praying for one remains: a wish to take a break from life’s routines. Ahhhhh, a SNOW DAY!
School closed, meetings cancelled, games rescheduled and travel not recommended. Outside the landscape in Winter’s pristine, sparkling blanket covers completely, muffling most sound. And the to-do list? Shoved to the wayside for at least a day (or two or three) while the snow day commences.
You see, with me this day is much more than the stark, white blanket covering---it’s mostly a time-out from the busyness of life-a time to watch the snow pile up. My friend shared Maria Popova/s blog “Brain Pickings” with me last week with a quote from Jane Kenyon, poet, (1947-1995), when she was giving advice on writing and living well: “Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.”
Remember to keep some snow days on your calendar for sure in February. Maybe March, but even in August!!!
By Cindy Gardner
One of my favorite eccentric painters is, James Mallord William Turner. Turner was a painter at a time when England was changing from the old world leader to the new industrial revolution leader; from the slower and beautiful world of schooner ships to steam locomotives, iron ships and bridges. It was a time of rapid changes in their world. Turner painted in an unconventional way from his contemporaries possibly because he never really felt part of their club as he came from the working class. He managed to go to the best schools because of his talent but, he never felt accepted.
When talking with TCPM curator, Carla Albright about doing a paint night at the museum, I brought up Turner. She seemed surprised and said ”that’s an impressive painter to pick!” My thought was, Tillamook is a place of storms that blow through you...just as Turner's paintings show! Storms are something that people here can relate to! Even though so far this year, we haven’t seen many!
This particular painting, Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth Making Signals in Shallow Water, has a famous story attached to it. This is the painting where Turner supposedly lashed himself to the mast of the ship he was on and painted in the storm! Can you imagine doing that? I am not sure he did do that, but the way he painted made people think it was done on the spot. It has the feeling of the moment.
So, I started my painting using his kind of tools: palette knives, brushes and his very favorite tool-- old rags! It was challenging and fun! I tried to think of how to break it down into parts and slowly build up the color, the waves, and finally... added the details,making sure to keep the rag to smudge all along! Smudging can make anything look better or completely go away! The more I study the painting, the more I see how much he left so much to the viewer’s imagination...incomplete lines.
Although we can only approximate this wonderful painting, it is a fun challenge to try painting a storm at sea! I have a second attempt started, and invite you to come try your hand. Join us for Art Accelerated’s Paint Night: Storming the Museum, Saturday, March 2nd, 6 - 8pm at the Pioneer Museum on Second Street in Tillamook. For fifty dollars we will supply everything needed for your masterpiece as well as food and drink! I will be leading the Storming Paint Night, and we will have extra helpers to aid your efforts as well.
Sign up today! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/storming-the-museum-tickets-55028275052
See you soon.
By Christine Harrison
Something Wonderful is Happening In Tillamook!