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
It was a week before Christmas
When round the table
Art Accelerated Board Members did gather
When all of a sudden
Christine’s phone did ring
And who should it be but
Melo, our most generous Landlord
With news that YES, indeed,
He would love to lease us another building
With more classroom space---
The Annex right behind the Gallery!
In no time at all,
We all agreed:
Yes, we need the space for
Future growth of our programs
For youth and adults alike.
In no time at all, Melo and his crew
Renovated and sheetrocked and painted,
Even installed a new floor.
Then Diane, Connie, Dennis and Christine
Wiped and caulked, washed and mopped
Until all was ready and sparkling clean
For students one and all.
And exclamations heard
Throughout the town: “Thank you, Melo,”
For such speedy work to make our space
Top-notch in so little time,
Making it a Merry Christmas for all of us
With hope for the future in this
Love for ART
In the Heart of Downtown Tillamook.
By Cindy Gardner
Something about the fluffy, brown donkeys with their white-rimmed, dark eyes and ears in knee-deep snow draws me to them instantly. Momma’s head nestles over Baby’s back defying their wild nature. Against the gray, steel-blue light shining through the bare-branched backdrop of a cold, Utah morning outside Monument Valley, these sweet creatures want me to paint them...I can just feel it! Inspiration at last!!!
Which colors could I combine to make their coats deep, chocolate brown? I guess the young one is more a latte brown whereas momma is mocha. And how would I paint that glow in the steel blue sky? Which canvas and what size? Hmmmm,,,,which brushes? Should I start with the background and move to the donkeys or the other way around? Or do I need a class to get me started?
How about you? Have you always wanted to paint or draw simply for the pleasure of it? What about write a poem or a short story? Encouragement, along with classes and instructors, await you at Art Accelerated. We are beginning a New Year at the Gallery at 1906 Third Street right in downtown Tillamook, where we just recently added a new, spacious classroom space behind the Gallery. Newly painted and renovated with a beautiful floor, space is waiting for you to get started on this one creative life you possess. Come join us!
The next Writers’ Meet Up will be Wednesday evening, February 6th from 6-8 PM in the new classroom space and is free of charge!
Christine leads an Artists’ Workshop every Tuesday from 1:30-3:30 PM in the new classroom and she will be there to encourage you in your painting, drawing and/or printmaking. $5 per session or $20 for 5 sessions...flexible dates(bring your own materials if you have them)
Photos courtesy of my sister, Becky Williams, on her trek last week from Oregon back to Arizona via Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. Thank you, Rebecca Sue!
Every fourth Saturday afternoon of the month beginning at 1PM until 3PM, downtown businesses participate in Tillamook’s very own ARTWALK sponsored by our local artist community at Art Accelerated and The Gallery located at 302 Third Street. February 28th, 2018, marked ARTWALK’S second artwalk adventure in downtown. Adventure you ask? Yes, adventure, given the obstacle course that are our sidewalks and streets right now! Amazingly, ARTWALK participants genuinely enjoyed all that the experience entailed with figuring out how to get from point A to point B, and all were impressed with what artistic treasures were found at each of the businesses participating. Art Accelerated makes sure that each business features a different artist each month.
One of the first couples, both artists, into Sunflower Flats, had driven two and a half hours from Washington to come to our event, and were so complimentary and excited to see an Artwalk in our town. They said they would be back!
At Sunflower Flats, we decided it might be a good idea to have live artists painting while ARTWALKERS browsed the art within our shop. Since that idea hit my brain at the last minute, I quickly summoned two of my five grandchildren to help me out. Callan and Chloe Rieger agreed that it would be fun to set up shop at the flower store with their easels, paints and brushes and paint with spectators watching them live while they created. I wasn’t surprised at all by their subject matter: Chloe a horse head and Callan a snake (it was a specific kind, but I can’t remember the kind). With them both in action, the public watched them quietly and occasionally inquired how they came up with what they wanted to paint. One man quizzed Callan on what type of snake he was painting.
Another was intrigued with the easels they were painting on and took pictures so that he could go home and try to make some himself. My dad actually along with son, Sam, made the easels out of cedar poles and twisted wire about 16 years ago so that we could invite classrooms of students up to our sunflower patch to paint the sunflowers in the fall. We did that for several years before teachers decided they couldn’t take time away from the curriculum anymore. We still have the easels though, and use them whenever we paint up at Grandma Linda’s and Grandpa Ted’s sunroom, or outside in our gardens.
We’ve decided we want to try and have a different one of our local artists in our shop for each ARTWALK, if possible. It gives the public a chance to actually see the creative process, plus it’s always exciting to actually get to meet an artist and learn his or her story.
Saturday, March 24th we featured Andy and Tami Toth of Wilson River Pottery. We had a store full of people all afternoon who were pleased to meet the artists, and had the opportunity to purchase brand new mugs fresh from the kiln.
Saturday, April 28th, we will feature Dana Hulburt whose famous driftwood art has been a part of our shop for too many years to count!
Please come join the adventure downtown, and admire all of the local talent we have living among us. Local artists and business owners appreciate your support when you make the effort with all of our construction. Thank you for finding our front or back door!!!!
There’s a new cultural phenomenon in town – Paint Night. Gather with your friends for an evening of creating a work of art. Teachers supply you with a canvas, paint, brushes, and instruction on how to create your own painting.
All you provide is an evening of your time, curiosity about your own creative juices, and a group of friends to share the evening. While you sip your favorite beverage and enjoy some snacks, you pick up your brush and find your creative muse.
Working from a painting of a famous artist, you experiment with design, composition, color and techniques with your brushes, and are able to take home your very own creation. Everyone else in the room is also at work, and enjoying their own creativity.
Art Accelerated has sponsored several paint nights in Tillamook, partnering with the Pelican Pub, with the proceeds supporting Art Accelerated’s youth art classes, as well as raising money for the Oregon Food Bank. We have more paint nights in the works, including a benefit for the local Serenity Club.
Other paint nights are popping up around town, as well, including the Tillamook High School charity drive’s annual paint night and Blue Heron’s Vine Gogh series.
Check out our website and our Facebook page for coming Paint Nights. Register early, as they sell out!