No perception of time – A long walk

No Perception of Time – A long walk”      Acrylic on gessoed paper     5″x 7″         Whidbey Island

 

A rock – all of those minerals smashed together – a solid piece of earth. I imagine that this unusual green-hued mound has sat there awash in salt water, kelp, sand, sun and wind, since before my ancestors landed on this continent. And there it is. It certainly has been on this spot the four decades that I’ve meandered this beach on Puget Sound.

I have walked past this rock many times, absorbed in conversation with a companion – or “making time” to cover the four mile distance, out and back. The rock is unconcerned with my passing…sitting there, as I hike my round trips.

Other times, I have walked to the rock – slowing and stopping – surprised by it. This is how any good encounter in the wild hits me. By chance, I saw it and stayed for a while.

Its color, softened by fog-filtered sun – I wonder, how did it come to be all of those shades of green? Why is it right here? I don’t know. I’m drawn to it, to sit on it – run my hands over its smoothness while it’s here…and I’m here. My sense of time slowed – connected for some minutes to a beautiful rock that doesn’t care about my schedule.

This connection is good – it’s real – to sit on a rock and feel the tide move slowly around me…while I race through my life.

I have painted one of these moments. I have looked – sometimes I see. You can look too. Of course, I hope to build my audience for my art work, but more than that, I hope to awaken a sense of seeing and connection to the natural world. Awareness and knowledge lead to care and conservation.

The rock is a physical place to land, to pause and just be. I hope that place will always be there. Maybe my painting can offer a place to land – to feel a stirring, or to just be…in the fog, on a beach, on a good rock.

Here are the stages of this small painting as I worked in my studio.

graphite sketch of A Long Walk

 

initial under painting

 

A Long Walk in progress…not quite done

 

Any questions or interest in my work? I also work on commissions and would love to interpret a special place of yours. Please contact me here or at cappwiley@gmail.com

©Teri Capp   All rights reserved

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Ready for this day!

Porch View”           acrylic painting in progress,     5″x 7″

 

Oh! All praise to this earth today!

After days…turned into weeks, of rain – feeling heavy and soaked and colorless.  I thought I couldn’t take one more day of clouds that hovered so low; as though they sat on my brow and wouldn’t lift.

Then came today! This day in mid-March. The gift of the sun and a spring wind – buds, branches, shoots and twigs all stood up and showed their colors. The Olympic mountains lifted their snowy shoulders toward the blue and the sun…beacons of our shared wealth in this territory of Puget Sound. Free for all to see, feel and ponder.

We were ready for this!

The “painting in progress” above is another in the group on which I’m working, from Whidbey Island. If there is not enough sun in Seattle, I can at least bring some into my studio in a painting! I’m working from sketches and photographs made on a summer day…many summer days, while sitting on the one-hundred-year-old porch of the Officer’s house where our family stays at Camp Casey. So much life shared, so many stories told in the line-up of chairs perched on that porch. Fog rolling across in the morning, blowing out in the afternoon, with the glorious winds of summer, to clear views of water and mountains. It never gets old.

There has also been a lot of time spent in and around the tree in the left part of the painting. It has framed that view, stood as sentinel and landmark, for all of our years spent on the porch…it would be strange if it were gone.

Here is a sketch of “Porch View.”  The painting is on gessoed paper, taped down on my masonite backboard. I’m working some of these out to see which ones I want to paint in a larger format.  Parts and pieces.

“Porch View” graphite sketch, 4.5″x6″

 

If you have questions or are interested in my work let me know.  You can reach me at cappwiley@gmail.com

©Teri Capp  All Rights Reserved

A Long Walk

Painting in progress.        “A Long Walk”        Acrylic on gessoed paper.      5″x 7″

Another small piece trying to express some of my life spent in the glorious wilds of Puget Sound.

Whidbey Island…a place of great significance and deep attachment for generations of my family. Some set down roots and lived (live) on the island. We have spent a couple of weeks there, almost every summer…for the past forty years. The distances I’ve traveled on this particular beach, Casey beach, cannot be calculated. Hundreds of hours spent picking through rocks, balancing on driftwood, bare-footing through sand and finding prize agates.  On a map it’s four miles long…if you make the trek to Ebey’s Landing.  It’s not just about the linear distance…it’s about running there quickly to see an amazing storm front move in over the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s about the hide and seek played…the perfect sticks and logs found and turned into magical forts. Racing each other, up and over driftwood, without touching the rocks.

It’s about running into and out of waves…walking and talking with friends or family…airing our lives…sharing ideas, problems, sadness, joys, hopes. Miles and miles covered every hour spent on that beach. A long walk.  Hope.

Hope is like the constantly moving front edge of a weather system. It is not the same everywhere or for everyone. There will be clouds, there will be sun. There will be wind. There will be rain…and many variations of those elements.  We are constantly reminded of “hope’s” companion – despair. Without it we don’t push to find hope.

Maybe I am tired, maybe I am battered by the elements – but I move through, I don’t sit down and stop or give up.

That action is hope personified. We are all capable of action. I can’t help it…I search for the moments and movement that put me in the company of beauty – exhilaration – and that which stirs the soul.

This painting is taped onto a masonite backboard on my easel. I prepared a number of these pieces of gessoed paper, painted them with a warm, red under painting and that is what you see popping out between the brushstrokes. This is an enormous green-ish rock that I have visited many times, after walking over a mile to the north on the beach. Working from memory and cropping photographs and sketching to get the composition as strong as possible, I start to put down the first layers of colors. I will post photos of the painting when it is finished, but thought you might like to see a bit of the process.

A Long Walk. graphite sketch, 4″x 6″

 

If you are interested in my work, please inquire via email. cappwiley@gmail.com

©Teri Capp All Rights Reserved

Hope – at the beginning and the end of the day

Castle Rock - Casey beach Whidbey Island, WA acrylic on gessoed paper, 5"x7"

Castle Rock – Casey beach,  late sun through fog –     Whidbey Island, WA  –    acrylic on gessoed paper, 5″x7″

 

I know… I have been gone from this place of storytelling and sharing work for a while.  A break, a bog, another path for a time, but I have been working in my studio. Not in a straight line, but working.

I have been drawing and pulling together some different story lines from my life…pieces of the every day around me and from places that carry immense meaning to me.

I have also been thinking a lot – about what art making and sharing and spectating means to me. I signed the petition put out yesterday by the Americans for the Arts Action Fundwhich I have included here if you want to have a look. http://www.artsactionfund.org/. I pulled out my notebook and pencil and began writing.

The concept of art; that art is a shared societal value, must be a part of our national philosophy…from the top down and the bottom up. It is a sign of a healthy nation. The government does not fund all individual artists or art organizations just by stating its support of the concept and value of art in our nation’s culture. Support in the form of statements and affirmation count. They set the tone and convey an important symbolism that we have a desire to encourage creativity and expression in our citizenry. Concrete funding counts too, in validating the relationship between our nation’s philosophy and the individual artists, creators and participants.

What better symbol to support than the expressive health of a human being or a creative group of people working together?

Art is how we live. Art is how we love. Art is how we feel. Art is how we teach and how we communicate.

Art asks questions of us and allows our hearts and minds to soar. Art digs deeply to the core of our emotions, whether it’s our own stories we are telling or painting…whether it’s music or a play…a graphic novel or a poetry slam to which we respond.

Inevitably, what comes out the other side of our participation, is hope. Can any of us say that hope is not needed?

Hope is the essence of being human. We get up every day to face and move through our challenges and joys. At every age, we do it. The essence of art is hope. Artists make work to elicit hope for change, for remembrance, to churn our emotions, to conserve beauty, to make us laugh, to create joy – to connect.

It matters. As a nation, we must have some government representation that speaks for artists and “the arts.”  Symbolism matters, it can be a guiding light…inspirational through dark days and light.

Castle Rock - graphite study, 4"x6"

Castle Rock – graphite study,    4″x6″

 

If you are interested in my work, please inquire at cappwiley@gmail.com.

©Teri Capp   All Rights Reserved

Raw – Wild – Wonderful

“Road D1275”    acrylic on gessoed paper, 4″x 4″ (archival mat – 8″x 8″)   $80

We turned off of the B-1 tarmac road after re-fueling the 4×4 camper in Rehoboth…west, onto the C24, a road like many we had seen before on this trip of a lifetime. Rough, yellow-orange gravel lay before us and there was no turning back. We had been back in the capital city of Windhoek for two days, (after being out on the road for two weeks traveling with my sister and brother-in-law). We had three nights of dinners and partying with great family members of my brother-in-law, and other friends and artists. On the third day it was time to ready ourselves for our next eight days out in the wilds of Namibia! Laundry had been on the to-do list, so the three of us had clean clothes…and we made a trip to the big Maerua Super Spar to provision, filling the long pull-out drawers in the bed of the camper with food, coffee, bottled water, wine, and toilet paper…because you just never knew.

View of back of 4x4 with long pull-out storage drawers for food and essentials.

View of back of 4×4 with long pull-out storage drawers for food and essentials.  Water and cocoa after “dawn patrol” hike of the dunes in Sossusvlei.

Our yellow-orange gravel road turned into a “tertiary road,”…translate – bumpier and narrower, skittery gravel on top of dust…the D1275. It is the connector, the skinniest red line on the map…between the tiny town of Nauchas and the outpost of Solitaire….via the fabled Spreetshoogte Pass.

Spreetshoogte Pass, Acrylic on cradled panel, 8

Spreetshoogte Pass, Acrylic on cradled panel, 8″x 8″ Sold. (Available as an archival pigment print – limited edition of five – 8.5″x 11,” $65 signed and numbered)

These roads etched tiny lines on the massive escarpment reaching heights of 5,800 feet in elevation with sections of road sporting a 22% grade! From the dizzying heights of the escarpment we could see an expanse of desert and distant mountains that seemed to drop off of the back edge of the horizon. I had never been on any road so steep. It used to be all gravel, but some of the steepest sections have now been paved with bricks to cause less washboard and slippage. We made our way down gingerly, never escaping the feeling that the camper with its roof tents was going to tip over. But the angle of the grade lessened and we made it to the bottom of the wild plateau.

road D1275 between Spreetshoogte Pass and Solitaire - close the air vents!

road D1275 between Spreetshoogte Pass and Solitaire – close the air vents!

Onward to Solitaire…for a stop at Moose MacGregor’s bakery for apple crumble pie and tea!

Smell of apples and cinnamon hit us as we climbed out of the truck in the outpost of Solitaire

Smell of apples and cinnamon hit us as we climbed out of the truck at the outpost of Solitaire…saved some for breakfast!

We didn’t pass many other travelers on the Namibian back roads, but if we were following one, we gave them plenty of distance to avoid eating their dust. The small painting above, “Road D1275” was inspired by one of the sections of road from that day. You can see a car and it’s dust plume as it disappears around a curve.

The painting “Road D1275” and others can be viewed on my Available Work page. If you have questions or are interested, please let me know.

Here are a few more images of the outpost of Solitaire in the Namib-Nakluft desert…on the way to Sossusvlei.

Photos by John Wiley. 

©Teri Capp-All Rights Reserved

The season of brittle beauty

“Etosha Pan – Ostrich” acrylic on gessoed paper, matted and framed. $150

I often find myself thinking in terms of temperature when describing color in landscapes.

In Namibia, Etosha National Park was exceptional in its white-hot quality. Rolling and bumping over the gravel and dust in our rented 4×4, ours was several days of first impressions. A strange array of colors kept hitting my senses…rosy grays, pale yellow-greens, tan – silvery blue, white and pink…all moving across my line of sight like a mirage.

The season of our first impressions was winter in the southern hemisphere; June and July. Any bright green that had been produced by the rain in January and February had succumbed to the parched palette we observed.

I liked it. It had a brittle beauty – that I could feel. The days were short-sleeve warm, like the pinks, corals and tans of the plants and earth underfoot. When daylight left the horizon, we felt the coolness descend on us like a cloak. The air became a 3-dimensional veil of magenta, lavender, blue and silver. The earth became tones of cool brown.

Namibia delivered its winter weather like clockwork. Cool sunrise, warm-dry-hot days, sunset, cold nights…all at 3,600′ elevation. Our hats, fleece and puffy jackets that were on call were put into action as the sun dropped in Etosha.

The dry season drew animals to the remaining water holes. One hot afternoon, we drove around a curve in the road and up a slight rise to find ostrich and black-faced impala in our view. They joined together at a blue hole in the shimmering mirage of the Great Pan. (the Etosha Pan covers 1,860 suare miles)!

I loved this place! – Etosha with its thorn trees and rose-white-dust. I felt an aliveness among the expanse…and small, in relation to the giraffe, elephants and rhinos and hundreds of other animals and birds that I was privileged to watch for a few days. My awareness of the trivial part that I play, was heightened by a sense of reciprocity, with all that share this planet.

If you have questions or comments let me know. If you are interested in this painting, please contact me. You can see it and others on my Available Work page.

©Teri Capp  All Rights Reserved

Brush marks, small paintings and flashbacks

“Orange kraal – Road to Tsumeb” acrylic on paper, 5″x 7″ in a rag mat that measures 10″x 12.”   Available for $150.

All I have to do is start reading my journal…look at my sketches and pore over the thousands of photographs and I feel a spark…my memory travels to…somewhere in Nambia, Africa. The music in my studio may be Geoffrey Oryema, from Uganda or Joni Mitchell and I’m traveling…in my mind and heart. I guess that is part of the richness…the value of travel…the “aliveness” that I carry with me even when I return home.

These four paintings are small acrylic paintings on gessoed paper. I had them displayed in my show in June, but they were not a part of the official “Namibian Portfolio project” so I did not talk about them much. Having not posted them before, here they are!        I have added them to my Available Work page.

I will post one each of the next three days and tell you about that moment’s adventure!

They were painted as ideas for larger paintings, but they stand on their own as studies… bits of the story…of travel, of immersion in another place. Decisive sketches and faster brushstrokes…moments that allowed me to release a feeling or a moment in a small painting. These are memories that hit me from my travels in the vast, strange landscape of Namibia. If you’ve traveled in arid, desert country, on any continent, you can probably understand the words, “the land of lost horizons,” as Namibia is described in an older Spectrum travel guide.

Tucked away, many times out of sight of ‘we road travelers,’ were tiny kraals, or villages, where families lived and herded goats or cattle for a meager living. They were groupings of thatched huts with a fence made of thatch surrounding the kraal. The scraped, dry ground inside and out were the result of the constant padding of feet, both human and animal. Fallen branches from nearby trees or thatch were fuel for their cookfires. Sometimes, the kraal fence was made only with wood, depending on the region. Thatch was plentiful in the areas near rivers where the papyrus and reeds grew tall.

The bright orange buildings in this kraal caught my eye as we drove north from Etosha National Park to the town of Tsumeb. John was taking a turn, driving the Toyota 4×4 truck that we had rented. I asked him to turn around and go back so that I could make some photographs. The building materials on this stretch of road, on Namibia’s landscape, were mud and wood…so the kraal was painted brilliant orange over the smooth mud walls. The fence was a spare form made with skinny sticks.   Art in life.

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far! Let me know if you have questions or comments or have interest in my work.

©Teri Capp All Rights Reserved

Small Works Show and Sale at Gage Academy!

Invitation to Small Works Exhibit at Gage

Invitation to Small Works Exhibit at Gage

 

Gage’s Holiday Small Works Sale is a unique opportunity to purchase an original and affordable piece of art. This Holiday season, give the gift of art and purchase stunning work as a gift for a friend or family member! Join us for the opening reception THIS Saturday, November 19, 10:00am-4:00pm and buy your favorite piece before it’s gone!
 

The show opens on Saturday, November 19th and runs through December 9th, 2016. The exhibit is open every day that Gage is open. The school gallery is located in the beautiful brick buildings next to St Mark’s Cathedral on north Capitol Hill. Check out their website for hours. Come out and support Gage, a great art school with many inspiring classes, workshops and camps. And support the artists who have work in the show – all hung salon style in the 3rd floor galleries! It is a casual and fun place – and you get the feel and smells of a real art school.

I have a group of 14 limited edition archival pigment prints in the exhibit. They are editions of five, printed on beautiful Hannemuhle paper, 8 1/2″ x 11,” signed and numbered. This is the edition that I made from my Namibian Portfolio series of paintings. The originals were acrylic paint on deep panels. You can see the entire group of images by clicking on the Namibian Portfolio tab on my blog site. Some of the editions are almost sold out. For the show at Gage, they are unframed, and mounted on matboard with handmade paper corners, $75 each.

These three are examples of prints that were purchased and then framed in floater frames, without glass, which is just one way to finish them. They would also look good finished with an 8-ply rag mat, framed behind glass.

 

Bright Road - Etosha, framed print

Bright Road – Etosha, framed print

 

First Light - Sossusvlei, framed print

First Light – Sossusvlei, framed print

 

Spreetshoogte Pass, framed print

Spreetshoogte Pass, framed print

 

If you have any questions, please contact me.

 

©Teri Capp All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

Producing work keeps producing work…

 

"Etosha - Great White Place" acrylic on deep cradled panel 18"x 18"

“Etosha – Great White Place”   acrylic on deep cradled panel     18″x 18″     SOLD

 

Work begets work – which creates a tension for me. Sometimes more work is a reward and sometimes it’s just more chores.

The reward comes in the form of making more art work – to be creative stimulates more ideas – strings come loose and fray from the original piece or pattern, and these loose strings can be the beginnings of new ideas and paths to follow. I wonder, were the ideas already there, lying dormant?

Producing work produces more work! It’s an exciting state of mind…being creative…and it provides “juice” or fuel for our souls. But, it has demands that can be hard to sustain. To work on new ideas, bringing them from their nascent state to reality is work. It’s dig-in and make-it-happen-work. Grit – get in your studio, and keep-going-with-those-ideas-work. So there is fatigue, even in creative work.

Here enters the tension. Any of us who get to do work that is creative and generative are fortunate. But most of us have some sort of parallel work that is the stuff of every day – our chores and tasks to survive. I don’t have to gather water and chop wood but I do have to cook, clean and attend to many tasks that are seemingly endless. Work that makes work. To feed my family, I must first think, then assemble, chop, prep and cook. Afterward I scrape the leftovers into containers and wash dishes to prepare for the same work again tomorrow. Sometimes I wonder at its incessant nature and other times, its therapeutic value.

But after having done these tasks hundreds of times, I can stand and snap beans, peel carrots, wash pots  and at the same time, visualize a painting or shape words into stories. Parallel work.

Work begetting work.

An aside…a short story about the painting above, “Etosha – Great White Place”

It was one of those days! A day where you can’t believe where you are – the kind of day when I’m so glad to have travel-mates that “get it” without a word being spoken – a nudge with my elbow into their ribs says it all, followed by a glance and a knowing smile. Black-faced impala, elephants, giraffe, acacias?

Our bodies told us that the day was done – but with a little more light to be seen on the white dust road and the veldt (grass plain) glowing, we turned down one more side road in Etosha National Park, Namibia. Squeeze out every drop of the day. Head lamps and lanterns would see us through another camp set-up in the dark! The hot shimmering light of day began to submit to the haze of twilight. Animal sightings, yes!…elephants and zebra visiting the water hole, but with the cool air rising quickly as the sun left the horizon, it was time to find our campsite. It was winter in the Namibian desert.

I was honored this past week to sell the painting, “Etosha – Great White Place” to a wonderful client-friend, after she visited my Storefronts – Seattle installation!

 

Storefronts - Seattle by Shunpike Art Walk September 22nd 2016

Storefronts – Seattle by Shunpike Art Walk September 22nd 2016

 

Reflective daytime view of Storefronts - Seattle installation on John St

Reflective daytime view of Storefronts – Seattle installation on John St

Storefronts – Seattle installations are on view until November 8th! My work is in the John St Window at 1026 John St. Part of a group of eight talented artists in different windows in the South Lake Union neighborhood. Some of the others are on Mercer St, Thomas, and Republican St.

The paintings are available for purchase. If interested or if you have questions or comments please contact me.

©Teri Capp All Rights Reserved

 

 

Quiet….quiet for miles in a sand sea

“Namib Uplift”    acrylic on deep cradled panel    18″x 24″

 

From this arid floor and deserted floodplain, the bones of the camel thorn acacias remain – 500 to 600 year old skeletons. Captured and preserved.

Sun-bleached and charred, reminding us of the unpredictability of this wild, beautiful place.  I stood there in the wind – the only interrupter of the ineffable silence.

I could have been in space, on another planet, but it was the heart of the Namib Nakluft desert…Sossusvlei. As I stood looking across, what words would I use to describe this place?  Sand – bones – skeletons – sun and wind, and did I say sand?… in a palette unlike any I had seen….ivory white, but not quite; subtle purple-greens, veils of apricot, pale orange and red…a haze of lavender in the distance.  It had an eeriness to it, a mysterious beauty…like this vast sand sea held secrets.

Encrusted with lichens and fine gravel, the desert floor looks barren and dead, but these organisms are delicate and alive. One tire track can last for years; possibly permanently marring the sensitive plain. Some of this valley is flooded…maybe twice every decade with rain enough to make the Tsachaub River live up to its name, but the camel thorn skeletons stand as witness to the lack of consistent life-giving water.

The massive dunes soar above the dry floodplain, sculpted and shaped by the constant winds that cross each other – blowing from the arid east and west from the cool Atlantic. These moving red mountains can be anywhere from 75 to 1,150 feet tall. The cool currents that arrive from the Atlantic, 35 miles to the west, bring just enough fog to give the plants and insects and animals, that have adapted, the water they need to survive.

Hike – slog – to the top of the dunes and it’s me and time…me and the sky…and the wind and silence. I commit as much as I can to memory; to sensation…captured and preserved…perhaps.

This painting, “Namib Uplift” that I completed this summer, is part of the ongoing installation in the Storefronts Seattle Installation in the South Lake Union neighborhood. If you’re in the Seattle area, you can see it until November 8th, 2016. (two more weeks )! My art installation is on the corner of John St and Boren Ave N. 1026 John St, to be exact.

The paintings in the installation are available. Please contact me if you are interested or have comments or questions!

cappwiley@gmail.com

Teri's "Colored By Travel | Namibia" installation at 1026 John St, Seattle

Teri’s “Colored By Travel | Namibia” installation at 1026 John St, Seattle

 

©Teri Capp – All Rights Reserved