Monday, January 9, 2017

winter wonderland

Out my window, some xmas lights still up

More snow and ice fell the last few days. There are no plows, so driving is terrible. They just waite for it to melt. I managed to get to the post office and finally mailed my Christmas letter to 40 friends and relatives. They don't shovel the sidewalks so walking wasn't that good either. However it is beautiful. At one time the snow flakes coming down, no wind ,were as big as quarters. It is great to watch from my 14th floor window. It doesn't snow here very often so this  situation gets lots of attention.  One of the residents turned 101 and there was a birthday party for her today. She is in perfect  health and sharp as a tack.


garden at Ya Po Ah

downdown slush

reflection in puddle parking lot. Ya Po Ah in background with Christmas sign on roof Peace on Earth

Ya Po Ah and trees in ice

from my window

big snow flakes 

night from my window

sun on tree, from my window

Ya Po Ah gadren

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

on the 11th day of Xmas, snow

orange car

Eugene is a not an old city and has wider roads, many parking lots, and  painted signs on the roads, for directions, buses, and bicycles. I do find these interesting and plan to make some paintings in the coming year of the signs.

Which Direction
a painting of parking lot in Amesbury MA

old factory
I did not paint many paintings in 2016. I do not stylize my realistic paintings, so I am trying to see from a different perspective. As you know I love geometry and that is what I look for in the city buildings.
Snow    photo from my window

It doesn't snow here very often

from 14th floor

Large pine cone from ponderosa pine tree

Time to take down the decorations


long needle pine and it's cone


New tee shirt from Christina




snow out the window


Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year

HAPPY NEW YEAR These are stormy times. Storms are a part of nature, they bring change and clear the air. Breath in and believe we are moving into a beautiful world and it will become a beautiful world.
I  published my 2016 Christmas letter on my plogspot. I also print out the letter to mail to old friends and relatives. The printed letters have an image of one of my paintings as you would see on a Christmas card. These images I chose for this year. Explanation for choice under painting image.
 Some of the paintings were painted years ago, some recent.
I associate snow with Christmas and here it is green. Some trees lose there leaves, a lot don't and the lichens make them look greenish, so no paintings of Eugene in winter.
This is one of my favorite houses in Waldoboro village and I have painted it numerious times in different seasons.


This house on Back Cove Rd  is on Pitcher Cove and I painted it from all sides.  It was remodeled and is no longer the same house

I made more paintings of this house then any other house on Back Cove. It was vacant for years. The new owners added a ..addition same style and I continued to make paintings of it

Scene on drive from Eugene to Ashland throug the pass.

The clildren made paper bird tree ornaments and I saved this one. Painted  in  my Waldoboro  studio. One of my favorite paintings.

I chose this painting because it could be anywhere where there is some snow.

This is our house on Back Cove, the mudroom entrance, painted a log time ago.

Another winter scene that could be anywhere

This is the road from Waldoboro center to Back Cove Rd, similar to many back roads.

This is also a generic scene. It is pines along a river. One of my  favorites

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas letter 2016

Grants Pass
My Christmas letter. It is long and about me so read it only if you are interested.


Thurs. Dec 15
Talked to Doug today. It was 3 o’clock here and dark in Waldoboro. He said he watched the full moon and here we had an ice storm. Back in Waldoboro I liked to walk the dog at the time of full moon , to see the big ball appear over the tree tops, over the cove beyond the house. In winter in the cold of the evening it was especially beautiful if there was snow on the ground. The moon on the day before it is full comes up when there is still some light in the sky and the environment is still visible. The brightness of the moon causes objects to cast shadows on the snow and light from the windows  more defused warmer  light  fading on the snow and melting into the darkness. Moon light  on snow seems to make shapes  sharper more defined. When there in no moon there are clear winter nights when the milky way is a beautiful band of so many lights and the consolations are more visible in their formations. The contrast of the dark, and the cold air seems to sharpen the senses. Perhaps I spent more time looking up on those winter walks. One can only be in awe at the infinite greatness of the heavens.
I was at Chris’s house on Wed. for a pre xmas supper. Diane’s two daughters and mates and two grandchildren were there. We decorated the tree while Christ cooked the dinner. The ice had been building up on the trees all day and the electricity went off about 10:00 pm. There were a lot of tree limbs down when Chris drove me back to Ya Po Ah. When I called This morning, Friday, he said they still had no electricity. 
Today was the Christmas dinner at Ya Po AH. The dinning room was completely filled and it was a good meal and a nice event. The sun is out and the ice is still on the trees, a beautiful sight. There have been holiday events here at Ya Po AH, the Eugene ballet company did a 40 minute performance of Nut Cracker and a church coral group came and sang traditional seasonal songs. There was also a trip to see over 1000 nativity displays and on the way back a drive through some streets that have light displays. My apartment is decorated and I have a beautiful 7 foot tree that is the most import part of Christmas in the home for me.
It has been one amazing year.  I believe in my last letter that I said I visited Eugene summer before last because Diane, Chris’s wife had signed me up for hud low income housing and my name was drawn on the lottery. Diane helped me register and get everything approved, and I had to find a place to live within a time frame . I filled out an application at Ya Po Ah and was on a waiting list for a studio apartment. I went back to Maine, settled in for the winter that turned out to be  pretty mild with little snow which was good because My heart was still weak. I got a call in March that I had an apartment and that it should be ready in a month. 
I still could not find a place to store my paintings so we decided that the paintings were going with me to OR. Doug was going to drive me  the dog and my possessions across the country to Eugene.This was a major job. Doug and Christina came up every weekend and sorted and wrapped paintings Without their help I never would have made it out of Maine. Then I had to decide what essential things I needed and what I had to leave behind. I get very attached to things and giving up my possessions was  painful. YesI love innate objects. They give me great pleasure. I could not live in a sterile  environment. I packed 100 art books after giving away about a hundred. I kept Charlie’s father’s morris chair, a wicker rocker, a desk my father made, a long bench Charlie and I made out of wood from the house and the cabinet I made out of laths taken off the walls of the house in Newburyport. I had to take bookshelves we made for the books. I had 3 sculptures and my little oriental rug. I had to take all my Christmas decorations, and ornaments  which  now hang on the tree, on the walls  and rest on all flat surfaces  in my apartment. Because I am a visual person  it is these possessions that are a part of what makes my environment  wonderful for me. 
I seamed to be unable to function or understand I was moving to Oregon. I was in a state of denial. I moved in slow time. It was my friends and family that did practically  everything. There were many trips to the dump and trips to the good will. A lot got left in the house and Doug and Christina had to deal with things I could not give up or throw away. I was leaving a place I had lived  for 32 years, the cove, my friends, a beautiful place I love. I sold the car and I had a Go Fund Me to raise the money for the trip.People gave, even people I do not know pitched in. I had enough to cover the trip. Then came the goodbyes, the potluck pack the budget truck party,  and finally on March 22 we left Maine.
Doug drove the whole way, 8 to 10 hours a day. We stopped at motel 66 every night. We bought food for the road, carrots , celery, fruit, peanut butter, bread and sardines. Pit stops were to use rest rooms and walk the dog. Mostly we drove rte 80  and 70 across the country. The weather was good and spring growth was coming on. Missouri and Kansas  were flat and boring  After Denver the landscape was much more interesting. We rode along the Colorado river and there were some fantastic rock formations and we stopped  at the interesting spots. Doug had no trouble driving the budget truck. There was very little room up in the cab with our coats stuffed behind the seats and food on the floor between my legs. Mire had a small space to curl up in between us. Up and through the rocky mountains with snow squalls and spectacular views. Then winding down, through steep mountain sides covered with fir trees and snow. Into Utah and stops at Monument National Park  and Archers National Park. Words can not describe these rock formations, or the immensity of them. If you go to my blogspot, audreybechler.blogspot.com I have a running narrative of the trip, photos and news of my life in Eugene. Doug drove up through Idaho, into Oregon, through more mountains and then into the full blooming green world of the Willamette Valley.
I had to wait another 3 weeks before my apartment was ready and then Doug and Chris moved me in, 14 th floor, north side, windows with great views of Skinners Butte and hills. I immediately met other residents and jointed some of the activities at Ya Po Ah. I have adjusted to the small space of the apartment and like it here very much. I even obtained a small garden space and grew a lot of vegetables. I can’t get into this letter all the events and interesting things I have been doing but you can read more in the blogspots. Doug stayed a month after we arrived  to work with Chris on the farm. Lucy Christina;s daughter who goes to the university go Oregon took Mira my dog.
After settling in Diane connected me to the Oregon social services and health programs. I have a dentist, a cardiologist, and a general practitioner, I have a bank account and food stamps, all that took filling out papers, calls and time. Thank heavens  for medicare and social security.
The first thing I did was investigate my surroundings. I also bought a 3 wheel bike that has a big basket in the back.There are many bike paths and I mostly ride along the river but I can also get to the market. I can walk to the  post office, the bank and the health clinic. City bus service is free for seniors. On Tuesday and Thursday Ya Po AH has a bus that takes residents to  grocery and box stores. 
Several  painting shows were scheduled in Maine and one in Newburyport so I went back East  for a month, end of June and part of July. I stayed with Doug and Christina in Amesbury for the Newburyport show and then back to my house in Maine. I was invited to dinners and potlucks and got to see my friends. My friend Alice who arranged the Newburyport show drove me and her friend to Rockport, an artist colony on Cape Ann in MA where I lived as a child. We looked at the house my father built and stopped to see Old Garden Beach where I swam every day in the summer. The best part was that I by chance met and spent a few hours with Roswitha Trayes. Her husband’s family lived at one end of the beach. Bill and Roswitha still live there Also went to Monhegan with Doug and to the Isle of Shoals with Doug and Christina. Check out blogspot for photos
It doesn’t rain much in Eugene in the summer, gardens have to be watered. This is a very fertile valley and a long growing season. I went every Saturday to the outdoor farmers market to buy vegetables, more varieties then we grow in Maine a wonderful place to buy fresh organic food. The displays are beautiful, a lot of work to set up. The place was crowded with shoppers  and the vendors sold most to there produce by closing time. There was also a section for crafts, food stalls and live music. There were tables and chairs around the entertainment stage and people would eat, listen and dance. The people are friendly and relaxed.
Almost every day I rode my bike along the river to a place where people could wade and swim. There were families, kids, dogs, old people, some with picnic baskets, sitting on the grass or benches. People would come to feed the many ducks and geese.The parks are always filled with people, walking, riding bikes, lying on the grass napping. There were homeless people too. So the days of summer went by, some hot days but not the humidity of the East Coast. I walked up Skinners Butte a few times. People go up to look out over the city. It is nice to have nature around me. 
Many times I went to the farm with Chris. I painted some,  read, picked blackberries when they were in season. Chris has very little time for anything but the farm. By the middle of summer there were 10 people working there, long hours every day, 5 greenhouses, 100 feet long and 30 feet wide This is a cannabis farm. It is legal in Oregon and believe me Chris has complied to all the rules and regulations. He has done an amazing job, had a good crop and recently was awarded the best outdoor grower in Oregon. All this was accomplished from scratch starting with the barn that was started last fall and completed in the spring.Then the greenhouses went up and the plants moved in. Diane did the business and advertising  and Chris the growing  You can look up the web site rebelspiritcannabis.com To see the photos I have taken at the farm go to  my blogspot, April, transitional and June covering the tunnels. I have two sons that are amazing people. I love and appreciate them more then anything. I am so blessed.  To see the work Doug has been doing on the foundation on the house in Maine go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad9kwb95-do
Doug and Christina have rented their house in Amesbury and they are now living in Maine. I hope they will love it there as much as I do., as least they are trying it out. It is hard being separated, Doug and I do face time and I see him on the computer  and he walks around  with his phone and shows me what he is doing.
I haven’t painted much. I go on the internet and look at how other artists paint city scapes. There are many very good artists and their work is inspiring. I feel a little bit overwhelmed. It is no longer a pretty landscape or beautiful simple new England. architecture. I have to look at the arrangements of shapes, ranch style homes and tall buildings used for business, the formality of the growing things, most hedges and plants are clipped and even. What is interesting is the variety of plants and trees, different colors and leaf shapes. The paintings will come in time. I do have some new interesting designs for sacred geometry paintings.
I have gone on several outings from Ya Po Ah and last night the bus drove around the places where the homes were decorated with lights. There was one section where the more affluent live, who’s homes and yards were all decorated in magnificent light displays. Every house for blocks had lights, all kinds of decorations, fun ones to very elegant. Trees, bushes, house roofs, stars, snowmen, santa and rain deer  nativity scenes and peace signs, all in lights. There was a line of cars we followed that were all out to view the displays. In general the homes and business do not decorate, which I find disappointing. There are no candles in the windows, where back in New England many houses have candles in the windows. 
I do miss the  ME villages and their downtowns. When I was growing up one could get everything one needed in the stores along the main downtown street, and I especially liked to see the window decorations at Christmas time. Now downtowns are mostly, restaurants, gift shops and clothing stores. Still nicer then malls and huge box stores.  I live in the the area that all the important buildings are, the Hult Center,(cultural  events) library, post office, central bus station, Banks, and some government buildings, There is a good natural food store, and various shops, book stores, a movie theater, bars, and restaurants. These are all within walking distance of where I live. So I guess you would say I live close to downtown. 
The political  situation is like watching a play we are in the middle of with no idea of the last act. Is it a comedy or a tragedy? The election results were shocking for most people and gives us a lot to think about. It did shake people up but enough to move people to action? Well it seems to be the end of things as they were . No doubt it being challenging times everywhere around the world. I have always been optimistic. Be positive, keep thinking we are making a better world, a world of peace and harmony.  For thousand of years people have been the servants of the wealthy and powerful. Those days are ending.  God bless those at Standing Rock, and all other places where people stand  for their rights to live a quality life, where there is respect for the planet and how the planet has nurtured all living things on it. 
This is the time of year where we count our blessings, give gratitude, remember our friends and relatives. We celebrate, and honor traditions. I saturate myself in the feelings I get from watching, listening, remembering, tasting, smelling, all the physical symbols, objects, real and imaginary of Christmas. I do believe we are shifting into a higher consciousness  This is the end of a year and the beginning of a new year, a symbol, birth, hope, expectations.. WE are all I am, a part of the highest creative intelligent energy force. Call it god if you want. WE are also part of the whole and now we must work as us, for the good of all livings things. As I quoted from last year. “WE each are of equal value to every other human being on this planet, and this includes all the peopled from those who carry out atrocities, on the Earth all the way up to the living saints. We are the living Masters of earth. We are the conscious family of Earth.
For those that want my address, Audrey Bechler,  350 Pearl St. apt 1414    Eugene OR 97401   email  audrey@bechler-arts.com    and audreybechler.blogspot.com  I share the posts on face book. There are lots in images on the blogspots.  
I made a book with my Christmas letters (the ones I had records of) and also put in images of winter paintings and photos of Christmas trees and decorations, 200 pages. This is a condensed version of what I have done through the years. I guess it is an egotistical thing. One more thing to add to my pile of stuff  that my children will have to deal with.
Before I close remember MY BELIEF is  we create our reality, all events are neutral , It is our reaction and attitude that is the lesson. Do not be fearful.  Stay present, be aware of your thoughts and actions. Do not dwell on negative  things. Do not be judgmental, for we know little of the whole vast scene of the great plan, we make mistakes and are not perfect. be patient. Love yourself and others. A beautify world is coming, and we are the creators of it.
One more thing. I want all those that have helped me recently and through the years to know that I appreciate your help and I am thankful for it. Being with you, times spent together have given me great pleasure  and happiness. I love you all.
Enjoy the Christmas Season. Look up at the stars, lights in the darkness, the awe of the vastness without end. Listen , love is in the air.

Audrey

Monday, December 19, 2016

The magic of ice

trees coated in ice
This ice storm although it caused a lot of damage and power outages created the most beautiful and magical  scenery I have ever seen. The ice remained on the trees from last Wedesday through Sunday and today it is warming up. It was also shimmering when the sun light shone on it and at night the street lights also made it a fairy land. It came  close to Christmas and for me enhanced the feeling of the holiday season. I love the Christmas season and even though I don't have much space I have managed to get all my decorations up as you can see in my photos. More to come Peace.









Ya Po Ah , the place I live, in background


willow
in my room



nativity



Thursday, December 15, 2016

Beauty of an ice storm




Teddy bears on book shelf
xmas tree in my studio apartment

Chris broght the tree and all my decoration that he had stored at his house Sunday and he set up the tree for me As you can see it is a full 7 foot tree and fits nicely in my small apartment. I am working on putting up the rest of the decorations. There was an ice storm Wed. and I took some pictures from my window and outside around Ya Po Ah. It took down tree limbs however the roads did not freeze up so driving was OK. It stayed frozen all day today Thursday and still is a beautiful sight, a winterland of ice.
from my window


The roses were still blooming

not all the leaves have fallen










wires covered with ice


out my window trees in ice