Q&A


“Mt. Hood”  handmade glass by Christine Downs

 

“Glass is mesmerizing. Did you know it is not a solid? Scientifically it is considered a supercool liquid due to its unique crystalline structure. There is no other art medium like it. The combination of color & light alone is magical. Its depth and visual allure pulls us in, seduces & invites the sense of touch. We want to swim in it, to feel its warmth or coolness, to look at the world through it. When such visceral responses as these are experienced, I feel I have created a work of art.”

“Happy Mountain Scene”  handmade glass by Christine Downs

“The beauty of Oregon, the western landscape, rivers, trees, ocean & my own backyard feed my aboriginal eye & fuel my creativity on a nearly daily basis.”

 

 

“After the Fire in the Columbia River Gorge” handmade glass by Christine Downs

 

“Rich pattern and simplicity of design is a dichotomy I strive to balance.”

 

“Misty Mountains” handmade glass plate by Christine Downs

 

“My work often entails cosmic, geometric, zoomorphic & vegetal symbols such as spirals, mandalas, leaves, and other universal symbols and elements of sacred geometry.”

 

“Using a variety of techniques, I add visual texture & richness to my works. Combining sheets of glass with glass powders and granules called frit, I often create patterns or images in the glass, removing glass granules as I draw. This “scraffito” technique’s results sometimes resemble monotype printmaking or wild gestural drawing.”

 

“Recently I have been using glass powder mixed in a gelatinous medium to actually draw lines or “paint” with a palette knife as one would with acrylic paint.

Another technique I employ is imbedding designs created by copper sheet or wire between two sheets of glass. The mass of the metal between the two sheets of glass introduces another element to the design: bubbles! Only partially controllable, bubbles add an airy lightness to many of my works.”

 

“After the Fire” diptych of Columbia Gorge Fire of 2017 handmade glass by Christine Downs

 

“My pieces are typically fired at least three times. I sometimes fire a piece, cut it up & re-fire the cut-up elements into a new design. I am always experimenting, in partnership with the glass for inspiration, and permission for what it will allow me to do. As they emerge still warm from the kiln, I sometimes embrace these beloved “artifacts” to my heart. My work is dear to me.”

 

 

Christine Downs, glass artist.

 

Christine taught at Portland State University, Graduate School of Education for many years, preparing candidates becoming special education teachers. She taught entry-level PSU Interpersonal Neurobiology courses, Learning & the Brain & co-taught Meditation & the Brain with Caverly Morgan, founder of Portland’s Peace in Schools.  Christine Downs, MEd, teacher, artist, yoga and mindfulness practitioner,  was a special education teacher for many years. Christine taught students identified as having social‐emotional, behavioral, and/or learning challenges.

 

 

 

Fairweather House and Gallery

612 Broadway St.

located in the Historic Gilbert Block Building

August 3-25 Exhibition

OUTSIDE INTERESTS featuring local painters and artisans hugely impressed with the wide-open, majestic vistas of the Pacific Northwest. Selected art, new original work, conveys nature’s shifting moods, with no human presence visible. Artists include Paul Brent, Melissa Jander, Sharon Kathleen Johnson, Bev Drew Kindley, Martha Lee, Gretha Lindwood, Ron Nicolaides, Susan Romersa and Dale J. Veith.

Welcoming new artists:  oil painter Vicky Combs-Snider, glass artist Christine Downs and encaustic artist Elina Zebergs to the gallery.

 

“I’ve been having lots of fun in the studio, playing with some techniques I have not visited in a while.  The collection I have made for OUTSIDE INTERESTS is representative of things I like to do. The miniatures are quite time consuming and glass, as the ray material is quite expensive,”  writes glass artist Christine Downs.

 

“Atmospheric Changes” by glass artist Christine Downs

 

 

 

Moon over Mt. Jefferson

Original oil by Ron Nicolaides.

About the artist:

Ron Nicolaides, lives and works in Oregon and studied art at Washington University in St. Louis Missouri, but is primarily a self-taught artist. He painted his first oil seascape in his teens and credits visiting museums as a basis for his continuing knowledge of art and the style of the Hudson River School of Painting, a style he pursues.

Artist Eugene Garin has served as his mentor. However, his work is heavily inspired by the European Old Masters with his greatest stylistic influence being the Hudson River School of artists, such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Frederic Church and Herman Herzog.

The western landscape and Pacific coast are the predominant subjects of Nicolaides’ paintings.

 

 

Q: Where in the world in Mt. Jefferson, you ask?

A: Mt. Jefferson is a stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, part of the Cascade Range in the U.S. state of Oregon. The second highest mountain in Oregon, it is situated within Linn County, Jefferson County, and Marion County and forms part of the Mount Jefferson Wilderness.

 

 

 

 

Q: What is the Hudson River School of Painting style that describes the style of a Ron Nicolaides painting, you ask?

A: Hudson River School of Painting,  an American art Movement, was  originally a large group of American landscape painters of several generations who worked between about 1825 and 1870.

An outgrowth of the Romantic movement, the Hudson River school was the first native school of painting in the United States; it was a proud celebration of the natural beauty of the American landscape and in the desire of its artists to become independent of European schools of painting.

Hudson River School paintings reflect three themes of America: discovery, exploration, and settlement. The paintings are characterized by their realistic, detailed, and sometimes idealized portrayal of nature, often juxtaposing the remaining wilderness, which was fast disappearing from the Hudson Valley in the 19th century just as it was coming to be appreciated for its qualities of ruggedness and sublimity.

For more info go to: https://www.britannica.com/art/Hudson-River-schoolan

For more info about the artist, please go to https://fairweatherhouseandgallery.com/Artist/Ron/Nicolaides.html

 

 

August 3- 25 Exhibition 

 

 

 

Fairweather House and Gallery

612 Broadway St.

located in the Historic Gilbert Block Building

OUTSIDE INTERESTS featuring local painters and artisans hugely impressed with the wide-open, majestic vistas of the Pacific Northwest.  Selected art, new original work, conveys nature’s shifting moods, with no human presence visible.   Artists include Paul Brent , Melissa Jander, Sharon Kathleen Johnson, Bev Drew Kindley, Martha Lee, Gretha Lindwood, Ron Nicolaides, Susan Romersa, and Dale J. Veith.

“Ron’s strength is his capacity to push the limits of oils and multiply glazes to create the masterful works that bring the viewer right into the scene. The stylistic influences he uses give his compositions a sense of wonderful depth,”  D. Fairweather, gallerist.

Welcoming new artists:  oil painter Vicky Combs-Snider, glass artist Christine Downs and encaustic artist Elina Zebergs to the gallery.

 

http://www.fairweatherhouseandgallery.com

Carolyn Marcpherson with a work in progress, watercolor on Yupo, Painting Seaside LIVE ™ episode at Fairweather’s.

 

“I have worked my way through many trends, painting styles, and media because I am a restless person. Never satisfied with status quo, I love experimentation and teaching, which I find keeps my mind open to different ways of viewing the world.”  — Carolyn Macpherson

Q: What is  YUPO®  paper, you ask?

A: Yupo is a compelling and unique alternative to traditional art papers.  Watercolor professionals have found Yupo to be receptive to a variety of aqueous techniques.  Yupo is pH-neutral, flawlessly smooth, and recyclable. Painting on  Yupo is different from regular watercolor or drawing paper; it is a very exciting substrate for more advanced and experimental artists.  It is a space age machine-made material made from birch paper bark.

 

Inspired by a ninth grade teacher, Carolyn Macpherson has been painting in various media ever since. As a self-taught oil painter, she readily sold her art, but wished for the training that would give her more confidence. Upon graduation from Lewis & Clark, she was hired by the local community college to teach evening art classes.  She was also active in the Washington State Arts Commission and directed the SW Washington Arts Festival.

 

Thanks to an accident created by her cat spilling pre-mixed watercolors on her paper, she adopted a highly concentrated style of painting where the rich dark backgrounds of still life and florals popped off the paper. Workshops featuring this dynamic technique became a regular part of her teaching schedule. Numerous awards and accolades followed, including publications in the American Artist magazine and the book, “How Did You Paint That?”

 

Carolyn served as an interpretive host at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon, setting up her easel and using art to explain the region’s geology. She was commissioned to illustrate all of the interpretative displays at the Visitor’s Center, as well as the signage for the park’s hiking trails and botanical gardens.

 

 

 

Carolyn Macpherson painted LIVE during the March 2 Seaside First Saturday Art Walk at Faiwweather’s.

 

Indeed, Carolyn Macpherson painted several works of art during the Seaside First Saturday Art Walk at Fairweather’s on March 2.

 

Carolyn Macpherson  offered an artist talk about painting with yupo (birch bark paper) during the opening reception of ‘March’, an exhibition on display at Fairweather’s through March 28.

 

Save the date and time.

NEXT Painting Seaside LIVE ™ episode by Carolyn Macpherson, watercolor on yupo paper demonstration is April 6, 5-7:pm at Fairweather’s. 

Celebrating 15 years in 2019, Seaside First Saturday Art Walk is free and open to the public.

Art Walk is  about seeing art in the galleries and businesses located between Holladay Drive and Broadway Street in the historic district of downtown Seaside.

Visitors meet artists, snag appetizers by favorite restaurants or personal chefs, view painting demonstrations, listen to artists talks and enjoy live performances in music.

Seaside First Saturday Art Walk

Fairweather House and Gallery

612 Broadway

Seaside, Oregon

For more info about the Art Walk events, please visit www.facebook.com/SeasideFirstSaturdayArtWalk

 

Q: What is a Painting Seaside LIVE ™ episode, you ask?

A: Fariweather House and Gallery has had the privilege to offer painting demonstrations, titled Painting Seaside LIVE ™ during most of the Seaside First Saturday Art Walks. Resident artists have been very generous, as it is a compliment to be asked, and they always immediately respond with an enthusiastic, “yes” when asked to perform a painting episode.

 

“Painting is a passion. The Painting Seaside LIVE ™ process gives the artists the chance to share this passion with the onlookers. Artists enjoy the opportunity being authentic in what they are experiencing. Surely, the LIVE episodes, sponsored by Fairweather House and Gallery, are, truly, one of the ways that artists “live the process” and help patrons grow to appreciate art, as well.” D. Fairweather, gallerist.

 

To read more about the gallery and view the artist’s work , please go to http://www.fairweatherhouseandgallery.com

 

Grace note from the artist, as told by a friend..

“After she picked herself up off the floor in wonder, Carolyn said she is honored and so appreciative of the blog article!  Loved it!  Carolyn is excited about the Art Walk Saturday.”  Kathy Rohrer

 

 

“Whales at Play”  handmade box by Ray Noregaard.

Black walnut box with poplar wood pulls and feet.

Signed.

 

 

“Ribbons” box by Ray Noregaard, wood artist who uses no nails or screws.

Signed.

 

“Keepsake” triple tray box with three compartments by Ray Noregaard.

Signed.

 

 

“Treasure” two drawer raw edge cedar box by Ray  Noregaard.

Signed.

 

From the artist:

I cannot remember when I was not working with wood.  As a small child, I was making and repairing my toys. We were living in Vanport, the World War II housing project and our family lost everything in the 1948 Vanport flood.  After that event we lived in a tent for one year falling and cutting logs using a seven foot long cross cut saw.  I was thirteen years old and worked with my father twelve hours each day. 

After high school, I start working with houses, doing cabinets and finish work.  I make custom furniture, as well.  For more than fifty years I built houses all around the Northwest, moving to the North coast in 2004, where I built more than ten houses, having completed my last house in 2017.  I have retired from building and am turning wood and doing a lot of small wood craft work.

 

I realize with all the beauty of God’s creation that my calling is to help show what he has created.  I have always loved learning new methods and being challenged in making any of my art work.  IT has been a true blessing and one of my joys to receive cards and letters from my friends and family for my work.  I appreciate all the beautiful wood that God has supplied.  Ray Noregaard

 

To read more about the Vanport flood, go to…

How Oregon’s Second Largest City Vanished in a Day/  History … 

 A 1948 flood washed away the WWII housing project Vanport

 

Manzanita”  three drawer keepsake box by Ray Noregaard.

Spalted chestnut box, black walnut pulls with maple base.

Signed.

 

 

Q: What is spalted wood, you ask?

A: The partial decay, called spalting, gives the wood dark contrasting lines and streaks where fungus has begun to attack the wood. If the wood has been rescued from the spalting at the right time, the lumber should still be sound and usable, with little to no soft spots or rotten wood.

 

In the decorative wood market, spalted wood is in high demand. Spalting is caused by certain white-rot decay fungi growing in wood–primarily hardwoods. The fungi create zone lines in the wood where territories of competing fungi meet.

The partial decay, called spalting, gives the wood dark contrasting lines and streaks where fungus has begun to attack the wood.

Spalted wood has dark veins caused by fungi. This wood is very decorative and therefore very popular with woodworkers.

 

Fairweather House and Gallery features unique Northwest wood artists Fred Lukens, Mike Brown, Michael Gilbert, Daniel Harris, Mike Morris, Ray Noregaard, and Duane Bolster.

Fairweather House and Gallery believes that art, craft and service are best provided by local artisans.  We are proud to represent passionate local people.

 

 

To read more about selected wood artists, go to:

https://fairweatherhouseandgallery.wordpress.com/category/artists/daniel-harris/

 

https://fairweatherhouseandgallery.wordpress.com/category/artists/duane-bolster/

 

https://fairweatherhouseandgallery.com/Artist/Mike/Brown.html

 

https://fairweatherhouseandgallery.wordpress.com/category/artists/michael-gilbert/

 

https://fairweatherhouseandgallery.wordpress.com/…/presenting-fred-lukens-and-his-h

 

The wood artists create one-of-kind wood objects from fallen timbers that include Douglas Fir, Red Cedar, Maple, Western Walnut, Oregon Mrytlewood, Oak and Cherry.

 

“Two Hearts” two drawer burl wood box by Ray Noregaard.

Signed.

 

And, too, vintage burl vase with glass liner.

 

Q: What is burl wood, you ask?

A: Burl wood is a tree growth in which the grain has grown in an unusual manner. It is commonly found in the form of a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk or branch that is filled with small knots from dormant buds.

 

 

A burl results from a tree undergoing some form of stress. Most burls grow beneath the ground, attached to the roots as a type of growth that is generally not discovered until the blows over. Almost all burl wood is covered by bark, even if it is underground.

 

 

Burls yield a very peculiar and highly figured wood, prized for its beauty and rarity. It is sought after by wood sculptors. Burl wood is very hard to work with hand tools or on a lathe because its grain is twisted and interlocked, causing it to chip and shatter unpredictably. This “wild grain” makes burl wood valued for bowls and vases.

 

For more about the gallery, please visit http://www.fairweatherhouseandgallery.com

 

Note received:

“The wood crafter, Ray,  in your gallery has a steady hand.  He uses hard to find wood. Wow.  His work is a labor of love. I know, for I worked in the bi-fuels department of Weyerhauser for years and know wood.”

“High Seas”  original oil on linen by  Ron Nicolaides.

January 2019

 “Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”  —Leonardo da Vinci

 

 

 

“Having worked on this painting for many years, more than twenty years, in September of 2018 I chose a different focus. The sun, too bright and the waves not powerful enough, in my opinion.”  Ron Nicolaides

 

 “The beginnings and ends of shadow lie between the light and darkness and may be infinitely diminished and infinitely increased.” Leonardo da Vinci

 

“It is always attempting to paint the light  that I remember most.  It is my inspiration. 

Light and its elusive quality can transform a landscape in just a matter of time.  

Originally, the sun was the focus, later, as the painting matured; the light on the sea and its fleeting magic was given more highlights.” —Ron Nicolaides 

 

 

Painted in the Hudson River School of Painting style.

Q: What is the Hudson River School of Painting style, you ask?

 

A: Hudson River School of Painting, an American art Movement, was originally a group of American landscape painters of several generations who worked between about 1825 and 1870. The name, applied retrospectively, refers to a similarity of intent rather than to a geographic location,  the  members of the group drew inspiration from the picturesque region north of New York City, through which the Hudson River flows.

An outgrowth of the Romantic Movement, the Hudson River school was the first school of painting in the United States; with its proud celebration of the natural beauty of the American landscape and in the desire of its artists to become independent of European schools of painting.

 

Hudson River School paintings reflect three themes of America: discovery, exploration, and settlement. The paintings also depict the American landscape as a pastoral setting, where human beings and nature coexist peacefully. Hudson River School landscapes are characterized by their realistic, detailed, and sometimes idealized portrayal of nature, often-juxtaposing peaceful agriculture and the remaining wilderness, which was fast disappearing from the Hudson Valley in the 19th century just as it was coming to be appreciated for its qualities of ruggedness and sublimity.

 

Hudson River School of Painting uses symbolism and allegory to convey  feelings about the natural world, often with connotations of the supernatural.

 

 

“Pacific City Haystack Rock” original oil on linen by Ron Nicolaides.  

“Ron Nicolaides paints in the Hudson River School of Painting style.  Note the use color, weather, light and shadow, and other dramatic elements in nature suggesting  creating strong juxtapositions and high seas in the same painting. This is the essence of any masterful work of art.” D. Fairweather, gallerist

 

 

 

And, too, on January 3, 2019 a tale of three Oregon coast Haystack Rocks:

 

There are three Haystack Rocks on the Oregon coast. Visitors from out-of-state who tend to latch onto the one in Pacific City, or the one in Cannon Beach or the one in Bandon. Indeed, there are three major landmarks, all regularly photographed, and all by the name of Haystack Rock.

One is the gargantuan Haystack Rock at Pacific City at 340.6 feet high and is almost a mile offshore from the landmark Cape Kiwanda.

The Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach is 235 feet high and sits right up on the tide line of the famed north coast town.

The Haystack Rock in Bandon is 105 feet high and is in Coos County. All sea stacks are federally protected and are closed to public access.

http://coastexplorermagazine.com/features/oregon-coast-sea-stack-rock-formations

Ron Nicolaides, lives in Oregon and studied art at Washington University in St. Louis Missouri, but is primarily a self-taught artist. He painted his first oil seascape in his teens and credits art museums as a basis for his continuing knowledge of art and the Hudson River School style he pursues. Artist Eugene Garin has served as his mentor. However, his work is heavily inspired by the European Old Masters with his greatest stylistic influence being the Hudson River School of artists, such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Frederic Church and Herman Herzog.

The western landscape and Pacific coast are the predominant subjects of Nicolaides’ paintings.

Nicolaides, with years of study and experience has become a powerful accomplished artist. He has captured majestic landscapes and has mastered the mesmerizing translucent waves in his depiction of the sea without freezing its energetic rhythms.

His strength is his capacity to push the limits of oils and multiply glazes to create the masterful works that bring the viewer right into the scene.

“I have developed a distinctive style that I truly own. I have a consistent body of work to show for it.” —Ron Nicolaides

Read more about the artist at http://www.fairweatherhouseandgallery.com/ …artists tab/ …Ron Nicolaides

“Snowbound”

Great Blue Heron by Neal Maine/PacificLight Images.

“After many years of trying to capture a heron in the snow, it finally happened along the Neawanna River in Seaside.” Neal Maine

 

For more images from Neal Maine, please go to http://www.fairweatherhouseandgallery.com /  …artists tab/  …Neal Maine and Michael Wing

 

Question:

“Would it be possible to share the link that has Katie’s thank you as an end of year story on the Fairweather blog?”

Answer:

“Of course! We would love that. We’re so glad you were touched by the letter and appreciate you wanting to share it with others.”

Lorraine Ortiz
Development Director

 

December 2018

Dear Friend of North Coast Land Conservancy,

When I look back on this wonderful year at North Coast Land Conservancy, there is one day that stands out as nothing less than magical. As someone who has joined an On the Land outing or pulled weeds with us, who regularly donates to us or who simply follows us through our newsletters or e-news, you know that among our many projects, the big one we’re working on is conservation of what we call the Rainforest Reserve—3,500 acres of forestland adjacent to Oswald West State Park. I’ve made more than two dozen trips up there this year alone, with old and new friends. But this one day was unique.

 

We heard that Oregon’s poet laureate, Kim Stafford, was visiting the coast to do a reading, and we invited him to visit the Rainforest Reserve with us. The morning we set out, the coast was socked in with dense fog—classic pea-soup conditions. Yet barely a couple hundred feet up into the forest, the clouds gave way to blue skies and sunshine. The higher we climbed, the warmer the day became. As we climbed the ridge, the summit of Onion Peak gradually came into view: Onion Peak, the highest point in the proposed Rainforest Reserve.

High on the ridge, at the headwaters of streams that plunge down steep chasms to meet the ocean, at the tree line where meadows flourish on rocky balds, I felt like I was perched on an island of wilderness, a secret floating mountain in the sky. We couldn’t see the towns or highway that we’d left behind just minutes earlier. It was strikingly quiet. Quiet, but not silent. I closed my eyes to better hear the sounds of the rainforest: the buzzing, the singing, the whispering, and the whooshing of wings. I felt transported.

 

I often feel that way when I get off the beaten path just a little bit; do you? When I notice that I don’t hear the road anymore. When I realize my breathing has slowed and I can feel my heart beat. When instead of reaching for my phone, I look to the trees, trying to locate with my eyes the bird that my ears can hear so clearly. Happy memories wash over me, and I feel a sense of kinship with all of creation, past and present. It’s at times like these that I tend to get some of my best ideas.

As Kim put it that day, “This place offers not only clarity of water but clarity of thought. Maybe that’s the business we’re really in: conserving places where all species can be their best selves. Your gifts are the only way we can make that happen. In our land conservation work, I often bump up against folks who say, “I’m not an environmentalist,” or say “I like open space, but I’m no tree-hugger.”  I’ll admit that I have been known to actually hug trees now and then, mostly to feel for myself the scale of some of the big trees we still have on the Oregon Coast. But to the extent that tree-hugger means by-any-means-necessary, I realize that’s not me. And that’s not the organization I work for. By working with willing landowners, by keeping in mind the people part of our people-plants-and-wildlife formula for coastal conservation, we keep open the lines of communication with everyone.

 

Because I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who hasn’t experienced one way or another, a moment of magic in the natural world. Who hasn’t felt transported, or felt a deepening of connection with all of creation by being in a wild place, away from the houses, roads, and towns where we spend most of our lives.

The way Kim Stafford spoke about the land that day was so grounding, and so humble and human. It reminded me that we are all just people, doing the best we can to take care of our place, and for so very many reasons:

We save this land because it brings life, water and breath.

We save this land because we love the critters that live here, the wildflowers, and the forests.

We save this land because, in the end, we know it will save us.

Or as Kim said that day, on the shoulder of Onion Peak, one of the pieces of ground we are working so hard to conserve, “It occurs to me, while standing here, that this project will offer what we will long for more and more: clear water, quiet, and starlight.”

Thank you for sharing your time and your treasure and allowing us to do just that, here on our coast: offering clear water, quiet, and starlight, for all creatures, forever.

If simply being in nature is already such a powerful experience for me, what was it about being in one of my favorite wild places with a poet such as Kim Stafford that made the experience even more profound?

Part of it was the day itself: standing on a peak floating upon fog, in the gold and blue of a fall day that felt stolen from summer. But I think Kim was somehow able to read my heart and put words to what I was feeling better than I could myself. Each of us, every human being, has a need for nature, is part of nature. Each of us feels that connection, deep in our hearts and souls, even if we can’t put that awe and that sense of wonder into words the way he could.

The next day Kim emailed us to thank us for the day we shared. What a gift it is to work with such amazing people—people such as yourself—who care so deeply about our coast and for our coast.

 

Thank you for helping to conserve Oregon’s coastal lands, forever.

All my best,

Katie Voelke

Executive Director

North Coast Land Conservancy

Preserving the Oregon Coast Forever

PO Box 67, Seaside, OR 97138

503.738.9126

https://nclctrust.org/

 

 

Hosted by the Seaside Library Art Committee

“Maybe no other local wildlife creature represents the natural history of the North Coast land ocean interface better than the great blue heron.”  Neal Maine

19 images of the Great Blue Heron, a natural history art show, by Neal Maine at the Seaside Library, on public display combined with a printed image guide  detailing the natural history of the great blue heron.

 

 

“The goal of this photography display is to celebrate this unique bird and bring life to how the features of the great blue heron fir the abundance and freshwater systems of the North Coast.  Natural history photography places high value on the quality of the image but even more important, is the desire, skill and patience to capture and illuminate the beauty of the coast landscape and its unique wildlife.”   Neal Maine

“This is the perfect time to share NCLC’s gratitude for FAIRWEATHER’S support of our conservation work on the coast.  We are delighted to share about the new social media outreach program NCLC has launched for our business partners as a thank you for your support. Four times a year NCLC will be posting a thank you to FAIRWEATHER on our FB page, with a photo.”

Here is the schedule for FAIRWEATHER’S posts:

Last week of February 2019

Last week of May 2019

Last week of September 2019

Last week of November 2019

Thank you for valuing the beauty and magnificence of the Oregon Coast. Thank you from all of us at NCLC to all of you at FAIRWEATHER.

Lorraine Ortiz

Development Director

North Coast Land Conservancy

Preserving the Oregon Coast Forever

 

 

 

 

Question to Erick Bengel Coastweekend.com features writer:

“May we share your wonderful article about finding a place of quiet  in a Fairweather blog post in December?”

Answer from Erick Bengel

“Absolutely.”

http://www.coastweekend.com/cw/editor/20181128/scratch-pad-the-quest-for-quiet-spaces

 

 

 

Over a recent weekend, while staying at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, I came upon a preciously rare sight: a roomful of strangers silently reading.

 

In the warmly lit, amply furnished top-floor reading area, a young girl stretched herself across a sofa, and read. Couples leaned against each other, sipped tea and hot spiced wine, and read. Finally, my partner and I, after surveying this sweet scene, took our places, dug out our books, and read.

 

No cell phones in use. No inane chatter. No pressure to entertain anyone but ourselves. Just the pages before us, pictures of famous authors bearing witness, and the rain beyond the darkened windows. This was quality time.

 

We need more public places where people can gather to pursue solitary activities.

 

Libraries can meet this need, especially when they allow coffee, stay open late-ish, aren’t fully open-concept and boast quiet reading rooms where you don’t get caught in the crosstalk of self-conscious patrons.

 

Cafes can do this as well. A personal problem, however: When I read, I hear a voice in my head reading to me. This means I prefer absolutely no music in my surroundings. Same deal when I write or edit. To work with words — to process information and evaluate a piece of writing — I have to discern their tone and rhythm. Anything that disrupts the voice makes me feel as if I’m trying to listen to a radio station while another keeps overriding it.

 

Most cafes, then — likely by design — aren’t options for reading at length. Even on a slow day, when the staff are totally cool with a cheap skate bookworm hogging a table for hours and just buying coffee and maybe a brownie — and many, understandably, aren’t — they play music as if it’s a matter of policy.

 

What about outdoor seating? Great idea — during spring and summer. But fall and winter on the coast do not guarantee hours of rain-free skies. My eyes scan desperately for eaves and covered patios during the cold months and find them in short supply.

 

Good grief, Erick, why don’t you just read at home?

 

Fair enough. And I do. But fellow introverts who don’t want to be shut-ins know what I’m talking about. Sometimes we like to see humanity without interacting with it, make eye contact and acknowledge people without it turning into a thing.

 

Quiet people can have trouble advocating for themselves in their quest for quiet spaces. We tend to feel weird being ourselves in a world that demands most public pursuits be social ones. When we read or write around others, we don’t get the affirmation that comes with, say, playing softball. But when we notice someone else holding a book or notebook — doing something in public that engages their mind and doesn’t require a companion — we feel validated.

 

Which brings me back to the Sylvia’s reading area. A no-talking rule didn’t have to be enforced (it was, you might say, unspoken). When a pair of women wanted to work on a puzzle in the kitchen nearby, they closed the door behind them. We all knew what we were there to do, and used the space for that which it was intended. We were out and about, but having inward experiences.

 

And we need more spaces like it, where we can be solitary, but not alone.

 

 

 

 

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