I've turned some of my favorite paintings from this year into a calendar for next year, and it's *almost* here! They are on their way from the printers right now, and as soon as I have my grubby little hands on them, I'll share how you can get one for yourself. (Hopefully in the next day or two.)
(Hint: These make great little prints to frame up after you're done with the calendar. Images are close to the size of the original painting.)
Here's a preview of the paintings I've included:
I also wanted to say thanks for hanging out with me this year!
I enjoy looking back on my work for the year - it's always a little time capsule of memories for me and my family, and I love that I get to share them with you. :)
I wish I had more recent work to share, but this year is ending a little differently for me - I was working on other projects in the beginning of November, and then, just before Thanksgiving, I was in a car accident. Another vehicle crossed the center line and hit the vehicle I was driving head-on. Thankfully, I was spared major injury, but my right knee is pretty banged up.
So, I'm using crutches to get around just a little, and I spend the rest of my time reclined, letting my boys wait on me. :) My family and friends have been so, so helpful, and I'm doing my best to accept their kindness gracefully, and just enjoying this Christmas season from my spot on the couch. :)
I miss painting so very much, and hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be able to get back to it.
Thanks again for watching me work, and I hope you all have a Happy Christmas. :)
Winter here can be soft, gray, days heavy with slow fog and faint mist that never quite turns to rain.
Winter can also be quick bundles of dark clouds that spit out rain and hail sideways, followed immediately by blinding rays of sunshine making rainbows and sparkles all over the freshly-washed everything.
This scene is from one of those stormy/sunny days last winter.
A bus never seemed so happy to be yellow as when the sun and rain together made it glow.
(A couple of in-progress pics on my Instagram - norabergman)
One of the highlights of our summer road trip was a visit with our friends in the Duluth, Minnesota area. We spent a warm and sunny afternoon in Canal Park, on the shore of beautiful Lake Superior. It was an absolutely lovely day. Well, a little on the warm side, but that's not very common in Duluth, so we didn't complain. ;) One of two lighthouses in the area, this is the 'Duluth Harbor North Breakwater Light'.
Lighthouses in art can be tricky; - they're just so dang pretty (I think) that they easily become a cliché, and I tried hard to keep this one from becoming 'just another pretty lighthouse' painting. Whether I succeeded in that, I'm not sure, but I am pleased with how it turned out. :)
If you're curious, you can see a few 'in progress' shots on my Instagram account. (norabergman)
To celebrate our 11th anniversary, my husband and I spent last weekend exploring in Washington state. We stayed on Whidbey Island and had a great time hiking at Deception Pass State Park (stunning), and wandering aimlessly through the little town of La Conner (charming) and the surrounding farmland. Oh, and we ate a lot of really, really yummy food. :)
This little scene is from La Conner - it was warm and breezy and just a perfect June day.
I always love going to my sister's house in the Columbia River Gorge.
Mostly, of course, to spend time with her and her family, but a close second is the chance to see the incredible beauty along the way. Traveling from west to east, the landscape starts to show some skin as we go from waterfall-laden mountains to the golden hills and orchards of central Oregon and Washington. In the winter months (ok, potentially year-round), it's very typical to drive from overcast, wet weather in the west, to blue skies and sunshine an hour or two to the east.
That's reason number three. :)
This little blue-skies-and-sunshine scene is from the small gorge town of Bingen, Washington, just across the Columbia River from Hood River, Oregon.
To me, it was the highlight of a dawn's-early-light photo excursion.
On that early morning, I had seen the sun rise and the mountains glowing and the rivers sparkling, and vista after beautiful vista. And then...then, heading back home, I rounded the bend and saw this; this sleepy old fella catching the first rays of the day. Swoon. :)
I'm trying hard to ignore the too-big number of days since I last posted a painting...ugh.
I have a zillion excuses, but let's pick something fun...I blame Little League. Ha!
Two of my three boys are learning the game of baseball, and even though our very busy calendar is testing my preferred 'homebody-make-no-plans' way of life, I really do enjoy watching them - especially the littlest ones - too stinkin' cute.
Today's painting is a sampling of some other cute little things I collect.
I have always had an affinity for these pin-on buttons - I mean, hello, 1989!
(My sister Rita had a great collection on her stone-washed jean jacket.)
A few years back I found an old tackle box at a yard sale with a bunch of these oldies in it. Score!
I've blown them up almost three times their size here; that awesome little flag is only a half inch tall in real life.
*Just a little note - the blue reflections/highlights on the rocks are incredibly difficult to photograph well - in reality, they do not 'glow' nearly as much as it appears here.
Way back in '03 or '04, my guy and I went to Indian Beach, a gem among gems on the Oregon Coast. It was overcast and damp, and I was completely enthralled with the rock-covered shore. We had a great time, even taking some selfies (eons before the word existed) with my very first digital camera - 2.0 megapixels! Lol. Here's one of them -- I can't believe I'm posting it -- but anyway, you can see all those lovely rocks behind us. :)
A couple of years later, we were newlyweds and I was pregnant-sick, so I dug out one of my Indian Beach rock pictures and used it to help pass the days/weeks until our first son was born. Here's the result -- a little bigger than my work now. :)
24" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
Like a lot of things in my life, over the years I had completely forgotten about Indian Beach. Our good friends reminded us last summer, and we finally made our way back a couple of weeks ago. It was fabulous - I have a feeling we'll be back often.
I mean, three young boys and never-ending rocks? Perfection. :)
Today's painting is from my new Indian Beach rock pics.
I got up early last Sunday to go watch the sunrise above our town.
It was a very clear day above the fog, and the views were fabulous. As pretty as it was, I couldn't wait to get back down the hill and see how the fog and sun were hanging out together - I just can't get enough of those two. :)
Unlike a lot of the country, we've been enjoying really terrific weather.
It's got me totally jones-ing for summer.
(Although, those of you in the throes of winter are probably jones-ing way more than me.)
Anyway, here's a little summer for you all - from one of my favorites places in this amazing state - Yamhill County, Oregon. This is the first painting in a long while that was a good 'ole time from start to finish.
Central Washington and Oregon: high, barren hills; green, fertile valleys.
And fruit. Lots and lots of fruit. :)
Last August, we stopped at this fruit stand in Washington on our three-day drive back from Minnesota. My boys enjoyed their free apple, and then we filled every spare inch of the car with glorious, juicy peaches. So, you know, like, eight peaches. On my lap, the rest of the way home. :)
I worked a little faster and looser than I normally do, which was fun, and my youngest (almost 4) helped me at the end, "It's done, Mom. You can put the sign in the corner. The sign with the 'B' and the 'N' ".
I am not a native of this cute little town, but my husband has lived here his entire life. That means, often he'll come find me after a day's work and exclaim, "Oh, you're painting so and so's house." Or, "Oh, that's so and so's work truck." Today, I was a little floored when the remark was, "Oh, you're painting dad's old service station."
I had no idea. Well, I knew my father-in-law used to operate a service station, but, I never made the connection between that knowledge and this lovely white building that catches my eye every time I leave town. I mean, now that I think really hard, I maybe vaguely remember hearing that once upon a time, - it sounds sort of familiar...
Clearly, on this sunny day last summer, I was really only thinking about yellow truck...white walls...blue shadows... :)
I took vacationing very seriously for the last two weeks, so we're just easing slooowly into this lovely new year. :)
Here are the paintings I did in November and December, and below that, a shot of the highlight of my year so far. (Ok, it's gonna be tough to top that - good luck, rest of 2015.)
I had the pleasure of meeting artist Carol Marine (and her delightful husband, David), and it was so great! I really appreciated the chance to chat about daily painting and random arty stuff, especially with someone so talented and experienced. An invigorating way to start the new year. :)