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Coral, Seal, Diver,Earth and Sea Art

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Well, yesterday was quite the day for art in the valley and beyond.

As planned for me, it was the day to finally deliver the Seal on Coral Reef and the Diver Sculptures to Van Ford over at Orca Scuba Center on Ohme Gardens Rd.

So; after dropping Martha Flores off at Lewis and Clark Elementary where she was is teaching her ‘I Am the Earth’ art program this week, a special art program offered through the Washington Arts Education Consortium, I headed on over to Orca Scuba.

Van Ford the owner of Orca Scuba, was there along with young dive protégé Craig Brooks of Brooks Solar. Hmmm… I wonder, can one have an underwater solar system… just kidding… I think. The Hard Hat Diver and Seal On Coral Reef were well received and garnered the attention of both staff and visitors in the shop.

It took a bit to find just the right place for the sculptures to be well observed in the fashion they were designed to be seen. And, yet a place where they would not get knocked around by incoming and outgoing dive gear, tanks, divers and support personnel. Even Coral the shop dive dog was pleased to have some new dive art in the store. Once in the right place the old school Hard Hat Diver even found a new friend.

While there Van was eager to get me to commit to a dive this Sunday on a dive boat out of Anacortes. I think it’s time to get back in the water and maybe get some new dive photos, so back home to try on my dry suite I went. Having checked my gear, it was time to pick Martha up and take her to Osborn Elementary in Leavenworth where she was teaching an after school art class sponsored by Icicle Arts in Leavenworth.

Having some time to spend in Leavenworth while Martha taught her class, I went on over to Icicle Arts to see Reed Carlson’s photo exhibit and visit a bit with Anna Miller. I was there at just the right time as I was able to get some photos of her trying to decide which of Reeds wonderful photos to buy for herself.

With more time to spare, I went into the shopping district and stopped in at some galleries and shops.

My first stop there was The Metal Waterfall Gallery. I visited a while with Ron Orcutt the artist and gallery owner. I was really interested to learn how he created the various colors that he does with the metals that he works with. I was truly fascinated by his description of the use of varying intensities of heat and duration of the heat to change the colors on copper and some of his other techniques. He’s likes talking about his work and the history of his art and some of the commissioned art projects that he and his daughter have worked on. I was more than a little impressed with the fact that he began at age 12 back in 1970. Gee, let’s see that makes him wee bit younger than I am. Which made me think back to what I was doing in 1970…. Hmmm… I wasn’t really spending much time on art if I can recall correctly. It was quite a coincidence to learn that he too is originally from California andthat he used to dive there back when you could still spear fish in the Channel Islands before it was a reserve. His prior interest in the sea is evident in some of his metal works which feature fish, coral and ships.

After taking up Ron’s time for a while I went next door to check out Doug Miller’s gallery and visited with him for a bit as well. Doug really likes the Plein-air approach to painting though he works from photos he takes in the wilderness as well. The colors in his paintings are so vibrant that one would have to say that his approach really works well for him. Chatting with him a bit, I learned that Doug's paintings have been acknowledged for numerous awards including "Best of Show" and "People's Choice" in annual art shows in Ellensburg, WA and in Great Falls, Montana. He has been a Top 100 Finalist twice for the "Arts for the Parks" competition held annually in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He also, had a limited number of Western themed bronze sculptures in the gallery.

After visiting with Doug, I went on over to the Jubilee Global Gift store. This is a place that is always fascinating to visit as I really enjoy seeing the hand-crafted items from developing nations and appreciate the items from Africa, Asia, South and Central America. The fact that these unique musical instruments, baskets, jewelry, clothing items, ethnic nativities, bags and purses, ceramic and stone crafts and fabric art are all Fair Trade items is also a real plus.

Just as I was paying for some items and chatting it up with Lorie (it was fun to learn that she follows the art exploits of Martha Flores and I online and that she likely had a granddaughter in Martha’s class over at Osborn Elementary), I received a call from Martha that she was ready to go.

And, so the end came to yet another fun filled day of art and art activities in the valley and beyond.

Well, enough for now. And, remember to enjoy the art of living and to make each and every day very artful day.