Seeing the Work in Person #100ittybittyblogposts

Glacial Topography , encaustic and oil on panel 20 x 30 inches by Elise Wagner.

Glacial Topography
, encaustic and oil on panel 20 x 30 inches by Elise Wagner.

I have been a fan of Elise Wagner’s encaustic work for several years. I especially love her topographical pieces. I came across Elise on Instagram, and became intrigued with the encaustic medium she works in.

I never had the chance to see her work in person until recently. We have been exploring the Oregon coast for the last few months, and eventually we made it up to Astoria, OR. We happened into a gallery in Astoria, Imogen Gallery, and they had several of Elise’s pieces for sale. In fact they had just started carrying her work.

I was thrilled, it really was quite a rush to see the work of someone you admire in person. The size, texture and depth of her pieces are really enhanced by being in the same space with them. I was so inspired by her work, I might just have to take a class with her sometime. She offers workshops in her studio and beyond.

Thanks for creating your art Elise! I hope to see more in the future.

xo Jen

Our Oregon Trail

James and I on Cannon Beach.

James and I on Cannon Beach.

We have been on the road full time in our RV for three months this time. I have really settled into the groove of mobile life on this leg of our journey. It might be because I have been wanting to head up the Oregon and Washington coast for some time now, and it’s finally happening. Whatever the reason for the ease, I’ll take it.

We spent around four weeks in the redwood forests of northern California before heading up into Oregon. The redwoods are my sacred place. They are my favorite place to be to let the world just fall away. The trees have such an immense presence in space and time that nothing else I’ve seen yet compares. It feels like a place of deep knowing.

We reached Oregon in late January and started up Hwy 101. I had head nice things about the coastline but hadn’t done much if any research before we got here so I didn’t really know what to expect.

I’ll just say, we have fallen in love. Oregon has really done some things right to protect public access to its beaches and parks. Everything is so easily accessible to the public – it’s so much better than beach access in parts of California.

We have been taking our sweet time heading north and it’s been grand… jagged rocks and sea stacks out in the ocean, water falls inland and along the coast, massive sand dunes that transport you to other worlds, tons of coastal bridges and a lovely art scene.

We drove the bridge from Astoria over the Columbia River to Washington and it was a stunning drive. The Columbia River is massive, and the bridge shows off all its splendor as you drive over the state border mid river.

 There is something about the Pacific northwest. I’ve been to Seattle a few times over the last twenty years to visit my aunt and uncle who live there, and I’ve always been struck by its beauty. It feels so good here.

Highlights so far (from south to north):

  • Samuel H. Board State Scenic Corridor

  • Bandon Beach

  • Winchester Bay Sand Dunes

  • Florence

  • Cape Perpetua

  • Yachats

  • Ona Beach

  • Manzanita and Nehalem Bay State Park

  • Cannon Beach Art Scene

  • Astoria and the Astoria - Megler Bridge to Washington

Be sure to check out my Studio Instagram and Personal Instagram accounts for more pictures.

The Lure of a Road Trip

What is it that is it about being on the open road, heading out for an adventure that is so sexy?

My husband and I are planning on a road trip for his next two-week hiatus from work. He works on the Jimmy Kimmel show and they always take a lot of time off in the summer. I love to get on outta So Cal in summer because it is way to freaking hot for me;)

I always get so excited for road trips! Last summer I drove all the way from Los Angeles to WI and back over the span of six weeks. It was just Sophie, my springer spaniel, and I the whole way. It was really an amazing trip, and I plan for it not to be the only time I do something like that.

We went through six states I had never seen before by choosing different routes each way. I got to experience the majesty of the Grand Tetons and the unbelievable quirky marvels of Yellowstone for the first time.

Being on the road alone I could sing at the top of my lungs to any music I chose. There was no one else setting the pace. I could stop whenever I wanted for a little break. I didn’t have to listen to any objections if I decided to linger in an area for a morning hike. There was also no guilt about subsisting on beef jerky, potato chips and iced tea all day. Well, maybe a little guilt from Sophie until I gave in and shared my jerky.

The point I’m making is I think being out on the road can throw you back into times gone by, before we all had so many responsibilities and making decisions could be totally based on a whim.

There are no should, there are no judging eyes, and you are free to witness nature in ways most of us don’t on a daily basis. It can give you time to think and wonder “What if?”

Open space and being outdoors has such a soul soothing effect on me I try to seek it out whenever I can. I chose to cook all my dinners while I was on the road, having brought along a tiny camping stove. It really allowed me to be in the moment and appreciate how fucking beautiful our world is, and how important it is to get out of your head and truly see new things for what they are.

The best things about road trips sometimes happen thru camaraderie. If you are lucky enough to have a partner or some great friends that love to explore as much as you treasure that, and take advantage of it. You can create some pretty special moments being on a minute-by-minute road trip with others.

 I am so fortunate to have James, who by nature of being a landscape photographer will jump at the chance to explore any time he can. With he and Soph by my side I’m set. I could never come home.

These are the things life should be about. Telling stories around a fire, hiking off into foreign hills, and sitting together in silence as you take in the grandeur of a breathtaking overlook, these moments are IT. Experiences like these remind us how the Earth was here so long before our blip on the timeline, and how connected we are to all of it if we take the time to see and respect our role.

So get out there, get out of your bubble and go travel my friends. Experience will enrich your lives so much.