Thursday, August 21, 2014

Riding up to continental Divide

rode from Steamboat springs up Hwy 40 to the continental divide at 9426 ft. elevation today as a prep for the big ride up Pikes Peak on Sunday. Figured if I couldn't ride up this mountain, the ride on Sunday would really be in question.

Monday, June 23, 2014

MAC Show Opening for Martha, Art by Jay Inslee and 'Squirrls Gone Wild'


Well, a lot has transpired in our art world since our last blog post. 

For starters just after our last post we had a very nice visit with Nicole Benoit a 26 year old dancer and singer come home to Wenatchee from New York who is creating a multi artist event called LEAP to take place August 23rd. We were very interested in the whole concept but unfortunately the next day August 24th is the day I am scheduled to ride the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado a ride for which I will need to be there a few days ahead in order to acclimate to the altitude.

 A few days into the month my photos were installed at the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce office just in time for the June First Friday Art Walk.  When First Friday came around Martha and me were of course going to stop in there to see the show and visit with folks there. But first we stopped in at the Tumbleweed Bead Co. to see the art there and visit a bit.  Visiting with the owner we were surprised to discover that it is her husband who owns the Ila Yoga studio and who does the slack line in the park which some readers may recall I tried awhile back in the middle of one of our bike rides on the Loop Trail. And, speaking of bikes, while there we spotted these cool bicycle themed coffee cups, two of which Martha was so good to buy for me. Thanks Martha.

After our stop at Tumbleweed we went to the Chamber where it was so nice to have so many questions about my photos: where they were taken and what was the story behind each of these mostly Nature photos.  Some folks came in asking to see my abstracts which I originally thought I would place in one of the two rooms there, but had instead focused on nature forgetting that I submitted an abstract for the Chamber to publish. OOPS. So; by popular demand I will change out all or some of the work there for abstracts in time for the July First Friday show. Thanks by the way Jerri Lea for the chance to show at the Chamber. After the Chamber we headed to Two Rivers Gallery to see Reed Carlson and his high School Students show there.  It was a really good show and we had a great time there visiting with all the artists and friends there.

A few days later I received the word that two of my photos were accepted into the upcoming show on the theme of ‘Home’ at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in California. And; so between getting Martha’s prints and paintings matted and framed at the Nu-Art Gallery and Frame Shop ready to take to Moses Lake for her show there, I printed up the two photos and got them matted and framed as well. That reminds me today is the day I need to send them off to Cali.

And, speaking of Martha’s show, on Thursday the 12th of June we hauled 80 count them 80 paintings large and small, including this one of a mother and children in Guatemala, in a rented UHaul and still had to use the bed and back seat of my pick-up for several bronze and clay sculptures and a number of prints to be installed for the opening on June 20th to the Moses Lake Museum and Art Center in beautiful downtown Moses Lake… and what a beautiful facility it is. In fact some folks who had never been there before who came from Wenatchee commented at the opening reception that they were amazed at the quality of the facility that it is probably the best facility to show art at between Spokane and Seattle. And, that just might be the case.

The opening reception just this Friday past was by all measures a success. Martha was so happy to find that one of her newer works which included a poem by Martha had sold even before the opening and it was nice to see that so many younger folks mostly local business professional were there and enjoying the art.  Thanks, by the way ,to Freya Liggett and Ann Schempp for everything and especially to Ramon Cerna for the great installation. Talking with Ramon I was surprised to learn that he lives near Laguna Beach CA. and comes up here to set the shows... WOW! Thanks again Ramon.

Martha had a great time at the opening dancing, talking and visiting with friends old and new and meeting and talking art with local folks from Moses Lake like Tiffany Sukola and Shawn Cardwell who are with the Columbia Basin Herald. As it turns out Shawn has been to the Iguana Perdida Hotel on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala at which Martha painted a mural a few years back while I was scuba diving in the lake. Small world indeed.

Meanwhile,  I took lots of photos and got to visit with graphic artists Michaell and Jeremy Boetger while tasting the very enjoyable wines of Camas Cove Cellars. As it turns out Jeremy rode in the Apple Century Ride as did I on June 7th. That was a great coincidence and we had fun talking about rides coming up like the STP which he is riding soon and rides past like the Century Ride which I rode with our governor Jay Inslee. Speaking of which Jay, who is a bit of an artist himself, did a drawing of me leading our group through the woods near Lake Wenatchee shortly after the Century Ride. Thanks Jay.

And, of course nothing stops when it comes to art. Just yesterday while riding with friends in Wenatchee I learned from Majka Sadel, who rides with the ‘B’ team, that she is having her paintings and ink drawings in one of the venues of the Third Thursday Art Walk in Edmonds this week. Congratulations Majka and good luck with the show.

Also, yesterday, while Martha was on the phone and looking out the window she spotted two squirrels having fun playing in the front yard. So; I grabbed  my camera and took some pics and shot
some video from which  I published a short, funny and cute video called ‘Squirls Gone Wild’ (yes squirls with one ‘r’ as there turned out to be another video with that title) which includes music which can be seen on YouTube at Just for shiggles and gets, I discovered today as I was preparing this blog that our blog page has recently been discovered by Germany and that over the past month there have been more views from Germany than from the U.S. ... go figure.

Well all in all it’s been a great month for the art and art activities of Rod and Martha and the month is not over yet. So; bye and back to work for me as I think on the words of Pablo Picasso who said, “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Congressional Honor, MAC Show, Art Lovers Sunday, Mothers Day Poem, Native Baskets, Birdfest and More



Well, it’s been a busy couple of weeks for Martha and me since our last published blog. First and foremost was the judging of the Congressional High School Art Show on May 2nd at the Green River Community College by Martha and two other artist / instructors from the west side. That was a great treat to be part of and Martha was given a special medal from Congressman Dave Reichart for her effort. That was completely unexpected and really added to the day for Martha. The artwork was varied and quite good. The winning piece, a painting by Bonney Lake High School Student Chelsie Conroy, was unanimously chosen by all three judges and I think they got it right as well. Good job and congratulations Chelsie.


Before the event got started, we explored the large art piece in front of the auditorium. It was interesting so many ways in its form and texture as well as have a water feature that was not just an add on so to speak but which was integral to accentuating and even recreating the look of the piece as the water laced over the pattern of graded cuts into the stone formed new patterns that were fascinating to me. I had some fun with a couple of the photos I took of this piece creating some abstracts from close up photos and some digital manipulation.

Having decided to spend the night on the other side of the mountains, we took the time to explore some new areas to us that we weren’t as familiar with which lead us to a great little area called Dash Point which would be a great place to have a restaurant / art gallery etc… and right on the water. We had fun there before heading up to Seattle where we saw some public art that was new to us as well, like this giant lobster or was it a squid, and this crazy fun abstract sculpture carved from one solid piece of stone.


During the week that followed we got down to business as far as getting some of the smaller prints made for Martha’s upcoming show in Moses Lake… more on that later. Then, last weekend,
Mothers Day to be precise, Martha participated in the Art Lovers Sunday at the Pybus Public Market. This was a lot of fun as it was previously allowing us to not only display and sell Martha’s work, but to visit with fellow artists and see what wonderful creations they have been making.


While there Joann Walker asked Martha to recite her poem dedicated to her mother that Joann had seen / heard previously. So; after the award ceremony for Ken Duffen (Congratulations Ken), who was honored both for his long years of artistic accomplishments, and, for his design having been chosen for the 2014 Pybus Public Market poster, Martha read her poem.  Many of the mothers in the audience were particularly impacted by the reading and came up to Martha and expressed their appreciation for the sentiment and shared some of their own mother stories, thoughts and experiences.

During this past week we continued working on preparation for Martha’s show at the MAC in Moses Lake both preparing prints, but also, updating the list of works to be in the show as some of the works listed in the original proposal which was submitted a year and a half or more ago, have since been sold, and there have been so many new creations since then. We also made a trip out to Moses Lake where we met with Freya Hart and went over the dimensions, configuration and design of the show and addressed some technology issues as far as the video presentations components. That went well and we had a good time afterward before heading back to Wenatchee. Upon returning to the valley, we were a bit too tired to make it out to Leavenworth for the opening reception of the Birdfest Art show in which Martha has two new works. But, we knew we would be out there this weekend to volunteer, so we didn’t feel too badly about missing the reception.

Also this week, I submitted four photos to the OCCC Gallery in Orange County CA, for their upcoming show on the broadly described theme of “Home”. I took it as ‘how people live’ and chose some photos of the way people in some areas of Central America have crafted together means of having home and making home a meaningful space spiritually and aesthetically. I also began making some decisions as far as what pieces to include in my upcoming show at the Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce.

Friday night, we attended the opening reception for the River of Baskets show at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. This was a big production that took the combined efforts of several of our friends and associates over the past two years to put together. Central to this event coming off were the efforts of Susan Evans and husband Bill Layman as well as the design and construction of the show by Bill Reitvelt and others. Kudos to the Bill’s, Susan and everybody involved in this historic, informative and enlightening display of the art of basket making by the various indigenous groups that lived and continue to live along the Columbia River. Getting so many Native American presenters, artisans, educators and leaders to participate in the show made it all the greater.

Saturday we made it to Leavenworth. The Birdfest Art Show was good. I really liked this 'White Headed Sparrow' painting by Lori Ainsworth. There were lots of people there participating in all the Birfest activities. It was a great day to be outdoors which is exactly where we were at, at the raffle ticket table selling tickets. It was great to see Alicia McKee and the other staff and volunteers like Mark Weike who we haven’t seen in ages.  It was a great event and well attended and we had a good time hanging out with fellow artist Cindy Reitvelt afterward. So, sorry husband Bill couldn’t have been there.

Well, enough for now and think on the words of Oscar Wilde from the ‘Picture of Dorian Grey’, who said, “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.” Now there is something to ponder.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Shells, Water Foul, Sculptures and Congressional Art Competition

Well, it has been a busy three months since the last installment of the Rod Daut and Martha Flores Art blog.  There has been so much going on that it really would be impossible to put it all in one blog. So; to keep it short and sweet, I will highlight the most stand out events and creations.

First and foremost is the creative explosion of new works by Martha in which she has taken her creative genius in some very new and different directions. At the top of this list of new works in new directions I would place her Marine themed art.  These works are crazy creative and a joy and pleasure to look at. As some readers may know, I am a scuba diver and have a great and fond love of the sea and all its beauty both above and below the surface; so these new works hit two or more joy buttons for me as I am sure they will for many others as well.

Also, her new bird paintings, some of which are now at the Icicle Arts Gallery in Leavenworth for the upcoming Bird and Wenatchee Watershed show which opens in May, are also new in style and content.

I love these and if the response online is any indication these will be quite a hit for Martha. Her new flower paintings are not a completely new genre for her, but are new in style and general feel as one can see from this photo.


Another new artistic venture for Martha has been her individually painted handbags, a number  of which were sold at their unveiling at the Pybus Public Market for the February art event which featured several local artists and their works in the center of the Market. That was fun and it was great to visit with our local artists and friends while getting to see what they were doing artistically and otherwise.


During the month of February someone requested some photos of Martha’s sculptures which made us realize we were remiss in not having a complete photo collection of her various sculptures both bronze and clay. So; one day we spent a few hours gathering the pieces and creating a photo catalogue of the works.
That done it was time to get out of doors and enjoy the late winter environment by the river and up in the hills by Saddle Rock. What a joy it is to live in such a beautiful and diverse natural environment.

And while Martha has been creating new works like mad, I have enjoyed exploring art installations in Airports while traveling. Of particular interest was the “instrument”,
created by Living Lenses -the team of Po Shu Wang and Louise Bertelson, which is a sight and sound wonder, that is electronically controlled by a computer keypad. People, like these young kids and their dad type an email or text message on the keyboard which is then converted to brail and from brail translated to particular sounds which come out the horn in low audible tones that are best heard while standing close to or under the horn. This wonderfully creative and interactive artwork kind of reminds me of my French Horn playing days in Jr. High… but I digress.

I also found some
interesting artwork in the Palm Springs terminal like “Tang” the epoxy paint creation by Tom Holland, which I spied in late March as I headed further south to Indio and the desert of the Coachella Valley which I explored on foot and capping the trip off with a photo safari along the Salton Sea. The Salton Sea which is a shallow, saline, endorheic rift lake located directly on the San Andreas Fault, offered some particularly enjoyable photo opts for wildlife of the winged variety. The main reason for this trip I should say was to meet my newest granddaughter, but the photos and the precious experiences related to her I will keep to myself and my family.

Back home it was time to pick up my photo art from the Black Bird Bistro in Leavenworth where my art was featured for the month of March. We had a good time installing and uninstalling the art and enjoyed the food and coffee there.


Also, this month we picked up my work from both the Confluence Technology Center, where it has resided for a couple of years, which needed to be picked up due to some remodeling and repairs going on there, and, just yesterday I finally picked up my painting of the ‘Cherry Springs Ranch House’ (also known as the ‘Horse Lake House’) which has resided at the Chelan Douglas Land Trust for about a year.


And, all through this time Martha has continued to provide a wonderful art learning experience for several young artists in training in her studio class room. The kids love it and Martha has a ball teaching and playing with them

Next up Martha will be a judge for this year’s Congressional Art Competition for High School Artists which will entail the two of us heading over to Green River Community College next Friday for the judging and the district-wide reception to be held at 4pm the same day. Related to this event we were at our local Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce last night with Congressional Representative Dave Reichert with whom we not only talked about art but also shared some related experiences along the lines of foster parenting.

Well, this is certainly enough for now. Go forth and be creative and recall the words of Pablo Picasso who said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up



Friday, January 31, 2014

Powerful Isolation, Garifuna Woman, Joyful Art and Inflorescence



Well, art just keeps happening around here especially for Martha.

Since returning to town from our holiday adventures out of state and out of the country Martha has been busy as all get out with art projects, classes and planning meetings for even more such art related events.

Her newest art work includes some of the most powerful and dramatic paintings that I have seen from her for some time. One of these new works in particular just jumps right out at you and hits you with a real deep since of importance. It just screams out with a sense of awareness, thought and, I think, an emotion of ‘Isolation’, even before one truly grasps the subject. And, she has just finished a similarly powerful painting of a ‘Garifuna Woman’. Both of these works were inspired by our recent trip to Roatan, Honduras in Central America.

These works right along with and juxtaposed to some very pleasing and lighthearted horse paintings, a painting of girl with flowers and several paintings of nurturing mothers with children just goes to show the various styles and variety of emotional expression that Martha is capable of depicting in her art.

On the busy artist in the community front, she, just this week attended a planning meeting for the upcoming Art Lovers Sunday at the Pybus Public Market to be held on February 9th.  Martha will be one of the artists participating in the event as well.  She’ll have her newly created hand painted hand bags and a few small paintings for sale and will be offering a free self portrait / drawing class for kids while she is there.  

Also, this week she attended a planning meeting at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center for the new Youth Art Room which they hope to have up and running by this April.  And, if all of that were not enough, Martha was just appointed to be on the City Arts Commission for the City of Wenatchee which will mean monthly meetings and the opportunity to have a real voice in the planning of various art projects throughout the city.

I don’t know how she does it but this week she also taught an art class for a group of Brownies at the Sunnyslope Elementary School in Wenatchee and just last night held a small art class for kids here at the home studio. Whew! I’m tired just thinking about it.

This week too we picked up her art from Lemolo’s CafĂ© in Wenatchee and a nice check as well for one of her works (“Inflorescence”) that sold while we were out of town. This past week I too had to pick up artwork from a long standing show at the Confluence Technology Center as they will be doing some remodeling and painting around the area where my work was showing. Some of these pieces my end up going into my upcoming show at the Black Bird Bistro in Leavenworth. I was to be featured in February, but due to scheduling issues my show was postponed till March.

This coming month Martha will be teaching an art sculpture class, ‘Modeling the Human Form’ CED 585, at the Wenatchee Valley Community College on February 11th and 18th from 6 to 8pm each night and will be teaching a ‘Confidence in Art’ class at the Icicle Arts Gallery in Leavenworth on February 8th from 12-4pm.

Well, that’s probably enough for now. So; keep being creative in every way you can and remember the words of Henri Matisse who said, “A work of art must carry within itself its complete significance and impose that upon the beholder before he recognizes the subject matter.” Wow! Now that is something to ponder.