A couple of weeks ago, I set off for Vancouver to visit friends and family en route to San Francisco. Jan Eliot, who does a syndicated strip called "Stone Soup", had agreed to share the stage with me at the Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa and we were looking forward to doing a "two woman show".
I arrived in Vancouver on a rainy afternoon, took a cab to the Sea Bus and signed in at the Lonsdale Quay Hotel, my favorite home away from home. I am lucky to still be in touch with a group of ladies with whom I went to elementary school. We took a private room in a nearby restaurant - which we needed in order to contain the gossip, tall tales and laughter. Even though we are all in our 60s,we have known each other so long that our looks have not really changed. In our perception, we are still the kids from Ridgeway Elementary.
I had time to take a floatplane to Salt Spring Island to visit Bob and Birgit Bateman, friends with whom I have exchanged calendars, drawings and Christmas cards for years. Robert Bateman is a renowned Canadian wildlife painter and naturalist. His books are filled with beautiful images which take you from Africa to the Amazon to the glaciers of Nunavut. It was a privilege to see him again and to talk about art, artists and what we would do if we ran the world! His wife, Birgit, is an award-winning photographer and together they are an accomplished, entertaining and enthusiastic team. I am fortunate to know them.
In his studio, Bob showed me paintings he was preparing for clients, pieces he had done for donation and a couple that he said were too bad to finish. It's hard to imagine anything done by Robert Bateman being a dud! A teacher to the core, he hangs on to everything and uses the work he's not fond of for demonstration. I learned that he often paints first in acrylic, then finishes the piece in oils. He showed me the way he uses photographs and how a mirror image can reflect errors in your painting that you might otherwise have missed. I learned a lot in just a few hours and was sorry I didn't have more time.
After a good visit, my son Aaron drove me to the airport and I was off to San Francisco. Folks from the Schulz Museum drove Jan Eliot, her husband Ted Lay and I to Santa Rosa where Jeannie Schulz made us comfortable in her guest house. We had time for a trip to Bodega Bay before we delivered our first "joint presentation" which was repeated for a different crowd the next day. It was a hoot and I think we will be able to show you a video of the second event when a DVD of same is available to us.
(The picture above is of me with, L-R, John McMeel, Jan Eliot, and Lee Salem.)
Now I'm back home, working to deadline. I'm not drawing as much, but with the time it takes to write notes for the website, the treasury books and the occasional freelance job, I'm once again fully employed! I did have time to hike up Duchesnay Falls with a friend last weekend. The ice is just melting and the water is flowing fast. It's good to hear spring birdcalls and see the daffodils starting to break through the soil. This is my favorite time of year... next to summer and fall. Winter? Well... it's great when it's over!
Cheers for now, and all the best.
- Here's Jan's take on her meeting with Lynn. (Originally, I had made the mistake of assuming that Lynn's readership knew who she was. Also, Jan's grammar, usage and punctuation are superior to Lynn's.)
- She seems to have sort of patched things up with Aaron; they ain't joined at the hip like she thinks they are but he will do stuff for her.