L is for landscape

I am blogging A to Z about artists, particularly women artists and mostly about my mother, Helen Burling Ottaway.

L for Landscape. This watercolor is of Coolfont, West Virginia, a view from the deck of my grandmother’s house.

My grandparents lived in Trumensburg, New York. My grandfather, F. Temple Burling, died when I was 13. He was 79. My grandmother lived in the enormous house for a while, but eventually sold it. She moved to West Virgina, a couple of hours from my parents. Later she bought a second house two doors down. Her sister and sister’s husband, Estie and Russ Parr, moved in and they all lived on the same block as my parents until their deaths.

I love this landscape, both because it is so gorgeous and because of the memories of all of the family.

ATOZBLOGGINGCHALLENGE2022 #art #Women artists #Helen Burling Ottaway #ATOZCHALLENGE #APRILATOZ

For more information about the #AtoZChallenge, check out this link.

H is for Helen and Hurricane Ridge

I am blogging A to Z about artists, particularly women artists and mostly about my mother, Helen Burling Ottaway.

H is for Helen and Hurricane Ridge. Here is one of her water colors.

My mother loved water colors. I think she loved them best of all the art techniques she did. Etchings and water colors were the two most important.

She wanted to move to the Pacific Northwest for years, but she and my father were worried about moving my grandmother, Katherine White Burling. Katy B. died while I was in residency at OHSU in Family Practice, in 1994. My parents then spent at least a year dealing with the will and two houses and stuff and also looking for the right place. They drove all over the northwest. My mother liked the rain and gardening and art. My father wanted sailboats and singing and music. At last they called me and my sister: Chimacum, Washington. “We found a house in Chimacum.”

My sister Chris and I both replied, “WHERE?”

We said to each other that we were mildly horrified that they were selling “our” house in Alexandria, Virginia, though we really had only lived there from when I was 14 and she was 11. My sister had worked for the US Forest Service and lived in Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula, so she knew the area much better than I did. I finished residency in Portland in 1996 and moved to Colorado. Shortly after that my parents moved to Chimacum, Washington.

My mother lived four years after they moved. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1997 and died on May 15, 2000. This is one of her northwest watercolors. I am glad that she had time to do some, though I wish that she had more time.

Here is the Hurricane Ridge park information: https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/visiting-hurricane-ridge.htm. Be careful, though, because the park is big and wild and it can be dangerously wet and cold. People are more likely to die of exposure if they get lost than from a cougar or bear. Take some emergency gear if you hike, because the park is very big and wild. My sister wrote about duncehead expeditions, where people camp with inadequate gear. She mostly worked trail crew for the US Forest Service, but they did search and rescue as well. My sister died of cancer as well. Her blog is here: http://e2grundoon.blogspot.com/ .

ATOZBLOGGINGCHALLENGE2022 #art #Women artists #Helen Burling Ottaway #ATOZCHALLENGE

Maybe

Maybe
You could be a cat
Independent
A bit snotty
Refusing to share your thoughts
Keeping your secrets
Enjoying refusing to answer questions
Macavity the mystery cat
when something happens
He’s never there

You could be an elk
Guarding the herd
While the elder ladies
Lead it through the woods
At certain times of year
You bugle
And want them
And they/we/I mew
And you find me
And we both enjoy it
Very much

I am a cat too
independent
I will travel alone
If you won’t travel with me
I will find other music
If you won’t play with me
I enjoy it when you come round
Very much
I keep my claws sharp
Just in case I need them
If I long for cuddles and purring
That is my problem

I am a lady elk
Confident in the woods
I let you do the guarding and bugling
While I lead the herd
Up and over the ridges
The spine of the mountain
The spines of the dragons
Elwha and Sol Duc
I know them well
I hear you bugle
And think about whether this time
I will mew
Or not
I have found new forage
And the loggers are changing the forest
You bugle anyhow
Even if I am distracted
I like to work
But I like to mew too

Maybe we will come together
Now and then
Cats
or elks
or humans
Maybe.

___________________________________________________________________

My father read me T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats when I was little. He loved Macavity the mystery cat, called the Hidden Paw. And my goodness, the cat outfits in this show are quite something!