Willapa Bay AiR wrap up

My time here at Willapa Bay AiR is winding down and I find myself with a mix of emotions.  This has been such a great experience for so many reasons.  One of the best things about this month has been getting to know the other residents. I believe some real friendships have been formed, and I am going to miss these people!  Late last week the goodbyes began.  Our poet in residence, Jim Bertolino, had to depart for a trip to Italy, (sigh).  Not only are those of us who remain very jealous we are also missing the nightly recitation of the poems Jim completed on any given day.  And last night we said goodbye to our chef and all around renaissance woman Jill Trenholm, (in addition to excellent culinary skills Jill is a singer/songwriter and artist.  How can one person possess so much talent?).  Conscientious person that she is, Jill left our refrigerator well stocked with healthy meals and scrumtrilenscent treats. 

 The Fortuitous Five, left to right: James Hurley, Christy George, Me, Jim Bertolino, David Nechak
Jill Trenholm and James Hurley performing at the Willapa Bay AiR open house.

A number of visitors stopped in last week as well.  My friends Pam and Sheryl, and Sheryl's dog Sully, paid me a visit on a very rainy day.  In spite of the inclement weather we were able to take a walk by the bay and along the ocean shore.  Pam and Sheryl also enjoyed some famous Oysterville oysters.
 Sully and Sheryl and moi standing by one of many lichen covered Oysterville fences.

 Pam and me on the porch of my cute cabin.

On Saturday Willapa Bay AiR hosted an open house.  The community was invited to roam the grounds, see what the artists have been up to and ask questions.  There were also readings and musical performances by residents and staff, (see photo above).  It was quite fun to meet the locals and see their enthusiasm for this new venture.

In the studio my self directed mokuhanga refresher course continued.  While I did carve blocks for another practice print, most of my attention was directed toward actual printing, (which has been the more challenging aspect for me).   I think I finally hit on the correct approach for dampening paper, (hallelujah!) and was able to reprint the Sitka print with a much better outcome.  In addition I spent some time printing the aforementioned practice print blocks. 
 A comparison of my second and third attempt at printing the Sitka.  Much better, no?

 The result of practice print #3, although...

I prefer the luminosity of the color before printing the key block.  
When I return home I'll be addressing this conundrum.  

Over the next few days I will be tending to the administrative duties associated with my 'job' as a Willapa Bay AiR beta tester.  The five of us were asked to write down each and every complaint and idea we have that might make this a better experience for when the program begins in 2014.  We all agree that it will be a short list.  From the philosophy and mission; to the facilities; to the administration; to the meals;  all has been well thought out. When I add in the lovely locale and the interesting and supportive Oysterville community I don't know how it can get any better.   I began this post by saying I have mixed emotions.   I know that nothing lasts forever and all good things must come to end, (blah, blah, blah).  And I DO look forward to being 'home,' and sleeping in my own bed with my cats curled at my feet, but I will be truly sad to leave this place.  My best and fondest wishes for success go to Cyndy Hayward and Nina Macheel, founder and executive director of WPA, although I believe their success is assured.  And I applaud the lucky 2014 residents, (whoever they may be!) and hope their experience will be as good as mine! 


  1. Great to read your post about Oysterville Betsy! Such a special place, and I love seeing the different phases of the faces you print :-)

  2. How happy experiences Betsy.....Nice to hear this...just reminder, don't forget to send the prints for