Voices from the Mill Pond Update

Cover Contest Winner: Kari Anne Budge
Cover Contest Winner Kari Anne Budge

Contents have been finalized!

After much deliberation, decisions have been made and notifications sent to all poets, storytellers, photographers, and artists whose work has been chosen for our Vernonia book, Voices from the Mill Pond.

Vernonia’s Voice and Hands on Art would like to express our deep-felt gratitude, once again, for the hundreds of submissions, and though we couldn’t include them all, we were able to fill the pages with the beautiful work from a broad range of Vernonia residents, past and present.

We are about to be officially published! In short order, Voices from the Mill Pond will be available via Amazon to readers around the world.

Cover Contest Winner and Finalists

We are also delighted to announce the Finalists and Winner of the Cover Contest.

Beginning in February, photographers heeded our call. Over a hundred fabulous images poured in, and when the submission period ended, it was time to choose a cover.

Important elements were the pond, of course, but also composition. Orientation and size mattered. Would the title and subtitle be clear against the image’s colors? Was the visual activity in the photo subdued enough to complement the text? And was it an absolutely gorgeous photo in its own right?

Cover mockups of the top three photos were produced and a winner selected.

We’re delighted to present the cover of Voices from the Mill Pond. Kari Anne Budge sent in the exquisite photo above that met every measure. It was the perfect choice for the book.

We would also like to acknowledge two photographers whose submissions came in a close second. Thank you to Cassandra Armstrong and Debby White for these stunning images.

Let’s Celebrate

Our 190-page paperback book of photos, writings, and artwork from Vernonia residents will be available on Amazon as well as locally. Books available locally will be sold at a discount, starting on December 5th. Right on time for the holidays.

There is a celebration scheduled at the Vernonia Library on Thursday, December 5th, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.

This event is open to the entire community. Stop by to meet the authors, photographers, and artists, to celebrate the completion of this creative project, and to pick up a copy or two of Voices from the Mill Pond.

Acrylic Paintings by Randal Harvey

Red Dog 003Vernonia artist Randal Harvey worked a number of jobs over her lifetime. It wasn’t until her husband and she moved to the East Bay from San Francisco to help take care of aging parents that she had the time to get back to what she have always loved – Art.

“I have always loved arts and crafts.  I love color and the interplay of colors. I was first drawn to stained glass because of the vivid colors. After a few years I decided to begin painting; it seemed a natural progression.”

She started with watercolors under a delightful teacher, Pat Strout. She also took classes in California Impressionist Painting with George Holmes and completed a short stint with Mark Jezierny, who showed her the effects of Light and Shadow, and Perspective and Grids. Then she met two incredible artists (and teachers) to whom she says she owes so much: Gary Bergren and Margaret Bromstrom.

“Gary hammered into my head the elements that make a good painting:  The A, B, C’s and all the rules and reg’s of how to paint.  His portrait class, ‘Creating an Illusion,’ changed how I paint.  He taught me how to listen to a critique without my ego getting in the way.  He said to me once that you have to know the rules before you can break them successfully.  He was right of course.  He was and still is a wonderful and giving teacher, and just a plain fantastic person.

Red Dog 002“Margaret Bromstrom taught me to be free and brave with my painting, and offered the gift of time to do so.  I spent over two years with Margaret and a little over one year with Gary.”

Randal started with watercolor, still likes the medium and does it occasionally.  She tried oil, but discovered she was allergic to it!  So, she now paints in acrylic.  “With all the moisture in the air, the Pacific Northwest is a great place to paint with acrylic. I can keep my sponge palette workable for up to a month and, on occasion, longer.  Really!”

She describes her style, if forced to put a name to it, as somewhere between Realism and Surrealism.  “I’ve tried impressionism, but my style and colors seem to end up more realistic and dark.  I’m still evolving. Who knows what the future holds.”

Red Dog 001Her work covers a range of subjects including animal portraits and a “Vernonia Series.” The series includes: “Dogwood Blossoms on Texas Avenue, Vernonia, Oregon,” “Treasures from Julie’s Garden: ‘Beets and Squash’, Vernonia, Oregon” and “Christmas Pomegranate from Sentry Market, Vernonia, Oregon”.  She currently has nine in the series, with more in planning stages.  How many will be in the “Vernonia Series? She has no idea.

Randal loves and is influenced by many artists: “Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Vermeer–I love the darkness vs. light of their portraits. John Singer Sargent, whose brush work just blows me away – so loose up close, but stand back and it’s magic how he makes it come together.  Salvador Dali because his body of work just sings. Anything from the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Dante Rossetti being one of my favs, and John William Waterhouse, who some say isn’t a Pre-Raphaelite, but I say he is, so there.  And I can’t leave out Henri Rousseau, another of my favorites.”

Before closing this, Randal added, “I love seeing the work of the young artists in town and want to see more, please.”