Monthly Archives: June 2009

Lakewood Center for the Arts Festival

WOW!  Sunday was the final day of the 3- day Lake Oswego Art Festival…I know what you’re thinking: three days?  Big whoop-de-doo…You, my friend, have NO idea…3 or 30 days – no difference in the amount of work involved except being compressed into a 24/7 cycle…this is an all-volunteer extravaganza…a year-long operation that includes  45+ steering committee members, 500 volunteers, and an army of artists begging to get in…and it was an amazing experience…the Lake Oswego Lakewood Center for the Arts is the most organized, committed, and wonderful group of people I have ever met (and I’ve been on a lot of boards and committees)…I am grateful and honored they invited me to join the steering committee as a co-chair of the Special Exhibit 2010.  I couldn’t be happier – I thrive in event management…that’s what I did in a previous life (for a real, regular paycheck), but now that I’m a full time artist, I devote my event skills to non-profit events (and no regular paychecks)…

Oh – did I mention I received a blue-ribbon award at the festival?  It was for my abstract landscape called “Dreaming of Montana”…growing up, I wanted to be a paleontologist, but things get in the way and I settled for an undergrad degree in history…but I never forgot the dream of digging up dinosaurs.  Fast forward to a workshop I took with Lynne Chinn last year and I met a woman from Montana who dug this incredible rock in her backyard, which she so generously sent to me via USPS (thank you, Bonnie).    The photo is a bit redder than the piece in person, but that’s my lousy picture taking…

Strout,L dreaming of montana

Fabric Through The Looking Glass

Finally – I’ve finished two new pieces in my “Fabric Through the Looking Glass” series (I create works in cement and glass of items that are usually fabric or textile).  Other pieces in the series are pillows, a coat rack, and a quilt.  The “magic carpet” is all glass – mostly tiny pieces less than 1/4 inch; the fringe is handmade ceramic.  The carpet can sit on a horizontal surface or hang on a wall…the jester’s cap is a mix of various types of glass and rock.  Both are made for interior or exterior (can’t you see these in a garden?).  I love doing this series and I love when people are surprised that the pieces aren’t actually fabric.  Let me know what you think. 

Many thanks to Loren Nelson, my fabulous photographer (who is an amazing fine art photographer as well).

Flying Carpet postcard

“Do You Believe In Magic?” (46x24x4)

Jesters Hat 2_ps

“Surely You Jest” (22x29x13)

The Examined Life

This is an all glass piece I did over the winter.  My studio isn’t heated so I spend a lot of time at the dining room table during the worst of the winter weather.  I hear some people actually eat on their dining room tables…what a concept.
This is called “Under The Microscope” because that’s how I was feeling – like everything in my life was being disected and examined by people who were just looking for cracks and faults and broken aspects of my personality (but that’s a story I’ll have to tell you over a glass of wine). If you look closely, you’ll see an iridescent swirl running from right to left…one thing I learned while making this is that iridescent frit (tiny glass bits) is iridescent one-side only…so I had to pick up each tiny bit, and examine it under a light to find the right side…ironic, no?

UnderTheMicroscope 15hx48w

The Make Over

I love doing installations.  The before and after photos are inspiring.  They’re kind of like the mugshots in fashion magazines of women wearing no makeup, who look like they haven’t slept in a week, not to mention ever brush their hair…a thick layer of professionally applied makeup, a gallon of hairspray and voila! the after shot is all glam…My before and afters don’t require me to put on makeup or hairspray…just a lot of planning, design work, and a backache or two…somehow I prefer it that way…

I’m not kidding – this is the same fireplace…


LStrout Fireplace1.jpg

A Work in Progress

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I ended up where I needed to be.”  One of my all time favorite quotes from one of my all time favorite authors – Douglas Adams…I have spent the past 20 years moving about on this moving planet looking for my proverbial “forever home”…not sure I’ve found it yet, but what a trip it’s been!  My art work is inspired by everything I’ve learned, seen, and heard.  Sometimes, when I start a piece, I don’t know where it’ll end up, but the process is addictive and energizing.  I can go to bed lost and unsure and I’ll wake up at 4AM with an “aha” moment, knowing where I need to head next (that is – if  I don’t fall back to sleep before I’ve have time to write it down)…I’m not sure that’s the “right” way to art, but it’s the only way I know…



This piece started on the drawing board as a snake, making an “s” curve…but as I continued, it wanted to be an inchworm, progressing through life – always moving forward, always with anticipation…each of those circles is a bit of glass approximately 1/4″ – I think there are about 5,000 of them…you can imagine, progress was slow, anticipation great…but forward I went…just as in life…

Day One

So, here it is – my first blog entry.  My intention is to use this site as a way to keep my information current…which is so not what I did on my website.  Ask anyone – I’d say “go to my website to get an idea of what it is I do, but my latest work isn’t on there yet…no, my class schedule or shows aren’t listed either.”   I’m not what you’d call a technical whiz…I’m what you might call mini-neo-Luddite.  But progress waits for no woman… 

To get the ball rolling, here are a couple of photos of my latest work, abstract landscapes.  Each has a story, which is another thing I can do here – give you the story behind my work.  Hey – this might even be fun.  Now you’ll have to excuse me because I need to go call my friends – they are not gonna believe this.



“The Walled City” – I have an undergraduate degree in history, which is where I learned medieval cities were walled…inside the wall, the city teemed with people and courtiers…on the outskirts were the people whose lives depended on the lord’s protection; but the people inside depended on those outsiders, too, for food and labor…beyond that were the fields and forests and there was always a river near the city for conveyance.  When I made this, I thought how that was how our lives were set up – inside our “wall” we hold our nearest and dearest and our hopes and dreams…outside are the things that let us keep going;  the river is a universal symbol of life’s journey.


“Metropolis” – inspired by Fritz Lang’s brilliant 1927 movie…it represents the corporate world’s attempt to infiltrate our lives and turn us into drones in soul-sucking jobs; giving us an existence by which they profit,  using our labor and using us to buy the products we labor to create…leaving us surrounded by a cold, meaningless world.   Happy, huh?