5 Reasons Why Vincent Van Gogh Thinks You Should Catch Paint En Plein Air in Lake Oswego This Week

Plein Air Lake Osweo_May 29 - June 4In a letter to his brother in August of 1881, Vincent Van Gogh wrote, “If you’re in a position to see someone painting or drawing, pay attention, because I believe that many an art dealer would think differently about many paintings if he rightly knew how they were made.”

During the second-annual Plein Air: Lake Oswego event, the public will get a chance to do what Van Gogh advised—watch over 50 artists capture landscapes in outdoor settings in Lake Oswego.

Here are four more reasons why Van Gogh thinks you should attend.

1. Weather forecast. It’s an extended forecast at this point, but looks like we’ll have a wonderful mix of gray and sunny skies, dry and wet weather and temps ranging from 65 to 84. That mix of natural light should give the artists lots to work with and the public lots to look for.

2. The event is free. Although Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet sold for $82.5 million in 1990, he could have been a poster child for the starving artist during his lifetime. So FREE would have fit right into Van Gogh’s budget.

Plein Air

Plein Air

3. Van Gogh loved plein air painting and in fact braved the cold to paint the snow blanketed landscape that greeted him on his arrival in Arles Frances in 1888. Plein air painters at the Lake Oswego event share Van Gogh’s appreciation for the outdoor setting. Michael Orwick, a participant of this year’s show explains his proclivity toward plein air painting:
“The reason I paint plein air is [because] Oregon is amazing and beautiful. It allows me to get out of the studio and be a part of it. I really get to know the scene intimately and focus on the details. It’s the spontaneity and reaction of the artists to the scene in front of them; to paint quickly to capture the light of the scene.”

4. It’s a great excuse to get out and about in Lake Oswego. Although Van Gogh’s health often failed him, if he was up to it, he’d find all kinds of inspiration in Lake Oswego settings like: Luscher Farm, George Rogers Park, Foothills Park, Lakeview Village and Millennium Plaza.

The six-day paint out, sponsored by Devine Color and Rodda Paint Company, will culminate in a First Friday artist reception and exhibit opening at the Arts Council’s 510 Museum & ARTspace, 510 1st Street, Lake Oswego, on Friday, June 5th from 5-7 p.m. On June 26th through 28th, selected works that have been juried from the six-day “paint out” will be on exhibit and for sale as part of the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts.

For more information contact Nancy Nye, 503.675.3738.

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Whatever Your Kid Enjoys, Lake Oswego Has a Summer Camp for That

summercampguide2015cover_webSometimes when I see how much Lake Oswego has to offer, I have to remind myself that Lake Oswego is a town of only 37,000 residents. Looking at the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Summer Camp Guide is one of those times.

Mind you, it’s a 12 page booklet, with 10 of those pages dedicated to camp descriptions for every age group from three year olds to seventeen year olds. And even though these programs don’t start for another month, some of them, like Lake Oswego Safety Town for preschoolers, are already full.

In addition, the Lake Oswego Rotary is sponsoring the first-in-the-country Peace Village week-long camp June 22-26 to teach students, ages 8-13, how to respect differences and resolve conflicts peacefully through a variety of classes and activities.

And the Lakewood Center for the Arts has an impressive lineup of classes to get everyone’s creative juices flowing from four year olds to adults!

If you haven’t had a chance to check these offerings out, let me give you a few of the highlights so you too can be impressed with what a town our size can offer.

peace-village2-e1427227051169PEACE VILLAGE for ages 8 to 13 is aimed at equipping 60 students with the skills to resolve differences peacefully. Activities are centered around these four themes: Conflict Resolution, Being Smart with Social Media, Cultivating Inner Peace, and Connecting with Nature. June 22-26 at Lakeridge Junior High School. $175 fee but scholarships are available. Check out the daily schedule and registration form which is due May 25.

LAKEWOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS will keep your resident thespians inspired with programs like the six one week Kids Create-Summer Stars sessions for ages 4 through 7 beginning July 6 and running through August 14. New this summer is a Pre-Professional Musical Theatre Training Showcase for ages 14 through 19 that runs July 13-24. Auditions are required. And adults–there is something for you too in the Professional Actors Class from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. July 8-August 26. Check the full schedule.

PRESCHOOL CAMPS for ages 4 to 6 begin June 29 and run from 9:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through August 21 with songs, games, stories, crafts and activities centered around themes like “Treasure Hunters” and “All About Art.”

ART CAMPS for ages 5 to 15 include a focus on Pop Art (for ages 10-15 the week of August 3) and Knitting (for ages 8 and up the week of August 10).

DANCE AND MUSIC CAMPS for 5 to 15 year olds promise to get the good vibrations going with offerings that feature Recording and Music Technology, Drumming Madness and Girls Rock.

MAD SCIENCE for kids 5 to 12 should appeal to the “how do things work” thinker in the family who’d like to build robots in Radical Robotics or turn ordinary LEGO vehicles into machines that move in Bashem Bots.

TECH CAMPS for ages 10 to 17 feature three new themes: Web Design, Video Game Design, and Animation Studio.

OUTDOOR CAMPS for 8 to 17 year olds offer a new twist to taking a hike with Advanced Survivor Camp for both ages 8 to 12 the week of July 13 and ages 10 to 14 the week of August 17; Stealth, Archery, Wilderness Survival for ages 7 to 11 on July 20-24; and a morning and afternoon session of Paintball Adventure for ages 12 to 17 the week of August 3.

LUSHER FARM for kids 4 to 12 has returning favorites like Food Around the World for ages 5 to 12 the weeks of June 15 and July 27 as well as a new offering—Pioneer Camp for ages 7 to 12 the week of July 20.

LAKE OSWEGO EXPLORERS for 7 to 12 year olds feature weekly themed camps that include two field trips and activities. Before and after care are available as well. Themes include Hogwartz Hallows and Excalibur’s Quest.

TEEN SERVICE CORPS provides volunteer opportunities for teenagers 13 to 17 years old. The three day commitment includes two days of service and one day of adventure. Teens can help out at Ronald McDonald House and then go rock climbing at French’s Dome in July or clean up Canal Acres Park in Lake Oswego and finish up with white water rafting on the North Santiam River.

SPORTS CAMPS for ages 6 to 15 include the new Summer Junior Golf four day camp for ages 6 to 13 that includes set-up, swing, etiquette, and an intro to foot golf. Popular offerings like Skateboarding for all levels return as well.

SKYHAWKS SPORTS CAMPS for ages 3 to 12 cover all the basics including soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, flag football and boys lacrosse. Register online through Skyhawks.

Lake Oswego has a lot to offer in the housing market too. Let me show you around. Just give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check out my website.

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Why TripAdvisors Say the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market Is Not To Be Missed!

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThe Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market opens its 15th season this Saturday, May 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Millennium Plaza Park at First and Evergreen. I’ve sung its praises before so this time around I decided to let TripAdvisor reviewers explain why the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market is ranked the #1 Thing to Do in Lake Oswego.

blockquotes-1“Best Farmers’ Market in the state” by Honest Sue. She mentions the variety of offerings and rotating vendors selling everything from jewelry to clothing.

blockquotes-1“Come for brunch—stay for the music and farmers’ and artisan products.” – Monk Travellers. This woman’s family hits the market every Saturday with a first stop in the back corner for brunch, including a Mexican dish her husband looks forward to all week.

blockquotes-1“Can’t beat the ambiance of the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market” – sdorn2013. This fan describes the ambiance as “happiness plus the expectation of touching, looking and buying.”

blockquotes-1The best farmers’ market—bar none” – Karen H. She backs up her claim by pointing out the quality meats, fruits, vegetables and flowers, live music, perfect ambiance and nearby restaurants with outdoor seating overlooking the lake.

blockquotes-1“Little bit of everything” – tipsfortrip. That includes lake views and a size that is big enough to offer a good variety but small enough to be manageable.

blockquotes-1“Perfect Saturday Morning” – booked2go. This TripAdvisor likes the size, the prepared food vendors, entertainment and local shopping nearby.

blockquotes-1“Small town with a big market” – Monk Travellers. This reviewer goes on to call the Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market her “hands down favorite U.S. market.” Has something to do with the views of both the lake and Mt. Hood, variety of prepared foods-including gluten free—and breakfast possibilities.

This summer there is more to love. New vendors include Field & Forage (mushrooms and micro greens), Napoli, that’s Amore! (Italian cuisine), Donut Days, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Kimo’s Dips (dried spices), Old Oregon Brand (free range chickens), and Ole World Oils (camelina oil).

The market is also introducing a new program for youngsters called Farm Fresh Kids. Youth ages 4-12 years are invited to visit the Market Information booth (near the Fortuna Fountain) and answer the healthy kids’ question of the day. Participants will then receive $2 in Market tokens to purchase fresh fruits or vegetables from Market vendors. What a great way to turn your kids into nutritious food shoppers!

One thing will be missing this year—the volunteer run doggie day care program. Because of increased popularity, limited staffing and the City’s liability, the program had to be discontinued, so please leave your pets at home.

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5 Things the Lake Run Shares with Most Popular 10K’s in the U.S.

LakeRunCIRCLE300DRAFT3Competitor.com recently posted their bucket-list of 10K’s in the United States. While the Lake Oswego Lake Run wasn’t included, it does have a lot in common with these popular contenders.

1. Tradition. The Statesman Capitol, Texas’ largest 10K is in its 37th year, while the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta has been sending runners across the finish line since 1970. The Lake Run is in its 39th year so it too has a long-standing tradition to its name, along with the best of them.

2. Unmatched scenery. The Healthy Kidney Race loops through Central Park and the Dana Point Turkey Trot provides views of the Pacific Ocean. The Lake Run features lake views along the way from the beginning as you cross in front of the marina to glances midway along South Shore and the expansive shot on Lakeview Boulevard as you pass the Lake Grove Swim Park.

3. Elite field. With prize money of $10,000, the Cooper River Bridge Run in North Carolina is sure to draw an elite field but the Lake Run manages to draw the local elite with runners like Scott Pinske (listed in the top 3.2% of 10K Athlinks runners) finishing first last year with a time of 33.53.

4. A little bit of masochism thrown in. BolderBoulder finishers can claim “Sea level is for sissies” after conquering the 5,391 foot peak elevation in the Memorial Day 10K (mind you, they start at 5,275 feet). Anyone who has ever participated in the Lake Run will assure you that finishers here earn bragging rights too after surviving the McVey Hill climb that keeps on going until the course peaks along South Shore at 455 feet (that’s from a start at 150 feet).

5. Entertainment. You won’t find live bands every quarter mile like at Runner’s World’s “All-Time Best 10K—BolderBoulder” but you will find a Family Fun Festival that runs from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. complete with a giant slide, face-painting and crafts for the kids and food and beverages for all.

Lake Run is scheduled for Saturday, May 9. Complete details and registration information online.

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Triple Your Enjoyment of Lake Oswego’s Village Flower Baskets

flower basket 2For six months out of every year, the Lake Oswego Village flower baskets grace our streets and give us one more reason to love Lake Oswego.

So how can you take something that’s great and make it even better? Here are three ideas.

1. Donate to the Lake Oswego Village Basket Foundation through the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce. These flower baskets are blooming examples of civic pride at work as they are funded by donations that cover the costs of hardware, planting and maintenance. Giving is one of the ten keys to happy living so increase your enjoyment of the flower baskets by knowing you helped make them possible! Call the Chamber of Commerce at 503.636.3634.

2. Learn how to make one of your own. The Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department is offering two Do-It-Yourself workshops on May 2 ($35 at Luscher Farm) and May 16 ($33 at the Adult Community Center). Lake Oswego residents will get all the equipment, planting materials and instruction they need to recreate these celebrated color-popping baskets. Register online. (Fees for non-residents are $53 and $50).

3. Practice your photography skills once the baskets are in full bloom and enter the Lake Oswego Photo Contest. Depending on how you incorporate one of the baskets in your photo, it would be a great contender in the Places in Lake Oswego division. Haven’t seen a basket show up in any of the winning entries in the past six years so this could be your year!

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5 Questions Raised by Paris Fashion Week and Answered by Runway on the Lake

Jennifer Grant models a dress from Mela and hat and accessories from Lucky Me Boutique at last  year's Runway on the Lake.

Jennifer Grant models a dress from Mela Shoes and Apparel and hat and accessories from Lucky Me Boutique at last year’s Runway on the Lake.

Spring Paris Fashion Week has come and gone but left a few questions on its runways long after the crowds left town. Fortunately Lake Oswego’s Runway on the Lake is coming up April 26 and has the answers raised by its European counterpart.

1. Is high fashion dead? With the likes of Kris Jenner wearing see-through pants and her daughter Kim strutting around in styles that might be called crass by those of us with a modicum of taste, syle mavens at the industry’s main event were lamenting that perhaps high fashion is a thing of the past. All they need is a breath of fresh air in the form of Lake Oswego’s Runway on the Lake where real people wear clothes we can actually picture ourselves wearing. Featured retailers this year include: Anna’s Bridal Boutique, Accessories from the Heart, Chico’s, Consigning Women, E.G. Page, Francesca’s, Glass Butterfly, Grapevine, Lake Oswego Golf Course, Lucky Me Boutique, Mela Shoes and Apparel, New to You: Simply Posh, Patrick James and the Clothes Closet.

2. What’s more important—the clothes on the runway or the celebrities in attendance? With Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller strutting on the catwalk to promote Zoolander 2, fashionistas had to wonder—what’s the point here? The point is the fashion which is why this year’s Runway on the Lake will feature volunteers, not celebrities. The focus will be on the clothes…not the personalities wearing them.

3. Are we looking at fashion for now or fashion for the future? Depends on who you ask. Iris Van Herpen’s fall collection featured wearable technology including 3-D printed shoes, stainless steel woven fabric and models that looked more like extraterrestrials than women. Much of what hit the Paris runways had the wow! factor but most of us would need a few years to warm up to the thought of even attempting to wear it. The clothes you’ll see at the Runway on the Lake will be the stuff you can hang in your closet today and wear tomorrow.

4. Is fashion just the clothes we wear? All eyes in Paris were on what we put on our bodies—the metallic jeans, faux fur, graphic stripes, herringbone skirts. But is that all fashion is? Runway on the Lake suggests not and this year will be offering beauty experiences with Lacome, Prada and Shiseido onsite sampling their products. Artisan vendors like Piper Louie Home Boutique, Sophisticated Beads, Selicias (jewelry), and Wish Bone Home Design will also be on hand to round out the offerings and extend your fashion sense into your surroundings.

5. Would you rather pay money to see fashion or to wear it? Runway on the Lake organizers assume you like to do both.

Runway on the Lake is Sunday, April 26 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the West End Building, 4101 Kruse Way. Tickets are $26/Residents; $39/Non-Residents. Register for course #11281 by calling 503.675.2549 or online.

Don’t Miss Lakeridge Company’s Variety Show This Week: Take It From the Top

Lakeridge High School’s show choir, Company, is staging its annual Variety Show this week with a theme, Take It  From the Top. Read previous blog posts to get an idea as to why you don’t want to miss this performance. Shows are Wednesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 25 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $5-$12 and are available online or at the door. Lakeridge High School Auditorium, 1235 Overlook.


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10 Ways to Discover Unlimited Possibilities at the Lake Oswego Library During National Library Week

National Library WeekThe theme of this week’s National Library Week is “Unlimited possibilities @ your library®.” Organizers must have had the Lake Oswego Public Library in mind because week in and week out, it offers a wide variety of services and programming that you just might find surprising.

Consider these unlimited possibilities:

1. Check out a Kindle for your two week vacation. The library has 13 Kindle eReaders loaded with popular titles and ready to go with you on your next trip so you don’t have to lug all that beach reading in your carry-on. Check-out time is two weeks.

2. Get something you’ve created printed in 3D. Attend a 3D printing demonstration held most first and third Fridays of every month from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Get inspired to print something of your own and then make an appointment with reference librarian Todd Feinman at 503.675.2535. Cost is based on weight relative to ABS plastic spool and may be as little as $1.

3. Learn how to use Photoshop or study The Ethics of Eating all for free with online courses. Take advantage of free access to a wealth of online courses offered from a variety of sources including OpenYaleCourses, MIT OpenCourseWare, and Gale Courses. My wife found several that she paid to take through Portland Community College. Free is a much better deal.

4. Get 10 personalized book recommendations. Fill out an online form highlighting your reading preferences with questions like: “Name up to three books you enjoyed reading,” and a checklist to identify themes that interest you. Within ten days a librarian will deliver a handpicked selection of 10 titles you should enjoy.

5. Learn how to speak another language. Pronunciator is an interactive language learning service with 80 to choose from. Sign in and choose which lesson modality you want to follow: Main Course, Grammar, Early Learners, Travel Preparation, or various levels of Beginners through Advanced. Lo entiendes?

6. Save money at local cultural attractions. Reserve a Cultural pass and receive discounts and/or free admission at popular Portland area sites including the Portland Art Museum, Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland Japanese Garden, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, Pittock Mansion and the Evergreen Aviation Museum. 503.636.7628.

7. Load up your eReader for free. Check out the library’s collection of e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines. If you need help getting set up, a reference librarian can help. 503.675.2540.

8. Create your family tree. In addition to online resources such as HeritageQuest, Ancestry Library and Fold3 History and Genealogy Archives, like-minded family researchers meet up the second Wednesday of most months from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. to share and learn from each other.

9. Research your next purchase. You can access Consumer Reports online by entering through the library’s website Online Resources tab.

10. And…learn how to write a resume, look for jobs, help your teen through the college application process, learn how to knit, listen to live music, hear authors speak…and did I mention, you can also check out books!

Be sure not to miss future updates to “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego.” Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column and you’ll be notified when a new post is up.

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