Friday, February 28, 2014

Losing a Friend

February 28, 2014: My friend Cindy Myers died early this morning after battling cancer for the last year. I am glad her fight is over and I’d like to think that she is sitting in the sunshine someplace with a snifter of brandy and a smoke of some kind in her other hand. One of my favorite places to spend time was in her backyard garden on a warm afternoon talking, solving problems, laughing, gossiping and enjoying the sunshine, the birds, flowers and each other’s company.  She had a face that told you there is a big heart behind it. I will miss so many things about Cindy, her mass of curly red hair and her freckled wrinkly smiling face and her great sense of humor and her wisdom. Her face just crinkled up like a paper bag when she laughed. She had the uncommon, common sense; she really cut through to the heart of the matter, as fast than anyone I knew. She was an extremely talented artist. She is known for her blown glass, but she produced wonderful works of art in ceramics, printmaking, painting, fiber arts, especially weaving.  She taught ceramics and glass blowing at Yavapai College for many years and these last years she worked at Tis gallery on Cortez Street.  I met Cindy when we were starting up Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery 21 years ago.  She, as much as any of the early members, was responsible for getting us up and running. Cindy, Janet Childress and I spent a lot of time together getting the “Coop” off the ground and in the ensuing years helping keep it up and running. We were like “war buddies”. Cindy was one of the hardest working people I have ever met.

She will be missed by many, especially her husband Michael, her son Bryan, a large family and her many friends.  She never did anything half-heartedly; she was always  “all in”.  And that’s why she was such a great friend, wife and mother.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My friend Cindy Myers and Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery

Cindy Myers

My dear friend Cindy was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer in early January. She will begin chemotherapy this week. She has been told she will have up to 2 years with this treatment. This devastates the art community in Prescott and her friends.  Cindy is a cornerstone of this town. She and her husband, sculptor Michael Myers have been in the heart of Prescott’s art world since they arrived many years ago. I met Cindy 19 year ago when a group of us started the art coop.  We spent a lot of time together getting the “Coop” off the ground and in the ensuing years helping keep it up and running. No one worked harder than Cindy or did more.  I wrote the following when she left the gallery and stopped blowing glass.  She found that blowing glass took a great physical toll on her body and she moved on to work at Tis gallery.  She still continued to work hard; I don’t think she has another speed, but full tilt!  

Cindy and I became best friends as the years passed, kind of like “war-buddies”! One of my favorite places to spend time was in her backyard garden on a warm afternoon talking, solving problems, laughing, gossiping and enjoying the sunshine, the birds, flowers and each other’s company.  

I have always loved Cindy’s freckled, wrinkly face and have said many times that next lifetime I want Cindy’s red curly hair! She has a face that tells you there is a big heart behind it.

I wrote the following when she retired from the gallery and it tells you a lot about how Cindy operates in life and why she means so much to me and everyone else.

A little about Cindy Myer's tenure in Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery:

Cindy is probably more responsible than any of the founding members for getting the group together that started the Co-op.  She was the glue and driving force that keep the idea of the Co-op from just fading away into a pipe dream.
It took me a while to “get” Cindy, because she is not like other people.  Cindy always thought of the great good of the gallery, she never had a personal agenda and she always strove to do the right thing.   She is different from most of us!
Cindy came up with the name "Arts Prescott Gallery" and settled one of our first arguments and then she helped design, build and hang our first sign for the front of both buildings.
She personally found and brought in more new members than anyone else in gallery history.  
Cindy produced beautiful hand-blown glass and woven rugs/tapestries. As an aside, Cindy probably has the best handwriting of anyone in the past, present and future of Arts Prescott. Our daily sales logs were a lot more illegible after she left the gallery. 
She was vice president at least 4 times; she was chair of the Display-Maintenance and Screening/Quality Control committees and a board member too many times to count.
Cindy was been the "go to" person for just about every question anyone has in the gallery.  If you can't find something, don't know how to do something, can't remember something, your first call was to Cindy.
There was almost never a gallery emergency that Cindy wasn’t called and that she didn’t come down to help fix it. She directed the purchase of almost every vacuum cleaner we have owned!
If something needed to get done Cindy was there.  She quietly and without fanfare just shown up and gotten things done. We all started to see all the things she quietly did for us, because they stopped getting done anymore.  She was our “Mom”!
She was one of the pillars of this gallery. Her uncommon common sense kept us afloat through some very stormy seas.  When that curly red mane came through the door, you knew all would be well.
Most of all Cindy is an extraordinary friend and I am lucky enough to have her as my friend. 

Linne Thomas
January 2013

Friday, September 14, 2012

Linne Thomas Art: Monsoon Season

Linne Thomas Art: Monsoon Season: Monsoon Season -              We have been having a spectacular “monsoon” season this summer.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Monsoon Season

Monsoon Season - 
We have been having a spectacular “monsoon” season this summer.  We always want rain in Arizona and no matter how much we get, we always want more and we can always use more.  The old saying in the Southwest is “Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting.”  I was working in the gallery (Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery in Prescott, AZ) one morning when we got a big downpour, a gulley washer.  Our upstairs neighbor ducked inside to get out of the rain and shouted out, “Glorious weather!” Only in Arizona would you hear that joyful pronouncement in response to a cloud-bursting, street flooding thunderstorm. 

Along with the rain, we also have great cloud shows and this year they have been particularly spectacular all times of day.  The sunrises produce golden morning light; we get big beautiful white cotton-candy clouds in the daytime and coral-colored, dazzling sunsets. I have taken to pulling over to the side of roads and snapping photos.  I routinely carry a camera with me when I take the dogs on their morning walks.  It’s wonderful to watch the clouds swelling up and take over the sky. They tower above the thirsty landscape like skyscrapers, which I guess they are.  I have always thought that watercolor is the best medium to use to capture the fabulous clouds we have out here in the Southwest.  It captures the wonderful colors and softness of the shapes.  This summer of 2012-cloud show continues to amaze and delight everyday.  I have done many paintings of our monsoon clouds over the years in watercolor, oil paint and pastels and love the challenge as well as being surrounded by these great seasonal Vaporous Beings.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Lazy Days on Lake Michigan - August 2012

Lazy Days on Lake Michigan - August 2012

Memories of Lake Michigan

I spent a week on Lake Michigan this past month with my family.I took all the photos shown here and even managed to do some painting on the beach.  It stirred memories of Lake Michigan from my childhood in the halycon of those days of the 1950's. 

 I grew up going to the beach on Lake Michigan with my family in the summer.  We didn’t live on the lake - - we lived one town away, but our town had beach privileges and we bought a seasonal summer time pass every year. My parents had grown up in towns on the lake and it seemed to have a special call to them in the summertime. My mother would take my brother and me two or three, some times four times every week. We would even go on days that were cloudy and maybe had a few sprinkles we were diehards. My mother even would take us when there were “seiche” warnings in hopes of seeing something grand, which never materialized, but the anticipation was lots of fun to speculate about being dragged out to the middle of the lake on a giant wave.  

It was a long climb down to the beach so we would spend the whole day. We joined the other “beach families” along the lakefront and made summertime friends.  I have eaten many a sandy peanut butter and jelly sandwich with soggy potato chips and washed it down with lemonade from a thermos bottle. We scampered up and down the beach, built sandcastles, plunged into the cold water to cool off and rinse off all the sand that stuck to our oiled bodies. As one of the younger kids, I always longed to be able to swim out to the sandbar with my brother and the bigger kids, but the water in between the shore and the sandbar was over my head, way over my swimming skills, so I stayed close to the shore for many years.  After lunch we had to wait an hour to return to the water.  We waited on the family blanket until the long hour had passed. We would nap, compare our darkening tanned arms and get re-oiled for the afternoon sun.  

Around 2 or 3pm we would start packing up our gear and start the long climb back to the hot car.  There was a foot fountain to rinse off our sandy feet at the top that always felt great after the long trek.  My mother would sometimes stop on the way home and we’d get ice cream cones or chocolate sodas. When we got home we were rinsed off in the laundry tub in the cool basement and wrapped in towels that a had a chill from being in the basement.

On particularly hot summer days in the days before air conditioning, when my dad got home from work, we would go back to the lake for an early evening swim, so he could cool down after work.  I always thought this was the best time to swim; there weren’t many other people around and the air temperature was only a little warmer than the water temperature. It seemed perfect. My parents would both swim. My dad would have me put my arms around his neck and I would ride on his back out to the sandbar with my brother swimming along side.  My mom would paddle along the shoreline, doing the sidestroke to keep her hair dry.  After everyone was cooled down, we’d head home to our summertime supper. In the summer we moved our meals out to the table on the back porch.  I remember we would have summer menus of iced tea, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes, tuna salad, and fresh peaches with sugar over vanilla ice cream.   

The memories of those days are so happy and full of love. They ended with our adolescences when we didn’t want to go to the beach with our parents anymore. We went with our friends and were anchored to beach towels, listened to our transistor radios and worked our tans.  As we got older we smoked, started using words like “shit”, “neat” and “cool” and didn’t do much swimming.  We did still stop for ice cream, but we ate “coffee” or “pistachio” instead of chocolate and vanilla.  

Lake Michigan still has a special hold on me.  It’s “big-ness”, it’s fresh un-salty cold water, the white sand and smell of suntan lotion, fish and fresh air are still a siren song to me.  Now I go hang out with my family and to be with my great-nieces and watch them frolic in the waves, dig in the sand to build castles, wrap in sandy towels and chase seagulls along the shore. I came back to Arizona this summer with a plastic bag of smooth stones I picked up on the beach in my suitcase. I put them on a plate on my coffee table as a reminder of being on the lake again and that I will be going back again next summer.

Linne Thomas








Wednesday, May 30, 2012

End of May 2012

I haven't been doing much painting, because I have been getting my vegetable garden planted and cleaning up my yard.  Oh my aching back.  I am going to do the finishing touches on the painting I started a few weeks ago of the St. Michael's hotel in downtown Prescott, AZ and taking it into the Arts Prescott Gallery on Saturday. It will be posted on my website ( next week.

My dogs, Bessie (in front) and Baxter enjoy the garden too.  I built boxes last year in an attempt to avoid bending over as much as possible.  It works until you need to stir up the soil and add fresh manure etc and that required emptying out the boxes and sifting the soil, replacing the newly refreshed soil back in the boxes. Oh my aching back!

When I lived in Chicago, I had a fabulous vegetable garden and yard --- there something about actual soil ( not dirt) and rain that makes a garden grow.  The first gardening tool I bought 23 years ago when I moved to Prescott was a pick axe --- that should say it all!

It's been a typical Prescott spring, high winds, cold temperatures one week, hot the next and NO rain at all.  It froze one night this past weekend and I lost plants and had to replace them.  I have been doing lots of watering. Now it's all in and I look forward to eating beans, tomatoes covered with fresh basil, lemon cukes and zuccini later this summer.  I also like to do paintings of produce and take pictures of the praying mantis on patrol on my plants.  Life is good.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2012

May 2012

I have entered the world of YouTube videos once more, but this time on my own.  The last one was done by the gallery advertising team. I am now producing, writing, editing and starring in my own "instructional" videos about my paintings and techniques in oil and watercolor.  I even do costuming, hair, and make up! It was a lot of work, I learned a great deal and have a long way to go to produce better videos, I know, but this one was a lot of fun. This is a painting I started of the the St. Michael's Hotel in downtown Prescott, Arizona last week.  I will be trying to get it finished up by early next week and into Arts Prescott Cooperative Gallery in downtown Prescott, AZ.  

We had our semi-annual change of dislays in the gallery.  We call it "Foo-Foo night" for the wall artists (painters, photographers, leather, baskets and potters) last night. Lots of ladder climbing, patching and painting walls, but the gallery always looks fabulous after it's done. We have gotten good at it after 18 years and 36 moves and we were all done in a few hours--a new record for the wall artists. The jeweler and glass blower "center artists" move around tonight for their "Foo-Foo" night. The whole experience is such a great seasonal way of refreshing the gallery and lots of new work and energy are now part of Art Prescott Cooperative Gallery! My new display is shown below; I was too tired to take more pictures last night!