Each winter I try and keep in touch with our teachers and friends throughout the states and it is one of the most gratifying tasks. This year I drove from my home in northern California to Oregon, home to Ken O’Connell at the University of Oregon in Eugene and then to Portland where
I made a presentation on La Romita School at University of Oregon’s s new center in the historic White Stag building in Portland.  I then met with long-time La Romita instructor Benno Philippson, who lives in Portland with his wife Gail Durham at a true house of art.  Both are wonderful artists.  Their house seems to have a room for each artistic medium…including beading and basket weaving! Benno and Gail are coming back in 2016, so there’s plenty of time to make your plans.

As usual, the weather for the drive was clear and crisp until we got to the Oregon border.  I was met there by driving rain and high winds, which, not surprisingly continued for about a week; or until I  crossed the border back into California. Ken O’Connell has become such a friend to La
Romita…not only filling La Romita with his talented students, but also introducing us to a host of amazing teachers…who also happen to be his
followers.  Some years ago Ken introduced us to Laurie Doctor and Sharon Zeugin, both of whom are again leading groups to La Romita this summer. Ken’s group this year is full– it’s been full pretty much since it was announced last year…an occurrence about as dependable as Oregon’s weather.  Wonderful news for Ken’s army of fans:  He will be organizing two different groups with us in 2015: one in the second half of August and, another one the  first two weeks of September!

I would be remiss to not add some info here about this year.  There is still space in Laurie’s and Sharon’s workshops, and we have two
special programs that still have some room—with discounted rates! Please get in touch with us right away if you might be interested in
hearing the details.

I am coming back to Oregon next year….as well as to Austin, Texas, so let’s make plans to get together and relive old memories…and of course to plan forthe next ones. But right now, I’m newly arrived to La Romita …..where the poppies are again in full bloom, the winter rains have tapered off, and the ancient monastery is again full of the sounds of laughter and conversation…as we start our 48th season of art and food and wine and travel…the sweet essence of summer at La Romita.

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