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“Desire,” new painting by Bea Garth

Here’s my new painting on a large sheet of watercolor paper I call “Desire.” And yes it does often seem like there is no longer any privacy, however the thing is to enjoy oneself anyway when one can–and not let it get in the way!

"Desire," acrylic painting on watercolor paper by Bea Garth, copyright 2019
“Desire,” acrylic painting on watercolor paper by Bea Garth, copyright 2019

On Dealing With Chaos, by Bea Garth

I have been having to learn how to cope with overcoming chaos of late, due to part of my family’s neglect and active destruction of the cottages I renovated for many years. I believe it is symbolic  of the degeneration of this area.

Homelessness and drug use has become very common. It seems worse here than many other places given the hopelessness many feel  due to enormous rises in the cost of rent as well as everything else.

"The Devil's Lair," watercolor and ink on paper by Bea Garth, copyright Oct 2017
“The Devil’s Lair,” watercolor and ink on paper by Bea Garth, copyright Oct 2017

Normal everyday people now live in their cars or in homeless camps, or live off the generosity of their friends.  High tech people flock here from all corners of the world while service people are being forced out due to rising rents. Even the police can’t afford to live here any more, which makes keeping the peace even more dicey.

This rapidly decaying situation seems symbolic of the erosion of the planet. We badly need to take a stand to care for each other and stop this needless destruction by doing what we can wherever we are.

The beast seems overwhelming, and in many respects is. However we are not helpless if we reach out to each other and reconnect with our inner spirit. Spirit is larger in my opinion than any destructive force, no matter how dire it seems.


Bea Garth: Painting For Exhibit Feb. 1st at The Gallery @ The Cerulean in PDX

Chris took a picture of me putting finishing touches on my painting THE MUSIC GENIE. I have been staying up way too late even for me getting ready for my two person show beginning this Thursday Feb. 1st. The reception is Feb, 1st, 2018 from 8 to 11 PM. The Gallery at The Cerulean is at 1439 Marshall St., Portland OR 97209.

Bea Garth painting "The Music Genie" in her art studio getting ready for exhibit; photo by Chris Arcus, copyright 2018
Bea Garth painting “The Music Genie” in her art studio getting ready for exhibit; photo by Chris Arcus, copyright 2018

My husband’s experimental eclectic band will be playing original music and I will read some poetry between sets during the reception.

My paintings will be exhibited with the work of Jordan Clark through Feb. 26, 2018.

“Radiation Exposure” art project by Bea Garth

I still want to finish my painting of “Legs Like Vines.” However I am also called now to focus on issues of radiation which I want to begin exploring with my art. My family and I and many others were subject to a huge top secret radiation experiment called the Green Run. The Hanford  Nuclear Site created the Plutonium for Nagasaki and most of the nuclear bombs for the United States –as well, as it turns out, a great variety of radiation experiments both on animals and humans. How does it relate to now? Well its still going on, with how the nuclear plants at  Fukishima continue be subject to yet more earthquakes to spue out radiation while the US responds by simply artificially raising the level of permitted radiation in the atmosphere and, for all intent purposes, stopped testing these levels at all.

The government finally admitted in the mid-1980’s that there even was a “Green Run,” i.e., a release of raw “green” radioactive  materials from Hanford into the environment. The numbers vary from between 7000 and 12000 curies of radioactive iodine and at least 20,000 curies of xenon-133 that were released on the night between December 2nd and 3rd, 1949.  (Compare this with only 24 curies of radioactive iodine that was released at 3 Mile Island nuclear accident.) I immediately got seriously ill in early December. My mother and siblings all remember how I just wouldn’t stop crying!  I was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia when my parents observed I just wasn’t getting any better. My mother said previously I had  been a very healthy and happy infant.

I was put in isolation at the hospital for over a month. Fortunately I was treated with gamma globulin for “failure to thrive” –likely laced with iodine. This  more than likely saved my life, unlike many of my contemporaries who were soon  put in their small graves. I was “lucky. ” Years later on my mother told me that a “retired” doctor from the Mayo clinic treated me  because he liked the work my father and mother  did in the Walla Walla area as archaeologists. Gamma globulin infused with iodine is what  the Chernobyl victims were given to counteract high doses of radiation.

Although the government still does not admit its primary reason for  having this experiment, it does list the secondary reason. It  was to  measure how easy or difficult it would be to measure “dirty” radiation and thus detect what the Russians might be doing with their new “dirty” bombs they began experimenting with in the summer of 1949. The US  was in a race to stay ahead of the Russians…forgetting meanwhile the human cost of their experimentation.

I just watched a video of Kay Sutherland whose family lives in Walla Walla, WA. She shows how many of the infants who were born around the same time as I was who died, likely due to the Green Run . It is her claim, and now that of many others, that there were several Green Runs, not just one. Both before and after 1949.  Kay’s description of the babies who were buried in Walla Walla in the mid 40’s through the 50’s is  heart wrenching. It is imbedded in the following file from the Green Road Journal amongst a lot of very interesting information.

“The Fool” in progress contd.

Worked really late on this next stage of The Fool. Its different than my usual work though there are definite elements I am more familiar with like the stretched leg and the fish, and even the carpet if I keep it. Am loving the imaginative stretch!

I got rid of the huge sun since it was too busy and took away from the impact of the Fool. Its still there, but not overpowering everything else. Color always changes everything, IMHO. I have to be and am willing to simplify as compared to a line drawing.

"The Fool" tarot card in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2016
“The Fool” tarot card in progress by Bea Garth, copyright 2016

I am definitely relating with the Fool given all my late hours recently… I plan to get started earlier this evening in hopes I can get this done in a day or two.

Bea at New Beginnings Art Exhibit at the Trianon Theatre, 2015

This photo was taken of me last year in front of some of my paintings at the Trianon Theatre. It was at the “New Beginnings Art Exhibit” that I helped David Eisbach engineer and organize. It was a wildly successful night if I have to say myself. David was duly impressed, which was significant to me since he was a former member of the San Jose Arts Council, who had not been very friendly to me years previous when I was president of the San Jose Art League.

My husband Chris Arcus and and his crew (then called “Under The Bridge”) performed music there that night too out in the courtyard and got everyone going. It inspired the other members of the band (John Kurtyka and James Pollard) to move north to Portland too (our original destination, which after all is just across the river from Vancouver…).

All in all, it was a good ending for my art organizing activities in San Jose. Afterwards I was feted at a Chinese/American International Cultural art event and was invited to go to China to teach art. I’d still like to go someday, but selling our house in San Jose and moving north to Vancouver, WA  had to take priority given that my mother had just died and so my time as working as a property manager for my family was ending,  and I am not 21!

Bea Garth in front of some of her paintings at New Beginnings exhibit 2015, photo by Things Matter
Bea Garth in front of some of her paintings at New Beginnings exhibit 2015, photo by Things Matter

Columbia River Scenes

Here’s another photo from our walk yesterday along the Columbia River.

"Looking back" walkway, river and bridge Vancouver, WA photo by Bea Garth copyright 2016
“Looking back” walkway, river and bridge Vancouver, WA photo by Bea Garth copyright 2016


And yet another:

"woman with ducks trailing" Vancouver, WA photo by Bea Garth, copyright 2016
“woman with ducks trailing” Vancouver, WA photo by Bea Garth, copyright 2016

Pix of my New Art Studio

Here’s some more pix of my new art studio:

Direct View of Bea Garth's New Art Studio
Direct View of Bea Garth’s New Art Studio

Here’s another view:

Corner view of Bea Garth's New Vancouver Art Studio
Corner view of Bea Garth’s New Vancouver Art Studio


If you look closely, you can see I am getting ready to work on some clay as well as painting again too.

My friend Graeme made the cool shelving unit with my help; I made the new clay table you can see in front. I already had the slab roller table and the wedging table I made years ago. Plus of course there is the desk I use for my paints, and the sculpture stand….

The kilns are in the background. Am planning on putting them outside once I get some housing for them. I don’t want to breathe the fumes, and discovered I really need to fire my ceramic sculpture etc. the old fashioned way, slowly for quite a while before closing the lid.

the conundrums of updating my blog

I’ve been having difficulties updating my website and blog. Am hoping I can recover my older blog posts with this entry. Patience is golden! I learned a long time ago…

Devil pen and ink by Bea Garth
“Devil” pen and ink by Bea Garth

To celebrate this possibility, am adding in a pix I did a while back depicting my frustration at the hands of technology, lol! Poor little artist, eh? How dare I try to do what I do without paying all those experts!!

So I’ve been tearing my hair out all day trying to fix this stuff. I think I am close to it! Snark, take that you monsters!!

Or was that him eating me??


New Work in Progress: Picnic Along the Columbia

“Picnic Along The Columbia” pen and ink on paper by Bea Garth copyright 2016

We are planning on spending one of the last warm days of summer at the beach along the Columbia tomorrow. In its honor, I just finished working on the black ink part of this drawing. Am thinking of adding color soon!

Addendum: We just got back this evening, and again were stunned by the beauty of the magnificent Columbia Gorge!