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Geneva Varga

∆ The documentation of my life work as an artist & naturalist ∆

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Art

A Gift for My VIP Friend

One of my friends asked myself a favor, of course I complied. She drew a sketch and what colors she wanted, then I took that photo into Medibank Paint Pro and finished it for her.

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Look at her page here

Sunset — 22 August 2016

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Sunset — 22 August 2016

Watercolor + India Ink

Based on a sunset seen in Coos Bay, Oregon

The Piano Guys + Crater Lake

We traveled to see The Piano Guys in concert at The Brit Festival in Jacksonville and then camped near Crater Lake for the rest of the weekend. Going to Crater Lake and in-turn Wizard Island was on each of our Bucket Lists since forever and it finally happened. I took more than necessary amount of pictures and filled a couple of pages in my sketchbook.

We were lucky enough to obtain front row tickets to The Piano Guys concert. We had seen them perform once before and we were fully aware that it would be a blast. The very last song they played was an exclusive of their new song titled “It’s Gonna Be Okay”. At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the song, but it immediately became my favorite song by them after only hearing a few beats.

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By far the most shocking was when we got that first look at Crater Lake. The pigmentation of the water was unbelievable, if I was going to name the color “True Blue” would still not express how blue it was.

It was very hot and after hiking down the water, to the summit of Wizard Island, and back down to the water, I was parched. I wasted no time jumping into the lake – it was very cold but so refreshing.

 

 

Bergen, Norway – Watercolor

Bergen, Norway

Bergen, Norway — 19 July 2016

Watercolor

Based on a photograph found on the internet

Jesse Reno Art Class

It was the 17th of June and I along with my Mum were volunteering like usual at the Coos Art Museum. There was a break in customers coming into the museum so Mum decided to take a peak at the exhibits that were upstairs. When she came down she simply said, “You must check out the art in the atrium gallery.” I was confused as the statement was vague, but my curiosity had been peaked so I complied.

What I saw forced me to stand still in awe. I lost track of time, but Mum reported that I was up there for a significantly long time. This was the day that I discovered Jesse Reno’s artistic style and fell in love with it.

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Lighting Reaching From the Sun to Touch the Sea

“if something is true you should feel it

without feeling there is emptiness that cant be ignored

roots from the sky to prove its all connected

you asked a scholar instead of a wiseman

same information different source, this changes everything

two halves with equal variables

rabbit and the whale meet where the lightning touches the sea

searching for whale stones”

~ Jesse Reno

I immediately purchased one of his books filled with images of the masterpieces that he had created. When I came home, I went to my Dad to discuss the possibilities of taking an art class that Jesse would be teaching the very next day. It looks some convincing, but in the end I won. The following day, I was entranced in this genre of art during the entirety of the class and for many days afterwards. IMG_2717

I came home with two pieces that I would continue to work on long after the class. This has opened up this new aspect of myself that I am now able to present through my art. Truly worth the money.

 

 

Discovering Seaweed Art

Early Saturday morning, my mother and I drove down to Charleston, Oregon to attend a class at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB). The class we were taking? Seaweed Art, which is the process of pressing seaweed or algae. With a diverse selection, the options are endless. There are three main colors that appear in algae: green, brown, and red.
Coos Bay

The instructors started out by distributing plastic bags that we could use to collect our own specimens. We had two options from where we would collect, either from the dock or, for a greater diversity, along the pier, a short walk down the road.

Mom and I chose to take the walk down to the pier. We were lucky to be out during low tide, abling us to go down closer to where larger specimens would be discovered. We found several baby Bull Kelp, which our teacher later informed us was a great find as they look lovely after being pressed.

Picking Green Algae/Seaweed

We returned to the lab shortly after collecting our algae specimens. We placed our collections in an aluminum container with salt water so that they may spread out, allowing us to see what we had found. This is when one of the instructors gave us a short talk, What is Algae?

One of our greater misconceptions about the world is that all Oxygen is produced by plants, but actually 35% is created by Algae. The other 65%? 35% from Cyanobacteria and 30% from Land Plants. Interesting enough, Algae is not actually a plant as they lack vascular tissue, roots, flowers, and seeds. The way they reproduce is more similar to ferns – via spores.

Arranging Seaweed/Algae

Algae are Incredible 

Algae is the fastest growing organism on the planet; Bull Kelp can grow up to two feet daily. They have great symbiotic relationships between fungi and sloths. Who knew?

Fungi and Algae can live separately but can survive together in a much more diverse range of climate. Have you ever gone up to where snow is and seen a red substance on the snow? Most think that it was rust run-off (I did!) yet actually, it is Lichen. A clever phrase that always helps you remember this symbiotic relationship is, Freddie Fungi and Alex Algae took a Lichen to each other.

Sloths actually encourage algae to grow in their hair. This is helpful towards the sloths in that Algae provide camouflage and are more nutrient rich than the plants that sloths otherwise consume.

Algae is a great food source. Japan has long known this. Nori, a type of seaweed, is used in Sushi. On the Oregon Coast, we have a relative to Nori that grows. While Western Culture is still getting used to the idea of Seaweed being a great food source, Japan and China are still the largest consumers. On the Oregon Coast, there are no poisonous species so give it a try.

Pressing

After the short lecture, the instructors showed us how to press the seaweed samples we’d brought back to the lab. Essentially, you layer a series of different materials in this order: cardboard, blotting paper, herbarium paper, your algae specimen, cotton fabric, blotting paper, and cardboard. We were also informed that you could use any thick type of paper, such as watercolor paper if you are unable to obtain herbarium paper.

Mom and I both did three of them each, yet we had enough algae to do several more only the class ran out of cardboard. The only tricky part that I found, was selecting how you wanted the algae to be arranged in the final product.

When we had completed all of the pressings, one of the instructors wrote down everyone’s contact information to inform all the participants the time final products could be picked up after drying. The drying process should take about two weeks, but some of the works might be held back longer as they wished to put some up on display at the South Slough Visitor Center.

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