Friday, June 28, 2013

Beer Tasting at Plank Town

As an old man who has picked berries and beans as a kid, who has marched for miles in the hot military sun, and who spent a long summer in the up at 6 down at six equatorial sun of Ponape  I can tell you: GETTING PRECANCEROUS DO-DAHS FROZEN OFF YOUR SKIN IS NO FUN!
So knowing I would have to hand my ear over to Dr. Olsen for a freeze job, I stopped in downtown Springfield (Oregon) for a bit of libation.
I have heard a great deal about Plank Town from the folks st Travel lane County so I stopped there
I was greeted by a friendly and very knowledgeable bar keep, Cecilia,
who offered me a sampler of the lighter brews.
I was taken by her confidence and poise and by her deep knowledge of the beers.
The first taste was the Saaz All Lager: Really pleasant. Soft in the mouth, nice finish, great Summer beer!
Bart's Best Bitter: A smooth feel, caramel notes with a great finish that makes you want more.
ExSB Experimental Special Bitter : Light (very light) sugary caramel with good balance of hops. Loved this one!
That is a far as I got! A biker came in and ask me about the road from the McKenzie Pass to Oakridge and the stories began.
I used to live in Sunriver (1972) and ride my bike to Eugene over the McKenzie Pass. 
Every now and then I would take the road from Cougar Dam Road to Oakridge, then in ti Eugene, If you have not taken this route, even in a car, do it! 
Anyway, if you get the chance, please stop by and partake of the wonderful brews. 
And from what I see and hear the food is first rate!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Workshop at the Gallery

Painting with Oil, Wax, and Pigments

·       Follow the development of a painting from the first sketches to near completion
·       Learn to mix oil paints, raw pigments, and cold wax
·       Try a hands on demo of tools
Robert Canaga will paint at The Gallery at the Watershed on Wednesday evening from 6:30 June 26th
Located at the corner of 3rd and Mill in Eugene Oregon
Regular Hours: 11:00 to 5:00 Tues-Sat

For info call 541 515 0487
Be sure to sign up for the “Materials of the artist” class in August

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

In the Studio with Robert Canaga

In the Studio with Robert Canaga
Curve. All images © Robert Canaga
In the Studio with Robert Canaga
by Luke Fannin
I’m with artist Robert Canaga in his cluttered Eugene studio, and we’re watching paint dry. Actually, we’re watching it cure — it’s oil-based, so no evaporation takes place. That may seem like splitting hairs to you or me, but for Mr. Canaga, an accomplished printmaker and abstract painter, understanding how his materials work together is among the most important elements of any composition.
So, we’re watching paint cure. And I’m not even bored. Not yet, anyway — it’s titanium white, for which the curing process can take up to 300 years, so there’s still time. Mr. Canaga keeps it interesting by allowing me to observe as he works a bit on Curve, the oil and wax piece seen above, and the progression of which can be seen in the series of images below. He shows me the different effects of mixing colors with titanium white and zinc white — the former dramatically alters the value of a color, while the latter subtly changes its tint, in case you were wondering — demonstrates various methods of paint application with knife and brush, and walks me through a half-dozen different ways to alter the texture of paint. He explains the dangers of using turpentine to thin oil paints and clean brushes, why he prefers cold wax to encaustic, and the pitfalls of gesso.
This is all news to me, but then, I don’t paint. The surprising thing is just how many painters are in the dark with me. “People just don’t know this stuff anymore,” Mr. Canaga says. “Students don’t know it because they’re teachers don’t know it. At some point this knowledge just stopped being passed on.”
The problem may be evident; the reasons for it are less clear. Mr. Canaga points to modernism, and the way it challenged the established norms of painting. Any groundbreaking movement will inspire innovation and considerably broaden the horizons for all, but as Mr. Canaga puts it, “You can’t just throw stuff up and see what sticks.” Additionally, more and more people mistake marketing for expertise, assuming that expensive materials are both necessary and high quality. “There’s this whole industry built around getting you to buy stuff,” Mr. Canaga explains, resulting in artists spending a lot of money on inferior products or products they don’t need. It also leads to artists taking experimental (and cheap) shortcuts in order to avoid paying out the nose for the appropriate materials. “I’m all for experimentation,” says Mr. Canaga, “but that has to be done within the framework of what goes with what.” His advice: “Invest in the best materials and tools. Learn how to use them. After that, you only have to worry about yourself.”
Robert Canaga is the curator of the Gallery at the Watershed, where you can also see his work. His “Painter’s Materials Workshop” (August 13, 2013) is presented by the Gallery at the Watershed, in association with Create! Eugene. For more information, visit or

Luke Fannin received a Bachelor of Arts in Composition & Rhetoric from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2009, and a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from the University of Oregon in 2012. He lives in Eugene with his wife, Amber, and their son, Ezra. He likes reading books and drinking the many fine craft beers brewed in and around Lane County. If you see him, feel free to buy him either.