Grace Hudson Sun House and Museum

4/15/16 (Friday) in Cloverdale, CA (Russian River-TT)

This morning we got to talking with Kim/Kim. They’ve been camping in a trailer for some time but now they’ve just purchased a brand new Winnebago 37′ Forza, so they had a few questions about full timing (they’re selling their house) and their rig. Boy, did John and I get excited, happy to share all sorts of goodies we’ve figured out along our almost 4 years of full time camping.

Unfortunately, lunch time arrived, then we needed to get groceries, so our visiting was halted for the time being. Earlier we’d figured it would be a good idea to see one of the sites while we did that shopping since it would be a 30 minute or more drive to a decent grocery store. We started off intending to drive south to Healdsburg but missed the sign for S 101, finding ourselves on N 101. Hmm. Hey, flexibility is the name of the RV lifestyle, so we figured we’d go to the grocery store in Ukia. John remembered we’d thought of some places to visit while there, so we went to Grace Hudson’s Sun House and Museum. So glad we did. When we bought our tickets ($3/senior, 62+), we found out the tour of the house wouldn’t happen today. We considered coming back just for that, but were not eager for another drive this way. Then the lady kindly offered to do the tour for us (she apparently was the director of the group that keeps this place going), later. SO we enjoyed the museum first, where they had exhibits of local artists, plus Grace Hudson’s work (oil painter) as well as the history of the native peoples, her favorite subject. Her husband was an anthropologist, so their interests blended well.

Local artists’ work:

Grace Hudson paintings. This first is a self portrait she did when she was 15! It’s life size.

The Pomo peoples were known for their basket making, which they still do today, even though it’s harder to find their natural materials, so they often have gardens of these grasses. They (both males and females) made 22 distinct types, the men concentrating on the those they used while the women did the same. They had conceptualize the pattern/design at the beginning and keep it in mind as they concentrated on the intricacies of weaving the basket.

Grace Hudson Sun House. This was built about 100 years ago. They hired an architect and specified what they wanted. They were in their 40’s and childless, so they only had one bedroom: theirs. Guests were expected to stay in a nearby hotel. Grace guarded her privacy and time alone. It’s Craftsman style, which interested us as well. Grace and her mom woodburned the beautiful round wood piece. Their architect built the beautiful sideboard. On top of it is one of the samovars from Fort Ross (Russian).

Then we found the Safeway and got our milk at CVS, per the Ranger’s recommendation (much cheaper there).

When we returned to our campground, we couldn’t resist getting together with Kim/Kim to share more RV tips. They were SO receptive, it just inspired us to keep on sharing. We all had a break for supper, then got together for cards. We had to teach them our favorite game, “13”. I think they enjoyed it!

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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