scarves, you know the beauty comes
also from a clean-environment ethic.
Long in years, Polly made one more trip
to the US to teach. Jo Ann was able to
schedule a workshop with her at the
Ashland Art Center on Polly’s way to
the Skaneateles Lake family retreat
in upstate New York, where Jo Ann
Students become teachers, and
Jo Ann introduced the techniques she
learned to another studio designer at
AAC, Marta Marthas and her husband
John who adopted the techniques with
gusto, even branching out and growing
indigo in their home garden. This led to
Jo Ann and Marta teaching together.
Fascinated with surface design,
Jo Ann felt the sky was the limit and
strived to find her unique voice in
the medium. Being immersed in the
Ashland Art Center she instantly found
kindred spirits. From her studio there it
was easy to interact with other artists
50 Ashland Gallery Guide
and reach people interested in taking
her classes. Jo Ann enjoyed helping
her students make the transition from
hobby to career. Designer, Diane
Ericson was her main mentor.
She loves learning the natural dye and
print process, using dyes to add layers
of plant shapes and forms, some soft,
others distinct. Her colors and some
of her shapes come from many natural
dye sources: madder, logwood, Osage
orange, indigo, eucalyptus, cochineal,
and local madrone. She blends the
different powders to experiment with
Jo Ann works in her home studio in
Ashland as well, a small space where
she can control the dye baths.
She and Russ came from Dana Point,
California, where they lived near the
harbor. They came to visit friends
here. While relaxing on their deck
overlooking the valley Russ said, “I
could live here.” Eight months later they
were. That was 2004. Jo Ann has made
a wonderful life here with her husband
who works at John L. Scott Realty,
doing what they love. Jo Ann is the
Education Coordinator at AAC
Jo Ann loves to take walks in Ashland,
inspired by so much plant life from
which comes design ideas to try out.
See her listing on page 34.
M A R GIE MEE
Margie is always inspired by nature,
living on her five acres with Kitchen
Creek running through, her home since
1997. Back then, there were cows and
horses renting the pasture, and near
the road a little barn at a slight tilt.
With a lot of work, it became her studio.
Being in it now, with its re-purposed
track lighting and sliding glass doors
and carpet, it’s hard to picture the mud
floor and bawling calves in days of
yore. A little woodstove, skylights and
windows make it warm and bright.
She uses a lot of tools. Her paintings
usually break the 2D barrier, with nails
and monofilament line holding melted
wafers of plexiglass, or twisted kelp
knobs, or yellow reflective fins that
broke away from a highway center line.
She’s painted images of uprooted tree
roots until they reached abstraction.
Even in the midst of shapes made by
grinders, there might appear an animal,
or paint sprayed through lace as stencil.
Her later works have a lot of sparkle.
Her only academic study of visual art
was a minor at the University of Iowa;
later, a class at Portland Community
College with students approved by the
instructor to work independently in
a studio format. “Twice a week we all
worked to grow and trust our artistic
sense,” said Margie, “I loved this class!”
She learned to weld; a good thing to
know, having a farm, and her welder’s
bone pile has been growing. It has
rusting farm implement parts, rakes,
horseshoes, deer-shaped candlesticks,
hubcaps, and a piano harp cast in
London. The mind reels, trying to name
what’s in her orderly piles. She met Sam
Campbell, and a welding partnership
developed. Sam ended up bringing his
welding equipment, and they worked out
of her garage constructing creature-like
sculptures, even dinosaurs.
Margie loves making everything more
aesthetically pleasing. Her Bachelors
degree was in the Theater. “An actor has
great imagination.” As a child and
Jo Ann’s studio in
Ashland Art Center is a
good place to meet the
public and show her
knited, felted, dyed and