Art Historian Finds His Creative Outlet in Writing Fiction

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), April 6, 2003 | Go to article overview

Art Historian Finds His Creative Outlet in Writing Fiction


Byline: Oregon Author by The Register-Guard

Name: Stewart Buettner, Portland.

He wrote: `The Confessions of Ines'

It's about: `` `The Confessions of Ines' tells the life story of a spiritual leader who lived on the frontier of 19th century California. Strongly influenced by her mother's devout Catholicism, Ines grows up in the arms of the church.

``In her early 20s, she marries a much older man who, upon his death, leaves her land inhabited by the California Shoshone, among whom she begins to live. There, while facing impossible adjustments to her life, she creates her famous Rancho La Culebra. Eventually, she meets and marries an outcast tribal shaman, who teaches her a unique form of nature mysticism.

`When her first husband's greedy brothers attempt to force her from the land she inherited, she encounters a group of Chinese road workers who help her and the Shoshone defend their rancho home. One of the recent Chinese arrivals, a former Ch'an Buddhist practitioner, works with Ines to create a spirit garden that reveals to her and her followers the secrets of life for which her Catholic education and her exposure to Shoshone beliefs served as ideal preparation.'

What do you do for a living? `This is my 30th year of teaching art history at Lewis and Clark College, where I came immediately after completing my Ph.D.'

What motivated you to become an art history teacher? …

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Art Historian Finds His Creative Outlet in Writing Fiction
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