Friday, May 30, 2008

Portland's Cycle Seen

I do not drive. Nor do I ride a bicycle, skateboard, or scooter. I do not rollerskate unless in a rink, and as a West Coaster I never had occasion to ice skate outside of doors.

I could not tell you why I don't see lampposts, cars, or other pedestrians as I wander through my somewhat confused existence, but I live in my head, focused on my world.

As vehicular transport eludes me and I prefer to walk or take the bus, I found it odd that I should be a part of Portland's Cycle Seen project.

The painting pictured is currently on display in NE Portland at Cup and Saucer as part of a city-wide exhibition featuring bicycle art.

This image was taken from my memories of my trip through Holland with my sis. In Holland there are bicycle freeways taking one out of town and through the pastoral countryside. Without cars to worry me, I was free to ride past the windmills and frolicking baby goats. I most vividly remember my sis shouting out, "This is the best day ever!" as we rode through the Dutch farmlands. Indeed it was.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'll Play if You Will

It is 55 degrees out. On Saturday it was 99 degrees. I prefer the heat so I drew her to celebrate the long summer days ahead, much eagerly anticipated and disappointingly not quite here yet.

Yesterday I was tagged twice, thus I thought in the spirit of sportsmanship I would play along. As the tags asked differing questions (one simply asked to write seven interesting things about oneself, the other had directed questions), I am combining them as to not write a manifesto.

Without further ado....

1. What were you doing ten years ago?

Living in Jerusalem waiting tables. I had left college prematurely, moved to Jerusalem by myself and got a job as a waitress. I lived in Israel for two years before returning to San Francisco to finish college. It was a most romantic point in my life and where I began to find my calling as an artist (it would take many more years to realize it).

2. Things that I would do if I were a billionaire?

I would buy a huge sprawling Victorian with stairways that ran nowhere, rooms hidden behind bookshelves, secret passages and an attic full of ephemera (think Winchester Mystery House). I prefer it to be bit decrepit to add history, drama and intrigue. I would also travel, my big orange backpack atop my small frame, to destinations exotic and locales of ancient lore. Oh, and I would buy tons of clothes. Beautiful couture fashions from decades past. And shoes, lots of shoes.

3. Places I have lived:

New Mexico
Northern California

4. Random Musing no. 1

I want to go to St. Petersberg as my next travel destination. I would like to see the Hermitage.

5. Random Musing no. 2

I have a mastiff-labrador cross named Belle. The name is reflexive as she is named after the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. Belle and Sebastian named themselves after the early 1980s cartoon about the adventures of a little boy, Sebastian and his big dog, Belle.

6. Random Musing no. 3

If I could eat anything all the time it would be pie. I love pie. All kinds of pie. Especially fruit pie. And desserts in general. Big fan of sugar.

I am now tagging others. All of you. Wouldn't want to pick favorites, so everyone is invited to play; use these questions or make up your own. Cheers!~

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Friday, May 16, 2008

My 1902 Victorian

My house was built in 1902. As Queen Victoria died in 1901, I suppose it is officially an Edwardian, but just on the cusp. Made from a kit, it is the mirror image of the house next door, although time and various paint jobs, add-ons and decorating schemes now create quite a dissimilar appearance.

With both a sun porch and a mudroom (a necessary little porch frequently used throughout winter for galoshes and dirty dog towels), it is cozy and filled with light:

The back door has a doorbell I believe used for deliveries by the local milkman from
the dairy that used to be down the block (now a gourmet grocery).

On the the front curb there are small rings used to tie up one's course whilst visiting neighbors. Our garage could have easily doubled as a stable.

The attic contains various worn leather suitcases traveled to exotic locales more than a century ago.

There are channels built in to house pocket doors used to open the parlor only for "company."

The kitchen counter has a bottlecap opener built in and our original full Victorian bar matches the formal dining area so nicely (moved to Portland from two different aparments in the San Francisco Bay Area including a third floor walk-up) and provides a shelving unit for a full two-turntable DJ setup.

This tribute to my home occurs as my roses bloom, my raspberry bush blossoms and my grape arbor buds. There's no place like home.

Pictured is my tribute to summer--bare legs and a skirt with cute shoes to match, Edwardian style. Maybe she walked through my house almost 100 years ago....

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Scenester

My sister is a scenester. A scenester is defined as one whom is always where the action is and whilst there, on the hunt for more. A friend recently sent a picture with a gal wearing a tee with the words, "I listen to bands that don't even exist yet" emblazoned across the front. A most fitting description of my sis.

Recently, our free alternative weekly, The Willamette Week, featured Portland's top ten local bands as voted by members of the music community. My sister, as one of the town's music bookers gave her two cents. As luck would have it the band she chose, The Builders and the Butchers, was voted number one thus her quote selected:

“The first time I saw the Builders and the Butchers was about a year ago at one of those free afternoon back-patio shows at Rontoms. There were these intense storm clouds above us, and we all knew that it would POUR any second. As soon as they started playing, big fat drops came comin’ down—a warm spring rain. Thunder was crashing, lightning flashing off to the east like a high desert storm. The more soaked all of our bodies became, the louder the chorus of wailing voices became—a religious fervor set in. The crowd flailed around, dancing, shouting along to the chorus, ‘When it rains!’ Truly a rock-’n’-roll baptism.”

The musings of a hipster. Tee hee.

In addition, two other bands were chosen in the top ten, Loch Lomond and Nick Jaina. A few months back I illustrated their CD release promotion concert poster. All the fonts are hand-wrought and the image in a French New Wave style.

Although not a scenester myself, (although I do love to go to the concerts of my favorite bands, I find I usually prefer an evening of Masterpiece Theatre and a pint of ice cream to the bars) I may live vicariously through both my art and my sis.

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Monday, May 5, 2008

Queen of the Surface Streets

I spent the past week in decadence celebrating my beloved's birthday. One night spent swaying to the gyspy rhythms of Devotchka, the next dancing to the indie jams of Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks provided a much needed rock out.

Dinner at Le Pigeon, their chef voted by Food and Wine magazine as the top chef of 2007 capped the week off perfectly.

Interspersed therein was First Thursday, Portland's swanky art walk, skate show, and street party replete with large groups of revelers congregating in an open appreciation of culture and art.

I painted the above following the Devotchka concert. My favorite tune of theirs, Queen of the Surface Streets,

(I'll give my days to the Neanderthals
With the classic rock
And the wrecking ball
I'll go swimming in the wet concrete
And I'll cast my pearls at the unpaved streets),

inspired her, Art Deco style.

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