Friday, July 18, 2008

Skull Paintings

I'm working on a group of skull paintings, I have been for some time now, and now I feel I can begin to show a few of them on the blog. These little bitty portrait skulls are all 3.5" x 2", so they are wee miniature skulls done with unbleached titanium white, white, and raw umber. I work with a range of plastic skulls and reference images, but mostly I consider these to be playful portrait/still life ciphers. I hope they smirk at you even as I make rows of them.

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Walking Day in Portland

On vacation in Portland, the husband and I had a magnificent day walking the city yesterday with our friends Tracy and Mark. We started the day with brunch at Helser's where one of our dining companions dared to try the scotch egg, a hard boiled egg wrapped in bratwurst and then deep fried! I had pancakes with Rainier raspberries, a most elegant and document-worthy dish. Then we scooted down to downtown and happened upon our first Benson Bubbler, one of his many elegant water fountains in Portland installed by Mr. Benson to encourage the temperance of his fellow Portland citizens. I wonder how well that worked... We took in the city streets, the skyline, the decorative flourishes on the sides of the buildings. Portlandia, the female with the trident, protects the city just a block down from city hall. Her mammoth form was trucked in down the avenue and there is a very amusing plaque below her commemorating her travel into the city.

A Walking Day in Portland Continues

We continued our walk through a street fair which held a good portion of its booths under a bridge, and watched the trolleys go by, including one Boston-style Cyclops trolley. Meandering through Chinatown our hosts pointed out the landmark Hung Far Low Restaurant, a good picture even if you don't eat there. The pioneer courthouse plaza you see there held this remarkable signpost with improbably cities labeled with distances, including Lillehammer. We headed over to Powell's Books, but I didn't photograph the place, because predictably, I had my nose in a book. And then we jumped in the car to drive to another stroll, the Portland Rose Test Garden, a remarkable and lush place. Husband believed it was similar to the Butchart Gardens of Victoria, and I'm inclined to agree, the Pacific Northwest is a wonderful place to grow flowering plants. Excuse me for taking excessive cliche pictures of roses, I figure I'll paint more roses into the cracked still life paintings that way! And then we finished our day with a drive up to Pittock Mansion to take in one of the best views of Portland.