What is a true eclectic to do when her passions lead her in different directions?
This is a blog for the unfocused, the round pegs in the square holes, the short-attention span types, and all those who just can't bring themselves to join the ranks and adhere to a single category of activities or interests...whether sketches, drawings and comics, fixing an old farmhouse in Oregon, or whatever else strikes my fancy.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Anti-Walmart Protest (07-14-12)

Stunning news at a recent meeting of the Oak Grove Community Council: Walmart plans to open a grocery store in the vacant G.I Joe store on McLoughlin Blvd.

With A Fred Meyer, a Safeway, and a Grocery Outlet within less than a mile from the targeted location, a competing grocery store is the last thing Oak Grove needs (and why can't we have a specialty store like Trader Joe's instead? The nearest one is seven miles away).

So a protest was organized to give voice to the community's opposition to this project. It isn't that such action is going to suddenly make a company notorious for its rogue practices suddenly have a change of mind, but if we just let is pass without even doing anything, it's like they won already.

And why don't I shop at Walmart, you may ask? I hate it that the minute one walks in is that one feels as in a place full of desperation. i can't explain it; it's pervasive to the Walmart ambiance: cavernous interiors, cheap-looking merchandise, indifferent, tired-looking clerks, and the customers... Well, that may be the worst of it. I don't want to sound like I am being critical of people down on their luck, but really... Call me a snob, and I am sure it is a matter of taste, but it's a place for vulgar uneducated masses, as far as I am concerned.

Finally, I understand that Walmart is perceived by some as a more affordable place to shop, but so is Goodwill, and so is Dollar Tree. At least the latter stores offer a shopping environment on a more human scale, with consistent personnel.

So, there we were, signing pledges to not shop at the store when it opens, and waving our signs to passing cars.

Not in our community!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Meeting at RACC (07-12-12)

I attended a meeting at the Regional Arts and Culture Council today regarding the guidelines for project grants.

As I understand it, this type of grant seems best suited for established artists who already have contacts within the theater or gallery circuits. Let's say I want to propose a poetry reading; to be able to be considered for a RACC project grant, I must already have a venue booked up for this event.. This is also cool if I am, let's say, a painter, and a gallery is applying with the intent of booking me in the future... Otherwise, it doesn't look like there would be a way to make it work.
I may have misunderstood, and I will have to read all eleven pages of the grants guidelines paperwork, but the application process seems very complicated and restrictive...

Anyway, I gave myself the fun challenge of drawing people in the room...

Rapt audience listening to Helen Daltoso's presentation
And here are the panels in their original form, as drawn on four two-page spreads of my sketchbook, all connected later as the large panel above.

Don Colley at Muse Art and Design (07-12-12)

Artists all have other artists they admire.

My unmitigated admiration goes to Don Colley, a master at using Pitt Brush Artist pens to create gorgeous color spreads in his sketchbooks.

So when I heard that he was coming to Muse Art and Design in SE Portland, I made sure to attend his presentation.

Yet, even though I was fortunate to watch him work in person, I still can't figure it out how he does the shading, or the highlights...

Oh... the colors!

Skype Sketch (07-12-12)

Without going into any details, I did an interpretation project over Skype and had a couple of minutes to work on this quick sketch of two of the parties involved.
I tried to draw what I saw, but it was a challenge: very poor lighting and the computer screen image was blurred.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

New Sketchbook (07-08-12)

I started a new sketchbook, and decided to introduce some other colors than the usual black pen, and work on patterns for the signatures.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tutankhamen Exhibit in Seattle (07-07-12)

At the end of our cruise to Alaska, Gary and I went to see the Tutankhamun exhibit at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.

It was an amazing experience, to walk among precious Egyptian art treasures. I saw a sketch of a duck done in graphite, and admired its precise and smooth lines. Such beauty, so fragile, all that is left of someone who walked the earth many centuries ago.

I could have spent all afternoon lost among the haunting beauty of the dark exhibit hall, but was told that sketching was forbidden (!); so I only have this sketch of a small statue of Queen Hatshepsut.

A work in progress
  I find it difficult to explain the awe one feels, to be so close to artifacts tied to Tutankhamun one has heard about for years, to get a view of some of the contents of Tutankhamun's tomb... such as, -most worthy of mention-, gold sandals that were found on Tutankhamun's mummy, modeled on reed woven sandals with extravagant bows on top of the foot, so beautiful...
Gloriously beautiful sandals of a dead king

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cruise to Alaska: Craigdarroch Castle and Blue Fox Cafe (07-05-12)

A splendid day in VictoriaBritish Columbia

Gary and I walked from the cruise ship terminal into downtown Victoria, and from there on to Craigdarroch Castle, altogether about a 45 minute walk. Nice weather, many people. We took a self-guided tour of Craigdarrogh Castle, the most amazing and grandest house I have ever been in (Stained glass! Woodwork! Moldings! Marble!..). It put our local, usually impressive Pittock Mansion to shame. 
A Victorian dream house, found at last!
Afterward, on our way back to the cruise ship, we stopped by a very cool restaurant called the Blue Fox Cafe. From the sidewalk, we could see that there were many people inside, none of them obvious tourists, so we took this as an indication that the locals liked the place. And we were right about that: the food was delicious. I can't remember what Gary had, but the Moroccan Chicken Benny I ordered was delicious! What a pleasant meal we had...
Blue Fox Cafe

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Random Designs (07-03-12)

I was trying to work on some forms and shapes that would suggest fabric patterns; I used a black brush pen and a silver and a gold gel pen.

Cruise to Alaska: Tracy Arm Fjord (07-03-12)

The Inside Passage and Tracy Arm Fjord were the most beautiful part of the cruise... At the risk of sounding cliché, -and I am not one to start posting vacation photos-, but really... WHALES! We saw whales!

 The water was an exquisite opaque green, and looked like Jade-ite.

So I spent the day inside one of the ship's restaurants, trying to paint what I saw.
Tracy Arm Fjord in early afternoon

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cruise to Alaska: Juneau (07-01-12)

I used my old watercolor pencils to record my first impressions of Juneau as the cruise ship entered the city...(there isn't much).