Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Best and Probably Last.

The best, and most likely, last of the autumn colors were breathtaking this morning.  Portland has many parks, not to mention countless tree-lined streets, so the display seen from our windows is not unique, however, the cloudy sky and rain showers somehow made the colors especially vibrant today.  Enjoy the show!
To the right in this photo, you can see that the Keller Fountain has been drained for the winter.  The colorful banners which adorn the vertical corners of the parking garage to the left, have also been removed.
The distant colors are two downtown parks.
The south side of the Keller Fountain with Keller Auditorium behind.

It's not exactly New England in scale, but still, autumn in Portland is a pretty special.  Have a fun Halloween tonight!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sue With Anita

I visited Sue today, to take photos for her portrait.  Before we got started, I asked her to pose with Anita's portrait.  It was great to see how it looked framed.  Melanie did a great job and Anita and Sue are very pleased with the frame.
Sue, standing beside Anita's framed portrait.
I'll be varnishing it in December and told Sue I noticed a couple of spots which, "...may receive some attention during the time the painting is in my hands."  Those words didn't scare Sue nearly as much as I thought they would, but then she's a sculptress and understands.  You know how it always see something you could have, or should have done additional work on.  It's really a small spot or two...really...I promise not to wreck it.  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sunset Rainbow

Late this afternoon, I was watching college football and casually looked to my right.  There, between the tall buildings was one of the most spectacular rainbows we've ever had the pleasure to see. 
The northern "end of the rainbow".
The eastern "end of the rainbow".

It stayed put for a very long time--long enough for me to grab the camera and snap several photos.  We could see nearly the entire arc and the eastern third was a double, barely visible.
Same northern view, from my chair.
North-east view of the hills turned to gold by the setting sun.

Rain drops were on the windows, but didn't hurt the images much.  The colors on the northern portion were amazingly intense.  Luckily, I had time to change the camera settings several times in an attempt to capture the show as close as possible to how it looked from our living room.
Looking down at the increasingly strong autumn colors.

Hope you had a good Saturday, too. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pat Painted Today!

What a day!  Pat Demartini, our dear friend and very talented artist, agreed to collaborate on the portrait I'm doing of her.  She stopped by this afternoon and with only a little coaxing, took brush in hand and got busy making her portrait, or as it shall now be known, her (self) portrait better.
Pat, with her (self) portrait.  It's not finished, but you can tell by her enthusiasm that it won't take long now.  I wonder if she'll work on it tonight!  I hope she does, but I won't know until tomorrow.  The painting is 20 x 16-inches, oil on canvas.

You may recall, she's the patron, as well as, great friend, who purchased "Dancing Waters" in September.  She's also the lady who turned her master bedroom into an art studio, but has had a bit of a struggle overcoming the things which keep many of us from diving into the artistic deep end, so to speak.  That's what she tells us, but maybe she's already turning out great work, keeping it to herself.  Her immense undiscovered talent is only exceeded by her humility.

Today she overcame her reluctance, (and fears) and made some seriously good corrections, as well as, additions to what from this day forward shall forever be known as her first self-portrait.  We talked about technique and all sorts of other painting things today.  She painted and I painted.  Her marks were well considered and she nailed colors and values like a pro.  Fact is, I was more than ready to announce my surrender and give all of my brushes and paints to her.  Yes, friends, she is that good.  If I can just get her to believe in herself and her talent, she will be a great painter.  We ended our day with a glass of wonderful Italian wine and some cheese, conversing about her painting displayed in front of us.  

She took the painting home this afternoon, in order to consider it at her leisure.  Tomorrow may bring further work and I can hardly wait to hear her overnight analysis.  Infinite possibilities remain and I will assume the role of obedient assistant, offering suggestions whenever solicited by her.  My excitement about this painting and Pats work on it is off the charts and I must tell you, few things are more amazing than seeing the flowering of her talent.  I hope your day was as wonderful as mine! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Autumn Dawn and City Color Show

Portland is finally beginning to look like autumn and tomorrow the predicted first rain in nearly three months will make it official.  For some unknown reason, a couple of days ago I got out of bed a little before dawn.  The sun was just about to come up behind Mount Hood, so it seemed like a good time to capture what will soon be only memories.  I hope you are having a pleasant autumn, wherever you call home.  Click on the images to enlarge.
That's the KOIN Tower, an office and condo building which reaches over 500-feet into the sky.  It's named after a local television station and is located two blocks from our building.
Looking down on Clay Street from our 15th-floor windows.  The sun and shadow were particularly striking.
Looking north, the colors are quite beautiful surrounded by the downtown buildings.  Last autumn, Occupy Portland took up residence in the two parks in which those trees are located.  The Occupy Movement is still alive and active here, however, protesters have not taken up residence in any city parks--yet.
A closer shot of the trees, as well as, workers precariously perched above the street, working on the marble exterior of the Wells Fargo Center, another 500-foot plus high office building.  It's located only a block to the north of our building.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Home Studio Photos

Lisa Graham commented on yesterday's post, that she'd like to see what my home studio looks like.  Here it is, Lisa!
It's in our second bedroom, with north light.  All things considered, it's not too bad.  The contraption in the right corner, holding most of my brushes and a variety of other things is a re-purposed kitchen cart.  The leaves on each end are up, giving me a great work surface.  A drawer holds my paints and the shelf and cabinet below hold just about everything else. 
I've used the closet to full advantage, as you can see here.  That's a shelf unit on the left and a Japanese-style tri-fold screen leaning against the closet door to the right.  Michele got me the sculpture stand years ago and it makes a perfect taboret since I stand while painting.
One of the best features of the room is the view.  The two large windows have blinds to control the light and though it's out of the photo, there's a powerful daylight fluorescent light fixture above the easel.  The building with what looks like a ski slope on its roof is a federal government office which has been completely re-done over the last year.  It was gutted down to its bare bones and now is one of the "greenest" buildings in this very green city.  As you may have guessed, that strange looking roof is both a solar array and a rainwater catch system.  Standing at the easel, it's easy to become distracted by this expansive view.  Oh place is perfect!
As mentioned yesterday, the room is multi-purposed.  Computer and printer, bill paying desk and art gallery.
Even more stuff!  Michele's forty year old sewing machine, some storage containers and more of the art gallery.  Most of the paintings came from my former "real" studio.
This was taken at about 9:15 AM today and you can see the sun illuminating my face as I look to the east.  My French painters box is tucked away to the lower left of the photo.  So, ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoyed the tour, but now it's time for me to go to work.  Have a great day!

Back To Work In A New (Old) Studio.

So, I have not dropped off the planet...yet.  In fact, the month of September was filled with a few surprises and just a little melancholy.  The sale of "Dancing Waters" was one of the best surprises ever.  The very day before I was going to retrieve it from the gallery, it was purchased, much to my surprise, by our wonderful friend, Pat Demartini.  You probably know all of this from a previous post, but for first time visitors, let me assure was quite a day!

Two weeks later, the commission was delivered and very well received.  The clients were more than generous, which was another gigantic surprise.  Sue and Anita are two of the nicest people I've ever met and in truth, I consider them good friends more than clients.

The just-a-little-sad event was vacating my studio.  We decided to save the money for our upcoming move in April.  For the past two years it has been the best of the seven studios I've rented during our ten years in Portland.  I turned in the keys this morning and said goodbye to the best building manager I've had the pleasure to work with, Mr. Kelly Rea.

Now, I'm back at the easel, semi-crammed into what is meant to be the second bedroom in our rented condo.  The room has never been used for its true purpose, rather it's home to our computer and a desk for writing bills...and now my painting gear.  Actually, I've always had a French painters box set up there, but now it has been folded-up and put aside.  My studio easel is in its place, along with some of the stuff from the "real" studio.  I've got good north light from two large windows and a "daylight" fluorescent fixture over the easel which should work nicely in the coming short and rainy winter days. 

On October 1st, I began work on a portrait of Pat Demartini in this "new" studio.  Pat was very enthusiastic about the project and patiently sat for three photo sessions.  Taking our time to get just the right one, the decision was made and now the fun is underway.  As usual, the initial efforts are far from post-worthy, but I hope to have something to share with you soon.  I hope October is at least half as interesting as September, and that it brings all good things to you, too.