Monday, February 25, 2013

Dinner With Sam and Sam

Sam Sadler, our good friend and neighbor, invited us to dinner last night and what an evening it was.  Mr. Andy Campf, another resident here at The Portland Plaza, joined us for a wonderful meal preceded by great bread, humus and cheeses from Italy and France.  Next came the most delightful lamb chops we've ever had the pleasure to enjoy, complemented perfectly by French wine and sparkling cider.  Sam served an elegant pear tart (it probably has a better-sounding French name) for dessert.  In a word:  Wow! 
Mr. Andy Campf, our novelist neighbor.

Andy, we found out, is writing a novel in addition to having a full-time career!  He wouldn't tell us much about it, so we'll have to wait for his announcement of its publication.  Many evenings, we've seen Andy working on his book in the Portland Plaza library.  Hope we can be among the first to read it.
Mr. Sam Sadler, in-progress, oil on canvas, 20 x 16-inches.

I had thoughts about taking Sam's portrait to the dinner last night, but as usual, I found just enough wrong with it and left it here.  I had written most of a post, just waiting to return from dinner to finish it, but too much wine and fatigue defeated me.  Today, with a clear head and eyes, I worked on addressing the flaws which kept the painting home last night.  Still needs work, but I decided to post an image, sans scarf.  I can honestly say, if we attend many more farewell dinners I'm gonna have to start limiting my wine intake.

Late today, Dr. Nnamdi Emetarom and his wife, Suzy, came here for a photo shoot.  I've wanted to do a portrait of Nnamdi since meeting him here a couple of years ago.  Nearly too late, I invited him to come here today before he and Suzy leave for a visit to Phoenix on Thursday.  His portrait will be my very first in Hawaii.  With Suzy adding superb direction and Nnamdi's willingness to pose, we got some excellent photos.  I've included one of my favorites, though it will be up to Nnamdi and Suzy to make the final choice.  Have a good day tomorrow.  
Dr. Nnamdi Emetarom


Friday, February 22, 2013

A Wednesday With Friends

Yes, it was a wonderful Wednesday.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to Celeste, seeking her help in selling my kitchen cart-turned taboret.  She has over six hundred followers and I figured a word from her would send at least a few hundred inquiries my way.

She responded with her usual enthusiasm for fellow bloggers and friends, but went a step further, offering to buy it herself.  Her offer, my acceptance and subsequent arrangements for pick-up seemed like an excellent opportunity to have a party.  Michele and I thought we might also invite our great friends, Margret Short (nationally known artist and four time Salmagundi Club award winner,, her husband, Dave and our dear friend and neighbor here in the building, artist Pat Demartini.  You've been seeing Pat's portrait on this blog of late and she was kind enough to bring it with her.  

So, yesterday afternoon, after loading the cart-taboret into Dave and Celeste's truck, we all gathered to have some wine and other beverages, plenty of food and a whole lot of great conversation, with art taking center stage, as you might expect.  We hoped for a spectacular sunset, but instead only had city lights and rain clouds, however nothing could dampen the good spirits this fine day.  

Check out Celeste's blog at to see photos, courtesy of Celeste's husband, fine art photographer, Dave Burbach,

I hope you had a great day, too. 


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Getting Close

Work continued on Pat's portrait late last night and I've been at it again today.  I vaguely recall saying something about taking a day away from working on it, but I lied.  I was sincere when writing about it in the post, but when a new day begins, I automatically go to the studio and go to work.  It seems nearly impossible to take a day off.  I suspect many of you have the same problem, curse or gift, depending on your perspective.  Anyway...       
Pat, in-work, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.

Our normal winter weather returned today, so no distractions kept me from the easel.  Yesterday, on the other hand, Portland was sunny and the temperature rose to a stunning sixty-one degrees, so I was "forced" to get out and enjoy it.  After jogging about four miles, I found a spot on a park bench along the waterfront, which was extremely lucky due to everyone in Portland being outside soaking up the sun.  I sat, dripping healthy sweat, listening to my MP-3 player, facing the sun.  It was, in two words, simply delightful.  After about twenty minutes, I ran home and, following a shower and some dinner, went back to the portrait.                                    

The effort wasn't blog-worthy, but it did get me closer to what I want to see in this painting.  Today, the biggest changes include raising the key in the shadows and refining her hair and just about everything else.  You know how it mark leads to a thousand more and at the end of the session, you sit back and evaluate.  I liked what I saw enough to post it.  That almost sounds like progress!  Enjoy your Sunday, everybody!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Pat In-Progress

Or spinning my wheels.  You can be the judge.  Anyway, here she is today.  Let's see...the colors are all over the map, values could use more tweaking, I haven't worked on the hair in a long time and it needs lots of work.  I've been adding-in more light in her neck, but it looks like mud in this photo.  The major unsolved issue is trying to keep her eyes expressive, yet show the glare from her glasses.  Crazy, but every time I add the glare, I'm not too crazy about it.  Maybe tomorrow I'll just leave it alone and enjoy what is forecast to be a spring-like day in the upper-fifties.
Pat, in-progress, oil on canvas, 20 x 16-inches.

The movers will be here in 27-days and painting will cease a few days earlier.  The pressure continues to build, and though I can hardly afford to take a day off, we all know that a break can be just the trick for refreshing the vision.  Hope it works! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pat and Sam.

Here they are today.  I'm running out of time and have been putting in serious effort to get these two portraits finished before the movers take away my easel.
Sam, 20 x 16 inches, oil on canvas.  The scarf is only laid-in now, but my goal is to have it look real and like it's made from some really nice material like cashmere.  Gotta go some, don't I?!

Pat is finally beginning to shape-up, but with Sam, I've gone in a completely new direction.  Previously, the background was the very dark-to-light spread.  So much for that!  Sam told me it would be okay to change his shirt, too, so...I did.  The scarf was purely my idea and the cool blue background is meant as a start of some sort of outdoors look to justify the scarf.
Pat, 20 x 16 inches, oil on canvas.  I've been putting a lot more light into this and trying with only partial success, to achieve the look of glare from her lenses on her eyes.  So simple, yet so challenging!  Tomorrow, I'll take up my trusty brushes and joust with the windmill again.

Sam hasn't seen this yet, but he might get his first glimpse of it here.  It's a much livelier painting now and that can't be all bad.  Pat's still has the darks, or as the Maestro call it, "brown gravy" and it's just what she wants.  She saw this a couple of days ago and seemed pleased at the progress.  Both still have a way to go, but I'll get there.  Hope you all had a good day and an even better tomorrow.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sunny Day Jog and the Latest Sue.

Today, all of Portland enjoyed a sunshine-filled day with the temperature in the low-50's.  Such conditions demanded a long jog with the camera.  Not too many days left before spring arrives and so does our move.  We're down to thirty-nine days until the movers knock on our door.  Seven days after that, we hop aboard a Delta flight out of Seattle, bound for Honolulu and a new life--again.

We continue working on the seemingly endless list of things which need to get done before we move, but happily, many of the REALLY BIG ones are accomplished.  Among the current priorities are the three in-work portraits.

Sue's has been the focus lately, as I struggle with...well...everything.  It's passed the time to let it go, but I just keep messing with it.  Every time I'm ready to let go, something catches my eye and away we go again.  Anyway, here's what she looks like today.
Ms Sue Hawkins, 2013, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches.  Work continues.

My jog today took a familiar path along the South Waterfront.  It's been quite awhile since I've shared any photos of the new Oregon Health and Sciences University building under construction and the new Willamette River bridge.  Both of these projects are proceeding at a remarkable pace, but we'll miss the respective completions.

The new cable-stay bridge construction has been fascinating to observe.  Everything about the project is a first time ever for me to witness.  I say this as both a preface and an apology in case bridges hold little interest for you.  What the heck...a few photos can't be THAT bad.  Can they?  Hope your Saturday had sunny skies.

I'm standing close to the Interstate-5 Marquam Bridge, looking south.  The two tower cranes are being used to construct the massive towers which will support the roadway with lots of cables.  In this shot you can see the east tower on the left, under construction, while on the right the twin west bank columns are finished and other work is underway.  Click on the image for a closer view.

Here, we see the west tower and perhaps part of the roadbed and cable machinery doing who knows what.  A bonus in this photo is Mount Hood, covered in fresh powder.

This is the new OHSU building racing toward completion.  We're looking south now.

Same building, looking north.  Notice the interesting structural components.  Fascinating.

A closer view of the marvels of modern engineering.

A look at some of the South Waterfront condo towers.  You've seen these before on this blog, but not this view exactly.

I couldn't resist snapping a photo of this hard-working bunch of paddlers, going upriver.  That's the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry on the east bank of the Willamette River.  They are about to pass under the Interstate-5 double-deck Marquam Bridge.  Interstate-5, for those of you not from around these parts, runs from San Diego, California, all the way to Canada.