Full Cup of Inspiration

Tom and I headed to Portland for a very quick little dose of urban life this past weekend.  We arrived in town just in time to get in on the free open late night at Portland Art Museum.  We had just over an hour to soak up some inspiration.  We LOVED the photo exhibit in the Gilkey Center – Ray Metzker – gorgeous value based abstracted urban photos.  Juicy yummy photos like drawings.  Delicious!!

Portland Art Museum 2011
Ray Metzker, Philadelphia 1980

Also noted were pieces from the permanent collection by Alden Mason (however, this is not the piece at PAM – I grabbed something similar from google):

Alden Mason

What I love about Mason is the intentional paint application, it’s beautiful transparency. Nearby was a Neo Rauch – sorry for the poor photo – I feel really weird taking photos in the museum, for one thing I have a hard time telling if it’s okay and it just feels goofy to take a photo of something that’s best appreciated in person.  But for the sake of internet conversation:

Neo Rauch

David Rosenak’s intense and photographic grissaille pieces in the NW Contemporary section were a feast for the eyes – again the piece pictured here is not in PAM but provides an example of his work.  The guard was really cute – he was just gushing over his work.

David Rosenak

Rosenak’s pieces were also refreshingly small.  It’s nice to have a pallette cleanser among all the huge contemporary works.

And finally as we were being swept from the building we felt sad by Jack McLarty’s The Bystander – a Portland painting

Jack McLarty - The Bystander

Next stop dinner and then we caught my favorite band Dengue Fever in concert – overheard at the show “there are so many old people here tonight”  and my husband spoke to a man he put in his 70’s who was apparently Cambodian – he told Tom how much he loved Cambodian music – super fun.  They posted their entire new album – Cannibal Courtship on this youtube video I’m attempting to attach to this post.  

It’s catchy, light, heavy danceable …  Uku – the third song is my fave. : )  Here’s a vid with that song only: 

The lyric translates:

“The windy season makes me think of my village

I think of the old people, young people, aunts and uncles

We used to run and play, hide and seek

But now we are far apart

Far Apart.”

So lovely and so sad.

Next day we toured the Chinese Garden in downtown Portland – which was surprisingly impressive – it is the most authentic Chinese garden outside of China – stunning actually and we hit it on the first warm spring day, we just lounged and absorbed the sun like a couple of cats.  We also had some fabulous tea in the tea house.

Chinese Garden Portland Oregon
Checkout the walk way - made up of lots of perfectly placed small rocks
Chinese Garden Portland Oregon
Chinese Garden - Portland, OregonWeird Panorama Chinese Garden - Portland, Oregon
Chinese Garden - Portland, Oregon
Weird Panorama Chinese Garden - Portland, Oregon

We hit the Museum of Contemporary Craft a couple blocks away – there was a weaving show – which is a process I don’t really understand so I wasn’t terrible excited until I saw the woman’s clothing which she somehow wove without sewing anything – gorgeous stuff – made me want want want such perfect clothing.  Laurie Merrick

museum of contemporary craft weaving
Laurie MerrickLaurie Merrick Museum of Contemporary Craft Portland
Laurie Merrick Museum of Contemporary Craft
Laurie Merrick Museum of Contemporary Craft Portland

She apparently made this for her main working outfit.  The pocket was for her cigarettes and handkerchiefs.

In the evening we spent time with Tom’s cousins and his childhood friends.  Next day we hit a couple vintage shops in St. Johns and the ever trendy N. Missisippi Historic neighborhood and hit I-5 in time to be home at a reasonable hour. And FYI – if you’re on the road in the northwest, stop at SeQuential – the best gas station around – you can get bio diesel, gluten free sandwiches – that are amazing!  Filtered water, dried mangoes, loose leaf teas …..  all the good hippy stuff..  It’s clean too – yay!  In the summerish time, there are blueberry bushes to snack on. …  The staff is super friendly and seem happy to be there.  Free Wi-Fi – plants growing on the roof…  etc.  Exit 189 if you’re heading North and it might be exit 190 if you’re heading South.  Take the South Eugene exit.  OH – and yeah the price of regular gas was .04 $ higher than their neighbor – which for an 18 gallon tank means you pay $.72 extra.  No big deal.

Friendly Staff at SeQuential

Okay – if you hung around for the end of this post, you are a real trooper.  : ) Home again to my newly spring cleaned studio.  Now that my cup of inspiration is full, tiime to get some creative work done!