Tagged: Pete Scully

Went out to Portland, a town I’m developing quite a fondness for, for a week, to take care of business and clown about town. For starters, as I was riding the light rail, the Max , in from the airport, a young woman in a green tee shirt, festooned with facial piercings, and hair piled high and gathered in a black paisley patterned bandana, sat right in front of me. You see her in the top left drawing. I would run into her a week later at the airport as I was drawing a view out a window by a coffee stand where she was getting off work. That drawing of the tarmac with highway and hills beyond is at the bottom of the middle column. She noticed me drawing, mentioned she’s an artist, her boyfriend a tattooist so I showed her the drawing I made of her the week before. She was very charming and I seriously wanted to do a portrait of her but figured she was tired having just finished an early morning shift.

Once in town, I shot over to the Chinese Garden, a reconstruction of a poet’s walled compound from the garden district in Suzhon. There I drew the Foo Dog you see above.

The next day, after a fine lunch with my Northwest Coast friend Doug at Jake’s Seafood Bar and Grill*, Doug and I headed to The Art of The Shave where we took turns under a straight razor deftly managed by the suave and engaging Elijah Mack, who transformed our grizzled jaws into smooth as polished baby butt profiles. Eli, with tattoos aplenty & perfectly comb-raked pompadour, is a first rate conversationalist, raconteur, and one sharp dressed muthafukka. (* You can see drawings that I did with artist Pete Scully one nite at Jakes during last summer’s Urban Sketcher’s Symposium on my earlier entries, “More Glimpses of USK in Portland” and “Post Partum Portland”)

I then went and joined up with Portland artist Bill Sharp, whose astute work you can view by linking to his website through my blogroll, for some life drawing at Hipbone studios. I wasn’t on my best game there and you can see I fell prey to some of my bad habits. My proportions were all out of whack, I shorten folks legs if I’m not alert and there is barely any suggestion of form and twist in the hips of the reclining poses. I was trying to whip it out and got some lazy scrawls instead.

The evening of the following day, after work, I went on a boat ride up the Willamette River during which I drew the 2 portraits in the 3rd row of fellow riders. I began the drawing titled Il Tom Siena by drawing the hairdo of Siena, our trade show sponsor at C2F. Then Tom O’Brien, an artist from Seattle, obligingly posed to complete the sketch.

Row 4 columns 1 & 2 were drawn at Linda & Fred Engstrom’s vineyard, Cloudrest, a plot of land straight out of Eden.  We had 2 hours to draw before the place took a soaking. The blue glazed pot was drawn from under their eaves where I took refuge from the rain.

As with most places, Portland has it’s cast of characters. And time spent on her streets, riding public trans, and in the libraries, book stores, bowling allies, and bars & cafes, will give you a very colorful assortment of the species. Cork, a distributer of art supplies, is seen wielding a 2 olive martini and set to sling his transparent bowling ball with skull encased. In addition to an abundance of piercings, labrets and the like, and vast acreage of tattooed skin, Portland relishes hirsute displays. The reading rooms of Portland’s main library offer choice examples from shaggy to shorn.  Check  the twin peaked pompadour on the intent reader, 2nd column, 5th row.

All the rain aside, and the Northwest being a part of the world that excels in precipitation, the lack of marrow congealing winters and blistering summers, the highest unemployment after Michigan, and years of the attrition of a deeply entrenched meth trade, means a sizable transient and homeless population. On the west facade of the library at 10th and Yamhill, up under the crown, is the well known phrase from Luke 6:31,”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Those who find themselves down on their luck, or wrestling with MH issues, who are on the street because of life choices or who struggle negotiating life’s often tough terms are fortunate that Portland’s weather is temperate and her citizens embrace the pathos of Luke’s words. Washington and Oregon have led the states in efforts to keep the pharmaceutical building blocks of meth behind the counter. No thanks to the foot dragging of Big Pharm.



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