Sunday, December 11, 2011

Portrait (12-11-11)

A quick portrait of Kim E. who has a lovely smile.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I was a vendor at the DaVinci Arts Fair (12-04-11)

Here is what my table looked like at the Da Vinci Arts Fair. I was selling blank cards of my pen and ink drawings and some knitted scarves (too bad I don't make jewelry, because I'd have made a killing...Sigh...)

Model Call for Portland Bridal Show (12-04-11)

My oldest daughter Moso wanted to audition for the Portland Bridal Show, and asked me to take her to the model call at Benson High School. Since I was there, I figured, I might as well try out for "mother of the bride." Alas, neither of us got selected :(

While I was waiting, I did this quick sketch of the judges' table; I like that just a few lines give an idea of the bored poses.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Belgians in Portland (12-01-11)

After living for years in the Portland area, it was quite a nice surprise to find out that there is a group of Belgians who meet once a month to have a drink and chat!
The meeting place is Bazi, a small brasserie off of Hawthorne Blvd. which, despite less-than-stellar service, has the distinct advantage of offering a large selection of Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired Happy Hour menu items.
Everyone is pretty nice, and it's always a pleasure to meet, and to know that despite the language barrier (most attendees are from Flanders, while Yours Truly is from Wallonia and speaks French) we all have this small country we cherish in common.

RACC Open House (12-01-11)

What a party! The Regional Arts and Culture Council had an Open House to celebrate their move to their beautiful new headquarters in the Park Blocks. Large windows; lots of exposed bricks and natural wood.

Artist Leslie E. at left
Despite the cold, the place was packed. I walked around and observed people.

"Performance art is so powerful. How did you attach the harness?"
 It was the usual art scene, people talking and networking, drink in hand.

Signature removed to protect the Mayor's privacy.
 I was very pleased to run into Sam Adams, the Mayor of Portland. I got him to sign my sketchbook!

MAP Meeting at Rex Putnam High School (11-30-11)

Since I live within the area concerned, and curious to see what has been finalized for the McLoughlin Area Plan, I decided to attend the meeting that had been scheduled at Rex Putnam High School.
McLoughlin Blvd.
McLoughlin Blvd/Hwy. 99 is an eyesore. The necessary-evil-throughway from Portland to Oregon City, it is littered with car dealerships, parking lots, and strip clubs. There are practically no sidewalks, the traffic is intense, and is quasi-impossible to cross on foot. The focus of this meeting was to present the improvement ideas and concerns that had been brought up during several planning meetings over the course of the last several months.
Oak Lodge Citizenry
There was a large crowd present, and people were given the opportunity to "vote" on some points of the presentation given by the planning committee by clicking on audience response cards that had been provided.

Now, most of the people present seemed to be in their 50s, and a majority of them were men. Not your Portland hipster crowds, but more like the type that go hunting or fishing on the weekend. I was sitting in front of a group of reactionary Neanderthal types, who seemed to take pride in voting down anything that was presented on the screen, and were snickering like middle-school kids at terms such as "job incubator area."

One of the proposals that was met with strong opposition was the idea of Section 8 housing being built at the site of the Elks Lodge, suggestive that these people think that such housing would bring undesirables to the area. I briefly wondered whether this reflected more than just an economic class concern...

From what was said during the Question/Comments part of the meeting, one gathers that these people don't care that any improvements be done to McLoughlin Blvd. They like it as it is. I can't understand the mindset, given the trashy looks of the highway, the abundance of outdated mobile home parks that border it, and all the side streets with potholes! Clearly, we are not in Beaverton. No. Leave everything as it is. Just don't anyone touch their homes, and bring on Walmart!

As for me, I would love to see a Trader Joe's, and if there is one now on SE 82nd Ave., -McLoughlin's twin with used car dealerships and unsavory characters-, there is no good reason to not have one here also. I am sure that (at least many of) the residents in this area, such as people who live in homes in the vicinity of River Rd., would support it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Self-Portrait (11-27-11)

...Although a common thread runs throughout, self-portraits looks different because the end result is affected by one's self-perception at the moment.
Traveler with a Heavy Heart

Monday, November 21, 2011

Alliance Française Get-together (11-21-11)

I went to the Brasserie Montmartre for a get-together organized by the French Alliance. French folk singer Tété was present (in town for a concert). I took the opportunity to do a quick sketch of him and asked him to sign my sketchbook.
French chanteur Tété

Dark-haired beauty
I did this sketch of a striking young woman who sat across from met; her hair was black, and with the eyes the darkest shade of dark, she looked like an Iranian princess who had stepped out of the One Thousand and One Nights into Modern Times...

My friend Sian A. likes to participate in French Alliance activities. I enjoyed the relaxed, informal ambiance of this particular meeting.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Plucky Maidens Junk Fest (11-19-11)

I was a vendor at the Plucky Maidens Junk Fest at the McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove. During a lull in the afternoon, I did this sketch of the area near my booth.
Cool things to buy

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Art Spark November Event (11-17-11)

The November Art Spark event was at Vie de Bohême, a wine bar in Southeast. I was a bit annoyed that they would charge $ 3 for a Coke with Grenadine, and their Happy Hour dishes were of the crusty piece of bread with puréed olive variety, but for 4 Bucks! 
Schmoozing for the Arts
So I hung out some and watched the crowds. It was as usual, more arts administrators than artists -everybody loves the Arts, everybody supports the Arts-. There was a tedious-looking recycling-themed Bingo game, undoubtedly to get people to talk with each other, that I didn't event want to bother with, since the room was totally dark and the cards were illegible. After a presentation by RACC staff ("I don't know what I'm doing, but I sure love it!"), some other organization with a purported recycling-cum-arts-focus called Create Plenty presented their program, with a very pregnant young woman gushing over and over about an ongoing fundraiser of some sort. Then, there was a drawing, and I won a weird bag made out of an old Joe Camel t-shirt turned inside out, with some homemade cleaning products in used glass jars (one of them with a Tostitos label still on).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Concert for Veterans (11-12-11)

A great concert by the Oregon Symphonic Band last night! As always, they were fantastic, and we are so glad our son Christopher found this excellent group to play with (he plays the contra-alto clarinet and the soprano clarinet).

Veterans' Day was just a couple of days ago, so there were a few older veterans in the audience at Milwaukie High School, who seemed to appreciate being asked to stand up at the end of the concert.

I am not necessarily into military-themed music, but I particularly enjoyed the Commando March by Samuel Barber, and the very engaging and danceable parts of the Medley from Miss Saigon by Claude-Michel Schoenberg (arr. Warren Barker).

From our standpoint, the most enjoyable moment was to see the high school band students sitting a couple of rows ahead of us, who, when the closing number (Stars and Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa) was announced, all became very attentive (clearly a piece they were familiar with); they clearly were very impressed by the piccolo part (brilliantly played by Jesus Cruz)!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Marriage of Figaro (11-10-11)

My friend Sian A. invited me to go to the Keller Auditorium to see The Marriage of Figaro with her. Although I like Mozart, I am not a fan of opera, but the costumes and set were fabulous! And it was nice to see this production after reading a review of it in the paper.
"He deserves not forgiveness, who does not forgive"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Washington Politician (11-04-11)

I'm constantly amazed by the crookedness of politicians. After seeing the gleeful look of this guy in the story in the paper, I decided to do a caricature of him that would expand on the expression on his face...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hat and Scarf (10-30-11)

While at church, I tried to draw my green hat and yellow scarf which were placed on the top edge of the bench in front of me.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sushiland!!! (10-27-11)

This is one of my favorite sketches: the revolving food display display at Marinepolis Sushiland.
I carefully chose my food, took my time with the sketch, and had a generally very relaxing experience.
I love sushi!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Portrait: Lawrence H. (10-23-11)

I hesitate to put a name to this sketch because it looks so little like the person... Not all sketches are successful, and this definitely is not a good one from that standpoint, and yet, I still like the finished results.
Not a good resemblance

Friday, October 21, 2011

Just Married! (10-21-11)

Our daughter Valérie got married, and despite our limited resources, it was a beautiful wedding.

For the reception, I bought some dark brown tablecloths on Craigslist. Then, I bought some vintage china from varied places, such as auctions or the Goodwill outlet, and these plates were set mixed up on the tables, so that it looked classic yet informal. The flower bouquet centerpieces, in yellows, reds and browns came from the Costco in Hillsboro which has a large floral department. Simple decorations in the church's Cultural Hall: brown and gold ribbons attached to the wall sconces. To finish it off, we had potted trees and shrubs in various places around the room and on the stage, all wrapped in metallic gold gift wrap with red ribbons and bows. But best of all, Valérie's dress came from my personal collection of vintage wedding dresses, a $3.00 purchase.

The food served was cold cuts and sandwich makings, and delicious hot food from Café Yumm. The cake came from Beaverton Bakery, an old-fashioned 2-tiered beauty, which despite arriving damaged was delicious nevertheless; as the damage was discovered when the box was opened, a replacement cake with simpler decorating was dispatched immediately... but that one also arrived damaged... Well, this with the bride's bouquet accidentally scheduled for a day later, -quick recovery on the part of New Seasons in Lake Oswego-, were the unpredictable moments of the day. With the extra cake, and everyone at the reception fed to satiety, there was an entire sheet cake from Costco left... which I took downtown and gave away in the Homeless section of the Occupy Portland camp.

But what mattered was how much in love with each other Valérie and Patrick looked...
Patrick (with bandage!) and Valérie

Friday, October 14, 2011

Movie: Dracula (10-14-11)

We watched the Francis Ford Coppola 1992 version of Dracula. Aside from a being pretty bloody, with Keanu Reeves in one of the leading roles, it was altogether creepy.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Night for Networking at OHSU (10-13-11)

I attended a networking event for disabled people with two oldest children.

This event, organized by OHSU, made it possible for the disabled community to meet with employers in the Portland area. But, as I found out, some of these employers seemed to be present just for the sake of it (such as the three people for U.S. Customs and Borders Protection who clearly looked out of place and referred us to USAJobs, a site notorious for elusive jobs out of this area).

While there, I did this sketch of a blind young woman and her dog. And, funny, I was photographed as I was drawing this sketch!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Documentary: Bill Cunningham's New York (10-04-11)

I watched a pretty interesting documentary, Bill Cunningham's New York. I was a feats of colors, of fashions, and it was about Bill Cunningham, an endearing character, a photographer who has been chronicling the New York fashion world for decades.
Gorgeous B&W photograph of a woman jumping with an umbrella
Anna Wintour of Vogue
Bill Cunningham at right

Self-Portrait (10-04-11)

It looks like I am working on self-portraits again... something I tend to do when I am getting more introspective.

My Hand (10-04-11)

One of those things I will do to kill time is to try to draw my hand drawing; it's pretty difficult to do and it keeps me busy for a while...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Portrait: D.Martinez (09-27-11)

This is a quick portrait I did of one of my students as I was explaining the things we were going to cover during the class I teach at the Milwaukie Center, such art materials, recording activities in our sketchbook, drawing in comics format, etc.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Year Tribute (09-11-11)

It's been ten years since the infamous date of September 11, 2001. A shocking day, and the world has not been the same since.

I'm not much for retrospectives, but I decided to go back to my sketchbook of the time and scan the artwork I had done then.
This is still a very powerful image; the flames from the underside of the plane represent a rip through the fabric of everyday life, bringing about horrible things.

 This is a mournful image, a twisted castle of smoke...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Stop in Aberdeen (09-04-11)

On the way down the Washington State Coast, we stopped for food and gas in Aberdeen, a pretty ghastly place. We had a great meal at Billy's Bar and Grill, a charming, old-fashioned restaurant in the only old building I saw in the town.

Beach in Washington State (09-97-11)

I am timid when it comes to watercolors, but I tried to put my impressions of the Washington Coast on paper.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Models (09-01-11)

Quick sketches of fashion models...

The Money Changer (09-03-11)

My son Chris and I went to one of those traveling coin merchant shows who take out fill-page ads in the paper "We Give Cash for Silver and Gold! Great Rates!" Of course, despite the lavish advertisement, it turns out that the rates offered are, in fact, pretty bad...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Edward... Twilight... Arrrgh! (08-25-11)

I've watched two of the Twilight movies so far and I can only say one thing: they do nothing for me. The plots are terrible, and the acting (what acting?!) is dismal. As for me, I was snickering the entire time.
Tormented, probably from having to pretend to act
 Anyway, here is Edward, as drawn while watching the movie in the dark at one of the city parks (insert sound of swooning audience...)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Interpretation Job (09-04-11)

I worked on an conference interpretation project where the clients communicated by Skype; so during lulls, I drew the two French participants.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Barbecue at Patrick's Parents' House (08-20-11)

Our daughter Valérie and her boyfriend Patrick are planning to get married in October; we're very excited. We were invited to his parents' house in Springfield for a barbecue. I took the opportunity to do a small panorama sketch of some of the adults at the dining room table.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Memorial for Dr. Richards (08-13-11)

We wouldn't have missed the memorial for Dr. Richards for anything in the world. He was a beloved teacher among music circles, and we'll miss his gentle presence and his sense of humor.
A remarkable man
Inside the Chapel at Lewis & Clark College
The meeting inside the Chapel was emotional and underlined the range of people who were touched by this great teacher.
A great Dixieland Quintet was playing for the crowds exiting the Chapel

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Art Class at the Milwaukie Center (07-27-11)

I drew this sketch of some of the students in the Sketching for Journaling class I teach at the Milwaukie Center. We worked on outdoor scenery elements in the lovely community garden at the back of the building.

The challenge I encountered in this exercise was to keep everything on a grid, with credible perspective reflecting my position on a higher plane. Pretty tough!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

New Seasons Job Fair in Southwest Portland (07-07-11)

I went to the New Seasons Job Fair on Allen Blvd. in Beaverton and spent a few hours working on the following panorama of the people waiting to get called in for their chance at getting a job at the new Progress Ridge store that will open next month.

The book I used was a small Moleskine accordion fold book, and the scene reflects a 360 degrees view of what was going on around me. This was a fun project, but not an easy task, since I had to carefully compare the proportions of the people in relationship to each other... The last panels are sketches of people's faces, and I tied everything together with a self-portrait holding the book and drawing.