20 July 2019

Two Paintings: One With Numbers, One Without

A preview of the next two things I want to attempt, painting-wise. Number one is another PaintWorks PBN. Number two is the real challenge.

Pictured above is the PBN. It is another PaintWorks product, this one titled "Beach Chair Trio". It's a smallish one, only a little bigger than 17"x11", and contains just twelve colors. This is similar to the "Flower Shop" PBN I did a while back. There is an opportunity for drybrushing practice here. I expect the usual level of PBN satisfaction from this.

... and the second one:

A while back I picked up a book by John Barber called The Acrylic Color Wheel Book. It contains a slidable color wheel in the cover so you can easily envision the mixes it calls for, and several projects that look pitched at the beginner painter who wants to gain skills to do more solid work. It is the kind of stuff that sits on the next level of proficiency that I want to attain on this journey.

I've reviewed the work "Eggplant and Peppers", a still life, quite a few times. The feeling I have of it is that of the swimmer about to dive into the deep end of a cold swimming pool and is still building up courage to do so. But in that way, it calls to me, such a mundane painting to do so, but it does. And I can picture me doing the techniques it calls for. So it't time to push into it.

I'll be documenting it all here on this blog and on the Facebook page I've started, The Daily Paint by Number. Wish me something resembling luck, or at least, perserverence.

The Daily Paint By Number: Selected "Echo Bay" Progress Photos

3588Very recently I completed yet another PaintWorks PBN project, Darrel Bush's "Echo Bay" (#73-91474). I generated an armful of progress photos and want to share them all here, but 24 graphics is a bit much, so here, hopefully thoughtfully curated, is a reduced selection of that.

I may have duplicated one or two or put one or two out of order. I'll fix that later.

17 July 2019

The Olivia Report: Olivia The VW Goes To The VW Hospital

3587After two months of stress, worrying, deprivation and hope, we've finally gotten the ball rolling.

Olivia, Our lil' yellow VeeDubya, went to the hospital today to have her heart torn down and rebuilt.

Somewhere around the 8-9AM hour, our old friend from Team Towing, Danny, and if there's a more squarely-professional buckle-down-and-get-it-done tow driver on this planet, we've not yet met them, brought out the flatbed and we got the process in motion.

Even without power it's nice to see her moving down the street, you know that?

One tow bill later, we've gotten her from Outer East Portlandia to the hospital in Saint Johns ... a place called Fix-Um Haus. We've spoken with Rich, the proprietor, at length about the prospect of fixing the engine and what impresses me the most about him as that as he's talking about fixing the motor he's reeling off a detailed plan in his head. He's like the sculptor who knows what stone to chip away to reveal the figure he sees hidden in the stone. He's like the artist who knows where every line is supposed to go on the drawing he's about to do before the ink goes down.

So far he seems to us like a rockstar old-school hardcore VW mechanic, which is what we need so much right now.

As you can see, Fix-Um Haus has a lot of people depending on it. There was the sweetest blue '74 Type I Cabriolet there ... it's a very nice shop. Everything inside the bays is tight and tidy. It looks like we found a true winner here.

So we commend our beloved VW and (soon) a good deal of money (part of it crowdfunded) into the hands of a pro who we're expecting will Get The Job Done.

Stay tuned and we'll update. 

16 July 2019

Multnomah County's Only Covered Bridge: Cedar Crossing

3586Oregon has many covered bridges, but up until historically recently, none of them were in Multnomah County.

In 1982, though, the county deemed that we deserved to join the party. So a secluded spot was selected where a back road that connected the SE 134th and Foster neighborhood (almost-but-not-quite-Pleasant Valley) to the backside of the then-still-small-and-charming backroad burg of Happy Valley crossed the upper reaches of Johnson Creek.

The road becomes SE Deardorff Road in an unsigned change as you round a sharp bend and dive into the gully there, then you turn a corner ... and there suddenly, is this:

If it seems a little new looking for a covered bridge that's because it is: as I noted, it was built in the 1980s to make up for the fact that Multnomah County had no covered bridges within its boundaries; it was dedicated, in part, by County Executive Don Clark (a political titan back in the day when MultCo only had three commissioners), and its name was selected from a naming contest held amongst David Douglas High students.

This bridge is as East County AF.

It's also pleasant, secluded without being too far out, and there's a turnout on the south side of the bridge where you can chill and listen to the forest and the flowing creek below.

15 July 2019

A Sprig Of Mahonia

3585The Oregon grape, Mahonia aquifolium, is the state flower of Oregon. It's not a grape at all, of course, but a berry. This is how they grow them out in Happy Valley:

It's a shrub. The leaves are not unlike holly leaves, stiff and waxy and prickly along the edges. The berries are that beautiful dark blue color, and are edible but not really palatable, unless you like the tartness unless you do something with them. Wikipedia tells me that pre-colonization natives in these parts used to offset the tartness with a sweeter salal. I am also told that you can make preserves with it, either mixed with salal or on its own, and you can make a wine with them, though you have to use rather more sugar to get it to ferment.

We plan on having these in our yard one day soon. They're drought resistant, grow in poor soil, and the berries attract birds.

In Salem, Mahonia is used as foliage, as hardy evergreen bushes in home landscaping, and to grow governor's mansions.

Oregon Highway Signs Are Pure Visual Bliss To Me

I adore the Oregon state highway shield, as those who know me know, and as those who only read me now know.

I've spent a great deal of my life watching Oregon highway shields go past. The current day design may seem odd ... like a chicken's egg on its point that decided to try become an oval as it got to the top. There's a reason for that. The original Oregon highway shield was adapted from the state's armorially-styled seal which can be found on the front side of the state flag. The word OREGON and the route number were surrounded by the outline of that shield with a silhouette of the eagle, sheaf, and arrows that surmounted it (a lovely photo of a battered old Hwy 99 sign can be found here: https://www.aaroads.com/shields/show.php?image=OR19550993&view=3.

I was born near Hwy 213, have lived most of my life near Hwy 213, live near it now, and will probably die in proximity to it. So it goes.

So to someone else, this might be just a banal roadside marker, but to me?

Visual poetry.

I also just like the way the number 212 looks like in that font that the State uses.

14 July 2019

When Worlds Collide - The New Revised Edition

3583One of the novels that I have loved since I started reading SF is that classic of American SF literature, When Worlds Collide. 

It is an odd bird, this book.

It is, arguably and as far as I know, the first mass-market work of prose or literature that has as its main event the physical annihilation of the planet. It's influence has rung down through the years: it's cited as the inspiration for Flash Gordon (in as much as the rogue planet Mongo is on a collision course with Earth) and Deep Impact, the comet-hits-earth flick from 1998, the year with not one but two asterism-threatens-to-hit-Earth-and-everyone-dies-movies (this was the one that didn't suck).

The broad outline of the plot, for those who don't know, is that a binary rogue planet, the Bronson Bodies (named for their discoverer) are discovered hurtling toward the Solar System, and scientists quickly determine that they are going to interact, not in the good way, with Earth. One planet, known as Bronson Alpha, is a gas giant world similar to Uranus or Neptune in appearance and size. The other, Alpha's moon, is Bronson Beta, a world almost identical to Earth in size and, as it turns out, environment.

A scientific clique, the League of the Last Days, is formed to address the threat. The first-amongst-equals is an American physicist, Cole Hendron. He and his group of scientist-engineer survivors drive most of the plot in their endeavor to construct a ship to escape our doomed world and make a landing on Bronson Beta, for it is predicted that the Bronsons, after making a close and catastrophic pass on Earth will round the sun and return in sixteen month's time to finish the job; Bronson Alpha to collide with and physically demolish the Earth and Bronson Beta to be captured by the Sun and bereft of gravitational influence from Alpha by Alpha's collision with Earth.

The novel was written by two well-known and popular novelists and writers of the day, Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer (Balmer, who mostly wrote SF and for the pulps, has been largely forgotten while Wylie, who wrote in more than one genre and famously wrote a mainstream novel Generation of Vipers and another classic of speculative fiction The Disappearance, still has something of a legacy footprint). It was written and first published in 1933 and has been in and out of publication ever since. So it has staying power.

It has, unlike the novels frequently touted as its equal on the covers (Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World) not aged well. Tied into the current events of the day of its writing and laced with soft versions of the sexism, racism, and elitism of the day, it's a literal period piece, dated as dated can be, despite being apparently regarded as one of the seminal works of the modern form of the genre.

So, last night at Powell's, I found a particularly luridly-covered vintage copy of this book. I found it interesting in that way, especially the incongruence of the two imperriled people to the catastrophe unfolding literally at their feet, the handsome man and the beautiful woman as stylishly on-point as their world is chaotically disheveled, as well as the melodramatic tagline Out of the horror of doomsday comes hope for life, for love. In a dark way, hilarious.

The real hook for me? In the lower right hand corner of the book, there is a dark blue flag with white letters reversing out the legend NEW REVISED EDITION.

Here, see:

On the right, a more modern version of the paperback, one I've owned for many years. Grim, blocky type made more intimidating by the atmospheric and effective Vincent DiFate cover art. On the left is the oddity I found last night, sardonically-hilarious art and all. Isn't that a scream, really? It's almost unfair to make fun of it, it's so obviously silly.

That's not the real treat here, though. Remember NEW REVISED EDITION? Well, the original text, written in the 1930s, is so full of anachronisms it's amazing that anybody's using it as an inspiration anymore other than wistful rememberances of That Was The World that Was (and if you are, you're almost certainly Caucasian; the only character that got any development that wasn't white was the Japanese manservant of the pivotal character Tony Drake, and when he was regarded, the text is leaden with benevolent, kindly patriarchal condescension). When I read the first few pages of this edition though, I almost fell over myself in bewilderment; the book starts off chapter one with the supporting character Dave Ransdell, a war veteran and aviator entrusted to courier the precious photographic plates to Dr. Hendron in New York, waiting to pass through customs at an airport, receiving urgent pleas to sell his story to the papers first.

Hold up. I've read this novel dozens of times. I knew he approached New York on a fast cruise ship from France. In this version, though, he voyages on a transatlanic flight from Lisbon.

It was then it sunk in just what NEW REVISED VERSION really meant. And I went looking. This edition was released in 1952 and sections of the text were revised to reflect more accurately the then-current geopolitics. A resurgence of the Nazi party in Germany was referenced. A reference to Mussolini was deleted. The Iron Curtain is referred to. East Germany is mentioned.

The truly odd thing on top of all the other odd things is that the version you're most likely to pick up today is the more anachronistic one, not the NEW REVISED VERSION which, while still anachronistic, is less so than the original. The version on the left, the more modern edition, was copyrighted in 1962 and was probably published sometime in the 1970s (all a guess as it's not documented in the book itself when it was published) but it's the original Thirties text, not the updated version, which came out in about 1952. It's not unprecedented; the Patrick Tilley novel of ET invasion and conquest, Fade-Out, was originally published in 1975 with reference to then-recent military events and geopolitics and republished in the 1990s with Gulf War references.

I think this would be worth a series of articles here about each chapter and what got changed and the book in general. It's still, though hoary and old, a part of what I informally think qualifies as an American modern SF canon, and it continues to inspire works of not only comics and literature but also popular music. And it's always useful to confront what's expired in our culture and winnow the bad out or at least call it by its name.

Oh, and just to be complete, here's the back covers, complete with more melodramatic text, some of which never actually occurred in the work itself.

Veni, Vidi, Legere

3582Art on the chalkboards at Powell's City of Books is always splendid. This I enjoyed Imperially.

This board is on the stairwell going from the Gold Room to the Pearl Room, which is heaven because that's where the art instruction books are and it's wholly proper to ascend as unto heaven for that biz, and will doubtless be up for about two more weeks. 

Movie Posters in a Hawthorne District Mexican Bistro

3581Pepino's is a tidy little Mexican joint down at Hawthorne and 38th. it's been under a couple of names during its long life (it's been there about twenty years) and the food is always simple and good. Street-taco-style tacos and a chipotle and potato burrito that's swell just the way it is, and is only kicked up to the next level by the addition of steak. Horchata ladled out of big glass jugs, five kinds of salsa, it's a fine place to be.

The vintage Mexican movie posters, though, really cast a sort of a spell over the place.

... and they do love them some Cantinflas, don't they? I'm up for that SF feature Santo vs The Invasion of the Martians, myself.

13 July 2019

Ukulele Player On Woodstock Blvd

On Wednesday last week, My Brown-Eyed Girl was down in the hidden southeast part of Portland, taking the car in for a bit of necessary, and while waiting out that process, spotted this genuine human on SE Woodstock Blvd ...

They were exhoriting us to do our homework naked, and eat our cereal with a fork.

Amanda Palmer music, I understand.

13 February 2019

Palliative Reading: Zen Comics and Ursula K LeGuin's Tao Te Ching

These are all times of extreme dexterity and chaos for many of us, and just because one has learnt to live with chaos doesn't mean that chaos is welcome.

And that's as may be. Comes the time, more than often, when what one sees bearing down on one becomes intimidating and the ability to stay on an even keel leaves of its own accord. You can't knowingly coax it back, but you can recreate it.

Recently I had trouble sleeping, freight train running in my head and all that, and The Wife™suggested I read some paper book. Not book on my cheapo yet faithful tablet, that involves that blue-biased backlight which doesn't really do your biological system any good, really kind of destabilizes it, and paper book reading is a very somatically satisfying thing to do, as one can find out for ones self by just doing it (hell, I just feel better holding a book in my had, but that's for another time). And my The Wife™, she know me well, and suggested.

There is a pair of delightful little volumes called Zen Comics (not to be confused with the webcomic Zen Pencils). This modest collection of panels was drawn by a Buddhist named Ioanna Salajan, who was part of a Zen Buddhist community in Amsterdam back around the early 1970s, and they had a periodical called Cosmic Paper. She did these for that publication. What they are are little 4-panel (mostly; some of them break that to illustrate a joke or a theme) situations based on, as I understand it, Zen concepts or koans (and a koan, as I understand it, is a riddle or question that has no sensical answer, the point of which is to embrace the absurdity and acquire understanding from the point of view that provides).

There are around 100 of them in all split between two rather small volumes, titled Zen Comics and Zen Comics II. They are all charming little things that you glance over, then glance over again, and then move on and come back to. At first it's the comic style seeming to combine brushwork and fine line; the whole artistic style, seeming at once unashamedly primitive and childlike but somehow simultaneously sophisticated; and the feeling that it's all trying to communicate with you on a visible and and invisible level.

The comic has a handful of characters. The star, though I don't know if he'd say so, is The Old Monk, that chap on the cover graphic in the robe and that stylish beard with the head with the high dome. The co-star, who I've heard referred to as Number One Disciple, is his most frequent foil (and target of his switch) and serves as a relatable interlocutor. There's also Rinzo, a burr-headed chap who would be a Number One Disciple someday, if only he could figure some basics out. There are some other Zen practicioners, a few Western tourists, and one Samurai warrior who has an epiphany.

There's a whimsy that makes it all approachable even if the point is frequently ineffable (something I also understand a good koan's lesson should be). And I don't know if I'm getting the point of it all, but reading it (as I have many times, it never gets old) again and again always makes me feel a kind, gentle humor within.

It's been reprinted many times; my 2-volume set was printed by Charles H. Tuttle publishers back in the 80s. It's a pleasant reprieve for the weary mind. I recommend it to you.

The other book I've been absorbing is Ursula K. LeGuin's rendition (as she says herself, it's a rendition, not a translation) of the Tao Te Ching. It's a pleasant looking book, small, square, containing two CDs of her reading it as music plays in the background. I've not listened to the CDs yet. I read it, like Zen Comics, frankly, not quite comprehending what I'm reading but it's speaking to me on some level. I love it because UKL did it, of course, but there is a comfort to reading these poems not yet knowing what they are totally supposed to say but feeling their truths falling into place in some internal way.

Ursula K LeGuin's affection for the work makes it a soft, kind thing, and it too, helps me calm the anxiety.

And so it goes.

09 February 2019

WinComadgeddon, an episode of PDXSnowpocalypse 2019.

The scene: the Winco 122nd And Halsey store. Me and The Wife™ leave the Mighty Multnomah County Library midland branch after enjoying a recharging day amongst the books complete with Dutch Bros Coffee because that's the way you Library Day, and we decide we want to get a few absolute necessities before Snowzilla comes to town.

The commute is pretty much normal for 1800 on a Friday night. I had heard, via staccato signals of constant information, that the stores in the Seattle area were getting astoundingly mobbed. Saw the pictures. Astounding. And, I figured the impending trip to the grocery was going to be a bit of an endurance trip but not ...

Well, I get ahead of myself. But I figured it would be a task needing fortitude but not like the penultimate scenes to When Worlds Collide or Deep Impact, or maybe half that bad. At most.

But how do you prepare yourself for something you've never seen and couldn't therefore envision? That you can't intellectually encompass because you have nothing to compare it to?

The store was thronged, to be sure, but it was channelled chaos; bumpy but negotiable. Wife finds us a handy parking spot; with her awareness of human nature, while every last parking spot in the lot in front of the store was taken, the spots on the side near the Shari's were NOT all full. People think of the area in front and everyone (including me) gets that tunnel-vision; they don't think about the small lot on the side.

Getting a cart was another challenge. There was not a free cart to be had. We had our library and Powell's City of Books bags and we went to work.

The first real clue that we were not operating under normal rules came in produce, when we found that there was not one bunch of bananas left in the place. At Whole Foods, they came for the kale, first. Here in more proletarian Outer East Portlandia, first they came for the 'nanas.

Walking off to bulk foods, we sang bars from "Yes, We Have No Bananas". because that's the way we roll.

The rest of the trip was uneventful if not for the immense crowd. The 122nd WinCo is laid out like most WinCos; the dairy is at the back.

As was the end of the line to the checkout. Down the dairy case on one side of that aisle; another proceeding the other way in front of the frozen foods case on the opposite side of that aisle. For a short time I worried it was all *one* line and I was going to be coming back that other way, but the WinCo logistics were immaculate; That line went to one end of the register line, our line to the other.

WinCo planning for this was straight-up rockstar, in other words.

Numerous incidences of simple human friendliness. This is when Oregon Nice comes out, in the transition between normal operations and crisis; oh, sure, if the apocalypse extends any more than a few days we'll be eating each other alive, but for the first few days, at least, we'll be cool with each other.

My wife comes back with a cart after I, having secured a place in the line with a few groceries already, had moved out of the dairy aisle alongside the bottled water area, which was by now as dry as the Atacama. The only cat litter available was in a 40-pound bucket, at which point an estimable gentleman donated his cart to her after concluding that he could carry what he had out to his car in his arms.

And I'll never have the opportunity to thank him, alas. Well, we paid that forward in our turn anyway. So that goes.

We waited in the line for check out, chatted philosophical (I can't speak for my spouse but I'm definitely in that phase of life) and exchanged conviviality with the others in the line ... and we checked out of Checkstand 1.

That's how you know this was a capital-E EVENT. Because, my friends, Checkstand 1 at your average WinCo is the one farthest away from the entrance. It's in the booneys, as the WinCo layout has it.

In that way, it's a shame that me and my spouse never had kids. We'd have grandkids who were infants by now, and in a few years, we'd be able to tell them the tale.

About how the weather was so bad, back in Feb of '19, that we checked out of WinCo at Checkstand 1.

And so it goes.

04 January 2019

The SJKPDX Portland 2019 Calendar Is Still Available!

I had the calendar finished and was publicizing it on Facebook last month and it only now occurred to me to feature it here. Silly me! I've always been much better at designing than marketing.

But here it is and it's still wonderful, and there is still 360/365ths of 2019 to enjoy it, which makes the $13.99 asking price still a very good value!

It's a unique work; you've seen Portland on many calendars and posters, but never the way I do. And I have a most unique eye.

Below you'll find a embed that'll let you get a preview, but don't stop there! Go ahead and treat yourself: If you can't be in Portland, you can at least have it on your wall. And it is the one part of Portland that anyone can afford.


03 January 2019

Wy'east, Red Sky At Morning over Killingsworth St

This was the scene on NE Killingsworth St just west of I-205, a favorite place, two mornings ago:

This is a favorite place because the thronging of civilization is there in front of you, and beyond, impassive yet warm, is the local geography, which, to the degree it can, runs on its own clock, by its own rules.

It does not check with you.

Wy'east in molten gold.

The Progress on "Flower Shop"

And now, here's the progress of the most recent PBN, PaintWorks' "Flower Shop". Details to follow.

One by one by one.

Commentary to follow.

27 September 2018

They Call It The Fair-Haired Dumbell. No, Really.

Portland is in the midst of a building-boom, of course, economics being what it is here in terminal-stage capitalism, of properly Erisian proportion. It's only natural that someone or something in the collective psyche would snap.

Here's what happened with it did.

Back in the days of Mayor Sam Adams, someone got the brilliant idea to turn E Burnside and Couch from NE 14th to the Burnside Bridge into a one-way couplet; Burnside going east, Couch going west. Not only did it ruin a great visual approach to downtown on East Burnside, but it also improved property values (like any other corner of Portland really needed it; pretty soon, you'll be renting the air).

This caused a change in geography in what we sometimes still call the "Burnside Bridgehead", that area where the east end of the Burnside Bridge comes back to earth. The sole corner used to be Burnside and Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. Now, Couch was changed to go one-half block west, s-curve south, then join Burnside to channel the westbound flow onto the bridge. The architecture, such as it was, was swept aside. An open space was created, and that's the way it stood for more than a couple years.

Well, bring us up from 2014 to the present day. Ladies and gentlemen not of Portland, allow me to introduce you to what is actually called "The Fair-Haired Dumbbell"

Looking SE from NE Couch St and Couch Ct, a street belonging only to bicycles

When built, a local alt-weekly exulted Finally, architecture we can argue about. Across the river, on SW 5th, The Portland Building breathed an almost-audible sigh of relief knowing that there was finally a building in town that would attract more opprobrium.

Looking SW from the corner of MLK and Couch
The building looks as though what you'd get if you engaged Willy Wonka as an architect.  Your eyes do not deceive you; non of the sides are plumb. It's all angles. The windows are of various sizes and in seemingly random array.

It's apparently an attempt to redefine the concept of 'building' as 'a structure you walk into and do things in'.

The middle of the Dumbbell, showing the connecting walkways.

As can be seen in the above picture, strictly speaking, the Dumbbell isn't just one building, it's two smaller ones connected by a sort of stacked set of skybridges. Just as you figure you have it figured, you find you figured wrong.

Looking NW from the corner of East Burnside and MLK Jr. Blvd.

There's another thing that one might have surmised in looking at this building; it is stranded on a smaller-than modestly-sized Portland block, surrounded with some of the heaviest street traffic in Portland, with minimal parking. That street parking you see on MLK is all the parking there is next to the building proper. There is a parking garage in that Death-Star-looking edifice behind it and on the left, and while I didn't peep the prices, I understand easy financing is available for well-qualified parkers, if you follow me here.

Looking NE, from the Burnside Bridge
And what a paint-job there, hey? Positively painfully Portland psychidelic.

The Fair-Haired Dummbell is one of a kind; if Portlandia put a bird on this one, it'd have to be a cuckoo. But it casts a kind of a spell, you see; one begins to enjoy it despite every instinct in one that insists that this is quite possibly a crime against architecture suitable for prosecution at the International Court of Justice.

Now, I've loved buildings and I've hated them. I have alternatively loved and hated them. But never before have I simultaneously loved and hated a building. The Fair-Haired Dumbbell is both joyously antic and fun and also rage-inducing ... and I hold these emotions concurrently. 

That alt-weekly was right. This is architecture we can argue about.

I just don't know if they meant you can argue with yourself about it.

24 September 2018

The Old Joyce Hotel Sign

The Wife™ has declared this photo to be Portland AF:

Well, it certainly is old Portland AF.

What this is is the sign for the old Joyce Hotel, over the corner of SW 11th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street (formerly Stark). And there is something evocative to the thing, the old flophouse sign, still there and still intact but for the stress of the years on the paint job, up against one of those classic downtown Portland street lamps, which I adore beyond sane reason.

It profoundly emotionally moved her, which is a thing that I'll be even amateur photographers like myself as well as pros are surprised; you never know which one of your compositions will grab someone by the heart.

And so that goes.

23 September 2018

The Daily Paint By Number Presents: The Next Two Projects

Good news for this artist's journey: a new source for more PBN projects has been identified, thanks for avid scouting work by The Wife™.

Art Media, of course, is no more, for a few years now. But, in the space it once occupied on SE 82nd Avenue at King Road, the Portland branch of Hobbytown USA has moved in. It is sweet! Portland area hobby lovers of things such as RC hobbies, model building, model railroads and things of that nature ought to get to know it if they've not already. It's well-stocked and friendly.

They've also got stacks and stacks of PBNs, a great many of them the Dimensions Paintworks brand, which I've, over the course of merely one project, have come to love. I've acquired two more to do, after I'm done with Nicky Boehme's Taste of Italy. 

One is another Nicky Boehme design, titled Balloon Glow. Ethereal, atmospheric, and entrancing.

The second one is a design by Fabrice de Villeneuve, Flower Shoppe, and it's down-to-earth, warm, and friendly.

Another interesting difference about Flower Shoppe is that it's 11x14 and only requires 12 colors. I didn't know until this point that Paintworks came in anything other than 20x16 and 18 colors, but this smaller one presents the same elevated challenge that the other did.

The projects call for two other painterly techniques that will make me up my game: "feathering", the technique of using short choppy strokes to cause a visual blend, and stippling. Also there seems to be the necessity of using a wash.

Paintworks continues to be the PBN that teaches as well as keeps the hands busy, engaging the mind on a more sophisticated level than other producers. I look foreword to these next two challenges.

The Advent of SW Harvey Milk Street

Southwest Stark Street is no more, kinda sorta, for a five-year transition period.

But the street blades honoring the late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk are up now. And for the next five years, the street will wear both names on the signposts. This is how we transition street names here in Portland.

The proposal by the businesses along the street supporting it and detailed at The Harvey Milk Street Project  was to have the thirteen blocks of SW Stark Street renamed only, in honor of Harvey Milk who, in his highly visible position as a legislator in one of America's pre-eminent large cities was amongst the first openly gay people ever elected to such prominence, was assassinated in 1978. Also, for a period stretching roughly from the mid 1980s to the mid-2000's, that area stretching along Stark from approximately 11th Avenue to 13th Avenue was the hypocenter of Portland's gay culture.

The list of nightclub names still doubtlessly rings legendarily in the hearts and minds of Portlanders gay community: Club Portland, the Fish Grotto, Boxxes, the Red Cap Garage, Scandals, The Roxy. Of those, only The Roxy and Scandals remain, however tenaciously, against the advance of gentrification and the McMenaminization of everything between SW 12th and 14th along West Burnside.

This was where gay Portland came to hang out and play, a place that was thiers.

The building in the picture above is the Joyce Hotel. Its first floor, there on the corner, was home to the Fish Grotto.

The Fish Grotto is no more, having closed in 2014. The space next to it, which now holds a totes adorbs little alley-mall style boutique collection called Union Way, once held Boxxes and Red Cap Garage. Boxxes moved to the upper floor of the building on the SE corner of Burnside and SW 11th before it winked out.

The old sign for the Fish Grotto still remains, as does the board that once supported the sign for a latter-day subdivision of the Fish Grotto called the Sand Bar. Now it, as well as the Joyce Hotel itself, one of Portland's last great flophouses, stands in stasis on the corner of SW 11th and then-Stark, now-Harvey Milk Street, a ghost of Old Portland in solid, tangible form.

The corner of Harvey Milk and 12th still has remnants of the Portland what was. Note in the picture following the Peterson's Grocery on the corner. That's been a corner shop there for a very long time; up until the Peterson's near the library on Yamhill was evicted, it was Georgia's Grocery. 

The other two survivors, Scandals and The Roxy, are the market's neighbors. In the picture above, if you look for the al fresco parasols; that's Scandals.

Over Scandals, there's a true antique. I'm glad they left the sign up that declared that this was once Georgia's Laundromat.

And ... The Roxy. What a splendid pageant that place is. We adore it. Funky as well, pictures all over the walls, you go in there and all of a sudden you feel like you're in 1987. And the food? All bad for you, and when I say bad for you, I mean if you don't eat once here before you die, that would be bad for you.

Burgers, nachos, bad for your arteries but oh, so good for your soul.

We will always love The Roxy. How it hangs on in this area of ascending property values I don't know, but I hope it stays just this way for a very long time.