Category Archives: Portland

Lost Lake weekend

#lostlake #oregon

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I just came back from a relaxing weekend at Lost Lake, in the Mount Hood National Forest. It is aptly named because you will lose all cell phone and GPS reception to get there (on Lolo Pass from 26 or coming south from Hood River).  We didn’t plan on being disconnected from the internet but it was definitely nice to have a break from it all.

Lost Lake

This is the majestic view from the north day use area. Lost Lake is actually a privately run campground and you can rent boats. I was able to easily kayak from the boat launch/ general store area to the lakefront by the day use area. The lake is deceptively big, I tried to kayak from the northern part to the other side, close to Mount Hood. I would say Sparks Lake, Trillium Lake, and Waldo Lake are still my favorites but Lost Lake is definitely near the top of the list.

Lost Lake Oregon

There’s also a 3 mile roundtrip trail around the lake and a steep hike up to the butte where you can see 3 mountains.

Without having the internet to distract me, I had to amuse myself by other means. I did a set of plein air lake studies on watercolor paper:

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

 

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

 

I normally don’t paint outside, you can’t really in Oregon except in the summer (at least I don’t know how other painters paint in the rain). I had to be much more economical and less fussy- using lake water in a plastic cup, not having a proper palette setup, painting much more directly on the paper. All while having bugs constantly try to distract me from painting.

Spring Flowers- some oil paintings

I’ve been awful about updating my blog this year. In fact I hadn’t thought about it at all when Portland artist Randall David Tipton emailed me to tell me he had read my blog post about his artwork that I wrote over a year ago. He returned the favor and highlighted a watercolor on his blog. Thank you Randall!

After a very long, wet winter (one of the wettest winters on record in Oregon), it is flower season here in Portland. This is the time of year when it is really hard for me to concentrate on doing any paintings because I just want to be out in the sun and take lots and lots of pictures.

Anyway, I wanted to update my blog to show some spring flower oil paintings I have completed recently. I wanted these to be light, bright, and colorful.  In the first painting of a quince bouquet, I wanted it to feel like a watercolor- painting with thin, transparent layers. This was successful for the most part but not sure if there’s too much ‘white’ left? What do you think? I’m going to do another one with the same technique, but start with a solid color background first to avoid that problem. I’ve prepped a canvas with a very light bright lavender. We’ll see how that goes.

Glowing quince, 2017, oil on linen, 16x20

Glowing quince, 2017, oil on linen, 16×20

This next one is also a painting done from the same quince bouquet in a teal vase but from a different perspective. I also used  a slightly different technique, painting much thicker. I think my obsession with Matisse shows a bit more here. Which one do you like more this one or the first one?

Quince bouquet, 2017, oil on canvas, 16×20

Here’s another closeup of a spring bouquet, I think composed of all the early spring blossoms:   quince, forsythia, and cherry blossom leaves. I had a lot of fun playing with color- glazing the background in teal and emerald green, creating the dark purple leaves.

Spring bouquet, teal. 2017. Oil on canvas, 16x20

Spring bouquet, teal. 2017. Oil on canvas, 16×20

Spella Coffee (Caffe)

I was looking for a place that was less chain store feeling near Pioneer Courthouse, the part of Portland that has the Apple Store, the Nike Store, the Microsoft Store, and the big Nordstroms.  I was pleasantly surprised to find this tiny coffee shop, Spella. They have the best Google website description: single-origin traditional espresso, macchiato and cappuccino.

It is darling. It is a small shop, inside this big impressive downtown building. It is almost on a tiny home / food cart scale. I didn’t know they made stores with this footprint..but it sounds like a great idea to me. Great food businesses can afford the rent and I get to eat the food!

It feels very European. Delicious pastries and the best coffee. In fact, I think I read that they serve the best coffee in Portland. Wow!

Little Crater Lake

Tucked in the Mount Hood National Forest is Little Crater Lake.

When I first came across it on Google, I was intrigued. I had been to Crater Lake, which was of course amazing, and I wondered what was Little Crater Lake. I asked a few of my native Oregonian friends- they had never heard of it. It turns out Little Crater Lake is aptly named…it’s much, much smaller than Crater Lake in diameter, but also very deep  at around 45 feet deep. Yes that’s feet, not inches. And it is freezing cold. I think they said the water was 34 degrees…brrrr! I actually thought Little Crater Lake felt colder than the water at Crater Lake.

The depth gives Little Crater Lake this amazing turquoise blue color, none of my iphone photos really could do the color justice.

From most of the photos (including mine) that I’ve seen of it, Little Crater Lake looks like a small, ordinary lake. But up close, you see shallow water that immediately veers off into an abyss. There were a few fallen trees, but you really cannot see the bottom.

I am proud to say that I jumped into this freezing water. And one must jump in Little Crater Lake to experience it.  You can’t ease into it, your body just won’t let you.

Even a few seconds of dipping my feet into the water, when the weather was a horrid 100 degrees back in Portland and most of Oregon was scorching,  left me running back to shore.   The water was cold, but man it felt so clean.

The other cool thing about this campground?

There’s a trail, about 1/2 mile from Little Crater Lake that takes you to the head of Timothy Lake where it looks more like a river than a lake. The water there is also pretty cold.

And yes, I accidentally hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, in my bathing suit and wet shoes.

Accidentally hiked the #pacificcresttrail #wild

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Design I Like: Beam & Anchor

I follow Beam & Anchor on Instagram,  they ‘re a cool Portland retailer that has an awesome selection of merchandise.

I want this linen apron.  

Or this linen towel.

Beam and Anchor

Linen is so beautiful. How come art stores don’t carry pre stretched raw linen art panels in these colors?

This simple geometric stand for jewelry is kinda impractical for me since I don’t wear a ton of jewelry. But I love the elegance of its form and it’s not ridiculously expensive.

Beam and Anchor

 

A fun, Scandinavian towel in lovely shades of mustard yellow. Also not ridiculously priced.

Beam and Anchor

Hood River

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I haven’t been to Hood River in over a year- it had been too long! We love going to this English pub called Oak Street Pub, although I was bummed that they no longer serve St Peter’s English Ale that comes in the great green glass bottle. This time we found this amazing playground on the waterfront. They just make playgrounds way cooler these days. There was a mini climbing wall which I made a fool of myself in front of little kids who were much more adept at scaling the structure. The colors of the foliage reminded me of Colorado: silvers,yellows, and burnt orange.

As I walked along the water towards the Columbia Gorge windsurfing association rental spot, I spied a snow cap peering over the gorge. Does anyone know what mountain or butte that could be?

I’m so glad I had my water shoes on. There were several paths down to the water and I walked in the river hugging the bank. The most beautiful glowing light filtered through the red twig dogwood and other river flowers.

I love the way the light shimmers across the water and how it illuminates the rolling layers of hills that make up the Columbia Gorge.

I can’t wait to come back to Hood River!

Design I Like: Jessica Helgerson

You know who has the most darling tiny home complete with a mossy roof and shiplap walls?

Jessica Helgerson

Jessica Helgerson, Portland interior designer who from what I can tell is part of the design elite- her beautiful work is all over the great design trade magazines. I would totally live in a tiny home on Sauvie Island in a heartbeat but land is rare and expensive on Sauvie. She has five acres! Le sigh.

I learned about Jessica first from a Dwell Magazine feature of her Saul Zaik mid century modern remodel.

Jessica Helgerson

It is stunning and if I could afford her I would have her come to the Saul Zaik A1 MCM home I’m living in to give it a proper remodel. (Saul Zaik also designed this treehouse that you can book on airbnb!)

But alas you must have serious dough to afford her exquisite work, like this Portland, Alhambra area, kitchen or the Brooklyn brownstone renovation I’ve been drooling over on Instagram.

 

Jessica Helgerson

#tbt #jhinteriordesign #brooklynbrownstone #weloveNYprojects!

A photo posted by Jessica Helgerson (@jhinteriordesign) on

 

Mount Talbert

Man, Mount Talbert is a great looking butte. It’s in the Milwaukie / Clackamas area. We lucked out and went hiking up there in the middle of grey January on one of the lone sunny days that month. What a great park for hiking!

I took this on my iphone and it’s now my phone’s wallpaper. This is one of the few times that I think my iphone actually beat film!

Mount Talbert: I love Oregon’s fern-lined forest floors

Here’s the shot from my 35mm:

84840011

And on some black and white film:

Mount Talbert

 

Mount Talbert

Oregon through a Holga

I bought a plastic toy camera Holga several years ago after seeing some inspiring work by Jonathan Canlas and Leo Patrone of these black and white wedding portraits shot on a Holga. There’s something about a Holga that just adds an extra layer of emotion onto an image.

Long Beach, WA

 

Holga pictures feel nostalgic, like a cherished memory. The soft focus,  the light leaks, the vignetting, and other aberrations give the image a quality that makes me as a viewer feel like I’m seeing through the photographer’s eyes. These pictures aren’t objective or neutral captures, they are definitely more emotional.

Long Beach, WA

 

Cathedral Park

 

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