Tag Archives: Portland

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!

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

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

A Coffee Shop with Cool Art

In North Portland, there’s this coffee shop called The Arbor Lodge. It’s definitely not my favorite neighborhood, but this place is a gem.

Unsurprisingly, this Portland coffee shop serves good coffee.

Today's coffee #pdx

A photo posted by Betsyness (@betsyness) on

What was a pleasant surprise was the quality of the artwork. Look at these graphic, acrylic paintings. They have a quality to them that reminds me of screenprinting or woodblock. Such fun colors!

The line quality also reminds me of cut paper. Have you heard of Swoon? She is a wonderful street artist that creates such intricate work. I could never do this, me with an exacto knife sounds like a recipe for disaster!

Swoon
Swoon
Swoon

Cooper Mountain

 

Cooper Mountain

Southwest Beaverton is growing like crazy, they’re putting up all of these giant mcmansions or starter homes for 450k, and this is deep Beaverton, like I don’t even know if it’s technically Beaverton or Hillsboro or Tigard. I don’t understand what these people do because if any of them have a job to go to in Portland- good luck with that commute. It seems like the traffic and congestion in that part of the suburbs has gotten crazy,like worse than the city traffic.

Cooper Mountain

But it is understandable why so many people are flocking to this area of town when you see these pictures. Southwest Beaverton is elevated above the rest of the valley in Washington County. I guess they’re the Tualatin “mountains” – not really the mountains like the 14er Mount Hood, or the coastal range, but certainly high enough to get great views.

We dog sat for these people who live in this area. And they’re lucky enough to see this everyday in their backyard. With a better camera than my iphone you would be able to see Mt. Hood. Jealous.

And there’s Cooper Mountain. It’s crazy how you’re in a meh, residential area and then all of a sudden you wind up in this awesome area, and it’s like when did I end up in the Shire?

Cooper Mountain

Cooper Mountain

 

Cooper Mountain

Oh and this is random, but gallairda looks like little sunflowers and is very pretty. I want this in my garden:

Cooper Mountain

Art I Like: Randall David Tipton

I actually found Randall, a Portland area artist, through his blog, Painter’s Process. I seriously consider him one of the top contemporary landscape painters, I mean why isn’t this dude in MoMA?

Randall David Tipton

He graciously has shared some of his tips and wisdom with me. My favorite piece of advice? Don’t be afraid to ruin it (artwork). It reminds me of what Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book, Big Magic, to take art seriously but not seriously. He also inspired me to start writing this blog!

Randall David Tipton

I absolutely adore the colors in this one: the cold, dark maroons and greys. He so wonderfully captures the quality of light in winter. It’s muted without being muddy, and somehow glowing. Incredible!

It’s all a matter of pushing the paint, scrapping, pouring, tilting, blotting, and wiping as I try to build my idea. The studies are where I can try something out in a manageable space, but I take them seriously as paintings. My goals are the same for any size. I want a rich, painterly image which represents my view, my regard, my understanding of paint and nature. For myself. I`m trying to paint the paintings I want to see.

Interview with Randall David Tipton The second to last sentence is so good- maybe the best artist statement I’ve read in a long while. Don’t get me started about artist statements…

It’s crazy that he paints largely from memory. Look how keenly he observes the subtleties of nature. He so convincingly captures the reflection of clouds and the movement of grassy wetlands.

http://randalldavidtipton.blogspot.com/2015/06/the-apex-of-spring-more-plein-air-rothko_14.html

Look at that cloud reflection! And this one is a watercolor. People it’s incredibly difficult to have both that freedom and control in watercolor. He is a master!

http://www.dailypainters.com/artists/artist_gallery/1866/Randall-David-Tipton

He has elevated Yupo, a plastic watercolor paper, as an artist medium. If you google or go on Pinterest, most of the stuff you’ll see painted on Yupo is amateurish and features extremely garish, saturated colors. It’s not surprising- Yupo is slick and even more difficult to control than normal watercolor paper. You can see how he takes the unique pooling and puddling texture that paint forms on Yupo and makes it work wonderfully to depict water and sky. I love the transition from the blue sky into the ambiguous forms of the tree. Lovely.

Randall David Tipton

More free flowing textures on Yupo. This is all very, very difficult to do well.

Randall David Tipton

He is wonderfully irreverent of “proper” art techniques- no underpainting or drawing, he’ll use black straight from the tube, he’ll use white watercolor, he won’t clean his brushes after use, he’ll use cheap brushes, he’ll use non-brushes as brushes.  He’ll paint right over an older painting without second thought. I asked if he sands it first before painting over it. He said he supposes he should. He asked me, “What’s gouache?” He normally purchases canvases that have been pre primed with gesso, explaining that he doesn’t have the time for it. I like it! That is a very good lesson (I mean I’m already lazy and messy enough so I guess I am extremely biased here) but I think it is true that we all have so limited time, if we can afford to take shortcuts, why not outsource the awful, boring parts?

He credits his tenacity for pulling many pieces together. Hopefully I can be just as tenacious and keep working through paintings that are a struggle and that I’m down on.

The things in my Oil Painting Part 1

So I’ll be working on this still life oil painting study and looking at the subject for a long time

img_0181

One thing I learned from slowing down and taking my time with film photography  is to also take a lot more care in what is inside the frame- meaning no photoshop is not going to fix it. It’s far, far easier to move the random thing out from the background, then to photoshop it out. Ansel Adams would supposedly wait hours to make his exposures, waiting for things like a cloud to come or the right lighting to emerge. From all of the design blogs I read and follow on Instagram, I have learned the importance of styling. What  gets me when I am scrolling through Pinterest and I see these technically outstanding works but they are just terrible compositions- the artist must have spent hours looking at these ugly items in order to paint them and I’m like why.

Here’s the fabulous green vase that I found at a vintage store in Portland:

@okoportland do you still have this vase for sale?

A photo posted by Betsyness (@betsyness) on

The store’s proprietor said it is a 19th century German drinking jug- cool!

I found OKO Gallery when it was based in NW Portland. They’re now on Burnside near some other really awesome shops but it’s pretty inconvenient to find parking around there. If you do happen to be in the area check out Redux (I want to buy everything in that store and it’s a great place for gift shopping) and get some yummy chicken from Nong’s Khao  Man Gai.

OKO hired this amazing sign artist to paint their door – I love gold leaf!

The sun is shining! Come say hello!

A photo posted by OKO (@okoportland) on

After I had bought the green jug I took lots of pictures of flowers in it.

And I came across this Cezanne painting on Pinterest. Great minds think alike!

Cezanne