I just recently returned from a week long trip to Portland where I taught four classes at Art and Soul.
I taught the first two days and then had two days off and then taught the last two days! It was a great schedule that allowed my sister Sherpa, Leslie and I to explore Portland and go to some of my favorite haunts.
My first class at Art and Soul was Day of the Dead Heads! It was the first time I had taught this class and it was so much fun to see student’s interpretations of this theme. The project requires a lot of painting and students rose to the occasion creating some incredible masterpieces.
I loved watching these brightly painted and embellished skulls come to life!
Being in Portland for a week allowed us plenty of time to see some old friends….and my fellow teacher and friend, Helen Shafer Garcia was teaching there too!But we also had an evening out with a very old, dear friend who lives in the area.
For our first day off after teaching, Leslie and I took the Max train (so convenient!) into downtown Portland. Fortunately the retreat hotel is right next to the airport which makes it super easy to jump on the train at the airport. Our first stop was at the Portland Art Museum….I had read that they had a temporary exhibit there with a collection of Colonial paintings from the Andes……and I had to see them since I am very much inspired by this genre of painting.
We also ran through the early European gallery where I found a painting from an artist I love, Bronzino….well it actually said this piece was from someone from the school of Bronzino. I use a lot of his female images in my own art work.
And the really great part is that the brewery is right next door to one of my favorite stores in Portland, Cargo! They moved out of the Pearl a few years ago and even though it is much more organized (not the flea market look it used to have) I still love just looking at the unique displays. If you love beautiful folk art and treasures from around the world, this is the shop for you!
Our next stop by Uber was a huge wherehouse of antiques and collectibles for a quick spin….Our next day in Portland, we met up with another very old family friend at the incredible Portland City Grille on the 30th floor of a highrise. Wow, the views were unbelievable! It was fun to catch up over a delicious lunch and a perfect view!Next stop was 23rd street….we had never known about this area or street before…it is like Portland’s version of Melrose….a long street with trendy shops, cute boutiques and plenty of great restaurants…..we did find that Portland is a great city for eating!
I have been to a similar store in San Francisco with the same name,Scrap and even though the name is the same and the contents are the same, the folks who worked there said it wasn’t related! It is filled to the brim with old, recycled art materials and some true junk which is always fun to peruse through! I found a few, super cheap goodies so that was fun. It was nice walking throughout Portland….
As night fell we made our way back to the Max and back to the Sheraton to get ready for the next day’s class.
My third class, Mainframe, was the largest one I taught with 20 students. Fortunately most students had some clay experience which helped the class hum along. In this class, students focus on creating a centerpiece that can stand alone or be used as the beginning of a larger mosaic. So many beautiful “mainframes’ were created in this class. Here they are for your inspiration!
It was a truly wonderful week in a city I adore! Thanks so much to everyone who came and took a class with me! Your work was so inspiring. It was fun seeing so many familiar faces and making new friends….thanks again for joining me!