Saturday art walk

Fresh eggs and a greyhound cocktail

I told myself “I’m not that hungry, I should just get a coffee”. I went to Slim’s anyway.

At Slim’s I met the Egg Man. This is how he introduces himself. He’s a tall farmer with in shorts with an epic white beard. The Egg Man was chatting up the line cook in the open kitchen from across the bar. Something to the effect of “how’s it hanging” to which the punk rock cook responded “same shit different day”. The Egg Man turned to me and says “you come here for the ambiance?” to which I respond, enthusiastically and unironically “I do”.

The Egg Man has chicken eggs ($6) and duck eggs ($9) from his farm in Newberg, OR. I only have $7. I buy a dozen chicken eggs. The Egg Man would like the carton back.

I have taken over a booth with my breakfast and my iPad (in a keyboard case). I finish my food and my journaling and make a plan for the day.

I’ll go downtown to Froelick and Augen Galleries, maybe stop at Blick in the Pearl to price out screen printing supplies, and then head up to North Portland to visit Nucleus, Talon and Antler.

Froelick Gallery is showing a selection of paintings by Terrell James.

James’ paintings are spare abstractions inspired by landscape. Her paintings show a quiet confidence. The application of paint is thin and spare. Raw canvas peeks out from around shapes. Many times abstract or expressionistic painting rely on an abundance of paint to overwhelm the viewer. (There may not be much here, but there’s a lot of it.) But James has restraint. I’m not that confident a painter.

My favorite pieces are oils on linen. They’re mostly linen, very little paint, very minimal.

Next door at Augen, the show on display doesn’t resonate with me so I leave it alone. However there is a Roy Lichtenstein triptych just leaning up against the front desk. You know. As one does.

Next door to Augen is the Oregon Jewish Museum and they have a nice little café. I decide to grab lunch. I check the menu and ask for “A coffee and the egg salad for here.” The teenager behind the counter seems confused but rings me up and asks if I want cream in my coffee.

I take a seat with my coffee. A second teenager arrives with a tray holding a bowl of egg salad. I explain that I wanted the sandwich.

Can you imagine tucking into a big bowl of egg salad with a spoon? That should be illegal.

After lunch (it was a very good sandwich) I stopped by Blick Art Supplies to see what some basic screen printing supplies would cost me. They have screens, they have photo emulsion, but they don’t have activator. But maybe they do? Nothing is labeled and it all seems very expensive. I checked later on Amazon, and they have everything and it’s half as much and this is how Bezos wins, guys.

I pointed my Prius west to the freeway exit and headed to North Portland. I parked on a side street off Alberta and walked toward Talon and Antler first.

A derelict building has some fun graffiti and posters.

Talon and Antler is a conjoined gallery space, two galleries in one. Currently Talon is hosting a show of work by Ariel Parrow. This show is a series of “flashcards” - they remind me of those National Geographic cards you might get as a kid. They come in a box, they’re printed with a photo of a giraffe, and there are facts on the back. That’s these paintings. Except not giraffe’s but single words.

The pair of paintings below - “Good” and “Bad” showing an identical plate of pancakes. These paintings are uncanny. It’s like one painting is a forgery of the other. They are both hand-painted, clearly referencing photographs, but it’s not a photographic trick; it’s acrylic paint on canvas. And they are identical. I kept looking back and forth, thinking that it was some kind of illusion. It’s like the brush strokes were recorded for the first painting and replayed for the second. These two paintings are masterful. A wonderful painterly mind-fuck.

I scooped my brains up and headed to Nucleus where I saw delightful critters, characters, and beasties come to life in felt and fabric.

This show of works by Cat Rabbit is pure whimsy. Look at those little pig faces. Aside from the little characters, there was a video projected on the wall. In the studio, when no one is looking. these little beings come to life and get up to shenanigans.

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