Monday, July 26, 2010

Monothon PDX 2010
marathon printmaking benefit
for Print Arts Northwest|PAN

MPDX 2010 ... ...
This fundraiser for PAN gives artists from all media and all levels an opportunity to create monotype prints at Atelier Meridian and professional printmaking studios throughout Portland, Friday - Sunday, 10|1-3|10.

How it works ... ...
Artists will sign up for a four-hour printmaking session, with all printmaking materials provided by PAN.

Volunteer professional printmakers will be on hand to provide technical assistance, with food and beverages provided throughout each day during the weekend of Friday, 10|1 - Sunday, 10|3|2010.

Fun For Friends ... ...
Friday evening and Saturday afternoon sessions will be open for the public to observe artists at work.

Following The Monothon ... ...
PAN's guest curator (tba) will review and select at least one donated print by each artist for the MPDX 2010 Show, Sale & Celebration taking place on Friday, 10|15, 6-10 pm at WaterHeater Creative Space, 750 N Fremont (and Mississippi), Portland, Oregon.

Show and sale will continue through the weekend and through the month of October at WaterHeater.

All prints sold during the fundraiser will benefit PAN

Call For Artists and Registration:

Note ... ...
This is a fundraiser for PAN, as well as an opportunity to become a member.
$35 registration fee will be waived with membership in PAN.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Master of Solarplate: Barbara Mason

Barbara Mason, Interim Director and cornerstone of Print Arts Northwest|PAN, is a master printmaker and teacher of Solarplate Intaglio.

Solarplate uses a light-sensitive polymer surface on a metal plate, which allows for highly expressive line work and extraordinary detail. The light of the sun is all that's necessary to embed the image on the plate. It is fast gaining ground as a medium for photographers, as well as printmakers and artists working in any medium who are intrigued with the idea of reproducing their work.

Mason is known for her striking abstract images that speak of human emotions and fragility, with titles such as: Stability, Fortitude, Intangible, and Persistence. Primarily working in black and white, she is a master, not only of the medium, but also of negative space. Mason uses negative space and minimalism with the strength and subtlety of an Ikebana master, utilizing understatement as the key to reaching the innermost recesses of the human psyche.

Barbara regularly teaches solarplate Intaglio to adults throughout the Pacific Northwest and to children in schools and after-school arts programming.

To learn more about Barbara and view examples of her work:

image: Fortitude Barbara Mason, solarplate intaglio

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mostly art, most of the time, and then there's this ...

The curious nature of love ...

Volumes have been written. Dramas and comedies of errors for film and stage. Blogs and blogs of computer-empowered masturbatory text devoted to the subject. The elusive, maddening, fulfilling, frustrating, joyous quality of that thing, without which we can not live, literally.

If you're reading this (looking at the number of followers I have to date, you're probably not), you've successfully made it through the unadulterated vulnerability of infancy. The mine-field of adolescence is hopefully behind you, which made little sense regarding almost everything, but most especially when it came to love and relationships: struck dumb as most of us were in the presence of our beloveds.

And here we are: head-scratching adults, still trying to figure it out ... .

The dilemma with love and relationship is that I (and you) have got to be willing to be vulnerable for it to have a chance of working.

The other side: vulnerability can hurt ... a lot. Especially if the object of your affection is unwilling or unable to go there. There are countless reasons for this frequently-experienced inequity, but the most likely reason: broken trust(s) in the past.

The irony: vulnerability is the source of that thing we want more than any other.

Most people seem to be mighty uncomfortable with it and see it as weakness. Another irony is that this "weakness", when appropriate, can be a sign of strength. It takes courage to unwrap your soul for another and share those unresolved fallibilities that we all carry with us, like a parrot on the shoulder squawking, "YOIKS! IT HOITS!" (Not a lot of subtlety in parrot-talk, but at least they're honest.)

And then there's the male|female dichotomy, whether you're heterosexual or otherwise, it plays an energetic role, with each person made up of aspects of both genders. Typically the feminine is more comfortable with vulnerability than the male, but it goes both ways girls and boys. Much depends on what we had the opportunity to model as wee babes. That and hormones.

Working toward balance is the wise way of the wise human. Illusive though it may be, we know when it's residing within, and grieve when it departs.

So, here's to the art of balance, vulnerability, compassion, joy, and laughter. May you have them all in abundance.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

WaterHeater ... art space | brewery | culinary arts

The entrepreneurial spirit has taken up residence in two energetic and innovative young men. Benjamin Ramsdell and Jack Anderson are developing what can only be described as a concept space.

Located in the dynamic North Mississippi District, WaterHeater is most definitely "under construction". When completed, it will be Portland's newest art space, housing a brewery, eatery and catering service, music studios, and ateliers for emerging visual artists.

In their words (from

WaterHeater is emerging from the swamp of architects, permitting, inspectors and contracts to offer access to another beginning for artists, designers, gardeners, space holders, smashers, musicmakers, ingestors
and the future famous but always fabulous.

I may not have all of this right, but from what I can gather, Ben Ramsdell is the chef and developer of the culinary end of things. Jack Anderson appears to be the project manager with the heart of a poet. Not sure who will be the brewmaster. More to come, without a doubt.

The space is extraordinary. Huge, high, industrial, and light-filled with skylights, rafter-high windows, and walls of glass. It's set to be spectacular, with a second story loft built within the frame of this former metal foundry to house ateliers for emerging artists, leading to frequent and regular exhibitions.

I'm thrilled to announce that their kick-off event will be a fundraiser for Print Arts Northwest in October of this year:

monothon pdx 2010
A Marathon Printmaking Benefit
For Print Arts Northwest | PAN

More information will be made available on this community-wide art making event and celebration ... very soon. Promise.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Culture Of Coffee: A Short History

The mythology and culture of coffee drinking as we know it began in the bazaars of Turkey and the front stoops of Yemen and quickly spread throughout the Middle East, Europe via Vienna, and to the English colonies in the 1600s.

An Ethiopian goatherd is credited with the discovery of coffee's stimulant effects, thanks to an especially frisky goat that piqued his curiosity. Romantic and unverifiable, the story is befitting of a subject steeped, as it were, in mythos. Coffee drinking had to start somewhere, and since all of civilization begins in Africa, it seems right that coffee drinking should have begun there, too.

The development of European coffeehouses as gathering places for people of all classes is credited with being the source of the French Enlightenment, as well as the French and American Revolutions. No longer drinking themselves into stupors from nonstop consumption of fermented grains and fruits, the only safe liquids to drink in those particular good old days, they needed something to do with their excess mental energies. Hence, the Revolutions.

Not to be overlooked in this short treatise on coffee are the coffee-loving Italians, who gave us espresso and coffee houses in Greenwich Village and San Francisco's North Beach, which spawned the still-influential Beat Generation. This revolution in thought moved up the western flank of the U.S. to Portland and Seattle, seats of the Pacific Northwest's counterculture of the 60s.

Our contemporary reputation for great coffee and avid coffee drinkers is well known. Portland, as many may remember, had a thriving coffeehouse, folk music, and visual arts scene in the 50s and 60s. Too young for most of it, I recall longing to be part of it as an adolescent and have intense recollections of its effects on American culture: folk music, Zen meditation, Jazz, obscure free-form poetry, Abstract Expressionism, and funky jug bands. (Does anyone remember The Holy Model Rounders?)

Today, aside from the staunchly independent purveyors of caffeine and culture that Portland is home to, we're stuck with the non-culture of a certain nameless coffee chain on nearly every corner. Pity.

An antidote to this numbing conformity that has recently made its appearance is Cloud Seven Cafe, a European-style coffeehouse located in Portland's Pearl District at 901 NW 10th on Jamison Square. They've invited Print Arts Northwest|PAN to show with them in September in a show titled Café Culture, featuring works of caffeinated themes from around the world.

Cafe Culture runs through the month of September, with an opening reception on First Thursday, 9|2, 6 - 9:00 pm.

Untiled etching by Helen Trayle

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Big News From PAN and Atelier Meridian ...

This 3-day event in October is bound to cause a stir in the Portland visual arts community:

PAN & Atelier Meridian present
Monothon PDX 2010

A Marathon Printmaking Benefit
for Print Arts Northwest

10 | 1- 3 | 2010

Monothon PDX 2010 is a fundraiser for PAN which will provide artists the opportunity to create monotypes at various printmaking studios throughout the Portland area over the weekend of October 1, 2, and 3. Participating artists will donate one or more prints produced during the event to be part of the Monothon PDX 2010 Show, Sale & Celebration, to be held on Friday, 10|15, 6-10 pm, with show and sale opportunities continuing throughout that weekend.

Following the Monothon, our guest curator will review and select one print by each artist for the Monothon PDX 2010 Show, Sale & Celebration. Details regarding venue, Guest Curator, and registration will soon be made available to the public.

Participation is free for PAN members; $35 for non-members. The $35 fee will be waived if you become a PAN member prior to the Monothon.

There are three levels of membership: Supporting, Artist Member, and Emerging Printmakers Residency. Criteria and membership applications are available at

Watch this space for details ... .

PAN is a nonprofit professional printmakers’ organization dedicated to increasing awareness of contemporary printmaking through exhibitions, educational programming,

and by encouraging the practice, appreciation, and collection of original prints.

First, The Nonsense ...

Recently I stumbled across an obscure blog post that briefly examined the subject of endearments, as in: just what do we call our ( _____ ) when introducing him/her to family and friends?

This got me thinking for a change. My response was to post a query about said subject on facebook. Giddiness ensues ...

(My apologies to the blogger for not giving adequate credit, but like all things creative, once it's out there, it's life is its own.)

A Few Names To Call Your "Squeeze" (with notes):

Honey (boring)
Honey-pot (vivid)
Sug (as in: shoog/sugar; very old-timey Southern warm)
Paramour (good one, if a bit stilted)
Soul-mate (ugh!)
Roomie and partner (too vague)
Lover (highly descriptive, if a bit sleazy)
(I won't even mention "POSSLQ" or "significant other" ... other what?)
Sweetheart (endearing, with good history), derivations of which include:
sweetie, sweetiepie, sweetface, and my personal favorite: "sweetmeat".

I then encouraged my friends to chime in with their faves, which brought in several additional toothsome options, including:

Rabbit, stud muffin, and love-monkey from Diana
Partner-in-crime, Liv
Lovey-dovey, sweetums, and Ol' HIde(?) from Mary
Luv, June's solid contribution
and from Kryslin:
Cutie, cutiepie, sweet-cheeks, and one of my faves: Darlin' (apostrophe optional)

Vivid and endearing, it's unlikely that a number of these would be chosen when introducing one's darlin' to the family, however.

The result, of course, was that I felt compelled to use, if not all, then at least the bulk of these suggestions, in a complete, albeit, run-on, sentence, (much like this one ...), which follows:

My luv-monkey-stud-muffin-rabbit-darlin's got the sweetest sweet-cheeks
and is my
life-partner-in-crime and white-hot honey-pot cutie-pie,
without whom life would be
a partnerless wasteland
of sweetmeatless squeezeless loneliness.

(With thanks to my darlin' contributors.)

I highly recommend pure silliness to relieve the over-arching angst of existence.

Now, back to the angst ... .