Friday, August 8, 2008

Portland Field Trip

What a perfectly splendid day I had yesterday! Several of my former Artist’s Way participants (and now friends) have been asking me to conduct a field trip to Portland – yesterday was the day! Four women had originally signed up, but two had to drop out at the last minute, which left three of us: Susan, Destree, and myself. Susan and Destree arrived right on time at 9:00 am and we were on our way, pretty giddy with excitement (at least I was, from the looks in the photo!).

First stop, I’ve Been Framed, an art shop in SE Portland that sells art supplies at reduced prices.

We all made a few purchases, then back in the car for the short drive to Knittin’ Kitten, an ecclectic little shop on N.E. Glisan.

After purchasing several notions and trinkets, we were on our way for the add-on, special treat "I can't believe this is happening" event of the day. A little back-story is warranted here. I belong to a Yahoo group, Art and Soul, and a few days ago a Portland artist made a post that she had too much assemblage pieces, was downsizing, wanting to get rid of some of her “stuff,” and would anyone be interested. Hello?!? Are you kidding? I contacted the artist, Nikki Blackwood (Nikki no longer maintains her blog, but I've done a link to her old site so you can get an idea of what a superstar artist she is), and indicated that a small group of us would love to come by and take advantage of her generous offer. She told us to come anytime, she would be home all day on Thursday. And arrive we did, into a very beautiful old quintessential Portland neighborhood. I snapped a photo of Nikki’s house as we pulled up (after I parked, of course, but barely, that's why the photo is a tad blurry - I was just too darned excited!).

Nikki greeted us at the door and invited us into her home, er, art gallery! I didn’t get any photos inside the house, it felt too much like an invasion of privacy (if you go to her blog, you can get some peeks), but let me see if I can describe what we found. First of all, Nikki was so gracious and took us throughout her home, showing us pieces of art she had created
(she was recently a featured artist in two books I purchased: True Vision and 1,000 Artist Journal Pages, as well as pieces made by many local artists and artists who regularly teach at Art and Soul: LK Ludwig, Leighanna Light, Michael deMeng, and Misty Mawn (to name a few). Nikki shared her beautifully embellished art journals, invited us to see her assemblage pieces, and took us into her jam-packed, breath-taking art studio. She even showed us artwork in her bedroom, for Pete’s sake. Man, oh, man, the three of us had eyes that were bulging with inspiration (and a wee bit of envy on my part). After our tour, Nikki showed us the way to her garage, where smack dab in the middle was a long table loaded with assemblage goodies. She gave us each a paper grocery bag and invited us to take whatever we wanted (and we didn't even knock each other over in our frenzy to fill our bags!). In return, she asked us to make a “donation,” whatever we wanted, with the money going toward art workshops she was offering to the neighborhood kids. What? I want to be a neighborhood kid!!

We drooled and grunted as we filled our bags, FILLED OUR BAGS, paid up, thanked Nikki for her generosity and warmth, and then hit the road famished and ready for lunch. The agenda called for Laughing Planet food on N. Mississippi, where we were able to dine outside and enjoy the warming summer sun. Smooth, creamy, sensual lattes were purchased next door at the Blue Gardenia, and then we set off on foot for the short walk to the ReBuilding Center (of Our United Villages). I found a couple of drawers I was after, a bit of colorful screening, and a tile with the number “2.” Back into the car for the short trip over to N. Williams Avenue and into the always fabulous SCRAP. Again, we all came away with a bag of goodies. Last up, collage, a local neighborhood art store jam-packed and crammed with art goodness.

We were in the car and on the road for our return to Salem by 4:30 and instead of being mired in traffic congestion, we sailed right through the heart of Portland and made it back to Salem by shortly after 5:30 pm.


Here are the goodies I got from all of the stores:

Here are the goodies from Nikki’s:

Here are all the goodies from yesterday:

Here are the goodies in my studio, waiting to be put away (yikes!):

I better go make something!

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