The Slammer: Needs Painted

Some scenes cry out to be painted — on canvas or board or paper, I mean. And thus it is with The Slammer Tavern ( which was actually painted with house paint not long ago, removing its charming deterioration, but possibly benefiting the building).  I have not yet gotten the version of The Slammer on canvas (or masonite or paper) which it deserves.

Now I must warn you, I’m not advocating spending time at The Slammer. I also am not not advocating spending time at The Slammer. I’ve never been inside the Slammer, and truth be told, only once or twice have I walked next to it on its sidewalk. But I did sit on the other side of a very broad street and attempt to paint it.

Below are photos I took while attempting to paint The Slammer. Note the cherry blossoms as well as the roll of razor wire that surrounds the upper deck — don’t know if it’s to keep people out or to keep customers on the deck. Whichever, it’s formidable.

The Slammer not only needs painted (on canvas, board, and/or paper) it really needs to be painted many times. It needs to have its full location disclosed (the tofu company that sits beside it, for example, needs to be in one painting. The razor wire along the balcony on the left, next to the cherry tree, needs explored, in a painterly fashion. The tipsy benches that people loll on, next to signs in the windows, the people themselves, the somewhat haunted house look of the upper stories, the somewhat sagging look of the right side front of the tavern — all these need painterly renditions. And although these photos don’t show them, the traffic at 8th and Stark, as well as the straggle of companies that accompany the tofu and tavern, built in an area where Sandy and Stark and Seventh sort of converge and part, where the traffic always looks like it’s going to crash and gridlock but never does — well, as I said — a covey of paintings is required of The Slammer.

I’m working on it.. –June

This entry was posted in painting, Portland, southeast Portland and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Slammer: Needs Painted

  1. June says:

    Janet, you are so right — it’s ever so much more respectable looking now. I miss the old haunted house feel.

    Kathy — none of the habituees (sp?) outside came over to yell at me, and only a couple groups of transients stopped to praise me for my painting (in Portland, the transients always preface their desire for “bus money” with lavish praise of whatever you might be doing). It’s not a really rough neighborhood, but not one I’d spend a lot of nighttime wandering about in, either. It’s near the little gallery where I show sometimes, and mostly it looks to me like a slightly rougher group than the bicyclists who do Saturday night at the Pirate’s Cove, about two blocks from my house.

    “Friendliest bar” is a Portland Mantra –we have the “Friendliest Safeway”, the “Friendliest Post Office,” the Friendliest Espresso Shop — everybody here smiles a lot, particularly at the bad paintings of the street artist –snort —


  2. janetl says:

    It does look remarkably more respectable since the exterior was painted.
    (To those seeing The Slammer for the first time in these photos, that’s probably a startling statement.)


  3. Kathy Hodge says:

    Looks like a fun place, after all it’s “the friendliest bar in the world”! The razor wire is probably because there’s a lot of booze stored inside. Or you live in a really rough neighborhood!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s