Yes, it is true that I continued to be neglectful of my blog over the last few months. I know that I am not alone in this; many a blogger grows weary and busy and gives it over. But also, many a blogger does not grow weary, continuing to produce interesting materials from her/his life and mind. So I offer up abject and humble apologies, as well as thanks to those who kept the conversation going while I sat silent.
So, now that I am over the spring vertigo attacks (from BPPN, which I have suffered from for years and which seems to exacerbate during the spring in Portland) and through the various activities that accrued in and around the vertigo, I am back in the saddle again.
[Can anyone else hear Roy Rogers (??) singing?]
First things first: the magnolia tree is late in shedding its leaves this year. Above is a rhodie that was quite glorious, trying to ignore the magnolia leaf that wanted to cover it up. The magnolia has gotten bigger and bigger; it’s now truly massive. And in the late spring and early summer, it loses every single one of its leaves, hurling them earthward, one at a time, big as dinner plates, over a two month period, during which it also grows new leaves. Our impulse is to give it a good shake, but besides the fact that it’s about 4 feet around, with three large trunks off its main stem and difficult to shake, only a few leaves would deign to fall on our heads during the shaking. The others would wait their turn, hoping to at least bonk a small dog passing underneath.
So we are picking up magnolia leaves, one at a time, or at its height, raking them down the sidewalk, in very late June. Only its magnificent flowers allow this tree to continue its dratted bad habit.
Around SE Portland, spring/summer (which arrived all in a heap this year) has brought out various madnesses, including what I think of as the Mad Knitters. They adorn bike racks and signs, but this is the first tree I’ve seen so well decked out. I actually imagine small children dancing around Maypole style to get this much yarn around the tree. At least I hope that’s how it happened.
I will be showing some art at the Full Circle Gallery during July (see the last post) starting Friday, and also putting up some of my St. Johns Bridge pieces at a bank in St. Johns next week. During April I had some pieces showing at a bank in Lloyd Center, including January Skies, a nice somber reminder of the winter that had passed.
The banks of Portland seem to be eager to have benign paintings appear in their lobbies, and some of us benign painters have been willing to help them out. The only problem is that banks are in the business of money, not art. So when Jer and I went to pick up my art from the bank, we found that the forces of capitalism and advertising had rearranged the decor a bit. What had been a lovely empty wall when we hung the work had been transformed into something like this:
I say “something” like this because I was so startled by the appearance of the piggies that I didn’t get a photo of the art as they embraced it. So I cobbled together a Photoshop simulacrum of the updated scene. So much for the dignity of art — and I must say, my giggles probably didn’t enhance the dignity of the artist, either. I should perhaps have made a scene, fought for the soul of painting, at least ranted at the tellers about the ugliness of the bank’s ad campaign. But I was helpless with laughter.
Ah well, this painting was not only brought to you by US Bank, but was also accompanied, nay, even surrounded by the best that US Bank could serve up to its customers. I leave you with that thought. Wish me luck with my St. Johns bank. –June