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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Harvey the Rabbit, Paul Bunyan, and Portlandia walk into a bar...

So...some artists have been generous enough to let me hang some of my pictures in their art show this Friday (Well to be honest, I submitted four images, but I'm not sure if they'll actually hang them up). It's supposed to be a celebration of Bastille Day, and the theme is Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, and Tenacity. The show is at the Troy Laundry Studios, 222 S.E. 10th Street (Between Ash St. and Pine St.).
Looking at the front of the building, you'd step through a Black Iron Gate and find Studio #1 at the top of the stairs.

The show is hosted by Jennifer Lanphier, Julia Gardner and Matt Weiers and takes place between 5 & 10 P.M., Friday July 18th. I've been told there will be jewelry, paintings, prints and perhaps even bronze castings. I am not sure if there will be any beverages, so I will try to have some beers in the back of my truck.

I'm always thrilled to be able to hang some of my photographs, particularly in an environment where they might be mistaken for art. Some of you may be wondering what the hell my pictures have to do with Bastille Day, but I think if you read the titles you will begin to see how much thought I put into this project.


For instance, this one is called:

A hopeless Portlandia throws dice to cast her vote, the very antithesis to the celebration of Bastille Day.




And this one is called:


A lonely Harvey calls Paul Bunyan, saying, "There's this girl I saw downtown...would you be my wingman? I'd really like to storm her gates."

See.
Because French people stormed a prison fortress in Paris back in July of 1789 or thereabouts.





Harvey, Portlandia, and Paul Bunyan all agree to go out for drinks at The Hour Glass, ostensibly to celebrate Bastille Day.



Harvey gets stood up by Portlandia who gets a better offer from the Lincoln Memorial. Paul Bunyan decides to stay home and polish his ax. Harvey, feeling forlorn, signs up to test cosmetics which is probably all for the better since the Hour Glass likely didn't have enough beer on hand for both a fraternity of giant icons and the masses clamoring to celebrate Bastille Day.




Sunday, July 6, 2014

I'm the Decider, and I Decide What's Best.


Out from under the compressed expectations of a short work week, I launch my kayak from Heritage Landing. The fast flowing Deschutes ejects me into the Columbia River Gorge.  I paddle into a stiff wind, the captain of my own fate...for a change.

Moments before, a man with a new jet-ski tied to the shore told me the water was too 'crispy'.

"You mean 'choppy?'", I asked.

"Crispy." he nodded.

But eventually I settle for the adjective 'spooky'.

What looks to me like serpentine standing waves, the massive undulations of a barely submerged plesiosaur, are camouflaged by the spray of wind whipped whitecaps. 

I ride the bucking cryptid as it sweeps me off course.

"Captain of my own fate my ass." I mutter.

Swept, eventually, into the wind shadow of Miller Island, I regain my bearings and make landfall at the first smooth sandy beach I find, which, because the water is higher than usual, means a protracted search.



The wind curves through basalt lined valleys, pushing the heads of the tall grass downward. They bob up and down like blinking fireflies, in dramatic contrast to the tortured skeletons of burnt shrubs.



The island valleys parallel the flow of the river, and hint perhaps their current appearance owes much to ice age flood waters...



...with only the strongest basalt outcroppings surviving the deluge.



Now windswept dunes migrate the length of the island's interior...



...mostly appearing to labor eastward.



Paper cracks rock.
Fire burns paper.

Rock ignores Fire


Click on image to view larger version

08-24-2013    -   07-04-2014



The sun sinks behind hills on the Washington shore. The wind is strong enough to knock me off balance as I step from stone to stone, which isn't ideal from this high perspective.



Using my dumb phone, I call friends with smarter communication devices and inquire about wind forecasts. The lowest wind speeds are expected to occur at sunrise.



You'd think those things would look like frenzied pinwheels.



At about two in the morning, without proper camping gear, it occurs to me that I should also have inquired about the expected night-time temperature.

I also begin to reflect upon the psychological importance of blankets. When I was little, and in fear of monsters, there was no greater comfort than being able to pull my blankets up over my head for safety.

For adults in the wilderness, it works exactly the same... if by monsters you mean the noisy black beetles I discovered with my flashlight...or any number of imagined ticks, spiders, ants, snakes, scorpions, tarantulas and foul tempered beavers.


Click on image to view larger version.

The valley floor at five in the morning.
Because it gets light at four.



Note to self: Remember where you parked.


(Especially if by 'park', you mean  'hide your kayak in tall grass to protect it from pirates'.)



On this particular morning, the clouds take a crack at tessellating, after catching a glimpse of an M.C. Escher book abandoned at a picnic, its pages slowly flipping in the breeze - waving at the sky.



(Editiors Note: See comment number two)


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