Bridgett Spicer’s Art

Dear Liza,

You know Auntie Bridgett is an artist, right? Well, this week she sold three of her lovely paintings!!

Abstract Paris II by Bridgett Spicer

Bridgett shows her paintings, collages, buttons, magnets and zines at SideStreet Arts gallery at SE 28th and Ash Street here in Portland. She is one of nine members of the gallery and also handles the graphic design for their show postcards, their news releases, and advertisements. It is a big job!

Abstract Paris 1, by Bridgett Spicer

This last Sunday was a good day for art selling. The lady who had bought Bridgett’s wonderful collage of Max Jacob last year came by, and they got to chat. It is always nice to know where your art has gone.

Then a couple came in and, attracted by “(I wish I were) A Paris”, they went to the corner where Bridgett’s paintings were. They fell in love with, and bought, three of her wonderful blue “Paris Rooftops”!

Paris Rooftops, by Bridgett Spicer

I love these paintings, which were inspired by our vacations to Paris, and I am so pleased that people love and appreciate Auntie Bridgett’s art. It makes her happy to create it, and then it goes out and spreads happiness in the world.

That’s a win-win, as they say.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Looking Back, Just a Bit More…

Dear Liza,

Portland does SPRING very well!

This past year saw some big adventures, too.

Three generations! Me, Auntie Katie and Cousin Kestrel

In March, for my birthday, you and your family came up to help me keep a long-overdue promise to MY parents, to put their ashes into the ocean. We all drove over the mountains to Seaside, made a sand castle, and placed them in it. High tide would take them where they wanted to be.

David and Katie built their grandparent’s castle

A perfect Florentine

I started baking with more skill, with new equipment and confidence.

The summer came, and fall…

Leaves in Laurelhurst Park

In September we took the train to Vancouver, BC, and Seattle, Washington, and enjoyed what those cities had to offer.

Vancouver, BC, by day

Seattle by night

Auntie Bridgett kept painting, working hard as a member of SideStreet Arts.

Auntie Bridgett and one of my favorite paintings, A Paris

This year also saw the young people growing into wonderful ‘older’ people. Cousins Kyle and Jasper got to know each other and became buddies, bonding over Dungeons and Dragons and video games.

Cousins Kyle and Jasper, being guys together

As for me, I am still working on my story. It has grown from being a story about a CITY to being a story about a girl living IN a city.

My had drawn map of Portland, 1903

I never knew writing a book was so complicated, but I am learning, and I think that as long as I take time and don’t give up, it has promise.

My (at least) twelfth outline, getting more complicated and person- centered

Last year, I kept my promise to my parents. Maybe this year, I can keep my promise to me.

Happy New Year!!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Very Merry Cash and Carry

Dear Liza,

Pretty wintry display

Auntie Bridgett’s art gallery, SideStreet Arts, opened its pre-Christmas sale and show this weekend, and it is delightful!

Artsy Christmas ornaments

Grandpa Nelson and I walked over to the gallery on the way to the movies (we saw “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”) and then stayed longer afterward to walk Auntie Bridgett home in the rain.

Chayo Wilson’s textured ceramics

The Very Merry Cash and Carry show is fun because it has different rules. Usually, when you buy a piece of art from an art gallery, you need to wait until then end of the show (maybe a week, maybe a month) to take the art home. This is because the art has been arranged carefully and if one leaves, the others look lopsided or incomplete.

Melody Bush’s Excavated Books are amazing

But for Very Merry, people are buying for Christmas presents and want to take the art home right away, so the walls are hung FULL of art. When some leave, the walls are still pretty. Also, artists bring extra work that is kept in the back room to fill in the spaces.

Alicia Justice shows her Krampus

On Friday there was a good turnout and lots of sales! We also got to visit with Alicia Justice as she made some of her felt dolls, which are beautifully detailed. She showed us photos of her Krampus dolls, which always sell like hot cakes. Krampus is an evil monster that deals with bad children… sort of the anti-Santa.

Kat Mistry has new work being displayed in a new glass jewelry case to keep it safe. She also has a new raspberry beret, which is very adorable.

Kat Mistry’s new beret

Love,

Grandma Judy

Harold the Traveling Stufftie, Part 1

Dear Liza,

dscn4218.jpg
Harold, before he was Harold

You have met Harold, Auntie Bridgett’s stuffed friend. He has had a very active life. While most of his stuffed relatives spend their days in toy boxes or on pillows, Harold has been an artist’s model, a world traveler and an ambassador.

When I first met Harold, he was a bunny. Bridgett drew him into her comic strip, Squid Row, telling the story of how he lost his ears to some marauding raccoons. Her comic strip character, Randie, adopted Harold.

Being an social sort of stufftie, Harold enjoyed going to all of Auntie Bridgett’s art shows. He gave hugs to everyone, regardless of which universe they came from.

032.jpeg
Small Fan

img_0361-1.jpg
Large Fan

He helped organize her work and congratulated her when her books were printed up and ready for sale.

delivery of DA BOOKS 008.jpg
Helping Unpack the Books!

When we traveled, Harold came along. He enjoyed meeting cousins in Houston and going to the art museum there. He even applied for astronaut training, but they decided he could do better work here on Earth.

img_0456.jpg
Astronaut Harold

And, of course, he got to be friends with Cousin Madilyn, having some small adventures with her and Auntie Bridgett. I will tell you more about Harold, his past and future adventures, tomorrow.

Love,

Grandma Judy

IMG_0354.jpeg
Harold, Auntie Bridgett and Madilyn

A Bittersweet Goodbye to Max Jacob

Dear Liza,

img_1432.jpeg
Max Jacob, on display

You know that Auntie Bridgett Spicer is an artist. You know she can paint, draw, and make beautiful collages and cartoons. Did you know that she sells her art?

Well, she does! Last night just before First Friday’s New Artist Reception at The SideStreet Arts Gallery, she sold her first piece of art since we moved to Portland. Her beautiful collage portrait of Max Jacob sold to a nice lady who bought it as a gift for her husband.

We are all so happy and proud of Auntie Bridgett! She works hard on her art and makes such lovely pictures, and it makes me smile to know they will go out into the world and make people happy.

How did she make this beautiful piece? She has given me permission to show you.

Step 1: She drew a pencil portrait of Max Jacob, using photographs for reference. Max was an artist  and friend of Picasso in the 1920s and 1930 in France, so there are lots of pictures of him.

getfileattachment-2.jpg
Steps 1 and 2

Step 2: She cut out all the different parts of the drawing to use as templates for the collage pieces.

Step 3: From her huge collection of papers, she found just the right ones to create his face and suit, then carefully cut them out and glued them down. She rolled each bit so it was smooth. She used paints to give the portrait wonderful depth and humanity. When it was perfect, she matted and framed it.

Step 4: Listening to me when I told her she HAD to take it to the Gallery for her show!

getfileattachment1.jpg
Step 3

This was a long process where a stray sigh could blow all the bits away, but she stuck with it and made a wonderful piece of art.

Farewell Max!

Love,

Grandma Judy

First Friday and the Last Street Fair

Dear Liza,

img_02401.jpg
Sine Morse’s Little Red Riding Hood at SideStreet Gallery

Friday evening, Grandpa Nelson and I took Auntie Bridgett to dinner at the Ankeney Tap and Table a little earlier than usual. Since it was First Friday, she would be helping welcome people at The SideStreet Gallery, where several local artists (including her!) show their work. There are ceramics, collages, paintings, and jewelry. It was fun to see so many wonderful pieces and chat with the artists.

IMG_0254
Bridgett Spicer’s beautiful work

The very next day was the Belmont Street Fair, the last fair of the summer. Early in the morning it felt like it might rain, but the fat grey clouds blew away and we had cool sunshine. The day started with a short walk to Oblique Coffee, which has the best coffee in our neighborhood. The family that runs it is fun, too.

img_0256.jpg
The perfect way to start the day

At the fair we met the folks of Dysfunktional Art, who make adorably weird critters out of discarded hardware and kitchenware. I asked where they find their materials, they said people just bring them by! Freebies! Nice.

img_0262.jpg
Dysfunktional Art

Heather Lee Kolbo makes really impressive art from recycled wood scraps that she gets at The ReBuilding Center up in the Mississippi neighborhood.

img_0267.jpg
Heather Kolbo’s Recycled art

With primary election season coming up, there are booths supporting candidates, ballot measures, and always interesting ideas. The Voluntary Human Extinction folks weren’t here, but the Zero Population Growth folks were. As much as I support family planning, I don’t think making any law about what we do with our bodies is a good idea.

The dogs were out in force, including an accidental Corgie meet up that delighted everyone. Hollandaise, the hen, out with her sister Bernaise, were enjoying lots of visitors and treats. I asked if the ‘girls’ were having a good day, and their owner said, “They are now, because you said hi!”

At the old Belmont Firehouse, I investigated how fires were fought in 1903. There is a wonderful old horse drawn fire wagon on display, the kind that would have fought the fire at the Zann Broom Company and the adjacent match factory, which was in a wooden building three blocks from a school.  (I’m not kidding). Zoning laws exist for a reason, people!

img_0289.jpg
Lieutenant Michael Springberg

I chatted with Lieutenant Michael Springberg. In addition to handing out plastic helmets and stickers to kids, he shared his firefighter’s perspective on Portland urban development. His background in education and interest in history gave us common ground and I hope we can continue our conversation sometime.

Grandpa Nelson and I walked back through the increasing crowds, dropping off my card at Inkwater,  the local publisher I would like to work with if any of my writing gets to paper.

 

Wouldn’t that be fun?

Love,

Grandma Judy

 

 

 

 

First Friday at Sidestreet Gallery

Dear Liza,

First things first, I can’t believe that it is August already and  wisterias are still blooming here in Portland!

Wisterias in August

This past Friday there was a new show at Sidestreet Gallery, the gallery in our neighborhood where Auntie Bridgett is showing her art. We started with dinner at Ankeny Tap and Table, which is always tasty. Bridgett had street tacos, and I had macaroni and cheese, which was so good and such a huge serving that I brought a bunch home for leftovers.

My people being silly!

But between dinner and home was the gallery. We got there while they were still setting up, so we got to look around and chat with the artists.

The Relic, by Cathi Newlin

Cathi Newlin was the featured artist of the month. She does delightfully quirky ceramic dogs and other critters, including this wonderful political piece that shows a giant dodo bird perched on an elephant, which is standing on an old fashioned child’s pull toy. It is intelligent and funny and cracks me up.

The other featured artist was Don Hall, a painter who seems to do a lot of self portraits, in various poses.

Don Hall’s Falling

The other resident artists were also showing, like Dawn Pantteja, Alicia Justus, Michael Allan Pratt, and Denise Krueger. The ceramics and paintings were delightful, as was the wine, snacks, and conversation.

And of course, Auntie Bridgett’s cups and collages were on display. I always love seeing her art out in the world, playing nicely with the other art.

img_9171.jpg

Auntie Bridgett’s cups and collages