Open Studios (Part 2)

Mark Dunst

When we had finished our visit with Sharon Jonquil, we headed west over the Broadway Bridge and through the Pearl district of the city. There is a lot of construction and one way streets, and our poor Google navigator just couldn’t keep up! After a while, though, we were able to find Mark Dunst’s studio.

Noisy, dusty construction

It was as different from Sharon Jonquil’s as possible, it seemed to me. Rather than in his home, Mark’s studio/ gallery is on the street level of a high rise office building, surrounded by existing glass towers and new ones being built.

Leaves by Mark Dunst’s studio

The neighborhood does have lovely maple trees, however.

I liked him right away, because of this motto stuck onto his door. Kindness goes a long way with me.

Words to live by

Mark’s work is in oil paint, in a style called abstract expressionism. Auntie Bridgett has been doing some of this, as well. She was very inspired by Richard Diebenkorn’s exhibit at Portland Art Museum last Spring. Mark said he had spent a lot of time at that exhibit, as well!

We liked his work very much, and visited for a while before choosing a piece. Of course, we were so excited about buying it that we forgot to take pictures or even note the name!

I will post it later…silly Grandma Judy.

Interesting work (but not the one we bought) by Mark Dunst

We wandered a bit more then went home, with visions of artwork and our life in the city dancing in our heads.


Grandma Judy

Gearing up for Christmas

Dear Liza,


Yesterday we spent all day, in one way or another, getting ready for Christmas. First thing, Auntie Bridgett and I walked out in 36 degrees F to go shopping. Hawthorne Street, just a bit south of us, has so many wonderful, locally run shops! Asylum, Kids at Heart, Tender Loving Empire, and Memento all have really interesting items that tickle my funny bone. We had a good time choosing special things for our special people.

When the lunch bell in my stomach started going off, we knew it was time to get home. Leftover chicken and cheese made for delicious burritos to keep our spirits up.

Miles and the new tree

Then, the three of us headed off to the big quest of the day: The Christmas tree! Last year, we drove all over town looking for a lot we liked…and finally found a small lot at Belmont and 48th. We went there first this year.

We usually get a Noble Fir, but standing very tall and shaggy, was a Nordman. This was a new type of tree to us, but we liked the height and slightly careless look , so we had the nice fellow tie it to Miles’s roof and took it home.


Sneakin’ in the tree

Our new garage is narrow and pretty full, so it took some real maneuvering to get it in and upstairs…but once installed, it fit perfectly. Grandpa Nelson put up the lights and I brought boxes of ornaments in from the garage, for Sunday’s decorating.

After resting a bit, we wanted to go visit the Open Studio of our friend Nicole Crucio, who makes ceramics. We met her at an Art Show this last summer, when we were headed for Silver Falls. Nicole’s studio is in southeast Portland, in her basement, with a good sized kiln and lots of space. We enjoyed looking at her vases, plaques and paintings.

Nicole Crucio’s work by the fire

She shared her show the her friend Jeni Lee, who does wonderful acrylic paintings with raindrops!! These capture the beautifully atmospheric conditions here in the Northwest and feel cool and welcoming.

Jeni Lee and her raindrop acrylics

At Nicole’s, we also met her dog Stevie, who is very sweet and loves to show off her tricks. She does a figure eight between Nicole’s legs, rolls over, and dances. She was fun. We also ate some cookies from the Morsel Code Cookie Company, baked by a lady who wants cookies to taste good but be less bad for you! Amen to that. Very tasty, indeed.

Nicole and Stevie, showing off

Back home, Auntie Bridgett started the wrapping g of the goodies we had bought on Hawthorne ….coming to you, heading the San Diego for kidlets there, and some staying here in Portland.

Tomorrow, we decorate the tree!!


Grandma Judy