Wherever you are in the wide world, as the new year opens the door to unending possibility, I wish for you a return to wonder and the unwavering belief in a trail of breadcrumbs that points to the best life possible. And, of course, a liberal dose of malarkey along the way. Happy New Year!
This week's picks in PDX!
Hiking: Tryon Creek Park. This park in south west Portland is a great hike when you can't commit to a full day. Lots of small trails, plenty of incline and interesting bridges and gullies. And it's dang pretty!
Dining: Wayfinder. Great beer, great food. Try the Freedom Hash (vegan) or the Chicken Schnitzel. And they deliver through the Caviar app (when you don't want to get out of your pajamas). Easy peasy.
Fun and Games: Guardian Games. The largest selection of board (and other) games I have ever seen. And a pub. And some super helpful game nerds who will make sure you leave with the best game ever. We really appreciated their IRS sale (The IRS really sucks inventory reduction sale) and so did half of PDX who stood in line with us.
That kind of bravery is exactly what we're called to do in art. Paint without boundaries, censors or inner critics. Ignore the masses and break new ground - even if others cannot yet appreciate it (or never do). It was a much needed kick in the pants for me, and has me more determined than ever to bushwhack a wildly creative path in the new year.
And so a sword-wielding warrior woman has taken over the studio. I love it when that happens.
This is also a lesson in surrounding yourself with the right people. Creative people need creative people. No timid Tinkerbells or passive Petunias (or Peters) - give us brazen Berthas and courageous Clydes! We rise (or fall) to the bar set set by our peers. A high bar pushes us forward and helps us feel unfettered. I am darned lucky to be surrounded by artists who don't stop pressing forward.
Now where on earth did I put my sword?
Be patient. Love the questions, Sit with what is unresolved.
There it is....the dreaded "P-word" again. But somehow, here, it is easier to wait. Easier to pause - delightful, even. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, stops to exchange pleasantries, offer a smile, ask if you need help. I have to stop myself from rushing and bustling through the day, because I think here that would be downright rude! Just like in lovely Listowel in Ireland. I am doing a lot of sighing and smiling here. It is sweet relief.
In the studio, there is a temptation to resolve my direction - who am (artistically) here in Oregon? What will I create? Who is my muse? What does she want? Ahhhhhh. But here, too, I will love the questions themselves and strap myself in for the journey. If I listen closely, there might be magic along the way.
For those of you contemplating a visit to the PNW, I will share my favorite new spots as I find them. These might be cool places to visit if you're ever out here (which I hope you will be!)
Today's lunch spot, and my new favorite AMAZING Mexican restaurant is Tamale Boy in the Dekum Triangle. It's just blocks from my house, and super delicious. Try the cauliflower.
This week's delightful shop discovery is actually a favorite from a prior visit to PDX, and I was thrilled to find it still thriving: Woonwinkle. Who can resist this?
Though blog posts will continue in December without new paintings, Malarkey Art Headquarters and Pongo Shipping Services are closed for the month as the Great Westward Migration commences. If an original painting here or at Artfinder has grabbed your heart and left you white-knuckled in fear of it flying away, you may still purchase! It will be shipped once unpacked in Oregon.
However, if your needs are holiday driven and time-sensitive, please enjoy art in re-printed form at Red Bubble or Fine Art America.
Jen Walls and her imaJENation