Saturday, January 17, 2009

portland morning run-arounds.

after an early rise (for me, anyway) so that we could get to powell's right when it opened, we met with the book buys and then staggered around, overwhelmed. i actually bought nothing which was surprisingly easy when i thought of all the dribs and drabs of my father's that i already had to find ways to bring back to toronto with me.

after powell's, we went down to the little alberta street arts district to check in on some stores i had sold to there. i was sad to see imp going out of business (sadly, this is becoming a more common sight on my trips south of the border). i wish the owner, chris, all the best and hope the closing doesn't signal some greater worries. that store, and this whole neighbourhood, were places that my father and i stumbled into when we drove from vancouver to los angeles in the spring of 2006. you know, bittersweet stuff.

i did discover a newer space that had open on the strip, together gallery (pictured above). i was drawn in by the window display by ryan bubnis, which inhabited an aesthetic that made me feel i was at home looking at it.

the window is part of their current group show, waiting for the miracle, which is pretty spectacular. oh yes, there was also a terrarium in the window. feelings of home, again...

the woman behind the counter, i came to learn, was an artist named mia nolting. we got to chatting and after she handed me a survey to fill out i had a similar home-like inkling. some later internet stalking has confirmed my feelings. she's incredibly talented and seems to enjoy illustration, typography, lists, surveys and cussing...clearly there is some kindred spirit going on there.

i ended up going home with the book pictured above (by nigel peake) and a multiple choice diary that mia gave me. i love them both a lot. but am i supposed to fill in the diary and send it back to her? is this more of the same personal information hoarding that the surveys feed into? and what glorious/nefarious purpose will all this information feed into, i wonder?

i also got to visit office, one of my favorite portland shops to drool in. they always have great shows in their corner gallery and the shop has the magical feeling of being totally empty and totally full at the same time. you know...when the stuff for sale is arranged so carefully that it insinuates lots of space then when you look closer every single thing is deliberate and well chosen.

john and i then booted it out of the city and made our way home. of course, we had to make a stop in olympia on the way home to stock up dumpster values - the best store in town (and not just because they are my olympia retailer). i love that place.

and i am very thankful to john for redefining whirlwind with me and for treating me to a trip into the world and away from my worries (as much as possible, anyway). i didn't even have to drive once for the whole two days! and he went into a yarn shop with me. now that's a gift.


unclewilco said...

that sheds book is great, do you have your own garden shed?

Rosemoo said...

As usual you leave me with the feeling that I need to grab a sketchbook, kidnap my fiance, throw him into our little GTI VW Rabbit and drive around America and Canada going to cool art places and meeting people.

But since I can't, I'm glad you are. Thanks for the vicarious experiences!

sweetie pie press said...

hey uncle wilco and rosemoo,

i wish! we are apartment dwellers and thus our garden is constrained to our shelves and balcony. maybe i bought that book in my own bid for vicarious experience.