DISCONTINUED PRINTS AND CARDS SALE
Now happening at Rose City Book Pub, running throughout Christmas. 17″X11″ prints of places around Oregon you may know, or did before they disappeared, $15 each. Also in the bin are plenty of discontinued or dinged greeting cards, for $1 each! Located at
1329 NE Fremont Street, Portland, OR 97212. Noon to 10PM every day.
Lower Main Street Brattleboro
Sometime in the mid 1990s I had a Saturday dinner with friends in Guilford Vermont and planned to later go see Love Bomb at the Mole’s Eye Cafe. I had a few too many and never made it out their door that night, but for some reason I left early enough Sunday morning to make it into Brattleboro just as there there was a good amount of dawn but not enough to make the streetlights switch off yet. The dense fog from the Connecticut River in late summer flooded the empty streets around dark shapes and sounds of “Crazy Man” Joel and other notorious locals going though garbage cans, but otherwise Brattleboro was still in its slumber state. While I was busy wondering what everyone else did the night before, the whole impression was rapidly sticking itself to me and I knew someday I would express this in a painting.
Though I originally had this experience looking up the street, looking down it included the same buildings and gave me more room for a background. Most notably Sam’s, as iconic to Brattleboro as Powells Books is to Portland.
Well before I could think about coloring I knew I was in for about four long, difficult days. All those roof moldings, redundantly blurred together windows fading toward the back of the view, all those weird slants in the sidewalks and store fronts grappling their foundations up the steep hill. Finally, by now “all that crap”, IN the storefronts to deal with.
I unfortunately was right and rated it my second most torturous Plien-aire experience in 30 years, but I DID reach the coloring stage. Now I’d have narrow a window of rapidly increasing daylight that was required for the effects I wanted to achieve. Despite my repeated best efforts and dedication to set my alarm to arrive there while it was still dark, the weather was strange this summer and the fog never came and I had to rely on memory. This is the reason why I gave the streetlights greenish glows instead of white ones from their recently changed out LED versions.
What dispelled my dim mood about this result was that the first person I showed it to who is one of my long time fans instantly said that it looked very foggy and not rainy at all, and that the deserted streets make the time of day obvious. So, even if I thought everything looked more like what I actually witnessed while painting than one of the memories I wanted to reclaim from my old life in New England, at least one person so far disagrees.
Hopefully to future art historians “Lower Main Street Brattleboro” will be like what Judas Priest experienced when they recorded “Rocka Rolla”. They failed to achieve their desired result with it, but it was well loved by their fans (including ME).
Lower Main Street Brattleboro, ink and pastels, 30″X22″, Brattleboro, Vermont, August 2020