Martha My Dear

martharose

Graphite/ink sketch and photo layering.  It took me about a week to finish this sketch because of all the detail work.  I was going to add watercolor, but decided not to.  Instead, I took a photo of a rose and layered it underneath it…it totally worked!  This is a portrait of my friend, Martha, who in my opinion is a brave and beautiful soul.  I admire her very much because she is so real and honest about everything in her life.  She is an author and fellow artist and you should check out her independent zine Somnambulist.  She talks a lot about her family, friends, and her life experiences.

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And So It Begins….

Oregon's best kept secret!

Oregon’s best kept secret!

In the Pacific Northwest, we have the best that produce has to offer. The chunk of time between Spring and Summer is my favorite time for a bigger variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.  My most treasured gem would be the Oregon Hood strawberry.  If I were a strawberry, this would be the variety I would strive to be.  I grew up in Hawaii, so the freshest strawberry was from California (the biggest producer of strawberries) and were huge but lacked flavor.  At the time, I did not have anything else to compare it to.  I moved to Oregon in the late 90’s and that’s when I got my first taste of the Hood.  Smaller in size, the texture is more dense, more juicy, and the flavor is sweeter (higher natural sugar content ) and by far much more “strawberry-y”!  Because the season is short and they require a knowledgeable hand (they are a sensitive crop and are difficult to grow), these berries are a little pricey and they break down a lot faster than those huge tasteless California “strawberries”.  However, when the season is upon you, hoard them, freeze them (they make the best smoothies and jams!) and eat as many as you can!!

Oregon Hood Strawberries with Lilikoi (Passion fruit) butter stacked on pancakes!

Oregon Hood Strawberries with Lilikoi (Passion fruit) butter stacked on pancakes!

Layered Cake

koronkoI am learning photo layering and manipulation with GIMP and am quite happy with what I create.  It is a free software and well worth it if you are doing simple editing.  This is a mixed media piece involving pencil layered on top of a photo I took of night traffic.  I have an obsession with faces and eyes and this piece is a drawing of my friend Ashley’s eyes.  Her eyes house a deep soul with a playful wit!

Portland Mercado and CHORIZO

Opening Day, Portland Mercado

Opening Day, Portland Mercado

The hail and heavy crowds did not stop us from going to the opening day of the most anticipated cultural hub, Portland Mercado. The project came to fruition after 9 years of planning and it was worth the wait!  Funded by grants and a loan by the Portland Development Commission, Portland Mercado is located in the Lents neighborhood with a dense Latino population.

From Foster Road, you could hear the live music blaring from the bandstand under the huge white tents.  A huge crowd of people, spanning every generation was bopping and swaying to the music. We could smell the deliciously spiced aroma of the food carts as we drove past with our windows down.  It was cold, but we didn’t care.  We wanted to hear, smell, and see everything that Portland Mercado had to offer!

We parked about 5 blocks away.  The closer we got, the more we could smell and hear.  The people who were leaving had delicious looking food and bags of groceries or snacks. It was cloudy out and partly hailing with rain.  But no one seemed to care.  After all, we had been waiting for years for this to come true.  And it finally WAS!

We walked through the gated parking lot which was full of information booths.  It lead us to the HUB.  It was at the entrance where we were greeted with the smell of the churro stand.  There was a line to get in, but it moved fast.  Good thing we had the churros to keep us busy!  As you entered the building, there were colorful traditional decorations hanging from the walls, the ceilings, and the windows.  To the right was an impressive candy/snack shop.  I couldn’t read anything so I identified things from the photos on the package.  We walked away with a bag of chili flavored corn chips, mango-chili and pineapple-chili lollipops.

The whole reason why I wanted to go was because of the Chorizoria.  I turned the corner from the candy shop and there it was… Don Felipe Products specializes in Tolucan style chorizo and is locally made in Forest Grove, Oregon.  The owner, Salud Gonzalez, was standing at the counter giving out samples of his tasty chorizo.  I tried the chicken chorizo and I was very much satisfied.  I chose my flavors and paid his partner who was manning the register.  30 bucks on chorizo, but it was well worth it!

Check out Portland Mercado and their other merchants!