Saturday, November 29, 2008

More Inspires

Last night I backed up several thousand digital photos on a secondary hard drive and then spent an hour today deleting many of the same images from my laptop. Oh, and I can't simply delete images in large nameless groups. It took me almost an hour to move three thousand to the trash because I pondered over each one, even knowing that they were all backed up, still accessible.

I told Mary today that when I'm an old lady with signs of early dementia, I'll be easy to amuse. Just give me a screen and lots of images to consider. There is nothing I like to do more.

Here are some images I loved today and which may end up in 'Second Seating'. They include a hand painted china tea cup and saucer (scroll back upwards) and some really nice carnations we saw at Fred Meyer.

Please take a good look at all the images in this post and tell me next year when the installation is done whether or not you recognize any of them projected on those ceiling scrims. From whence comes my inspiration today.

There was the fruit garnish on my breakfast plate this morning along with a warm bread pudding made with chard, sausage chunks and cheese.

I have really good breakfasts in Portland because both Mary and Queta see breakfast as their favorite meal so they have found, and continue to find, wonderful little places that serve terrific breakfasts - and lattes too.
The day after Thanksgiving, Dave and Queta mixed up leftover cornbread stuffing, a little cranberry sauce, mashed potatos all together with green chiles in a cast iron skillet. They baked the whole thing in the oven after they dropped four eggs on the top. It was divine.

The image below is simply a pleasant photograph of the crackers we ate with an assortment of goat cheeses and Tillamook cheese curd. The dish has been in our family for several generations and Mary took ownership of it when Mom and Dad moved from Houston to Seattle for good.

Mary and I ate Thai for lunch today. We didn't leave much on our plates, did we?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What Inspires?

Well, very simply, quite a lot inspires. Each day, every moment there seems to be a surfeit of receptors inside of me that gather colors and shapes and objects - images, images coming from all directions - and continuously juxtapose them side by side, layer after layer. It's quite a show.

Add ideas for 'Second Seating' that zing in from god knows where - I filled six notebook pages with them on my trip to Portland a day ago. And they are good ideas too, many of which I'll incorporate into the whole. Maybe I was inspired because I was upgraded to first class and was served an omelet, decent coffee, yogurt and fresh fruit on real plates and bowls? As the plane landed, I agreed with the man who sat beside me (and who looked like Kevin Bacon, maybe), that the trip was good and as he added, uneventful. But was it really NOT uneventful for me. Instead, I sat in that first class seat brimming with ideas and possibilities, covering pages and pages of my old fashioned school notebook.

Two afternoons ago, I was inspired when I looked out my dining room windows and saw my screen porch and studio awash in that golden low late afternoon autumn sunlight. What a glorious place to work, listen to urban sounds and to contemplate.

Actually, I had a wonderful week, each day moved the production of this new exhibition forward. I found a second large studio space in the East End where I can put all the tables and accoutrements for this show and be able to develop each in relationship to all the rest. What a gift. A huge thank you to the person who made this space available. Having it feels like a green light to go. Next week, I'll have another friend with a truck and trailer help me move all the stuff I've collected thus far into the space. I can hardly wait to have it all in one place - and out where I can see it all - because it will really help move the design process forward. And I'll probably have a horrible sinking spell because it may look as if it makes no sense and I'll just have to keep adding until it does make sense.

I continue to take 'food photos' that I'll project on those billowing scrims. Have no idea what order they'll all take. Mary says I should put a series on You Tube or flickr and I think we'll try to do that this Thanksgiving weekend. Here is some of the food that's made its way to a table where I've eaten.

We ate sushi in the neighborhood just after I arrived, kind of an afternoon lunch of yellow tail and albacore tuna, unagi or eel and Sunny Special #1 Salmon. I think my favorite was the eel. Am remembering the eel at the Stockholm Restaurant next to the Abbey Hotel in New York where we always stayed as we travelled to and from Aruba. The restaurant had a Swedish smorgasbord and there was hardly a fish on the table that I didn't try. I was a very adventurous child when it came to eating and look where it's taking me now.

This morning we three at a late breakfast at the The Little Red Bike Cafe. I am not remembering the name of the egg sandwiches that we enjoyed, but they were good. Loved the patterns on the lattes.

We decided to visit Portland's new Museum of Contemporary Craft which has a show titled "Manuf®actured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects" that is very similar to the exhibition at the new Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle in New York. Artists are using everyday packaging and recycled materials in fascinating ways. After the museum visit, we went to The Meadow on Mississippi Street for black Turkish salt. How about those blocks of quarried pink salt in their window? The afternoon light just lit them up.

Later, we landed at Flutter, recommended by Caroline, where we pondered well edited vintage satiny clothes, toys, books, feathered glass bird ornaments and chandeliers. Flutter was fairly wonderful. The owner really has a nice touch and edits well.

Earlier, we'd stopped at a tea shop where I ordered powdered green tea and was served what looked like a soup bowl of wheat grass. I have the feeling it was so loaded with goodness that I'll be alert and awake until well after Thanksgiving dinner, a full day and a half from now.

And what, you ask, has all of this activity today to do with developing 'Second Seating'? Everything. Because everything I see these days seems to relate to this emerging series of dining tables. I see 'Second Seating' everywhere. The 'seeing' inspires and when combined with this ever flowing river of ideas, the making 'Second Seating' is propelled forward. Someday other folks will 'see' what's in my head and on my mind.
Take a look at these images again. Perhaps they'll appear in some form or fashion on a strange and wonderful dinner table or as a scrap in a collage or as part of a fantasy chandelier. I even bought a LED light bulb today at Sunland, a more-than-amazing store on Mississippi Street, that changes colors from moment to moment. How would a dozen of such lights behave when paired with a bevy of tin cans encrusted with marbles?

What a week. Inspiration is good.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Second Seating Mixes Food and Art

Art and dining? Dining and art? The combination is not necessarily new, but the idea is spawning new venues and gaining devotees. I've just read The New York Times STYLE Magazine, Design & Living Winter 2008, and this mix of art and food sounds a lot like Second Seating to me.

Plans for Second Seating include receptions and parties in the space itself, catered by Irma's restaurant and hosted by a local green groups and real estate organizations.

These receptions will be about people coming together in a fantasy environment, drinking a margarita and eating a flauta or two while immersed in an art installation where almost everything is made with recycled junk or cast-off and vintage objects, including tin can chandeliers and collages made with stained coffee filters.

Second Seating will be a space in which you can ponder a transparent table base filled with East End street litter and remember Hurricane Ike when you spot a table made from trees felled by the storm. You may marvel at the number of stacked coffee mugs that support a tabletop of coffee beans and catch light from a chandelier constructed from Clorox bottles.

Food wouldn't be half as much fun to eat if we couldn't see it and I suspect that art, especially art that conjures up feasts or the lack of, will be more fun to experience with food in hand. So we are mixing art and food all the time with Second Seating.