Eastside Plating Works, Plant 5 (The Paintings)

More than a month ago, I said I was almost finished with Plant 5. Well, time is as relative as other attributes of our world, so “almost” is tallied as a month’s further tweaking.

Below are images of the final work. The titles and comments are meant to please all: Jan shouldn’t read them or the comments below the paintings. Those who want factual info may read the pre-colon material but avoid the final comments. Those who crave more info may go for the post-colon text as well as my maunderings about the process and the place.

All the paintings are 30 x 40″, and while they are not strictly meant as a panorama, I have included one view of the five of them together.

JOU, Eastside Plating Works Plant 5, number 1: Monday elevenish, 40 x 30″, oil on canvas, 2012


JOU, Eastside Plating Works Plant 5 number 2: Tuesday 5PM , 30 x 40″, oil on canvas, 2012


JOU, Eastside Plating Works Plant 5, number 3: Wednesday, noon, 40 x 30″, oil on canvas, 2012


JOU, Eastside Plating Works Plant 5, number 4: Sunday Morning, 30 x 40″, oil on canvas, 2012


JOU, Eastside Plating Works Plant 5, number 5: Friday 3:30PM, 40 x 30″, oil on canvas, 2012


JOU, Eastside Plating Works, Plant 5, various sizes, oil on canvas, 2012

These paintings were part of a 3-month stint sponsored by Portland Store Fixtures, (110 SE Main Street). Plant 5 occupies the northern half of the 200 block, just east of the Store Fixtures warehouses on SE Main. It consists of 5-7 buildings, arranged in a deep semi-circle, the interior shape partly dictated by a former railroad siding that once ran diagonally through the space. Now, trucks enter into the semi-circle to deliver and pick up materials; workers park their cars there. The interior of the semi-circle has mysterious industrial artifacts, like the prominent funnel in Number 3.

I painted on-site studies of these scenes during a warm spell in January and February, took innumerable reference photos, and did the large paintings in the studio for the remainder of the winter and spring, returning to Plant 5 when I needed more information.

I like to paint my surrounds, over time, providing the viewer with what normally busy people don’t have time to observe. Jer says I make things more beautiful than they are; I say, he just wasn’t there when I was. –June

And Ran Ortner, a painter of huge seascapes, says in an interview in The Sun, June 2012, “I did not want the distance or the conceit that devices like irony evoke. I decided I would attempt a kind of tightrope act. I would paint straight — in a realistic manner — but I would attempt to be inventive with my perspective and the quality of immersion. I hoped to build…emotional density.”¬† He says it better than I’ve ever¬† been able to.

PSF Residency: Post 9 — More Manikins

Friend Jane and I traveled down to the res to do a bit of drawing today. Beforehand I dawdled. I thought about calling and cancelling. I drank another cup of coffee. I looked at the flowering hellebore as I meandered down the street. In short, I didn’t want to go a-drawing.

However, and per usual, showing up is half the game. I had a great time.

We drew manikins, and because I was mostly feckless, I decided the heck with precision and care and getting the proportions right. I would work on rhythm and line, since the warehouse, with its amazing stock of organized jumbles of store fixtures is all about rhythm and line.

JOU Studies, Lots of Manikins Pencil on paper, about¬† 10 x 12″ 2012

The lady manikin in the dark dress (see her?) was bought right out from under my nose – er, my drawing. She was the only one clothed except for the character on the far left who had a feather boa.

JOU, Studies, Manikin Feet Etc, pencil on paper, about 10 x 12″, 2012.

I was sitting down, and so the best view I had was of white plastic legs receding into the stacks.

Both these were done in pencil on a sketch pad I had on hand. Eventually, and perhaps sooner if the weather continues to imagine it’s February in Portland, I’ll set up a painting easel in the warehouse.Then the true test of character will begin.

The folks at Portland Store Fixtures continue to be gracious and delightful. Today Penny and a friend, Michelle, came by. Michelle allowed as how what Jane and I were doing might be called “lifeless drawing.” We all envisioned a workshop, “Lifeless Drawing” to be held in and around the warehouse. Which led Penny to talking about the dog training workshops held in the warehouse. And then she had to bring out the wonderful dog, a dog which steals my heart every time I see him. Jane ended up on the floor, allowing the huge malamute to lick her chin.

Like I said,¬† delightful. –June

PSF Residency: Post #5

It’s Wednesday evening (Feb 1, 2012), and today I drew for the first time inside the warehouse at Portland Store Fixtures. It was good. Comfy quarters (warmth, light, pleasant music), the staff was altogether pleasant, and I had a drawing companion, comrade Jane, to buck me up and keep me from feeling too self-conscious.

We didn’t do a lot — meandered around the res a bit, got something to drink at the cafe near the PCC building, and then sat in front of a bunch of manikins and did our drawings.

JOU Manikin2, pencil on paper, 10 x 12″ 2012


JOU, Manikin1, pencil on paper, 10 x 12″, 2012

I’m presenting the drawings here for the record — can’t claim more than that.

Painting the manikins in the warehouse will be coming along soon, although I need to do a lot more on Plant 5, up the street. I’ve begun a largish canvas of the Plant 5 funnel, but I have plans for a hockney-ish pano (A la Pear Blossom Highway) of the plant’s facades on Main Street, done plein air on panels and then on canvas in the studio.

Plans are cheap. But so was the drawing:-) –June