Centenial Celebration

On September 8, 2013 the Multnomah County Central Library turns 100. Summer workshops and classes kick off the celebration at the library. While Joanne Kollman’s program description read as follows: Design a vintage-style poster, inspired by designs from the 1910s through 1940s, for the library’s 100th anniversary, students found inspiration from many sources, including their own interests and imagination. Limited by a 2-hour time frame students worked on design, and finished art while we discussed the methods by which they could complete their posters at home.

Inspired by vintage poster art, imagination and influences from contemporary culture dominate final designs.

Inspired by vintage poster art, imagination and contemporary culture dominate final designs.

Kateri Park Get’s Artsy

Young residents attend a Get Artsy Program Weekly. This program is run solely on volunteer power. Pizza box art was a big hit for the tall and the small. Kateri Park is the home for Somolian, Etheopian, Burmese, Iraqi and American families. Stay tuned for more art. Get involved by becoming a volunteer.

Students proudly prance their pizza boxes in progress.

Students proudly prance their pizza boxes in progress.


We had a great turn out at the Sellwood Library for an adult mixed media drawing class. Thank you Morgan and friends for a fun evening. You all did some good work. I met Morgan at the Troy Studios Open house last week end. Through social media networking she attracted a group of non artists exposing some hidden talents.


Hip to be Square

I brought a plethora of art supplies to the Gregory Heights Library. A group of adults experimented primarily with water soluble graphite, water color and colored pencils. It was an experimental afternoon with some great results.

Mixed Media Squares

Mixed Media Squares

Icons: The Homestretch

Traditionally in Christianity an icon is a flat panel depicting a holy person. All Saints sixth grade students discussed the importance of simplicity and symbolism in their art making. Using acrylic paint and sharpie markers on wood panels they gained insight as to how time consuming a traditional panel could be to make. We are on the homestretch.

6th grade icons in progress.

6th grade icons in progress.

Painting a Memory

I spent 3-4 short sessions with a friend who is a new student to oil painting working from a photograph taken during a recent trip out of the country. She writes:

“I took a trip to Nicaragua for 2 weeks with 3 others from Strong Harvest International , to teach community leaders about planting, harvesting and using the moringa tree that grows all over the tropics. Many people who could really use it aren’t aware of its high nutrition and water purifying ability. I met families living in and around a city garbage dump. The trees grow even there. I wanted to remember this beautiful little girl who I met one day while we were helping serve lunch in the village near the garbage dump, so I did a painting of her with Joanne’s help. Now she is here to remind me.”
Sue's 1st Portrait
Painting by Sue Ellen

6th Grade Icon Project


I led All Saints Elementary School 6th graders in an art project for history on Byzantine icons this last week. We discussed the traditional method in which the historical religious icons were crafted on birch panels with gold leaf gilding even though students would began painting with gold acrylic paint. Our discussion prompted many questions about the Joan of Arc Statue located on 39th and Glisan just across the street from the school. Local gold leaf restoration expert Nancy Thorn answered all of their questions as follows:


Built and given to the City of Portland by the City of Paris in 1925

Paid for by Dr. Coe, a Portland resident who wanted to give our city some nice art.

The artist is Emanual Fremiet (Frem’ – ee- ay)

20′ high, hollow cast bronze.

The flag is hammered copper to look like rippling silk.

When it was given to the city of Portland in 1925 it was completely gilded and looked pretty much the way it looks today.

The artist planned to gild it when he made the sculpture, imagining how the reflective gold would look on all the textures on the surface.

Almost every surface has texture, hair on the horse, chain mail, etc.

The gold is 23 3/4K, 1/4K from being pure 24K.

Most gold jewelry is 14K; 12K jewelry is half gold and half silver.

23 3/4K gold is very soft. It is hammered very thin and cut into 3″ squares called sheets.

There are 25 sheets in a “book” paper pages the leaves are put between, and 20 books to a pack.

A pack of gold (500) sheets, has less than 1/4 ounce of gold in it.

A pack of gold today costs about $800.00

It took 18 packs of gold to cover the statue.

This was the process:

We put up scaffolding 4 stories high and put plastic around it in case it rained or got windy and to keep the statue clean.

We removed the corrosion that was on the bronze. Bronze has copper in it and corrodes the way a penny turns dark.

Then we put a paint primer on the raw clean metal that adheres well to the metal.

Then we put a thicker yellow colored primer over that.

Then we put ANOTHER yellow primer on that one that would wear well if the gold wears off.

Then we put an adhesive for the gold to stick to. It goes on with a brush, like a varnish. Its clear, but we put a little color in it so we could see wear we were putting it.

When the adhesive was beginning to dry but was still stick, we started putting the sheets of gold down.

The gold was put down so that the sheets slightly overlapped each other.

It took 4 people less than 1 day to put the leaf on.

Where the gold didn’t stick, where the sheets overlapped slightly, it just fell to the ground and blew away.

There is nothing over the gold leaf, no varnish or protection, that is traditional.

The gold leaf does not corrode, or change in any way.

It can be scratched, but there is so little actual gold, because it’s so thin, you would have to scrape the whole statue to get enough to sell.

It is hard on it when people climb up on it, the gold has been scratched and we have come to repair it twice.


Draw Like a Pro at The Capitol Hill Library!

We sprang forward on this grey quiet Sunday with a variety of drawing materials. Stephanie, Julie, Millie, Nate, Greg, Jenna, and Fatima arrived to experience water-soluble graphite pencils, a variety of artist grade drawing pencils, water soluble colored pencils, Prismacolor pencils and charcoal pencils. Students did some great art work from subject matter of their choice, using drawing books, favorite characters and from their imagination and mind’s eye.  We used some very high grade drawing paper and chose from a variety of cut mats for framing. Ages 6 to adult creatively sharpened their drawing skills today. A great way to spend a quiet Sunday at the local library.

We discussed how to use line, shape, value, texture and some of us color. Some started from rough sketches and soon discovered the need for a methodical plan when mixing media.

What can you draw on a Sunday afternoon?

What can you draw on a Sunday afternoon?


Part 2: Groner Elementary School

Pizza Box Art

First Graders received a short introduction to the word: Anthropomorphic

First Graders learned about anthropomorphic animals

I first met Groner 2nd and 3rd graders for Part 1, “Minds Eye Drawing” where we used their scientific inquiry questions: “What do I notice and what do I see?” to think about drawing pets that we have or know from a picture in our mind. Our big idea centered around an image we could not really see in our classroom combined with a plate of unusual  art materials. I cam back to do a Part 2 for them with some wild pizza box art and found objects. And first grade produced awesome results with Mind’s Eye Drawing.

Part 2 intended to be around animal habitat studies but doe to scheduling the students had not begun their research. The big idea discussed with their teacher, Chris Caputo, involved giving the students a choice of fact or fiction combined with found objects that may relate to their story or animal habitat. We played a bit of a game show game where just a few students got to choose slightly different combination of the materials provided so we could compare the outcomes. The pictured owl and the horse in the collage are two examples of the changed up materials. Give yourselves a big hand Groner students, you all did a remarkable job with your imaginations and the art materials. The found object brought and original element of surprise.

I hope to get  a few pieces of this fabulous exhibit to share in a student show at the Beaverton City Hall, 3rd floor in July and August.

More Back to Basics Drawing

On Sunday the Fairview -Columbia Library filled another drawing class of adults with minimal past drawing skills. Student’s learned form and composition through observational drawing of still-life objects as well as copying value tones from black and white copies of Impressionistic paintings. We looked at a lot of drawing and discussed techniques to interpret what we saw through the use of line, texture, shape and value.

Student's Work