Amazing typewriter artist

Over the weekend, Chris and I were out and about running errands in downtown Portland. I needed to pick up an item at a local boutique and while waiting to pay we look up and saw an amazing piece of artwork on the wall. While the piece itself may not be something I would put on my wall, I was fascinated and in awe of how the artist creates her art.

Rachel Mulder is a local Portland artist. What sets her apart from other artists? She creates her pieces on a typewriter. The darker areas are made by continuous strikes on the typewriter. As you can see by the screen grab I took from her website, there is an amazing amount of texture, color, and shading and to think it was all done via a typewriter.

I am always amazed and impressed when an artist does something so different and awe-inspiring. While I may not necessarily want this woman specifically on my wall it makes me want to think outside the box and find new ways of looking at the world. Who knew you could make such a rich piece by spending hours at a typewriter? I had to stand and stare at it for quite a while. It is worth taking a look at the link to her website above. (My screen grab is just a portion of the woman).

I would love to purchase a smaller installation of her artwork (the piece in this boutique was quite larger, but worth every penny). It makes me think about all the other creative and simple ways that we can make art. Her way is genius, and I love the energy and creativity it added to my day, and made me want to come home and paint. I did not, as the day ended up being full of catching up on life, but that desire is still fueling inside of me. I bet Rachel goes through quite a few typewriter ribbon tapes. Remember those things?

Here is to finding fun, new, and creative ways to express ourselves!

RAK Friday

One of my least favorite days of the year is Black Friday. I abhor shopping on that day. This year there is an art bazaar that I would like to go to in order to support local artists. If I happen to be in downtown Portland, our local boutiques and small businesses participate in Little Boxes, a way for the community to support local businesses. That would be the only adventure I would have with shopping. Even having said that, I still do not have any interest.

I do not understand the desire for stores to be open (and for folks to be out shopping) on Thanksgiving Day. Why oh why? Our nearby outlet mall will be open from 6 pm to midnight on Thursday, November 27, and then is open from midnight to 10 pm on Friday, November 28. Which basically means they will be open from 6 pm on Thursday to 10 pm on Friday. WHY?

This is why I loved hearing about “RAK Friday” (Random Act of Kindness Friday) intended for Black Friday. Friends started a Facebook page and also has their three kids in on the action. What a wonderful idea to think about celebrating Thanksgiving as a day of gratitude and rolling into Black Friday doing things for others, instead of buying “things.” What if we were able to change Black Friday into RAK Friday? What a difference it would make in this world of consumerism and commercial spending.

So here is my question for you, what should I do on RAK Friday here in Portland? And, for those of you that might be reading this while waiting in line at the mall, what RAK are you going to do for someone today?

#RAKFriday

Have you heard of “City Target?”

On Sunday we were driving in downtown Portland and I saw a sign for a “City Target.” Have you heard of them? Upon researching further, it looks like there are City Targets in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, that opened in 2012. The store in Portland is set to open in July 2013. At the moment the windows are wrapped with “City” and the Target bullseye logo.

I know many people have mixed opinions when big box stores come into urban areas (even if it is with a smaller footprint). I am not a huge fan of Walmart, so I am part of that mixed bag of differing ideas. I do, however, have a spot in my heart for Target. Maybe it was because I grew up going to Target. I try not to go often because it is too easy for me to leave with too many items. Their specifically designed furniture, housewares, and sometimes even clothes are more my taste than a comparable item at Walmart.

I do not live in downtown Portland, so going to City Target will not be a big deal to me, but when I lived near downtown Portland, I would have been thrilled to see it open up. It means for so many that they do not have to find transportation, use their gas and drive out to the suburbs just to stock up on items. Take a peek online and see if one is opening up in your area.

#excitedforurbanPDXers