"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Friday, July 31, 2009

cannon beach 2

Haystack Rock is the main attraction at Cannon Beach. It’s a 235-foot tall basalt monolith, the third-tallest such structure in the world. It was formed by lava flows emanating from mountains 10 to 17 million years ago. The rock is adjacent to the beach and accessible by foot during low tide. (It used to be joined to the coastline, but has been separated from the coast by years of erosion.) Haystack Rock tide pools are home to cool things like starfish, anemone, crabs and sea slugs. The rock is also a refuge for many sea birds, including terns and puffins. It’s a protected marine site, and you can be fined $1500 for climbing on it. Everyone seems to love just being near it. Its presence is ancient, powerful and magical.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

cannon beach

To beat the record-breaking heat that is blasting Portland, we hit the Sunset Highway yesterday morning. One hour and fifteen minutes later, the air was thirty degrees cooler and we were staring at the beauty that is the Oregon coast.

There are 363 miles of coastline, all of it pristine and all of it public. It is a diverse terrain, changing from rugged cliffs to evergreen forests to Sahara-like dunes and endless sandy beaches.

We spent the day at Cannon Beach, where there are nine miles of walkable beach and the awesome, amazing Haystack Rock. It was low tide, and the broad beach was shrouded in heavy fog. Figures were ghostlike. It felt like we were walking around in heaven.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

two very cool guys

I am one lucky girl: the men in my life are not afraid to go places and do things where there isn’t a lot of testosterone involved.

Eddie and I went to an Indigo Girls concert the other night at the Portland Zoo, and this morning Max (who is here with us for a few days) joined me at a Barre 3 class, which was a combination of yoga, pilates and ballet.

Lucky indeed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

photography in portland

In 1975 a group of photographers pooled their resources to start a small gallery in Portland. It grew to become one of the most important photography exhibition centers in the country. A non-profit space dedicated to educating the public about photography, Blue Sky Gallery, also known as the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, began by showing local artists and then slowly expanded to national and international artists. Their special mission continues to be showing artists that no one has ever heard of. As such, Blue Sky has been credited with having the best record of discovering new photographers of any artist space in the country.

I was fortunate to have a one-woman show at Blue Sky in 2001. In 2002 my book "Convergence" was included in their book program. (People are often entitled to receive monographs when they renew their memberships with the gallery.) A couple of years ago, the gallery moved into a brand new, beautiful location. It is truly an impressive space, and it’s not too far from our condo!

Chris, one of the original founders of Blue Sky was kind enough to agree to take a look at my Streetcar Series while I’m in town. It will be interesting to see what he has to say.

By the way, for those of you who don't know: Portland is a mecca for photography and photographers.

The following is from an article in The Oregonian, August, 2008:

“Portland is an open-minded, West Coast, urban paradise that embraces digital-age progressiveness and welcomes all ambitious new arrivals to the City of Roses.

Whether you're an isolated poet pioneer with a camera or in the business of artful persuasion, photographers are drawn to Portland for the same reasons everyone else in town is.

‘It's a really liberal, creative town,’ says Laura Valenti, program director for the Newspace Center.

‘It's all about Portland's approachability,’ Newspace director Chris Bennett says.

Of course, this photographic community is just an appetizer compared to the five-course meals that can be found in New York. Still, right now, Portland has cultivated the broadest and deepest selection of photography galleries, publishers and artists in the history of the city's art scene. Spend a day touring the galleries and you'll notice that many, perhaps most, exhibit photography. And there's something to appeal to every kind of personal taste and critical value -- a print by the compelling and abstract South African Roger Ballen or more viewer-friendly work by dozens of lesser-known talents, many of whom live in this city.”

Monday, July 27, 2009

forest park

Yesterday we cooled off by at least ten degrees (there’s a heat wave in Stumptown) by going to Forest Park. What a gorgeous place.

Forest Park is 5,100 wooded acres of sheer beauty. It is the largest, forested natural area within city limits in the US. Though we weren’t on the lookout for such, I’ve read that there are more than 100 bird and 60 mammal species living in this area.

It was designed by the Olmsted Brothers, the same firm responsible for, among others, Central Park, Interlochen Park in Seattle and Prospect Park in Brooklyn (where we were a couple of weeks ago for a wedding).

There are 70 miles of trails! Remember, this is right in the city of Portland. Amazing. We hiked three of them, Sam-dog in tow. He has really perked up, by the way, and he seemed to love Forest Park as much as we did.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Some say Portland has more tattoos per capita than any other city in the US. All I know is I see them everywhere on practically everyone.

The Portland Art Museum, whose chief curator sports a full back tattoo, is having a summer long exhibition called “Marking Portland: The Art of Tattoo” offering a kind of short history of tattoos as told through works in the museum’s permanent collection. The show includes photography from Portland tattoo artists and Portlanders with tattoos.

The world of Portland ink got animated yesterday when local tattoo artists and those tattooed were part of a day long festival at the museum. There were people getting tattoos, explaining their tattoos, comparing their tattoos, showing off their tattoos. The art of tattoo was celebrated with fashion, music, performance and a live runway show. We saw people like Matt, who claims to be Portland’s most tattooed man (98% of his body is covered; only the soles of his feet and his gums are not. Hmmm.)

The runway show included a mind-boggling array of tattooed magicians, contortionists, fire-eaters and burlesque performers.

Just another day in Portland.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

a dog day

We’ve been dog owners for many, many years. But we’ve never seen anything quite like the dog’s life that exists in Portland!

Sam has had a lot of trouble adjusting to being here. After all, he is fifteen. He has his favorite spots to sit and his favorite spots to explore, his favorite walking paths, his favorite smells and his favorite canine friends back home in Kansas City. He’s been pretty dazed and confused since we got to Portland. He’s been pacing, not eating, not playing. He barks whenever we leave, and that is not cool in a condominium. Last night we were ready to pack it up and go home.

As luck would have it, there was a doggie festival going on a block from our place this morning. There we (with eyes wide in disbelief) walked among booths offering everything from plush dog strollers to doggie massage and acupuncture and chiropractic to doggie Kool collars (ice in the collar to, yes, cool off your dog) and life vests. Sam was given a free sample of doggie frozen yogurt. Best of all, we found a doggie daycare that was just a couple blacks away from our condo.

We had to fill out an application, and then Sam had to be assessed! It was nerve wracking - uncomfortably and embarrassing reminiscent of the interviews our kids had to endure back in the day for play groups and school!

Sam was taken into a fenced area where he was tested with a small, docile dog. Then he graduated to a small aggressive dog, then a large docile dog and finally, the hardest test of all, a large aggressive whipper-snapper. Eddie I and watched nervously through a small window.

After a while, I decided to browse the shelves of stuff available for purchase at doggie day care. The designer clothing, fancy good eats, jeweled collars and high priced toys were mind-boggling. I hate to be a party pooper, but, honestly, how sad it is that many dogs in this country eat and dress better than people living under the poverty line. There are constant reminders of that here for me in Portland, as the homeless population is plentiful and very visible. In fact, after walking out of this joint, I immediately saw a guy who looked like he hadn’t eaten a good meal or bathed for days.

At any rate, Sam passed with flying colors and will spend the afternoon playing with his new friends and hopefully beginning to adjust to being in his home away from home, Portland. Eddie and I will spend the afternoon at the Art Museum, and our neighbors will have some quiet time sans barking dog.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


And now I have flown to the opposite coast. “Gloria in Portland” will be the name of this blog for the next few weeks.

It was the smoothest flight ever with great views all along the way. Descending toward Portland all the mountains were visible. Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of the plane to get the amazing view of Mt. Hood that the people on the right side were afforded, but we did get views of other mountains nonetheless.

Sam-dog did throw up once, which was too bad for him because there wasn’t enough time to get the Southwest Airlines barf bag into his little carrying case that was crammed under the seat in front of us. But he managed to curl up into the opposite corner of the carrier and fall back asleep, so all was well. When he did wake up, we unzipped the top and let him stick his head out.

Our first stop, after getting settled back into our place, was the neighborhood farmer’s market. We filled our Change the Truth tote bag with locally grown, organic veggies and fresh cut flowers and herbs. The veggies soon became our dinner, and then we enjoyed the setting sun and the cool breeze on our little balcony.

I intend to add to my Streetcar and Sea Series while here in this neck of the woods. I also plan on showing my work to several galleries. Some hiking is in store, as well as treks to nearby vineyards, waterfalls, rivers, fruit farms, etc. We are happy to be here and are looking forward to some fun adventures!

check this out!

We are on the wedding circuit these days. A friend sent me this video: I wish we'd been invited to this wedding!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I glanced down at my trusty new little camera yesterday and noticed that the G-10 logo on the front looked a lot like the word “G-LO” which is my nickname to a special few. I thought: well, I bought the right camera then, didn’t I?

The camera has, in a few short days, become my sketchbook. It gives me the opportunity to shoot quickly and freely, a far cry from my old Hassleblad and more recently my 5D. Not that there is anything wrong with a slow, methodical way of working – in fact, I rather prefer that when I am in serious pursuit of an important image. But the digital age really has unleashed for me the potential for more spontaneous and haphazard shooting, something in which I, frankly, was never interested.

Until now, I suppose. Making, on average, roughly six to eight images digitally to every one I used to make with film, I am more apt to shoot just to see, as Garry Winogrand used to say, what things look like photographed.

And that is a bucket full of fun.

The point and shoot camera has taken this to a whole new level. I can grab the camera very easily and begin taking pictures within seconds. No fuss, no muss. Of course, quality is sacrificed, but hey, it’s just a sketchbook, remember?

Flying back from New York the other night, I found my fear of flying taking over as our rather small plane headed into stormy territory. Rather than freak out, I reached for my new little namesake and embraced the moment by photographing the darkening skies outside my window. Took my mind off the fact that my drink was about to fall off my tray table and the flight attendants even looked worried at one point.

This camera could open up a whole new world for me! Maybe I should take it with me when I am about to speak in public.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I received this lovely email from a friend of Change the Truth. He purchased one of the limited edition copies of Kutuuka; those include an original drawing or painting by one of the children from the orphanage or one of my photographs. DB selected the painting by Amanda. I love what he had to say about it in his email:


I just wanted you to know how much I am enjoying the Change the Truth book. Love looking at your photographs and the children's artwork. Speaking of artwork, the painting Amanda did is even more beautiful than the picture of it in the book, something that isn't always true. It is also beautifully framed.

Several people who have seen Amanda's painting have asked me if it is an Arthur Dove. I can assure you it will be hung in a place of honor and enjoyed over the years.

What you and the Foundation have done, and are doing, is truly amazing and I am happy to be a small part of it.


I plan on sending his missive, along with some samples of Arthur Dove's work to Amanda. Imagine how exciting this will be for her! In the meantime, take a look for yourself. On the top is Amanda's piece; below is a Dove.

Monday, July 20, 2009

more pictures from new york

Central Park, The Met, Brooklyn, The Hi-Line again (thanks, Clare!) a lot of walking and dinner at Pastis (thanks, Ricky!)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

new york

Eddie and I are in the big apple for a wedding.

We started things off at crazy B&H Photo, where I became the proud owner of my very first point and shoot camera. We then spent the day walking the newly opened Hi-Line, poking around Chelsea, eating, people watching and walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. Then we had a fantastic dinner at Milos and saw the play "Ruined" at New York City Center. It was a great day, and I was having a blast playing with my super cool Canon Powershot G10.