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Today’s Harvest: A Potato Array

garden potatoes


One look at my potato gleanings made me realize how much of a farmer’s harvest they can’t sell — a splotch, an unsightly wrinkle, non-uniform sizes —because the American shopper is too fickle. Not shown are the very smallest potatoes, no larger than a pea. Imagine how wonderful they’d be whole in a soup.

But it’s just that irregularity of home grown or farmers market produce that is especially delightful. Fellow admirers of odd-shaped vegetables are nodding their heads in agreement.

You’d never find heart-shaped tomatoes or Dr. Seuss eggplants or twisted yellow bell peppers a grocery store. I’m convinced these vegetables taste better, too.

Two Thumbs Up for Little Birds

Vaux's swifts: I'm a vauxeur

The hottest show in Portland in September is also free: the nightly roosting of the Vaux’s Swifts that, tornado-like, funnel into the chimney of, among other places, Chapman Elementary School in NW Portland. The night’s silver screen might also feature a protagonist hawk waiting to catch his prey, that is if a swarm of swifts doesn’t circle back en masse to chase the hawk away amid whooping cheers from the audience. Read more about them on the Audubon Society of Portland’s website. Think Audubon should print this as a t-shirt next year? If so, hit the Like button and I’ll donate the art to them.

Good Finds: Caldera Student Blues Posters

I was lucky enough to see these blues posters as large banners at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival. They’re part of youth art program called Caldera that brings in artists from around the world to do month-long residencies working with at-risk youth.

Students worked with local artist, Joe McMurrian, to learn about blues legends and create illustrated portraits. View all the Caldera blues posters online. Originals and small prints are available for sale. Contact 503-937-7594 or email caldera@calderaarts.org. Proceeds are split between the young artist and Caldera to support more programs.

The Beauty of Book Series

In the visual chaos of bookstores, my eye always settles on the logic and order of families of titles — collections, put out by a publisher, with a common visual system, a sort-of brand within a brand.

There’s a pleasing harmony to these single- or multi-author collections. And the viewer goes back and forth between the books’ unifying elements and their unique imagery. You’re able to pay more attention to the books’ art because of the common visual thread running across the individual titles.

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