Hey, I've recently been noticing that I drive around Portland without the assistance of GPS or Siri. I haven't been needing it as I have in the first year and a half or so. I even catch myself cringing sometimes at the cars with out-of-state license plates as if I am a native Portlander disgruntled at transplants, when I myself am one. I definitely have turned into a real local, but I know that there is more to discover here, especially the great outdoors of Oregon. My latest work is about that – inspiration of magical Pacific Northwest.
During my first few months here in Portland, I met an elite runner who ran for University of Oregon, whose dream is to live comfortably out of a van surfing up and down the coast. Him and his brother took it upon themselves to introduce me to Oregon and showed me some great surfing spots in the coast and where to find awesome waterfalls and swimming holes, and best coffee and wine in the ever-so-enchanting Columbia River Gorge. The runner eventually moved away to work towards affording that dream life, and we drifted apart. Three years into living in Portland, I look back at that innocent time and feel immensely thankful. It was a gift and pure grace to this foreigner, and I know that it would have taken me much longer to figure out what PNW has to offer, if I hadn't met him.
The change and growth that I have observed here so far is quite staggering. Portland literally is exploding. New buildings go up and new companies come in literally everyday. What appeared to me at first as a little big town, is now resembling a metropolis. It's still very relaxed and charming compared to spread out yet dense cities like Los Angeles, and I'm just hoping that the growth starts tapering off right about...now?
I have a show coming up this weekend in Seattle. Will report on that later. Applying to a bunch of notable shows and trying to gear up for busy summer and fall. I'm a bit worried that I have turned into a workaholic of sorts. After this weekend, I'll need to step back and reconfigure the way I run my days. Like I said, there is so much to discover in this great state. Magic in the studio doesn't happen randomly. Gotta go outside.