I'm such a patron of the arts. Well, once a year anyway – when Laurel and I visit the marvelous Salem Art Fair, which opened today and continues through Sunday.
Here's two artistic creations that I brought home this afternoon. I'm deeply pleased with them.
I'd set out for the fair this morning with a primal intention: to find a coffee cup. We only have two that possess the correct vibe (and capacity) to hold my pre-meditation dose of caffeine, which, after thirty or so years of meditative practice, I've found is the main cause of the uplift that I feel.
You'd think it'd be easy to find a coffee cup at an art fair as large as Salem's, but over the years the number of potters has diminished. The artistic offerings are much more eclectic now, which is all to the good.
But it means that someone, like moi, whose sophisticated art collecting has centered around coffee cups, has to work harder to find just the right one.
This mood-elevating yellow cup (especially on gray wintry days) was spotted after pawing through a storage bin at a booth that the artist told me contained additional colors that weren't on display. The sacrifice I made for art, kneeling down on the hard Bush Park ground while holding up a plywood door, added to the satisfaction I got from my purchase.
I like the unevenness of it. Anyone can make a round cup, but it takes an artiste to fashion a irregular one. The artist told me that someone once said that her style was a cross between Martha Stewart and Fred Flintstone.
A good observation. I replied that I enjoyed the look, because it did seem like something that could have been hammered out in a prehistoric cave – to drink saber toothed tiger blood, or such.
Then, I made an impulsive buy. I hadn't realized that what was missing from my life was a bamboo pen holder until I saw the one in the photo. As its creator gave me change for the $10 bill I handed him, he told me that the bottom comes out of it, so the bamboo can be folded up.
I said, "If I ever decide to go on a knapsack tour of Europe, your pen holder is coming along." He thought that was a fine idea.
Here's my final, and most significant, art fair purchase from Firebelle Metalworks of Portland: a three-stone tres cool Chinese'ish rusted metal piece. It's going outside my office window, where I'll be able to glance up from my laptop and contemplate whatever the heck it means.
Stones suspended in air spoke to me. What they've got to say will unfold, I suppose.
We went to the Salem Art Fair with some friends from Seattle, Ron and Rita. They go to quite a few art fairs and they say that Salem's is the best.
Absolutely. The giant oaks and other trees in Bush Park provide shade and a beautiful backdrop for the art. The free music on the main stage is high quality, and the food…well, it's what you'd expect.
Not too healthy, by and large. Heart-clogging deep-fried Elephant Ears still are being sold by the downtown Rotary club, which I used to belong to. For lunch I had a vegetable egg roll and a great $3 baked potato topped precisely as instructed (not too much butter and sour cream, medium with the cheese and chives).
If you're in the vicinity of Salem, head to Bush Park Saturday or Sunday. We're going again tomorrow ourselves. Not a whole lot goes on in sleepy Salem, but the Art Fair is one weekend when the city wakes up.