Art and Art Supplies

On Friday we went to Portland first to the art museum at the University of New England to see the show of Alice Spencer’s paintings (that link is to whatever is the current show at that museum, so it won’t be for that show if you’re reading a few weeks after this got posted) inspired by her collection of textiles from around the world. Many of the textiles themselves were included in the exhibit, ranging from a heavy floor covering from Kazakhstan to a delicate batik from Indonesia. I liked some that seemed to show the inside and outside of some clothes at the same time. Ms. Spencer has a printmaking background, and the paintings had a lot of the layered look that Arlene’s prints have.

From there the intention was to go to the curtain store and get more energy-saving drapes. I was following directions on the car GPS. At a corner in Portland I was in the wrong lane to bear left on the street with the same name, but signalled to go that way anyway — traffic was light and it looked safe. Suddenly Arlene said, “No! Go straight anyway!” She had spotted the Artist and Craftsman Supply Company! It’s an art supply company that has a big wonderful store in Central Square, Cambridge, in a basement location across the street from Pearl Paint. We had known their main location was in Portland, but up to that moment we hadn’t known where. I parked in a 15-minute-only spot on the street and we went in, but when we found the main entrance that opened on their own parking lot I moved the car and we settled down to some serious looking. I got mostly a couple of big sheets of decorative paper for bookbinding, and a small sketchbook. Arlene got some pens she likes, handmade Indian paper, and some specialty adhesives. We ordered some brayers that I like for indexing stamps that weren’t in the store’s online catalog but are in the supplier’s catalog.

We did get to the curtain store and found what we wanted very quickly. We headed back up route 302 and had supper at a restaurant called Charley Beigg’s, which is in a former firehouse building in North Windham.

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