Hillsboro Tuesday Marketplace adds live painters, t-shirts with a message

Casey Parks, The OregonianBy Casey Parks, The Oregonian
on August 10, 2011 at 2:23 PM, updated August 10, 2011 at 2:57 PM

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Linda Holland paints during the Tuesday Marketplace. Casey Parks, The Oregonian

Tuesday night, Hillsboro resident Linda Holland set up her paints next to a bag of water. Standing in the  middle of East Main Street, she dipped her brush in both then set to work on a portrait of her granddaughter.

Earlier this year, Tuesday Marketplace Manager Lesley Wise asked artists from downtown's two galleries to paint during the market. The demonstrations, which happen on Southeast Third Avenue and East Main Street, spruce up the end of the market, she said.

Holland has grey hair with a few shocks of pink. She has been painting watercolors for 30 years. She used to try other mediums, then a teacher told her, "Linda, if you'd stick to one thing, you'd be good." So that's what she did.

Linda Holland dog portrait.JPG

dog portraits by Linda Holland Casey Parks, The Oregonian

Holland led the Influence Gallery for many years. But Tuesday night, the gallery closed its doors. The art moved next door to Influence's music hall. Now that the musicians will run Influence, now that she's retired, Holland said she can just paint for fun.

She used to paint her granddaughter regularly, but lately, she has been painting what she sees at the market -- musicians, customers. Last week, she painted portraits of dogs after the market's dogs on parade show. People stop by and ask her to paint their portrait.

Holland only recently began painting commissions, she said. "I never wanted to have to have people approve, like 'Oh, make that nose bigger,'" she said.

A few weeks ago, a family sat down for a portrait. She took the finished piece to them later, and the mother started crying, Holland said.

"You can have all your juried shows, but that was success for me," she said.

On Tuesday night, market-goers peered over her shoulder. As she worked, she sang along with the night's featured band, Jon Aamodt and Friends, as they played a song about gentrification. "We're running the bums out of town," they sang together.

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shirts made by People Boards. Casey Parks, The Oregonian

Another Influence artist, JanSu Hirst, stopped by to tell Holland that she, her boyfriend, John Corrett, and a friend, Sarah Larson, had debuted a new booth -- People Boards -- down Main Street. The trio was selling t-shirts last night with messages such as "Elevate Consciousness" and "No More War." The anti-war shirts came with or without expletives, but so far, the group hadn't run into any trouble over their not-so-family-friend versions.
"But if we do, maybe we'll get an article," Hirst said optimistically.

The shirts are artfully cut -- each piece takes about an hour to make -- and are meant to "wake people up," Hirst said. The three had originally wanted to do some graffiti tagging, she said. "But that's illegal, so we came up with People Boards."

Hirst went back to her booth, and Holland layered another smear of paint. Already her granddaughter's face and hair had a nice color developing. 

"I'm a fast painter," she said. "I'll be finished by the end of the night."

-- Casey Parks; Follow me on Twitter: @HlsboroReporter