No Town too Small for Street Art

I live in a little logging town in the Coastal Range of Oregon. Almost no one passes through because there isn’t anywhere to go. If you roll into Vernonia, it’s because you live, work, or play here, or know someone who does.

Despite having a population of about 2,300, we just painted the town red. Not with rowdy revelers, but with murals!

I love Street Art. It’s bright and beautiful, accessible to all, and free.

Resa, over at Graffiti Lux Art & More, wanders around Toronto, Canada searching out street art. Her posts are gorgeous and inspiring, and if you enjoy murals, definitely stop by her place. I promised her I’d share my town’s new paint!

Behind the Black Iron Grill
Outside the Dentist’s Office
I love the 3-D look of this one.
The wall outside the El Amigo Bakery

The long wall outside the R&S Market (above)

Two murals outside Mariolino’s Pizza and Grill (below). The artists still at work!

Two more walls were just starting to get their coat of paint. So no photos of those.

I hope you enjoyed our the new street art in our small town.

The alley by Spice Island Grill

Credit due:

Some of these murals were commissioned by our generous businesses. The others were the result of a the tireless work of Rachael Organ, Vernonia’s Intercultural Committee, and the Portland Street Art Alliance, as well as a grant from the Oregon Cultural Foundation.

Writing in a Small Town

timthumb (2)

I live in a small town, always have.

Not that cities don’t have their allure, they just aren’t for me. I require a tour guide and someone to drive me through all the crazy traffic. My daughter became a city girl after 4 years at Boston University. The idea of living in the mountains makes her eyes roll back in her head.

20140718-banks-vernonia-01I moved to the Coastal Range of Oregon about 4 years ago, following the dream of grannyhood that’s since come to fruition. We live up winding roads amidst giant trees and autumn fog. The owls and coyotes sing for our nighttime pleasure. We heat with wood and I attempt to grow vegetables. Thank goodness for satellite despite its painful slowness.

Our community is cohesive despite our many differences. We know each other by sight, if not by name. I’ll get there as the years ramble by; I’m an introvert but rarely shy.

I like the history of the place I live – the pioneers and booming logging days. I love the stories, poetry, and songs that arose from the wilderness and a community close to the land. Many of the people in those stories and songs are still here. At the very least, they’re remembered. We have our local legends; we run into them at the hardware store or post office.

FullSizeRender (4)

Me and my helpers at the Saturday Market. I borrowed them from the neighboring tent and compensated them with homemade cookies.

Small towns are great places to be a writer. My books are popular at the library as my neighbors explore what the local author is dishing out. Our librarian called me about hosting an event and will stay open after hours for my November signing. I find space in the local newspaper and on the shelves of shops that don’t even sell books. I did a signing at the Saturday Farmer’s Market and had my best day of sales as the community stopped by with their enthusiasm and friendly support.

I may have to drive 40 minutes to the pharmacy or to purchase paper for my printer. The movie theater is an hour’s trip, the same haul for a host of other conveniences. But I love my small town. It’s a great place to write.