Friday, June 24, 2016

High Bridge Downstream


"High Bridge Downstream", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
On this rainy day at High Bridge, several miles up the gravel road from Stehekin at the boundary of the North Cascades National Park, I painted first from one side of the bridge over the Stehekin River and then the other. Its hard to resist a rushing mountain stream.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

High Bridge Upstream


"High Bridge Upstream", 10 x 8 In, Oil on Museum Board

The second day at Stehekin we took the old school bus to High Bridge, the last stop and the boundary of the North Cascades National Park. It was a rainy day but then, the Northwest has many rainy days, especially in May. The Stehekin River was a rushing torrent because of all the rain and snow in the mountains this last winter.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016

South from Stehekin


"South from Stehekin", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

I journeyed with a group of Plein Air Washington friends to a famous and remote area near the North Cascades National Park--the town of Stehekin at the northern end of Lake Chelan. The four hour boat from Chelan arrives in Stehekin around noon, so we had plenty of time to get out our painting gear and head down the road along the lake from the Stehekin Lodge to paint. This was the second painting, looking south.

Lake Chelan is 50 miles long and is the third deepest lake in the United States according to Wikipedia. But the thing about Stekekin is that there are no roads or highways to the village. You can get in by the boat from Chelan or by hydro-plane. Looking across the lake at the mossy rock cliffs and up the valley to the snow-capped peaks, there is no doubt about it--you are in the interior of the Cascade wilderness

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Canyonlands Sky



"Canyonlands Sky", 10 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

The colors of Utah are so different from the colors of Western Washington. Driving home this evening about 9 pm after sundown, the snow on Mt. Rainier a warm shadow, the clouds a brilliant pink orange, the Nisqually Delta a green from some other lifetime, I thought to myself what a beautiful place to live. It is all part of one system--the Nisqually flowing into Puget Sound originates on the glacier at some 14,000 feet, not so very far away as the crow flies.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Road to Needles



"Road to Needles", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board

This is another of my paintings from our trip to Utah in April. Painting is not a straight path to mastery and perfection--much of the journey is exploring the wilderness, both literally and metaphorically. These painting done in Utah, in retrospect, were a bit rough hewn, like the land I was painting.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Canyonlands Shafer Trail



"Canyonlands Shafer Trail", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board.
We drove down a very steep switchback road into the canyon and I painted out in the wash, between rain bursts. The storm above Utah lasted the entire week we were there, swirling around with sun on minute and rain the next.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Gray Day Capitol Reef



"Gray Day Capitol Reef", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
Why am I so taken with Capitol Reef? Bryce and Zion get all the glory, but Capitol Reef, especially the back side, is a place with mystery and color. Every place has feel. The Waterpocket Fold defines Capitol Reef National Park. A nearly 100-mile-long warp in the earth's crust, the fold is a classic monocline: a regional fold with one very steep side in an area of otherwise nearly horizontal rock layers.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Capitol Reef Dome


"Capitol Reef Dome", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board

According to the National Park website, (https://www.nps.gov/care/faqs.htm) Capitol Reef got its name this way:

"Early settlers noted that the white domes of Navajo Sandstone resemble the dome of the Capitol building in Washington, DC. Prospectors visiting the area (many with nautical backgrounds) referred to the Waterpocket Fold, a 100-mile long ridge in the earth's crust, as a reef, since it was a formidable barrier to transportation."

This painting is of one of the "domes" the first day I was there on the eastern side of the park. It was, like every other day that week, raining in between breaks in the clouds, a windy and dramatic day--lost my umbrella at one point.