Friday, September 16, 2016

Mt. Hood Cooper Spur

"Mt. Hood Cooper Spur", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
On the first day of the Pacific Northwest Painting Competition in Hood River, it was extremely windy on the Columbia River. So many painters headed up to the hills on the Cooper Spur Road toward Mt. Hood. Years ago I climbed Mt. Hood--I've probably mentioned that before. All the volcanoes of the Cascade Range hold a special place in my heart and my memory.

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Columbia Walls

"Columbia Walls", 8 x 10 In, Oil on Museum Board
This was painted at Mayer State Park along the Columbia Gorge. Sometimes there is nothing but color and so that is what the painting is about. There is a fine line between "painting the scene" and "painting the painting." I'm too old to focus on "painting the scene" and in fact it irritates me when I find myself doing it. There is some other thing that I want to do and it has to do with the paint itself or energy or not seeing quite straight.

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Dalles

"The Dalles", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board

This was one of the spots I painted during the Pacific Northwest Plein Air Paintout last week. Along the river, between the The Dalles bridge and the dam, there is an area called Lone Pine, set aside for several of the local tribes for their fishing rights. They had several platform like fishing structures along the walls of the canyon just above the water and a younger man was checking them, though the old Grandfather who came told me there were not many salmon because of the low water level. Strangely, what interested me most visually was the dam itself, that long bright almost white building in the morning sun next to the turquoise of the water, with the pale hills behind.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pacific Northwest Plein Air

Here I am at the Maryhill Museum of Fine Arts at the end of the Pacific Northwest Plein Air competition last week along the Columbia River Gorge. The first day was so windy we went south up the road toward Mt. Hood, one of the famous volcanos in the Cascade range and a mountain I climbed over 40 years ago, full pack to the summit, camping out on the ice in 80 degree weather at 11,250 feet elevation! Every time I view Mt. Hood that memory comes back to me!

The Columbia River is so iconic to Washington and Oregon, but I admit I've never painted along the Gorge before and I enjoyed every minute of it. My favorite view of the river was up near Rowena Crest, the blue of the water contrasting with the gold of the land. From Portland, as you travel east along the river through the Cascade Mountains, the land turns from green to gold!

The most intriguing painting location I found was just east of the bridge at The Dalles looking up river at the dam, the water an even more intense deep blue turquoise. That location was a Native American community with fishing platforms. One elderly gentleman told me the water was too low for good fishing, maybe due to the end of the summer season.

On the other hand, Patrick saw a fish jump out of the water just below the dam that was the size of a shark and a local told us it was a sturgeon.

The Columbia River is a busy place, with barges going both directions as well as freight trains, some incredibly long, on both sides of the river, and a major highway on the south side. The basic beauty of the river, the walls of the gorge and the golden hills will outlast all of us.

Thank you to Patti Mcnutt for taking this photo.

Congratulations to the winners of the competition and thank you to the Hood River plein air group for hosting the paint-out!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Toward Moab

"Toward Moab", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board

I've been working on our environmental issue night and day and I haven't posted many paintings, though there are still quite a few from the spring and summer painting trips. We have appealed the industrial geoduck farm in Zangle Cove and that is a big legal effort. I'm learning things I never wanted to learn! Our beloved geoducks in the sub-tidal areas of Puget Sound are not only being illegally harvested and smuggled out of the country for top dollar, for the last 10 years we have been dealing with industrial farmed geoducks on our tidelands.

Who would have thought our lovely Puget Sound geoducks (means "dig deep" and pronounced "gooey-duck) would gain such a reputation! I love to go down on the Zangle Cove tideland with bare feet, sinking a foot into the mud and make my way out to the water on a minus 2 tide. The native geoducks just squirt up a storm or hang out (literally) in the mud.

For a true story about all the smuggling cons in the 80's and 90's in Puget Sound, read "Shell Games", by Craig Welsh. And go to our website to get an idea of what we are up against. I have great admiration now for all the people who have been fighting for the environment all these years.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Lake Chelan Storm Day

"Lake Chelan Stormy Day", 9 x 9 In, Oil on Museum Board

There is is a mystic about Stehekin--a place so familiar to anyone who has grown up in the Pacific Northwest and yet so far away. No roads lead to Stehekin. There are only a couple of small ferries and for some, a helicopter, to go up a lake that is 53 miles long and goes into the heart of the North Cascades. A trail comes over from Cascade Pass from the west side of the mountains. There are many places I don't particularly remember in my life. But Stehekin is always there.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Gray Day Stehekin

"Gray Day Stehekin", 10 x 12 In, Oil on Museum Board
It was a gray day on Lake Chelan, but the North Cascades up the valley were still visible. I've hiked up to Cascade Pass from the west side and in my younger years climbed some of the peaks--El Dorado, Sahale, Magic. But I've always wanted to hike up from the Stehekin side--the east side of the mountains.

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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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