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. http://columbiariverimages.com/Regions/Places/sturgeon.html.
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!