Thursday, September 18, 2014

Metolius [River]

                                                   watercolor on Yupo 26x20"

When I saw this river last week, its lush aquatic nature was in stark contrast to the bone dry, flammable-at-any-moment Ponderosa Pine forest it flowed through. This morning it has begun to rain, very gently. May it continue.

                                       Over the Sea 16 watercolor on paper 12x12"

The cure for anything is saltwater - sweat, tears or the sea.
                                                                                  _ Isak Dinesen

available work for sale in my studio

Portland Open Studios  [mid-Oct.]
studio address;
5373 Lakeview Blvd.
Lake Oswego OR

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Heat in the Grasses + Metolius Water

                                                     oil on cradled panel 20x20"

This was total surrender to summer green. It was July, really hot, bees were buzzing and the water was barely flowing. The Siletz River was lazy and lovely. This was constructed through memory and all I needed were convincing trees, everything else was green.

                                                           Metolius River photo

She was polite but persistent. Every time I would talk to Laura about painting and the landscape she would ask 'have you made it up to the Metolius yet?'. There was something about her voice that made me take notice. She said this river was made for me, I would love it! So much to paint! She was so correct! First of all, it pours out of a mountain from a spring fully formed! It doesn`t become a river through the contributions of snowmelt and creeks. It`s BOOM, now there`s a river! The water is phenomenally clear and near the fish hatchery, the most gorgeous turquoise color. There are islands teeming with healthy vegetation. People with cabins near the banks set chairs beside it and watch it like a movie. It is a world unto itself and flows down through a forest of regal Ponderosa Pines. Well worth the intense three hour mountain drive from Portland.

Portland Open Studios Tour is less than a month away. I`ll be demonstrating watermedia on Yupo all four days at noon. Oct. 11 & 12 and Oct. 18 & 19
5373 Lakeview Blvd.
Lake Oswego 97035

work for sale in my studio

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Path to the Sea

                                                     oil on canvas 24x24"

I saw this little shortcut to the beach at Hug Point two years ago.  Much of the Oregon coast has dune grasses you walk through on the way down to the water. It`s a joyful trek in the sunshine.

work for sale in the studio

Portland Open Studios Tour Oct. 11&12 and !8&19

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Coastal Cliff 2

                                                    watercolor on Yupo 14x11"

                                                          Devil`s Punchbowl

This painting is a product of my trip to the central coast in July. We stayed in Gleneden Beach and toured the string of parks between Lincoln City and Newport. The geology along the coast shows it`s history very visibly; Lava meets layers of sand which have formed into Sedimentary Rock. Often you can see the actual movement of the magma. The cliffs in Devil`s Punchbowl State Park were particularly dramatic.
Now stop and think about that name.
Our country and the state of Oregon has nurtured scores of gifted poets. Yet who do they get to name the most amazing parts of the landscape? Anybody!!
Devil`s Punchbowl!! Really? Is that the best we can do? This collapsed sea cave exudes mystery and it is hauntingly beautiful!
The job of bestowing place names should belong to someone who loves words!!
I want the governor, the head of the parks dept. and Garret Hongo to go out there and do it over again.

work for sale in my studio

Portland Open Studios Tour [mid-Oct.]

Nature in the Abstract by Lynne Cunningham

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Plein Air - Columbia River Gorge

                                      The Dalles Mt. Ranch watermedia on Yupo 14x11"

                                     Mt. Hood with Orchard watercolor on Yupo 14x11"

The Pacific Northwest Plein Air Competition and Exhibition in the Columbia River Gorge  is this week. Some friends and I wanted to observe but not compete so we crashed their party. We were welcomed. There is a distinct sub culture that has developed around simple painting on location that involves prizes, tourism, sponsors, Chambers of Commerce, workshops and even a competition within a competition called a 'Quick Draw'. Speed painting in other words with an award this year of a $1000. When I heard that at the orientation meeting yesterday, my usually dormant competitive instinct was aroused, but I had missed the registration deadline.
Hood River and the Columbia Art Center host the event in an area famous for wind surfing and fruit orchards.
Our first destination was an astounding property called the Dalles Mountain Ranch which had historic buildings, blazing summer fields and a whole lot of wind. I painted my watercolor in a barn trying to keep it fluid. I was going to put a broken fence in the foreground but ran out of time.
After lunch, we went to the Hood River Valley. It was a little less breezy and we were surrounded by pear trees. Most of the pears Americans eat come from here. Mt. Hood was glorious in the distance but too far away so I brought it closer.

work for sale in my studio

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Above the Silver Creek

                                                   watermedia on Yupo 26x20"

In a sense, this took eight years to paint. In July 2006 we were hiking in Silver Creek Falls state park and we rested on a bluff overlooking the water. In the bright sunlight high above the stream, it was difficult to make out exactly what I was seeing. There were golden highlights on the moss and rocks, foliage shifting with the breeze and silky water barely moving around the boulders. Reflected light was bouncing off of everything. I took some pictures which captured the spatial ambiguity, then I tried to paint it. Repeatedly. I never got it right, it felt like I wasn`t 'mature' enough yet. Well I have a new batch of Yupo from Cheap Joe`s that seems particularly responsive, so I gave it another go.

Nature in the Abstract by Lynne Cunningham

Portland Open Studio Tour Oct. 11,12,18 and 19.

work for sale in my studio

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Recent Small Landscapes

                                      Small Coastal Forest watermedia on Yupo 9x9"

                                          Morning Slough watermedia on paper 8x8"

                                          Forest Marsh watermedia on Yupo 6x12"

                                             Autumn Noon watercolor on Yupo 6x6"

                                            Black Clouds watercolor on paper 8x8"

                                             White Tree watercolor on Yupo 6x6"

These aren`t really studies, they are more like doodles in their mindlessness. Between projects and especially after disappointing efforts, I work small. With little intention other than keeping me in the game and restoring my confidence. I have to make something.

Lynne Cunningham kindly included me in her new book "Nature in the Abstract". In it she describes a variety of 'attitudes' and new ways to think about capturing the true essence of the landscape in a fresh abstract manner. Lots of photos of her ideas made visual, are included. It is well worth a look!

In November, after the Portland Open Studio Tour, I`m planning on having an open studio demonstration on the second Saturday, Nov. 8 at 10 am. If this is fun and worthwhile, I`m intending to do it every month on the second Saturday. There seemed to be interest last year during the Tour when I did a demonstration every morning. I`ve decided to back away from outright teaching but in demonstrating my techniques and approach, I can show how I do things while answering questions. It truly is an improvised way of working that is difficult to break down into 'steps' while I`m painting. Maybe someone will take something away from it they can use and if not, at least it will be free.

Portland Open Studios Tour Oct. 11&12 and Oct. 18&19

work for sale in my studio