Monday, September 25, 2017

Travlin Randy

                                     High Summer/Sauvie Island watercolor on Yupo 20x20

 I`ve been to East, I`ve been to the West.
John and I finally made our trip to the Painted Hills, a unit of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. I have wanted to see this marvel for many of the 25 years I`ve been here. Maybe having come from New Mexico, I had had enough of an arid geology. I was more than ready now and they were worth waiting for. Eastern Oregon is remote, expansive, extremely beautiful and mostly unsung. We stayed at the Painted Hills Vacation Rentals which was an Oasis hanging on the side of a canyon above the town of Mitchell.

 There are three cottages one of them quite large. They hosted 42 astronomers during the total eclipse of the sun last month and it was quite a party. The complex itself is a work of art. Bright cheerful colors everywhere in the jungle of trees and flowers.

Mitchell itself looks like an old west mining town whose glory has passed. But rebuilding is in process and the town has three restaurants!

 The last smoke from Oregon`s terrible forest fires still hung in the air when we saw the Hills. Still awesome but subdued in the haze. We knew that rain was coming and the next day we woke to dazzling weather.

The Sheep Rock Unit 40 miles away was our next destination. The colors and formations were impressive and even the dried grasses and weeds had a pristine beauty. Pinkish grass against turquoise cliffs was a color combo I had never seen before. The sweet John Day River was a bonus.
Such an utter opposite to the rainforests where I live and only 4 hours from Portland!
Yes I painted;

                                                             watercolor on Yupo 12x9

                                                              watercolor on paper 8x8

                                                               watermedia on Yupo 8x8

 I went to the coast next to do a demonstration at the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach where my show is in process;

Nice low key event, and I wasn`t nervous at all this time. The painting at the top of the post is the demo and it was created from a 20 year old drawing.
We stayed in an old three bedroom house near the estuary and very close to downtown for only $100 a night! [Seasense-503 781 8886]

 The next morning we spent at Hug Point. It was low tide and the caves were accessible.

 Two great weekends in Oregon. Didn`t break the bank and they left me feeling lucky.

Friday, September 15, 2017

MMIW2 abd White Bird Show-Cannon Beach

                                                 My Marsh in Winter 2 oil on canvas 18x36

 My current exhibition at the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach Oregon can be previewed here.
 It only took 25 years but I`m soon to see for myself the splendid Painted Hills and the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. The weather is predicted to be partly raining which should highlight the colors beautifully.
 Here is an aerial view of the hills;

This is going to be fun! I`m taking my paints.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Summer on Location

                                                 Across the River 1 watercolor on Yupo 14x11

 The Clackamas River to be precise. My plein air group met at its confluence with the Willamette River on a lovely, sunny morning. Every single time we`re out in the field, it feels like it would be quite enough to just sit there in the breeze.
Our true mission soon becomes clear and we bring out the gear. Every painter will say, time can get suspended while working. It`s just as true outdoors. I always feel like I witnessed summer. On its terms. Slowly, like when we were kids.

                                                    Across the River 2 watermedia on Yupo 14x11

 The next week we painted on the shore of the Tualatin River. There was a swirling vortex of algae or some other water vegetation that never moved on downstream. It was mesmerizing watching the spiral turn. The water was a deep, clean color and the grasses and trees across the water were thriving. Another beautiful experience, just sitting there with my watercolors.

                                                    Out to the Meadow watermedia on Yupo 14x11

 This I did from memory in my studio. It was easy to picture as I walk along this edge of Bryant Woods all the time. The oaks that border the meadow have such intricate branches framing the view. In late summer the grasses are golden and the mosses are dormant until the rains return and revive the landscape.
Like most of my stuff on Yupo, this began as a watercolor but I eventually had to finish it with acrylic. The speckles came from spraying water on the paint to re-emulsify the paint. Rather than blend them in, I left them because they seemed to add to the ornate quality of the trees.

 As most of you know, this has been our reality in the Pacific Northwest for weeks now. The flames haven`t been visible from Portland but the smoke has been heavy and sometimes choking. I`ve heard the the fire is so hot, trees are exploding.
 The Columbia River Gorge is where we go to recreate and restore our psyches. The immense beauty was always a reminder to our better selves of proper priorities and often a remedy for personal griefs.
With the southeast US inundated with flooding from the hurricanes and Mexico recovering from the largest earthquake in a hundred years, North American is on the ropes.

Included in my show at the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach;

                                                     Autumn Slough oil on canvas 50x40

                                                         November Morning oil on panel 26x24

                                                   Wet Snow on the Marsh oil on panel 26x24

                                                                 Randall circa 1958

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

watercolors-post eclipse

                                                              Mountain Purple wc 8x6

                                                                   Mountain Red wc 8x8

 These two mountain doodles may be the best work I`ve done lately. These came from a need for pure color and a subject that wasn`t trees. Neither took long and they satisfied my desires. I sometimes paint something other than my immediate surroundings because I need to see it.

                                                    Runoff watercolor and oil on Yupo 20x26

 I had been working on this for a week. It looked promising, then lost and eventually I sprayed the watercolor with a varnish and started in again with oils. I`ve done this before and it`s a viable process. Since the support is plastic and there is an acrylic barrier applied between the two mediums, I think it will be stable for millennia. Although Yupo is new, I`ve worked with it for twelve years without any changes at all in the pieces I have kept. My sense is that it`s sturdy and permanent.
But the painting above may lack the animating piece of the puzzle, I don`t know yet.
So I painted a couple of mountains in the interim.

                                                      Stream and Sunlight acrylic on paper 24x18

 And this too is new. When I began I actually thought I could do it in pure watercolor. Let the white paper reflect through and illuminate the vegetation. Somehow I would just intuit where the lightest values would be placed. So I began with no guiding marks whatsoever and was soon scrambling for the acrylic white for corrections. The greens in the upper left are exactly why I don`t particularly like acrylics. I had to add white to the green to achieve the right value and now the paint looks chalky and opaque. The rocks in the back were glazed repeatedly trying to give them some of the luminance of watercolor.

                                                                   by Rebecca de Figueiredo

I was about to go to bed but was still looking at art on Pinterest the other day when I stumbled on the work of Rebecca de Figueiredo. The color slapped me in the face. She paints complex botanicals and somewhat narrative abstract landscapes that are derived from the countryside where she lives in Botswana. All of her work pulsates with vitality and high spirits. She is also remarkably affordable.
Here`s a couple more;

                                                                   by Rebecca di Figueiredo

                                                                   by Rebecca di Figueiredo

 Finally some good news; Iceland has banned televangelists from their airways!
Now I`m a big fan of our first constitutional amendment allowing freedom of speech, but if other countries have conditions, so be it. My grandmother used to watch those vultures for hours and gave when she could. Such predators! Exploiting the vulnerable for cash. Not in Iceland anymore!

 I could have known with just a bit of research.
Early in the morning of the full eclipse of the sun, I received an email from France marked URGENT. A reader of this blog wrote emphatically that there was a world of difference between 99 and a 100% totality. He implored me to get into the full eclipse zone. That this stranger was urging me to do something I had already dismissed had a sickening ring of truth to it.
John was at a doctor`s appointment, we had no eclipse glasses and my traffic app showed the highways thoroughly clogged with cars. I was stuck.
The Oregon Department of Transportation had easily convinced me to stay home. Disliking crowds and traffic, I had decided to accept 99% of the spectacle and realized too late this was a huge mistake! At the peak, my house looked like this;

 Interesting sure, but not the once in a lifetime experience happening a mere 20 miles south. Soon I started hearing from friends and family that had made the effort to see the totality. They all said it was unlike anything they had ever witnessed, it had been marvelous. Then I saw the videos and when John`s Mom told us she could see the stars from her home near Salem, I knew I had made one of the biggest blunders of my life. One million visitors to Oregon that morning could not be wrong.
I`m still upset with myself.

 Life goes on.
I delivered my show to the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach yesterday with a sense of success. Getting it painted and then exhibition ready was a real challenge as I still can`t stand for too long.
Here is an article about it.


available work mostly in my studio

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Total Totality!

                                                                    watercolor 6x6

 It`s getting cosmic out there on the roads of Oregon, complete eclipse fever! Tiny central Oregon towns are overwhelmed with tourists. The coast is thronged. Lake Oswego, where I live, will only get 99% totality but that`s good enough for me. I`m going to sit in the backyard and watch what happens on the ground. I just don`t trust the $1.99 glasses for sale everywhere. Nonetheless it`s a festive atmosphere, I`m enjoying it.

Below are my last two plein air efforts;

                                              Riverbank Summer watercolor on Yupo 14x11

                                                              Pastel Orchard 12x9

                                                               Betsy Chang watercolor

 Betsy Chang was a guest artist painting with my plein air group on the banks of the quiet and grand Tualatin River.

 Finishing up the last details for my show at the White Bird and working on an ambitious big watercolor that hangs in the balance. Wish me luck.