Sunday, December 29, 2013

Over the Foothills

 This was begun during my residency at Brush Creek Ranch in May of 2012. It used to be bigger. During our rainy orientation tour of the ranch, I saw a huge stand of bare cottonwoods that I wanted to paint. Once I could, I pulled out a giant sheet of Yupo and began with watercolors. With a vista, I usually give the sky some intense attention early, knowing it will set the emotional tone of the painting. That went well but those trees resisted all my efforts. With just two weeks to paint in  Wyoming, I set it aside and did a lot of smaller pieces. So a year and a half later now, I cut the painting down saving my 'good' sky, sealed it with varnish, then made a new landscape beneath the clouds in oil paints. This does capture the no-nonsense austerity of the late winter environment I experienced there.
watercolor and oils on Yupo [plastic paper] 12x34

work in my studio

Friday, December 27, 2013

Warme Winterwald and cold Camas fog

                                                                  oil on Yupo 12x12

We waited for my nieces return home for Christmas to celebrate our wedding with my family. The window of opportunity was small so we chose Dec. 26.
Because we didn`t want to make the trip twice in two days we stayed at the Camas Hotel, something I`ve wanted to do for 20 years. It had once been a residential hotel down on it`s luck but recently had been renovated with all the historic character left intact. It was wonderful with terrific views of the paper mill. These northwest industrial complexes fascinate me and I hope to live long enough to paint them. In the morning we walked the dike along the Columbia River in gorgeous sunshine, but after lunch, a half mile north, we took another walk and entered a dense, icy fog! Then some shopping, picked up my Mom, and met everyone at Roots Restaurant for the party. What a great holiday!

available work in the studio

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Rainforest

With the winter rains,  the mosses glow as if electric. In the dim, diffused light, each tree is radiant. Feathery, mint green lichens coat the branches and a few remaining leaves offer some rusty color. It`s downright festive especially with some fog.
This is a thoughtful time of year. The departed start speaking again but it`s hard to listen. Northern civilizations, for millennia, have known that the long dark nights call for companionship, light and celebration.
So, eat, drink and be merry, and peace to men of good will!
oil on Yupo 12x12

available work in the studio

Friday, December 20, 2013

Foglie d`Autunno nel Bosco

A watercolor from last month, one of many derived from the canyon of Tryon Creek State Park.
watercolor on Yupo 6x15.5

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wetlands Somewhere Redux

Two years ago, as a demonstration painting, I did a huge cloud as an illustration of using the sky as a 'framing' tool. I`ve been painting so many trees lately, I need to get out of the forest for awhile. Space is the great gift of winter here. You can finally, easily see distances. The leaves are down and everything opens up.
oil on Yupo 26x20

available work in the studio

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Another oil on Yupo [ bosque de invierno!]

No title yet on this one either. I appreciate the earlier suggestions but the burden of naming these things is mine. As flawed as the process is.
For example, I may get an inquiry about a 'winter rainforest'? Even though that was my brilliant title, I`m like a deer in the headlights as I stammer 'can you tell me more about the piece?' as I mentally race through the hundreds of paintings I`ve done with those words in the title. It`s embarrassing! and beyond a solution I fear. If I numbered them, I would not remember the numbers. If I tried to be poetic, I`d cringe every time I said or wrote it. If I stick with the facts, which is my preference, there are only so many English words for forest or wetlands.
It occurs to me just now that I don`t have to be limited to English!!
oil on Yupo 12x9

available work in the studio

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Oil on Yupo! - Foret Monique

This came together on Saturday but a title did not. It`s one of the rare paintings I`ve done where I`m working and then suddenly, I`m startled to realize it`s finished. Usually I can see the end coming.
I`m getting so sick of 'rainforest' this and 'autumn' that for titles. Maybe I could use the storm naming idea, and just call this painting 'Monique'. It`s definitely feminine.
I`m on to something with oil paints on yupo. It`s sort of like painting on glass so I`ve tinted the paper with acrylic first to give it a bit more grip and to have something to react to. I know I have something worthy when I want to keep looking at it without any urge to improve it.
oil on Yupo [plastic paper from Japan] 12x12

available work in the studio

Saturday, December 7, 2013

From the Beach to the Bluff + Chimayo at Dusk

                                                                  oil on paper 11x11
From my foggy visit to Oceanside last July. This is an example of Tonalism, which was an early love of mine. Here is one from 30 years ago;
                                                                 oil on canvas 30x40

available work in the studio

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Second Growth

That`s a tree stump in the center. As they decompose, they are overtaken by a jungle of new vegetation. Many Northwest children have staged their first performances on these 'platforms' deep within the privacy of the forest. I think those kids are now adults but hopefully there`s a fresh generation creating their own new worlds in there. Or at least playing video games. It`s important to get away from parents.
watercolor on Yupo 12x0

updated available work in the studio

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Minto Brown Tangle

                                                            watercolor on Yupo 12x9

 We went down to Salem yesterday and had lunch with John`s family and then on to Minto Brown Island. It was a normal, partly gloomy, early winter day and absolutely stunning. The entire park is a flood plain with sloughs, ponds, rivulets and swamps everywhere. All with beautiful, surprising color. In the muted light it had such a soulful quality. Take a look;

updated available work