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