Saturday, February 14, 2015

Oxbow Slough-demo-SLO

                                                 Oxbow Slough 20x16 oil on canvas

 It was a good week for wetlands! It really hasn`t rained much but the Tualatin River is in flood stage and Minto Brown Island is a swamp. This isn`t good at all, it can only be snowmelt. The weather has been so mild and the freezing level so high, the snowpack is 15% of normal. There will not be anything wet by summer. And the party of climate change deniers won even more seats in Congress. What a world.
 I had business in Salem this week. The gallerist Mary Lou Zeek invited me to be part of her pop-up show 'Blink'!

 I first heard of this temporary exhibit idea as the Great Recession took hold. It`s clever, resourceful and such a good use of vacant property!
After delivering work, I had to go see the Minto Brown wetlands nearby;

The next day I walked through the fog along a bit of Fanno Creek. It was ethereal and gorgeous;

 This walk became the basis of my monthly demonstration painting this morning;

                                           Tigard Wetlands 12x18 watermedia on paper

 Tomorrow we`re off to San Luis Obispo to see my long time friend and glass artist, George Zarolinski and her husband Steve. They relocated after 40 years in Chimayo New Mexico. I need to see their new lives!
 While we`re in the area, I`ll finally meet my internet friend Marcia Burtt. She paints large, bold landscapes on location using quick drying acrylics. We`re going to paint together out in the hills! I was going to do my usual, crude watercolor plein air routine which is basically a lawn chair with the paper in my lap but thought differently after thinking about her offer. She had extra French easels, plenty of paints and brushes so I decided to act like a Roman in Rome. I`m going to paint vertically while standing up! Like she does!
 Here is a vibrant painting of hers I just found on Pinterest;

some work for sale in my studio


Libby Fife said...

You are right about the weather. Things are very wrong. It was 70 degrees here yesterday (no rain and similar to last year at this time) and a friend in Ohio was facing a wind chill factor of 25 below. Bad news all the way round and how could a person not see that?

On a positive note, good for you on the pop-up show! That's a clever idea. And I love the photos side by side with your demo. Seeing your interpretation against the real thing is instructive.

Have a great visit with Marcia. Thank you for the poem also. That gets right to the heart of the matter doesn't it?


Maureen said...

Virginia is now experiencing Arctic temps. It was just 7 degrees at 7 a.m.; we've since reached 17 but with a wind of about 45-65 mph I think we're probably in the negatives. And they say Virginia is part of the South!

Have a wonderful visit in SLO.

Mitch said...


I see you did rework Oxbow Slough, and I think you were quite successful in changing it to what you were after; it no longer hints of springtime and is amazingly beautiful. The demo piece also looks like you did more work on it, but maybe that's just the photograph.

I hope you have a great time in the heat of California and adjust well to the vertical canvas.

The poem you included touched a deep place in me, sending me back to the summer when I was 12 and my grandfather broke his leg so he couldn't cut the hay. I took his place, proud to play the role of a man, mowing a 30 acre field on their mountain ranch. Unfortunately that year the deer birthed later than normal for some reason and before the day was done I had hit three fawns, cutting their legs off; their mothers had hidden them in the tall grass and no matter how hard I focussed I could not see them in time. That was the subject of a short story long ago on how hard and painful it can be to try to become a grownup.
Have a fun and safe trip.

Ruth Armitage said...

Oxbow Slough is a new favorite. Have a wonderful visit with artist friends- always rejuvinating! I lok forward to seeing you and your work at Blink!