Sunday, February 8, 2015

Winter River-re-do`s-Oregon City

                                                  Winter River  oil on canvas 24x24

 In January I happened to be walking in Brown`s Ferry Park along the Tualatin River on a gorgeous mild sunny day. The park has plenty of paved walkways but also a muddy path right along the water`s edge. In the low angled sunlight the bare branches had a golden glow that reflected in the flat glassy water.

 Almost ready for our show in downtown Lake Oswego! My pal Tom Cramer will be showing his relief wood carvings and pointillist paintings.
 In assembling my work, I could see a couple needed new attention;

                                          Rainforest Clearing  oil on cradled panel 20x20

 This was first painted last year at Sitka and looked like this. Not bad but I think I was too persuaded by my reference photo. In reworking it, I just relied on memory.

                                             Oswego Creek Spring oil on canvas 30x24

 This has been a favorite but something I couldn`t identify was off. Finally, I could see that the shoreline was too hard. Now it is softer.

 Last night Roxanne Colyer Clingman`s relocated gallery, In Bocca al Lupo, celebrated its new life in historic Oregon City. The place was mobbed and there was genuine excitement that a 'real' gallery was joining the community.
 I tell anyone who will listen that this town is almost ripe. With the huge redevelopment of the Blue Heron paper mill and access to the falls a certainty, this town is going to mega blossom! The Willamette Falls Legacy Project is doing this right. Lots of public input, sensitive to the native first inhabitants, the courageous early entrepreneurs, its industrial heritage and the unique natural beauty, the whole downtown area is poised to become something wonderful. Even better than it is now with it`s friendly funky atmosphere. Mark my words, in 10-20 years, OC will be renown as an arts center. The New York Times will have features on the best galleries and restaurants. Artists know these things, pardon my immodesty. I had a studio in the Pearl District of Portland before anyone ever called it that. The reason is simple, artists want and need affordable studios in interesting and/or beautiful places. Often these neighborhoods have been mostly abandoned. Artists come in because it`s cheap and eventually gentrification begins. This doesn`t have to be a negative development. With oversight and careful zoning, a diverse, dynamic community can evolve. That`s the plan in Oregon City. I`d love to live here if I could talk John into leaving Lake Oswego.
 When I lived in Portland, I was shamefully ignorant of Clackamas County. What was there to know? Who cared? Portland was so eccentric and fun and beautiful and it was even affordable. As long as you were renting. We were hesitant and skeptical new residents down here but it had everything we had prioritized at a price we could afford. I`m happy we came.
 Here are a couple of photos of the industrial core of OC;

Finally this joyful painting from the late Norbert Schwontkowski. Quiet and exuberant!

work for sale in my studio


E.M. Corsa said...

Winter River reminds me of a place back in New England where my children and I would walk on sunny winter afternoons.

It's wonderful to read about a place that is developing in the right way, with care and concern. On my island, greedy developers are destroying the very things we all came here for in the first place.

Hal Wright said...

As always, beautiful work. And I agree OC has much potential.

Melody Cleary said...

Thanks for the info on OC. It's an area I've never explored. That Blue Heron project sounds wonderful. Where's the best place online to keep up on this?
These pieces of yours are to die for!