Sunday, July 26, 2015

Riverlight[s] - Reflections

                                                           Riverlight 1 oil on canvas 20x20

                                                           Riverlight 2 oil on canvas 20x20

 These are new paintings of the Tualatin River near where it joins the Willamette southwest of West Linn. The bluff shades the river much of the time with bits of the shore in sunlight.

My show at the White Bird Gallery continues, please take a look if you`re on the north coast.
And opening next Saturday, Aug. 1 is a group show of work with the theme of 'Oregon City' at In Bocca al Lupo Fine Art. I was asked if I`d like to participate and agreed as a prompt to finally paint a view of the falls and the mills that I`ve had in mind for years. Definitely out of my comfort zone with all the straight lines and perspective;

                                                       Oregon City January 30x48 oil on canvas

 After seeing how Astoria has reinvented itself two weeks ago, I`m confident Oregon City has a similar future. The Willamette Falls Legacy Project is going to turn that town into something radiant. Investors take note!

Yesterday I moved some of my late brother Gary`s paintings to my studio for storage or possibly resale. He would have been 68 two days ago and started buying my work when he was in his twenties and I was still a teen. The quality of his collection is therefore quite mixed. Now seven years since his death, his wife Mary has decided to sell the house and move into something smaller and more practical with all the girls adult and on their own. It`s a poignant moment. Having these pieces around me has sure made me miss him. There was nothing equivocal about him and his instincts were good. Though not his taste. He also collected those porcelain plates with fairy tale illustrations on them and glass crystal balls which were everywhere in his bachelor condominium. His wife was first his employee at Hewlett Packard and she tells a funny story about a meeting his staff had in his home. Being completely unhomophobic, he had watercolors of naked men I had done on the walls, about a dozen of the obnoxious plates on the mantel and at least one colored crystal ball on every level surface. Everyone  respectfully kept on topic with nervous glances shooting all around the living room. He was so funny and such a leader, smart supervisors just let him be himself.
This was before Carly Fiorina trashed the company. Now she wants to be President!?
Here is one of the paintings;

                                                       watermedia on paper 48x36

work for sale in my studio

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New Watercolors

                                                 Creeklight 2015 watercolor on paper 8x6

 My second show of the year with Tom Cramer opened last night at the White Bird Gallery. With that project complete, we took a trip to Astoria this week for a little vacation. It had been nine years since we spent much time there. I read it had become a 'hipster' outpost and if that means young men with tattoos, yep, it`s been colonized. The economic health of the city has improved tremendously! Not surprisingly, artists found it and some of the old canneries are now studios. New restaurants, brewpubs and coffee houses abound. We stayed at the Franklin Station Bed and Breakfast in their top floor room. Moderately priced with sweeping views of the Columbia and operated by the most charming, informed host I can imagine. I could have talked to her all day.
 Apparently there are enough painters to support a wonderful, independent art supply store with the unfortunate name of Dots and Doodles. This place is professional and had everything I use along with extremely knowledgeable owners. It was such a pleasure to shop there! The huge corporate suppliers can`t compare to a locally owned intelligent shop.
 Finally, after 23 years in Oregon, I visited Fort Stevens. I didn`t even really know what it was. Beyond its important military history, it`s a nature paradise!

                                      Ft. Stevens Stream watermedia on Terraskin 13.5x9.5

 At last I got my hands on some TerraSkin! I had used it only once before and had loved its Yupo-like surface and eco-friendly composition. It`s made from calcium carbonate. Though more delicate than Yupo, it`s easier to work with due to a slight tooth. Here`s another;

                                         January Slough watermedia on Terraskin 10x8

                                             Breaking Sky Study watercolor on paper 8x6

 This is on 100% cotton paper made by Fluid. After all that searching and research into various watercolor papers earlier in the year, I think this is my answer. Not tough enough for a lot of reworking but sturdy enough for direct hit or miss experiments.

                                            The Rocky Shore watercolor and ink 7x7

 This is on the five cents a sheet 100% cotton typing paper I found at I`ve Been Framed. Any locals who have not visited this iconic bargain hunters shop are missing out. Super nice staff, close out deals, obscure papers, affordable framing and cheap brushes! Allot enough time to explore.

work for sale in my studio [updated]

Monday, July 6, 2015

Metolius - Oneanta - Multnomah !

                                                     Metolius Riverbank oil on canvas 20x20

 I`m finishing up a show for the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach, opening July 18 and continuing through August 25. Another pairing with my friend Tom Cramer and also the potters Dave and Bonnie Deal. Stop by if you`re on the north coast!
This painting is of a small fragment of the Metolius River, that marvel that gushes from a spring high in the mountains fully formed. I finally saw it last September and it was quite unusual.
The edges of things and transitional zones fascinate me. Like the wetlands which seem to be earth, water and sky all at once. Or the high tide line as the ocean retreats leaving its treasures. The banks of the creeks and rivers around me are often heaped with decaying trees and vegetation with healthy new grasses, ferns, saplings and mosses growing among and upon them. Life and death, side by side.

                                                          Oneanta oil on panel 10x8

 I love my country but not its birthday. I join the dogs hiding in the bathtub. Too much testosterone, booze, heat and noise! A few years ago I had the brilliant idea of going to a late movie and avoiding the mayhem. We saw the charming Moonrise Kingdom. But even in the dark pit of a theater with its encompassing surround sound, the fireworks outside sounded like a bombing raid.
Last night was different. We were invited to a family gathering at the home of Laura Foster. Two years ago she bought this painting as an engagement gift for her daughter.
But Anna was not engaged.
Now living in Minnesota, she still correctly believes Oneanta Gorge to be the most special place on earth. Last Friday on a hike there, her beloved Luke asked her to marry him. The painting was presented to the couple as we ate on the lawn and watched the sun set.
Much better than holing up in my bunker with NPR too loud.

                                              Multnomah Morning oil on canvas 12x12

I`m not often up for the sunrise but if I were and if I was on a houseboat in the Multnomah Channel, I think it might look like this.
It`s on the shores of our big waterways that the sky opens up for our viewing pleasure. The trees are behind us, the breeze smells of mud and sometimes the ocean, and the water becomes an enormous mirror reflecting the movements of the clouds. It can feel perfect.

work for sale in my studio