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


RH Carpenter said...

Neighbors had some very loud music all day and then fireworks displays all over the neighborhood that night (they are against the law but the law looks the other way, I guess). I used to oooh and aaaah over them, but now I'm jaded and just wait for midnight for them to stop. Remember when we were kids and fireworks were so amazing and you wished they never ended? ha ha
I LOVE this 2nd painting - mystery, depth, colors, shapes, everything about it just intrigues me. And the 3rd one is like being in a canoe in the early morning light, moving towards that island, which has to be magical because just look at all the colors!! Wonderful work, once again; and so glad you had a happy 4th in spite of the noise :)

Libby Fife said...


The second piece is my favorite! It's that space.

I also keyed in to what you said about the wetlands; about them feeling all at once like the earth, sky and water. That describes what I was feeling when I visited Big Chico Creek last year. Standing in the middle of an area enclosed by trees and bushes with the creek ahead of me, I lost all sense of up and down and what was what. It's like being enveloped by the environment; absorbed by it and made a part of it.

The fourth is not my favorite holiday either, maybe for some of the same reasons. It's particularly ridiculous here too given the dryness and drought. That we allow any fireworks at all is so backwards to my way of thinking. If I had the money, I would donate to the organizations that benefit from the sales just to make them stop selling!

Good luck with the show! Thank you as always for the great posts.

BlueHwyGal said...

OK, you have shown me enough magical impressions of Oneonta Gorge, that I am just going to have to go there! I echo your sentiments about fireworks (and generous rowdiness) - perhaps we curmudgeons should all rent a cabin in the Cascades, where fire laws prohibit tomfoolery....
And you KNOW I love the clouds over water in the Multnomah Channel painting - luscious!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Beautiful paintings, Randall! Your outlook on the landscape is ethereal and hopeful and completely delightful. We watched 20 minutes of fireworks in Seward, AK, in a midnight-dusky sky. 20 minutes was just about perfect. The drinking and loudness lasted another hour or two. Not my favorite holiday, either.

E.M. Corsa said...

Checked out your show at White Bird Gallery, online of course. Just beautiful Randall and congrats on the numerous sales!