Monday, September 11, 2017
Summer on Location
The Clackamas River to be precise. My plein air group met at its confluence with the Willamette River on a lovely, sunny morning. Every single time we`re out in the field, it feels like it would be quite enough to just sit there in the breeze.
Our true mission soon becomes clear and we bring out the gear. Every painter will say, time can get suspended while working. It`s just as true outdoors. I always feel like I witnessed summer. On its terms. Slowly, like when we were kids.
The next week we painted on the shore of the Tualatin River. There was a swirling vortex of algae or some other water vegetation that never moved on downstream. It was mesmerizing watching the spiral turn. The water was a deep, clean color and the grasses and trees across the water were thriving. Another beautiful experience, just sitting there with my watercolors.
This I did from memory in my studio. It was easy to picture as I walk along this edge of Bryant Woods all the time. The oaks that border the meadow have such intricate branches framing the view. In late summer the grasses are golden and the mosses are dormant until the rains return and revive the landscape.
Like most of my stuff on Yupo, this began as a watercolor but I eventually had to finish it with acrylic. The speckles came from spraying water on the paint to re-emulsify the paint. Rather than blend them in, I left them because they seemed to add to the ornate quality of the trees.
As most of you know, this has been our reality in the Pacific Northwest for weeks now. The flames haven`t been visible from Portland but the smoke has been heavy and sometimes choking. I`ve heard that the fire is so hot, trees are exploding.
The Columbia River Gorge is where we go to recreate and restore our psyches. The immense beauty was always a reminder to our better selves of proper priorities and often a remedy for personal griefs.
With the southeast US inundated with flooding from the hurricanes and Mexico recovering from the largest earthquake in a hundred years, North American is on the ropes.
Included in my show at the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach;