Sunday, July 31, 2011

Alders in Summer / Norma`s Garden

A mixed watermedia on prepared paper.
In 1986, I helped my brother Mike and his wife Norma move into their new home out in the country. The site had been carved out of pastureland and literally nothing was there, just bare dirt and the house. These photos are a testament to one woman`s vision and the phenomenal fertility of the Northwest. Norma`s garden is a work of art I`ve seen evolve all these years. It`s truly breathtaking.
In mid June after cutting my hair, Mike asked if I had time to come by the house and see the garden. Because of our long wet spring, everything was at it`s peak a month late. I left the shop, went and got some Burgerville, and we sat under the 'big top' eating as it gently rained. Such a perfect moment is rare.
My awesome, glamorous sister in law not only creates magical environments, she`s an inventive photographer as well.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Shasta Bally

I`ve moved to the other side of my studio and I`m using watermedia. The extraordinary painter, David Page Coffin, suggested I apply a thin coat of acrylic medium to the watercolor paper before beginning. The paint sits on the surface, similarly to Yupo. Though I haven`t done anything worthy yet, I sense great possibility. This reminded me of painting on gessoed yupo. There`s more control and a quicker drying time. Here I tinted the gesso with cobalt blue.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Willamette Valley 2

When I post older work, it`s because I`m working on something larger, or ambitious, or problematic.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Across the Field

A daily painting.
Views like this are common throughout the Willamette Valley.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Full Moon / High Tide

I`ve always loved painting the ocean, even when I lived in New Mexico.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dusk on the Channel

When I posted an older watercolor of this subject, someone suggested I do it in oils, so I did.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Photographing paintings in the backyard, I noticed this pale pink rose poking out of a nearby bush. So I cut it off, put it in water, brought it into the studio and painted it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rain in the Orchard

I was distracted and felt stuck which is mostly rare. So I began looking through the thousands of images of other painter`s work I`ve collected on my hard drive. I`ve recently re-discovered George Inness and have looked closely at what he did. They are so romantic as to be sentimental at times, but I ignore the human narrative and just drink in the atmosphere. That man spent considerable time outdoors! HE is the master of light!
I did this in his spirit as I figure out what`s next.

Monday, July 4, 2011

February Forest Study

I`m gearing up to try for another large winter alder rain forest. The first one was painted over, I didn`t get it right. For a painter, any forest is a complex web of information. What makes the coastal forest so elusive is the ethereal light. Alders are deciduous, so in the winter they`re completely visible. The trunks are encased in moss and the finer limbs shine with a silvery lichen. Without all the summer vegetation, one can see deep into the forest which seems to glow.