Beauty is everywhere in the Columbia Gorge; there's no need to go looking for inspiration. The best thing to do is settle on a location, set up, and paint what's in front of you. (I do confess, though, to particular affinity for cliffs... as any reader of this blog knows!)
I painted most of this while holding my 3-month-old son in a front carrier. It's not as developed as some of my other portraits, but I think it has a fresher quality to it-- I didn't have time to mess it up!
This was done on a day in which my daughter was in preschool, my son was at my sister-in-law's house, and I had time carved out to go paint. And it's snowing. Yucky, wet, drizzly snow. So I turned my car around, popped the back window, crawled into back, set up my easel and painted. This mist was moving in as I painted, and the hillsides and cliffs were about as visible as I've represented them. Interestingly, there were lots of dogs and their owners out, meandering the paths, in spite of the weather.
This was painted with a paper towel. No joke! My son was just under a month old, and my husband volunteered to come along one overcast evening, and take care of him and our daughter while I painted. We packed up (anyone with kids knows what it takes to plan an outing with little ones), drove through the woods and over the river, and found this lovely view. My husband got set up in the back of the car with the children, while I set up my easel in preparation for painting. Then I realized I'd forgotten my brushes. I was dismayed, as was my husband. I jokingly said maybe I could finger-paint, to which he responded why not, it would be better than nothing. I plunged in and it quickly morphed into paper towel-painting, and this is the result.
My son was born August 10, and I painted this August 20. It was the first time I'd gone out painting after his birth, and the scene was chosen based on where I could park and stand next to the car to paint. He was an excellent assistant-- he slept right through!
This was my first August painting, and was a part of the 2009 NW Plein Air Show at the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River, OR, in September. A friend first challenged to paint these cliffs as a quick study, and I have since painted them several times, which you will see in upcoming posts. I haven't tired of them and I hope you won't, either.
This island is difficult to catch in the right light-- I had to go later in the morning than usual to get some contrasting shadows. I only painted the east end of the island. I have no idea why it is called "Chicken Charlie's." One of the mysteries, along with Plog Hill and Button Bridge, that I have yet to plumb.
A June painting. We always seem to be driving east at this time of day, and I'm always looking in my rear-view mirror (or turning my head, which is not terribly safe...) to see the beautiful view behind me. I finally made it happen to get out at sunset and paint looking west. The title comes from the "amen" feeling this view gives me.
The sun was breaking through the mist and hitting the front of this cabin. I liked the contrast of the sharp edges on the cabin in relation to the mountain behind which was still shrouded in cloud cover.
I usually do plein air paintings in the early morning, but this day had been unable to accomplish much of anything (three-year-olds need a lot of attention). My husband graciously agreed to keep our daughter with him that evening so I could go out and paint. I drove around for a bit and settled on this view. The residents pay for it by tolerating the strong winds (first time I've ever had my easel actually start to tip on level ground), but I imagine they find it worth it!
I had to be in Glenwood, WA for business one morning at 9am, so took my painting gear along and stopped by the side of the road to paint. It was incredibly overcast and foggy; my goal was to capture that atmosphere.
Cliffs continue to challenge and inspire me, although I confess I painted this at the behest of a friend who wasn't finished with his painting and didn't want me to leave the location yet! It really was intended to be a "study" more than a finished painting, but I liked it enough to frame it. I guess it proves the "less is more" axiom.
I am not a morning person, but have discovered the joys of a 5:15 am alarm. The twittering birds, the sparkling air, the crisp atmosphere. It's a wonderful, encompassing feeling of being fully alive. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
This is from a few weeks ago, done at the Conboy Refuge in Glenwood, WA. I've been crazy-busy with painting lately, and am just starting to catch up on my blogging. I love to play under clear skies, but prefer to paint cloudy ones!
I paint because it brings me a sense of satisfaction and ease. Whether it's landscapes or still lifes, I am reminded of the depth and complexity of the world I otherwise often take for granted. My goal is to share that sense of wonder and awe through my paintings.
All paintings are for sale; please email me for details.