It was very windy the day I painted this, and I probably looked pretty funny with my windbreaker hood cinched up around my face, but the result was worth it. Painting backlit scenes is a bit new to me, and I had a lot of fun putting color into the shadows of the cliffs.
My plein air group had its weekly meeting at Rowena Crest, in the Tom McCall Preserve, a couple weeks ago. There is a LOT to see from this area, from wildflowers to sweeping views of the Columbia River and the Gorge in both directions. I was drawn to this scene in part because of where I stood to paint it: I was not far from the others, but felt completely isolated because of the rolling terrain that separated us. It was quiet, calm and peaceful until one of my painting comrades warned me of rattlesnakes!
Another painting done in the car. I took advantage of a small window of opportunity while my daughter was in afternoon preschool to paint this scene. I was really going for a "clouds" painting-- that's what attracted me initially.
A friend invited me to paint with her early last Sunday morning, and I was really glad she did. It was a beautiful day: no wind, pleasantly warm, great company. I went to church afterwards, feeling particularly blessed to live where I do.
This is more of a study than a finished painting. I arrived at the specified location for last week's plein air paint-out, but it was raining and the mist was rolling in and everyone else decided to go home and paint in their studios. I was eager to paint, though, so I sat in my car and painted this scene. I happen to know there are mountains looming in the background, but they were absolutely invisible on this morning.
I've lived in the Columbia Gorge for 12 years and this is the first time I've been to the Catherine Creek area. Discovering new, beautiful places is just one of the many benefits of being a part of a plein air group!
This was an experiment and a challenge. I've never done an up-close study of a flower en plein air. I learned a lot doing it, and will be trying more in the future. One thing I learned was don't try it on a windy day!
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.
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