A violin painting about rhythm and shape.
This painting is on Aquaboard, and may be framed with or without glazing.
Or purchase a print from Fine Art America.
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A violin painting about rhythm and shape.
This painting is on Aquaboard, and may be framed with or without glazing.
Or purchase a print from Fine Art America.
I painted this seascape for the most marvelous client. Her request charmed me. She wanted a seascape with no figures or land masses, beach, or boats; just waves, sky, and clouds. The waves and clouds must be rhythmic to inspire jazz improvisation. The painting must be large enough to fill the space above her piano.
The project presented some challenges, most of them having to do with size. Standard watercolor sheets are only 24 x 30 inches. She wanted a painting that was 36 inches wide, so the paper had to be special ordered. I don’t have an easel large enough to accommodate a painting this size, so I used my studio table. When I taped the paper to my studio table, there was no room left for water and brushes. To see how the painting looked from five feet back, I had to stand on a chair.
The other challenge had to do with how to create a path through the painting for the eye. I decided on a sideways “u” beginning on the bottom left following the breakers in and return across the horizon and out through a break in the clouds.
I presented it to the client this morning and I’m happy to say she loved it. It’s at the framers now.
The original belongs to a lovely pianist, but prints are available here.
When we travel, we Armitages climb things. In Paris we climbed Nortre Dame and the Arch d’ Triumph. But we took the elevator at the Eiffel Tower. We had tickets for the evening we arrived at ten thirty. We choose the evening and only the second platform out of necessity because two of the four elevators had been out of commission all summer. It turned out to be a delightful choice. It was our only nighttime view from above, and such a view it was. The Seine with city lights is a sight to see.
The Eiffel Tower itself is a spectacular view at night and we were there when the lights came on. The colors of the lights have changed over the years. When we visited they were predominately gold. The sky was black despite the early rain. The wet lawn and paths leading to the tower added to the effect. Walking to the tower across the park was a plus too. The vista leading up to the tower is grand and seemingly endless.
I took the photo for this painting on our way back through the wet to the metro. We didn’t mind standing in the wet to look one last time at Paris’ four legged giant.
This painting has sold, but you may still purchase a fine art print.
We are just back from a fabulous trip to London, Rome, Florence and Paris. Our first museum visit in Paris was the d’Orsay, a fantastic art museum that picks up chronologically where the Louvre leaves off. Van Gogh Monet, Manet, Renoir, and Cezanne are all well represented. But this painting is not about the art in the d’Orsay, but rather about the museum building itself. The d’Orsay began it’s life as a train station. The gigantic clocks which once informed train passengers of the time remain in the building both inside and out. This clock is one of two facing the Seine River and the Tuileries Gardens. Outside the clock faces appear opaque. Inside it becomes obvious that the clock faces are actually windows Museum patrons are as drawn to the view through the clocks as they are to the artwork in the galleries.
To capture the feeling of the light through the clock, I primarily poured this painting, using removable masking and cups of paint instead of brushes. Only the final details and the view through the clock were added with a brush. I used New Gamgee, Hansa Yellow Light, Cobalt Blue, Thalo Blue, Rose Madder Quinacridone, and Windsor Red.
This painting has sold but you can still purchase an art quality print.
Right now I feel like a magpie–I’m attracted to shiny things. I’ve just finished a series of shiny brass and silver instruments. The last couple paintings, I’ve done cut glass. This subject is a little humbler, but it’s still all about shine.
I like the nostalgia of it too. Surely I’m not the only one who’s seen a shop window full of jars of screws, nails, washers, and bolts and noticed how beautiful they are. The subject may be humble, but it was a bit of a challenge too. I began by painting the background in layers starting with new gamgee and ending in dioxin purple and cobalt blue.
Filling in the background brought the jars into instant relief. After that it was simply a matter of adding the contents one jar at a time. I treated each jar as it’s own little painting, with it’s own compositional problems. The result is a happy variety.
This painting has sold but you may still purchase a fine art print.
Recently I’ve been doing some graphic art to sell on Zazzle a print on demand site that sells mugs, ties, business cards, phone cases, coasters, T-shirts and a variety of other useful things. My particular corner of Zazzle, is called Paintbox Silhouette. There I sell images like these on a variety of products:
This work is a combination of silhouettes I drew with the mouse in Photoshop Elements and watercolor backgrounds photographed and manipulated with Photoshop. This kind of computer drawing and collage is incredibly fun to do. But, while fun, comparing this kind of work to making paintings is like comparing candy to a full meal. It’s quick and fun, but doesn’t lead to the same ultimate satisfaction. However I did learn some valuable skills, including how to do my value sketches with the mouse.
More importantly, one kind of art inspires another. The image for mugs above, is my inspiration for this latest painting.
This painting has sold, but you may still purchase a print at my print shop.
Each year The Western Federation of Watercolor Societies hosts a juried show open to its member associations. The Western Federation of Watercolor Societies’ members association include: the Arizona Watercolor Association, The Colorado Watercolor Society, The Idaho Watercolor Society, The New Mexico Watercolor Society, The Nevada Watercolor Society, The Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild, the San Diego Watercolor Society, The Southwestern Watercolor Society, The Utah Watercolor Society, The Watercolor Society of Oregon, and the West Texas Watercolor Society.
I am pleased to announce that New Orleans Reeds has been chosen as one of the 100 paintings to be exhibited in the 37th Annual Western Federation of Watercolor Societies Exhibition. The exhibit will take place at the Marjorie Barrick Museum on The University of Nevada Las Vegas campus, from April 13th to May 19th, 2012. This year the show was juried by Gerald Brommer, who will pick the award winners in April.
This painting has sold, but you may still purchase a giclee print from my print-on-demand-outlet.
I’ve recently begun painting on clayboard. I love it. But, may of the juried competitions I’d like to enter require that watercolors be on paper. In response I’ve been repainting some clayboard paintings on paper. “Ompa Rainbow” is a paper repaint of “Big Boy.”
The results of all this repainting have been what I think are often better paintings, though not better in every way. Practice makes perfect is of course part of this equation. But beyond that, looking at the finished work allows me to make serious design choices.
In “Big Boy” the idea was to make the tuba very large by looking up into a sky dominated by tuba. In “Ompa Rainbow” I wanted to make the colors pop. I slid the tuba to the left to give it some space around the bell, but the big change is in the background. “Big Boy” is set against a blue background, resulting in a very cool painting, all blues, greens and yellows. To make those cool colors really pop, I gave “Ompa Rainbow” a very warm background. I also paid attention to color theory. At the top, where the tuba gets blue the background is blue’s compliment, orange. At the base, amidst all that glorious plumbing, the background becomes purple the compliment of the predominating yellow. It’s a very warm red leaning purple though because red sets off green which is the other color sharing dominance in the lower half of the tuba.
I made several deliberate changes when I repainted “Brass Wind and Shadows” as “The Color of Music”. First, I backed up on the subject a little and allowed all the trombone bell to show. The colors are deliberately brighter. I lightened up the shadows. In retrospect I like the lighter brighter colored version better but I think the tighter crop of the first painting works better.
I did very little to the composition when I repainted “Bouquet of Reeds” as “New Orleans Reeds,” but I did deliberately change the mood by intensifying the colors. I also reversed the basic value plan of the painting by making the background light rather than dark. I’m not sure I like either painting better. It’s the mood, not the quality that changed.
With “Jazz Buddies” and “Taking a Shine to Each Other” the later is to my mind a much better painting. With “Jazz Buddies” I intended to really show off the way the bright sun washed away the sax. I think I accomplished that. With “Taking a Shine to Each Other” I went for drama and I got it by really darkening up the instruments and complicating the dark colors.
Prints of “Ompa Tuba” and the other paintings shown in this entry, are available through my print-on-demand shop.
And here’s the completed painting.
This painting has sold, but
My instrument show, “The Sound of Paint” opened Today at Art in the Valley, and continues through the end of November. Reception Thursday, November 3rd at 5:00 pm.
I hung the paintings Sunday and I’m very pleased with the way they look. In addition to the instrument paintings, there will be a selection of matted original watercolors and a selection of my animal sculpture.
Trumpet and trombone share fabric space on a mirror. This little painting has sold. But prints are available through my shop at Fine Art America.
Trombone bell resting on the bells and facing a flute. My daughter says this one has a Christmasy feel to it and I think she is right. In any case, I like the red and gold.
This painting has sold, but prints available through my print shop and Fine Art America.
I painted this little baby yesterday at the gallery. I like the contrast between the silver and gold, but I wasn’t really happy with it until the shadows went in.
This painting has sold, but prints are still available through my print shop at Fine Art America.com.
This is a second and slightly larger version of Reeds Between Sets which sold before I could get it posted. Like most of the rest of my instrument series it will be on display at Art In the Valley beginning November 1st.
Today I set up my booth for the Silverton Fine Arts Festival. It will be the first showing of my instrument paintings in mass and only the second time any of them has been shown in public. It’s fun to see them all hanging together. I’m in booth #71 right next to the information booth.
The fair runs Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.
The tuba painting pictured is not Big Boy. It is still big, but this painting is smaller. Painted from the same photo as “Big Boy.”
We’ve been traveling in Southwest Colorado and New Mexico the past few weeks. I have tons of photos for Southwestern paintings. But while I was gone, I went right on painting instruments. I did this one at my Father’s just outside of Albuquerque.
Painted on clayboard, finished with clear acrylic, and set on a black cradle frame, this painting is ready to hang.
This painting has sold, but you may purchase a print.
This is a larger and more colorful version of “Brass, Winds, and Shadows.” I liked the first version, but I like this one better. Besides enlarging the painting and bumping up the color, I expanded the field of view to include more of the flute. I also made the shadows more transparent. I think all of the changes are improvements.
Prints available through my shop at Fine Art America.
The is another painting from my photo session at Weathers Music, but I painted it on the patio of a beach house just outside Sarasota on the Gulf of Mexico. Painting under an umbrella with the ocean just yards away–what could be finer? We spent the last week there getting our fill of salt and sun. After the long wet cold spring here in Oregon the sun sure felt fine. But my is it hot and humid there. I spent the afternoons painting in the cool. I have five new paintings to post over the next few days.
This is the first one I did. I really like the greeny black of the clarinet and piccolo in contrast to the greeny yellow of the pear. The pear and clarinet bell shapes echo each other nicely too.
Another painting on clay board, the painting is finished with a clear coat of acrylic and mounted on a black wooden cradle. This painting has sold, but you can still purchase a print through my Shop at Fine Art America.
I painted this one specially for Salem Art Association’s Salon: Art2 exhibit. All of the artwork in the exhibit must be 16 x 16 inches inclusive of frame. I had to think carefully how to meet the size requirement. I didn’t want to fit a watercolor on paper into a 16 x 16 inch frame since the artwork would end up being 12 x 12 at most. I didn’t have any 16 x 16 inch aquabord either. So I stretched watercolor canvas over a 16 x 16 inch frame and gallery wrapped the edges.
It has been quite some time since I tried painting on watercolor canvas. Paint lifts from watercolor canvas even more easily than it does from clayboard. The surface feels like a cross between clayboard an yupo (a plastic paper) to work on except that the unlike board or paper the canvas gives a little to the brush. I like the canvas’ linen texture, but I’m not sure I like the painting experience as much as the board, though that may be just a matter of getting use to the new surface.
This painting has sold, but prints are available through my gallery at Fine Art America.
If you have been watching this blog of late, you know I have become fascinated with painting bright shiny band instruments. I had been renting loaner instruments one or two at a time from a shop in Corvallis. But renting instruments, especially expensive instruments for just a month at a time, makes instruments shops who rent to sell nervous. So I was afraid I had come to the end of my supply of instruments to paint. But a couple weeks ago I got a brainwave. Weathers Music, here in Salem, has a recital room that sits empty most days. So I thought maybe I could talk them into letting me rent the instruments and the room at once. That way the expensive instruments need never leave the shop.
I gathered up two of my recent instrument paintings and went to ask. I had dressed nicely and rehearsed a little speech about how I would use the instruments for art, and how careful I would be with them. I never got more than three sentences into my little sales pitch. Keith Weathers simply said, “yes.” And the very next Friday I had the use of the Bach Room, from ten to five and an almost unlimited supply of instruments to photograph.
I brought quilts, fabric, crystal, flowers, and fruit. I also brought my studio lights. By eleven o’clock I had everything I’d brought in and Keith had gathered me a whole little band to play with. I had three saxophones, a clarinet, a piccolo, a brass trumpet, a silver trumpet, a violin, a french horn, a trombone, and a tuba.
I spent a magic afternoon setting up and photographing one still life after another. I spread cloth, arranged flowers, climbed on chairs, moved lighting, and toted instruments back and forth. At the end of the day I was exhausted but happy. I also had over five hundred photos on my camera chip.
Since then I’ve been too busy painting to post blogs, a sorry state of affairs for which I apologize. So here is the first of many more instrument paintings.
This painting has sold, but you may still purchase a print from Fine Art America.com.
Another instrument still life painting. I did this one mostly at the gallery yesterday working on little details between customers. I love the way the shiny brass pops in this painting, when I finished it yesterday morning I was both vaguely dissatisfied with it and puzzled over where to put a signature. You see, I had planned the painting to be hung horizontally with the big trombone horn at the bottom, and the so the whole bottom edge was busy and full. Then it occurred to me that since the view was straight down, it could just as logically be hung upside down. So I tried all four angles. I like this upright view much better than the horizontal view I planned. It has more visual energy, and the eye enters from the bottom left hand corner, which is the most natural entry point.
Once again painted on Ampersand’s aquabord. This time I painted on cradled board which mean that the clayboard rests on a two inch thick wooden frame which I have painted black. The painting may either be framed like an oil or acrylic without glass or, for a sleek modern look, hung as is.
This painting has sold, but you can still purchase a print from Fine Art America.com.
This January we spent a weekend in Lincoln City. It being January in Oregon; it rained at lot; it was often foggy; and in between the sun shone. I took the photo for this little painting in the car on the way to wave watch in Depot Bay. Before we reached Depot Bay it rained again and then the sun came out to stay for the afternoon.
This painting has sold, but you may still purchase a print from Fine Art America.com.
My eldest daughter learned to spin last year and the Oregon State Fair. She came home with a drop-spindle and proceeded to spin several pounds of wool within the week. The obsession continued and all she wanted for Christmas was a spinning wheel. We obliged. Since then, she spins whenever she sits down to talk or watch TV. It’s a good thing the wheel is beautiful, because it’s become part of our living and family rooms.
Naturally, as I think both the wheel and the girl are lovely, I had to paint them together. As she also writes I thought a background of our family room books was appropriate.
The painting turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated. I began with the pouring method, a process much like batik involving multiple masks and literally pouring cups of paint over the paper. After a day of pouring, I got out the brushes and promptly ruined the painting by making it too dark. So I began again, spending another day pouring paint. I began work with the brushes at the gallery and was very pleased with everything except her face which I though was good, but could be better. So improved it until is was merely okay. And then I improved it some more until it was bad and my paper was damaged beyond repair. But I loved the rest of the painting so much that I began a third time, first pouring and then painting.
This time I am happy, and while there are a couple details I might like to alter just a hair, I won’t improve it anymore.
I drove into Corvallis a little early a couple mornings ago and spent the extra time before opening the gallery taking pictures of downtown. The sun was out, but it had just recently rained and the streets were still wet. The light was gorgeous. This little alley is just a couple blocks from Art in the Valley. The reflected light running up the damp pavement caught my eye.
I used a limited palate, but not as limited as my last cityscape: cobalt blue, phthalo blue, raw sienna and quinacridone brown madder. The vast bulk of the painting is brown madder and phthalo blue.
[This painting sold February 23rd 2012, but you may still purchase a print from Fine Art America.]
I did these three little paintings at the Gallery on Wednesday. My primary purpose was to continue learning to handle clayboard. I had taken the reference photos some time ago and they seemed perfect for the little six by six inch panels I had to work with and they were great subjects for learning technique as they have soft and sharp edges and a full value scale from black to white.
I used the same palette for all three paintings: burnt sienna, red brown madder (much the same color as burnt sienna but much less sedimentary and brighter), cobalt blue, phthalo blue, new gamgee , raw sienna, and because both reds are really orange, dioxion violet. This gave me a highly sedimentary pigment, and transparent pigment for each primary. The transparents, new gamgee, red madder and especially phthalo and dioxion violet are difficult to lift from paper.
I emphasized different pigments in each painting. Little Garlic I is all about blues and greens with a little orange-red and orange for punch, i.e. two analogous colors with a touch of each compliment. Little Garlic II is a complimentary color scheme, violet and yellow. Garlic III is simply the reverse of Garlic I; orange-red and yellow predominate and blue-violet and green provide the punch.
I mixed the colors almost entirely on the clay-board, laying down the warmer colors first and dropping in the cooler ones. Primarily, I mixed sedimentary colors with sedimentary colors and transparents with transparents. Mixing transparents with transparents and translucents with translucents is another trick I learned from Karen Vernon. Droped into thier own kind, they spread out nicely. Otherwise sedimentary colors tend to push everything else aside.
Because of the ease of lifting from clay-board, I didn’t use mask. The very whitest whites are reserved through negative painting but most of the whites are lifted. All of the soft edged lights in the garlic roots are lifted.
After I completed the paintings, I fixed the surface with two coats of Krylon’s UV Archival Varnish, and three coats of Golden’s Polymer Varnish with UVLS (satin). The result is that the paintings may be framed without glass. The coating is not only protective, but archival and removable for conservation purposes.
Little Garlic II is still available for purchases. Prints of all three paintings are available through Fine Art America.
I began painting it at the Oregon State Fair this summer. When the light got bad in the evening I switched to clay and propped the painting up behind me. It caught the attention of a lovely woman and her teenage daughter. It reminds them of a ranch they know. After much discussion she bought another two big sky paintings and asked to purchase this one on completion. Last week she saw the completed painting for the first time and bought it. I’ve never been quite so pleased with a sale.Visiting the mountain west this summer, my husband and I toured two American Indian War Battle sites. The first was that of the Fetterman Massacre which happened about ten years before Custer’s Last Stand. The view is from but not of the site of the Fetterman Massacre in Northern Wyoming near Fort Kearney.
Fort Phil Kearney was set up in the northern Rockies to guard the Bozeman Trail. The Bozeman Trail (northwest from the Oregon Trail), passed through Wyoming, and on to the gold diggings in Virginia City, Montana. Unfortunately the trail crossed traditional Sioux hunting grounds. Sioux war chief, Red Cloud, vowed to defend the territory. Washington, however, ordered the trail kept open at all costs.
In 1866, Colonel Henry Carrington, in command of the 18th Infantry Regiment, was sent to build and garrison a series of posts along the trail. Captain William Fetterman joined the regiment.
The Sioux harassed the fort and posts, particularly parties detailed to work outside the fort and those traveling between the forts. Red Cloud and Roman Nose of the Cheyenne assembled several thousand warriors to remove the U.S. Army from the trail. Red Cloud’s plan was to send small parties of warriors to attack the wood trains and lure the soldiers off to meet the main band of warriors.
On December 6th, a wood train was attacked by a large party of warriors. When Carrington came out to retaliate he was met by an imposing force of Cheyenne warriors including Red Cloud and Roman Nose. He retreated to the fort, leaving too dead and five wounded. Carrington forbade any of his men to pursue fleeing Indians in the future.
Two weeks later, Red Cloud staged another strike on the wood train. But this time, Carrington was not sucked in. There was just one day of wood cutting left for the winter. Carrington prepared to send out a Captain Powell to reinforce the wood train, but Fetterman demanded the right to lead the rescue. Carrington yielded. Fettreman rounded up 79 men and – with the exact number he had bragged that he could wipe out the whole Sioux nation – set off to meet the foe. Carrington’s orders to him were, “Relieve the wood train. Under no circumstances pursue the enemy beyond Lodge Trail Ridge!”
As Fetterman’s men approached the the wood train, the warriors began to break off from the assault and flee from Fetterman’s approach. The soldiers chased them up the side of Lodge Trail Ridge. As they reached the crest of the ridge a second party of warriors, swung around on Fetterman’s rear. Fetternan and his men were surrounded by nearly 2000 men.
Fetterman attempted to ascend the ridge he had just come over and hide behind the cover of some rocks. But Indians were massing up that side of the ridge too. Within minutes all 80 of Fetterman’s men were dead.
Lodge Trail Ridge is now Wyoming State Historical Site. (More information about the massacre, Fort Kearny, and the Bozeman Trail can be found at the official site for The Fort Kearny State Historical Site.) A hiking trail leads along the ridge, and despite the markers and other information about the massacre remains beautiful. This is the view west from the lower end of the ridge.
I grew up in the mountain-west. It’s dry country. On the plains it’s high desert. In the mountains it’s not exactly a desert, but it sure isn’t lush either. This summer, it was wet all across the mountain states. Wyoming was green. Let me repeat that, sage brush covered Wyoming was green. Yellowstone was positively lush with green grass. The park probably had twice it’s usual allotment of wet land.
This is the east side of Yellowstone National Park above the lake, but below Yellowstone’s Grand Canyon. The colors looked like spring, but the grass was much too long. The silver stream is really just endless wet ground—a spontaneous marsh, made just for this year. But between the cloud shadows and the sky reflecting on the water it was beautiful.
I painted it conventionally beginning with the sky and stream, then building up the greens layer by layer. To get all those shades of green I used three blues (cobalt, phthalo, and cerulean) and two yellows (quinacridone god and yellow ocher). In addition I used burnt sienna and quinacridone deep red rose.
This painting has sold, but you may purchase a print from my gallery at Fine Art America.
This pastel is based loosely on a photo I took just east of Tetons National Park in Wyoming. The early morning light made the grass glow almost yellow against the darker hills. I drove my family slightly batty stopping the car over and over to take yet another picture of light on the hills. I was actually pleased when when had to wait twenty minutes twice for construction. I liked this view in particular because of the way the beckons you in.
But my pastel could hardly feel less like early Wyoming summer. It seems we’ve never quite gotten summer here in Oregon this year and my mind has moved right along to fall. So I went where my mind is, and left June behind, converting dying pines into turning foliage and taking the grass even further yellow. But I left the morning light.
Working on the rough side of peach colored Canson Mi-Teintes I used almost entirely soft pastels. Only the foreground grass went in in hard pastel. The shadows in the grass are more soft pastel.
The blues, greens and oranges came very naturally. I added a few hints of purple in the shadows to set of the yellow grass.
This painting has sold, but you may purchase a print through my gallery at Fine Art America.
ABC has purchased the right to show “At the Water’s Edge” on Desperate Housewives. It will probably show up on camera somewhere this Fall season. I don’t know when or as part of what set. But I’d really like to know. So, if any of you spots it, please comment here or drop me a line.
They have purchased a 12 x 16 inch print on gallery wrapped canvas, so it could appear framed or unframed.
So far it has been a surreally fun experience. ABC/Disney has entered into an agreement with the on-line printing house Fine Art America, to facilitate licensing images for use on sets. Artists selling work through Fine Art America can opt in or out of the program. I opted in and then promptly forgot about it. It seemed much too unlikely.
But Wednesday morning I got an email from the design staff at Desperate Housewives. Thursday they arranged for FedEx to pick up the signed license agreement and Friday they purchased the print.
The young women who facilitated this has no idea which episode or where. Not surprising really.
My husband suggests I add “Painter to the Stars” to my resume. Slight overstatement? Of course. After all picking artwork for sets is akin to picking artwork to go with the sofa. It is fun, but not a critics seal of approval.
Prints of the painting may be purchased here.
Here is another vacation watercolor. This one is from Yellowstone National Park on the north side of the lake. We picnicked here on our last day in the park.
Like my previous painting of Fort Robinson, I simplified the image by masking heavily and then getting out the big brushes. I began by painting in the sky and the light blue of the lake. Then I masked the sky and all of the water except the dark ripples. I painted the trees and hills in used a one inch brush and moving diagonally in wet juicy strips of cobalt blue, raw sienna, and phthalo blue. I blotted the rocky edge in with burnt sienna. The lake ripples are cobalt and phthalo blue grayed down with burnt sienna. After the paint dried I picked out the grass and the highlights on the rocks with mask and added more paint to the rocks and foreground.
This was an exercise in mixing greens. The more I looked at this little clump of bamboo, the more I realized just how many greens were there. To get some of this variety on paper I used two blues, cobalt and phthalo and three yellows, hansa, new gamgee, and cadmium. As most of the greens I mixed were blue-greens I used a little bit of blue green’s compliment, red orange to set them off. Burnt sienna was perfect for the purpose without any mixing. I carried the blue-green red-orange motif into the path, painting the red Georgia soil it’s natural red and overlaying it with blue-green shadows.
Funny thing about red soil. My husband talks about red Georgia clay and how hard it is to dig in or clean out of clothes the way mid-westerners talk of mosquitoes and three feet of snow. But here in Oregon we have more than plenty of red clay. From the mid Willamette Valley south the ground is red as red can be. And yes it’s hard to wash out of pants.
On our last trip to Newport, my husband and I found a tiny little state park, not even big enough for a highway sign from 101 let alone our road atlas. It is a wave watchers paradise. Wet fireworks. We spent a happy hour there with out noticing either the time or how damp we were getting. This little part of the rocky headland didn’t produce such spectacular spray, but we were fascinated by the whirl pools the breakers kept forming against the rocks.
I began by masking the whites. Then I painted in the rocks in burnt sienna, phthalo blue, cobalt blue and a little raw sienna. The water is phthalo blue, burnt sienna, and raw sienna.
Like yesterday’s paintings, I did this little watercolor at the gallery last Wednesday. Postcard sized paintings work really well for gallery shifts. Space at the gallery for painting is limited and I want to be able to drop whatever I am doing to greet and talk to patrons. At this scale there’s hardly ever a bad moment to stop painting.
These little paintings make good sketches for working out larger work too. It’s so much easier to experiment with composition when the paper I’m risking is only 5 x 7.
The subject is Agate Beach in Newport at sunset. If the stream has a name, I don’t know it. And it wouldn’t surprise me to discover it seasonal runoff. It’s course over the sand varies every time I visit. But it’s always wide and shallow. This Spring the it’s mouth was over fifty feet wide and perhaps two or three inches deep. I liked the silver reflections in the late evening and early mornings.
The palette is burnt sienna, new gamgee (yellow), quinacridone deep red rose, cobalt blue and phthalo blue. I painted the sunset colors in tandem working first in the sky and then in the reflections and back again to the sky as I added new colors. I began with the yellows, then worked along through the oranges, reds, and purples. The purple is phthalo blue and quinacridone.
This is the view looking west from House Rock just north of Brookings, Oregon.
I’m not sure why House Rock is named House Rock. When we were on it we weren’t sure if we were supposed to be on it or looking for it. A little google search made it clear we were on it, but no information about the name. I have my guesses though. The hill was surprisingly flat on top and hiking down below it I discovered wild onion, wild iris, wild rose, and strawberries. Only the iris were in bloom. Many years of hiking around ghost towns have taught me which domestic plants go native when the settlers leave. Onions, rhubarb, strawberries and roses were common survivors in Colorado and they appear to be survivors here too. I think there was once a house on house rock, not that the rock is shaped like a house.
The palette is burnt sienna, raw sienna, cobalt blue, and phthalo blue.