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Sun-Drenched Parasols

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Sun Drenched Parosals (watercolor 12 x 18) $400

There’s a reason why artists like to paint umbrellas.  They are shapely and brightly colored.  They add grace to the human form.  We associate them with romance and romantic cities.  And here I live in the Willamette Valley were it rains all winter, and yet I’ve never really painted umbrellas and now when I do it’s umbrellas used for shade.

Why?  Because Oregonians hardly ever use umbrellas.  We either ignore the rain with a macho sort of only wimps think this is rain air, or we wear sports gear with hoods.    On the coast we have some excuse as the rain there so often comes with enough wind to invert any umbrella, but here in the Valley we hardly ever have real wind yet we don’t use umbrellas.   Our family does keep a couple collapsibles in the car, but we tend to forget we have them.

These are Oregon umbrellas lent by the exhibit sponsor to the line of people waiting in the sun to see the Titanic exhibit some years ago.  I embarrassed my young daughters by taking pictures of the line of people with all  those beautiful umbrellas. One of my girls looked at the painting and said instantly that was when we saw the Titanic.  She doesn’t remember being embarrassed, just the pretty umbrellas.  My other girl is younger.  She does not remember at all.  Neither girl remembers many Oregon umbrellas.  They associate umbrellas with London.

A couple days ago, I saw a friend’s painting umbrellas in Rome, and thought to myself, I wish I had some umbrellas to paint.  And then I remembered how I had embarrassed my children by taking photos of people standing in line because the umbrellas were so pretty.

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My painting doesn’t have the lovely rainy reflections Marsha’s does, but I do have shadows.


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Tabby’s Favorite Window

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Tabby's Favorite Window, Painting by Jenny Armitage

Tabby's Favorite Window (11 x 14 watercolor on clayboard) $300

I often get asked at art fairs how long it takes to paint one of my paintings. It’s an unanswerable question.  Some paintings take days and even repeated attempts each taking days.   Some paintings just fall out of the brush in minutes.  This painting just fell out of the brush.   And that despite being painted at the State Fair as a demo.

The reference photo is a picture I took of a girl friend’s cat some years ago. I don’t often paint animals, but my gallery is having a group “critters” show and so I browsed my old photos looking for a suitable cat, and this tabby popped up. Now that I’ve done him, I rather like him.  He will be on display at Art in the Valley all this September.


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