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umbrellas

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Between Amusements

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At the Fair, Watercolor Painting by Jenny Armitage

Between Amusements (17 x 21 watercolor) $700

For the last four years I’ve been taking pictures of the Oregon State Fair confident that with all those people and colors there must be a good painting in there somewhere.   Four years of pictures with images taken from four different photos and I finally have one.


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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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Light and Shade in Cinque Terre

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Monterosso Cafe, Original Painting of the Cinque Terre, by Jenny Armitage

Monterosso Cafe (watercolor 16 x 22) $600

The Cinque Terre, or five lands do not have much in the way of tourist sites.  They are the tourist site.  The five coast hugging Italian villages feature brightly colored townhouses, residential streets made up of nothing more than a flight of stairs,  beautiful coastal trails, and tight picturesque beaches.  In July of last year they were also hot as blazes and ought to have been uncomfortable, but the narrow shady streets, and cool ocean made up for the heat.  Oh, and there was gelato too, lots of handmade gelato.

We visited the four villages actually on the coast,  and dipped our toes in the water at more the one beach.   We also climbed innumerable stairs just for the fun of climbing and looking down.  This painting is of  Monterosso, the largest of the five, and the one with the widest flattest beaches.  We stopped to sample the gelato at the cafe.  We ate it while watching our girls play in the warm surf.


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