Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chinook, Squall & Panettone

The weather has been quite varied lately, and downright nasty. We had two days of blustery Chinook winds that melted most of the snow, followed by a winter squall that drove temperatures back down and coated the north facing surfaces with ice. It has settled down now into relative calm and high clouds. This little study was from a couple of days ago when it was windy and cold and lightly snowing, just before the weather went wild. As you can see, it was pretty dreary that day. I'm not very good yet at making dreary days look beautiful. Oil on linen 8x6. 

Friday, December 26, 2008

Boxing Day Calm

I did get out to paint today, but I can't say that I'm happy with them; a combination of hurrying too much and not settling into confident deliberate brushwork. I didn't quite earn my cassata though since they aren't decided candidates for the recycle pile. It was a supremely gorgeous day: an inch of fresh powder to keep the landscape looking clean, dazzling sunshine, soft clouds, calm winds, and a temperature just below freezing. My new boot warmers ended up getting delivered to California, so I will have to tough it out with cold feet. There seems to be some puzzlement about what boot warmers are. They are rechargeable battery powered insoles that slip into your boots. They run about 9 hours on a charge. Just the thing for standing in knee deep snow while painting. Each oil study is 8x6.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day Snow

All I wanted for Christmas was snow to paint and boot warmers. The boot warmers haven't arrived yet, but the snow did in abundance. Painting snow is one of my most favorite things so I'm a happy girl today even if my toes and fingers are still trying to thaw. These two oil studies are 8x6 inches. 

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Late Autumn Napa Bliss

I finally made it out to paint after taking a break from it for the last month and a half. It felt good to be back out painting, and I will try to go out again soon. This is my favorite time of year, where there has been enough rain to green things up a bit while fall colors are still abundant. The vineyards in particular are still clothed in a variety of lovely autumn hues. The light is very horizontal and filtered with heavy atmosphere typical for November. The days are warm in the sunshine and the winds are calm, perfect for painting. Both oil studies are 6x8". 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Autumn Colors

My four month painting adventure is now complete.  I am already getting nostalgic looking back on the last four months of painting. The primary reason for my painting break was to try to get to a better level by painting more frequently than I can usually do; and to find out if I am meant to be a painter. Just because I have the passion for it doesn't mean that I have the gift. Painting is probably more about the hard work and practice than talent itself, and I hadn't yet done either. I can't profess to having worked hard at it this summer, but I think I have learned the discipline of beginning a habit of practice, at least as much as I can do with the career I have chosen. The passion has certainly been inflamed in the process. And yes, I paint with a limited palette and have for a while now. I prefer it because I makes me look more closely before I mix colors.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Near Iceberg Lake

This alpine meadow study was painted about a couple of hundred yards before Iceberg Lake, which is situated above Lake Ediza at about 10,000 feet. It was very windy that day which made it impossible to paint with an umbrella. I struggled with glare which made it difficult to judge color well, but I managed to touch it up to be close to what I was seeing. The snowfield was a fun bold element to compose with, and it is a good memory of a good day. I would love to work this one up into a larger painting.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Old White Pine

Lake Ediza is at about 9,280 feet according to my GPS unit, near the timber line. I was wandering around looking for something to paint and passed through a very old grove of hemlock and white pine. The gnarled trunk of this specimen growing out of the rocks caught my eye with the late afternoon light reflections. The mountain lumps in the background are Ritter and Banner. I will have a few more studies to post in the next few days but they need some touchup first. 

Minaret Morning

I was intrigued by the long shadows on the slope of the Minarets at this time of morning. This view was painted from the same spot as my favorite study (posted earlier). 8x10", oil on linen.

Looking Toward Lake Ediza Outlet

A morning view looking toward the outlet of the lake, painted from our campsite area. We had a day or two of wind early in our trip, but toward the end it was very calm, creating silky reflections on the lake.

Favorite Ediza Study

This view was painted by several of us during our stay at Lake Ediza. It was only a few feet from our campsite and was in comfortable afternoon shade near a small sandy beach. The shallow-to-deep water transition created a gorgeous color modulation. This study was one of only two that I finished on a second day instead of one session, which is usually a little risky if the weather changes. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

Out Spring Hill Road

Ernesto and I went out for a quick painting jaunt today near Petaluma. I haven't painted in Sonoma County for a few months so it felt a little weird to be out looking at eucalyptus, oak trees and dry grass. Thanks Ernesto!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

High Sierra High

I spent six glorious days in the high Eastern Sierra doing my two favorite things, hiking and painting, with eight fellow painters and one photographer. We camped on the far side of Lake Ediza in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, a short distance from the John Muir Trail. We hired a pack trip outfitter to take our heavy equipment, gear and beverages in on mules, while we hiked in with daypacks. We also hired a cook to keep us well fed so that all we needed to do is roll out of our tents and paint. We had fabulous weather this year (last year we had lots of hail and rain). When I return to NE Oregon midweek, I will post a few paintings and happenings. It feels good to be freshly showered and ready to sleep in a real bed! The snapshot of the Minarets above was taken near the lake outlet on the hike out. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Huckleberry Heaven

Yesterday was a wipe-down painting day, 'nuf said. Today's priority was huckleberrying. We rode dirt bikes up into national forest land, which was great because we could stop when we smelled ripe berries. Tonight I will make wild huckleberry cobbler which are tied with white truffles for my favorite food flavor. For the next few days I may choose to hunt berries instead of painting. For a change my fingers are stained with berry juice instead of paint. :) We spotted a badger when we stopped to pick berries, I think he may have been eating them. He had that miffed expression on his face that badgers always seem to have. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sacajawea Peak

I hiked into the Eagle Cap Wilderness this morning. I had almost given up on painting because it was overcast, but it eventually cleared. I'm not terribly happy with this study (it looks too much like an illustration), but hopefully I learned something for the next one. The hike in was perfumed with the scents of wild berry and sage; it is blackberry and huckleberry season. Wildflowers are still thick on the ground and mosquitos thick in the air. I am not in shape for my upcoming Sierra trip so I thought I'd make myself do more hiking.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dawn On Hurricane Creek

I wanted to try something moodier than what I have been painting. I was quite out of my comfort zone, but it was fun to try. It was definitely an exercise in close value and color relationships. I was also out of my physical comfort zone, it was a chilly morning to be standing in the misty shade by a river. 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Canyon Sentinel

It was time to try a hero tree again. This stalwart gnarled fir specimen was on the edge of a sheer drop into the Big Sheep canyon. This tree looks ancient, and it is amazing that anything could survive on this ridge with the winter winds, hurricane force winds are not uncommon. I should redesign the background so that the hill ridge is not tangent with the sweep of the tree branch. I think it is better than my previous tree attempts, I think I'm making progress. :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Cat's Back Prospect

We finally got some clearer weather this morning with beautiful hazy sunlight. I drove up to a location called the Cat's Back. It is a skinny ridge with canyons on either side, to the south is the Big Sheep canyon, this northerly view is a series of canyons: Craven, Mitchell, Wolf, and Little Sheep. I wasn't sure about this study when I finished it, but it is growing on me and becoming a favorite. Mostly I want to refine the foreground tree shapes and fix one of the background hills.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Thunderstorms And A Great Horned Owl

Last night and tonight, there was a magnificent yet somewhat scruffy great horned owl sitting on the roof -- hoo-hoo, hoo, hoo. I spent the afternoon watching the lightning show. It was quite dramatic today, I counted three strikes that started forest fires on the mountains. Fortunately the rain was heavy enough to soon douse the fires before they gained much momentum, but for a few minutes the flames were quite tall and bright, and one of them smoldered and smoked for a couple of hours. More thunderstorms are in the forecast for the next couple of days so I'm not sure if I'll get to paint. I really don't want to be out standing on a ridge with a metal umbrella in this weather, the brand new flooring store a half mile away was struck by lightning today. Might be a good time to make more Marionberry cobbler. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Big Sheep And Seven Devils

The distant mountain range in this view is the Seven Devils, the foreground is Cummins Gulch leading into Big Sheep Canyon. I'm doing small canyon warmups before I tackle a Hells Canyon view. On the drive back I felt like I was in a Disney movie because of the number of deer, bluebirds and chipmunks; I kept expecting Thumper to show up and for them to break into song.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Angus Ranch

Yesterday was a scouting morning that didn't turn up anything promising, and I am realizing that I can't paint on only one hour of sleep. This morning I also went to a new area but had better luck (more sleep also helped). There are a couple more views out this way that I'd like to paint soon, there are many small canyons leading up to the bigger Joseph, Imnaha and Hells Canyons. I could spend the rest of my vacation painting nothing but canyons and not get to them all. The top of the canyon in view is the Big Sheep Canyon.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More Fun With Bales

It is amazing that there are still some snow bits remaining in August. This view is looking up Hurricane Creek, I have been wanting to paint this canyon shadow for a while -- I'm glad I waited because the crystalline sky and hay bales made it too tempting to pass up. I am very happy with this study, it turned out pretty much the way I envisioned it when I set up to paint; I wish that would happen more often!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Early Morning On The Lake

Another view of the lake -- I was seduced by the sunshine streaming over the moraine, illuminating the atmosphere over Bonneville Mountain (Mt. Howard is to the left and Chief Joseph Mountain is to the right, with peeks/peaks of  Aneroid Mountain and Craig Mountain in the distance). It was nice to have a few clouds this morning. I need to fix and blur the reflections in the water since they are distracting.
          The afternoon became a little stormy with great clouds. I was feeling too lazy to head out to paint, so I did a cloud study from my deck. If I keep doing cloud studies, maybe one day I will figure out how to paint them well.  

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Morning Reflections

Yesterday I spent my early morning painting time location scouting and found a couple of spots that looked promising. I returned to my favorite one this morning at the head end of Wallowa Lake. I awoke a little late and had to scramble a bit and didn't spend as much time finessing the drawing as I would like, but I think the study works for color and light reference. I would love to work this one up larger at some point, I think it is my new favorite.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lake Head

I hiked back up the east moraine of the lake again this morning, this time sticking to the logging road. The angle is similar to the last one but I wanted to try to get a bit of the lake in it this time. 

Monday, July 28, 2008


We have two female yellow Labrador Retrievers, a 10 year old smart one (Tyler) and a 8 month old puppy who is not so smart, but is super cute (Bella). I made the mistake of leaving Bella unattended for a little over an hour yesterday evening. I returned home to a disaster. The family room was ultramarine blue, the dining room was phthalo blue, the living room was a mixture of kings blue, a touch of sap green, and a bit of dark earth brown. There were a couple of completely missing tubes. The puppy was covered in blue paint and still had a tube in her mouth. She had gotten into my painting backpack and was having a grand time turning the house into an abstract painting. Fortunately the vet was home and would take her (gotta love country vets). On the way to the vet she vomited an impressive amount of blue and metal bits. The vet made her throw up some more and then we had to force feed her a bottle of activated charcoal to help flush out the rest through the other end. Most of that came up on the way home, hopefully enough stayed in her system to do its job. It binds other organic matter to it to help it pass through to keep stuff from ending up in her liver. Poor puppy she was feeling pretty miserable by this point. The carpet was going to get ripped up soon anyway, so that isn't a big deal thankfully. In fact the tile that goes in the house is sitting and waiting to be installed. So no painting to post today because my dog ate my paint, sounds like a lame excuse for missing a school assignment doesn't it? Ugly Dog Brush Soap works great on puppy fur, in case you ever need to know this information! She slept through the night, ate her breakfast, and seems like a normal blue puppy this morning. She is acquiring a collection of nicknames, the last one was Cinderbella after a firepit incident. 

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Above The Lake

I tried to hike up the east moraine of Wallowa Lake this morning. I made the mistake of leaving the logging road to hike up what looked like a nice foot trail. It became more of a deer trail and then dissipated into no trail at all. There were plenty of whitetail out and they all seemed to be having a much easier time with the terrain than I was; as you can see, it is quite steep. I stopped when I reached a precipice and set up to paint this view in the canyon above the lake. Next time I'll stick to the logging road and see where I end up. I got a good workout though in preparation of my Eastern Sierra Lake Ediza trip in August. 

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Not Quite To Imnaha

I drove out toward the Imnaha River Canyon down a single lane potholed gravel road on the prairie. I didn't get as far as I had hoped before I hit a gate. My map didn't cover the area so I didn't know if it was okay to proceed, so I stopped and painted where I was. This is where the Zumwalt prairie starts transitioning into the canyon. I am now itching to paint the canyon more than ever, if only I could figure out how to get a view of it. Need a better map. On the way, I had the treat of seeing a herd of elk up close. I should have known that the shape and features of this hill are too weird to paint. I only like the left third or bottom third of the study.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Between Storms

We had thunderstorms with heavy rain today, a good day for making jams and cobblers, this time blueberry, raspberry and Marionberry. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, moody and dramatic, but a little too wet for painting. However around 6pm, it cleared enough so I headed out. There wasn't much time to choose a location or be fussy about composition; it was definitely one of those hurry-up-and-paint-before-the-sun-sets situations. It was very fun. I am heading back to Washington for a few days; with luck I'll paint more basalt and sagebrush while there. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Random Stuff

I haven't had much luck lately getting out to paint. Yesterday morning was overcast so I decided to paint in the afternoon, but instead spent it in the ER where my husband was getting stitches for a bicycle sprocket gashing and subsequent fall, not a good day for him. This morning it was both very smokey and very overcast and it doesn't seem to be clearing. I ventured out to scout on the prairie a little bit anyway and have a vague idea where I might try next, near the Imnaha River Canyon which runs near the Snake River Hells Canyon. It is a bit of a drive, an hour of washboard gravel roads, which is why I haven't painted out that way yet. This morning I came unnervingly close to hitting a coyote with my car, it somehow miraculously was unscathed. I stopped in a few places to take some photos and in one spot a large prairie dog ran up to within a couple feet of me to check me out. He seemed totally unafraid of me, like a squirrel in a park, but out here he couldn't be looking for a treat. It is possible he had never seen a human before up close. There is a rare home out on the prairie (ok in 40 miles this morning I saw one), but a person needs to be willing to live completely off the grid. Apparently in eastern Oregon the population was larger 100 years ago than it is today. There are a large number of abandoned old homesteads sprinkled around; it must have been a pretty hard-scrabble existence especially in the long winters. It might be why the Roosevelt Elk are so revered in this area; the bull elk hunting season seems to be the highlight of the year; a large bull would feed a family all winter. This was Nez Perce country, but the Shawnee name for elk, wapati, seems to be in heavy use locally. Hunters come from all over the US (and even the world) for elk season; it is definitely something to think about when hiking around here in the fall, you are probably the only person in the woods without a rifle or bow. The weather forecast for the next few days is not good, I might try something moody or I may get skunked.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Porker Ground Squirrels

This morning I drove back up Elk Mountain Road, this time looking down towards the valley. The foreground is the rolling hills of the edge of the prairie, the background is the Wallowa Mountain Range with the setting moon. It is difficult to relate the absoluteness of the quiet in a location like this, most people never get to hear this kind of noiselessness, no human noise, no wind noise, not even the sound of insects, the silence only broken by the occasional screech of a red-tailed hawk. The ground squirrels must be a tasty treat for these hawks because they are positively obese right now. They look so silly with their chubby bodies as they run across the road, tummies barely clearing the ground. I got my own treat this morning; my husband rode his dirt bike out with a thermos of hot home-roasted espresso for me. A dirt bike would be a very handy painting ride in these parts. I still need to fix where I have one shadow/light edge meeting up exactly with the other one. 

Friday, July 18, 2008

Elk Mountain Aspen

Yesterday afternoon I wanted to go out and paint the layered cumulus clouds shadowing the Zumwalt Prairie. The prairie is the largest remaining grassland of its type in North America. It is currently still covered in wildflowers which helps it not look quite so bleak. I wasn't paying attention and made a wrong turn, which was fortunate for the cowboys we found stranded by their broken down '83 Chevy pickup pulling a horse trailer. We gave one of them a lift into cell phone range so they could summon help. By the time we returned to their pickup (locally called a "rig"), it was too late to paint, but it ended up being an interesting scouting adventure. We looped back on some remote dirt roads running through vast cattle ranches with no people. In one little turn of Elk Mountain road, there were several beautiful stands of aspen that I returned to this morning. I was visited by many deer and a few rabbits. I'll have to wait a little longer to paint on the prairie, and I wish I could return to paint the aspen this autumn; it is definitely a nice location to paint again. The pristine fresh mountain air alone is worth the trip. I would like to fuss with the shapes more in this study, they are a little clunky, but at least I'm painting a little bit looser. 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In A Rut

What it the best way to get out of a painting rut? Paint through it? Take a break? Try something different? Paint something familiar? At first I tried the paint through it approach, that didn't work. Then I took a little break, that didn't work either. Here is plan C, paint something familiar. Next I'll try something different. I thought that in this study I'd try using some thicker paint for fun since this isn't a keeper composition.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Brush Gluttony

I have observed that how many brushes I dirty is an indicator of how my painting turns out. The more brushes to wash, the worse the painting; like somehow grabbing a clean brush is going to fix something that has gone awry. Today I used a lot of brushes. Again, I tried to paint a hero tree. I need to give up on them at least for a while, today's effort was even worse than my last attempt. The good thing though is that I spotted a view on the way back that I'm excited to paint tomorrow morning and it does not have any hero trees. :) And the cherry cobbler turned out perfectly, a nice consolation breakfast after a bad painting morning. 

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Prairie Creek Oxbows

I have had my eye on this scene for a long time. The creek does these perfect snake turns, when the water level was higher last week it was cutting across some of the loops. I have wanted to paint this scene in the winter snow and bare trees, especially when the black angus cattle are visiting the creek for a drink. The trouble is that it is on a main highway with no place to park when there are snow plow mounds on the shoulders. I was hoping for a few cattle this morning, but they were not thirsty yet; the scene feels a little naked to me without them because I always picture them there. Maybe I'll take some reference photos at some point so that I can realistically add them. It was 37 degrees this morning and I froze while painting because I was standing in the shade. The traffic wasn't too bad and thankfully nobody honked at me. Why do people do that? I'm not very happy with this study, it is ill-planned, poorly composed, badly drawn, and overworked for starters. I'll just have to try it again in the snow since that is what I really wanted anyway. Maybe I need to take a little break from painting and do a reset.
          Not sure yet if I will try to paint this afternoon. My agenda for the day is to make sour cherry cobbler. Sour cherries are a NW specialty and are tied with huckleberries for my all time favorite fruit. My mom's sour cherry pies were my childhood favorite. I bought some fresh cherries at the farmer's market yesterday, I wish I had brought my pitter with me on vacation. Who would think to pack that?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Boulders For Bill

One of Bill Cone's favorite subjects to paint is boulders. One of his titled "Bystanders" was even chosen "People's Choice Award" at the 2008 Napa Valley Art Festival. It was a beauty. He is always trying to get me to paint rocks and I always try to wiggle out of it. But when I saw these I had to try to paint them, a little art valentine for Bill to thank him for wanting to work with me again. Of course it is tough to live up to Bill's rock poetry. Junipers are naturally painterly trees because they are an elegant mess. One of the best things I could do to loosen myself up a bit would be to paint lots of junipers. The wind yesterday afternoon created super clean skies this morning, that phthalo turquoise-blue that I only ever see in NE Oregon. The remaining snow on the peaks is dazzling in the ultra clear air.
           The afternoon was very nice and I went out to paint again, however I did not choose well and it ended up being a disaster, trying to take in too much as usual. There are bright pink tiny-flowered fragrant wild roses frequently in the road ditches. When I first set up I thought, "cool, I have wild roses to smell while I paint". Of course then the wind veered and the lovely perfume was replaced by the smell of something decidedly dead. The aroma shift seemed to echo my painting experience. :) And then there were also the ants crawling up my legs and the Scotch thistle poking me that I can't really use as excuses for painting badly. At any rate, here it is:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Morning Brain Fog

Some days it is really difficult to get up before 5am. This morning was one of them. Even with my dogs poking me to get up (my furry alarm clocks), I still struggled. I was in a fog trying to get out the door and kept thinking I was forgetting stuff, go back inside and look around, only to realize that what I was looking for was already in my pocket/car/painting kit. I must have done this at least six times. I never did find my watch however, I think I must have lost it yesterday somewhere. By the time I stopped to paint, about an hour later than usual, the light was past where I wanted it to be, so figuring I had nothing to lose, I intentionally tried to paint something that I knew I would struggle with and probably fail at, but how am I ever going to figure it out unless I keep trying it? It is of a lone multi-branched ponderosa pine with a broken trunk. I think that single trees are extremely difficult to paint because there is nothing to distract you from bad drawing/painting/color/shape/brushwork/etc. The subject doesn't matter anymore because it is all about HOW it is painted. Not sure yet if I'm going to post it, I need to leave it for a bit and look at it with fresh eyes. Last I looked, it was not easy on the eyes. It doesn't look like I'll get an afternoon session in, it is blowing a gale. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Junipers and Herefords

When I got out of my car to set up to paint, there were dozens of cattle near the road. They were skittish and took off bellowing their heads off, warning the calves away. I thought somebody might yell at me for spooking them. They eventually wandered back, all the way up in my face, now bellowing that perhaps they would like me to feed them. 
          I ventured out later to try my hand at some of the delicious afternoon haze that we sometimes get. It was trickier than I expected. My colors looked very different when I got back than I thought I was painting on site (too green overall) so I had to fix them. I had been looking into the sunlight which might have thrown off my color read. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Shade Seeking, Shocking Setup

Yesterday was a bust, I drove to a new area, up the Lostine River canyon. I started out before 5am, not realizing that sun doesn't hit most parts of that canyon until ten o'clock. So it turned into more of a scouting morning than a painting morning. It was too bad because the California wildfire smoke was affecting us this far north with a heavy haze, thus the atmosphere was very painterly. This morning was a bit of a bust too. I returned to the area that had abundant wildflowers thinking I would do another view before they were gone. It kinda got away from me as the raking light changed too quickly and I rushed the composition. Today was a beautiful day and not too windy in the late afternoon (but hot) and I went back out to try to redeem myself. I found an interesting subject of a couple of horses trying to avoid the sun and heat. I need to fix the drawing on the horse legs: Of course, just as I had roughed in the painting, a man drove up with a horse trailer and hauled the horses away. Good thing I took reference photos when I arrived although the horses are in different poses. I like this little study and think it has potential, but I will always remember how badly my feet hurt while painting it. I was standing on a steep ditch bank outside of an electric fence. I tried setting up my tripod on the other side of the fence so I could stand more comfortably, but I kept getting shocked whenever I touched my stuff. So eventually, between the disappearance of my subject and my feet and knees complaining, I thought I'd finish it later.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cloud Patterns

I have tried to paint something like this several times and I will probably do several more studies until I finally get one that I like, hopefully by the end of the summer I will have one. Meanwhile, it is good practice at not getting frustrated, the colors, light, cloud forms and cast shadows all change so quickly. This is another one where I would like to get deeper into the more abstract patterns, I feel like I take a step closer each time.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Ponderosa and the Last of the Snow

I broke with my usual morning painting schedule to paint in the early evening because the weather was overcast in the morning, the remnants of impressive thunderstorms last night (our "fireworks"), and improved later in the day. This location is about 5000+ feet, just at the base of the steep incline of the peaks and the edge of the forest. The road ends just above this point and the only way in is to hike steep switchbacks, one of the more difficult trails into the Eagle Cap Wilderness. This particular area is interesting because there are some isolated mature Ponderosa pine and a few scraggly junipers in meadows. Only a few feet further and the forest is thick with a wide variety of trees. The snow melt is very rapid right now and the creeks (locally pronounced "cricks") and rivers are at or above flood stage. It won't be long now where there will only be snow at the highest north facing elevations. It will soon be time to hike up to a few of the alpine lakes. If I decide to sometime work this one up bigger, I'll subdue the snow in the background more. I also might paint this scene again on a day where there is more atmosphere; it was crystal clear today after the storms and I didn't want to fake atmosphere, I prefer to record what I see in a study.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Wildflowers & Pines

I ventured a little higher in elevation this morning and spotted this area with abundant wildflowers, red-violet lupine and a yellow daisy-type flower that I don't know the name of, in a pine meadow. The sunlight was very soft, filtered by heavy haze. A pair of whitetail posed in the middle of my view that I resisted the temptation to add since they would probably look too precious. An elk would have been more tempting. This is the first study I've done in a while that I am really looking forward to working up into a real painting. This is one I'd love to get lost in the abstract shapes and two dimensional surface plane of the image. I think that the time I spent with Maria Entis last week is having an influence. She has a new website, check out her work: www.mariaentis.com. Another influence from visiting Vancouver, was the art glass work of Robert Held. His studio produces a wide variety of styles, all of which are gorgeous, but here I was thinking about some of his wildflower series that seem to shimmer and glow and are very Klimt-like: www.robertheld.com.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

First Cutting Compositional Fun

The Wallowa Valley is currently a beehive of haymaking activity since it is time for the first hay cutting. This was a fun scene to balance some bolder compositional elements. The sunlight was a softened by haze, but it was another gorgeous morning.