Sunday, August 30, 2009

Deschutes River

"The Shady Side"
48 x 30 acrylic on canvas with wrapped and painted 2.5" sides

I'd been looking at photos I took last Fall along the upper Deschutes River for months, trying to figure out how I wanted to paint the warm, colorful scene. Suddenly something clicked and a small portion of the upper left part of a photo came into focus. I decided to paint it big. I don't usually paint landscapes on large canvases, preferring to paint them in soft pastel, but when the mood strikes you have to go with it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hosmer Lake in the Cascades

"Hosmer Magic"
26 x 16 image, Soft Pastel
Framed—36 x 26 $1250

Hosmer Lake, just past Elk Lake off the Cascade Lakes Hwy., must be experienced from the water. There is a small, round, deep lake right by the boat launch and then a long arm that twists through bullrushes and waterlillies. The sandy bottom gives the clear water a light seafoam green color. This scene, with leftovers from a forest fire, new growth pines, green water and a type of water plant that looks pink/orange in mass, is an example of natures color not being what goes with this years decor pallette. But, I had to paint it anyway. It was a real challenge. So much detail and color. I scraped off the pastel more than once, which I don't normally do.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Rapids on the River

"River Rush"
26 x 16 image, Soft Pastel
Framed—34 x 24 $1350

The Deschutes River courses right through Bend, OR. This canyon scene is from a 3 mile loop trail that starts in River Bend Park near the Old Mill District. I started this painting as an example of a soft pastel landscape and demoed while being filmed for a segment on Oregon Art Beat (OPB) that will be aired later this year. Some of my best, loosest, paintings have been done while demoing. I attribute this to the fact that because I'm also talking to people my right brain is fully engaged and I'm painting instinctively...not over thinking.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yellow Headed Blackbirds

"Marsh Princes"
9 x 7 image, soft pastel
Framed 12 x 15, $275

I have a thing for blackbirds and have painted the red-winged blackbird lots of times. But on a trip to eastern Oregon I saw the yellow-headed blackbird for the first time. Even the female of this species gets a little color. Whenever you see them they're in charge of their habitat. What painter could pass up trying to capture that beautiful yellow?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fly Fishing for Steelhead

36 x 36 Acrylic on Canvas w/ painted 2.5 wrapped sides


This is a steelhead, in all of it's glory, and some fly fisherperson's highlight of the day. One of the things that made me want to paint this scene is the incredible blue-green color of the water. Capturing the shimmer and motion of the fish and reflections above and below is exciting.
This painting was referenced from a photo by Tim Pask
who generously allowed me to paint from it. I use many of my own photos to paint fish swimming in their natural habitat because I love the reflections of the water and the mystery of their moving forms under the surface. But I'm not set-up to take underwater photos. I always ask permission from photographers to paint from their photos if I see one that intrigues me. The painting is always different from the photo, as my work is impressionistic, but having a good photo is to work from is inspiring.
This painting was also in progress during the filming for Oregon Art Beat (OPB). I wanted to show both a pastel and an acrylic, a landscape and fish painting. Unfortunately at the stage it was in the fish looked suspiciously like a shark! I am depending on KC Cowan to show the final so I won't be embarrassed. Almost every painting has a point where it feels like I may not be able to make it work. Pushing through that defeating place is hard but can be rewarding.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plein Air Painting at Sparks Lake

Sparks Stillness—20 x 12, soft pastel
Framed—25 x 20, $750

Plein air of Penstemon & South Sister—9 x 7 image
Framed—12 x 15, $275

My friend and partner at Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, OR, Tracy Leagjeld and I went up the Cascade Lake Hwy to paint recently. It's only 30 minutes away, but another world. Because I am still recovering from a broken leg we painted from the small parking lot right by the Sparks Lake marsh/meadow where Cascades Penstemon was blooming in profusion. South Sister was peeking up behind the trees and that's where we both painted a plein air piece. We photographed the meadow up the road a bit and there was one deer grazing in the meadow. This spot is one of our favorites to paint from. Both of the paintings are done in soft pastel.