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Friday, August 18, 2006

Plein Air Camping

I love plein air camping! Our valley painting group traveled to Central Oregon Tues. & Wed. this week and painted at Smith Rocks one day and on the Metolius River the next. What a treat! Took the Hub and daughter along and they had epic hiking around Smith Rocks while I painted in the shade of a scrubby tree on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Crooked River. I had 4 visitors while working---another artist friend, a couple checking out the view and a cute little chipmunk! It was a real challange painting the rocks---the shadows changed so much from the noon start to my quitting time of 2:30---the photo shown is from the 2:30 time---much more interesting than the flat light at noon---I plan to add some of those great shadows eventually.

Below shows a lot of the great work the other artists did while there that day---my pastel is the 4th from the right on the black easel with two others below on the ground.

That night we camped on the Metolius River, and I expected the next day to go out in the car in search of the perfect painting site before realizing I was already there! This view was right next to our campsite looking south. It was so great to just set up and go to work without having to waste time hunting for something else + I then was able to hang with my camping pals who were happy to sit around the campfire sipping coffee, feeding bread bits to the chipmunks, and cooking & sharing hot dog bites!

I'm real pleased with my painting---it came together so easily, and the lighting was fabulous. The sun did move behind my trees eventually, changing the foreground shadows completely so I'm hoping to finish that part still. I also plan to add the fly fisherman that showed up as I was beginning my painting---I took several digital photos of him as he cast his line, but he left before I got to painting the river so wasn't able to add him while there.

Later that day we hiked in to see this amazing springs just roaring out of the opposite bank on the Metolius River---the Hub shot 4 panorama pics which I was able to merge in Adobe Photo Elements---All in all a terrific experience with the family!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Unfinished painting

Here's the painting of the Calapooia river in the park at Brownsville---unfinished, but almost. The photo I took of this area doesn't show all the color that real-life contained---the reason painting plein air is such a joy---however I did get constant moving shadows while working---one of the plein air hazards!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Another painting day---we visited Brownsville yesterday---the third oldest town in Oregon. An elderly gentleman buzzing around town on his red scooter informed me of this fact. Rode there with 3 other painters, somewhat reluctant since I'd painted there before and wasn't in the mood to do buildings. I wandered the town dragging all my supplies up and down neighborhoods and downtown looking for that ideal spot & ended up in a park I'd never seen before. Leaving my stuff I went to explore hoping to find a vista or view that inspired me. Quick look showed me just ball fields, play grounds and picnic shelters until I headed for what I was hoping would be a stream. I discovered 2 of my carpool pals happily painting away on the banks of the Calapooia river---car parked nearby! Yay! I was thrilled to find a marvelous view and that I'd not need to haul all my crap back up the hill I'd just descended! We worked a couple of hours before heading back to our meeting site where we enjoyed everyone elses paintings, then as we took off for home, Tom our driver offered to take Ross to see where we'd been painting. Ross had worked on a terrific ink drawing of one of the downtown buildings. As we pulled up to "our" spot in the park, we noticed a straw cowboy hat, tackle box and bucket near the picnic table where Tom had been working---yep, it was his stuff! Dee & I had headed to the bathroom before we'd left, and Tom graciously picked us up there, so I hadn't been able to do my quick once over of where we'd been working before Tom left. I knew my stuff had been packed up, but never realized Tom was leaving a bunch of his stuff there! He was pleased it was still there, and we hung out chatting with other painters that had come over after our lunch gathering to see where we'd been working.

Here's the southern river view that I painted:

And my pal Tom, working away in watercolor---looking north---note the straw hat on the picnic table---and a glimpse of the open tackle box full of paint...:

And lastly, here's a cool house in Brownsville---we had our "show & tell" outside---you can see Tom's painting and mine in the lower left corner:

I'll try to get a shot of my painting later today and post it---I'm real pleased with it!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dancing Oaks part III

Well I said I'd post some favorite photos from Dancing Oaks Nursery of my daughter---and here they are---starting with a "before" shot---can you believe this little imp has become this grown up girl? I sure can't---even tho I hang out with her daily!

Now some of the after pics----where did my baby go? (ok, I know, she's in the other room waiting for her turn on this computer....ok, ok, I'll hurry up!)

next on the agenda, beach pics---but first I need to get my living-away-from-home daughter to make me a cd of her pics & get my film developed. I'll shoot some of my garden today---toodles!