August is a month full of sunshine, hiking, biking, and painting. These are some of the places that caught my eye on my journey of life in the Pacific Northwest. Smith Rocks is always on my destination list, the Skagit River never ceases to amaze me and our local trees which are prolific are always at my beck and call.
Over the winter months Shaw Island gets fog and storms like the rest of the San Juan Islands. This quiet winter scene struck me as so representative of life there on the Island. A foggy morning moving toward a bright winter day revealing the life experience every day.
On our recent road trip we stopped for a few days at Sun Lakes Dry Falls State Park in Eastern Washington. I was there last year but didn't get a chance to paint much. I knew I had to come back to this location and try an put the emotion of the morning scene on canvas. The wind was blowing, I had to strap my pack to my tripod to keep it from blowing away, and I was standing on a rocky precipice, hoping I wouldn't step back and fall into the water below. During my time there, I watched a hawk dive into the water after a fish, and enjoyed the company of several fishermen paddling around on the water. The joy of capturing the scene combined with my love of the outdoors made for a lovely morning and my memories of it shall be with me for a long time. The scene below was done the day before we left, morning in the basin. Such a unique place this is.
One of the destinations on my recent road trip was to Smith Rocks just outside of Redmond Oregon. This place is the destination for rock climbers who scale these rocks just for fun! I have visited this place of beauty in the past since my step daughter lives over there, and this was one of the scenes I had on my list to paint. I focused on the rock structures to near completion but laying in the foreground very broadly, no detail. I then took this 9x12 painting to my studio to complete the foreground. I especially liked the halation of the rocks meeting the light in the sky. There were a few clouds but mostly the morning light was lovely. This set of rocks angled sideways to the sun so that the light hit the peaks but not the lower face.
When the tulips fields are all that one can see for miles, and visitors in the valley, it is what we must paint. So, with my learning curve still rising I have done several paintings of these vast fields of colorful flowers. Each time the work brings new knowledge to what I am doing. As compared to the previous posting, this has linear perspective as well as atmospheric perspective which is an important part of creating landscape paintings. Oil on linen, 8x14.
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival always brings bus loads of people into the nearby fields to see the spectacular site of tulips blooming in broad sweeps of color. A couple of mornings ago there was a break in the rain and I called Karen to go paint. The wind was cold and blowing and I was bundled up in hat and coat. I had just finished this scene and put my work away. I turned around to look at the distant view on the opposite side of the road and to my dismay there marching quickly upon us was a terrific rain storm. We threw our belongings into the car with great haste only missing the downpour by about 1 minute. SPRING! Ha!
The many times I have walked out on the Padilla Bay trail have blessed me with such beautiful sunsets and glorious days it is worth repeating on canvas. This area is full of bird life, dramatic clouds and reflections. This piece is 12x24, oil on canvas.
It is such a lovely time to be in a gallery and know that my paintings are appreciated. This scene looking from the Bayview trail towards Canada just went to a gallery. It has been loved and treasured in my living room for a few years but now it is time for a new home.
Edison is a very small town which has 3 art galleries, a bakery with food that makes you want to taste everything, and a few restaurants which keep visitors coming back. Only one road through town which takes about 1 minute to drive through, but people seem to come there on a regular basis. One of my art friends (whose works I have several of) lived there and painted scenes like this in pastel. The slough is part of this town and the ocean sound is just seconds away. This is one of my favorite places to visit, only about 10 miles from home, and I was lucky to have a sunny day. Oil on masonite 8x14.
"Cinco de Mayo in the Skagit Valley is a wonderful celebration of the Mexican population, their contribution to the valley's culture and the work they do. Many of the children of these farm working families need after hour school support. The Children of the Valley organization was formed to "provide a positive, caring, and supportive environment for children of low-income families" during those hours. The organization holds an annual fund raising event on the weekend of Cinco de Mayo and artists are invited to contribute a painting or two for this event. Last year I had one painting to offer and this year I will contribute two. It is a fun time to rub elbows with the community and give something back which makes me happy. Below are the two works for my entry. Each of these oil paintings is on 6x6 masonite, unframed. http://childrenofthevalleymv.org