Wednesday, December 30, 2015

 Acorn Squash, 8" x 8" board
 Fall Tree, 8" x 10" canvas
Fall Walk, 11" x 14"
Continuing with painting Fall colors although Winter is definitely here, with short gloomy days and lots of rain.  Luckily I have lots of photos taken during my walks around Mt. Tabor and Montavilla of brilliant color.  The acorn squash has been a center piece on my dining table for weeks, and unlike other still life subjects, it did not wilt, rot or get eaten, so I've set it up with some dried leaves and completed one small still life painting.  The two others are from my photos.  Can there be too much cadmium orange?  I seem to have a need for it, like vitamin D.  Today was a clear, bright, cold Winter day and I got out to see a different kind of beauty, a different palette to explore.

Note to followers, fans, and visitors to this blog:  The Google folks announced that to follow this blog, you must set up a Google account.  Please do!  I welcome your comments here or email me at:  Hoping you are having a wonderful holiday season!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Fall Meadow, oil 12" x 16"

This Fall Meadow is loosely based on a meadow at Kat's blueberry farm in Sauvie Island where I have painted plein air in the summer.  I don't know if the trees really turn this orange, but the end of fall/beginning of winter makes me crave bright, warm colors, especially cadmium orange.  More yellows, golds, oranges and reds to come!  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Red Ridge, Central Oregon, oil 8" x 8"

Another 8" square panel that did not work out in time for the Big 500, had to scrape it off and re-do
the red ridge.  Lately I've been enjoying scraping and wiping off as much as painting!  There is something about the dramatic shapes and colors of the painted hills near Prineville and Oregon central desert geography that sometimes looks unreal in a painting.  So I just keep trying to capture the rugged beauty.

Friday, December 11, 2015

 Fall Day, acrylic 8" x 8" framed

Some of my paintings on view at One Der Gallery, Pioneer Place Mall, Third Floor, all priced below $100!

 Smith Rock, oil 6" x 6" gallery wrapped canvas
Sunflower Bouquet, oil 8" x 8" framed

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Crown Point Vista House
Sunflowers, Sauvie Island

The Big 500 opening is almost here!  These are some of my oil paintings that will be on view among around 5000 works of art, all 8" square, on view at Peoples Art of Portland starting this Saturday at Pioneer Place Mall, Third Floor.  This will be a huge art experience!  Also on the 3rd floor is the One Der Gallery, all works of art at $100 or less.  Some of my oil and acrylic paintings are available there.  All art works are cash & carry and they disappear fast!

Friday, November 13, 2015

 Lewis River
 Sauvie Island Pasture
Summer Haze, Powell Butte
Three more for the Big 500 to be held at People's Art of Portland, Pioneer Place.  I've completed 10 panels, not all published here, you might have to go to the gallery to see them all (along with thousands of others). From what I've heard, the first day there will be a throng of art lovers buying these under priced little 8" gems for holiday gifts.  The first big reception/party/sale will be Saturday, December 12, 2pm-9pm, and there will be a second reception December 19.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

 Cooper Mountain 
 Rocky Point
 Crown Point
Columbia Gorge at Rooster Rock State Park
Four of the ten panels I'm doing for the Big 500 show!  All are 8" x 8" and will be on display at the Pioneer Place Mall, 3rd floor at the Peoples Art of Portland Gallery, opening December 12.  All panels will be sold for $40, (a great bargain!) with part of the proceeds going to the Oregon Food Bank.  I'm really enjoying this, hope to complete all 10 in time, and looking forward to seeing the show, it's really BIG!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A sandhill crane painted in oil on a 6" x 6" canvas for the Wild Arts Festival, my contribution for the Audubon Society of Portland.  The Festival will be November 21 - 22 at Montgomery Park, with all sorts of nature themed art including the donated 6" paintings, which sell for $45 each.  Since the sides of the canvas are 2" deep, they are also painted with some of the rest of the crane suggested.  My emphasis was on the wings, they make me want to fly!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

 Columbia Gorge October, 9" x 12"
Crown Point from Rooster Rock State Park, 9" x 12"

Plein air in the Columbia Gorge, a great way to spend an Autumn day!  The river level is low, revealing sand and grasses.  Deciduous trees at Rooster Rock State Park are turning gold and orange.  Morning fog turned to changing clouds with sunlight causing sparkle and glow.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Farm Road, Sauvie Island, 12" x 12"

One of my paintings sold at last Sunday's Open House at Broadway Remax!  It gives me great pleasure to see "Farm Road" going to a new home.  A portion of the proceeds from this sale will go to benefit NW Kidney Kids, a wonderful cause.  The theme this year is "On our Streets", so I selected paintings of local scenes where I have visited and painted en plein air.  The remaining paintings will be on exhibit at least through December, and can be seen during regular business hours.

 Cooper Mountain Vineyard, 12" x 12"
Farmers Market, Downtown Portland, 10" x 16"

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Cooper Mountain October Afternoon, 11" x 14" oil

My second plein air painting done during the Washington County Plein Air event at Cooper Mountain Nature Park, which has been finished in my studio.  I painted beside the Little Prairie trail with views of the Tualatin valley and distant Chehalem Mountains. Now that the "wet paint sale" at Pumpkin Ridge Ghost Creek Golf Club is over, this painting will be on the wall at O'Connors Cafe  in Multnomah Village.  The first painting, October Morning Walk, will be on display at Sequoia Gallery in Hillsboro.

Friday, October 2, 2015

 October Morning Walk, 9" x 12" oil
Cooper Mountain October Afternoon, 11" x 14" oil

Back to Cooper Mountain Nature Park in Beaverton to paint plein air, this time as part of the Plein Air at Washington County event.  This morning was cloudy and I set up along a path with views of the mountains beyond.  The Nature Park is home to many creatures, some heard but unseen.  A woman walking by shared an audio recorded minutes before of coyotes "singing".  By the second painting in the afternoon, the clouds had not cleared and were threatening rain, so I painted quickly!  Both paintings have been framed and will be part of the Plein Air Show and Sale at Pumpkin Ridge Ghost Creek Gold Club in North Plains, October 4, then one painting will go to the Sequoia Gallery in Hillsboro for the month of October.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Plein Air

  Cooper Mountain Vista, 9" x 12"
Vineyard Grapes 9" x 12"

Two more plein air paintings from another visit to Cooper Mountain Vineyard, not as warm and sunny this time.  The grapes were glowing, just about ready to be picked, early this year because of the dry season. Hope it's a good year for the wine!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Ford Truck with Sunflowers, oil 11" x 14" canvas

I've admired and sketched this rusty old Ford truck in passing several times.  Parked in front of Old House Dahlias, it merges with the garden.  Sometimes there is also a shiny green "classic" truck, but I prefer the rusty faded one, at least as a subject for painting!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bridge Party

 Tilikum Bridge First Light, 11" x 14" oil  $235
Towers of Light, Tilikum Bridge, 11" x 14" oil $235

Had a wonderful time yesterday at a paint out plus party on a terrace overlooking the Willamette River and the new Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People.  Tilikum means people in the Chinook dialect.  The occasion, sponsored by Trimet, was to celebrate the bridge opening, the nation's first bridge which excludes cars and trucks, just people on foot or bicycle and the new MAX Orange Line connecting Portland and Milwaukie.  This was the night of the first bridge lighting, which is programmed to change color linked to changes in the river.  Since we were painting in the afternoon, I made color studies of photos posted on the Internet of the lighting tests and blended those colors with the real view of the bridge on this sunny, clear day.
Tilikum Bridge Color Study, 6" x 12" oil 
Bridge Lighting Color Studies, oil pastel on paper

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

My neighborhood

Red Door, Mount Tabor 12" x 16" oil on canvas

There is an unpaved road that I sometimes pass by on my walks around Mount Tabor  that looks more like a country road than an urban neighborhood street, which is why I like it.  There is a vacant lot full of yellowing weeds in front of the house with the red door.  So much more interesting to paint than a flat grass lawn!  The telephone pole is leaning and looks more like a tree.  The road curves up the hill and disappears.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Plein Air at the Villa

 Villa Catalana Stone House 11" x 14", oil on canvas board $150
 Villa Catalana Lotus Pond 14" x 18", oil on gallery wrapped canvas $350

Last Saturday was the second annual garden party at Villa Catalana where artists were invited to paint plein air.  The gardens are sumptuous with rare plants and a large pond with lotus flowers.  A jazz band played on a gazebo overlooking the pond while guests strolled with glasses of Villa Catalana Cellars wine.  Although the location is in Oregon City, it felt like a vacation in Spain or Italy!  The air was hazy with wind blown ash from wildfires east of the Cascades, but it was still beautiful, especially the vivid orange sunset.  I painted the Villa Catalana Stone House that afternoon, and brought with me several paintings from last year including the Villa Catalana Lotus Pond.    Art, music, fine wine: a lovely day!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Paint out

 Cooper Mountain View 11" x 14", oil on canvas board

 Vineyard, 12" x 12", oil on gallery wrapped canvas

Had a wonderful time at a workshop with Don Bishop, arranged by the Roaming Studio, at Cooper Mountain Vineyards.  It's so amazing to find such a gorgeous view just outside Portland and the suburbs of Beaverton.  The sample of pinot noir was part of the pleasure of this day!  The first painting was done alla prima on site, the second one from my photo.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Plein Air

 Sauvie Africa, 9"x12" oil
 Sauvie Africa Reflections, 9"x12" oil
There is a place on Sauvie Island down a gravel road and through a cattle gate called "Africa" because it seems so remote and wild.  Instead of wildebeests, cattle graze and gather under shady trees.  The weather was cool and cloudy, a welcome relief from recent heat.  Light stayed constant throughout the day, easier for plein air painting.  I painted two studies, both on 9" x 12" canvas panels.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Hazy Summery Memories

Another painting that just happened, just from memory or imagination.  This started as a paint over on top of another painting that had lots of texture, so gobs of paint and more texture added to layers.  Actually it was two old paintings that did not satisfy, so there was no risk in trying something completely different.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Fantasy Meadow 11" x 14" oil on canvas

This is one where my imagination just took over.  Some time ago I was painting plein air at Sauvie Island where there were beautiful views all around.  I took some photos for future reference of an old dead oak tree that was surrounded by shrubs with white blossoms.  That was the starting point for this painting, but the tree looked too stark.  So I adding more flowers, the dead tree disappeared and orange flowers appeared, and more trees in the distance.  It's as if the dead tree decomposed and created new life.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Another day, another creek

Sticks & Stones 9" x 12", oil on panel

painting plein air on my easel
The summer days are hot, my studio is air conditioned, but sometimes I just need to be out in nature, so I returned to one of my favorite cool spots along Johnson Creek.  I've painted here previously, but in acrylic, and the creek is always changing, so it was pleasantly familiar but a different experience.  "Everything flows and nothing stays" - Heraclitus.  The creek flowed over rocks and branches, little boys splashed rocks and girls waded in search of pretty snail shells.  And the light changed.  Some studio work clarified the scene and photos will be the source of future cool scenes.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cool Creek

"Crystal Springs Creek", oil on 12" x 16" canvas

A few weeks ago I went to paint plein air along Crystal Springs Creek.  I liked this view but just took some photos and set up in a shady spot nearby.  That plein air painting went through several transformations, ultimately unsuccessful.  So I returned to my photo of this view of the creek flowing under a small bridge, with distant plum trees and lots of cool greens.  A cool painting for a hot day here in Portland!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Smith Rock

 Smith Rock Through Juniper, oil 11" x 14"

With my plein air painting and sister Valerie Smith

Back from Central Oregon after the Smith Rock Paint Out with my painting, since it was not accepted into the Redmond Airport Show.  The good news was that my sister Valerie's painting was accepted!  The other good news was that I continued working on my painting and now am satisfied with it.  Perhaps it was more realistic before with brownish craggy rocks, but I like the warmer, softer rocks receding back behind the tree, and the lighter, cooler green of distant sagebrush.  Smith Rock is made of basalt and tuff, and my initial title was "That's Tuff"!  Then I changed it to a more generic "High Desert Light", now "Smith Rock Through Juniper".  As usual, the paint out was challenging, hot, inspiring, and fun!

My sister Valerie Y. Smith is an accomplished equine artist with paintings on exhibit at Circle of Friends Art Gallery in Tumalo and Galerie Roger in Prineville.