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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Smith Rock

Smith Rock and Crooked River, 12" x 12", oil on board

Getting ready for the Smith Rock Paint out June 20!  I painted this one alla prima from a photo.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sauvie Island

"To the Corn Fields", 12" x 12" oil

After my recent trip to paint out at the Sauvie Island Farm, I decided to revisit the scene from one of my photos from a few years ago, with a similar cloudy sky, using the same colors that were on my palette.
I liked the way some areas were in shadow contrasting with areas in sunshine, and the way the road beckons around the curve.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sauvie Island Farm

"Sauvie Island Farm Barn", oil 11" x 14"

"Peach Trees", oil 11" x 14"

Plein Air is full of changes, teaching one to "go with the flow".  On a recent visit to Sauvie Island Farm. the day was cloudy, then breezy, then sunny and hot.  I started out facing some flowering sage with dill and other greenery in front of the barn and distant hills.  After awhile, the sun came out with such glare on the painting and palette that I could barely see.  I left that one unfinished and started another in the shade of the peach orchard.  I don't bring an umbrella because they tend to get blown over by the wind, and it's just another item along with essentials, like painting supplies, camera and lunch.  The sage flowers were finished later in my studio.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Smith Rock

"Desert Dawn" 11" x 14", oil

Preparing for the Smith Rock Paint Out in a few weeks, I painted this from a reference photo by Steve Giardini, Bend photographer. His website has other beautiful views of Smith Rock and central Oregon:  I love the golden colors at dawn reflecting off the rocks, which would be difficult to capture painting plein air.