|All I Ever Wanted 6x6 plein air pastel N Equall|
This past month has been bananas! Like the rest of my crazy life, everything happens at once, and September has been no exception. I participated in three plein air competitions, had 15 paintings in two group shows, and have been preparing for the Fall Home and Garden Show at the expo here in Portland, OR which will set up Oct 2.
|May Days 6x6 plein air pastel N Equall|
At the end of August, I went to the Columbia River gorge to participate in Northwest Plein Air 2013, a juried plein air event put on by the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River, OR. A juried event is one where the artists submit an application with examples of their work and the organizers choose who they want to participate, in this case 35 artists. This was my third year participating in this event. I rented a great one room cabin in White Salmon, WA using www.airbnb.com. It was just across the Columbia river from Hood River,and served as a peaceful home base during the five day paintout. For this event, each artist could submit up to five paintings at the end of the five days of painting, all done in plein air, meaning they were all painted outdoors in the open air, and had to be painted within the past year.
|Fluorescence 11x14 plein air pastel|
Then there is the problem of where to paint. The gorge and surrounding areas are stunning, but deciding exactly where to paint can be a real problem. The organizers had suggested painting locations every day, and they were all terrific. I have to find some type of connection, inspiration or emotion with the landscape if I hope to come up with a painting that pleases me. That little piece of the puzzle can be elusive. It's always such a relief when an idea for a painting floats up to the surface like the answer on a Crazy 8 ball.
I struggled a bit, but finally came up with three paintings that I wasn't embarrassed to let people see. I spent my last day at a nice quiet park with a boat launch on the Washington side of the river where I touched up and framed my finished paintings. I really wished I had found that park earlier in the weekend, because it had a beautiful brushy wetland area with the gorge as its backdrop. Next year.
As Labor Day weekend came to a close, I turned my paintings and cabin keys in a day early, and drove back to Portland to spend an extra night at home to do laundry, regroup and repack the car before driving to Roseburg, OR to participate in Umpqua Plein Air 2013.
The Plein Air Northwest show at the Columbia Center for the Arts in Hood River, OR will be up thru September 29.