Saturday, March 8, 2008

Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach offered us a cloudy morning, but by the time my husband, Rick, and I have finished visiting galleries the gray is burning off, leaving behind a clean, cobalt sky garnished with golden mist. We find a small beach access park to the north of Ecola Creek, with a lovely view of the creek as it meanders toward the ocean. I set up my easel on a pile of basalt, about 6 inches above sea level, find a way to attach the latest umbrella to the back, and begin to paint, facing straight into the sun.
Across the creek, clusters of people wander across the sand, looking very much like the footless figures of stylized paintings, with their boxy chests and legs that disappear into points. A bit of leftover cloud sneaks around the back and at the knees of haystack rock. The sun reflects off the rocks at my back, and I feel warm and welcome.
Families with small children look at me curiously. "Can we go swimming? There’s a lifeguard." I point out that, since I am distracted by my painting, I would make a very poor lifeguard. A small boy wants to know what everything is in my setup. "Are those your colors? How does the box stay open?" Somehow, amid all the distractions, I finish the painting, and drag my supply case back over the sand. What a great first paint day of the season!

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