Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This is a favorite paint spot of mine. There is no one here except me. The picnic shelter has been closed up for the season, it’s midweek so the traffic on the highway is down, and I have a spectacular view of beacon rock and the Columbia River.
Several other creatures are happy about the quiet as well. There’s a bird with a funny whooping call, and a frog that sounds as though it’s nearby, though frog calls can be deceptive.
I begin my painting in full sun. Quickly, a high haze moves in, changing the sky color and the intensity of the shadows. I stick with my pattern, and use the new colors. After about an hour, I stretch out on one of the picnic tables and rest my back.
An 18 by 24 painting is a real stretch for me en plein air. I keep pushing myself to do them, hoping they will get easier with time. After another hour and a half of painting, I am becoming impatient. I wish I had the time to just walk away from this for a half hour. Unfortunately, I have left the foreground for last, the place where I need the most detail. This means that my fatigue is keeping me from putting in as much as I meant to. Either I will have to get faster, or I will have to find ways of planning around my fatigue.
The canvas is covered–twice. I am out of time; the painting is, perforce, done.

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