Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Today I take my class to Carter Bridge Rapids on the Clackamas River. The weatherman promised no rain, so I didn’t bring my tent. There are other challenges, though. Footing under the bridge where we are painting is extremely rocky and rough. Walking up and down the boulders is difficult for all of us, and makes it difficult to teach. I can see that not only do I have to consider weather, teaching topic, driving distance, walking distance, restrooms, and compositional elements, but I must include footing as well. Luckily, everyone is careful walking around and we meet the challenge unscathed.
This rapids is one of my favorite painting subjects. It offers a variety of approaches, zooming in to one of the spills, filling the page with the falls, or even pulling back to show the mountain in the background. I love the basalt cliffs and the hints of warms in the rocks. They work against the green of the water with an energetic palette. Here’s my painting. The foreground rocks need some work. Later. Climbing on these rocks is tiring.
The river valley funnels wind under the bridge. Here it is, a fine June day, and we are all in jackets. Next to my painting spot, a tire swing suggests a swim in the cool green water. Not today, thanks.

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