Sunday, July 5, 2009


Rick and I head up the Columbia Gorge for an art day. We begin with the Hudson River School exhibit at Maryhill Museum of Art. It is a real treat to see these works in person, to see the full rich glow of the oil paints, to get nose up to the painting and see the tiny brushwork. The paintings in this exhibit are all of modest dimensions, and I am primed to seek out more of them at other art museums. Most of all, I would like to know how much these artists worked outdoors. My clear favorites are those with limited light, with warm notes bounced around the landscape.

Our second art treat is Celeste Bergin’s plein air show at The Gorge White House. Her little gems are dotted throughout the living room, to be viewed at leisure with some tastes of wine. Some of these paintings I know from watching their progress. I love going through them one by one, talking over the art with Celeste.

Now I’m inspired to paint. Rick suggests a particular winery, where he thinks the scenery will be fine, but we cannot find it. We head up to Panorama Point. So does the wind. While I am painting a scene of Mt. Hood across the valley’s orchards and vinyards, clouds whip in, stacking against the mountain. Wind whips around the shelter, blowing my hat off. My easel, thankfully, stays stable, but I don’t even think of putting up an umbrella.

A single hawk takes pleasure in the currents, lifted by the heat of the day. There he is in the painting, a small speck compared to the mountain that commands so much landscape.


Celeste Bergin said...

Hey Karen! Thanks so much for the mention...and thanks most of all for coming to see my exhibit at the White House. I put our photo on my blog! I love this painting that you did at the end of the day--did you get your hat back?

Karen E. Lewis said...

Yep. I caught it just before it hit my painting.