Thursday, July 2, 2009
VINES DOWN THE HILL
Up a winding gravel road sits a vineyard and winery, in the hills around Dundee. These hills, besides being packed with wineries, have spectacular views of quilted farm country, with distant Cascades foothills.
Today the air is hot, and heavy with atmosphere, hazing the distance into nothingness. Kelly and I choose a view where the wine rows open out in front of us, creating an expanse of space. The light this morning is perfect, shadowed on one side of the vines, and glowing through the grape leaves on the other. We must paint the foreground first, before the light shifts and our shadow patterns disappear.
Hawks soar overhead, scouring the bare earth between the vines. We back up into shade under some pines, with cones crunching under our feet. As the sun swings overhead, I put up my umbrella. The very last things we paint are the dark trunks of the grape vines.
Afterward, we settle on the shaded porch to taste wine and have lunch. I stop for fresh raspberries on the way home. A perfect painting day.