Friday, July 24, 2009


After visiting galleries in Astoria, I drive to the beach at Seaside. It is carousel time for gulls. They follow the leader in swirls and swoops, following the curves of the clouds. I watch them for some time before getting my paints out of the car and dragging the little wheels of my cart across the sand (which doesn’t work very well.)

I have a new box for my paint tubes, called a Really Useful Box. What makes it so very useful is that it comes in such a variety of shapes and sizes that one of them has got to be right. This one is exactly right for my little bottles of medium and oil to stand upright, which should take care of some of the leaking problem I’ve been having.

My painting today begins with the sky, which has a curious mix of violet clouds and turquoise clearings. The violets go beautifully with the beach grass and shadows, so I plan patches of grass. A bystander asks why I didn’t put the big black tangle of driftwood roots in. I explain a little about certain subjects stealing the show, but he isn’t listening. Maybe a better answer would have been, “Oh, that’s a good idea, why didn’t I think of it?” Everyone has their own idea of essential scenery.

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