Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Black Butte Willows, Oil on panel 9 x 12
Sally O'Neill and I head over to Black Butte Ranch, where we will take part in the National Forest Foundation's annual paintout.  This is a totally new area to us, so we are arriving the day before.  We check out several locations in the mid-afternoon, trying to guess where the shadows will lie during the morning of the competition.  After selecting several possibilities, we settle in for a warmup painting.  We are halfway into the work when wind starts gusting across the meadow and lake.  I fight with my umbrella, feeling a bit like Mary Poppins as it nearly lifts me off my feet.  I end up finishing the painting in full sunlight, with my feet braced on the easel to keep it from blowing over.

Willow Shadows and Aspen, oil 12 x 16, SOLD
First thing the next morning, the shadows are long and inviting.  We are wishing we could start painting at 7 instead of waiting until 9.  But we have to get our canvas stamped for the official paintout.  The lake starts out glassy, then as the morning warms up, little breezes tease the surface into riffles.

There are lots of distractions.  People walk by, wondering what 40 painters are doing around the lake.  An art class arrives, and some kids join us in concentrating over their easels.  Boaters and paddle boarders dot the lake.  A fishing class convenes in the meadow on the far side.

We finish our paintings, frame them, and turn them in for the show that begins at 1.  Willow Shadows and Aspen is gifted with the Artists' Choice award.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Crooked River Ranch Sunset, 9 x 12 oil

We snuck in a sunset painting in between showers.  You can't see the bunnies in the grass, but they're there.  And quail.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Rimrock and Lodgepole Pine, 12 x 24 oil
We are staying at Crooked River Ranch cabins.  This is our view. This morning, we get up, and the weather is pretty cloudy and showery.  We take advantage of a few breaks in the weather to stand on the patch of green lawn and paint the rimrock.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Crooked River Colors, 16 x 12 oil
We get up at dawn and hit the ground early for the Smith Rock Paint-out.  With the morning sun on the rock and blue sky reflected in the water, I can't resist the river scene.  It's a perfect day to sit on the rim under a broad umbrella, watching the flickering light on the river and the ups and downs of climbers.  From here they look like little ants.  Only from my climbing experience am I able to decipher what the little dots of color are doing down there.  I paint the climbers with little touches of my number 8 filbert.

Starting up the Crack, 8 x 6 oil
Jurying is a long wait, but a park ranger entertains us with fascinating facts about the history and wildlife in the park.  At the end of the wait, I find that both of my paintings have been accepted for the show.  They are currently on exhibit at Redmond Municipal Airport, along with 20+ other paintings from the paint-out.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Staender Ridge Sunlit, 6 x 8 oil
Sally and I reach Smith Rock in early afternoon, and tromp around the rim and the valley scouting out places to paint in tomorrow's competition.  It's a gorgeous day, not too hot, and were it not ridiculous in my condition, I'd be abandoning the painting and joining the rock climbers.
Things have changed since the days when I was climbing.  Most of the routes look to be bolted, and a lot of climbers are top-roping.  There are chalk paths up a lot of the routes... not that we never used chalk, but sheesh! We see a lot of long poles with clips at the end, whose use I can imagine, but really don't know.  I miss the jingle of racks.
My artist's eye sees the rocks in a new light: where are they reddest, what shapes do they make, what are the typical climbers' poses.  We leave the valley, find a place to set up that is not so difficult to access with our equipment, and do an evening painting.