Thursday, September 6, 2012

Oregon Painting No. 1

Things have been busy, but I haven't left my painting by the wayside, no sir. I present to you exhibit A:

Not quite finished, but evidence nonetheless. It's the first of three small paintings that I worked on this summer when Josh and I headed to Portland for our annual anniversary trip. Since Southwest lets you check free bags, I decided to bring my painting stuff along - a test run for Europe, if you will. 

On the first Wednesday of our trip we headed straight to the Columbia Gorge, Portland's wild, lush backyard. I took lots of pictures that should keep me busy painting for months. It's the most beautiful place in the world.

We took the Eagle Creek Trail about 3 miles in, to Punchbowl Falls, and spent the afternoon there. Here's a portion of my trip log describing the experience:

"We started from the trailhead about 11, I think and it took us maybe an hour to get to Punchbowl Falls, about 3 miles away. The hike is mostly uphill, but the scenery is so beautiful you don't notice you're getting tired.

The day was warm, so more people at the falls than usual. The water was SO COLD!! Josh and I took of our shoes and waded to the little cove across the river and unpacked sandwiches and apples.

"It was just... the best. The best to sit and eat a sweet crisp apple, and squint in the light and listen to the thundering waterfall and watch kids squeal and swim in the cold water. Perfect. After we ate and relaxed, Josh hiked up a small hill overlooking the falls where there were some trees to string up his hammock (...) I hadn't really thought about the logistics of lugging my painting stuff across a river - it was a while before I got settled with a good composition in front of me. Things went pretty well, but I've got to learn to paint faster - to fill in my canvas faster. I was very careful to keep my turpentine close and not let it spill into the stream - more because of the looks I'd get from people and less because of environmental concerns (turps are potent, but all-natural). I painted for about an hour and a half, until my backend was good and numb from sitting on rocks. Then came the distinct challenge of maneuvering across the river with a WET painting... I had really not thought this through."

It was a really perfect day. Like I mentioned above, though, I am really going to have to start painting faster. I'll be pretty disappointed if all the paintings I bring home from Europe look like this. I'm hoping the diffiult logistics of wet paintings and of painting in awkward places will be solved by a good wet panel storage box... I should get on that.

More to come!