Just returned from the 4 day Pacific Northwest Plein Air event in the beautiful area of the worlds best windsurfing destination, Hood River. Met many new friends and renewed friendships with others. The event is organized with recommended painting destinations, while I did a few of them, I mostly went off with a few others to explore different locations and subject matter. Part of me says I should have stuck with the program and the other part says "why not?" I came out of the event with 3, maybe 4 strong paintings out of 8, every one a delight to work on. Evenings I spent exploring the urban sights that continue to spark my interest. Read on...
This is my first painting (after a quick warmup) set behind the Gorge White House that is trimmed by railroad tracks and fruit warehouses. I deleted the train tracks for a better composition.
On the second day, I split from the group and joined up in the early morning with talented watercolor artist Mike Kowalski to paint the backside of the fruit warehouse just beyond the Gorge White House. I worked very hard on getting my angles right, if I ever did here.
In the afternoon I took a small break and then got in the car and drove 20 miles west to Cascade Locks to join up with artists Anton Pavlenko, Scott Gellatly and Kat Sowa. My work suffered from fatigue from the heat and wind so no painting to show here, but this is the scene in which I was most attracted to....and yes, that is an eagle's nest atop that tall tree!
Urban distractions...a nice composition and possible painting. Looks like Anana's needs a few extra fuses for her neon.
"Road to Mosier Bluff" 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan
So then on down the steep drive to Mayer State Park for some respite from the sun and cool from the water. Temps topped 92.
Several artists came out to Mayer State park to cool off next to the water and protected by the trees for the afternoon location. That night we all gathered at the Taqueria for some grub and a drink, then off to a nocturne in the urban glow of the neon.
Painting this nocturn neon was the highlight (no pun intended) of my trip out to Hood River because I don't often get the opportunity to go out at such hours because of my young family. It's amazing how difficult yet a thrill at the same time it is to paint in the dark. The values rule in this arena, but colors work just as hard here. Didn't get this one in the show because I had no frame for it, so I am bummed I couldn't show it at the Gala this coming Friday night. A dark red underpainting set this one off in the right direction.
"Street Talk" 8x6" Pastel on sanded paper ©Brenda Boylan
The next day I framed and turned in my work early and headed out towards the next destination atop a winery overlooking the entire gorge, but by the time I reached it nearly everyone was out to lunch and went their separate ways. From then on I took it easy because I was beginning to feel a bit ill from a possible exposure to gluten from something I must have ate. The temps were still hot that made for fatigue. I decided I'd leave for home early the next morning having completed 8 works with 4 in the show.
The view from the car of I-84 driving west with the oncoming cool rain clouds. Yes, that's Portland summer weather for ya!