NPS Hood River Paint-Out

This past week I've been fortunate enough to make my way on a day by day basis to the NPS Hood River Paint-out. This group of pastelists paint with a well planned agenda of beautiful scenery. Driving east from Portland down the Columbia River Gorge is spectacular, but what really caught my eye was how clear the sky is and how the greens are much warmer. Here is my work from the two full days I was able to attend, driving some 75 miles in one direction. My first stop is at Rasmussen Farms in the Hood River valley just 5 miles south of Hood River. The orchards are so plentiful and the sweet smell of the fruit filled my senses as I painted this scene of the farmer's shed and garden of dahlias.

"Rasmussen's Garden" 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper

The warmer colors of the pre-autumn weather dictated the bright orange under paintings of my work. The moment I put a swipe of light blue into the sky, my eyes wet with excitement to see what would come of this painting. Gotta love that excitement!

My second day of travel to the area was breathtaking. We took off to Parkdale, 13 miles south of Hood River, to this small farmer's community with a tool shop, pump station, & antique store. A quintessential small town community. Parkdale hosts a turnaround destination for the Hood River Railroad, offering day trips through the fruit orchards and views of Mt. Hood. Hood River is well known around the world as a Wind Surfing destination because of it's strong breezes. Thankfully there was barely a breeze to blow down my easel. Sorry windsurfer's, it's our turn now!

"Hutson Barn" 6x9" Pastel on sanded paper

My intension with this barn was to quickly block in the color and keep it simple. I'm liking the simplicity and conservation of stroke on this one.

"Gorge Colors" 6x9" Pastel on sanded paper

The last stop of my day 2 trip brought me to an incredible west facing view of the Gorge. I decided to paint at the edge of the cliff (it had a chain link fence to keep me secure) as I drank in the view. There sure was a lot of information to take in so I tried to keep the cliffs somewhat simplified while making them recede. I rounded the piece off with a little repetitious pattern of the orchards to compliment the cliffside patterns.

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