Back from the Gorge; a plein air painter's paradise!

Looking west down the Columbia River in the late afternoon. Notice how light the water is than the sky.

I'm back from the Pacific Northwest Plein Air event and finally posting my experience. The region is so beautiful I didn't want to come back home to suburbia, but I missed my family ever so much. Let me tell you...the scenery is intoxicating, and makes me itch to return to paint more. Everywhere I looked, there was another painting to create right before my eyes! The terrain is varied with high cliffs, lakes, waterfalls, mountains, golden hills full of blonde grass, farms with fruit and vineyards rowing the hillsides under the warm sunlight...and wind! Oh yes, the wind! Luckily I didn't lose my painting hat over this cliff!

"Blueberries, Pears and Adams" 10x8 Pastel on sanded paper (incomplete)

"Hillside Patterns" 10x8" Pastel on sanded paper

The first day out was spent at the Gorge White House. It is an old farmhouse that serves as a wine tasting room with a fruit stand, scenic views of flower fields, fruit trees and dramatic views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. I painted these two pieces and by 1:00 the gusty wind started to pick up. Packed up my easel and I set out to visit with fellow artists Thomas Kitts and James McGrew on the upper summer porch of the White House over a complimentary glass of wine. (Thanks Thomas!)

The wind finally died down a bit so we set out to paint a very quick 1 hour piece just before our taco dinner with the other artists.

"Dark Clouds Over Color" 8x6" Pastel on sanded paper

The 2nd day the artists split up and went their separate ways because the proposed location (Mt. Hood) was hosting it's Hood to Coast event. Not a great idea of peace and beauty when there are 12,000 runners launching from this location. So I spent a most quiet day with my wonderful host and artist friend Christine Knowles. We toured the scenic Hwy 30 and stopped to paint at 2 different destinations.

"Lyle Passage" 16x12" Pastel on sanded paper

Painting water and marina scenes were on my wish list, so Christine took me to Meyers State park looking East on the Columbia River. We both painted and afterwards we headed out to the Hood River Marina and bravely took the challenge to paint boats. We thought we'd give it an hour at best, but we ended up painting much longer than intended. The wind picked up as we began to tear our easels down. What timing!

"Hood River Marina" 10x8" Pastel on sanded paper

On day 3 the artists met at a most beautiful location. At first glance, I wondered what the heck I'd paint, but as all the artists seeked out their real estate, it became clearer to me that this was a magical place. A distant walk through a field of wild blonde grass revealed a most beautiful view of dramatic cliffs. Artists began to line up here to paint, some deciding not.

Elio Camacho, Michael Orwick, James McGrew, Jeanne Young, and her friend Karen Whitworth overlooking the cliffs.

Can you say Gangsta Artists?

And now onto some more serious stuff... Michael Orwick shared his "Value Glasses" with those on the ridge. We started our value under-paintings while viewing through those red film specs and here is what came of the colors.

Value study with red value finders. Not much to the color, but here is what came of this little experiment....
"Morning Cliffs" 10x8" Pastel on sanded paper

"Sentries of the Gorge" 16x12" Pastel on sanded paper

And my final piece of the event. The late afternoon came, and sadly, to an end for me. I came down the hill and into Hood River for an artists' reception at Springhouse Cellars. The next morning I framed and delivered my 6 pieces and returned home to my family. The Preview Collector's Party is this coming Thursday, Sept 2nd at Columbia Center for the Arts. First Friday Art Walk is on Friday Sept 3rd. I will be attending both events so please come on out! Info listed to the right.

For more pics of the event, click here.

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Blogger Casey Klahn said...

Great post! It is fun to see your views, and the glasses are funny.

It was a pleasure to see your entries at the Columbia Center. Great job!

Some day I'll get to participate.

8/31/10, 6:45 PM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Thanks Casey! I saw on Celeste's blog that you dropped by the gallery yesterday! Wish I would have been around then to meet you in person! Maybe next year you will enter in the show? There were only 2 pastelists in the line up so I think there's room for more!

8/31/10, 6:57 PM  
Blogger Nancy Goldman said...

You created a wonderful collection of paintings at the gorge. I really love your style and how you let the color of the paper ground show through. What paper do you use?

8/31/10, 8:12 PM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Thanks Nancy,
I used Wallis paper that I dry mounted to museum board. I LOVE to have those warm colors peeking through the work, it brings the whole piece together and exudes the warmth of the day.

8/31/10, 10:01 PM  
Blogger Donna T said...

Wow! Incredible work, Brenda!

9/1/10, 6:10 AM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Thanks Donna! Glad you like it!

9/1/10, 9:39 AM  
Blogger Donna Van Tuyl said...

Brenda, it was wonderful meeting you and now seeing your paintings. Great work and you have captured the days. It was a wonderful paint out (except for The Dalles Mt.)

9/3/10, 8:02 AM  
Blogger Donna Van Tuyl said...

Brenda, congtratulations on your award win at the plain air competition. Yeah for dusty fingers, yeah for pastels!!

9/3/10, 11:22 AM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Thanks Donna! I'm still walking above the ground! :)

9/4/10, 11:22 AM  

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