Another one worth mentioning

"Dawson Creek Lilies" 12x16" Pastel on sanded paper

Nearly a week ago I visited the Columbia Center for the Arts to show the Plein Air work to my NPS buddies after we finished with the paint-out. As we walked around the corner someone noticed a yellow ribbon on the frame of my piece "Peoples Choice"! What a surprise this has turned out to be! Of course I'm thrilled, again, to have earned recognition from this show. The show had only two pastelists participating and my odds were nearly nill with all those incredible "Oilies" on the wall. Maybe there is something going on in the pastel world, or possibly people like them for their color? I think it's the color that gets all the glory, don't you? Anyway, still walking on air!

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NPS 2010 Paint-out

Mosier Aspens, 12x9" Pastel on sanded paper

An encore visit back to the Hood River area proves to be awe inspiring again! This time around it was wtih the Northwest Pastel Society for a 5 day paint-out, however I only attended 2 of the days. The weather at best kept many members away, but for those of us who came out we had beautiful color and a great time. I headed out in the afternoon to the next place on the itinerary; The Mosier Barn. Unfortunately, I also brought along some sprinkles from Portland. We still were able to paint, but it did help to have an umbrella... you know the kind that's supposed to keep you shaded from the sun? Yup, instead of sun it was rain! Pastels, even if they are protected from the rain, still get a bit soggy because of the humidity. It still didn't dampen my outing with the group.

Davis Farmhouse, 10x8" Pastel on sanded paper

We did have a great time just being out. I think I wrote once before that the scenery is really intoxicating....not to mention the opportunity to share a glass of wine with my fellow artists. On Sunday we went out to a location that had an incredible straight on view of the gorge, just like we were looking down it's throat!

Weather Permitting, 12x12" Pastel on sanded paper

By this time we were used to the fickle weather. At the strike of rain we all huddled under the eaves and opened up a bottle of wine and just solved all the worlds problems. One artist was clever and made a "bar" out of her Heilman box and tripod! Wine and cheese anyone?

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Playing Hooky

"Edge of the Levy", 8x6", Pastel on sanded paper

"Sauvie Dike" 8x6, Pastel on sanded paper

Even though the weather has been a bit overcast and I have much to do back in the studio, it's easy to play a little hooky. I can easily blame it on my plein air "high" because the kids are back in school and that gives me full permission to go out and paint ... but just as long as I'm back in time to pick them up from school. I continue to return to my favorite place along with several other artists, and every day the greens have noticeably been turning warmer.

Above is the same scene. The first one I cranked out in a quick 10 minutes on Friday and the one below it was painted today for the bulk of my outing. I turned my tripod a full 180 and painted this quick little one below before dashing home to pick up the kids.

"Treesides" 5x5" Pastel on sanded paper


Fall Time Cloud Cover, 10x8

Fall Time Cloud Cover" 10x8" Pastel on sanded paper

The weather has been getting cooler and keeping me indoors. There are two ways to think of this: (1. Sulk and wish for warmer and dryer days or (2. I can get caught up on paperwork in the studio. The Pacific Northwest is known for it's cloud covered skies and rain. I still believe it keeps many from moving here, but not entirely due to it's varied beauty. This piece was painted in my favorite area in the Portland region, Sauvie Island. After returning from a great time in Hood River, I have been itching to get back out again to paint. Wet weather stops all pastelists from the rain and so today was the first I had available to go out...with cloud cover? So what! That's Oregon for ya.

And now for something a bit sobering...

Coming home from today's painting, I picked up my daughter from school. As she was settling into the car, I hear loud screaming. Not thinking much of it, with kids being kids, I soon realized the screaming was not stopping. Under the front fender of a loaded school bus was the 13 year old girl. She was pinned by her bike and somehow her lower leg was fractured. Not so sure if the bus ran her over or the bike crushed her leg. I'm still a bit shaken from it all. She was wisked off to the hospital and thankfully...thankfully is going to be ok.

My mother always used to say that flesh and metal don't mix.


More than thrilled!

Vanna White impersonators Brenda Boylan and Thomas Kitts showing off the dress!

Wow! What an eventful evening! The Columbia Center for the Arts can really put on a great event. With such help from a great organized crew, a gathering of talented artists, curator Celeste Bergin, and juror Ned Mueller, I am sure this event will grow to something grand in the coming years. Upon entering into the gallery, we were flooded with 250 beautiful paintings from the past week. Much to my surprise, I was awarded a blue ribbon for Best in Marine! I was walking on air the rest of the evening. In my eyes, very painting was a winner.

Slide show produced by show curator Celeste Bergin

Celebrating with artist participant Don Bishop and juror Ned Mueller

Plein Air 2010 Awards list:

1st Place - Old Mosier Valley Bank - Mike Kowalski
2nd Place - Carmel Study - Barry Kooser
3rd Place - Evening Light in a Pioneer Orchard - Thomas Jefferson Kitts
Best of Marine - Hood River Marina - Brenda Boylan
Best of Historical - West End of Town - Mike Kowalski
Honorable Mention - Big Cloud over Mt. Adams - Eric Voigt
Honorable Mention - Orange Moon - Eric Jacobsen
Honorable Mention - Summer Reflections - Mitch Baird
Artist's Choice - Springhouse Cellar Road - Mike Rangner

Not a bad way to end a fabulous event!