Each Painting Tells a Story

For me, viewing a painting always involves emotion. This could mean response to color, composition, subject matter, size or price to name a few.

One of the most important things I look for in a painting is the story it came to tell. Was this done on location, in the studio, from a photo or imagination? I love painting from the memories that make my life rich.

This painting, entitled Lights in the Valley, brings back a memory of driving along a mountain ridge overlooking Summer Lake in Oregon. Summer Lake is located in the Oregon Outback in the south central region of the state. The lake bed is dry many months of the year, especially in summer. It's a popular place for camping, hiking and nature lovers.

As we drove along the ridge at twilight, we could see the lights from homesteads and campers in the valley below.

A Painting A Day

Carol Marine, an artist of note who lives in Eugene, Oregon was in large part the inspiration behind my decision to paint small and often with a goal of producing five paintings per week.

Here's the key: I'm painting for myself; just because I love it. And I'd like to share my paintings with others, so I'm privileged to be part of an online gallery, Daily Paint Works.

Here's an example of one of my daily paintings, entitled Guardian ~ from Oregon's Painted Hills.

A Deeper Connection to the Land

During my recent stay in September at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the Oregon Coast as an instructor, I had the good fortune to meet a student who by her generous spirit and willingness to share her knowledge led me to yet another artistic direction: a connection to the landscape through the gathering and use of natural pigments.

I have since been totally immersed in this process. It has inspired trips to the Oregon Outback, John Day Fossil Beds and the Painted Hills in my home state of Oregon and has empowered me to view the landscape from a more intimate viewpoint.

Here is a first attempt at a painting that not only includes all natural pigments gathered at the Oregon coast but is my personal recollection of an extraordinary experience at Sitka.

 

Skies and Land

For me, composition is one of the most challenging aspects of a painting.

Being a lover of nature, my first instinct is to enhance the natural environment while minimizing man-made structures. I am intrigued by skies and the ever-changing light shows they provide. In this painting, I've tried to emphasize the 'bigness' of the sky in proportion to the land below.

Portable Paintboxes

Painting on location is a passion, especially in warmer months.

In summers past, I've done small watercolors in my kayak. This year, after re-discovering pastels I never thought it would be possible to travel light until I discovered a new product by Heilman Designs that's so light and portable I can take it anywhere. Here is an example of a plein air sketch of a local landscape.