Art, Portland, Sketching, Urban Landscape, watercolor

In search of industrial plein air subject

I set out to find an industrial site to do a plein air painting of. I’ve been trying to find access to industrial sites on the Wilamette River along Hwy 30 and returned there today. I turned down every side road I saw that lead toward the river but they all end at locked gates with spectacular industrial views just beyond.

I found this place down one of the roads. It wasn’t really on the river but it was an interesting building that I could see from a parking lot. Unfortunately there were railroad tracks between me and the building and trains kept blocking my view so I left after doing this thumbnail sketch. It may be better on Sunday. Maybe there won’t be as many trains.

Viking Fire Protection

I moved on down the river and turned down another road that ended in gated lots but this one had an area just above the gates where I could park and have a view of the river.

Container Ship

I did a couple of preparatory sketches. This is of one of those strange container ships that carry cars. They don’t look like ships at all. It was kind of far away.

Dry Dock

Directly across the river was what looked like a dry dock. This looked promising. I’m alway nervous about being on private property and people kept coming and going while I sketched so I was nervous about setting up for oil painting but, again, it might be quieter on Sunday.

Cathedral Park is right across the river also and I kept hearing what sounded like Pirate songs. When I got home I looked it up online and they were having the second annual Pirate Festival. I may have to go to that instead of painting tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “In search of industrial plein air subject”

  1. I like these sketches a lot, Bill. Industrial landscapes are something I hadn’t thought of doing – I’m really looking forward to seeing your paintings!


  2. Bill, you are the only person I know who can take an industrial site and turn it into something beautiful! I’m thinking of your industrial sketches a while back too, where you did some trains and rails etc…And once again, gorgeous sketches!


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