I went out painting with a friend last week and came across a small herd of cows lounging in the sun. They were the same type of cows that I often see in Roos Schuring’s paintings. She’s a fantastic painter in Holland. I wrote about her back in Aug 2012.
The hunting season is over on Sauvie Island, and I headed over to paint last weekend. Unfortunately, when I was half way there, I realized I had forgotten to pack any panels to paint on. This is the second time I’ve done this. I suppose age is catching up with me. Rather than turn back, I continued on knowing that I had my watercolor paintbox and sketchbooks along.
I went to a part of the island where I haven’t painted for several years and found a nice spot along the Multnomah Channel ( a narrow side channel of the Wilamette River, and started the piece above as several sailboats and fishing boats came and went. While I waited for the colors to dry on this one, I started the one below, of the same subject.
I moved on down the road and did one more from a spot I painted a few years ago. It’s a view of the famous volcano, Mt St Helens, across the cow patures.
I was hoping for some cows but they didn’t show up until later
This painting is actually OF Rentanaar Rd, which is just a little gravel path back to the dike and the marshy lakes and cow pastures in the interior of the island. In the winter this area is closed to everyone except bird hunters. There are black tail deer on the island. I don’t know if they’re hunted or not.
This view is from the top of the dike looking back toward the Wilamette River.
In my last post, I wrote about a plein air painting session on Sauvie Island. I started a second painting, while I was there and have been playing with it in the studio since then. I tried to push it in the direction I’ve taken other paintings, lately by indulging in a similar kind of mark making. I think I took it a bit too far, to the point where the scene was lost to the marks.
9″ x 12″ oil on linen panel
So, I decided to walk it back a bit and ended up with this:
I like the composition and seem to be convinced that there’s a painting in here, somewhere but have not found it yet. I decided to leave it alone for a while but, taking up some gouache I found myself at it again.
Sometimes I have an idea of what I think a painting should look like and I have to let go of it and allow it to be what it is.
My last post was of a few watercolor studies I did at Rentenaar Rd on Sauvie Island, here in Portland Or.
Sauvie has been a favorite plein air painting spot for generations of local painters and is a common meeting place for local plein air workshops. It’s so great to have this very quiet and beautiful spot so near the city.
I returned to the same place the next day and did a couple of oil studies. I parked my car under an osprey nest and was able to watch as the parents hunted and returned to feed their chick.
You can see the chick’s head peaking out of the nest in the picture above.
Here is one of the parents returning with a snack. They seemed to travel together and the other one circled my suspiciously as I took this shot.
I also saw a few bald eagles both days I was there.