I just completed a weeks artist residency in the lovely and peaceful courtyard area of Clearwater Gallery and the Open Door restaurant in Sisters, Oregon. The cozy studios in the courtyard were built by artist/owner Dan Rickards with a vision of bringing artists from all over to enjoy painting where they vacation—in Sisters!
For me, going to Sisters is only a short drive, since I live in Bend, but it was still a break from my normal busy life. I found that working in the studio, surrounded by lovely flowers, hummingbirds and the gentle background hum of people enjoying their meals, was quite relaxing and helped me focus on ideas in a different way. It was the perfect respite for me and I even got a few small paintings completed!
The Deschutes River Conservancy is having it’s 2015 RiverFeast event at House on the Metolius, on Oregon’s wild and beautiful Metolius River, August 8. I was asked again this year to create the signature art for the event and am very pleased to do so!
The area where the House on the Metolius is, on the spring-fed, fly fishing only, Metolius River in Central Oregon, is where the river widens out into a beautiful meadow, after flowing through a narrow gorge. It is a peaceful place. The last time I painted from here I showed the river with Mt. Jefferson in the background. This time, I am facing the other way and Three-fingered Jack shines in the background. Looking down from the hill above, the meadow with it’s golden grasses and willows, forms an arc above the river, which is a gorgeous shade of blue in the afternoon sun.
This painting is 24 x 30, acrylic on cradled birch board. When it sells I will donate 50% of the purchase price to the Deschutes River Conservancy who is doing great work with their mission—to enhance waterflow in the Deschutes River watershed. We need it now more than ever!
The painting, Metolius Meadow w/ Three-fingered Jack, will be in my June show at Tumalo Art Co. in the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon, which opens Friday June 5, from 4-8pm
About a year ago Georgio Cavatorti, publisher of the beautiful Italian based fly fishing magazine H2O, contacted me about having my fish art featured. The Spring issue just arrived and I got to see the spreads for the the first time! I feel honored and am so glad to see space given to art in a magazine like this. The article is in both english and italian and five paintings of native trout are shown in glorious color. Look H2O Magazine up online to see the whole pub. Order a subscription while you are at it.
A group of trout, swimming in yellow green waters, is my most abstracted painting of fish yet. The strong chroma between yellow and green makes an interesting backdrop to the swirling fish. I took the photo at a fish hatchery and then played with the color in photoshop, looking for the most interesting composition of the fishes shapes and contrast of color.
When spotting trout, or any fish, in their environment, it is magical, brief and mysterious. This painting of trout, in acrylic on birchboard heightens that feeling.
My wildlife paintings, whether fish, birds, wild hares or deer is always about interpreting nature’s beauty with color. “Trout Chroma” is the newest addition to my natural abstractions series.
The newest addition to my ongoing Natural Abstractions series is called Estuary Light. It is from an image I took last summer while camping at Spencers Spit on Lopez Island in Washington’s San Juan islands. The configuration of light and shadow, when cropped narrowly, becomes a compelling abstraction of the landscape. This was painted in acrylic on birchboard. I kept the strokes of paint immediate and took care not to overwork, keeping the color clear and strong. It was also important to me to let the warm color of the wood come through. This worked well in the mid area of mirrored water.
As I continue to explore this idea of composing landscapes in a small frame of reference, where the shapes become more than a description of an actual landscape and become a natural abstraction of the landscape, I get more and more excited about the possibilities.