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Plein Air Washington Artists’ “Little Gems” Juried Show

juried show, landscape painting, oil painting, representational art, plein air painting, realism, classical realism, tonalism

Story of making the painting, “Valley Light”

Oil paining, mountain, tonalist painting, tonalism, representational art, mountains, trees, panoramic view, valley, shadow line, clouds, realism, classical painting, rosemary brushes, contemporary realism, contemporary art

Presence, 24 x 38

Late one fall afternoon I was working in my studio – and I felt a hunch that I ought to go to my special view spot in the mountains.  It was faster to ride my bike than walk, as it was nearing the end of the day- so I grabbed a backpack and threw in my sketchbook and a packet of charcoal. The weather had been variable all day with patchy clouds and sun breaks.  As I headed up the trail I could see faint light glimmering through the trees.  Higher and higher I rode, as fast as my lungs would allow.  Once I reached the clearing, the sight before me stopped me in my tracks. Reflecting off the cliffs of Mt. Si was this orange-gold light – a spectacular vision that I had never seen before; orange light with a dark shadow line rising up the flanks of the entire mountain range.  The image of this beautiful valley light burned instantly into my mind’s eye.  I knew I had to create this scene into a painting.  But wouldn’t the time please stop and let me soak in the experience a little longer?  I knew it wouldn’t – moments don’t stand still do they?  They just keep unfolding, one after another.  I felt myself accepting the orange light as it sank into my bones and I stood there, silently observing.   No drawing needed.   Luckily I had been there before to draw, so, I had, at least, a record of the important elements.  If you have ever looked at a painting for a long time maybe you’ve experienced a moment through an artist’s rendering.  Back in the studio I had the opportunity to re-experience that moment many times over – from memory.   That’s why I called this painting, Valley Light.  It’s about the Here and Now.  I like Being. Here. Now.

Matzke Fine Art Gallery, “Honey I Shrunk the Art” Annual Small Works Show

I am excited to participate in Matzke Fine Art Gallery’s 26th “Honey I Shrunk the Art” annual small works show!  The show opens on November 19th with an Opening Party and Potluck, 4pm –  9pm, and continues through January 15, 2017. Visit the website at http://www.matzkefineart.com.

For this show I created five plein air paintings of Camano Island.  As a native Washingtonian, I spent many childhood summers exploring our coastlines by boat, throughout Puget Sound and the Inland Passage. My favorite spot on the boat was sitting on the bow, scouting for logs and stumps, or any other danger to our small craft.  I loved to look past the white caps to the rows of slim blue islands across the channel and imagine what life was like at each distant port.  Fast forward a couple of decades and I am still exploring – with my oil paints.  For this series of small plein air paintings, I set out to visit the beaches of Camano Island.  Standing close to the water, smelling the salt and listening to the waves crash against the shore brought me right back to those boat rides and summer time feel.  It’s funny how the smell of salt water can trigger so many memories.  I feel the same sense of wonder today for the beauty I see in nature that I did when I was a child.  Through painting, I try to express an honest translation of both soul and the land.

impressionism, oil, oil painting, landscape painting, mt baker, cascades, cascade mountains, representational art, contemporary landscape painting, oil, gallery, plein air, farmland

Mt Baker, 6 x 8, plein air

camano island state park, representational painting, impressionism, plein air, painting, oil, landscape painting, puget sound, salt water, island, water, contemporary landscape

Camano Island State Park, 6 x 8, plein air

skagit bay, puget sound, salt water, oil painting, plein air, representational art, impressionism, classical painting, classical realism, oil, pacific northwest art, gallery, beach, sand, water, tide

Skagit Bay, 6 x 8, plein air

camano island, representational art, tide, water, pilings, mountains, sea, oil painting, contemporary landscape, landscape painting, impressionism, representational art, pacific northwest, puget sound, mountains, plein air painting,

Tide Coming In, 6 x 8, Plein Air

mudflats, salt water, puget sound, oil painting, landscape painting, plein air, painting, representational art, impressionism, classical realism, realism, puget sound, mountains, piling

Mudflats, 8 x 6, plein air