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Rail Yards, Portland, Oregon

This scene of two old passenger cars "parked" at the rail yards seemed really evocative to me. How long had they been there? What memories were associated with them?
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Waiting For a Resolution...

This painting had been sitting in my studio for several months. I never thought I captured the drama of the late afternoon sky near our campsite in the Warner Valley (SE Oregon, near Plush). Every time I was working on another painting I could see it and I just didn't know what to do. So after a brief hiatus (Xmas) I decided to work on paintings that weren't resolved. This is now about 90% done. I will work on it tomorrow, and maybe the next day and then let it sit. Then I can determine if I got it.
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A smaller give my arms a rest.

concurrently with my large painting, I continue to work on small pieces. This little painting (8x16) of some dramatic clouds that formed over Gray Butte a few days ago, was a lot of fun to paint. So much fun, that I may reserve it and enter into a show instead of putting it in the gallery immediately.
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Above the Deschutes, Day 3

I am continuing to work on my 50 x 50 really provides great exercise (or is it pain)for my shoulders...also requires waaaay more paint mixing than I have done for awhile. But this is a real challenge. I am trying to go for the late afternoon light...esp. when the sky is unsettled. It is a challenge not to over-color the scene. I pulled out my favorite tonalist book, Artists at Continent's End, just to keep me on track. I suspect this large piece will take up a lot of my winter.
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View from the cliffs...interim #2

This 40 x 40 painting is a work in progress...This is how it looks on Day #2. I worked a bit on the sky, and a bit on the river...primarily underpainting the river. I really enjoyed how the painting tonalist. I will need to recapture that tone as I continue. However, right now and for the next few sessions I will be working on values and color of the underpainting. Right now I am pleased with the composition. Still using primarily the limited pallet...but have added raw sienna. I will lay off of this color for a few sessions...and then come back with it to get that tonalist feel. Of course, the market seems to like high key, (in your face?) colors, but I paint for me...and my vision and right now I am trying to modulate my colors. As a colorist...this is a challenge for me. It is just too easy to get the viewers' eye with color...and what I want is to create an overall harmonious painting.
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Cottonwoods in the Wallowas

I had originally started this little pochade in the field on a trip to the Wallowas a few weeks ago. However, the light was changing, and I was tired so I put it aside. Then yesterday, I picked it up again. It is wet and cold here right now, so studio painting is theoption.

The Wallowa Mountains in Eastern Oregon are unique. Not only is the area reminiscent of the Swiss Alps, but the road to Wallowa Lake is actually the terminus--the end of the line. You "can get there from here," but you really can't use it as a stopping point. This remoteness just adds to its charm.
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Rocks have been difficult for me to paint. But this scene, just a a bit from our house really captured my imagination. First, I was amazed that I had never seen how Mt. Jefferson is framed by the basalt boulders by the road, and second, not sure I had ever seen it with so much rich sorbet light. So I went back to Jean Legassick's site...and studied how she paints rocks and I was on my way. It is all about shape and value...and at least for today, I am happy.
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Getting My Large Canvas Chops Back...

It has been awhile since I have worked on a large canvas. So I decided to give it a go. I chose a 40 x 40 format. I started out by toning canvas and blocking in a picture of a huge oak tree that is at a resort in Carmel Valley. But about an hour into it I could see myself working on that tangle of branches, and leaves for the rest of my I scrubbed it all out. This changed the tone of the canvas to a much darker hue. I routed through my photo scrap (40x40 is a bit big for plein air...and at 36 degrees with rain and high wind...waaaaay beyond my interest!). I decided upon a shot of the river just below my house. So this is day one. With the dark toned canvas..still a bit underpainting has a very 1930's/WPA tone. I sort of like it. Since one of my goals is to be less of a high key painter, this may do the trick. Also, now I remember what a workout a huge painting is...get the Advil!
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Today I got the email notification that my painting, Last Light, was accepted into the Yosemite Renaissance XXV show. I am absolutely delighted. The painting is from a slide taken by my uncle. I inherited 20 boxes of slides when my aunt passed away last year...and of course, no slide projector. It was A HUGE weeding task to get down to one carousel of slides...after looking through a small hand held slide projector. Well, it payed off!
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