Oregon Coast: Moolack Beach

Moolack Beach

Ok, so I already expressed my love for Beverly Beach. And I’m not sure where technically Moolack Beach starts and Beverly Beach ends. The Oregon coast is great like that…it’s so expansive.

Anyway when we went to Moolack Beach we had the bright idea to bring our tent. Having a tent on the Oregon Coast was a brilliant thing..shielding us from the sun and and the wind, and we got a nice private area to snooze in. Naps on the beach are a win!

#pnw #oregon tents are great for the beach #camping #adventure #bestoforegon

A photo posted by Betsyness (@betsyness) on

Not sure if we’re technically allowed to have a fire on the beach, so shhhh don’t tell anyone. Food tastes soooo much better over a wood fire.

campfire Moolack Beach

Yes we enjoy long walks on the beach.

Heading off into the sunset…

Design I Like: Jessica Helgerson

You know who has the most darling tiny home complete with a mossy roof and shiplap walls?

Jessica Helgerson

Jessica Helgerson, Portland interior designer who from what I can tell is part of the design elite- her beautiful work is all over the great design trade magazines. I would totally live in a tiny home on Sauvie Island in a heartbeat but land is rare and expensive on Sauvie. She has five acres! Le sigh.

I learned about Jessica first from a Dwell Magazine feature of her Saul Zaik mid century modern remodel.

Jessica Helgerson

It is stunning and if I could afford her I would have her come to the Saul Zaik A1 MCM home I’m living in to give it a proper remodel. (Saul Zaik also designed this treehouse that you can book on airbnb!)

But alas you must have serious dough to afford her exquisite work, like this Portland, Alhambra area, kitchen or the Brooklyn brownstone renovation I’ve been drooling over on Instagram.


Jessica Helgerson

#tbt #jhinteriordesign #brooklynbrownstone #weloveNYprojects!

A photo posted by Jessica Helgerson (@jhinteriordesign) on


Big Magic

I made this in first grade

Flower still life tempera painting from first grade

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert review

I loved this book. Please don’t dismiss it because the author wrote the Julia Roberts chick flick that you may or may not like.

The gist: art and creativity is very important but don’t kill yourself over it.  Forgive yourself, even if your art isn’t what you expect. As Elizabeth Gilbert says in the book, take art seriously, but not seriously.

Some paintings go through their teenage stage, an awkward, unfinished stage where you’re working stuff out, and you’re too embarrassed to show them in public and all pictures from that time must be deleted.

But if you get too down on yourself or give up too quickly, by taking yourself too seriously or art too seriously, you’ll miss out on some that have real potential to be great .  Now that I look back on some of my rejection piles, I see some that could have been improved if I kept going.

An oil painting still life’s (slow) progress

I was told that my painting looked finished even in its previous stage, but I wanted to further develop the peach colored poppy and the pink ranunculus in the foreground. I really liked what was going on with the background area near the camellia stem and blossoms.

I love watercolors and thinking about how that translates to the transparency in oil paints.  Oil paints excel at providing really great dark tones for luminous, transparent shadows. Certain colors are particularly transparent: alizarin crimson, ultramarine, and sap green. Sap green is the best green ever, it’s so balanced it’s like a neutral color that you could add anywhere. Some greens are too blue or saturated that they look fake when you use too much of them, but sap green is just so agreeable and you can use it even straight out of the tube. I’ve learned one way to make a great grey: mix sap green + alizarin crimson + naples yellow.

At this point in the painting, I’m feel really impatient to be DONE ALREADY.  I keep needing to be reminded not to rush ahead, and to keep knocking back the the shadows, using the darks and midtones. With the peach poppy, I ended up mixing more murky greys and browns and then blending them, than using this awesome salmon color I mixed from yellow ochre + montserrat orange + cadmium red.

To create the yellow stamen and pistil center of the poppy, I used cadmium yellow, yellow ochre, and naples yellow.  (Side note, mixing yellow ochre is good way to add the yellow hue without going too light in value.) 4 tones are needed to create 3 dimensional form, so I attempted to mix 4 ish yellowish tones. Again, I was feeling frustrated because I see this part being so clear and bright, but the first layer  feels very vague and fuzzy.

For the ranunculus, I’m using magentas for the first time in the painting.


Mount Talbert

Man, Mount Talbert is a great looking butte. It’s in the Milwaukie / Clackamas area. We lucked out and went hiking up there in the middle of grey January on one of the lone sunny days that month. What a great park for hiking!

I took this on my iphone and it’s now my phone’s wallpaper. This is one of the few times that I think my iphone actually beat film!

Mount Talbert: I love Oregon’s fern-lined forest floors

Here’s the shot from my 35mm:


And on some black and white film:

Mount Talbert


Mount Talbert

Breathtaking Beverly Beach

We liked this state park so much that we went back and camped on Thanksgiving week. Because pilgrim sandwiches and canned cranberries are so much better by the fire on the Oregon Coast 🙂

The entrance to Beverly Beach is actually underneath Highway 101. Neat!


I was obsessed with the way the sand looked at low tide, the ripples and the shimmer.

Low tide ripples #beach #oregoncoast #pnwcollective #pnwonderland #pnw #oregon #grammaster3

A photo posted by Betsyness (@betsyness) on

Because I had anticipated some stormy late autumn weather, we booked a yurt.

We actually had awesome weather. And then we came back to Portland for the start of the rainiest December on record. It rained, A LOT. And it sucked. So I guess our glamping on the beach was kind of like the eye of the storm, tricking us into a false sense of security and bam! rain for days. I’ve never ever seen it rain that hard for so long. But enough of the doom and gloom, check out these amazing views.

And man look at this sunset. The sand was so smooth and endless … I really have no words. And yes this photo was #nofilter, that was all mother nature.

I couldn’t resist..here’s one more: