We hopped down to Silver Fall State Park near Salem, Oregon to take advantage of the free admission on Black Friday. This was our first camping trip in Oregon and it’s still amazing and beautiful. The waterfalls are great and the lighting is so beautiful there.
I love ikebana. There’s randomly an ikebana shop in Wheeler, Oregon in one of the vintage stores.
Here’s an amaranth and scabiosa flowers ikebana:
I finally met up with my artist friend, Randall Tipton. I haven’t seen him since 2016- so much has changed since. He and a group of his friends paint plein air style every week.
He drove me to this spot on the Lake Oswego – Tualatin border on the Tualatin River. I struggled a bit because I didn’t really feel like there was anything compositionally for me to grab onto.
I did like the undulating colors in the water:
So I just decided to let go and have fun. I was mainly trying to capture the cool rippling effect in the water and then I decided to make the mud of the painting a dark red! I don’ t think it was my best effort but it was fun!
Randall’s painting came out much better:
Here is a recent painting I did of a peony in an apothecary jar. I cut this peony from my garden back in May or June? I love the lilac color, especially against the naples yellow.
I’m always trying to strike the right balance of finished vs overworked.
I just came back from a relaxing weekend at Lost Lake, in the Mount Hood National Forest. It is aptly named because you will lose all cell phone and GPS reception to get there (on Lolo Pass from 26 or coming south from Hood River). We didn’t plan on being disconnected from the internet but it was definitely nice to have a break from it all.
This is the majestic view from the north day use area. Lost Lake is actually a privately run campground and you can rent boats. I was able to easily kayak from the boat launch/ general store area to the lakefront by the day use area. The lake is deceptively big, I tried to kayak from the northern part to the other side, close to Mount Hood. I would say Sparks Lake, Trillium Lake, and Waldo Lake are still my favorites but Lost Lake is definitely near the top of the list.
There’s also a 3 mile roundtrip trail around the lake and a steep hike up to the butte where you can see 3 mountains.
Without having the internet to distract me, I had to amuse myself by other means. I did a set of plein air lake studies on watercolor paper:
I normally don’t paint outside, you can’t really in Oregon except in the summer (at least I don’t know how other painters paint in the rain). I had to be much more economical and less fussy- using lake water in a plastic cup, not having a proper palette setup, painting much more directly on the paper. All while having bugs constantly try to distract me from painting.
Here is a mixed media (watercolor, gouache, ink) painting I did of a still life I created using the ninebark leaves.
Here’s another painting inspired by the trees at the Sunnyside Medical Campus. The leaves are much more brilliantly vivid in real life, I guess I still got the greys of winter on my mind.
I’m still obsessed with creating greys and muted maroons and I like how the complimentary colors meet to create these interesting, iridescent stains.
Here is a oil painting sketch of Moolack beach where I’m trying to capture the wind blowing across the sands while reflecting the sky during low tide. I’m using Arches oil paper which in theory should be awesome. As someone with a full time job outside of art, time for art is always limited. I have been looking and trying various supports that will simplify the task of art production (prepping canvases or boards until I win the lottery and can pay for my own studio assistant) and give me more time to paint. Unfortunately the Arches oil paper is as unappealing to me as their watercolor paper. It has the texture of a bounty paper towel and it is WAY too absorbent—it somehow doesn’t let me to remove any paint off the paper which for me is one of the defining characteristics of the oil paint medium—it’s malleability and wiping-off ease. So anyways for this study, I’m not even trying to do much glazing or thin layers. I’m aiming for bold, thick layers which I would never do on a canvas or linen but I almost have to do on this oil paper. I also did an under layer of acrylic. Actually I think this paper should be marketed as acrylic paper because it is thick and it is pretty decent for acrylics. But the paper is way too expensive to use for just that purpose.
So far this painting is too aggressive and chaotic to me. On this paper it’s hard to make the subtle blends that the location really calls for. This painting just goes to show you how hard it is to paint simply. I’ve been admiring Katherine Bradford‘s oil painting work for a long time. Her work uses the icons and imagery of children’s art….superheroes, boats, and simplified human forms..but the work is decidedly not childish…it’s beautiful and masterfully done. All the haters that look at this type of work and say I could do that…trust me it’s not as easy as it looks.
I also did another oil painting study of Bandon beach. We went down to the southern Oregon coast earlier this month. I haven’t posted about that trip but stay tuned. It was AWESOME!!!
It’s at a stage where I like the looseness and softness (and the maroon color glazes) and I debate if I should continue and risk losing what I’ve already done by potentially overworking it. I’ll probably just keep going.
Emily Henderson, writer of the design blog I read everyday, says that in the early stage of a creative career, it’s quantity over quality that matters. So in that spirit no point in being a perfectionist and being scared to ruin this painting….right now it’s about learning and exploring.
You probably haven’t heard of Wheeler, Oregon. It’s a sleepy town on the Oregon Coast named after some timber baron, and is probably my favorite spot so far on the coast.
It’s got everything- water views, mountain views, and forests.
It’s an estuary, which means it’s ecologically diverse from all of the salt water and fresh water coming together, and is home to all sorts of cool birds like cranes and herons.
You know how I love clouds? Wheeler has fantastic clouds. The mist rolls in so, so romantically
The first time we stayed at this hotel that is lucky enough be right on the bay.
I had the best time kayaking in the bay- it was near sunset, with the golden light shining on us and we were paddling right next to all the ducks and birds.
Tucked in the Mount Hood National Forest is Little Crater Lake.
When I first came across it on Google, I was intrigued. I had been to Crater Lake, which was of course amazing, and I wondered what was Little Crater Lake. I asked a few of my native Oregonian friends- they had never heard of it. It turns out Little Crater Lake is aptly named…it’s much, much smaller than Crater Lake in diameter, but also very deep at around 45 feet deep. Yes that’s feet, not inches. And it is freezing cold. I think they said the water was 34 degrees…brrrr! I actually thought Little Crater Lake felt colder than the water at Crater Lake.
The depth gives Little Crater Lake this amazing turquoise blue color, none of my iphone photos really could do the color justice.
From most of the photos (including mine) that I’ve seen of it, Little Crater Lake looks like a small, ordinary lake. But up close, you see shallow water that immediately veers off into an abyss. There were a few fallen trees, but you really cannot see the bottom.
I am proud to say that I jumped into this freezing water. And one must jump in Little Crater Lake to experience it. You can’t ease into it, your body just won’t let you.
Even a few seconds of dipping my feet into the water, when the weather was a horrid 100 degrees back in Portland and most of Oregon was scorching, left me running back to shore. The water was cold, but man it felt so clean.
The other cool thing about this campground?
There’s a trail, about 1/2 mile from Little Crater Lake that takes you to the head of Timothy Lake where it looks more like a river than a lake. The water there is also pretty cold.
And yes, I accidentally hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, in my bathing suit and wet shoes.
About a year ago, my friend Rachel from Pittsburgh visited and we took her to the Central Oregon Coast, near Lincoln City.
Lincoln City is awesome and has lots of commerce to appeal to tourists but for whatever reason is not as crowded as Seaside – and I like it that way. On that stretch of 101, there are so many great beaches to choose from. Where I grew up, on the East Coast, getting familiar with your neighbors is an inevitable part of beachgoing (unless you’re rich and own a waterfront property). But here in Oregon, it’s fabulous. I mean such wide expansive views of sea and sand, and enough space for everyone. I love the beaches here.
Fogarty Creek wasn’t even on my radar when researching beaches and state parks on the beach. I think we randomly found it one time after driving back from the grocery store.
Fogarty Creek is special because of the mossy green rocks that you can play near. Depending on the tide, the waves will come crashing up and create little waterfalls.
Also there’s this view of some kind of hotel or condo complex, which by the way are usually tucked back away from the coast.
It feels European, but what do I know, maybe that’s just me because I really want to go to Croatia so bad.