This is what makes the Pacific Northwest spectacular..the GREEN from being a temperate rainforest. I love the moss on the trees, and the Hoh Rainforest has more types of moss than I have ever seen in my life.
It’s a tough decision but I would say the Hoh Rainforest was my favorite spot out of my week at the Olympic National Park.
It is about 45 minutes from the nearest gas station with very spotty cell reception so go prepared. We found an outdoor clothing store on the one road that connects the Hoh Rainforest entrance to 101.
We spent a week this past summer visiting Olympic National Park.
We camped at Kalaloch Beach, very convenient to the Kalaloch Lodge which has a really tasty smoked salmon. It’s a great place but next next time I would have booked a new site for each day in the park. It got to be pretty tiring driving back and forth from Kalaloch to each new destination on the Peninsula.
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 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.
This past month I splurged on a yoga retreat (yes fancy )to Macheros Mexico. My creative coach Nancy Cuevas and I had been brainstorming travel ideas and when she told me about this magical idea to visit the mountain forests where crowds of monarchs migrate to from North America AND do yoga….I was SO in! I’ve added some of my favorite shots to my print shop. I need to a longer write up about my trip but I wanted to quickly give an update:
We did rooftop yoga! Here’s a black and white film shot:
I love, love the pink bougainvillea that grows in Mexico and California. I wish Oregon was warm enough, I would plant these all over my yard.
Just chillin’ on a hammock with a great view at JM Butterfly BnB. The weather there is perfect nearly all year.
A view from the top of the El Rosario Buttefly Reserve. Yes I galloped on a horse to get there!
These golden wildflowers grow in meadows near the forests and the butterflies love them.
I realized that my favorite thing that I saw during my trip to NYC (other than my friends) was the Highline, a public garden built upon an abandoned railroad.
The fact that the gardens were the most inspiring thing made me realize that I do in fact belong in Portland!
Alison told me that the Highline was designed by garden designer, Piet Oudulf.
His work is amazing. He uses lots of native plants, perennials, and grasses and he creates these beautiful landscapes that have amazing color in all seasons.
He uses grasses for color and even the dying seedheads provide textural and color interest in the dead of winter.
Someday I would like to visit the Netherlands and view his private garden. There are so many more beautiful, inspiring garden examples in this pdf I found on the Harvard School of Design course he taught about designing for Mood in the garden:
“Mysticism totally depends on circumstances that are out of your control. Fog, dusk. It makes you feel on your self in a different world.”
“Emotion and mood are vital to the success of a garden…They are qualities, however, that are very difficult to define in hard-and-fast terms. It is always difficult to describe why certain gardens are attractive and not others. It is even more difficult to write prescriptions for creating different moods, for mood is only something that can be planned into a garden to a limited extent.”
Sounds like painting too 😉
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.