Tag Archives: oregon

Crazy weather

It’s been ‘snowing’ ashes and the wildfires in Oregon have jumped the gorge. meanwhile there is a category 5 hurricane hurling towards the east coast. Don’t get me started about politics.

I’ve been experimenting with some watercolors, trying to do a more muted and effervescent feel.This one was a based on some dahlias I grew in my garden but I added some petunias and bougainvillea. This one I purposely tried to make the background flowers fade into the white of the paper. What do you think?

Dahlia, Petunia, Bougainvillea, 2017, 18x24, mixed media on paper

 

Here is the most recent watercolor of some chocolate cosmos that may have died because it ‘s been so hot here in Portland. I’ve been trying to get the right shade of pink and I think I nailed it. And I really like the way the blue interacts with the flower on the left. I should’ve held my ground and not gone darker with the red on the right. But there’s always next time!

Cosmos cloud, 2017, 12x16, watercolor on paper

I’m off to Pennsylvania and Colorado to visit some friends and family. Hopefully I’ll get some good shots!

 

Cosmos, Gladiolus, and Amaranth Bouquet Paintings

I grew cosmos flowers and amaranth (for filler, although it is also technically an ancient grain that you can eat) from seed. It was pretty easy,  I literally through the seeds on the ground earlier in the year. The gladiolus was also cut from my garden grown from a bulb from a lady in Bethany.

Here’s a painting I did. Still trying as always to balance finished vs overworked:

Cosmos and Amaranth Still Life, 2017, Watermedia on Paper, 12 x 16

This second painting was a bit of a bear. I wanted to explore mixing the pink and green which looked cool in the vase part but the rest of the painting felt like a mess. But I kept going and eventually had fun painting the dots of the amaranth grain seeds. Might be fun to go over with oil pastels.

Cosmos and Amaranth Bouquet, 2017, Acrylic on Paper, 12 x 16

Kitty is ‘advising’ me on my drawing.

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:

Plein air and Happy Eclipse Day

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.

Plein air painting

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:

Tualatin River

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:

http://randalldavidtipton.blogspot.com/2017/08/total-totality.html

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.

Lilac Peony Still Life, 2017, 12x16, mixed media painting on paper

 

Lost Lake weekend

#lostlake #oregon

A post shared by Betsyness (@betsyness) on

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.

Lost Lake

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.

Lost Lake Oregon

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:

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

 

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" 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.

Wednesday night oil sketches

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2016_09_28_18:10:35

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.

Katherine Bradford found on hyperallergic.com
Katherine Bradford found on hyperallergic.com
Katherine Bradford found on painters-table.com

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!!!

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2016_09_28_18:09:59

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.

 

 

I wish I was in Wheeler

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.

Wheeler

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.

wheeler3

You know how I love clouds? Wheeler has fantastic clouds. The mist rolls in so, so romantically

Wheeler Bay

The first time we stayed at this hotel that is lucky enough be right on the bay.

wheeler2

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.

Be careful though, the second time I stayed with them they wouldn’t let me borrow the kayaks. I think you need to be staying with them at least 2 nights.

wheeler7

 

wheeler1

 

Little Crater Lake

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.

Accidentally hiked the #pacificcresttrail #wild

A photo posted by Betsyness (@betsyness) on

 

Hood River

A photo posted by Betsyness (@betsyness) on

I haven’t been to Hood River in over a year- it had been too long! We love going to this English pub called Oak Street Pub, although I was bummed that they no longer serve St Peter’s English Ale that comes in the great green glass bottle. This time we found this amazing playground on the waterfront. They just make playgrounds way cooler these days. There was a mini climbing wall which I made a fool of myself in front of little kids who were much more adept at scaling the structure. The colors of the foliage reminded me of Colorado: silvers,yellows, and burnt orange.

As I walked along the water towards the Columbia Gorge windsurfing association rental spot, I spied a snow cap peering over the gorge. Does anyone know what mountain or butte that could be?

I’m so glad I had my water shoes on. There were several paths down to the water and I walked in the river hugging the bank. The most beautiful glowing light filtered through the red twig dogwood and other river flowers.

I love the way the light shimmers across the water and how it illuminates the rolling layers of hills that make up the Columbia Gorge.

I can’t wait to come back to Hood River!

Siletz Bay

Siletz Bay near Lincoln City on Highway 101 is a great family friendly beach option.

Siletz Bay

It’s right next to Mo’s Seafood, a restaurant that has got their operations locked down, I mean they get you in and out – fast- and the food is reliably good. Get the clam chowder in a bread bowl. Of course if you have kiddos be warned that even though the wait is only ever 10 minutes at peak holiday times, you will be forced to go through their gift shop to get to your table. Brilliant business.

There’s parking near the restaurant with public bathrooms. The lot does get filled up early, but it was pretty easy to find street parking near there. My definition of easy street parking is a ginormous amount of space that you can pull straight into. No backing up or parallel parking.

And the beach is not windy. I will post about these other beaches on the Oregon Coast where I felt like I was lost in  a wild sandstorm, and then had the brilliant idea to lose my iphone.  But anyways Siletz Bay is relatively more protected from the beach, and while I usually would strongly recommend bringing some kind of umbrella/tent/ shade, this beach is fine for lounging about with just a towel.

One thing that is very interesting about Siletz Bay is how much it changes from low tide to high tide. Here we are just hanging out on this enormous stretch of sand with no neighbors as typical of the OR coast.

It almost looks like we could just wade across to that peninsula/sand bar that is in the distance.  But come high tide, and then the beach becomes a bay.

I was shocked how far inland the water comes in. What was a fun splash through some puddles to get to where we were sunbathing earlier in the day, would have been a full on potential Darwin Award ordeal to ford the bay during high tide.

These changes make Siletz Bay a very interesting place to explore, with these cool pools and ripples that form during low tide.

And speaking of Darwin Awards, my favorite part of Siletz Bay are the three rock formations that are near the road.

During low tide, you can simply walk from the parking lot near Mo’s all the way to this area.

There’s actually another parking lot on 101 that is directly adjacent to this area. But I guess they don’t really want people to hike down this part, because the path is pretty steep and they actually have completely blocked off the entrance with a wooden fence.

Siletz Bay

I had an awesome time climbing these rocks and perching along side these trees to get a spectacular view of the bay.

But climbing down from there was a bit more precarious than I would have liked.

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…