Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lakeside Morning Daily Oil Painting on Copper -SOLD

Oil on Copper Leaf 6" x 6"

I was early to the morning meeting of some plein air painters who were going to convoy to a new painting location. I wandered around the parking lot with my camera, wondering why we were going somewhere else to paint when this view was so choice.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Salt Marsh Daily Oil Painting on Copper

Oil on Copper Sheet 6" x 8"

Our salt marshes are incredibly productive environments, yet we rush to fill, drain and otherwise dispatch them. Not only do they provide nurseries for many commercial species, but they are also homes to many birds as well. I love them for the random patterns that develop between the greenery and the water. I cannot imagine such interesting shapes myself.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Calvert Island West Beach - Sold

Oil on Copper Leaf 6" x 6"

I was privileged to visit Calvert Island on the M/V Snow Goose cruise up the Inside Passage. This is an especially wild and wonderful place with evidence of violent storms everywhere. The sandy beaches were especially nice with no plastic litter in evidence.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Shore Pine Daily Oil Painting on Copper - Sold

What is the bird watching? The bird appeared from nowhere and flew off again without giving me a clue about what he watched so intently. It must have been a potential meal for it to be so interesting. However, the birds steal shiny things they find around here, and I once saw a raven pecking very industriously at a shiny pyrite crystal in a rock on a beach.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Spring Comes to Norway

Fylkesveg 875 fra Jonsvatn,County Road 875 from Jonsvatn
Oil on Canvas 8" x 16"

There was still snow in the shady places as we drove the back roads looking at all the trees beginning to show color in the buds. I really cherish seeing the subtle colors of the hardwood forests at this time of year. The grass is just beginning to grow again and the land is drying out enough to start plowing.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meditation Pond Daily Oil Painting on Copper -SOLD

If you have driven the highway out to the end of Cape Cod, you have gone by this tree and pond. The tree is so interesting that I had to stop the car and get out for a photo. Of course, now the tree has been filtered through my sensibilities, so maybe we have not seen the same tree at all?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Short Cut
Oil on Copper Leaf 6" x 6"

Down in the wildwood where the wild iris grows, there is a log that will let you cross a swampy place to where the black walnuts grow. The soil is deep and rich and Turk's Cap lilies grow there as well, wild, I think. That area always floods in the spring so I suspect no one has ever lived there.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Summer's End Daily Oil Painting on Copper - SOLD

Every day grows shorter rapidly now as the earth wobbles back to the winter position. The drying grasses gleam in the low sun and the nights will soon have freezing temperatures. The figs on the little fig tree are perilously green, too green to ripen before the freezes I fear. I have the pot where the dryer vents so that it will be as warm as possible as long as possible. Now it is a gamble if it will have to come inside soon or should be left out to fend for itself.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tree Dance Daily Oil Painting on Copper -SOLD

The graceful poses of Madrona trees along with their skin-toned bark remind me of dancers posturing along the shore. The sound of wind and waves provide the music as these trees are usually found within the sight of the saltwater around here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lonely Place

Ruby Beach
Oil on Copper Plate 6" x 9"

The beaches of the Olympic Peninsula in Winter are often shrouded in mist and fog. There are few visitors at that time of year, but the lucky few are rewarded with magnificent views and exceptional beach combing. Many years ago a group of us backpackers would celebrate Thanksgiving at Third Beach where there was a ramshackle shelter. We each prepared a Cornish Game Hen for roasting and wrapped it in several layers of heavy foil and froze it for the long journey to get to our dinner spot. (Don't stuff it, just season it inside and out.) We would have a communal cooking and warming fire, roasting foil wrapped yams, potatoes and of course the mini-turkey in the coals of the fire, near enough to cook, but not burn. Hot Russian tea, sour cream and cranberry sauce rounded out the meal. It was in a lonely place, but so full of good cheer and happy spirits.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Poplar Lane Daily Oil Painting on Copper - SOLD

This little painting has lots of pleasant memories for me. I have been reluctant to see it leave the nest, but now is the time for it to bring someone else joy.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Shaped by Others

Shore Pine
Oil on Copper Sheet 8" x 6"

Have you ever really looked at trees growing close beside each other? How marvelously they accommodate. Somehow the branches grow in close association in response to the presence or absence of sunlight and exactly fill up the available spaces. I love the unusual shapes that result. I also love the way that tree trunks respond to the tilting of earth in frost heaves or landslides. The curves in the trunks of these trees cause me to believe that the earth they are on was tilted for a few years, then tilted back the other way. As they are on flat ground, what caused this? I saw these on Cape Cod, but I have seen many more like them in Alaska, where frost heave or melting permafrost causes the earth to tilt. What causes tilts on Cape Cod? Did a hurricane blow through and almost shove them both over and then the weight of the tree gradually made them more upright? Do you know the answer to this mystery?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meditation Spots

Pond Path
Oil on Copper Sheet 6" x 8"

When I am overwhelmed with the business of modern life, I look for a pleasant prospect where I can sit and listen to the birds and insects and smell the fragrance of growth all around me. My favorite places have a rock or log seat with a water view. The ambiance of green seems to be healing and calming.

I remember when I was in Paris I saw people sitting on benches in the parks under leafy canopies, reading. I think they knew about the effect of the surrounding green on our bodies and minds. Sometimes I have tried just sitting and reading outside, but if I see a weed, and there are always some, it is hard to resist pulling it. One leads to another, like eating potato chips. So for real refreshment, I must go elsewhere than my yard, somewhere I can meditate without the nagging call of the chores.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hayfield Gate

Oil on Copper Plate 6" x 8"

Every time I see these large hay bales, I think, "What if they started rolling down a hill?" In this field on a slope, I see that the farmer carefully left them oriented sort of across the hill. That placement almost always assures an interesting composition.

I can remember seeing rolls of snow this big at the base of the ski slopes where I skied when conditions were just right. A small chunk of snow would start rolling down the hill, getting larger and larger until its weight sunk it into the snow or the slope flattened enough to slow it down. Worst of all, when it got colder at night they froze into ice chunks. You really did not want to ski into one.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Grazing Peacefully

Vantage Point
Oil on Copper Leaf 5.5" x 8"

There is something very calming about watching animals graze. The birds are singing, the weather lovely and all is right with the world. They do not worry about the economy, politics, where the next mouthful is coming from. They just eat and enjoy the warm sun on their backs. Perhaps we could take a lesson from the cows and spend more time enjoying the here and now and less time worrying about the future.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cow Pasture

Summer's End
Oil on Copper Leaf 6" x 6"

Rural land fascinates me. I am always interested in what type of cattle are grazing, Angus in this case, how the fences are constructed, barbed wire here, what the fence posts are made of, if the pasture looks to have been sprayed for weed control or mowed, whether there are any hawks around, etc. In this pasture, the rocks left from the glacial moraine have been stacked around a piece of protruding bed rock to get them out of the way of the mower. The old fence post was split rather than sawn, so it is likely cedar or juniper. The cattle look fat and sleek at the end of summer, even though the pasture looks thin now. I think the little trees are a species normally used for hedges. They don't look like the local trees. How many years has this been a cow pasture? What else has the land been used for?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tree Beings

Madrona Point
Oil on Copper Leaf 5.5" x 8"

Madrona trees seem like people to me. The new bark is so smooth and skin-like. I especially love to see them when they are lit by a sun low in the sky at dusk or dawn. These trees also arrange their limbs in the graceful patterns of dancers.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lombardy Poplars on Parade

Poplar Lane
Oil on Copper Leaf 6" x 6"

Often planted as a fast-growing wind break, lines of these upright poplars grace farm fence lines and road frontages. They are wonderful trees and in the fall, the leaves have a special fragrance as they litter the ground. In late winter or spring, the buds are covered with a fragrant, sticky resin that sweetens the breezes. This odor brings so many memories to my mind. Kicking through the leaves on my way to the bus stop in the first grade at school. Walking Basin Road in Juneau, where the cottonwoods have the same scent in the fall or spring. Walking around the Bakkelidammen in Trondheim where there is a bush sized balsam poplar that perfumes the air. These are just a few. It seems that fragrance triggers memory. I keep some spring buds in a can, just to open it and inhale the freshness once in a while.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Make Hay while....

Hay Barn
Oil on Copper Leaf 6" x 6"

The sun shines. Summer is ending. The fog burns off late in the morning. Just not good weather to make hay, but this barn is full already. Always a good feeling to know the feed is safe for the winter.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Autumnal Fog

Sheltering Tree
Oil on Copper Leaf 6" x 6"

This is the time of the year when almost every morning is foggy. I love the way it softens the outlines of objects and enshrouds everything in mystery. The sun burns it off sooner or later, but the fog keeps the day from becoming so burning hot as it does earlier in the summer.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Watching the Grass Grow

Oil on Copper Leaf 6" x 6"

I have been watching the grass grow in my yard and go to seed. I should have ripped it out earlier, but it is in a difficult to reach place on a steep slope, so I have not removed it. The seeds are about to fall. Where are the chickadees and sparrows when I need them? Come birds, eat up these seeds before they fall to ground and grow more grass. But the fruit is ripe and they are distracted.