A Beautiful Day to Go to Prosser, Wa.
Another month of painting and experimenting with media, and I am happy that I was able to take some new work up to Thurston Wolfe Winery in Prosser's Vintners' Village last Wednesday. Two artist friends traveled over there with me, about an hour and a half from Walla Walla. With 4 new pieces in watercolor and pastels, and with the helpful eye of experienced artists with me to rely on, we gave the show a bit of a new look. I have been working on a committee for an artists' PAINT OUT, a new thing for me and it is really very rewarding to get on this track of working outside.
3 of the new pieces I took were painted outside, 2 soft pastels and 1 watercolor. Then with that experience to draw upon, I revisited some landscape photographs I took several years ago and chose one that I thought was particularly compelling. I ordered a frame and set to work to portray the panorama of the closest Blue Mountain canyon, a dramatic cleave in the range just southeast of where I live. The canyon basically dominates any views toward the Blues here in Walla Walla.
This piece is 22' wide and 38" long. The hues on the sides of the canyons are large fields of wheat and sometimes the farmers alternate crops and plant peas. Then some areas are left 'farrow' for the land to rest. Also the challenges of planting and harvest is of no small concern when managing equipment on steep slopes. There is a point where planting gives way to Nature's landscaping. The combination of the two makes for great visual drama.
This painting was done 'Plein Aire', from our backyard looking toward the canyon as it looked in June, just before the hot weather hit. Two days later all the green except the forested areas had turned a golden wheat color. The field in front was wheat, but then has since been divided into lots, which have been sold for houses to be built. One has already gone in and this view is to the right of that house. The weeds have moved in, so the area is now wild grass and weeds where the land was cleared.
Large locust trees remain on the steep parts of the property and there are 3 ponds where Yellowhawk Creek re-emerges, and then flows on to meet the Walla Walla River.
Carol's Garden is a watercolor done in my friend's backyard one morning. 2 hours of intense observation and trying to catch the sun before it got too high and changed the whole effect was challenging. Very rewarding to not dilly dally, but produce a suitable interpretation of a garden quickly. PAINT OUT in Walla Walla is September 19 to 23 and the final day includes an exhibit downtown that only lasts two hours and benefits our local program for art in the schools, Carnegie Picture Lab.
25 artists will paint outside 4 full days in four selected locations on private property with particularly beautiful views and features. Registration is still open to those who want to try it or professionals who want to paint in new settings. Any level is welcome. It's fun and stimulating to see all the ways artists approach their subjects.
Contact Carnegie Picture Lab or Artwalla where the registration is processed.
Oh, and please go see my show in Prosser. Thurston Wolfe is open Thursday thru Sunday 11 to 5. There is lots to see and good food nearby.