Purchase Paintings of the Pine Creek Valley and the Gorge
Paintings of the Gorge, Paintings of the Valley
Pine Creek Gorge 2, oil on board, 16 x 12″, 2008. $100 unframed. Photo from Wikipedia
All the paintings on this page are for sale, with proceeds going to the Perpetual Scholarship Fund of the Class of 1960, Jersey Shore (Pennsylvania) High School. For information about the fund and how to buy the art, scroll to the bottom of the page. More paintings will be added to this site over the next month, so come back often and check it out.
The paintings (and the text comments) are by June Oechler Underwood, Portland Oregon, a member of the Class of 1960; most of the paintings originated with photographs by Charlie Bierly, also a graduate of JSHS in 1960. A few paintings originated in photos from the Wikipedia Commons. One was from another photographer, Bill Yacovissi.
The Gorge in Fog, Oil on board, 16 x 12 inches, 2008. Sold.
I have always felt a special relationship with Pine Creek and the Gorge. My family drove routes 44 and 414 frequently, going up the West Rim Road to the Leetonia Road, backing onto the Fahneystock and on up to the Rim. We camped out under the apple trees in my mother’s family homestead where we could see Tiadaughton on the other side of the Gorge. We whiled away the two-three hours of the trip being told about my father’s CCC stone-crushing experiences, making the roads on which we traveled.
My parents retired at Camp Cedar Pines, at the beginning of the Gorge Natural Area just below Cedar Run, and that homestead is still owned by family members. For me, painting from photographs of Pine Creek is also painting from memory, memories of the folding and dipping dance of the mountains sliding into one another, memories of the variety and changeability of the greens across the face of the hills, memories of learning to swim in Pine Creek and being dumped out of a canoe on the Owassee Rapids.”
Pine Creek Gorge 1, Oil on board, 12 x 16″ 2008. $100 unframed. Photo from Wikipedia.
The Gorge is a deep ravine, carved by waters that start near Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. The mountains, according to Wikipedia, “are not true mountains: instead years of erosion have made this a dissected plateau, causing the “mountainous” terrain seen today. The hardest of the ancient rocks are on top of the ridges, while the softer rocks eroded away forming the valleys.“
So the mountains are flat-topped like western buttes, but are covered with the softest down of leaves and branches, woods that even in the winter have a fluff of tiny tree limb ends. These are old mountains, that hide their bones and veil themselves in drifting fog. As a child, these were the biggest things I’d ever seen, and even after living in the Rockies and along the Mighty Columbia, with its famous Gorge, I still find these Pine Creek mountains enticing, enchanting, sculpted like Chinese paintings.
Pine Creek Gorge 3, Oil on board, 12 x 16″, 2009. Sold.
The Gorge isn’t the whole of the Valley, of course, and for the most part, one doesn’t see it from the official viewpoints at Leonard Harrison Park and Colton Point. The slate ledges that are undercut by the “Crick” are typical; slate was harvested (may still be being harvested) from the area.
Shale Ledge, Pine Creek Valley, Oil on board, 12 x 16″ 2008. $100 unframed.
The Rail-t0-Trail biking path, from which many of Charlie’s photos were taken, is on the opposite side of the Creek from where I spent most of my time. So some of the best views are ones that I saw only with binoculars. A very popular hiking trail, the Turkey Path Trail, runs from the top of the east rim, down along Little Four Mile Creek, to Pine Creek below.
One of the favorite scenes along the Turkey Path is a waterfall:
Turkey Path Trail Waterfall, Oil on board, 12 x 16″, 2008. $100 unframed
Little Four-Mile Run (along the Turkey Track Trail waterfall), 18 x 24,” oil on board, 2009. $120 unframed.
No one I knew ever call it Pine Cr-ee-k. It was usually The Crick, sometimes Pine Crick. But in width and sometimes in depth, it is more like a river than a creek; it regularly causes ice floods at its confluence with Little Pine or the Susquehanna River. The rapids at the upper end of the Gorge are precipitated by a narrowing of the Gorge walls, and sometimes, at least in the 1960’s and 70’s, were surprises to canoers, who were told that the Creek was a class 2 (i.e. very easy) canoe run. And so it is, generally speaking, an easy run, except during spring run-off times and except for the Owasee Rapids, which has standing waves and an unorthodox but essential approach if you are to escape being dumped. I was one of those dumpees, in spite of all the stories I’d been told, so I can claim to have seen the Owassee from its surface, from high above in a Piper Cub, and from underneath, rolling and jouncing along the cobblestones in March, the Crick in full flood.
Tree and Crick 1, Oil on board, 12 x 16″, 2008. $100 unframed
Little Pine in Snow, oil on board, 12 x 16, 2008. $100 unframed
Little Pine Creek was less well known to us, more settled and tidy, particularly after the reservoir went in. It contained its own charms, of course, and Charlie has captured some of its essential winter feel in his photos.
Merganser in Flight, 12 x 16″ Oil on Board. Sold
Charlie tells me “this is a female Merganser. The males are white and black. They (the females) are common up and down the crick now. They can be seen in the DVD from Ramsey to Darlington Run. This one was between Ramsey and Waterville. I have seen a number of them across from … Camp Cedar Pines.”
I have been startled to see how much wildlife now exists on the Crick. I don’t remember it being so well-populated during the 50’s and 60’s. I’m inclined to believe that some of the environmental clean-up efforts have been successful.
Tree and Crick 2, 12 x 16″, oil on board, 2009. $100 unframed
This is the second version of Tree and Crick 1, above. Yep, there are two of them. I liked making these lush, buttery trees, so I did two.
Cammal General Store, 12 x 16″, oil on board, 2009. $100 unframed.
I do a lot of urban-and-village scapes as well as landscapes. My urbanscapes are wonky, not photographic. They make people shake their heads — and smile. Because I’m working from photos with these Pine Creek businesses, I have to stick to the monocular, stable view that the camera sees. But that doesn’t prevent me from playing around with foliage and other tools in the painter’s box of tricks.
Cedar Run Store and Inn, 12 x 16,” Oil on board, 2009. $100 unframed. Photo by Bill Yacovissi
The foliage in this painting was painted with a palette knife, like the two Tree And Crick paintings. In the Cammal General Store painting, the foliage is brushed on and tends to encroach on the space. In this painting, the trees hoist themselves up the mountain, away from the human structures. It’s fun, giving human traits to the objects I paint.
Autumn Trip, 12 x 16″, oil on board,2009 . $100 unframed.
This painting didn’t take hold until I added the bicyclists. Then it made me smile.
The Ramsey Bridge, 12 x 16″, oil on board, 2009. Sold.
I liked the Ramsey Bridge as it appeared earlier on the blog, but it was too centered, too stable. It needed a bit of movement to counter those steel girders.
Hotel Manor, Spring Run-Off, 12 x 16″, oil on board, 2009. $100 unframed
I knew instantly what I wanted to achieve in this painting — the sense of the Hotel sunk into its surrounds — but how to do that eluded me through at least 4 drafts. I had to use the bits of color in the painting to counter the drabness of the valley in early spring. But having done that, I lost the Crick as a point of interest. Now, I think it might just hold its own.
First Eagle, 12 x 16,” oil on board, 2009 . $100 unframed.
First Eagle is the final piece I painted for this series of Pine Creek Valley scenes. It was the first eagle the photographer had caught in his lens on the Creek. I never saw an eagle there; I thought they had been destroyed by pollution and herbicides. But here was one, photographed in 2006, and allowing me the privilege of painting it. It’s cause for celebration.
Cold Serenity, 12 x 16″, oil on board, 2009. $100, unframed
Charlie’s photo caught my attention immediately for this scene from Little Pine Dam. It, like First Eagle, was a product of layering paint over a couple of weeks, trying to capture something of the texture and quiet color of the winter hills.
And finally, as a total change from everything above and because it contains the circles within circles that this endeavor has meant to me — circling the colors, circling the memories, circling the visceral elements of the Pine Creek Valley and Gorge:
Pine Creek Abstract, 18 x 24″, oil on board, 2009. Sold.
Buying the Art
The prices are marked on the individual images; framing and shipping are extra.
The art is sold unframed, although I can frame it, with a simple black or mahogany (reddish) wooden frame. Framing is $20 to $40 extra, depending on size of the board. Shipping costs are what is charged by the US Post Office (or UPS or Fed Ex, if preferred) Only the actual cost of shipping will be charged. All the art is sold with the assurance that if for any reason it doesn’t satisfy, it can be returned for your money back.
Payment can be through PayPal or by check or cash; we’ll make arrangements through private correspondence. To pay with a credit card via PayPal, I’ll send you an invoice via email and then you proceed according to instructions. PayPal requires a credit card number; I’ve used it often, both to send and receive payments, and have never had any trouble with it.
To inquire about buying one of the works below, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org You can also contact June Underwood at 503-233-8071. Comments on this site will also bring good results — any interest you show will definitely be followed up.
About the Scholarship Fund
In May, 2008, Joanne Brown, Bonnie Powell, and Sandra Schiavo Laszlo met with a member of the Williamsport-Lycoming Foundation to learn how the JSHS Class of 1960 could establish a perpetual scholarship fund through the Foundation. At that meeting they learned that the Foundation will be able to help administer the scholarship fund, but the class has to raise a minimum of $25,000.00 to create a fund that would be able to award a $1000 scholarship every year, forever. The Foundation will invest the money and use the interest generated ($1000) for the annual scholarship award. The Class of 1960 will decide on the criteria to be used for choosing the student to be awarded the scholarship.
Sandy Schiavo Laszlo, John Ulmer, Bonnie Powell, and Joanne Brown are the group most closely associated with the fund-raising efforts, although many others have aided in making the scholarship fund a reality. Thus far more than $19,000 has been accrued.
*Charlie has a DVD which explores the Gorge, mostly from the bike/hiking Rail-to-Trail scene. Proceeds from the sale of the DVD are also donated to the Scholarship Fund. For more information, contact Charlie.
**Wikipedia has an excellent article on Leonard Harrison Park (from which some of the scenes of these paintings came). The article includes the geology, ecology, history, and recreation of the Gorge as well as of the park; it’s an excellent overview of the area. And finally, the Cedar Run painting was done from a photo, by permission of the photographer, Bill Yacovissi.
This sale page has been written by June Underwood, and she is solely responsible for its contents.