Saturday morning in Fossil, Oregon, I was determined to spend the day in the town, painting pleine aire. I wandered around for quite a while, trying to decide whether to paint the brick museum/IOOF hall, or what I think is the old, old high school, or the big-rooming-house-looking structure that is now the Senior Center. I finally decided on a little stucco house and its neighbor:
Inside its fence, the sheer sparkling paint of the house made a fine incongruity with the hills behind. But, of course, there was more:
Separated from the house by a fence was an ancient bus, sitting cockeyed next to a body shop/garage, with a couple of wonderful ancient cars parked in the lot.
Even more wonderful (to my painting eye) were the big trees that surrounded the house and body shop; clearly they had been allowed to grow into huge sizes. Then they were pruned — or perhaps a better term would be “logged.” So out of the ends of the tall trunks protruded little squiggles of new growth, showing a shy fresh green around the edges of the black stumps. Ah, delicious incongruities.
The painting jaunt was not a total success: first I forgot my camera, so I couldn’t take reference photos. Then a storm blew up and while I sheltered my canvas and self under a thick pine tree, my stool, left behind in the rain, collected a good-sized puddle. When the storm blew over and I went back to try to finish the painting, I got very wet behind. And the painting itself was covered with little water droplets which had to be blotted up, along with some of the paint, before I could begin again. About that time Jer showed up and I talked him into taking some reference photos, and then yet another storm came through. So I packed up and went back to the B&B where I painted in the portico of the church across the street. The unfinished painting of house-and-garage is now sitting on my easel in the studio, awaiting further developments.
And even though it didn’t fit into the rectangle of the canvas, I am sure the painting will include the sign above. –June