I have been painting — and scouting sites to paint. Here’s what I have found:
This is the railroad switching yard that occupies the old site of Guild’s Lake in Northwest Portland. The hills behind the switchhouse are Portland’s West Hills, and Route 30 is unseen but rolls along, sandwiched between hills and the railroad yards. Behind the camera are warehouses that lead to the Willamette River.
I painted the first scene on site, but that painting is not yet ready to be unveiled.
However, I didn’t see the potential in this next scene, to the left of the first image, until I downloaded my photos. Isn’t that a delicious line of poles and overhead cables, framing the misty green hills of Forest Park? I think I’ll have to go back and do another on that site, although preferably on the weekend, when the trucks aren’t a factor.
I was only accosted on the site once by anything other than pesky insects. A nice lady in an official car drove up and asked if she could see what I was painting. I don’t think she was a railroad cop — at least not the kind I read about in hobo novels. We had a fine conversation about what I could see to paint from where I was sitting.
The photo above was taken on a Friday Happy Hour at the Jolly Roger tavern just down the street from our house. I sat diagonally across 12th Avenue from it and whiled away my own happy hour, painting the sunlit building, the crowd, and the signs that mark this neighborhood watering hole. I had lots more company while painting this scene than the one in the railroad yards; my favorite conversation was with the biker (motorcyclist, I mean) who lavished tipsy admiration on my taste. I rather liked it (my taste, I mean) myself.
This painting too is still under wraps, not yet fit to be seen in public. –June