Plein Air Around the Countryside

I’ve been painting with a group studying with Jef Gunn, a landscape painter from Portland. Jef is a traditionalist of sorts; he loves the scenic, the awesome, the spectacular. Of which there is a lot near Portland. So my plein air work these days has been mostly the outer outdoors, with scarcely a tad of wonky city-scape.

The first few paintings I did with the group were so bad I can’t show them. My mind, however, has finally returned home, western Oregon with its fulgent greens. And I am working on skies, which have a slight resemblance to the void of the desert:

StormOnSauviesIslandFixedwStorm on Sauvies Island, 12 x 16″, Oil on canvas, 2009

Jef isn’t the only one dragging me to beautiful places. Painting buddy Jane is fixated lately on getting near water, so she took me back to the Bishop’s Close, again. Much too much beauty!

BishopsCloseCloudsFixedWClouds at Bishop’s Close, 12 x 16″, Oil on board, 2009

I kept angling to paint some city with someone, but was always outvoted. Last Saturday’s group went to the Columbia Gorge. I lucked out, however, and found a way to insert some (somewhat wonky) human element into the landscape. Whew! I was beginning to worry.

RobinsIslandGorgeDraft4wRobins Island, the Columbia Gorge, 16 x 12″, Oil on board, 2009

Robins Island is just below the Bonneville dam, so while the greenery to the south is stunning, some of the power plant’s detritus inserts itself into the landscape. Of course, it’s that detritus or a similar sort, that allows me to be writing and recording this for all of you. –June

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2 Responses to Plein Air Around the Countryside

  1. Peter says:

    nice paintings!


  2. Del says:

    June – I love the Robins Island (are there robins there?) painting. The appearance of the intrusion of man’s handiwork is a normal part of our lives – like cables across the images we take with our cameras. The Douglas Fir next to it emphasises the Oregon connection. Thanks for sharing. Del


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