From the Oregon Coast

I continue to prepare my body and brain to paint the big canvases in Nevada in November. But in the meantime, I’m easily sidetracked.

Here’s another piece from the Siletz Bay Wildlife Refuge, where I’m playing with bands of growing things in a (literal) sea — something like the desert, only a bit wetter:


And, because I must, I have made the first underpainting on the gorgeous linen canvas. Linen has a formidable reputation among artists, so it’s even harder to mar it with my pathetic strokes. However, Friday was the day. I am using very cheap student acrylic paints (they come in enormous jars, like children’s art paints) for the underpainting, the blocking out and assessing what directions I need to go in.

This underpainting will (presumably) become the base for a large Siletz Bay scene, one where I will be trying out techniques that I hope to use in Nevada. So here’s the underpainted linen. The unpainted sides are an experiment — I want to see if leaving them without paint works, because I love the fabric so much.

The student grade acrylic has a pathetic pigment load, which means it’s all very faded and flat. This is good, because this is, after all, going to totally disappear.


I had to climb a ladder to paint the top of this canvas. Jane Davilla warns me not to step back to see how it’s looking. I think that’s probably good advice. Note the big jugs of paint on the right. Tomorrow, if the acrylic is dry, I will put on some cheap student oil paint — more underpainting, a bit more defined, I hope. Painting this size requires a lot more movement of the whole body. I think if I am putting together 3 or more panels, the movement will be even greater. A dance, if you like. Tonight my arm aches a bit. –June

This entry was posted in acrylics, landscape, painting, representative, Siletz Wildlife Refuge, studies and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to From the Oregon Coast

  1. June says:

    Hi Del,

    I’m not sure of the size of the Siletz Bay piece — something like 20″ x 24″. I stretched the canvas on some stretchers I had around — trying out my linen in small ways. And I never thought to measure it. Tomorrow, for sure.

    Those colors are the colors that made Jer turn around and go back to get photos of the Bay that day we were on the coast. They were astonishing — about as good as it gets in Oregon, I think. Now I’m working on reproducing them somehow on the big canvas. But it’s a lot of territory. I did some more this evening and it’s coming along. One of these days I’ll be “ready to paint.”


  2. Del Thomas says:

    The Siletz Bay image is wonderful – the colors really speak to me. But you don’t give the size – large or small? It will be interesting to see if you leave the exposed ‘borders’ on the large piece you are working on. We have to wait until November?


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