The rain stopped this morning! The sun has actually shone at times today, and I made the most of it with a walk and a plein air painting session at the Oakridge Industrial Park.
I am still refining my approach and process as far as tools and methods go. Today the subject took a back seat to convenience since the dog needed a walk, the angle of the sun limited my choices, and I was having my problems with gear -- the plastic palette got tipped sideways for a brief time, and green paint from yesterdays painting session was oozing all over the place.
Finally I just stopped where I was, drug out the gear and went for it. The subject was "TV" Butte with the pond and reflections in the foreground. The clouds kept the shadows dancing on the mountain, to it was a merry chase til the end. Nerves kept me from really slowing down enough to be comfortable, but I'm real happy that I just did it.
Here is a short video of my painting session.
I will rejoice the day that my paintings are as interesting as my palette!
Why TV Butte? There is a controversy about a proposed quarry that will destroy the mountain, fill the air with dust, increase big truck traffice by an estimated 80 trucks per day, and who knows how many other choice side effects? Can you get where I am on this issue?
Oakridge is a contradiction -- so many natural blessings, but in the process of rebuilding after the collapse of the timber industry here, there is still a strong bias for an industrial cure for our ailing economy. Of course we also have lovely little tourist services that if allowed to flourish, are the real long term solution to our economic development. But our voices are in the minority, and instead of a conference center where people could come to do creative work, to get back in touch with nature (as I would like to see happen, ) Oakridge opts for quarries and truck stops and frisbee golf courses that take away wetland waterfowl habitat and limit access more and more each day to the natural splendor of this area.
While I go about my development as an artist, one of the reasons I am working here is to record the beautiful spaces that may be disappearing soon, so I can mourn their loss, remind myself of what once was. These stunning ponds where I walk every day will soon be nothing but a memory. I want my memories of them to be vivid and compelling, and I will be a witness, albeit a powerless one, or so it seems at this moment. I guess that is a big part of what an artist is: a witness.
So there they are, some of the creative forces at work in this little plein air painting. I did not know that I'd be writing these things this morning: I only knew that the cloud shadows across the face of the mountain and the orange reflections in the pond were an answer to the hunger inside me. The hunger to live in harmony with the beauty and peace of my surroundings.