We kicked off the event with the obligatory orientation, but the nice thing about them is that you get to see and chat with all the people you know who are also participating in the show. We met up with Thomas Kitts and Scott Gelatly who took us out to Parkdale to scope around for our first painting of the area. We found a spot just outside of town that had a great view of Mount Hood, but the lighting situation was less than ideal. It made for a lot of "blah" paintings. I ended up close to wiping mine away, but I wasn't sure if I'd need to keep it for the show.
After lunching and then driving around a while, we scoped out a few places. "The Hook" had a lot of good views and windsurfers, but it also had a lot of wind. So then we went outside of town to a place on the river known as "Powerdale." It's an area that I had always been curious about painting around. Though most of them stayed around the parking spot, I chose to look around and find a spot that was more to my liking. I walked way down the rocky shore and set up on a spot near a river bend. I like this painting but I think I can really flesh it out into something nice, so I decided to take it home instead.
The next day was my return to Sakura Ridge on the west side of Hood River. I've painted this vista before, about 3 years ago, so I knew I'd like to paint there again. It's one of my favorite views of the valley.
After that painting, I went across the river to White Salmon, which also has a lot of great views of the river. I set up next to some train tracks right along the river to do this one. I was interrupted a couple of times with some trains going in front of me but it was cool.
We woke up early a couple of mornings to catch the sunrise at the Rowena Crest near where we were staying. I did two "ok" studies of the sunrise, but I also painted this one over two mornings. I had to work fast to capture this effect.
This is one of the few areas I explored which were brand new for me. Thomas and Carole told me about how they had gone up the Klickitat River a little bit to find this view. Carole did an awesome painting of the river from a different view, and I hiked a little to find an opposite view of what Thomas and Carole painted.
We turned our work this day. We both felt sooo exhausted by the end of that day for some reason. I ended up sleeping almost twelve hours! Our duties weren't over yet. We scoped around for the quick draw. I don't know how effective that is, really. Only thing it helped with was finding a subject I could fall back on if I didn't love the lighting situation during the quick draw event. Jason Sacran made some great points about the value (or lack of) of scoping out quick draw locations on the latest AHA podcast. You should look it up, it's a really good interview.
This is my quick draw. Excuse the lack of a better photo.
Now with almost all of our responsibilities over with, we got to play tourist a little on Friday. I had gone out to the Maryhill Museum my first year I came out here, but Carole had never been out there. After a beautiful drive down the gorge, we made it to the museum which had a handful of solid paintings, including this one:
We had time to taste some wine at Cathedral Ridge where our new friend Laurel Bushman treated us. It was now time for the opening reception of the event, where we learned who won the awards.
Carole's in-law has a nice little place on the Oregon Coast that we were able to spend the day at. She has access to what is basically a private beach. The conditions are so varied here, making for a very fascinating day of just staring off of the deck for most of the day. This is the view:
This was our last day in Oregon, so other than a quick tour of Carole's awesome little cabin outside of Willits, it was time to go home and get some much needed rest.
Overall we had a great time. The Columbia Gorge is one of my favorite places to travel to. Carole really enjoyed her time there and since we have a lot of mutual painter friends up there, it felt like a mini-reunion going up there. Sales are never great up there unfortunately, but it's a lot of fun to paint up there so I put it in the category of a "working vacation" trip. I have some good reference for future paintings.
The paintings for the show are currently
Here are links to some of the painters referenced in this post:
Drawings For Sale
Prints For Sale