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                                     Plein Air Paintings

                                      Some of Don's favorite plein air paintings

Cabbage Patch           9 X 12 inches           Alkyd on Gessoboard Panel   

                    $195 framed

A picnic on a warm sunny day at Greens Camp a few summers ago provided Karen with a chance to explore one of her favorite beaches while I dug out my paints.  There an upland scene, an extensive patch of skunk cabbage, beckoned to be painted.  I can't say I got a sun tan that day, but I sure had fun.

Cabbage Patch.jpg

Karen and I took a road trip in the fall of 2013 wandering about the northwest where I packed my paints along.  Our original website detailed experiences and included a number of paintings from that adventure. Here are some of my favorites from that road trip.

Cheese Country.jpg

Cheese Country            9 X 12 inches 

          Alkyd on Raymar Panel                                 $195 Unframed

With Karen off for a shopping excursion, I took the chance to see what I might discover east of the coastline.  I had heard Oregon Route 6 between Tillamook and Portland was quite scenic.  Surely I'd find plenty to paint there.  Road construction!  How could I paint between flaggers with heavy construction equipment bathing my canvas in dust?  A side road led past this view of a farm.  I'll bet this farmers cattle contribute to Tillamook Cheese.  We eat a lot of Tillamook Cheese.  OK, I confess, I did move the barn -- but not too far.

Along the Hoh               9 X 12 inches 

            Alkyd on Raymar Panel                                 $195 Unframed

Karen opted to relax in the lodge we were staying at one showery day while I headed to the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park.  I can't get enough of those towering old-growth trees clothed in layers of mosses and lichens -- each footstep revealing a new primordial landscape.  For Karen, this landscape triggers her vertigo.  This time a grove of maples framed by backlit alders Along the Hoh River distracted me.  A bonus, the showers quit just as I reached this setting.  No sooner had i put away my brushes than

Along the Hoh.jpg

the skies dumped in  earnest.  For once my timing was perfect.

Ruby Creek Crossing.jpg

Ruby Creek Crossing                   9 X 12 inches  

       Alkyd on Raymar Panel    $195 unframed

As much as I enjoyed the open vistas of the Palouse Hills, curiosity about the terrain  further east, in the forested hills of Idaho, lured me away for a one day "explore."  There, along a rural highway to Elk River, Idaho, Ruby Creek cut short my "explore." Soon I discovered a dirt track that led me to a ford across the Creek.  Painting subjects beckoned in all directions.  I got so involved in the painting that I failed to notice the approach of a critter until it was a stone's throw (this time an easy lob) distance from me.  A curious cow.

Abandoned Apple Tree.jpg

Abandoned                                      9 x 12 inches       Alkyd on Raymar Panel    $195 unframed

I picked out Kamiah, Idaho on the map.  I'd never been there?  On the way I drove through through Nezperce, where I hoped to look up an old friend.  Alas, he had moved and a sign announced the road from Nezperce to Kamiah was closed.  No problem!  I'd just take a detour that led to Grangeville, Idaho.  I'd never been there either.  I found the route dominated by rolling farmland with scattered ranches -- until I spotted a side track leading to an abandoned house.  I couldn't resist.  However, brush and trees seemed to engulf what was once someone's dream so I opted to pass.  Returning towards the highway, I discovered several abandoned apple trees.  Another future abstraction idea.  The apples were tasty, too.

West Fork.jpg

West Fork                      9 X 12 inches  

Alkyd on Raymar Panel  $195 unframed

Aiming our car for Montana a sign advertising reasonable rates drew me to Lolo Hot Springs Resort.  The drawing card -- the West Fork of Lolo Creek that "spoke" eloquently of scenes from my memory -- similar settings in the high country of Utah and Wyoming that cemented my love of wild places back in my youth.   My destiny to migrate to Alaska was surely set during those formative middle school years.   Everywhere along the valley bottoms, riparian areas brought back happy memories.  I stayed at Lolo Hot Springs one extra night.

Waiting for Rain             9 X 12 inches Alkyd on Raymar Panel  $195 unframed

The time had come to turn back north and west.  I had an Alaska Ferry to catch so I needed to be more judicious with my time.  Besides, the weather was turning towards the wet side.  Then, I spotted a sign -- White Pine Creek Road.  Umm, I wonder what was up in those mountains?  Off I went for one last painting -- a dry stretch of White Pine Creek.  I guess they needed the rain that was about to hit.

Waiting for Rain.jpg
Coho Country.jpg
Beyond the Bend.jpg

Coho Country     Top                9 X 12 inches 

               Alkyd  on canvas     Sold           


Beyond the Bend     Bottom      9 X 12 inches          Alkyd  on canvas   $195 unframed

We had a little summer in 2011.  Not much, but some.  I took advantage of a bit of it to head out to the upper road crossing of Falls Creek.  Years ago, when I was out to capture our island in 35 mm images, I set a minnow trap here.  It quickly caught juvenile coho salmon and Dolly Varden char which I plunked into a home-made, ant farm-sized aquarium.  What fun I had photographing those captive salmonids with all kinds of backgrounds -- including a photo of a living room torn out of an issue of Better Homes and Gardens.  That year, for three days running, I headed to this old hangout with my easel.  The sun proved illusive, but here are two of the resulting paintings.

Abandoned    12 X 16 inches    Alkyd                            Sold 

Many years ago a fur farm was located on Mitkof Island south of Petersburg.  Eventually it was closed and turned into a Forest Service tree farm.  Now that, too, has ceased operation. However, down on the beach remains of the old fur farm can still be found.  There a sadly leaning shelter with a skiff that shall sail no more still survive.  The skiff's role in the project -- to fish for food for the mink and foxes raised in the fur farm.  I wonder at the emotions of the workers who just walked away and abandoned their boat to the whims of southeast Alaskan storms.


I'll be adding more images with descriptions to this section of our website in the future so, check back later to see what I decide to post.

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