Art : Oregon Impressions : From The Sketchbook, 11/1 – 12-1-2004

Oregon Agate Beach sunset, small watercolor sketch

Life isn’t all about showing off your skills …is it? For me, I need to keep in touch with the things around me… One of the ways I do that is through my watercolor sketchbook.

Sketches done in watercolor en plen aire – in the open – seem to come alive. The sketches teach me about life.

Agate Beach, Oregon - watercolor sketch. Click for a larger version

Agate Beach is an area just north of Newport, Oregon. It’s about an hour’s drive from my current ‘home.’ While there, it was a time when a storm was going to be coming in… red skies at night aren’t always a good sign. It depends. I thought the interplay of colors was exciting to the point of artificiality. When the paint dried on my sketch pad, I found the results captured my imagination.

In this area, the road is sliding into the sea. The highway people keep patching it, and it keeps sliding. But I ignore the road. I’m interested in the things that were here before we civilized it all.


Oceanside, Oregon - watercolor sketch. Click for a larger version Oceanside is an area I visit often, or used to. Being west of Tillamook on a winding road, it was kind of isolated. But Oregon tax policy has encouraged development and the power elites have to have a summer home at every beach these days, so it’s starting to get kind of tacky and – for my tastes – overpopluated.


shagpoke and pelican, Cape Kiwanda, Oregon - watercolor sketch. Click for a larger version Shag & Pelican at Cape Kiwanda, Oregon. It’s the place I can be found more often than any other… this painting was a bit of a cheat: A pair of pelicans was playing and cavorting and I wanted to capture that. The airborne pelican was one of the pair. But while I was working on that rendering, a blue heron… or something like that, what the locals call a shagpoke or just a shag, decided to stop by for a moment, so I put them together. It’s their world, we just visit it… and some of us work hard to destroy it.


Bayocean spit, Oregon - watercolor sketch. Bayocean – the rock jetty here was built by the army corps of engineers in an effort to stop erosion. Once upon a time, there used to be a town out there in the water, but the ocean claimed it. There was a big motel there, and my mother remembered staying there and how the ocean got closer and closer.

Now the protruding jetty offers an opportunity to for lovers and others to view a quiet sunset away from the sites and sounds of civilization — at least for now.

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