Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Girl's Painting Weekend on Mt. Hood

Well last weekend I spent a lovely weekend with my good friends Vinita Pappas and Debi Bates. Both wonderful artists. We stayed at a sweet vacation house on the Zig Zag river, a really beautiful location. We thought we would paint all weekend, but mother nature decided to give us rain and overcast instead! Ha! Well, we had fun drinking wine and beer and soaking in the hot tub, so it was well worth it! Here are a few photos from the trip:

This is Trillium Lake. We hiked aaaalll the way around it! :) I hear if its not windy Mt Hood is reflected in it beautifully. It was sunny that day, but there were a lot of people there and we didn't quite have the nerve to set up and paint!

The next day looked like this! This is the Sandy River, and boy is it! Vinita had our hikes and events all scheduled :) We considered packing our painting gear in on this hike, but since it said it was 7 miles with a lot of uphill we thought better. We thought we were lost a couple of times, but I wasn't leading, so we were safe. Instead we just hiked, and hiked, and hiked! But it was awesome and we were headed for Ramona Falls, isn't it beautiful!

just amazing colors and rocks. The photo doesn't do it justice. And there was this craggy ancient looking face in part of the rocks. I'd had a dream the night before and saw a face really similar. I think it was the spirit of the falls! ;)
Anyway, lots of calories burned, yea! More room for beer! I'm not going to whine, but my feet were hurting by the time we got back! Yea hot tub!
The final day we thought we would drive to Timberline lodge for the view, and maybe paint? Well, by the time we got to the top it was 42 degrees and drizzly almost snowing! We knew Mt. Hood was RIGHT THERE but we couldn't see a bit of it. Oh well. We drove back down and had to find something to paint! We ended up at Little Zig Zag falls. An easy sweet little hike. Here's the top of the falls

 It was pretty wet and cold, so we set up a bit further downstream.

So, as you know, I paint in regular acrylic paints. It was soooo wet, actually raining that the paint just would not dry. I thought I was painting with oils (horrors! :) And Vinita and Debi were using watercolors! Ha. Well, my hope was to try to get a sense of these deep rich greens. So here is the little 9x12 I did that day. And by the way, I was trying to lighten my pack and not use my relatively heavy wood Guerilla Painter box. So Vinita came up with the bright idea of using the plastic container her to go sandwich came in! It actually worked really well! I put a layer of wet paper towel and some disposable palette paper, and squeezed out just enough for a painting (okay I put too much, over prepared as usual!)  Then I just set my "palette" on my lap and held my canvas in one hand and my brush in the other, sitting on my little foldable tripod camp stool. Worked great, and very light! sorry no pics. But here is the little painting.
Now, not being a Plein Air Purist, you know I'm not going to leave it that way! :) Stay tuned to see if I ruin it or improve it. You be the judge!

Okay, here is the "after" version. What do you think? An improvement?
Okay, one last "final version. I wasn't happy with the geometrical triangle rocks in the frot... and some unfinished area on the left.


  1. Those big zig zag falls are pretty scenic. Good stuff!

    1. They were even more imposing in life, like a thousand little falls all at once. The whole geography of the area was so cool.

  2. Beautiful photos....the second pic has such a haunting feel to it....

  3. Very good, every new version is an improvement