Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Columbia Grandeur

After a few medical issues that interrupted the flow of painting, I launched into this painting.  I took this photo from the railroad tracks near a place called Viento State Park.  I googled "viento" and came up with the following definition, not surprisingly it means "it's windy".  On a hot rare non-windy day I took this photo.  I still have a bit of refining to do, but for the most part it is finished.

My theme lately has been scenes from along the Columbia River.  The goal is to capture the grandeur and the contrast.  With the basalt rock eaten away by water and wind I think one can start to understand that not only is it a beautiful place but extreme as well. The winds literally howl through the Gorge as the air gets compressed from both sides and funneled through.  Air waves move from the cool Pacific west to the warmer desert east.  The extremes differences in temperature, from cool to hot is largely responsible for these winds.  The river itself seems tame, but soon the runoff from the Cascades, the Rockies, and the many rivers in Canada, will find its way down the river.  I am interested in the activities that must take place at the various dams along the river, trying to manage this high volume of water.  At this point in time they must be moving as much water as they can out of the reservoirs in anticipation of the snow melt.  Then, once the rivers start running the dam spillways will be open at full blast.  If you are paying attention you might see a news report about a high volume of water coming down the Snake River.  This is important, we may take some interest in that, but I am sure the people that run the dams are on very high alert and that news item is more than interesting, it is dangerous.

All of this activity in the Gorge continuously shapes and changes the landscape.  Each year is different with unpredictable winds and water.   That has been my experience in life and in painting.  Each year is a different and any challenges will change my understanding of life and of painting.


Ida M. Glazier said...

Donna, just beautiful work!! I just saw this on WC, got interrupted by the phone and returned to find your blog to comment. Really great light showing in this one!! Really enjoyed reading the post as well. This painting should go places!!

Donna Van Tuyl said...

Thank you Ida! I hope so. I have been working larger lately. Don't know why. It was fun to write about the Gorge. I always enjoy your thoughts on your land.


Rachel Harvey said...

love your blues and purples.