SE Area Art Walk: Nye Beach (1) and A VW on Salmon St

As I have mentioned, I’m participating in the Southeast Area Art Walk, 10 –5, March 5 and 6. So I’m gathering paintings and textile wall hangings, old and new, to show and perhaps sell, or at least to tell tales about.

Here’s an old oil painting, from 2008, of which I am still very fond:

VW on SE Salmon Street, 12 x 16″, oil on masonite

The big horse chestnut tree was really what drew me to this scene, but the VW bug, owned by Mary Ellen, a weaver,  a staffer at OMSI and a good neighbor, is what makes me smile. Big tree, little car, with downtown Portland hovering in the background. I’m including this in my “foolish vehicles collection” (which is one of themes of my open studio), although it could easily be a whacky city-scape, too.

Nye Beach, January 2011, 12 x 16″, oil on masonite

This is the first ocean scene I ever painted, although we’ve lived just 80 miles from the Oregon coast for 20 years. When Jer and I went to Ney Beach (near Newport) in January, we managed to be there during a couple of sunny, 60 degree days. Astonishing, particularly considering the current weather. I’m including it with other landscapes, which is the other painting theme I’m including in this Open Studio event.

The first day we were at Ney Beach, I mostly just walked the beach and watched the water. I love the ocean, and I have spent hours just sitting and watching the waves, trying to understand their patterns. I somehow feel the eternal roar might stop at any minute, but of course it never does. This spot, north on Ney Beach toward the Yaquina Lighthouse, had a rock outcropping that was in the path of the oncoming tide. I sat on a nearby rock, reveling in the ways the waves poured close and then withdrew. Once while I sat there, the waters circled the rock, but then refused to do so again until I finally left, going back to the Sylvia Beach Hotel to have my evening wine.

The next day, however, I trotted down the beach with my art supplies in the cart and painted two versions of this scene. The incoming tide reminded me of Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach, the “melancholy, long, withdrawing roar;” it begins and ceases and then again begins “with tremulous cadence slow.” The lines Jer and I sometimes recite to one another are from this poem: “ah love, let us be true/ to one another!”

It’s not exactly a cheerful statement, but “Come to the window, sweet is the night air” still stirs me.

Both these paintings and many others will be at my studio, 1405 SE Main St, March 5 and 6. I will also be offering those that can be easily packaged for shipping for sale on March 1.


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