Paintings from Pine Creek, Second Issue

It’s now November and I have left the north-central woods of Pine Creek, had a brief visit with relatives¬† in Lancaster County, spent four days in Philadelphia, mostly at the new Barnes Museum, and am now back in Portland Oregon. Here’s some links to my non-painting adventures: the Saga; the Crick; the hike up Gamble Run Road;¬† and the last days.

And, just in case you missed it, the first group of paintings from Pine Creek can be found on my art blog, the post immediately prior to this one. Below are the paintings not shown there.

The Camp (Cedar Pines) and its Rock Fence, 12 x 24″, oil on board, 2012

Pine Creek and Stump, 18 x 24″, Oil on board, 2012

From Gamble Run Road (2), 12 x 16″, oil on board, 2012

Slate Ledges along Rt. 414, 12 x 16″, oil on board, 2012

Birches at Leonard Harrison State Park, 12 x 16″, oil on board, 2012

Cushman View 1, 6 x 16″, oil on board, 2012

Cushman View 2, 6 x 16″, oil on board, 2012

Each of the paintings carries its own anecdote, of course. The long, semi-panorama of Cedar Pines was done on a humid day on a hill across the road from the camp, another of those masochistic attempts to capture something of the feel of the place in which our family has so much history embedded. The rock wall is made from creek cobbles.

The stump, in Pine Creek and Stump, is one of hundreds in the area, left after a mini-tornado took out trees as well as roofs and telephone wires. I became fascinated by the stumps and the trees, many of them white pines. Somehow the stumps and trees became metaphors for my thinking about the homeplace, particularly as some of the snags and stumps showed new growth or sheltered new kinds of plants.

The Gamble Run painting was a re-visiting of another which sold; I was so smitten with that view that I tried to paint another. The second version, while painted from the same spot as the first, is different — of course.

The slate ledges painting, done in preparation for something else I had in mind, took on its own life, in part because of the challenge of the material and in part because I was sitting on a very narrow verge of a hill on a winding narrow mountain road. It almost certainly caused a certain amount of comment in the community, particularly as I was in danger of a) tumbling down the hill behind me and/or b) being run down by the vehicles of the locals who know every inch of the road (and drive accordingly) but didn’t know that painters had found the glories of the area.

The last three paintings above were from views of the Pine Creek Gorge. The birches with the Gorge in the background were a compromise; I found the perfect place to paint from but couldn’t get my materials down the trail to the lookout (I took lots of photos). So I sat along a comfortable and accessible spot in the main trail.¬† The two paintings from the Cushman Lookout were done in the sun and heat with waspish creatures bugging me, but were somehow important to me in a personal sense. My mother and father loved that view and I have old black and white photos of them with the two of them and Jer, looking out over the mountains. The Cushman isn’t a view of Pine Creek but rather of a tributary of a tributary of Pine Creek; it does, however, show the Allegheny Plateau going on and on and on. The two paintings were done on a single 12 x 16″ board, which I think will be cut in half some day.

Autumn and Snags, 16 x 12″, oil on board, 2012

This last painting was done at the end of my visit, after Jer had loaded up the big canvases and I had finished off the few pieces I kept back to ship before I traveled home by train. It’s one of my favorites, containing not just the snags and fog, but at last, some color other than green.

Finally, in the continuation of this post, are paintings which I sold or gifted; one of the benefits of being a painter is that it isn’t too difficult to give thank-you gifts to those who have helped. So if you want to see a few more photos of paintings, not tweaked in the home studio, continue on.

And, the two big canvases I started on the back porch of the Camp (as well as a few others) are still being worked on. More on them later. –June

Morning on Pine Creek, 12 x 16″, oil on board, 2012

The sun, rising in the east, casts a shadow over part of the creek. A big slate ledge makes its own presence within the shadow. This painting was left at the Camp.

The Last Rose o’ Sharon, 16 x 12″, oil on board, 2012

The Teepee, 12 x 16″, oil on board, 2012

The neighbors were exceedingly helpful, so I gifted each of the closest ones paintings particular to their situations. The Teepee, which once was part of my family’s property, is infinitely paintable. I only wish I had had more time to do more with it.

This and one of the paintings in the earlier post were sold to a wonderful couple, whose friendship I’m now claiming even with 3000 miles between us.

The Mine Hole, 18 x 24″, oil on board, 2012

This (and the other photos in this continuation of the post) were photographed on the back porch of the camp and so don’t quite do justice to the paintings. This last painting was my gift to Kitty and Mike Oechler, who allowed me to spend the month in a place which contains riches for the visual artist as well as riches of memory and knowledge for the person making the art. The mine hole is a place that’s magic for me, and when Kitty asked if I would paint it for her, I was delighted. Sharing one’s joys is one of the great joys of living. She wanted to pay me for it, but she and Mike already had, in making my Pennsylvania adventures possible.

14 thoughts on “Paintings from Pine Creek, Second Issue

    • Thanks, Pat and back atcha about our delightful day at the Barnes.

      By the way, I’m pondering the nature of light vis-a-vis the painting of place. Haven’t done enough to have any conclusions, but the Mine Hole painting comes out of a very specific lighting situation that exists, in my experience at least, only there. So more to think about as I process my eastern experience.

      Thanks for checking in.

    • Thanks, Sheila. Very 17th century, if Rembrandt did landscapes instead of people. All that dark and light really is astonishing, in real life and (I hope) in the painting, too.

      • Yup, that’s what astonished me – after the ethereal nature of the others, to have this dramatic, rich contrast so well done about made my heart stop! From the photograph, it looks like you did a magnificent job on the rocks showing under the water – not an easy task, I understand. I’ve seen many creeks just like this one – based on that, I only can assume you captured yours perfectly. Gush Gush…;-)

  1. June
    Thank you for a summer of wonderful photos, your clear, inviting and most interesting narrative as you explored, traveled, hiked, biked, painted and just took in the beauty, visual and audible, and painted some fine expressions of this time in your life. I have spent time this morning really looking at the paintings and find “the Last Rose of Sharon”. “the Tipi” and “the Mine Hole” to be vying for my vote for favorite. And then I go back and look at the whole presented here and want to wrap myself in “Cushman View 2”. Your painting has developed beautifully since I first experienced your work through our on-line connection back when you did your stay in Basin, Montana. I am going for a stay in Boulder in the spring and will go to Basin for a visit. My years living in Helena and Livingston gave me many visits to Basin as well as other small towns and ghost towns. Now with my camera and sketchbook I will record some of my thoughts and inspirations when I am there in Basin; those thoughts will carry with them the color and inspiration from your work in that place.
    I am thankful for the opportunity to come along on this summer’s journey with you and look forward to the posts I will read in the future.

    • Kristin, Basin is very different than Boulder, which is strange, as Boulder is just down the road apiece. Basin may be an acquired taste — we were there for two months in the winter, so had to acquire a taste or spend two unhappy months. Find the school, which I think is really magical, and imagine the town as it once was. And look at the “bank” building where my residency was, just for me.

      And I love your notion of wrapping yourself in the Cushman — that exactly how it feels to me as I think of it.

      • Oh, and I forgot to mention that a set of my paintings of Basin in Winter is at the Historical Museum in Helena. They are apparently archived but can be seen if you ask. So if you wanted to see how the dogs in Basin look in the winter, check them out in Helena:-)

  2. Wow! I agree with Kathy! You really captured the color and look of the surface of the water in this one.

    My favorite though, will always be the ones of camp!

    • Oh you guys and your nostalgia. It makes me realize how much more time you had at the Camp than I did. You will all have to work to keep it part of the family and to maintain the family stories about it. The stories may be most important, and I didn’t get to record any of them. So you guys must take up the responsibility.

    • Thanks, Kathy. I only wish I had had a twenty year old assistant with meto carry my materials so I could have painted it on-site. I took lots of photos with my little canon and worked from them, but it wasn’t the same. On the other hand, Jer wouldn’t even attempt to cross the creek, so I thought trying to do so with my painting materials might be a bit, um, dangerous. My orthopedic surgeon was far far away.

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