I do panoramas, capturing scenes over days or weeks. I have worked all the panoramas plein air, setting up for days and even weeks at a time on site. In From the Diamond Grade I painted a single view on seven 12 x 16â€³ panels, from 6 AM to 6 PM.
Other panoramas I have done include The Amargosa, painted in the Amargosa desert while I was at a residency with the Goldwell Open Air Museum. I painted the desert from the open doors of the Red Barn, outside of Beatty, Nevada. In The Amargosa I grabbed a monthâ€™s worth of panorama at the Mojave Desert, using the open doors of the Red Barn as my shelter from the Nevada weather.
In a different panorama, of the St. Johns (suspension) Bridge, in Portland, Oregon, IÂ presented the tawdry industries and lush western hills across the Willamette River with the bridge coming at the viewer. The weather was gorgeous that August, but the sprinkler system in Cathedral Park kept me alert.Cathedral Park and the St Johns Bridge, on-site, August 2010
In September 2013, I spent two weeks as contributing resident with the Playa Foundation, on Summer Lake, which is one of southeast Oregon’s playa (formally known as endorheic basins — see link). A playa is closed drainage system, often dry, where run-off from mountains does not go to the oceans, but rather simply goes into “valleys” and sinks. The most famous playa in the US is perhaps Death Valley.
When I was at the Playa residency, the Summer Lake playa was almost dry. That kind of space can be breath taking; Summer Lake is 5 miles wide and 20 miles long, all sand and alkali dust.
Although in September, there was water enough to create mist at Summer Lake, the mist merely emphasized the lack of focus and the blending of distances. Above is an early morning view on a small masonite board.
Below is a larger board painting. Both of these were done plein air.
After painting those, I began working on the view straight ahead, a concept a fellow painter in Portland taught me. Skip the forground; paint what fascinates you, she urged.
From these single boards, small and medium sized, I moved, with the help of the Playa resident manager, to putting together a panorama on cedar boards from the farmhouse structure where Playa now stands. The story of that panorama has various twists and turns which can be found on my blog on this clickable link, and the final results are tallied below:
I finished the eight 12 x 24 inch panels early in 2014. Below is the full panorama, propped on the floor of my new studio.
Below are the individual panels, from right to left:
Each panel above is 12″ x 24″.
Below is a grouping that show how the panels fits together:
These images depict what I did in 2014 and the beginning of 2015, completing some of my obsession with desert voids and stepping into new territory , exploring light as well asÂ abstracts.