I am very pleased to announce that two of my recent paintings have been accepted into the 17th Annual Richard Schmid Fine Art Auction in Rist Canyon on Labor Day Sunday, September 2, 2012
Oregon is no stranger to the massive forest fires that so recently burned in Colorado. A major Smoke Jumping School (firefighters who jump out of airplanes to fight fire in remote areas) is located here in Central Oregon, and over the years I have become good friends with many of the men and women involved in understanding and fighting these fires. They are devastating, affecting not only areas that are burned, but thousands of others - animals that lose habitat, burned neighborhoods that now must fear mudslides and floods, scars on the forests that take decades to recover. I am pleased that the sale my artwork will go toward helping support the volunteer firefighters of Rist Canyon.
live auction - bid by phone
Fenceline owes it's inception to a painting I came across years ago, by Andrew Wyeth, titled Flood Plain, 1986 and his description of the work, specifically the comment "I looked out and wondered, What's that blue thing?" It was the child-like wonder about things that raise our curiosity - the What's that thing? question raised by this master artist - that stuck with me all these years.
One day as I was wandering around the local countryside, I came across a fenceline that was in the process slow decay through neglect. "Progress" was slowly forcing old ranchers off their land and pastures were waiting for the inevitible subdivision developer. I wanted to capture the character of the land before it disappeared. I noticed the way someone had cleared the area by throwing tree branches against the old wire, and the glimpse of orange from the rusting metal fence posts was visually exciting. The light was not particularly dramatic but it was the sense of "what's that thing" buried in the dense foliage that infuses this painting with interest.
Silent Auction Minimum bid: $300
Driving along the highway through north Central Oregon and there isn't much there to look at other than the huge cloud formations of the storms that come through during the summer, starting lightning fires out where there isn't much other than juniper trees and bunch grass. There is a section of this highway that Oregon has designated as "journey into the past" highway - and this is usually defined as the small rows of buildings hugging the wide spots of the highway, miles and miles apart, and then a section identified as part of the Old Barlow Road - the last overland route on the Oregon Trail.
It's impossible for me to put all of the vastness of this landscape into a single painting, and I am far more impressed by the power of the storms and the indefinable sense of something momentous just about to happen anyway. All of the energy from generations past, back thousands of years - that energy is in the painting. I like the feel of it.