The gorge follows me into the studio, grabs my hands and begs them to paint her. There are great skies there over the Columbia River...big skies, dramatic skies. Skies that reach deeply into the water and pull me down to its reflective depths.
We recently followed the light up Beacon Rock as the sun was setting - even as the light fades quickly now, you are arriving. In that fading light, which raced down the cliff walls nearly faster than we could race up the rock, in that softly illuminated sky, my senses reeled for a moment - overwhelmed by the grandeur of that place, that day, my life, the bright...wedge of freedom in my own heart. Whyte's words reached into my depths just as the light penetrated the river. Oh.
About the art: inspired by a photograph I took in the gorge, this piece was loosely drawn with chunky charcoal, then blended into a monochromatic compositional map by adding water and titanium white. Using only the colors from an exquisite fantasy painting created by my partner (a color palette shift and a challenge for me) and using a rubber wedge, squeegee, large paintbrush and a spray bottle, the requisite 80 million layers were added. Linework created using stabilo woody pencils (my favorites). The bulk of this piece was created during Portland Open Studios, with finishing layers after several days of pondering and sneaking up on the piece to see what worked and what did not.
A huge THANK YOU to all who came out for Portland Open Studios! I was overwhelmed and so touched by the heartfelt connections, positive comments and encouragement...and also by the number of paintings which found homes, connected with collectors and brought smiles and joy. Holy macaroons! An amazing event!
La Maison Magnifique du Malarkey is now open by appointment - send an email and let me know when you'd like to stop by. Wonder Mike will be there to greet you!