By Nancy Wilbur Woods
Between the purple dahlias and red crocosmia, the artists planted themselves, in search of a certain perspective, a way to convey and connect.
More accustomed to painting old houses and trucks, oil painter Donna Clark admitted that depicting hills was a bit of a challenge.
But “it’s just a matter of warming up,” she said. “Less is more. Speak to me,” she said to the scene before her, while beginning her preliminary sketch.
Nearby, Mary Lou Epperson was taking the scene right to her canvas. “There’s no time before the light changes,” she said about the sun overhead.
Oil painter Joe Howard agreed.
“I’m trying to get the canvas covered before the light changes too much,” he said from where he sat in the shade of a pear tree; while Carol Jacquet focused on the flowers before her, their color and shape; and Beth Verheyden, working in watercolors, painted the artists themselves with the top of Mt. Adams in the distance.
Before the morning was over, the Columbia River Gorge wind had toppled at least one easel, and not once did the sun stop rolling overhead, but the easel was soon righted and by noon several artists had managed to bring to canvas and paper what one of them described as the “ahh” of the place.
Nancy Wilbur Woods (www.nancywoods.org) lives in Portland, Oregon. Her writing has been read on Oregon Public Radio and published in the Oregonian, Oregon Quarterly, Oregon Humanities, Northwest Palate, UU World, Nervy Girl!, Raven Chronicles, StringTown, PoetSpeak, Nostalgia, Zephyr and An Ear to the Ground: Presenting Writers From 2 Coasts.