Thursday, January 8, 2009

Painting with more freedom, Boiler Bay, Oregon

Boiler Bay, Oregon
9 x 12 soft pastels on sanded paper
by Miki Willa
We stopped at a pull-out along Hwy 101 on the Oregon Coast about a mile north of Depoe Bay. We had been told about a place where the ocean met the rocks in a wild and wonderful dance. We didn't know there would be waterfalls, so that was a wonderful surprise. Boiler Bay does have an official state maintained park just south of this viewing point, but I think we would have missed this scene completely. In 1910, a ship grounded here and at low tide, you can see the ships boiler. This is also a great place to see several of the shore bird species that populate the Oregon Coast.
I decided I wanted to create an impression of the rugged wildness of this place. To do that, I had to let go of certain control issues I have with my paintings. I wanted my strokes to be a mixture of smooth and broken. I wanted to define the rocks and waterfall, but just lay in impressions of foliage and dirt. I wanted to make the water appear to be moving. I have not achieved that before, but I think it works this time. The waterfall appears out of the foliage from where we stood. We couldn't see a source, so I decided to keep it that way. The colors and values are representative of my impressions at that time.
I have been noticing that I am painting less sky since I have moved here. In most of my paintings from Hawaii, sky played a big part. It was always an important element. Now, I am finding inspiration from more grounded elements. That being said, the next painting will be of a lighthouse with lots of sky, and no water.

1 comment:

Willa said...

Looks fantastic!!!