2013 Review

Skagit Steel, Islamorada Gator Trout, Rattlesnake through hike, Yakima Tenkara

Skagit Steel, Islamorada ‘Gator’ Trout, Rattlesnake Traverse, Yakima Tenkara

Its that time of year again, time to look back over the past year and see how things stacked up against the initial goals.   In 2012 I did pretty well with my 2011 goals but 2013 sure had other plans for me, mostly due to an injury I sustained running early in the year and caused us to change a lot of our activities for the year.

Continue reading

30 Days of Art

30 Days of Art - Done!

30 Days of Art – Done!

All painted, all signed, photographed and all ready for drop-off on Sunday.   The show is going to be part of December’s Pioneer Square Art Walk on Thursday, Dec 5 from 5-11 p.m. at the T.K. Artists Lofts, 115 Prefontaine Place South.    This is a very fun show with thousands of 8×10 pieces of art randomly covering the walls.  A lot of people showed up last year and it was fun to roam around and try to find pieces by artists you know or have discovered.   If you like something you just peel it off the wall and buy it on the way out, all works are $50 so things thin out as the night goes on.

This process has definitely re-ignited my love of painting and doing creative work, not that coding isn’t creative but…   I’m pulling out a few large pieces that I’ve started and haven’t finished and going back to work on them as well as turning a few of these small pieces into larger oil paintings.  I won’t be kicking out a painting a day but hopefully one every few weeks for the winter.

Day 30 – Crystal Cove Sunset

Crystal Cove Sunset

Crystal Cove Sunset

In January we went to SoCal for a week, staying just above Crystal Cove State Park where we would take long runs and walks through the canyons and along the beach.   One evening we were walking the beach just as the sun was setting and I got this shot.  The scene reminded me of a Gerard Richter’s Seascape from 1998 which we saw at the SF MOMA retrospective and have a print of hanging in our stairwell.

Acrylic made getting this the way I wanted it very hard, I used a lot of retarder to try and allow better mixing of the paint and softening of the edges but it was still drying way to fast.   I may have to revisit this in oils on a larger scale later.   Still, it seemed like a good painting to end the series on since it was one of our first trips of the year.

Done!  This is definitely the most I’ve painted in a decade.  The last show I had work in was in 2003 so ten years ago.  I don’t think I’ve done 30 pieces in that entire decade so this definitely got me back into painting in a big way.   I do plan on doing some more larger oils once this show has wrapped up.  I think I’ll stay away from acrylics until next year though.

Day 29 – Cutts Island

Cutt's Island

Cutt’s Island

In the winter and spring I fish a lot of saltwater and one of my favorite beaches is at Kopachuck State Park.  This is the view from the main point there looking out at Cutts Island in Carr Inlet.  We kayaked out to this island years ago and I found that the big sand bars off the island held good sized halibut and searuns and salmon can be found in the waters surrounding the island and the beach.   I was fishing at Kopachuck on Monday morning when the rising sun popped out and lit the island up so I decided to do this as one of my last remaining paintings.   To top it off I got a handful of nice searuns that morning too!

One to go!  Drop off is on Sunday and the show is only a few weeks away.

Day 28 – Tanner Landing Meadow

Tanner Landing

Tanner Landing Meadow

The third piece from Tanner Landing park, this time looking due east across the meadow.  This was from a  fall trip to fish the Middle Fork when the colors were in full bloom.   Sort of a simple view but I needed a quick painting today to make up for time spent fishing earlier this week.

Getting down to the final few and I’m finally running out of good photos from my fishing trips this year, I need to go dig through Lightroom some more to find material for the last two.  Like a real marathon I hit the point where now I just need to finish but am feeling a bit less creative and fresh than I was at the beginning.  Spending the afternoon getting all the info on the back I need to and starting the real photo process instead of these quick iPhone shots I’ve been posting.

Day 27 – Snoqualmie at Mouth of South Fork

Snoqualmie at South Fork Mouth

Snoqualmie at South Fork Mouth

In trying to be on the South Fork from source to mouth this year I had to figure out how to fish the lowest stretches of the river.   I tried an approach that failed through the Three Rivers Natural Area and finally in late summer settled on parking on the main Snoqualmie off Reining Road and wading across the main stem of the river to access the South Fork’s mouth.  This is the view from wading across river just above the mouth, with Mt. Si in the background.   For all the work getting there the fishing in the very lowest reaches of the South Fork wasn’t all that great and I ended up spending a part of the day on the North Fork too.

Had a bit of a hard time getting started on this one today and am not totally happy with it.  It is the last of the South Fork related paintings I’m doing for the challenge.  Only three pieces left to do!

Day 26 – South Fork Picnic Area

South Fork Picnic Area

South Fork Picnic Area

I’m continuing on the South Fork, trying to get a painting out of most of the areas I explored this year.   This one is from Ollalie State Park off Exit 38 at the South Fork Picnic Area.   In the background you can see part of the rock walls that make up the Exit 38 climbing area which used to be one of my rock playgrounds.  This area was a great place to fish in early summer, the water was crystal clear, the wading pretty easy and the cutthroat more than willing to come grab a kebari.   I probably made a few trips to this part of Ollalie State Park and also fished the Far Side area and the water just under the main climbing wall parking lot.

I had done this painting in oils during my “training” period before the actual challenge started but wanted to re-do it in acrylic for the show.   Only 4 to go, in the final miles of this painting marathon. As of today though I have been painting for a solid month since I did four pieces before I picked up my canvases to get back in the groove.  I still need to get the backs of the canvases all filled out with title, materials and a link to the blog and will do that on a rainy day this week.

Day 25 – South Fork at Exit 32

South Fork at Exit 32

South Fork at Exit 32

Another South Fork painting from my year exploring the river.  This is a spot that I’ve fished on this river for years and was the primary spot I would go to for the last several seasons before I decided to branch out this year.  This season I fished this water about a half dozen times and also used it as a good spot to teach new tenkara anglers since there is a good beach area to teach casting at which also holds some nice cutthroat.

NWTenkara_LogoThis scene is also the basis for my Northwest Tenkara logo.  I started with the same photo then posterized it in Adobe Elements, reduced the colors more and did some hand tweaking.   Finally I added the border and the tenkara テ.  

Only 5 paintings left to do!   I think there are two more that will be of the South Fork to cover a few more sections of the river.

Day 24 – South Fork Under Mt. Si

South Fork under Mt. Si

South Fork under Mt. Si

The third painting of my South Fork adventures this year, this time a run of the river in North Bend that has a great view of the rocky face of Mt. Si.   This little spot between two pretty busy roads in North Bend became one of my favorite stretches of the South Fork from late August until early October.  I caught some of my best cutthroat on the river just around the corner from this view in a run that was perfect for swinging kebari with a tenkara rod.

Getting down to the wire in the challenge, only six canvases left.  I had a hard time getting motivated this morning to start painting but once I got going I got into it and lost track of a few hours while I was working on it.

Day 23 – Yakima at Umtanum

Yakima at Umtanum

Yakima at Umtanum

Back to the canyon for today’s painting.  This stretch above the Umtanum parking area is one of my favorite spots to fish in the canyon and usually is where I’ll start my day.  I like the view looking downriver to the bridge crossing that gives access to the Umtanum Canyon hiking trails.   This was from my last trip over to the river in early October and, yes, I managed to catch some nice trout on tenkara in the run I used to nymph fish.

I think this is one of the better Yakima canyon paintings in the challenge so far.  I used a lot of lighter washes to get the hills to look better than the heavier paint I had used in the earlier pieces.   Getting down to the wire now, only a week left to paint!