I've wanted to paint the Carlton Elevator for a while, but all my photos of it were taken on cloudy days. Imagine that. ;)
On our little anniversary tour of the neighborhood, we actually parked the car and wandered around the tiny wine-tasting town of Carlton, Oregon, just so I could take oodles of sunshiny pics of this here lovely elevator.
I haven't painted for a couple of weeks and this was a fun way to jump back in. (After spending a couple of hours on a too-hard-for-rusty-skills, what-was-I-thinking-wiper-off-er, of course. ;) As I do.)
We started our Sunday drive by doing a loop on Sauvie Island, the largest island along the Columbia River. Known (at least by me) for its pumpkin patches and corn mazes, the 26,000 acre island is flat and farmy, with the added bonus of foothills and mountains rising gloriously in the distance.
This little scene was one of many just like it, - a lone oak standing guard in his field.
Reminds me of that old saying, "Farmers: Outstanding in their field."
Y'know, like you'd see on a t-shirt in the Miles Kimball catalog. ;)
(That makes me sound like I'm 114 years old. I am not.)
Side note, my mom ordered us personalized pencils from Miles Kimball one year that read: 'Stolen from' followed by our name. :)
Ohhh, for some reason that makes me laugh and laugh every time I think about it! Boy, we used to fight over that catalog. Good times. :)
To celebrate our tenth anniversary, my husband and I spent the day doing two of our favorite things; driving around and eating. :)
An hour or two south of us is some of the best farmland in the pnw, and it's one of my favorites places to roam. The day was sunny and warm, and after stumbling upon some rolling fields of drying hay near an old barn stocked with goats, well, my senses were having a party. It brought me right back to the summers of my youth, and made me super homesick for Minnesota.
I love a farm in the summer. :)
This particular barn is one we've seen often; it's right next to the road heading north out of Yamhill, Oregon.
The sign reads, 'Block Party USA, Yamhill OR 2005'.
This little scene with every shade of green is not far from my sister Greta's house in Washington state.
From the foothills of Mt. Adams, these vineyards gaze across the state line (aka, the beautiful Columbia River) toward the foothills of Mt. Hood in Oregon. In fact, you can just see the edge of Mt. Hood's snow cover in the upper right corner of this scene.
In case you didn't know, the Pacific Northwest is pretty pretty. :)
A change of pace this week -- working much larger and trying to 'think big' again! It was a fun challenge, and I think I shall finally declare this complete. The scene is the sun setting just outside our little town, where the flat, marshy dikelands sprawl between the hills and ridges that contain the mighty Columbia River, just an hour upstream from where she joins the Pacific. When I see hints of skies like this through the trees, I zip out there to soak it all in. :)
This painting will be part of the Spring Auction at my boys' elementary school, and I've chosen the image and title as my interpretation of the auction's theme, Dr. Suess', "Oh, The Places You'll Go!"
"It's opener there
in the wide, open, air."
This auction is organized by the teaching staff, and we're so grateful to be part of a school where the teachers and parents go the extra mile. Last year was the first of these auctions and I was blown away by all the work put into it -- really, really great. I love our school!
I've been posting some progress shots on Facebook and Instagram (user name norabergman), and I've shared them below.
I'd love to have you follow me either place, -- every so often I'll post paintings in-progress, or you can see what boring things my boys and I are up to. ;)
Alternate title: 'It looks like something you'd like', which is what my husband said when I showed him the phone pic and asked if I should paint it. :)
He is oh-so-right.
Some of the shops in our town are getting new paint jobs, and when my littlest guy and I walked down the main street yesterday, I literally stopped in my tracks. I mean, come on. All those ladders, their shadows, all the lines -- it's as if someone set out four ladders just for me. :)
I was recently asked about framing small panel paintings, specifically about 'floating frames' and how they work. A floating frame is designed to have the artwork installed from the front/finished side of the frame, therefore leaving the entire image exposed.
I think they're kind of ideal for small paintings made on panels.
(Disclaimer: None of this information is original to me, I've merely learned from others, especially Carol Marine, and adapted to my liking.)
Similar to regular install-from-the-back frames, floating frames come in a variety of finishes and profiles. I'm a simple girl, and I really like these straight, black floating frames from Franken Frame.
(This particular frame is item no. 2026 on their website. My panels are 6" x 6" so I order the frames at 6.25" x 6.25" to allow for the little space.)
(These frames come without any hardware, I added the wire and bumpers myself. Little known fact: one of my part-time jobs in college was a framing assistant at The Great Frame Up. :) )
Securing the painting to the frame couldn't be easier!
I use industrial strength self-adhesive black Velcro. It comes in rolls or sheets, and I've bought it at craft stores and hardware stores and, of course, it's available on Amazon.
I cut the appropriate length strips (1/4" to 3/8" wide), and attach the hook (rough) piece to the frame;
and the corresponding loop (soft) piece to the back of the panel.
To install, just put the two together! Easy as pie!
I usually put one hand up through the back side and lower the artwork with that hand so I can clearly see all the edges while lowering slowly onto the frame. A couple of firm pushes on the corners to make sure it's attached, and that's it!
Here's my little rotating display in our living room:
I love using the Velcro for a couple of reasons; one, it has some thickness so it lifts the panel away from the back of the frame a bit, and two, even though it's incredibly secure, it's not permanent! I can change out the art in my frames as often as I like, and have my 'For Sale' pieces displayed nicely.
How do you frame your small panel paintings? Share your tips!
After a very fun and busy Easter week, my family spent this week taking turns being yucky sick. Thankfully, I have (so far) avoided the nasties, but I didn't have a chance to paint until today. Too long! :)
I think all the yet-to-be-caught-up laundry and dishes, not to mention the three-year-old spewing on me right after crawling into my bed (twice!) may be the inspiration for this painting. Whew! I wanna get away! ;)
This stretch of very rolling highway is in eastern Montana, a place that I find fascinating and starkly beautiful.
This very steep street is close to our home, and we drive up and down it several times a week.
I snapped this picture one day when the clouds were perfectly puffy and white, and the sky a brilliant, deep blue. I laughed while taking it, and more so when looking at my photos, because it is FILLED with wires!
(Is this a normal amount of utility lines?
I don't recall seeing them like this in other places.
I'm gonna have to start paying attention.)
Of course, I could have just eliminated them all and focused on the sky, but...they kind of grew on me. I'm into power lines right now. :)
(In the end, I did leave a few out -- so many wires!)
As we drove home from the post office this afternoon, my three-year-old asked, "Mom, is this the painting you were painting?"
When I was a teen, I was once struck by the incredible fruit that is the orange. I had my family shaking their heads and rolling their eyes as I waxed on about how they are SO AMAZING. I can't for the life of me remember what my big 'oranges are amazing' speech included, and have often stared at one since, wondering what I was so crazy about.
I still like oranges, especially their juice, - but, really?
As if the orange is somehow more special than any of God's other fruit and vegetable creations.
I mean, come on, asparagus is clearly the leader of that race.
By the way, this particular variety is the Cara Cara, a red-fleshed orange.
Most days, choosing what to paint can be the most agonizing part of my process. I had in mind to paint something sunny, and after indecisively perusing a bunch of late summer farm/landscape type pics, I moved further back to the unofficial first day of summer in my photo library, the 4th of July. I've passed by this photo dozens of times, but today, it reached out and grabbed me, and my mind was (finally) made up.
On last 4th of July, we watched the parade in our small town and then loaded up the car for a fabulous camping trip to southern Oregon.
We're not far from the lovely city of Portland, and I snapped this picture as we cruised through, admiring buildings and bridges and the beautiful blue sky.
I didn't know it when I started painting this morning, but a little internet search tells me this gorgeous steeple belongs to St. Patrick Catholic Church in Portland.
Here in the pnw/upperleftusa, we do not take our shadows for granted.
We also brake for rusty barn lights mounted on overlapping corrugated tin.
By 'we' of course I mean 'I', and I am so glad we're moving into full-time shadow season. Ok, so that's a few months away. But, we have seen a little more sunshine lately, so I was able to take my young'uns on one of my rambling inspiration-seeking drives around the neighborhood.
The sun was shining, the windows were rolled down, and all three of my boys took a little springing-forward induced nap.
I snapped several photos of this elevator a couple of summers ago when we were driving through eastern Montana. I wasn't sure exactly what small town we were passing through, but in one of my pics there's a giant 'W' made of white rocks up on that hillside. (I love those homemade smalltown monograms, by the way.) After a little map sleuthing along our route (thank you Google Maps), I found the tiny town of Winnett, and, to its south, the satellite photos reveal a giant 'W'. :)
The cartophile in me is geeking out right now.
(Don't even get me started about Google Earth - I can wile away hour upon hour exploring the world via satellite images. It's just incredible!)