©2016 R. L. Delight, Short Sands Mid-March, 9"x12", oil on linen panel, plein air.
The weather gave us a bit of a breather at last! The first nice day I headed out to my favorite spot, Short Sands Beach. I am always interested to see how much the storms have rearranged the beach. It definitely looked like it had some wild moments during the storms. Due to the time of day and the position of the sun this time of year, I decided to turn and paint the south end. The afternoon light gradually lit the cliffs as the sun swung around toward the evening.
I had a fun time painting the light on the cliffs. This is a study and I was trying to get as much information and feel of the day as I could. I am planning to use this as reference to paint a larger studio painting from. One of my goals this year is to start painting larger studio landscapes using my plein air studies.
The following day wasn't quite as nice weather-wise but still a good day to get out. We had another windy storm coming in that evening. I decided to go a bit further up the road to Hug Point. It has been a while since I painted there. The cliffs at Hug Point are an interesting combination of basalt and sandstone. There are many caves that have been carved by the waves. There were many noticeable changes due to erosion from the last time I was there.
This was a bit more challenging spot due to the tide, which was still receding, and the many visitors. It is spring break in the Pacific Northwest. I had forgotten about that and wasn't quite mentally prepared the the number of people that stopped by. I admit, I had isolated myself as much as I could with a cave at my back and Fall Creek in front of me. People still crossed over and one young couple even asked me to take a picture of them in front of the falls while I was painting!
The composition was a bit challenging as well but I really liked the contrast of the light on the falls and the dark sandstone pinnacle behind it. The pinnacle has been slowly changing over the years we have lived here. The first time I saw it, there was a tree that was slowly dying at the top of it. Here is my study:
© 2016 R.L. Delight, Fall Creek Falls, 10"x8", oil on linen panel, plein air
This isn't quite finished as the session was cut short. I mentioned an incoming storm due that evening. I had a nice sheltered spot from the stiffening breeze but one of the many challenges about painting here on the northern Oregon coast are the sudden shifts of wind. The wind shifted suddenly from a northeast direction to east. It blew away some of my brushes and my turps cap while I grabbed my tripod easel. These winds give no warning. Sometimes I have been lucky to be facing the water when they shift and I have a few seconds warning as I see the wind blowing up the water while it is coming at me. The shifty winds are also why I rarely use my plein air umbrella on the coast. It was snapped in pieces the first two weeks I had it. It had no defense against the combination of corroding salt water on the connecting parts and sudden squalls.
A nice young girl who was playing on my little painting island rounded up my pieces while I hung on to my easel. I decided to pack up and head home. The final highlights still need to be painting and I need to cool the light behind the pinnacle to push the cliff behind it a bit further back. Again, I was trying to get as much information as I can.
The weather for this week shows rain everyday. That is OK as I will be back in the studio working on studies and practicing my skills. It is also time to clean out the studio a bit and sell off some of the paintings I have around that need to go. I am running out of space! I will be posting those soon!
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