Monday, October 12, 2015

New studio on Samish Island!

New studio on Samish Island in Skagit County 

For the last year or so I've been casually looking around for a new studio space. My goal was a building where I could create much larger paintings with room to store my work and room to stretch and frame canvas and to cut wood. In addition to that I had a wish list: trees, a small cabin and (although I couldn't afford it) a water view. I shared that list with a friend, Heather Othmer, a realtor in Bellingham. Late July Heather emailed me a photo of property with trees and a cabin and after some delay, we all drove to Samish Island on a Saturday to take a look.

When I saw the shop (the middle of the 3 buildings - the cabin is behind the trees - I could picture it as a studio. The next day my husband and I drove back to look again and on Monday we made an offer.

It's just under 14 acres - nearly all trees and 12 of those acres are in a wildlife conservation easement with the Skagit Land Trust for bird habitat. There's a view of Samish Bay and Padilla Bay and the North Cascades. The flat land in the distance? All habitat for ducks and geese, owned by the state (ie the people of Washington). The shop is old, built of big timbers, but it's large. And I've got a pole barn for cutting wood and storing kayaks. I never dreamed this would be my studio.

It's 35 minutes from my house, just past the town of Edison. I feel very lucky.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Wildfires + skies

Lummi Island || Smoke. Oil on Linen. 15" x 15"
This summer the Pacific Northwest was on fire. It started early in July with more than a hundred fires in British Columbia. By July 4th the smoke started rolling in and by July 6th our air was thick with it. The sky was yellow.

This painting is based on what I saw looking north from the Lummi Island Ferry as we headed home on July 4th.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Artist Residency at Petrified Forest National Park

Painting at the Painted Desert Inn. North light - great spot.
Day 8 at the Petrified Forest National Park. We've settled into a great routine here: up at 5:30 for a long hike and/or run, then I spend the afternoon painting in the shade at the Painted Desert Inn across the road. At 6:30 or so we carry chairs up to the top of a nearby hill to watch the sun set. We love this.

We're staying at an adobe casita - a delightful cabin across from the historic Painted Desert Inn. After sunset, when the rangers chase the last visitors from the park and lock the gates behind them, we are the only people in the park. It's hard to imagine a better Art Residency.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Contrails over the Columbia River

Columbia and Contrails. 2015, Oil on Linen. 18" x 36". 
Still interested in contrails and the way they reflect light and shadow. This is the Columbia Gorge, one of my favorite areas in the northwest.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Artist-in-Residence at Petrified Forest National Park!

This winter I applied for and was accepted into the Artist-in-Residence program at Petrified Forest National Park. This is a program administered by the National Parks in more than 50 parks, including some of the most iconic ones: Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains, Zion, Glacier.

It's competitive - more than 60 artists applied to Petrified Forest and 15 were accepted. There are sculptors, a cellist, an installation artist, photographers and me, the sole painter. Most of the programs provide housing, often in historic cabins.

You can find more information about the National Parks program here.

This is the charming historic casita I'll be staying in.
I've been preparing my supplies for a month: building linen covered panels (8 at 20"x30" plus a large stack of small panels) and ordering and organizing paints, pencils, papers, brushes, the works. My husband is going with me (he's a geologist) so we'll camp and hike after the 2-week residency. That's another pile of supplies for the Subaru. Yes, it's a road trip! Yes, we are excited!

While there I will be focused on the skies and the road. Petrified Forest National Park is a sliver of land just south of the Navajo reservation, and it straddles a historic section of Route 66. I'm hoping for beautiful stars, crazy storms and clear light.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Skies and more skies

'The Day the Clouds Blew Through'. Oil on Linen. 30" x 60".
My solo show at the Lucia Douglas Gallery went well. Many thanks to all who attended! I was overwhelmed by the support and sales and so glad to see you all.

I'm back to stretching large hunks of linen onto frames and priming all of it. The work begins anew.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Moonset over Bellingham Bay

Moonset over Bellingham Bay. ©2014Lisa McShane. Oil on Linen Panel. 16"x20"
My office window faces west and this past summer and into the fall we had stunning and colorful sunsets. This day, the moon set at twilight.

We've also seen an increase in air traffic at our nearby airport, creating contrail patterns in the sky.