Painting in the Palouse

Near Starbuck. 
Back from 3 days of meandering around southeast Washington State, painting and taking photographs. The top one looks very much like my larger paintings, only with my easel standing in the painting. Doesn't it look lovely? It was hot and so windy that I had to tie my palette down with a bungie cord.

My easel in a field of chickpeas, Mill Creek Valley, the Palouse
This was this morning, just outside of Walla Walla in a gorgeous spot. I painted a wheat field while standing on little chick pea plants. They popped when I walked!

The backstory:
Sunday we had a family gathering at my cousin's wheat farm outside of Connell. I was eager to go, to see my cousins and to see the light and the wheat fields. Since it's harvest, the light in the area literally glows from the yellow of the fields. My husband, a geologist, and I planned to paint, see geology and camp. Fun! But there was a slight glitch. Well two. First, we took a remote gravel road on our way to the gathering (cool geology) and a tire blew out. No phones, and it took an hour to get the tire off. Then we discovered that since I'd packed our camping gear AFTER getting home from the opening night party at Smith and Vallee Gallery in Edison, I had packed the wrong tent. Or the wrong poles. Anyway, parts of two incompatible tents! So instead of camping, we ended up staying at my cousin's lovely home Sunday and in Walla Walla on  Monday. That was fine too. Because everywhere we looked it was stunning. The light, the fields, the skies, the stars, all beautiful.

My highlights:

  • Palouse Falls State Park. I plan to paint this, as it reminds me of a number of Hudson River paintings of a falls. Very similar, but a higher fall. And with rattlesnakes, but those won't be in the painting.
  • Highway 12 between Waitsburg and Walla Walla. To me, this is simply beautiful. Everything about it. The fields are lush and yellow and the side views with the poplar trees all remind me of Umbria, but better.
  • The wheat fields perched high above the Snake River Canyon in Columbia County, especially at Tramway Road. It was shocking, the stark beauty of it. They grow winter wheat there which means that each year, half the fields are fallow. I'm used to that, I've seen it all my life. But here they leave the stubble and it's silver. So the fields alternated between a deep gold and a bright silver. Above a deep canyon formed by the Snake. Wow. 


Deborah Paris said…
Sounds beautiful McLisa. Looking forward to seeing all those paintings!
Casey Klahn said…
You just missed the mild (cold) weather!
loriann said…
So that's your paloose! looks beautiful! Can't wait to see your new paintings.
Lisa McShane said…
Thanks Deborah!

Casey - odd, it turned sunny just as we arrived back to Bellingham :)

Loriann- thanks! Yes, that's it. I took 987 photos of wheat fields so....that's the beautiful Palouse.