Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tomatoes & Studio

Sam checking out the changes outside my studio
Autumn has arrived in northwest Washington: it's cold, windy and wet. So this morning my husband, the Urban Tomato Farmer, harvested his crop. He likes to hang it upside down outside my studio.

Actually, he likes to hang his crop upside down INSIDE my studio but...nope.

This will be a shortlived curtain: Whatcom Artists' Studio Tour is October 2nd and I think it may not work to have people push through tomato vines to see my paintings!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Summer Night, Skagit River

Summer Night, Skagit River. Oil on Linen Panel. 12" x 20"
This summer I drove north through Skagit County a number of times. That's common. It's between me and eastern Washington, the Columbia River and Seattle. For some reason I kept making that drive right when the sun was setting over the river, turning it to gold.

One time I was driving with my son and apologized, because I had to get off at the next exit to watch the river. His reply? Said with a smile: Sure, I thought you'd want to stop.

This is called Summer Night, Skagit River but I think of it as 'After Paris, Skagit River' because it was what I learned from Deborah Paris that enabled me to capture what I saw.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Requiem for a Firefighter

Requiem for a Firefighter. ©2010 Lisa McShane. Oil on Canvas. 22" x 40".
This June my youngest cousin died while fighting a fire near Saddle Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Washington. We went to his memorial service and it was one of those times in life when things come into sharp focus. We're a big family but all of my cousins were there; so glad to see each other. 300 or so neighbors from this very rural area were there to celebrate his life.

He'd lived a full and vibrant life. He was one of those kids who was always in trouble. I think he totaled two family vehicles before he got his driver's license. But he grew up to own a trucking company, to serve as Fire Chief and to be loved by many, many people.

Driving back to my mother-in-law's home that evening I was struck - as I often am in Eastern Washington - by the beauty of the area and the saturated light.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A New Gallery!

Still Water. ©2010 Lisa McShane. Oil on Linen Panel. 9x12.

I have great news: the Roby/King Galleries on Bainbridge will be representing my work in that area. I'm thrilled to be working with Wes and Andrea and pleased to join their gallery.

If you're in Seattle or Bainbridge, please stop by the gallery in downtown Bainbridge and see my paintings! Among them is Still Water. This is a favorite of mine and one that previously was not available for sale.

Valley by Waitsburg

Valley by Waitsburg. ©2010 Lisa McShane. Oil on Linen Panel. 12 x 20.

What a great summer! Short and the coldest on record up here in Washington State since 1980 but still, I had a number of lovely trips to Eastern Washington for painting. I'm very excited about what I'm working on right now: Palouse Falls, Kittitas Hay Fields, wheat fields and the Skagit River.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Horse Heaven Hills at Sunset

Dan and Sam the dog setting up our picnic
View of Rattlesnake Mountain and Red Mountain from the top of the Horse Heaven Hills

We spent a few days over in Walla Walla and Kennewick this last week and the weather was stunning. Friday night we drove up as far as our car could safely go on McBee Road in the Horse Heaven Hills for a sunset picnic. We then walked up to the top. 

Fortunately a breeze picked up because a gazillion little winged ants had just hatched out and completely covered us with each step! It was looking like one of those romantic ideas gone wrong.

But up at the top it was lovely. You can see the view to the north of Rattlesnake Mountain to the left and Red Mountain to the right. Behind us the high plateau of the Horse Heaven Hills sloped to the Columbia River. To the west, we could see Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier. We had wine, cheese, bread, Sam rolled around and covered herself with dirt and sticks and the sunset was lovely. 

The Horse Heaven Hills is an area I've painted this year and will focus more on this winter. Last spring I painted two paintings of McBee Road in the fog: Road Into Fog in the Horse Heaven Hills and Horse Heaven Fog

I've also painted the view towards Rattlesnake and Red Mountains from below: Dusk Falls on Rattlesnake and Red and Red Mountain at Dusk

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Marching Towards Dixie

Work in Progress: Above Dixie. Oil on Linen. 30 x 36.

This is a painting I've been working on since June. In addition to the piece getting heavier each day, I've changed the sloped field from green to yellow, changed the sky several times and slowly increased the volume of leaves on the painting.

It's still not done but it's getting there. And since my studio is full of partly done large paintings, and a commission that I've diligently worked on, I thought it was past time I share something with you.

Here's the earlier unfinished version of this still unfinished painting. If you have thoughts for me, do share!