Painting at Deception Pass

      I had a great vacation in late June, first driving down to Oregon for the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. We got to visit my brother Casey in Portland, our cousin Mike and family near Medford and buddy Lu in Ashland, as well as see a few plays and swoop up to Crater Lake. 
   The day after our return I'd be leaving for a plein air painting/camping trip with some lady painter friends at Deception Pass on North Whidbey Island, Washington. On our drive back up from Ashland, we took a stop in Eugene and I decided to buy a portable easel, something I'd never had before. What a treat- and what fun it is to paint outdoors!
I hadn't done it in years, so it took a little while to get back in the swing. Here's my first quickie done on the beach below the bridge at Deception Pass. All these are oil on canvas pad, 16" x 20".

Another oil sketch from the beach. I found a tube of aqua paint in my box, who knows where it came from, but it's my new favorite color!

The next day we set out for the farmlands of Skagit County. Very pretty, but I have to say I prefer the drama of the coast! One magical thing about this setting was that a Great Horned Owl sat on the fence (lower right) and then in the trees near me the whole time I was here.

Most of the ladies stayed on to paint the fields, but I headed back to the water, where I painted this Madrona tree next to Cranberry Lake near our camp.

The scene at Deception Pass again, this time from the dunes.

Portrait of an Ancient Cedar Tree in the North Beach Dunes at Deception Pass. The twisting limbs that have been trying to stretch against the ocean wind for hundreds of years.