Sometimes there are just moments!
You’re not quite sure how you got there, but you decided. With a move – you’re standing there.
High plateau in eastern Washington state, near Palouse Falls State Park is where I stood at that moment. The end of day four of an exhilarating, adventurous plein air “paint out” with the Plein Air Artists of Washington. 7:15 pm – our last night of camping…after a dinner at the campground we decided to head out and drive some of the back roads (they’re all back roads out here!) and look for sunset spots to paint over the landscape.
We formed a caravan…our hardy troop of plein air painters…like beads of a necklace we wound our way up the curved road to the high plateau above Palouse Falls. John and I pulled over – look! – jump out and confer – “here?” Weaving our way, we finally dispersed – everyone with their own ideas…found our spots where we wanted to set up and paint…with our one hour left of daylight.
When the sun sets in the desert it gets dark fast – and cold at the end of April!
I was the only one who stayed up high on the plateau…my painting pals descended to Lyons Ferry on the Snake River. John helped me set up my easel and I squirted paint from the tubes, pulled out a canvas panel, my rag and biggest brushes…while battling the rising breeze.
John took his camera and hiked around making some amazing photos of the highlighted forms and moving shadows…the clouds as they changed colors quickly. He made the photos of me standing on this lone dirt road in the Palouse landscape. Wow! Painting fast, with big brushes, trying to catch the effervescent quality of moving color in the clouds behind the silhouetted hills!
Top of the world at twilight.
I don’t think my 8″x 10″ painting is worthy of the place – in fact, I know that it’s not. But to stand there, look, feel, paint – and try to translate some of nature’s magic and power, sometimes is enough.
And, there is more to this five-day-painting-road-trip story to come! As a newer member of PAWA (Plein Air Artists of Washington) I am excited about many more days outside, with fellow painters.
I’ll post the painting from the sunset in Palouse in a future post.
©Teri Capp All rights reserved.