January 29, 2009

Going Green in Oregon

While leaving Oregon last week in a Penske truck filled with an airplane my husband has been building this past year in Oregon, I had an epiphany over the color green in the landscape of southern Oregon. As we bumped along worrying about impending snow and wondering about what our trip would bring I looked out the window and saw green employed in a winter landscape in a totally new way for me.

As a plein aire artist I grapple with green almost every time I work. I love the gray green of the southwest and the greenbrowns one sees in early fall. The pure hue of green seen frequently in the summer grass is one I don't enjoy using.

Everywhere my eyes turned looking at that wet Oregon winter morning I saw the color green presented to me in a new way.Muted yellow-green mosses covered the black branches reaching out as if clothed in sleeves of form fitting silk. Out from those sleeves peeked delicate narrow branches almost rust. The lower trunks often had almost chartreuse thick moss extending up the trunks two feet or more like iridescent boots.
Then the yellow bluegreen of fields stretched over grey black earth. These fields were frequently dotted with dun colored ewes and I saw white points made by new lambs.
Oregon taught me about a new arrangement of greens and I began this long jolting ride back trying to determine the primary forms and colors of the landscape.

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