Archive for July, 2011
I have experienced Powers Park during earlier years and enjoyed the many activities available and the wonderful upkeep of the grounds and facilities. For this project, I decided not to take the very, very windy drive along the South Fork Coquille River to Powers. Instead, I went to the 30 Parks by 30 Artists Facebook site where there were some photos taken by other 30-30 artists. I opted for ones taken by contributor, Susan Lehman. Some had nice views of the pond and others had images of the water fowl around the water. I took a little from here-and-there. Mainly, the tree stretching up into the sky caught my eye opening up the pond with waterfowl on its edge and a mother duck and family swimming out for a day’s lessons.
Last Monday the plein air group got together at LaVerne Park. It is about 40 minutes south and east of here. It is one of the jewels of our county parks. Being inland, there is warmth, sunshine, and old forest for welcome shade. Lined up with the Coquille River, it offers water recreation for swimmers and those who fish. There are numerous places to picnic and day-use and many areas for camping. The park is well kept and manicured. It is an excellent place to unwind and feel one with nature.
Arago Boat Ramp – Having lived here for 40+ years, I have never been to Arago. Many travels on Highway 42 through Myrtle Point I’ve seen the Arago sign with an arrow pointing to its direction and figured it was an area. Now, thankfully for this series of 30 County Parks by 30 Artists, I’ve discovered it is a “real” community of 150 population and a quaint dairy landscape. At the east side of its boundary is Arago County Park with a boat ramp.
I’ve never seen one like this. It is all concrete, driveway down to the Coquille River and walls on each side – scarred walls, by the way. Who ever designed it must have had a ‘mean streak.’ The way I backup with trailers I could see me bouncing back-and-forth off those walls.
After the very weathered and used concrete impression, I was taken by the appearance of the river at the end of the driveway. It was an intense sky reflection surrounded by all these neutral shades – looked like a painting on a dull wall. After seeing that, I had my next project.
Just down the road from the Coquille Boat Ramp is Wallace Dement Park. It is on the smaller size with a parking area and paths to the Coquille River for folks to access for bank fishing. I thought I would take a break from painting river and water and reflections. At the parking lot, I was attracted by the cool colors of the sky against the adjacent dairy farm with the bright warm fields with scattered, rhythmic bales of hay and heavy darkness of Myrtlewood trees. Plus, it offered a chance to work with a different color palette.
This was a tough one. The sky was alive and river water reflections kept changing. In the end, this plein air collage became near abstract. You’d think Mother Nature would cooperate and not change so much!