Back on track – Now, after Mingus Park we decided to visit and plain air at another Coos Bay city public park near the community college. John Topits Park winds its way around the Empire Lakes area giving ample space for joggers, dog walking, children play and fish, and nature loving. With our two Tuesday visits, I decided to study a water view and one of their many path and forest scenes.
Many of us outdoor artists reminded ourselves Topits Park as a place to return paint and take in the day of fresh breezes and active usage.
Oops – I skipped over an outing. After Sunset Bay and before Mingus Park we painted along Isthmus Slough near Greenacres. Like all the sloughs around here, they are the waterways for the tidewaters for the area. Isthmus is one of the longer reaching 3-4 miles toward Coquille along OR Highway 42.
For the substrate, I decided to be frugal and gessoed over an unsuccessful collage on canvas board – look closely and you will see textures of cloth and polymer medium impasto. The attraction for my setup spot was the weathered pilings. I was also taken by the “S” flow into the plane – I even lifted forward the back portion of the slough to complete the water flow from left to right. (see photo where back portion disappears)
Upon completion, I have been debating – do I like or not – too much texture? lack of point of interest? colors too mundane/more coastal gray tone? More greens?
With the painting I have added a pic from my setup spot. Also, a cropped pic of what I probably should have zeroed in on – always second guessing
Our next outing was plain air at Mingus Park in the heart of Coos Bay. It is well maintained and popular with diverse usage from strolling babies to joggers to children expending their energy. Years ago Coos Bay sister-citied with Choshi, Japan and there is a ‘gardens’ section of Mingus dedicated to cultural makeup of Choshi with a delightful red bridge as the main feature.
We did two Tuesdays and I was attracted to the main red bridge and later to the garden area with its smaller bridge.
The location for this next week in July was the same Sunset Bay area. This time I painted with acrylic paint and zeroed in on the south side cliffs. My objective was to play the warm colors of the cliffs off of the cooler skies & waters. Secondly, a looseness (avoid detail) needed to be worked into the painting – and, as is evident I found detail during the finishing. More work is needed on this front. Finally, the composition needed to be directed toward and into the cliffs which was done with horizon line and shoreline. In my mind I felt it was about 70% done, but when I found I was painting just to be painting I stopped – it was done!
I learned acrylics dried too fast and re-thinking paint management was needed.
Now, on with some the outdoors and plain air. I got started in July with our local Coos Bay group at Sunset Bay State Park. The gathering meets on Tuesdays around 9-10am to 1-2pm followed by a critique of the day’s work. We gathered on the north side and everyone took off on their own for a spot to paint.
To get used to working outside, I chose to get used to working outdoors with some oil pastels before jumping in with paints. This first was piece was done to capture the roughness and changing mood of the cliffs and to activate the sky and water with a swirling wind that is always present along our beaches.