I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to all of those impacted by the wild fires up and down the west coast. I think of those who have lost their homes and/or evacuated from approaching flames to the fire fighters who have bravely been battling these fires.
My wife and I left Los Angeles August 31st for two weeks in Seattle (two of our daughters and their husbands live up there). At that point in time Northern California was battling significant wild fires and the smoke from those fires had migrated to Southern California. As we took off and started the flight north, there was a layer of brown smoke all of the way up the coast to Oregon. From Oregon on up to Seattle, the skies were clear and we were thankful to get out of the smoke.
Starting with our second week in Seattle, Oregon was now battling a number of fires and so was eastern Washington. Mid-week, the winds changed and the huge plume of smoke that had been blown out to sea from California and Oregon came inland and created the pictures I have attached. I took these with my cell phone by one of our daughters house because I was blown away with how weird the sun looked. It actually got worse as the week went on with no sun getting through.
We returned to Los Angeles Sunday September 13th. On that day going to the airport in Seattle, the smoke was so thick you couldn’t even see the downtown high-rises as we drove right by them on Interstate 5 (the freeway literally butts up to downtown). Taking off from the airport was like rising through a thick layer of clouds that had a brown tinge to them. On the 2.5 hour flight coming south over Washington, Oregon and Northern California, looking out the window at 35 thousand feet, there was nothing to see but the brown cloud below us. It boggles my mind that there would be a smoke plume of that size. Think about any flight you have had of that duration and think about if there was nothing but smoke below you for the entire flight.
The air was so brown, these shots almost look like sepia photography.
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From last weeks sepia tones, I’m jumping right into bright surreal colors using abstract presentation or better known as fauvism. The style dates back to the early 20th Century with French painters. For more information – Wikipedia/Fauvism.
The prints represent landscapes as subject matters, from New England, Colorado and the Puget Sound. So I’ll work my way from east to west.
This first one is a seaside resort in Bar Harbor, Maine near Arcadia National Park.
Next we move down to Boston. This scene is the pond in Boston Public Gardens famous for the swan paddle-boats. Boston Public Gardens is located next to Boston Commons and is well renowned for their numerous flower gardens.
Heading west, we find ourselves on Lake Dillon in Colorado. The first one is the marina on Lake Dillon with the second one the other side of the lake. We go from numerous boats docked to a single speedboat and sailboat enjoying the serenity of that side of the lake.
I’ve attached four photos I took from a short hike I took on the Riverfront Trail in Snohomish, Washington (Snohomish…the town of…sits just north of the Seattle metropolitan area in Snohomish County).
I took a long flight of stairs down to the walk from the Historic Downtown District with features a number of antique shops, great restaurants and bars in old historic buildings along 1st Street. The Snohomish River was running high after a number of days of rain which had been especially heavy in the Cascade Mountain Range where the river originates. The river winds itself through the county and town on it’s journey west meeting the Possession Sound by Everett, Washington.
The skies cleared with sunshine providing great light on fall foliage along the walkway.
I enjoy using a sepia tone for some of my photography, specifically if it will enhance the subject matter. The sepia brown tones originated with film photography as part of the process to develop the prints in the 1800’s. Today, we can recreate that same vintage look digitally.
I have attached two pictures I took at the Hollywood School House in Woodinville, Washington (just outside of Seattle). The school was established in 1912 and has been restored to its turn of the century charm. It is currently used for weddings and special events and is located in the heart of the Woodinville Wine Valley.
I love to hike and since it’s summer here in the desert, hiking is limited due to the heat. We are headed up to Seattle this weekend for a visit with our youngest and her fiancé. The trip will include wedding dress shopping for the ladies and hiking for the guys (camera in hand always). One of my favorite hiking trails is Rattlesnake Ledge. The trailhead is located by Rattlesnake Lake not to far from North Bend, Washington. I love the sheer beauty of the Central Cascades and this trail certainly contains that. I have attached three shots from a hike a few years back that will give you an idea what I am talking about.
The first shot is the beginning and the end of the trail. Look down at the lake and you see the parking lot? That is where the trailhead starts. A couple of hours and about a 1200 foot elevation gain and you are on these rocks over-looking the lake. The ledge itself is much larger than depicted in this picture with numerous rock formations like this around the ledge. All told there has always been about 50+ people on the ledge whenever I have been there and yes, it’s busy with people, but not crowded.
Rattlesnake Ledge 1
The other two shots come from viewpoints along the way. Your hike is mostly in dense forest, with an occasional viewpoint as you make your way up. Stunning country and a beautiful hike.
Rattlesnake Ledge 2
Rattlesnake Ledge 3
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I wanted to finish the week by embracing and celebrating fall. Fall is my favorite season for a variety of reason. The weather change is an obvious, but more importantly the explosion of color as the leaves turn colors. In honor of that I am featuring the attached art print “Picnic Table by the Tracks” from my Landscape Oil Gallery.
The print is done using an impasto oil technique. This style uses large brush strokes and bright, bold colors. Both elements seem appropriate for this print to make the setting really pop with color and texture. What I like about this particular scene is the picnic table nestled in the background on the other side of the railroad tracks. The most dominating feature in this print is the row of brightly colored trees. The one in the front is just turning, but the rest in the row behind it are at their peak of bright yellow and have been losing leaves that are now covering the ground. The mix of the colors in the leaves creates depth to the fall foliage. The other prominent feature in the setting is the set of railroad tracks running parallel with the trees. It’s then, that you see the lonely picnic table sitting under a tree by the tracks. You have to ask yourself what is that all about?
If an art print can make you pause and look deeper into it, whether it is the colors, texture or subject matter, then the artist has succeeded. I know the story behind this setting, yet I still find myself drawn into the picture. I have another print with these infamous tracks that I will share next week and the puzzle about the tracks gets even more interesting with that one. Thoughts?
I invite you to come into the gallery to view the collection in Landscape Oil.
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One more new art print just added to my Inspiration Gallery collection that I wanted to share. The picture is a shot I took hiking on a trail above North Bend, Washington last summer. The trail was hugging the terrain between two outcroppings. The ledge in the photo is where we had just come from and I was able capture it with my telephoto lens. I have it posted in the Color Photography Gallery as a stand alone art print. As I have mentioned in this series, it’s the picture looking for a “quote” or it’s a “quote” looking for a picture. This was the “quote” looking for the picture. With the size of the Psalm of David, it had to be just the right picture to allow that much verbiage and then picking the correct font to fit the passage. I was drawn to this particular photograph and the marriage between the two elements fell into place. I hope you enjoy. Next week I will share some before and after shots from some work I have in my Landscape Oil Gallery.
“The Garden Waterfall” The Art print of the week is from my Gardens Gallery. A recent addition to the collection, the setting is in Issaquah, Washington. This landscaped garden created an entrance to a hillside neighborhood. I used a watercolor technique to soften the look creating a warmer feel to the picture. Enjoy!
I updated my B&W Photography 2 Gallery this week and the art print of the week is one of the new additions. This print is a macro shot of a mushroom growing in the woods that I came across on one of my hikes here in the Pacific Northwest. As a side note…mushroom or toadstool, I don’t know the difference as I don’t pick them, so in my mind it’s a mushroom. That said, I thought the texture and contrast of the shot lent itself well to a black and white art print. Visit the gallery for other shots recently added from my hikes and from the Issaquah Railroad Museum….
I was doing a photo shoot of the fall colors around town when I found myself at the Issaquah Historical Train Station. Not one to miss an opportunity for pictures, I wanted to share some of the shots I got that day in their “raw” form…before I have turned them into black and white or sepia prints or paintings.
The train station was originally built in 1889. It was bought by the city of Issaquah in 1984 for restoration by the historical society. It was listed on the National Register of Historic sites in 1990 and the refurbished train depot was dedicated as a museum in June of 1994. Actual train service over the years included passenger service between Seattle and North Bend. The tracks were eventually abandoned and the right of way given to the county for conversion into their trail system.
Issaquah Railroad Station
Actual displays of some of the logging machinery and the tools that were used.
Example of Tools
I have played around with these shots of the tools already and they will end up in my gallery as Sepia Art Prints….
Last but not least…
The Yellow Car
A lot of history and the facility is kept very much up to date. It was a great photo opportunity, but more importantly a great example of the Issaquah Historical Societies work at keeping the heritage of the region fresh for following generations to remember. Since Issaquah is now part of the greater Seattle metropolitan area, it wouldn’t be hard to forget that it once was the gateway to the Cascades and a travel point of passengers and logging materials going up and down the mountains.