Sunday, April 21, 2013

sketch - fishing no fishing

I've been spending a lot of time in Sellwood lately. There's a great riverfront park down there that is quiet, accessible, and has dual features that appeal to the artist: houseboats and a glorious hillside dotted with trees and houses.

sketch - trees houses

sketch - hills to portland

(To say nothing of the people, their dogs, the geese, the barges, the construction at the Sellwood bridge, and the old men illegally fishing from the dock.)

I go down there all the time, but I can never settle down for a long session -- I tend to get antsy and move on too quickly. I'm having a problem generally right now of not being able to stay. There's a lot of reasons, but the biggest reason I think is my stressed out head. There's been a lot of sickness and injury lately, and not a great deal of resolution in every case (my Grandmother is home, stable, but the prognosis still isn't completely clear). Some deadlines that are getting uncomfortably close -- both on the painting side and paperwork side. And of course there are national catastrophes to worry about. (Here's looking at you, Boston.) Just a lot of turbulence. This week was all about getting back on track, and also about finding space to start working again. I just haven't done a lot of good, solid painting lately.

So Thursday I decided to go back to Sellwood, but to walk. The Springwater Corridor starts roughly where the Eastbank Esplanade leaves off, just south of OMSI on the Portland waterfront. From my house to Oaks Bottom Amusement Park is about five miles, which turned out to be about two hours. (Granted that was meandery, stop-to-look-at-wildlife-and-construction-projects walking, not my usual vigorous walking.) And it was the best two hours I'd had in a long time.

blue heron

Without the ability to leave, I had no choice but to stay. To stay right where I was supposed to be.

picnic tables

And to see.

hard at work2

And of course, to paint.

homes and hills and water