Monday, October 1, 2012

Smokey and Smokier

Both of these are 'car paintings,' i.e. painted in the car while my husband was driving.  I don't try for detail when I am doing this, but I often try to capture an idea or a memory while we are on a smooth road.  

In this instance we were on our way to the Klamath Basin last week (The Klamath Basin is in southern Oregon, northern California).  Lots of wildfire smoke in the air.  In fact at one point we stopped and called ahead to make sure the Klamath Basin wasn't so full of smoke that we would wish were back at home.  Fortunately for us the smoke was gathering on the west side of the Cascade Mountains and we were heading to the east side.  
The first painting is when we were still in the southern end of the Willamette Valley.  The second was painted while we climbed up the Cascades.  

It caught my eye that the haze caused by smoke is quite different from lots of moisture in the air.  Far off smoke is even in tone and casts a dirty look.  Moisture is bluer and tends to puddle in the valley bottoms.  

I’ll be so glad when wildfire season ends.  We have now had three months of no rain.  Usually we get a little fall rain by now.  


  1. What beautiful paintings, I can hardly believe you achieved this in a moving car!

  2. Elva, I'm so impressed that you could do these in the car! Your comment about the look of smoke vs. fog is right on the money and good to remember when painting either. thanks.

  3. Oh, so lovely! You've whetted my excitement for my up-coming November trip to the Smokies.

  4. Someone else who paints and sketches in a moving car, woohoo! I love to sketch on the road, it makes the long drive to everywhere we go seem so much shorter. Fortunately no smoke in the air here this fall, just fabulous clouds over the mountains.

  5. Elva, these are STUNNING! Wow...and yes, thank you for describing the difference...


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