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.