View Full Version : More wind in the Columbia River Gorge

07-08-2009, 03:15 PM


Top painting is at Celilo Park on a windy day. I was trying for wind on the water and in the clouds. CC's very welcome

The second painting is my studio version from the earlier plein air painting. I tried fixing the far mountains and the sandwich thing I had going. CC's welcome and am I not seeing something?

07-08-2009, 03:58 PM
I can't see anything wrong with either--they look good to me!!

Donna T
07-08-2009, 04:10 PM
I can almost feel the wind in the first one, Donna! That sky is spectacular and makes me feel so small in comparison. Love the choppy waves too! I like your changes in the second painting. The rock formation is still there but it is not a major player. Awesome work!


Winny Kerr
07-08-2009, 05:26 PM
Oh both are lovely. I remember that wind and used to see many surf boarders skim across the river like lightning, was fun to watch them. I also love that sky and the way you do those rocks. Winny.

07-08-2009, 05:27 PM
Donna, awsome 'choppy' water in the first, telling about, yes, the wind! The sky positively glows, beautiful.

The second: Wasn't there a fir to the right... ? :-) The decid... er... the leafy tree really softens the whole painting and give a nice contrast to the fir. Just a wee thing: the dark hills/mountains at the far shore have more darks and greater contrast than the mid ground trees on the closer shore (on my screen). Feels like you 'misted out' the midground trees just a wee bit too much, which brings the farther shore closer than needed. In this one, I really love the luminous sky and water, the latter looks like heavy pooled light, it is gorgeous.


07-08-2009, 05:33 PM
Thank you Beth, Donna and Winny. Yes Winny the windsurfers were out on this day(including my husband), just not in my line of sight for the painting. Not for me though, I like being on dry ground, painting!

Merethe T
07-08-2009, 07:35 PM
Beautiful work!

07-08-2009, 07:46 PM
:wave: Yes just beautiful work. The second one is a favorite of mine---and I like this version. Looks wonderful, and full of space. I like the sun hitting the leaves on the tree to the left on the second one, and everything on the first one. I have been there just breifly in this area and your paintings help me to remember.

07-08-2009, 08:39 PM
Thank you Merethe and IMaybe.

Wow, Charlie you really notice things. You spotted those trees in the mid distance and they are a bit more misted out than they should be in comparison to the far hills. Yes, the trees on the first painting were all Pine. In reality there is a mixture of Pine and Oak and so this time I decided to paint the Oak. I liked the Oak this time as well but did not know why. Having it soften the feel of the painting is kind of nice. I will have to try and remember that. Thank you Charlie.

07-08-2009, 10:00 PM
#2 is the winner!!! Nicely nicely done!

Oh and did I tell you I also like the first one? YOu are doing great stuff Donna.


07-08-2009, 11:54 PM
I think both paintings are very well done. You have created a nice sense of distance and perspective.

water girl
07-09-2009, 01:03 AM
Wow! Great atmosphere in both! I feel the wind on the water in the first, for sure. That is not easy to create, but you have done a wonderful job. I really like the handling of the meadow in the second painting.

07-09-2009, 03:50 AM
these are lovely images, full of light and life and beautiful colour, and lovely space, but ...... I get a sense of gentle breeze in the top one, and hardly any wind movement at all in the bottom one! You said you were really trying for WIND, so ..................

Wind causes trees, grasses and clouds to shift with the direction of the wind, and if you want to emphasise the fact that there is wind around, then I believe you need to emphasise MOVEMENT. the grasses in the second pic are hardly shifting, they are quite upright, and that tree is too, perhaps with a hint of a breeze at the top, but certainly not really WIND. With a different title, I doubt anyone would have picked up on the idea of "wind".

As for clouds, well, clouds will whip across the sky, driven by the wind, their edges are often raggedy, torn apart by the wind. You have shown some whitecaps on the water, but the clouds dont look particularly wind-driven to me - I am not getting a strong sense of movement, sorry.

If you want the viewer to feel and see the wind in a scene, I believe you need to EXPRESS it in some positive way - and perhaps exaggerate even. wind is distrubing, it causes turbulence, your paintings are more serene than turbulent.

I would like to say that is no easy thing to express wind in a landscape scene, without something obvious to hold onto. If you had washing on a line, the wind could be expressed by the blowing shapes of the laundry. Even in a scene full of buildings, which are static, you could express the wind by showing people's clothing blown around, bent bodies against the wind. So I do understand the dilemma. But branches are pliable, grasses do sway in wind, clouds scud across the sky....

Sorry, only my opinion, not everyone will agree! Having said all of this, several gold stars to you for PAINTING in the wind! My least favourite activity.

I would actually leave these lovely images as they are, and rethink the titles! Here are a couple of ideas:

"rose-tipped clouds over Lake Celilo" or "morning light, Lake Celilo" and
"Limpid Light on Lake Celilo" or "Sentinel" for the one with the fir tree

george c martins
07-09-2009, 07:32 AM
Hi Donna

Fantastic sense of distance....


07-09-2009, 10:31 AM
Thank you Darrell, Karen and George.

Well Jackie, I disagree with you. This RIVER, the Columbia would reflect the hills in the water perfectly if not for the wind. The wind turns the river from a refletion pool into something pushed by wind with no refelction. And I think the clouds are being pushed and strung out by the wind. In this case, I think you are wrong, but never uncertain.

07-09-2009, 11:51 AM
ah well, we all see thro different eyes!

07-09-2009, 01:16 PM
Nice work... I really like the second one:thumbsup:

07-09-2009, 07:38 PM
Thank you SMiller2.

Looks like this morning I had a few typos. Reflection - see I can spell it!

07-10-2009, 01:36 PM
I like the levels of depth in the formations moving back in space, and the transitions in the water. Adding perspective to the sizes of clouds would support your depth more.

Celilo Park is looking good! There is more variety in the mid-trees, the jutting formations have a more dynamic presence and variety, and the far distant mountain adds 1 more nice step around the far horizon.

I would suggest more softening at the far end of the big range (near the right border)-the edges seem too consistent across the big range particularly at the water's edge. Would a touch of the oranges in the mid-trees connect them more to the foreground?

07-10-2009, 01:58 PM
I have been told about softening far ranges of mountains before and then on a new painting I forget. I will make that change. And another good idea is to put some oranges in the mid range. I think that would make sense to use some form of orange as in the grasses as the light bounces around. I think the grasses are so bright that the influence of them were felt everywhere. Thank you Ken, great critique.

07-10-2009, 04:40 PM
My pleasure! Oranges (muted) would be better, as you said- a color similar to the foreground, yet in the mid-range context- moving toward reddish browns, perhaps. I'm still working towards letting go of edges- it's surprising how soft something can be, yet still be effective.

07-11-2009, 03:37 AM
given that the sunlight appears to be coming from the left, I just wonder if adding some darker tones, to suggest shadows cast by the trees,maybe even some minute touches of neutralised blues into the shadow areas, would help to link the foreground a touch more with the blues beyond and help to mitigate the "sandwich" thing you seemed concerned about. Not that I think it is a problem, actually....I love the foreground grasses as they are.

Thinking about it, I wonder if in fact it might to nice to add in some LIGHTER tones into those oranges, to emphasise the light bouncing around, and to echo the light from the sky and other light tones in the top half of the picture.

They are only random thoughts which were brought on by Ken's comments about adding more oranges to the mid distance. Feel free to ignore!