Scenes from a passenger side window...
Many of my paintings are inspired by the scenery I've observed from the window of a moving vehicle.
When I was young, it was the long drives up winding logging roads to secluded spots for family camping trips deep in the wilds of Gifford Pinchot National Forest. More recently, it's on trips with my husband, to the coast for a long weekend, to a nearby town to pick up a Craigslist score, or even downtown for happy hour.
Sometimes, I'll snap a picture as we go around a corner to use for inspiration as with this painting of an intersection on Farm to Market Road in Skagit Valley, WA. It's a little distorted because I had asked my husband to slow down so I could take some pictures, but that didn't end up happening:
Some drives I've made more times than I can count, but the stretch of Hwy 4 from Longview to Long Beach is one of my favorites, and I always notice something new. On our last trip back from Astoria, we decided come back up on the north side of the Columbia River, and we passed the tiny town of Deep River. This is one of the many tiny towns that popped up during the logging boom early in Washington's history. I've since learned that "Deep River" is also the name that the indigenous peoples of that area gave to the Columbia River. Fun fact: The town is the current home of Krist Novoselic, and if you Google this you will be treated to a picture of him walking his donkey along Hwy 4. "Driving Through Deep River" is a glance out the window from that stretch of roadway:
Further up Hwy 4, at county line between Wahkiakum and Cowlitz counties, sits a place called County Line Park. Years ago, it was just a day use area right off the road, also used as a late night party spot for wayward youths. Now, it's an RV park... Anyway, here's my memory of passing by the park as a kid after spending a long day at the beach:
Sometimes, the picture I snap for inspiration looks nothing like the final painting. We drove out to Estacada on an errand and I was struck by the way the telephone poles and the trees lived side by side on the road. I removed most of the shrubs and buildings from the scene and ended up with this painting I call "Untapped Potential":
This last one titled "Left is Right" is from another drive I took with my husband traveling from Edison to LaConnor one evening. He always wants me to navigate, but I get distracted looking out the window and daydreaming. I also have a hard time knowing left from right, and that often goes awry. Anyway, on this particular evening the sun was setting, and the sky was all lit up pink and glowing, the perfect end to a good day: