Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"Driftwood Giants, plein air, landscape by Robin Weiss

"Driftwood Giants" 9x12 oil on linen     Sold
New Dungeness Light Station Keepers Award  PTP 2015
We were designated a painting spot on one of the days during Paint the Peninsula so me and painting friends, Jim Lamb and Melanie Thompson met early at the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge and headed for the beach. The Dungeness Spit is a long narrow strip of land five miles long with a light station at the end. As one of the sponsors of PTP 2015 the Light Station Keepers would be judging and giving awards for the work done by the artists painting in the refuge during the day.

Melanie working on her painting

The trail from the parking area is about three quarters of a mile. When we reached the end Melanie set up right there with a view of the Olympics peaking out through rapidly changing cloud conditions. It wasn't the best weather but it wasn't raining either!
 I hefted my pack down the spit where there was more driftwood. I found an interesting arrangement that would lead the eye of the viewer into the painting. I even moved a few pieces out of the way to make a better composition where one long piece of driftwood goes through the "eye" of another.

On the Dungeness Spit

The sun kept peeking out through the clouds. I snapped a picture so that I could reference my camera monitor to add shadows where I couldn't see them most of the time. I punched up the color notes and increased the size of the Olympic Mountain range in the distance. I was inspired by the color of the mountains and the way they were obscured by the clouds so I increased the saturation of the blue-green color of distant land seen through atmosphere.

In the mean time the light station keepers came around to check on the painters and encourage us.

 When I finished this one I moved to the other side of the spit where Jim was already painting. We were positioned at about 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock  around a large tide pool formed as the tide retreated into Dungeness Bay.

Dungeness Bay  9x14 oil on panel  $600 
As we were painting I noticed something moving in the tide pool that looked like seaweed. There was no current since the pool was isolated by now and the movement caught my eye. I walked down closer thinking it may have been a sea otter but when close I recognized it as a Giant Pacific Octopus trapped in the tide pool.  Jim came down and we both started taking videos of it. As it moved to a sandy area and settle down it would change color and blend in perfectly with the bottom. Then it would start moving and turn a rust red color.

The funny part about this octopus story is when we got back that day I posted my video on facebook and it received over a thousand views. Jim posted his and since he took the video vertically it posted vertically  and didn't get many views.  Being new to facebook he was not sure how to rotate it and in trying to he re-posted it to his page six times and changed his profile picture to the octopus. Ha!  You have to hear him tell the story!

Receiving the New Dungeness Light Station Keepers Award
For "Driftwood Giants" Paint the Peninsula 2015

1 comment:

Lavon said...

Wonderful. Your work is so beautiful, I am a little intimidated. But I will keep on anyway 8). Really enjoy your story and comments. The parts where you describe your painting decisions are especially helpful.