Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Attempting the Rhododendron Garden

The Rhododendron Garden in East Moreland, southeast Portland, is one of my favorite gardens to visit and photograph. There are hundreds of rhodies and azaleas that bloom from mid-winter through early summer, and the fall color is equally spectacular. And in between the color shows it's still a beautiful, mostly tranquil space with an abundance of quiet paths, rippling streams and ponds, sporting several flocks of ducks and geese, some wild and some escaped captives.

I've even painted en plein air there, and might again, as there are lots of places you can park an easel and a chair without attracting too much attention. But this painting is from a photo I took in May 2007. The rhodies were in mid-bloom and it was a perfect spring day.

It's the most ambitious foliage painting I've attempted. I'm happy with the way the path turned out, and I'm surprised at the sense of depth in it. Now that I've finished it, I'd kind of like to paint the same scene again and see if it comes out any different. I'd like to try making a looser version, and see what happens.

However, I'm not ready to make good on that because I already have another panel on the easel, getting its preliminary drawing done! So more rhodie paintings will have to wait.

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