Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pacific Northwest Lighthouses - Yaquina Head

In mid-March, we started having breaks in the winter rains that kept us indoors for nearly five months.  It was also whale watch season along the Oregon Coast in nearby Lincoln City, Depoe Bay and Newport, all within an hour drive of my home studio. 

My rain gauge measured 13.5 inches since the beginning of 2016, a very disturbing fact for a plein air watercolorist who had just relocated from dry and sunny days (years) in the Bay Area of California.

My intention in visiting these locations was to study and photograph the atmospheric skies of the Oregon Coast and to capture lighthouses in fog, clouds and mist. On March 19th, I sat on a bench near the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and attempted to plein air paint. The wind, mist and cool temperatures made it impossible to set up a plein air easel.  Instead, I used a Pitt pen and small travel set of watercolors. Later in the afternoon, there were breaks in the clouds with sunshine streaming on the lighthouse. I returned home and began studio painting the next day.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse  12 x 16 -Transparent Watercolor

Plein Air Pen & Ink

Yaquina Head Light - Springtime

I have always loved visiting the seashore and fishing ports of Gloucester, Rockport, Marblehead and Salem while living in New England. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty and ruggedness of Newport, a thriving commercial fishing port in Northwest Oregon. 

My next endeavor is to create paintings from the many reference photos taken at Newport Harbor.

Stay tuned.

-  Anna Jacke

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

South Florida Sunshine - A Plein Air Painter's Paradise

During the end of February and early March, I spent 13 days in South Florida with my daughter Sophia who was having surgery. I saw this trip as an opportunity to support and care for her while taking in some much-needed sunshine.  It was a welcome change for an Oregon plein air watercolorist who has endured more than 14 inches of rain since New Year's Day. 

Part of the time we stayed in Pompano Beach with accommodations on the Atlantic Ocean. It was a short walk to the Pompano Beach Fishing Pier and Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse. While my daughter was sleeping and healing, I took morning and afternoon walks on the beach and out to the pier. I also spent a lot of time sitting on the beach or on the balcony with sunhat, water bottles, travel journal, Pitt pens and two plein air palettes. It certainly passed the time between doctor appointments.  Here are a few of my favorite journal entries:

Black Skimmer about 3 feet away

Portuguese-Man-O' War on the beach
Walk to Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse

Wyndham Sea Gardens - Pompano Beach
My plein air set-up and lunch

Views of the Intercoastal Waterway from our balcony.

Beach Views  80 Degrees


Red Flag Warning - No Swimming
Pompano Beach Fishing Pier

Views from Wyndham Oceanside balcony

We changed buildings and resorts a few times (via our timeshare ownership in WorldMark). Our last two days were at Wyndham Palm-Aire near championship golf courses and lakes where I could observe some amazing reptiles and resort life.
Wyndham Palm-Aire view

After Bingo - Tiki Bar

South Florida is certainly an artist's paradise. Perfect sunny days and gentle breezes, just what I needed to jump start plein air painting in 2016.  Stay tuned!

-- Anna Jacke   March 30, 2016