As a people, Oregonians are equipped to deal with rain, not heat. When it gets hot, we melt. We melt especially painfully when it goes from raining to 100+ degrees inside a short number of days.

This is the current state of the dog.

The cat is already so thin (he’s old) that he may just be a little puddle of hair some place in the house.

And in the middle of this oven, I trekked out to Barn Owl Nursery on Saturday to paint for the Willamette Valley Lavender Festival with friends Sandra Pearce and Cathy Cramer.

Cathy preparing a new sheet.

The “painting window” is pretty short on this festival. This weekend and next weekend are the only times that were listed as painting days, though I know other artists are trying to hit one (or even two) farms a day, even on week days (oh, to be retired…) Paintings must be turned into the show July 3, so there is a definite sense of urgency to our efforts.

I signed up, but I have not yet mentally committed to turning in a painting. It makes me feel better; if I don’t have something I’m proud of, I can back out. Yes, I’m a coward.

Saturday the proprietor of Barn Owl Nursery was nice enough to let the artists arrive a little early, so we arrived in the comparative cool of 8:30.

The owners were out doing a little harvesting of fresh lavender so they could demonstrate things like distilled lavender and lavender lemonade.

I stuck with my intention of working on value sketches before moving to paints. My overall impression is that this is good, but I need to be putting a little more into it and also working on design before I start.

First Sketch – Morning Shadows

Second Sketch – Morning on the Oak


Right now, this one is my favorite. I like the composition, the glow, and the values.

Third Sketch – no name yet

As you can see, I got pretty distracted about here.I did a background for a vertical and ended up tearing off the top path to turn it into a little abstract.

It was about 11:30 at this time and i was sweating just sitting in a chair and painting. A few more minutes and I told my friends that i was calling it a day. They took a break, too, and we all went to lunch in air-conditioned splendor with ice-cold water as the largest part of the menu.

Today was dog training class. By the time that was over, it was too hot to do much of anything. I ran some errands around town (along with all other humans), but going from an air conditioned store back to a car with a steering wheel hot enough to scald hands made me reconsider the my plan.

I sat down in my studio (not air-conditioned, but also not in the outside) and worked on finishing these paintings and prioritizing the rest of the studio.

Let’s just say I need to get to work!