Beyond the Orchards: Mt. Hood

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    A little painting or orchards in front of Mt. Hood starting en plein air (meaning on site in open air) at a farm and orchard not too far from Hood River, Oregon, as part of the Columbian River Gorge Plein air event. I was completely taken with the vast orchards of this area--large fruit in abundance growing on perfect rounded trees in tidy rows for miles and miles. These orchards must take an enormous amount of work to maintain and most of the houses in the properties are modest compared to the richness that surrounds them. Most of the painters with me enjoyed painting the gorgeous view of the local favorite, Mt. Hood. Others focused on just the trees, or just the fruit or the lively livestock in the farm. But the orchard spoke to me, with it's guardian sleeping giant of a volcano keeping watch. How often do we forget our orchards and the fulfilling task of daily work by wandering to seek out the mountains that watch from a distance? The grass in this fertile orchard was green enough for me, knowing that the mountain would still be there once the harvest was completed. This oil painting has load of lively texture, color, and brushwork.