Morning Reverie - plein air landscape of Columbia River Gorge

Image Description

Original oil landscape of Columbia River Gorge painted from the Griffin House in Hood River, Oregon by contemporary impressionist artist Talya Johnson.

Behind the Canvas

Perched elegantly on the cliffs above the Columbia River in Hood River, Oregon, the Griffin House offers views, eye level with eagles and ospreys. The panoramic vistas of the Columbia River Gorge that surround the house and grounds rival any of the seven wonders of the world.

I was completely taken by the morning light bathing Ruthton Point jutting into the dark teal water of the Columbia River. The light was skimming two pronounced geological rock formations.

These outcrops are composed of flood basalts, dense layered of lava spread over the region in the very distant past. The ice age Mossoula Floods, later stripped any loose materials from the walls of the gorge, eventually exposing what the local Native Americans called Great Storm King and Little Storm King. These rocky crags were eventually named Mitchell Point and Mitchell Spur, thought to be the name of a local trapper who lived and died there.
The visible magnitude of ancient forces juxtaposed against the tamed vineyards and railroad tracks below seemed to strangely belong together. I felt complete peace as I explored the interesting shapes and tricky values before me, trying to capture elements of land, sky, and water. The air was unusually still and cool while I painted in the shadow of the beautiful Griffin House quietly revering its magnificent secluded views. ~Tali