Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Coast at Christmas

“Looking North from Face Rock Overlook”
(Bandon, Oregon Coast)
Oil Sketch on Telati Pintura Oil Primed Linen Panel
6” x 8”

As I said in a previous post (here), I returned to the Oregon Coast on Christmas Eve, and made my way down to Bandon by the 27th.  Just before the end of the year I managed to finish this sketch of part of Bandon Beach from the cliffs at the Face Rock overlook (I will deal with Face Rock in a future post).  This gives you a bit of an idea of the coast here at Bandon; islands and sea stacks, reminiscent of Bedruthan Steps, North Cornwall near where I lived for many years.  Bedruthan was wilder in feel since it was miles from any town, and it was more personal in a way since most of the sea stacks were closer in to the shore, but there are corners of Bandon Beach where this is true also.  An aside here … Bedruthan Steps was named for a giant who in fleeing from the Devil ran across the sea stacks to his escape; the Devil seems to have certain real estate connected with him in Cornwall as well as numerous acreages here in Oregon, although Oregon seems to have the edge for some reason (see here). 

The island just to the left of center, against which the wave is crashing, is called Elephant Rock (or maybe it’s Island).  There is just a hint of why this is so called in my sketch, and there seems to be a frieze of elephants within the island seen from various vantage points; once seen … not forgotten.  Table Rock (here) is the one on the far right in the distance; at the time of this writing it is covered in nesting Cormorants, along with many of the others, which I just noticed the other day.

For you sharp-eyed observers … yes, that is gorse on the sloping cliff in the foreground.  It was brought over in the 19th c. from Ireland by a homesick Bandon resident; it has also been responsible for the burning down of Bandon on at least one occasion in the town’s history.  Having lived in Cornwall, and visited Scotland several times, I have a soft spot for the gorse, although it is not highly regarded by many hereabouts; but in the Springtime when it is in full bloom it is magnificent, and with no sheep and goats keeping it in down this Gorse is some of the finest I’ve ever seen.  Tell me, for those of whom it is familiar … does it smell like peaches or coconut to you?

And not forgetting the tech-heads, the imprimatura is Venetian Red, and the pigments used were the triad of Yellow Ochre, Venetian Red and Cobalt Blue plus Titanium White (all W&N); a restricted palette, but a useful one I’m finding. 

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