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Palouse

“Colors of the Palouse.” Inspired by Commentariat member FishOrMan — though it’s most likely not what he had in mind.

Pastel on terra cotta colored board with a thin acrylic underpainting. As with everything else I’m doing right now, this is a small, fairly quick study. About three hours for this one, I think, though I lost track of time.

Here’s the underpainting, which I thought was pleasant in itself because of those swoopy rhythms.

The Palouse is a region shared by southeast Washington and southwest Idaho. It’s a very complicated place. Basically it’s sand dunes — only not made of sand. The hills fall into extremely complex patterns, which are rendered even more complex, visually, by extensive agriculture. So you have these endless dunes crossed with endless fields of wheat, rapeseed, and the like, all different colors at different seasons. Then you have amazing shadows and colors at dawn and sunset. Very beautiful. Natural abstract art created by nature and man. An artist could probably spend a lifetime painting or photographing nothing but the Palouse and never get either bored or boring.

The Palouse is also where those spotty horses come from, the creation of the Nez Perce tribe, master horse breeders.

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8 Comments

  1. SKSK
    SKSK March 16, 2017 3:44 pm

    This is a seriously nice piece! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Pat
    Pat March 16, 2017 4:29 pm

    “So you have these endless dunes crossed with endless fields of wheat, rapeseed, and the like, all different colors at different seasons. Then you have amazing shadows and colors at dawn and sunset. Very beautiful. Natural abstract art created by nature and man.”

    Amen! One of the lovliest farmlands there is. And not just abstract art, but “pretty as a picture” art. This photo is similar to a view near Moscow, ID in the 60s — but I only saw one rainbow. I used to commute to a hospital there from Genesee, south of Moscow.

    https://www.alisonmeyerphotography.com/photo/99000165?g=palouse

    Check out some of the other photos on this website.

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  3. Fred
    Fred March 16, 2017 9:32 pm

    Love it!

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  4. oooorgle
    oooorgle March 17, 2017 7:30 am

    Makes me think of the Electric Universe. Plasma!

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  5. Claire
    Claire March 17, 2017 3:42 pm

    Y’know, I could have gone the rest of my life without ever knowing that, jc2k..

    But you did solve the mystery of why, when I did an image search on “Palouse,” 9 of 10 pix were gorgeous and every 1/10th one or so was … slimy.

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  6. FishOrMan
    FishOrMan March 17, 2017 9:18 pm

    I love it! That top ridgeline could easily be a blue sky, clouds, horizon, the rocky gorge of the
    Snake river, or the endlessly rolling Palouse fields. It also really appears to capture the way the field grass always seems to blur the details between fields and background and foreground. SWEET!!! Great job!

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