"Terrace Arena Looking South" in progress
I spent two full days painting on location at Dressage at Devonwood. The weather couldn’t have been better, although maybe it was a little too warm on Friday – so unusual for Portland, Oregon! The days are long and the light luscious this time of year. The grounds of the Devonwood Equestrian Center are a delight for riding, spectating… and as it turns out, plein air painting!
The last time I’d been to Devonwood was 10 years ago, at the very first incarnation of the show. The place was barely finished then, but it had the makings of a very special showgrounds, so it was a treat to return and see the landscaping all grown in, the indoor arena and barn complete, and the scenery just as stunning.
The view from Devonwood is all about the trees. Big, tall, straight-standing pines, the kind we don’t have in San Diego. They smell good. They house red-tail hawks. They cast lots of welcome shade, which cooled things down even when the temperature soared into the mid 90’s like it did on Friday.
Each of the competition arenas at Devonwood has its own flavor. the Sand Arena is where the big classes go on, and it’s in an amphitheater flanked by a VIP tent and a grassy hillside where spectators lounge. The Terrace Arena is just above it and just just below the Vendor Village, which was home to about two dozen shops for the weekend. At the top of the hill is the aptly names Sylvan arena, which surrounded by pines on three sides, and has a view of Mt Hood. The fourth arena is the Indoor. Now, this is not your basic-box indoor area: this is an airy, skylighted cathedral of dressage, graced on one end by a stunningly beautiful mural by artist Joanne Mehl.
I set up my easel in various locations all over the grounds. Over the two days I completed 8 8″x10″ panels, a testament to the infusion of inspiration from Devonwood! Most of these were “landscapes with horses”…. Even with all the beautiful horses in attendance, what artist could keep their eyes off the fabulous scenery that surrounds this show?
We had originally planned on auctioning off just one painting, but with all the panels lined up, we couldn’t choose just one. We narrowed it down to three, plus “Evening Piaffe”, the painting I’d brought to show what I’d be doing, which you can see in my previous post. Fortunately I’d shipped three frames, pre-fitted with clips and wire, so all I needed to do was pop the panels into the frames. Well, maybe not “pop”, on account of the paintings were still dripping wet! Maybe more like, ever so gently maneuver the panels into the frames, and then delicately transport them to the VIP tent for viewing. My thanks to Melonie Rainey from Riding Couture for loaning me her beautiful easel!
Big thanks go to ALL the Rattners: Ginny, Justin, Noah, Evin and Jessica, who in the middle of all the bustle of hosting this fabulous show, stepped up to put together the auction — Justin played the part of auctioneer, Ginny played “Vanna White”, walking the paintings around the tent so all the bidders could get a close up views, and Noah, Evin and Jessica made sure I had everything I needed to sustain my painting energy for two long, warm days.
And an especially big thank you to everyone who bid on the paintings! Here are the paintings that found new homes this weekend and helped Susan G. Komen For The Cure in their breast cancer research!
Terrace Arena Looking South: Oil 8"x10" It's all about the trees at Devonwood!
Four Friends: Oil 8"x10" These horses and their people were barely there long enough for me to get the underpainting blocked in!
Terrace Arena Looking North, Oil 8"x10". I love this unusual viewpoint, looking up at the competing horse and rider... And of course, those fabulous trees.