Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The West is Just Gorges

I took the train from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA and it was one of the best rides I have ever been on. The train takes you up though the Columbia River Gorge before running along the Puget Sound up to Seattle. It was just freaking gorgeous... there is not much else to say. I would describe the Northwest, as Hudson River School aesthetic on steroids. I grew up in the Northeast and I can affirm that while the scenery is quite lovely, all those artists of the Hudson were exaggerating just a bit. But out here, I am constantly seeing things that I could not imagine in my wildest flights of fancy. In the pictures above, the left is a photo I snapped in the Gorge and the one on the right is a painting by Thomas Cole called The Oxbow.

You would think that the area would be filthy with landscape painters, but there really aren't many. Actually, I have not seen any great, contemporary landscape paintings (or photography for that matter) in any galleries or shows out here. I am not sure why that is. If I had to guess, I would think that landscape painting has more of a classic or academic feel, while most NW art has more crafty, indie slant to it.

But seriously, if you are a landscape artist, I suggest that you make a trip out here. You might not leave, especially when you realize that Oregon has no sales tax and Washington has no property tax. And let's not forget the granola...

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