Northwest Mural Fest : LAPC & MM

In late August, while out exploring places along the Columbia River, we stumbled upon the Northwest Mural Fest in The Dalles, Oregon. Painters from all over the country met in The Dalles to create 15 murals in three days. Yes, it was a huge undertaking, literally and figuratively.

The Walldogs


The 200+ sign painters and mural artists who took part in the event belong to a group called The Walldogs. Imagine a “pack” of artists gathering in a town for a few days to create unforgettable works of art. The murals depict places, people, and products that have local significance. The murals attract tourists and give residents a sense of hometown pride.

Honoring the History


The artists working on this mural, by Anat Ronen, must not have a fear of heights. This mural portrays photographer Benjamin Gifford. He moved from the Midwest to Portland in 1888, and to The Dalles in 1896. His work highlights scenic views of the Columbia River and the scenic highway running beside it. Gifford also featured portraits of local Native Americans.

Northwest Mural Fest

The Benjamin Gifford mural is being painted on the back of the Clock Tower. This photo shows the building, built in 1883, from the front.

Clock Tower
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Amazing airplanes in Hood River: LAPC

If you’d like to see a large collection of amazing airplanes, be sure to visit the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM) in Hood River, Oregon. The indoor hangar space is more than 3.5 acres in size.

All of the aircraft have been restored to working condition. This process takes a long time and the Museum restores an average of two per year. Our family donated a Fly Baby homebuilt plane, but it’s not yet on display.

The planes are generally arranged by type within the buildings.

Biplanes

Amazing airplanes

Biplanes have interesting designs and they’re a great subject for photographs. I featured one of them in a black and white photograph in a previous post.

Mike and Linda Strong, friends of the family, donated the two 1929 WACOs pictured below. Mike worked as an airline pilot for many years and liked to fly smaller planes in his spare time. He gave me a ride in one of the WACOs years ago and it was a memorable experience.

The first WACO is a taper wing. At high speeds, tapered wings decrease drag and increase lift. They also make the plane lighter and more maneuverable.

1929 WACO
1929 WACO CTO
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Triceratops painted rock: First Friday Art

I created this palm-sized Triceratops painted rock about twenty years ago. Many of us, young and old, love dinosaurs and this one lived in my garden for a while. I painted it with acrylics and covered it with a thin layer of clear finish.

Triceratops painted rock

Triceratops’ unique anatomy is apparent in this mounted skeleton at the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. Their name means ‘three-horned face.’ The massive skull has a fringe of bone in the back. The horns and bony fringe may have helped protect this dinosaur from Tyrannosaurus rex, its most common predator. I’ve featured a big T. rex rock and a smaller one in previous posts.

Triceratops skeleton
Triceratops mounted skeleton at Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles, CA
Source: Allie_Caulfield Derivative: User:MathKnight, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Though they look ferocious, Triceratops were herbivores. This stout dinosaur has been described as sort of a cross between a cow and a rhinoceros. These massive creatures could weigh well over 11,000 pounds.

Models of this and other life-size dinosaurs can be found JuraPark in Baltow, Poland. I’ve seen models at other museums and parks, but have not visited this site. Their Triceratops models look amazing!

Dinosaur models
Model of dinosaur, JuraPark, Solec Kujawski, Poland
Source: CLI, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Hmmm. After seeing this model, I’m feeling inspired to create a baby Triceratops painted rock. 😀

Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.

First Friday Art (FFA)

Weird and wonderful sights: LAPC

In your travels near and far, you may find weird and wonderful sights.

Weird architecture

Sometimes you find a weird sight when you’re driving down the highway and look it up later. This is the Smith Mansion, located in Wapiti, Wyoming, halfway between Cody and Yellowstone.

Lee Smith, a former builder and engineer, began constructing this structure from locally harvested logs. However, he became obsessed with adding on to the building, which led to his divorce. For 22 years he continued construction so that eventually it was 5-stories tall. One day, unfortunately, he slipped while working and fell to his death. His daughter owned the house for many years until it was sold to a neighbor in 2020.

Weird

For a better look at this amazing structure inside and out, watch this video by Scott Richard.

Wonderful tastes

At other times you’ll go a little off the beaten path in search of a good meal. This delicious barbecue dinner is from the Apple Valley BBQ in Parkdale, Oregon. Parkdale, at the base of Mt Hood, is a small town with a population of about 650. Fruit orchards fill the valleys in this part of Oregon and the restaurant incorporates fruit into their meals. The coleslaw pictured contains slices of fresh pears. They use local cherry wood to smoke their meat. Yum, definitely one of my favorites!

Apple Valley BBQ
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Imagine a World Exhibition

     The Imagine a World exhibition at the High Desert Museum focuses on past and present efforts to create utopian communities. Participants joined for assorted reasons, including religious persecution, environmental concerns, and anti-war sentiments.

     The communities featured are in the Western United States. Founding members often thought of the West as an idyllic, “empty” place to settle. However, they did not always consider who was already living in these environments.

Imagine a World

Indigenous Futurism

     As you enter the gallery, two life-sized astronauts suspended in front of a bold painting of bison catch your eye. Two bright paintings adorn the walls next to this display. These works represent Indigenous futurism. They highlight how important cosmology, science, and futurism have been to Native peoples. Grace Dilon, Ph.D. (Anishinaabe) states that Indigenous futurism is part of the process of “returning to ourselves.” The goal is to recover “ancestral traditions in order to adapt in our post-Native Apocalypse world.”

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Sisters Oregon mural: Monday Mural

This Sisters Oregon mural in Central Oregon is full of life. North Sister, Middle Sister, and South Sister volcanic peaks hover in the background. Local wildflowers and wildlife fill the bottom of the frame.

I especially liked the great gray owl in the middle of the mural. If you stand in front of this mural in just the right spot, it looks like you have wings. Great for pictures!

Sisters Oregon mural

The Sisters Oregon mural was created in 2020 by local artists, Katie Daisy and Karen Eland. You’ll find it on the wall of Marigold and True, a boutique gift shop. Katie also contributed to murals painted in Foxtail Bakery, which I featured in a previous post.

As noted in this article in The Nugget Newspaper, Katie and Karen had known the store’s owner, Kelley Rae, for ten years. She commissioned them to paint this piece and it turned out beautifully.

I was in town taking pictures of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show when I stumbled upon the mural. The arts are alive and well in this small town.

Monday Mural

White-faced Ibis drawing & photos: FFA

This is a pencil sketch I drew of a White-faced Ibis. He is a character in a book I’m working on. The ibis, Arco Iris, gets his power from the rainbow obsidian stone he wears. Sometimes if you draw a character, it helps you write about their personality and physical traits.

White-faced Ibis drawing

I recently took pictures of White-faced Ibis in a field near Paisley, Oregon. The field was full of blue camas and it gave the scene a kind of magical feeling.

Ibis in a field

When you think of ibis, you may think of ancient depictions of this bird found in Egypt, but there are three species in the United States. You can find Glossy Ibis, White Ibis, and White-faced Ibis in parts of North America, Central America, and South America.

Inlay depicting Thoth as the ibis with a maat feather. Image source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The plumage of our local ibis looks black at first, but when you take a closer look, it’s iridescent. Their feathers catch the light as they plunge their long beaks into marshes and meadows in search of prey. They eat a variety of prey including insects, worms, and small fish. Ibis are particularly fond of crayfish.

Birds in a field

When in breeding plumage, some of the White-faced Ibis’ feathers turn a bronze color, their legs turn pink, and a mask of pale white skin around their eyes appears. What better way to attract a mate than putting on a mask, pink leggings, and a bronze cape!

Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.

First Friday Art (FFA)

Pagoda lantern and pond scene: CFFC

As sweltering temperatures occur here and elsewhere around the world, my mind keeps wandering back to the landscape near the pagoda lantern at the Portland Japanese Garden. I visited this impressive garden on a cool day in late October. The waterfall near the sculpture, Heavenly Waterfall, enters a small pond, full of koi fish.

Pagoda sculpture

This ‘snow-viewing’ pagoda lantern (Yukimi-dōrō) is located in the the Lower Pond section of the garden. The roof, or umbrella, on these lanterns is designed to catch the snowfall. These sculptures are traditionally placed near water.

Heavenly Falls

Though it’s still a couple of months away, I’m looking forward to the cooler temperatures of autumn and the bright splashes of colorful leaves.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge (CFFC) – landscapes or waterscapes

Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon: LAPC

The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is one of the biggest events in Central Oregon. You know it’s summer when you start seeing advertisements about the show.

Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters

Set in the small town of Sisters, Oregon, this show “is internationally recognized as the world’s largest outdoor quilt show.” The show often displays more than 1,300 quilts. Visitors from all over the world gather in Sisters on the second Saturday in July to view the quilts.

The quilts shown include more traditional patterns.

Colorful patterns
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Primrose painting, photo, & Poem: First Friday Art

Today I’m sharing a primrose painting, photo, and poem I created. When I was on a field trip in early June, we saw a “field” of this plant in bloom near Crack in the Ground. Tufted evening-primrose, Oenothera caespitosa, usually only bloom at night but on that day, dark clouds filled the skies.

Here’s a watercolor I painted of the flowers.

Tufted evening primrose

And here’s the work in progress in my little studio space.

Studio space

This is the close up photograph I took of these beautiful flowers near Crack in Ground. I’m growing evening-primrose in my landscaping and, so far, the always hungry resident mule deer have not discovered them. 🤞

Tufted evening primrose

Here is a Sijo poem about these remarkable flowers.

Awakened when the moon rises over the silent desert
Flowers in sandy soil open, shining like pale lanterns
Enchanting the world with intoxicating scent, until dawn breaks

Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.

First Friday Art

Powder House building: 1-to-3 Challenge

The Powder House building, near Prineville Reservoir State Park in Central Oregon, makes a great subject for photographs. This historic rock structure was once used to store gunpowder. It’s located next to a popular boat ramp on the reservoir.

I’ll be showing how I processed this picture three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. Prior to trying out the various effects, I increased the contrast, brightness, and white balance slightly.

The first two show the original and the same picture with a Retro effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Retro Lab>Surreal. This effect blurred the edges like a vignette. I thought this effect emphasized the door in the building. It looked like a portal to another place surrounded by misty fog.

House Powder Oregon  House Powder

The next two show the original and the same picture with a Time Machine effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Time Machine>Albumen. This monotone effect reflects a technique used in the 1850s-1890s. It works well when you’re trying to emphasize the history of a place. A picture such as this might have appeared in newspapers of the time.

House Powder

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Dr Jolly’s colorful façade: Monday Mural

When cannabis was legalized for recreational use in Oregon in 2015, dispensaries popped up all around Bend. Dr Jolly’s is one of these appropriately named establishments.

The first picture shows a vibrant mural at the south end of the building. This looks like a color-filled view of Cascade peaks located near Bend. Red flowers and blue marijuana plants grow in the foreground.

Dr Jolly's mural

The second photo shows a view of the front of the building. A hand points the way to the entrance. Barbers poles, with green stripes instead of red, flank the doors.

Storefront in Bend

The artwork at this business was created by Janessa Bork and Josh Ramp, of VIVI Design Co., in 2020. Their website refers to Janessa and Josh as the “dynamic duo [who] founded VIVI in 2018 with a focus on unique tactile presence.” They create murals – inside and out, signs, menus, and other graphics. The pair’s impressive talent is on display at Dr Jolly’s and many other local businesses.

Monday Mural

Stick fence at Summer Lake: Wordless Wednesday

Stick fence at Summer Lake
Stick fence at Summer Lake
Rustic fencing
Stick fence at Summer Lake – closer view

Wordless Wednesday

The Bend Wall: Monday Mural

You’ll find The The Bend Wall mural on the side of Newport Market, a neighborhood grocery store in Bend, Oregon. The bright painting covers a 100-foot long wall on the side of the building.

This impressive piece of artwork was created by Bend artist, Kim Smallenberg.

The mountain in the center of the mural is Pilot Butte, a dormant volcano. On the right side near the peak, you can see a small fire. On the Fourth of July, commercial fireworks are launched from Pilot Butte, and sometimes, it catches on fire. Our Fire Department is always there and ready.

The Bend Wall

A large metal sculpture of a bear sits in front of one end. The mural behind the bear shows dogs around a campfire. Bend is a dog-centered town. Many residents own one, or two, or…

Bear sculpture & dogs mural
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Western tiger swallowtail box & photo: First Friday Art

Here’s a western tiger swallowtail painting I did on a small wooden box.

Western tiger swallowtail

Here’s one I saw on the High Desert Garden Tour a few years ago. The Western tiger swallowtail, Papilio rutulus, ranges throughout western North America.

Seasons Butterfly 21July2018
Butterfly on flowers

The state insect in Oregon is the Oregon swallowtail butterfly, Papilio machaon oregonius. They have paler yellow coloring on their wings.

Would you like to attract butterflies to your garden? Here are a few things you can do, according to Gardeners.com:

  • Choose plants that attract pollinators
  • Limit, or eliminate, your use of pesticides
  • Provide shelter for breeding and avoiding predators
  • Provide water
  • Consider keeping a beehive

For a good list of plants that attract butterflies, go to Attracting Butterflies, Hummingbirds and Other Pollinators.

Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.

First Friday Art

Terry’s Hanger Shop: Monochrome Monday

Terrys Hanger Shop

Terry’s Hanger Shop is part of one of the displays at the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum located in Hood River, Oregon. This large museum features airplanes, automobiles, and other artifacts. This shop is one of the many storefronts featured around the perimeter of the building.

Did you notice the sign showing the hours they are open? “Gone Yesterday Today and Tomorrow.” Someone has a good sense of humor. 😉

Monochrome Monday

The Guinness Harp at Guinness Storehouse in Ireland

Today I’m sharing photos and a short video related to the Guinness harp. The emblem is based on a 14th century Irish harp known as “O’Neill” or “Brian Boru.” Guinness has featured a harp image on its beer labels since 1862 and trademarked it in 1876. The logo consists of the harp, the GUINNESS® word, and Arthur Guinness’ signature.

Harps outside the Storehouse

Here’s a harp on a sign outside the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland.

Street sign in Dublin

Here’s another harp outside the entrance where visitors can take horse-drawn carriage tours.

Guinness harp

Harps inside the Storehouse

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Sisters quilt mural: Monday Mural

Sisters quilt mural

This Sisters quilt mural is located in Barclay Park in Sisters, Oregon. This work by local artist, Jerry Werner, celebrates all that makes this town a vibrant community. In the past, Jerry worked as an illustrator for Walt Disney. His artwork includes murals, fine art, paintings, illustration and graphics, and sculptures.

The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show bills itself as the world’s largest outdoor quilt show. More than 1,300 quilts are hung outside along the town’s main streets and visitors use maps to find them all. The quilts are amazing and show so much creativity and skill!

Monday Mural

Dragons breathing fire – haiku: Haiku Challenge & MWM

dragons breathing fire
over magical snowscapes
on the edge of spring

Dragons  breathing fire

Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge – Dragon and Magic

Mid-Week Monochrome #77

Big changes at the Amphitheater: LAPC

There have been some big changes at the amphitheater in Bend, Oregon. I featured the art in and around this venue in a post in June 2020. At that time, it was called the Les Schwab Amphitheater. It was named after a local entrepreneur who developed a thriving national tire business. Now the site is the Hayden Homes Amphitheater, named after a local home builder.

This site, the largest outdoor music venue in Bend, hosts concerts as well as events like Brewfest. Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment company, will partner with Hayden Homes in managing events. This page lists events scheduled for 2022.

Before and after views of the big changes

Today I’ll turn my lenses toward some of the changes at this site.

The stage before was small with whimsical art on the front and back. Here’s the artwork that was on the back of the stage. I loved the raven in this mural.

Art at the Amphitheater , Bend, Oregon November 2018

The new industrial-style stage is much larger and has a big open “window” space to take in the view.

Close view of stage
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Some of my best photos from 2021: LAPC, SS

It’s time to share special photos from the past year. Please enjoy this selection of nature, history, and art photos from Bend Branches.

Best Nature Pictures

The first photo shows a scene at the Portland Japanese Garden. We visited in October, when fall colors were at their peak.

best photos Portland Japanese Garden

This picture shows a pronghorn buck at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. My following pronghorn post includes several pictures of these icons of the West.

Grazing pronghorn buck in Yellowstone

We get spectacular sunsets and sunrises in our High Desert yard in Bend, Oregon. I wrote a two-line essence poem to go along with this image.

best photos dusk desert sky
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Crane sculpture, Portland Japanese Garden: Sculpture Saturday

I saw this beautiful crane sculpture at the Portland Japanese Garden last fall. The colors of autumn cast a warm glow on this peaceful scene.

In Japanese literature, mythology, and art, cranes are often thought to live 1,000 years. They symbolize longevity and good luck.

I wish you good luck and much happiness in the new year!

crane sculpture

Sculpture Saturday

Mix Tape A & B Mural: Monday Murals

This Mix Tape A & B mural, by artist Erik Hoogen, is located at Silver Moon Brewing in Bend, Oregon. Erik worked on this labor of love seasonally for two years. This large work of art is located in a narrow alley so instead of trying to show it in one photo, I took several.

I am so impressed by this mural! It’s difficult to paint with a monotone palette and Erik made it look easy.

Mix tape A & B

He captured the essence of these musicians from different times and genres.

Musician mural

Many of the musicians are portrayed in iconic poses.

Mix Tape A & B
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Blue worlds Haiku poem: Haiku Prompt Challenge

blue worlds drift away
scattered by the winds of change
winter’s eve draws near

Blue worlds sculpture
Display at Guinness Storehouse, Ireland

Haiku Prompt Challenge – Blue & World

A portal in Portland: Monochrome Monday

When I saw this woman in a cape pass through an arch, it looked like she entered a portal in Portland. I imagined her entering a distant mystical land. Infrared processing enhanced the mystical theme I attempted to capture.

A portal in Portland
A portal in Portland Japanese Garden

Monochrome Monday

Nose to nose with a biplane: Monochrome Monday

I took this nose to nose with a biplane picture at the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum. This large museum is located in Hood River, Oregon. All of the aircraft on display are in flyable condition, unlike at other museums.

nose to nose with biplane

Monochrome Monday

Born Again Babaylan mural: LAPC & MM

This Born Again Babaylan mural, created by Bekah Badilla, is located on the eastside of Bend, Oregon. Bekah is a Filipina/White American who was born in Alaska and now lives in Bend.

The first photo shows a close up of Babaylan.

close up of mural

The second photo shows the entire 18′ x 44′ mural in the light of dawn.

Born Again Babaylan

The artist put a lot of thought into this work. Here is an excerpt from her site describing the Born Again Babaylan mural:

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The elegance of terns: First Friday Art

I have always been impressed by the elegance of terns. Terns in flight have pointed wingtips and some species have deeply forked tails. Today I’m sharing a stylized pencil sketch I did of a Forster’s tern. These wetland birds can be spotted in much of North America at certain times of the year.

the elegance of terns

Here are a few Caspian terns I saw at The Narrows in Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, south of Burns, Oregon. They don’t have the black-tipped bill and forked tail of Forster’s terns, but still have the elegance of ferns.

Caspian terns

Do you have artwork you would like to share? If so, include a First Friday Art tag on your post.

If you’re looking for something artistic to do this month, consider participating in Inktober. Create a pen-and-ink drawing every day for a month based on prompts. Fun and challenging!

Rocky seating at Yellowstone: Pull Up a Seat Challenge

These photos show rocky seating at Yellowstone National Park. The Park Service constructed several types of places to sit that blend into the environment.

in the first picture, tourist gather to take in the dramatic views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Young children are taking a brief rest with their family on a rocky bench.

Rocky seating at Yellowstone

The second picture shows a boulder sofa at the head of the trail. It’s unoccupied at the moment since everyone is drawn towards the waterfalls a short distance away.

Rocky seating in Yellowstone

Here’s a picture of the waterfalls. Can you see why people travel thousands of miles to sit on rough rocky seating to take in the view?

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Pull Up a Seat Challenge – Week 39

Dam It! Beavers and Us: One Word Sunday

I’m always on the lookout for beavers when walking the river trails in the Old Mill District of Bend. I listen for the sound of a tail slapping the water and search for the silhouette of a rounded head breaking the water’s surface. Why look for beavers next to a shopping area? Because these industrious creatures found an ideal spot to build a lodge there. I’ve always wanted to know more about beavers, so I visited the Museum’s Dam It! Beavers and Us exhibition.

Beavers exhibit in Bend

This multimedia interactive exhibit offers visitors the opportunity to learn all about the North American beaver, Castor canadensis. Tall, cutout panels representing forest trees divide the room. Dappled light shines onto the imaginary forest floor. A re-creation of a beaver dam is tucked into a corner for kids to explore.

Beavers exhibit in Bend

In another corner, a large box suspended from a parachute drifts towards the ground—more on that later. An Oregon flag, featuring a beaver, flutters against a wall near the entrance. Video featuring the important connection of beavers with Native Americans plays in another section. A colorful animation featuring the life cycle of beavers plays on a large screen on the back wall.

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Windmill at Fort Rock: 1-to-3 Photo Challenge

I thought this windmill at Fort Rock would make a good candidate for showing three ways to process a photograph. I used the photographic effects in Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. This picture was taken at the Fort Rock Homestead Village Museum in Central Oregon.

Prior to trying other effects, I decreased the brightness by 4 and increased the contrast by 10.

The first two show the original and a platinum processed image. This processing was popular from 1873 to 1920 but was discontinued due to the high costs of platinum. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Time Machine>Platinum. I tried black and white processing but liked the slightly warmer tones of this effect.

Windmill at Fort RockPlatinum process

The second two show the original and a cross process image. This process resulted from mismatching the film and development chemicals on purpose. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Time Machine>Cross Process. This effect oversaturates the colors and they really pop.

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Golden Galway Stairwell: WW, LAPC, & LIC

Golden Galway stairwell

Wordless Wednesday (WW)

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge (LAPC)- Looking Up/Down

Life in Colour (LIC) – Gold