Monday, June 30, 2014

Distant View

"Distant View" 8.5" x 2.5" oil on panel, ©Laura Gable
Abstraction of land with hills alive with deep red tones, a distant mountain peeks out from behind.

(This is the painting featured in my masthead on this blog.)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blue Mountain's Meadows (sold)

"Blue Mountain's Meadows" 9x12 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
At a recent paint out excursion in the Walla Walla area of Eastern Washington, we ventured into the Rooks Park area and hiked a ways to this lovely valley with distant views of the Blue Mountains of Oregon. It was a beautiful day, warm with slight breezes. Lupines were blooming at my feet along this idyllic path. They've had a mild and wet spring, leaving the area quite green. The cool shade of distant trees harkened. The area was lush with wildlife--we heard calls from wild pheasants and tracks left by deer. It's a hiking area treasured by the locals.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Eye Spy

"Eye Spy" 4x4" oil on board, ©Laura Gable
Thought I would post something a little bit more playful today. I enjoy this color combination of mostly cool violets and aquas, with just enough warm tones to keep it interesting and balance the colors. These little ampersand 4" gessoboards are nice to plan out studies for larger pieces.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wooded Path (Revised)

"Wooded Path" 8x8 oil on panel, ©Laura Gable
Follow this path through the wooded area to the sunlit hills beyond. Can't you just feel the coolness under the shade of these large trees?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Finley Fields (ver2)

When I started doing plein air painting, I used a more simplified palette. But then I noticed that the colors were more muted than my studio work. So now I take all my regular colors with me whether I paint indoors or outdoors. Sometimes the brights feel a bit exaggerated, but I really do try to determine what colors I see there outside (warm vs cool, and compare the tones).  I like to put colors in the shadows and not just have brown muted tones like I had done in the past.

This was painted in the studio with my new color palette, and was based on an older plein air study I had done a few year's back. I am enjoying the more dramatic colors.
"Finley Fields (ver2)" 5x7 oil on board, ©Laura Gable

Thursday, June 19, 2014


We live in a region that has multiple ribbons of rivers flowing through. They are there to sustain the crops, irrigate the lands, and provide a habitat for fish and fowl. They are the lifeblood of this arid dry region. I'm fascinated by the various marshes and plants that line the water's edge, taking on different cloaks of color depending on the season. Hope you enjoy this warm summer day along the banks of the Columbia River.
"Waterscape" 5.5 x 5.5 oil painting on art board panel (1/2" thick), ©Laura Gable
Purchase this either in person at my studio, or on my daily paintworks site. This painting is currently at auction for a few more days, at some really low prices.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


"Mischievous" 6x6 oil painting on board, ©Laura Gable (not for sale)
In honor of Father's Day a few days ago, I thought I would repost this painting I did of my Dad a few years ago. He is now 84 years young, and very active and healthy. He and my mom are quite the world travelers, and recently came back from a trip to Paris and the wine region of France last year. Astonishingly, they went to the little cafe that Van Gogh painted -- luminous golds and yellows in the outdoor cafe, against the deep blues of the night sky. It is in Arles and quite the tourist destination. Ah, a dream of mine to go there.

This study was based on a photo of my Dad. He had a mischievous look on his face, as a small kitten had curled up and fallen asleep in the crook of his arm. I've been hankering to do another companion piece of my mom, so will see if I have some good source material to do that soon. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blue Mood Profile

I found this colorful painting today while looking around the studio. It was done a few years back when I took on a portrait a day challenge for the month of January. The painting's inspiration came from a black and white photo. Once painted, I digitally altered the photo of the painting and then re-painted it based on these alterations. So what you see here is the final painting, as painted. He is an enigmatic, colorful, perhaps alien-like fellow for sure.

"Blue Mood Profile" 6x6 oil on cradled board, ©Laura Gable 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Golden Globes

Based on a ripening chardonnay vineyard, this abstracted small painting yields a colorful perspective. A twist of the brush in creamy oils makes a fun exercise both artistically and physically. Some of these studies may eventually become larger pieces.

"Golden Globes" 6x6 oil painting on 3/4" cradled Gessobord. ©Laura Gable

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Windswept Marshes

"Windswept Marshes" 5x7 oil on canvas, ©Laura Gable
The color harmonizes so nicely in this painting. It's based on our pervasive marshes of cattails that line the various ponds and rivers' edges of this dry, shrub-steppe region. A region of contrasts, diversity and subtle beauty.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Amon Basin & Little Badger Mt Study

"Amon Basin & Little Badger Mt Study" 6x6 oil on 3/4" cradled panel, ©Laura Gable
A friend asked if we could meet to paint in the early morning about 6:30am, before he went to his day job. Knowing that the light would be changing super fast, we selected this spot and I chose a small canvas on which to work for about an hour. The Amon Basin preserve is a wonderful undisturbed area tucked in and around several housing developments. We were surrounded by sage brush and dry hillsides, which shelter these ponds and water plants off the main arterial. The area has abundant wildlife: herons, egrets, red winged blackbirds, quail, pheasants, and chukars, bunnies, snakes and lizards. The morning chatter of bird calls provided a melodious atmosphere.

Recently the area is under scrutiny again, as roadways are being planned and breaching this pristine area is again being considered. More about the Amon Basin here:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Two Rivers' Reflections

"Two Rivers' Reflections" 6x6 oil on cradled panel, ©Laura Gable
We live in a region that has many rivers flowing through. I once heard a quote by a well known artist that I'm paraphrasing … "When you live in an area that has rivers, your work will be very fluid." I like that. This was painted in Two Rivers Park in Finley at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia River. Across the river to the north (not pictured here) is the Sacajawea National Park where Lewis and Clark are said to have camped during their excursion through Washington.

On this day I had an audience of 4 little children who tumbled out of their parents van as it rolled to a stop behind me. I was distracted by a flock of geese herding their juveniles onto the shoreline. Apparently though the children were more interested in what I was painting than in this parade of fowl.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Late Summer in the Valley

"Late Summer in the Valley" 9x11 oil on panel, ©Laura Gable
Just up the road from where I live in eastern Washington, near the small town of Benton City, lies the active Red Mountain Viticulture region. On the flanks of this small mountain's fertile hillsides is a proliferation of vineyards: some dating back to the mid 70's. Many new vineyards are currently forming with their many tasting rooms of various ages and stages of completion. This view was painted from the back side of Taptiel Vineyard -- across the valley with Benton City and the Yakima River's treed banks below, and the Horse Heaven hills as a back drop (Red Mountain is behind me). Very generous folks who own the place and reside there, and wine that is quite good -- definitely worth a visit.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lavender Bliss (sold)

"Lavender Bliss" 8x10 oil on board, ©Laura Gable
The lovely lavender farms keep coming up in my journeys through photos and through these daily studies. There are several located in our dry region of southeast Washington, some even offering plein air opportunities. This one in particular is located outside Walla Walla just east of here off a dirt road named Frog Hollow in Louden, WA. The Blue Ridge Lavender Farms offer beautiful views of the back pastures and blue mountains seen occasionally from higher points of the yard. Out front, this little drying shed was compelling - tucked in next to the tall poplar offering a bit of shade to nearby horses at pasture.