Sauk River 12/21/16


The grass on the football field still felt damp from the previous rainfall the day before. We were playing at night in LaConner, and to this day I could never tell you the score of any game or even if we won, but the events that happened in those tumultuous times I will be regaling about with my gums in the rest home when there are no teeth left.  As a sophomore I was paired up for stretches with a senior to push on helmets and pull on legs before the game.  As the last stretch was complete he puts out his hand to help me up before we were to be introduced to our parents, over a loud speaker, for the tenth time that season.  As a senior it was to be his last game and he said “make the most of it because it goes by way to fast”.  It was a profound moment as folks typically don’t just go running around saying those things and the sincerity in which it was said gave cause to be something that is remembered.


Twenty years later I get a message that says “I want a painting of the Sauk River”.  The weather was going to be good and the decision is made to create the work at the confluence of the Sauk and Whitechuck River.  The propane is hissing, the Lexan piece is heated to perfection, and the Sauk is running its trademark green hue.  It has been a lifetime since high school, careers have been experienced and families created.  Greg, shows up loaded for bear.  He has a Go Pro, Tripod, and a Camera that is beyond powerful with its telephoto lens that can shoot for miles.  Not only is this painting going to be constructed, it is going to be lived.  It has been awhile since we caught up but in a matter of moments nothing had changed with the colorful commentaries and stories of major events that have us rolling with laughter.  By the time the work is complete it is pitch black with only the snow’s contrast to guide us back to the truck.  It was a painting that is another step towards a more realistic representation of nature and taking the power away from a hard-to-understand representation by the artist.  Blue and Green colors with varying depths of contrast dominated the Lexan with highlights slammed over the top to capture the action of the river.  An earth tone sand color was placed at the lower part of the painting that recedes into the darker green color midway through. During the creation of the painting there was a Go Pro strapped to my chest, and shown later, was by far the most creative angle to see the work being made.


When creating a flycast painting it will take all day and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to see the whole process from start to finish.  Not only did Greg stay out there all day in teen degree weather as he captured it on film, he was excited as I was about the art. When it comes to that much enthusiasm about this idea and the pursuit of this short life that is being lived it is the people in life that twenty years ago put out their hand to help you up and make the most of it because it goes by… way to fast.

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