The Methow ValleyPosted: January 12, 2018
I’m still working through some West Coast scenes that I’ve been wanting to paint, and taking advantage of days in my studio before the next school semester starts.
Last July, on a full-day drive between Anacortes, WA, and Kelowna, BC, we descended into the Methow Valley from a road that snakes through Washington State’s North Cascades Mountain Range. There was snow on the peaks as we drove through a series of spectacular mountain passes. I sketched Diablo Lake and the Washington Pass Overlook along the way. But as the road dropped down into the valley the temperature on the car thermometer went up, and up and up. By the time we reached the town of Twisp the temperature peaked at 107°F. I wanted to sketch the ochre shades of the rolling hills but it was just too hot. So today, on a rainy and grey January day in Montreal, when it’s far too drippy to paint in my car, that scene came back to me.
On that scorching July day, the arid landscape of rolling hills continued as we drove north and crossed the border into the Okanagan Valley. After that drive, it came as no surprise that the next day forest fires began in the Okanagan. I hope to get back to the Methow Valley someday to paint, when the temperature is lower and the weather a bit more amenable to plein air painting.