oil paintings and photography by Amber Honour

The Strait of Juan de Fuca

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8×10 oil on canvas Looking at the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the Salt Creek Rec Area, Port Angeles, WA

 About the Painting20160212-IMG_1738

I keep thinking, for some reason, that painting will get easier. Sometimes I work on a painting and it’s such a breeze that I think to myself “I finally figured it out! From here on
out painting will be effortless and fun and I’ll crank them out at a record pace”. Then I work on another painting and it kicks my ass. It’s like I’m learning how to paint all over again and I get frustrated that it isn’t easier. This has been a hard painting, like so many others. I repainted the sky countles times. It’s just a gradient, but I really struggled with it. Finall20160306-IMG_1833y, I just gave up and moved on. Then I ended up repainting it, you’ll recall if you read Painted 46 & 2 Times. I was much more satisfied with the sky after, but really wanted to kick myself over the setback. Sometimes I get too focused on finishing a painting and forget that the process is just as important or likely more so than the painting itself.

Silly me, I thought that simple sky was hard. Water is harder. I painted it. It was the wrong color. I repainted it. It was too light. I repainted again. It was too dark, then too orange, and then my strokes were too big. I’ve been working on this painting for three weeks and only got somewhere in20160328-IMG_2298 the last few days. To be fair with myself though, I’ve been sick and/or busy that entire three weeks. Sometimes life just insists that I focus on other things.

About the Picture

My husband and our two kids moved from Alaska to Utah in 2013. We took a ferry from Kodiak, AK to Bellingham, WA then drove down the coast to San Diego, CA before turning east to Utah. This was a massive trip and we gave ourselves a month to make the journey so we wouldn’t have to rush, but we could’ve done it much faster. The ferry itself took 6 days, but we had a 6 day layove20160401-IMG_2427r in Ketchikan in the middle which was perfectly fine with me. Once we reached the lower 48, we could’ve been in Utah in roughly 18 hours, but we wanted to see the coast. So we caught a ferry in Seattle that had us across Puget Sound in an hour and we drove on up to Port Angeles and a really nice campground at the Salt Creek Recreation Area.

We stayed in the Port Angeles area for several days. We happened to be at the Salt Creek Rec Area for Easter and were pleasantly supprised to find an egg hunt on Easter morning. It’s a really nice campground with great views of the Strait of20160417-IMG_2545 Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island across the water. This picture was taken from the end of a short trail in the campground.

Very shortly after this picture, we heard vicious snarles and screams from fighting raccoons on the rocks below us. My husband shined his ridiculously  bright flashlight down at them and two pairs of glowing eyes immediately focused on us. One broke off the fight and started running up the cliff straight for us. I was convinced that raccoon was coming to kill us so we beat a hasty retreat. We crossed paths with the raccoon on our way back to our camp and it was clearly agitated and searching for something. It either didn’t recognise us with the flashlight off or decided it wasn’t a fight worth fighting and 20160419-IMG_2548sauntered off.

The Olympic Peninsula is definitely a place I want to explore more of. We vacationed there last summer, but the kids weren’t interested in hiking too much and protested loudly. My husband and I didn’t feel like we got to explore as extensively as we would have liked so we’ll probably return again in the future when the kids are older or without them. I didn’t realize how big the park was until we were in it and finding out that we couldn’t see very much of it without some serious hiking. We kept running into people and the tail end of their backpacking trip so I started looking into doing it myself. I’m really interested in backpacking through the park, but have yet to backpack anywhere. I should probably practice closer to home and for a shorter amount of time to see if it’s for me or not. I suspect that as long as I’m not coaxing a grumpy young child along, I’ll enjoy it.

Read more about this painting:

Part 1 – Painted 46 & 2 Times



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