What is in a River's palette?

The space any place presumes, gives power to allowing art to create that space, or be reminiscent of the place the art represents. Like a river system cascading over various rock formations the effects that watershed can have will be completely different up and down its entire length. A lot of a river’s characteristics is dependent on different tributaries and have a whole nether scenario taking place in their upper reaches. Take the Sauk River out of Darrington WA for instance, on a sunny day, in the summer, the upper reaches it is a red and gold color. Ten miles below that stretch the river takes on a green tinge that dominates the overall color, especially from a distance. The minerals, vegetation, the tea color that resides behind beaver dams all play into special atmospheres that rivers embody. These are light characteristics of what fashions a river’s color. A more dramatic color effect is the fact that more volatile rivers cascade through plains of sediment that come from volcanoes protruding from the earth. When the same river takes on more of a flow the unrest is undeniable in preparing for the deposits of erosion that will dictate the feel of the atmosphere that makes each river a different mood, and place to realize. Some folks prefer a slow river that calms down the meditation, and other smaller streams have a variety of more surprises with a laughing flow, a light wind to keep the bugs down and a different set up at each pool like a house with a work of art dominating each room and setting the stage for them to have a certain feature that sets them apart from other rooms. An idea for a very large scale painting will be to map out an entire river system with a mounted fly cast painting on each river as it comes down the wall. The paintings will be small in the upper parts of the small tributaries and become bigger as the eyes follow the lines down the different paintings to the bottom larger paintings. The paintings put together, to show the watershed, would be a direct understanding of the different moods and colors that put forth the similarities and differences that a stretch of water can have in its variance from other parts of the same system. Imagine looking at that wall and understanding the fly cast painting and even being indoors becoming a little bit closer to a stream from an artist’s perspective and technique through fly cast painting.

Stillaguamish River’s headwaters

Stillaguamish River’s headwaters

The Art will sell the art

Walking into the gallery there was a fellow with white hair and glasses hunkered behind his keyboard. I looked over the art on display as I walked around the gallery that was predominantly Native American artifacts. The wisdom that was passed on from that day forth by Bruce Vanlandingham that set the site on what art actually is, and its purpose, has been the standard to strive for in this journey of being an artist. He has forgot more about art than I will ever know.

Bruce Wisdom #1 “Just because a person paints pictures doesn’t necessarily make them an artist”

#2 “You want your art to be represented well?”


“Just because a building hangs pictures, it doesn’t necessarily make them a gallery. It doesn’t represent the art.” Then he looks right at me, “Do you know the difference?”

#3 “This gallery is always in a state of evolving”

#4“I want to know everything there is to know about a style of art and what the medium has to offer, when I have exhausted all there is to know, I move onto another idea”

#5 “I don’t do this (own a gallery) because I have to, I do this because I love the art”

#6 “Everything that Native Americans made was beautiful”

#7 “Resin is toxic”

#8 “The library is the most important part of this gallery”

#9 “If someone comes through the door with an artifact I have to know the tribe it was made, the time period it was created in, but most of all, I have to know how much I can flip it for. If I don’t know one of these things I am losing money and that is not my business model”

#10 “Drawing with silver is something they don’t teach you in college. It is what the masters used all the time for their sketches”