Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Seine Nets and Regattas" a show at RiverSea Gallery

"1946 Astoria Regatta; Salmon Derby Winner" 
"Seine Nets and Regattas" is my new show at RiverSea Gallery, opening this August 3rd. I have created all new work for the exhibit, all based on photographs of Astoria. 

For this show, not only have I created all new work, but I have branched out and used a new surface, plaster. I applied plaster on wood, and then drew and painted on that. The affect has a different feel and appearance, and I liked working on it a lot. To see some more of my work, scroll down. I will share with you the techniques I used and information about the photographs I worked from.

The Astoria Regatta started in 1894. It stemmed from a way for the community to celebrate the return of Astoria fishermen from Alaska. Along with the boat pageant, there evolved a parade, a beauty contest, and a salmon derby where who caught the largest salmon won. The Astoria Regatta was suspend for three periods; WWI, after the devastating 1921 fire that destoyed much of down town Astoria, and during WWII. It started back up in 1948 and has been celebrated every year in early August. This year the dates are Wednesday August 7th though Sunday August 11th.
"Astoria Regatta, 1890's" 24"x24" Acrylic on panel
"Astoria Regatta, 1941" 24"x30" Acrylic on panel
This must have been part of the Regatta celebration, featuring an Andrews Sisters style local singing group. The date of the photograph is 1941, so it must have been the last Regatta before being suspended during WWII.
"The Wreck of the Miss Epps III" 14"x11" Acrylic on panel
The Miss Epps was a famous speedboat that competed in one of the Astoria Regatta boat races. As you can see, Miss Epps has met her demise, and is being held together in a bundle by rope.
"Butterfly Regatta, Astoria Oregon" 24"x36" Acrylic on plaster

This painting is acrylic on plaster. It is based on a famous photograph owned by the Oregon History Project. These are small gillnet fishing boats used by fishermen who worked for the Union Fish Cannery. The boats were powered by two tiangular sails which, when running downwind with a second spiritsail resembled butterfly wings.

The Astoria fishing industry has been the predominant industry in Astoria up until recent times.While looking for images to use for this show, I came across a bunch of early 1900's photographs of men using seine nets to gather up loads of salmon in the shallows of the Columbia River. They used horses and manpower to pull the heavy nets around. The resulting images are stark, lonesome and beautiful. They inspired me enormously.
"Indians Seining Salmon on Sand Island 1908" 24"x36" Acrylic and charcoal on plaster.

"Loading Seine onto Barge Preparatory to Making a Haul, 1908" 24"x40" Acrylic and charcoal on plaster
"Seine Fishing, Lower Columbia River" 12"x16" Acrylic and charcoal on panel
"Taking Salmon from Seine Net to Wagon 1908" 24"x40" Acrylic on plaster
"Fishermen on a Small Powerboat 1908" 24"x30" Acrylic on plaster

"Gill Net Fishing, Astoria, OR." 12"x8" Acrylic and charcoal on panel
"Interior of House Boat Sleeping Bunks 1908" 20"x20" Acrylic on panel
Though most of the fishermen were immigrants from Scandinavia, the workers in the canneries were mostly Chinese or Chinese-American. These images came from the Library of Congress in the early 1940's.
"Dockworkers, Astoria, Oregon 1941" 24"x28" Acrylic on panel
"Gutting Tuna, Astoria, Oregon 1944" 24"x31" Acrylic on panel

"The Wreck of the Alice McDonald" 24"x36" Acrylic and charcoal on plaster