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#541 Orcas in the Salish Sea (12 x 16″)
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#541 Orcas in the Salish Sea (12 x 16″)




#541 Orcas in the Salish Sea (12 x 16″)


Hand-signed by the artist,
-10 x 14″ image area 12 x 16″ trim
-(unmatted, but mats to 14 x 18),
-foam-core backed and bagged.

Published in July of 2022. I was thinking I started the painting in 2010, still not finished of course.

Painting is getting chased and cornered by photography. The other day I saw a published shot of a Cedar Waxwing juggling a purple berry in its mouth, perfectly in focus, with all the colors showing richly, and thought, OK, what’s the point of painting?  I could never beat this and not only that, a photo possesses an authority that a painting can’t aspire to. Nobody can really deny the truth of the photo, after all, it’s a photograph.  But there are shots a photographer can never achieve, now or even with future-improved technology, and Orcas in the Salish Sea is one of these.  I used as reference scrap (I paint freehand) a shot of some exposed rocks in the San Juan Archipelago (I don’t know where exactly and didn’t know when I was on the boat exactly where we were, which is usual out there for me) that had a fair sprinkling of birds on it, mostly Black Oystercatchers. The painting has a couple of Pelagic Cormorants, a Short-billed Gull and the Oystercatchers, not to mention the Bonaparte’s Gull that is banking over the Orcas. The scene moves this exposed rock to where it’s in front of the Olympics and brings them 50 miles closer and puts some land on the right, I just wanted it there.  Nothing here in my hopes at least challenges verisimilitude too much–such a scene is nearly a realistic possibility and nothing is rare, but it’s something Photography could never even think about doing except with software tools, and then the Photographer would have crossed the line into painting.


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