Note about this painting: This artwork is currently on a 2-3 year loan to the residence of the Ambassador of the United States to the Republic of Tajikistan, Manuel Micaller, Jr., through the Art in Embassies program of the U.S. Department of State.
This painting is called “Reservoir 5, Suspended.”
Shown here is Reservoir 5, one of several scenic reservoirs in Mt. Tabor Park in Portland, OR. I spend a lot of time at this beloved park!
This view, seen from one of the hiking trails above the reservoir on your way down from the top of Mt. Tabor, may be familiar to you if you are a local who frequents this park! It is a gorgeous spot to enjoy a sunset.
This nature-inspired panorama landscape is painted directly onto a piece of nature: a long natural slab of wood whose organic curves and unpainted edges create a softer and more interesting image than a typical rectangular painting.
The long strips of unpainted wood across the top and bottom serve as a natural visual frame for the picture.
The title, “Reservoir 5, Suspended” refers, of course, to the autumn leaf suspended in mid-air during this moment in time, but also to the feelings I associated with this captured image.
During the many months of the pandemic, many facets of life have been suspended for many people. Now, where I live, we are beginning to come out of the worst of it. Business and travel are starting to make a comeback, people are getting vaccinated and having long-awaited reunions with loved ones, but at the same time, we are still nowhere near back to a sense of normality yet.
There is a huge feeling of excitement and impending change as everyone discusses plans for the future. But in this moment, we are still somewhat in between worlds, still suspended. We are processing all that has happened in the past and dwelling upon a new future.
The light in this painting is warm, soft and glowing, lighting up the branches of the faraway evergreens and shimmering in the reflected sunset on the surface of the reservoir’s still water.
The forested hillside is many shades of deep green.
The details of the landscape fade away into the hazy distance, where the city lies beyond.
The castle-like pump house looks like it’s standing sentry, its elegant form hunkered into the landscape as it has been for many years, and the rows of street lights bordering the reservoir are yellow twinkles in the distance.
This lone maple leaf floats gently down right in front of us, capturing our attention. A small remnant of last year’s autumn, it’s a symbol of the passage of time. It’s a moment of peace and gratitude. Here we are, in the present.
Watch the painting process as a time lapse video here!