The Blue Gate

12 X 24 acrylic of a favorite place to hike at the mouth of the Grande Rhonde river with the canyon cliffs hidden by the trees. Climb up out on the top of the road and there is the most beautiful view of the cliffs where many days you can see the big horn sheep climbing in the cliffs above.

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Joan Eckman

About Joan Eckman

Since retiring after 25 years as a city clerk in my home town, I have had more time to pursue my art endeavors and have enjoyed expanding on prior learned skills of drawing and watercolor, and now adding acrylic to the mix. The drawing inspired by Paul Calle and the watercolor instruction and inspiration from Nita Engle. I look forward to expanding my art and being inspired and learning from this artisit community. I am now adding acrylic to my list of mediums and finding great pleasure in learning various techniques. It is fun to use the acrylics with watercolor techniques, but also fun to see just what all this medium can do.

My love of art developed at an early age and was encouraged by family members, and continued into college at Eastern Washington University. My life took an abrupt turn at age 22 when I had a skydiving accident which left me partially paralyzed. The active lifestyle I loved changed in a heartbeat and the forced inactivity reinforced my interest in art. I turned to pencil renderings that were much more detailed and gradually added watercolor to my efforts. My love of the outdoors continues to thrive and I remain active with my husband and two sons with the aid of crutches and braces. Much of my inspiration is derived from the scenic areas we visit by hiking, boat, kayak, 4-wheeler and many other modes of transportation.

Being outdoors has always been an important part of my life, and that continues. When I was young, I hurried through the landscape with joy from one activity to another. Now, I spend more time in appreciation of the beauty that is available for all the senses, and interaction with the environment is much more leisurely and contemplative. Instead of chasing after the adventure; I now let the adventure slowly (and sometimes - not so slowly) unfold before me. In the case of plein air painting things can move rather quickly! But, in some small way I try to record its impression on me. It is all a continual learning process, and I do love the process! I paint as a gesture; a reflection of the joy and appreciation the scenic vistas arouse in me - and I paint because I love to paint. May I continue to learn.