Acrylic on canvas
24" x 36"
July 17, 2020
The Columbia River defines much of the southern border of Washington State. As it carries the runoff from seven US states to the Pacific Ocean, it navigates around equally ancient layers of black basalt. The basalt was itself a river of lava millions of years ago, following the contours of what was then the columbia river valley. So the current river has cut a new valley around it. The basalt layers are in turn cut through by landslides, large and small.
In this painting, looking east from the Rowena Viewpoint, one can see the dramatic charcoal-gray basalt layers from four separate eruptions on the left, undercut by a small landslide in the center, and devastated by a much larger landslide in the top-right.
High rock formations on both sides of the river create heaven-on-earth for windsurfers and kite surfers, who provide a delightful, if tiny, splash of color. The 1.8MW Dalles dam, one of fourteen dams on the Columbia, is located just out of view to the right.
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