LATEST NEWS (1-14-2021)

Mason Parker Watercolors will be featured in the Buckman Show and Sell 2021 but the show is virtual, therefore redundant.


Artist paints geological rarities, natural water slides.

Wherever there are hills, there are nearly always waterfalls in the streams that cut between them. But how often do you find this form? I only have found two so far that exceed back yard kiddy length.

This one is behind Triangle Lake outside of Eugene Oregon that I found out about the same way I had many other Oregon waterfalls, by appreciating Rob Keller’s excellent writing style in his Paddling Oregon book. I’d finished a nearby painting with a few extra hours to spare and went to see his “class 5 waterfall and log infested onslaught” for myself.

I was completely unprepared to find a mix of an upper sheer drop into deep pools, followed by an almost unbroken maybe 30 degree sloped diagonal one about a hundred feet long and hardly an inch deep. I was easily impressed enough to add this rarity to my list of paintings for my second coffee table book of mostly waterfalls,  like I had just found one of God’s test piece waterfalls.

After I did my usual ink drawing that day and got poison ivy rashes, I quickly decided on using my pastel set for coloring. The downside was that it would be harder to get the foreground of maple leaves to stand out, but the upside was that they would work much better for those rugged plants with the pink flowers that lined its shore. Furthermore the stiff pointy-ness of the pencils would also make for easier rendering of the slick shiny water flow patterns over the rock and the amber tones in the shallow pool.

Slides at Lake Creek, ink and pastels, 22″X15″, June 2016

The other natural slide is not as long and a little more bumpy, and sits below the Montague Mill in Massachusetts on the Sawmill River, a large used book store converted from one. Like the scene I painted in Silverton Oregon it’s structure is flush against the river and rounded off by stone work. This time I wanted to see what would happen if I did use watercolors for coloring, and I had also purchased a very wide tipped ink pen and wanted to see what it could do too when depicting water.

New England rivers are murky compared to Oregon ones, and sometimes appear black if they are shaded in and with enough light toned surroundings. Rapids can enhance this effect, particularly if the water has tannin in it and gives them a yellow, sometimes even a gasoline red, tinge. This time I used the ink not only to differentiate the rock from the tiny streaks of white water running over it, but to give the pool an appropriate richness. I also added a liberal amount of bubbles both in the froth and in the river currents as I could, a technique I last used way before I ever visited Oregon.

Finally, one of the things that was a particular added joy of spending 80 degree September work days perching on a rock in midstream, was the fragrance of the wild grapes mixed in with the river smells and made sure to include on the left where they were growing. Or more accurately OVERgrowing.

Montague Mill, ink and watercolors, 22″X15″, September 2020