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September on the Oregon coast

Posted on   ·   Categories Paintings, Travel
Artist Emily Miller painting en plein air on the Oregon coast

This month, I spent a week traveling and painting along the Oregon coast with my good friend from Kauai, pastel and oil painter Helen Turner. We painted in beautiful locations from Cannon Beach all the way down to Port Orford, with the goal of visiting all Oregon’s coastal lighthouses.

We saw gray whales feeding just off the coast of Yaquina Head Lighthouse, fog on the massive sand dunes north of Umpqua River Lighthouse, and golden afternoon light on the towering sea stacks in Bandon, near the Coquille River Light. I produced twelve new plein air watercolors, plus dozens of reference photos for future studio paintings. Check out the twelve plein airs below!


Cannon Beach from Ecola State Park

Cannon Beach from Ecola State Park


Haystack Rock and Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Haystack Rock and Tillamook Rock Lighthouse


Fog at Devil's Kitchen

Fog at Devil’s Kitchen


Golden Sunset, Bandon

Golden Sunset, Bandon


North from Cape Blanco

North from Cape Blanco


Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon

Coquille River Lighthouse, Bandon


Evening at Lake Marie

Evening at Lake Marie


Fog at Neptune Beach North

Fog at Neptune Beach North


Sea Stacks at Siletz Bay

Sea Stacks at Siletz Bay


Yaquina Bay Dunes

Yaquina Bay Dunes


Yaquina Head Lighthouse from Cobble Beach

Yaquina Head Lighthouse from Cobble Beach


Cape Meares sea cliff

Cape Meares sea cliff

Plein air painting allows me to slow down and focus on the mood of a place, providing an opportunity to study shifting details of color, light and weather over time. It is both a challenging and meditative experience that creates a stronger bond with the location. I am more in love with the Oregon coast than ever, and I can’t wait to get started on new artwork inspired by our journey.

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