Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Driftwood, Seaside, Oregon

52 Weeks 100 Paintings
Painting #25 - Driftwood
7" x 5"
Oil on Canvas Board
Sold to Lacey Schnell

Angela married me 16 years ago yesterday. We flew out to Seattle the day before, I met her parents and siblings for the first time, and the next day we drove east across the state and were married at a little bed and breakfast in Couer d'Alene, Idaho. A few days later, I was to meet the rest of her extended family at their annual reunion in Seaside, Oregon. Scary enough meeting a large group of complete strangers who were now family members, but it was going to be on the ocean, and there's nothing like a little splashing in the surf, and a little fun in the sun in the warm water on expansive, white sand beaches. Turns out, having spent all of my beach time on the southern Atlantic coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, I was not aware that there are different types of beaches, and different types of ocean. I ran out, ready to make a sand castle and do a little body surfing, and found this. Rocks of all sizes as far as the eye could see, huge piles of driftwood, a stiff, cold 25-mile-an-hour breeze freezing me to the core, and an ocean that was a full 30 degrees colder than any water I had ever attempted to frolic in. After this minor shock, at least I could look forward to meeting her entire family, or at least a large percentage of them, which was frightening in and of itself (there were 40-50 of them, all complete strangers who seemed to know more about me than I did of them).

It turns out that they are some of nicest, funniest, warmest people I have ever met. They welcomed me into the family immediately and unconditionally, and I have looked forward to the reunion every year since. I now love Oregon beaches. I love the rocks. I love the cold. I love the driftwood. The driftwood in the painting is probably 7 feet tall. It's the spot where we have the official beach party every year, and every year it gets a little smaller and a little blacker, slowly burning down as it used by others who make beach fires at its base. But as it gets smaller, the love that I feel for this place, these people, and especially Angela, continues to grow.

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