Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eagle Cap

Oil on canvas, 56" x 72"
Private Collection
Click image to enlarge

Monday's "Camp Coffee" post got me to thinking of another of my paintings in which a coffee pot makes an appearance. This large work goes way back to 1985. It's kind of an allegory of camping and the mountains, referencing a lot of personal experience and memories. I dug around and found this pretty poor photo of it, scanned from a slide. Click the image to enlarge for at least a slightly better sense of what the painting looks like.

The fire-blackened aluminum pot and frying pan were inherited from my parents. The canteen and hatchet date to my Cub Scout days. Granite rocks were gathered from one of our old camping spots and hauled to the studio to use as "models" for the painting. My dad appears at upper right; painted from an old family photo. The figure with a walking stick is Marshall, a longtime friend and hiking companion. The mountain is Eagle Cap, namesake of the spectacular Eagle Cap Wilderness near my home in northeast Oregon.


suzanneberry said...

don, this is absolutely OUTSTANDING work!! the narrative is as interesting and multi-layered a your amazing painting! bravo!!

Don Gray said...

Wow, Suzanne--that means a lot coming from such a fine painter--thank you!

Gary L. Everest said...

Hi Don,
This is a tough one. It's certainly more than an allegory of camping. I'd say it's also an allegory of painting, perhaps even art.
This may be that most special painting which defines you and your career many, many years from now.
Everything about it seems perfectly placed, drawn, painted and expressed.
It is a great work and I congratulate you and thank you for sharing it with us.

Don Gray said...

Boy, Gary, I'm overwhelmed by your reaction to the painting. "Eagle Cap" was highly personal and an important transitional piece for me, but I always felt it was pretty problematic as a painting. Your thoughts make me feel I maybe should "re-mine" some of those early impulses. Thank you for your generous words.