After passing through Sentinel Gap on our Saturday drive, I arbitrarily picked a side road and headed west toward the Columbia to see if I could get a different perspective of the Gap. The road ended up at a small boat ramp on a backwater pond near the river. The sun was just about ready to drop behind Umptanum Ridge. The late afternoon created a beautiful glow on the grasses and winter tree trunks. As a little bonus, I was able to get a piece fo the western ridge of Sentinal Gap in my image. For reference, the height of the water in the Columbia River approached the top of this ridge during the Missoula Floods. The area where I was standing when taking this image was at the bottom of Ice Age Lake Lewis. The water would have been several hundred feet above my head during the floods.
Yesterday was a beautiful winter day here in Central Washington. I woke up with a desire to get out and do a little exploring. Mary and I hopped into our car and decided to wander through part of the path of the Ice Age floods. The landscape in Eastern Washington is amazing. Understanding how the different formations were created takes a lot of imagination.
The basalt bluffs across the valley are about 150-200 feet high. Imagine a wall of water 100 to 200 feet higher than the bluffs rushing and swirling through this channel at 50 plus miles per hour. The water swirls as eddies carve out “pot holes” like maybe what the small lake covers. The turbulent waters gouge through the basalt, picking up and carrying the rock out of the channel.
Abstract 1: Barnet Newman’s “Achilles” – National Gallery of Art
Abstract 2: National Gallery of Art – East Wing, Exterior
Abstract 3: Volcanic Cliff
Simple lines of abstract art are intriguing. They can be found everywhere. Some are works created in art mediums (paintings, sculptures, etc.). Others are created by architectural forms. Still others are found in nature.
Abstract 1 is an oil painting created by Barnet Newman titled “Achilles”. I stood and looked at this piece for quite a long time. Rather than try to figure out “what it is meant to be”, I tried to focus on what feeling it brought out in me. The red made me feel a little anxious. I did not resonate with this piece.
Abstract 2 is a photograph of the exterior of the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. I was walking along, looked up and saw these contrasting shapes of shadows and light. It just grabbed me.
Abstract 3 is a photograph of the sheer basalt cliffs cut by the Palouse River during the Ice Age Floods. Nature’s artwork stops me in my tracks. Sometimes I just do not want to leave. It instills me to think about how our would was formed and just enjoy the beauty of nature surrounding me.