Diane MacDonald


Week Two - did I mention surf?  

and lighthouses?

The joy of traveling in the off season: that small white dot on the far right (above) is our
motorhome - the only vehicle visible for miles around.

Love the sun-kissed wind-blown wave tops:

and the abundance of foam:

Tricky cliffside coastal driving, amazing views:

and seaside lunch stops.

The sun dipping into that endless swallowing sea...

Gone, but not forgotten...

A slight detour inland along Redwood Highway to the Avenue of the Giants - narrow roads,
magnificent trees:

The Mattole Road leads out of the redwoods to the coast - our "not to scale" map gave us no 
indication of the length, condition, beauty of what lay ahead.  Three hours of the most remote
California coast (who knew that California even had a remote coast).

Fortunately, the motorhome was safe and sound at an RV park in Arcata (near Eureka) - this 
road was a challenge even by car.  But worth it (says me, not the driver).  Almost no cars, 
a handful of farms, lots of grazing cows and sheep; a rugged mountain road that dipped
to skirt the ocean before rising for the next switchback climb.

Here's what we found - after the fact - online:  "there’s one area of the coast that’s so rugged,
so remote, that road builders simply didn’t try.  This area is known, appropriately enough,
as the Lost Coast."  

Lost no more, back on the I-5, we head on...




(posted on 10 Feb 2018)

A week into our planned two-month rain-escape odyessy - with our motorhome and "toad" (what
motorhome owners call their towed vehicle)...

Not hard to find rainbows along the very wet northwest coast of Washington as we head 
towards Cape Flattery, the most northwest and wettest point of the contiguous United States.

The promised smoked salmon shack at Neah Bay was missing salmon - the shack was
a SHACK, offering only frozen halibut.  The fishers were hunkering down in port in winter 

Camp wood is advertised and readily available along the coastal route. A friend now says he
knows the difference - camp wood smokes and firewood burns.

South of Forks, WA, we detoured into the Hoh Rainforest - a gem we might have dismissed
given our familiarity with BC rain and forest.  Glad we didn't - it's easily accessible and 

Even elk endure the relentless rain.

South to Cape Disappointment State Park just across the bridge from Astoria Oregon -
another gem - a park encompassing a state of the art marine coast guard rescue station
- practicing helicopter rescues when we were there. (That's not a manikin.)

The view from one of the two park lighthouses - a freighter sounding it's horn constantly - 
and no wonder as it is quickly enveloped in dense fog.

Across the bridge to the Maritime Museum in Astoria Oregon. Not "comfortable" with stark
reminders of the immense power of the sea - fortunately balanced by equally compelling
stories of coast guard rescue.  Even given the sophistication of today's knowledge and marine
technology, 600 people require rescue every year at the confluence of the Columbia River
and the Pacific Ocean, the location known to mariners as "The Graveyard of the Pacific".

And a tsunami story ...

We traveled this coast 49 years ago - blissfully unaware of tidal waves.  Today US 101 travels 
in and out of tsunami safety zones with every passing mile, and awareness of escape to higher
ground tempers pure coastal exhilaration (or at least it does for me more and more as I age, 
and having lived in Japan, the earthquake epicentre).

Cannon Beach - famous for Haystack Rock, a Pacific monolith.  

Impressive, but more captivating was the art scene - amazing unpretentious galleries deserve
Cannon Beach's reputation as the "Carmel of Oregon".  Photographs (with permission) taken 
at Bronze Coast Gallery 

The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport offers a close-up view of what we miss as we gaze
from above at this amazing coast.

Not sure what's around the next corner - stay tuned.


Excited that two of my images - one colour, one black and white, have been juried into the
Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery art show - show runs February 3rd to 24th.

(posted on 20 Dec 2017)

A note to mark the nearing of solstice and the end of 2017 - and to imagine beginnings as the new year approaches. 
The closure of Red Tree Gallery (a significant part of my life for eight years) means that I am looking back with nostalgia and forward for new paths to explore.  At the time of writing, mist signifies the unknowingness of what lies ahead.

November was windy and wet - no surprise - but even downpours may be interesting.  West coast
rain can be dreary - or, sometimes, golden, as seen through this back-lit wind-

And, speaking of glow - this taken on a more favourable day:

Fall reveals the backbone of trees denuded - sinuous, strong, earthy, rooted:

December brings the return of the buffleheads - en masse.  One morning perfectly smooth
water was ruffled by their arrival. Here they are beating a hasty retreat - they are particularly
shy and probably sensed my presence:

Looking ahead - my camera will continue to be my daily companion and I love that I don't 
yet know where it will lead.  At home I can't resist the marvel of sunrise; it spells hope:

As 2017 comes to a close, it seems appropriate to end with full-circles of pink/orange clouds and 
blue skies.  For each of you I wish peace, new beginnings, and fulfillment.



(posted on 1 Dec 2017)

As a member of Red Tree Gallery for eight years, it is with a mixture 
of sadness and a sense of upcoming challenge/opportunity that I write. 

After twelve years, Red Tree Gallery launches its final month-long
showcase of beautiful artwork on the waterfront at Hope Bay.  The
artist reception takes place tomorrow, Saturday December 2nd - join
us for warmth, chocolates, bubbly and, most importantly, fine art
between 11 and 4.  We offer thanks to the Pender community that has
supported the Pender Island Artisan Cooperative since the inception
of the gallery.  Red Tree Gallery remains open until 4 pm on December 31st.


(posted on 21 Oct 2017)

Autumn - change is in the air.  I have been a member of the Red Tree Cooperative for eight years, and have treasured my time as part of our vibrant collective.  While the cooperative will continue, the associated store-front Red Tree Gallery is winding down. This is what appeared in this month's issue of the Pender Post.  (Please forgive me if you have received this more than once.  I want to ensure that anybody who wants to visit the gallery is aware that time is of the essence.)

Pender Islands Artisan Cooperative has operated the Red Tree Gallery at Hope Bay for over twelve years.  Artists have kept the gallery open through busy summers and quiet winters, and visitors and Penderites alike have expressed tremendous appreciation for the visual feast and tranquil atmosphere that greets them as they walk through the doors.  Thirty Pender artists have shown their work at the Red Tree over the years, and the work of a dozen guest artists has been featured over the last three summers.   
Sadly we have taken the decision to close the gallery at the end of this year.  However the Red Tree Cooperative will continue with a plan to mount one or more shows each year.  Look for updates in the coming months.   We will sign off with "Remembering" in November and a thank you to the community in December and hope that you will continue to visit the gallery between now and then.  Thank you for your generous support over the years and for pointing your guests in our direction.                          Monica (Mira) Petrie, PIAC Chair for the Members 

Personally I will miss the Red Tree walls tremendously as a place to show my work along with the work of a variety of talented Pender Island artists.  "When one door closes, another opens" - the trick is to find it.  I certainly won't stop taking pictures but I may not mat and frame as many!

This fall is melancholy with the prospect of Red Tree closing, but I continue to be nourished by the warmth and beauty of the season.





(posted on 26 Sep 2017)

The Sidney Fine Art Show opens Friday October 13th and runs through Sunday October 15th (the weekend after Thanksgiving).  I am thrilled to have had three pieces accepted - the show is always a feast for the eyes and well worth visiting.     http://www.DianeMacDonaldPhotography.com

Pure Gold


 Flight of Fancy



The photographs I have taken for our September show, Through the Looking Glass, feature glass and other reflective surfaces.  I love experimenting with the play of light, and, for this end-of-summer show I aim to focus on play.   


(posted on 8 Jul 2017)

A highlight of summer - Art off the Fence on South Pender Island. The show runs Saturday and Sunday next weekend, July 15 and 16, from 11 to 4 each day. The venue is the grounds of The Church of the Good Shepherd, immediately beside and within easy walking distance of Poet's Cove Resort and Marina. This is the 21st annual Art off the Fence show, and is widely anticipated on and beyond Pender Island shores. There will be wonderful art and music - bring a picnic and plan to stay awhile.

I will be showing photography and mixed media work. There will be framed photographs printed 'traditionally' on paper (see boats anchored in Browning Harbour below), and some unframed canvas pieces (Bisected Sun below).


(posted on 25 Jun 2017)

A trio of shows coming up - photographs, printed on metal, at Slow Coast in July,
Red Tree Gallery at Sea Star Vineyards over the July 1st weekend, and Art off the Fence
on South Pender Island July 15th and 16th.

Coastal scenes, many of Pender, will show for a month at Slow Coast. A sample or two:

Then, 10 Red Tree artists at Sea Star. Join us for art, music, and wonderful local wine from
our very own Pender Island Vineyard.

And one of the summer highlights on Pender, Art off the Fence, a two-day outdoor extravaganza
of art and music. There I will show photography and mixed-media. Bring a picnic and linger
under the trees.

Pender Island recently lost a gifted glass artist. Wendy Hacking was to have been a guest
artist at Art off the Fence. Sadly she won't be there but her work will be featured for show
and sale. Please forward this to anyone you know who might want to be there for Wendy.


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