Core Landscapes: Glass Butte, Eastern Oregon

Glass Butte, Eastern Oregon, September 2014. This painting is pretty good size, 15 x 23 painted on 300# Arches watercolor paper. I painted it plein air this last September 2014. I set up my supplies in the shade of a large juniper tree and just gave in to the sheer joy of being in high desert. 

If it is true that we each have a core landscape that brings us alive, then for me the high desert is it. I love junipers, pinion pines, sage brush; I have an affinity for skeletal rocks devoid of growth. I look for shapes, darks, lights, color and texture. 

Glass Butte is essentially a mountain of black obsidian. Obsidian is glassy, sharp enough to puncture a car tire, and exquisitely beautiful with colors ranging from the darkest shiny black to reds and grays. This painting is for me because


it takes me back to a September afternoon of sunshine, serenity, no time.

–Cheryl Renee Long
For fine arts watercolors of nature and birds at affordable prices, go to 

What is YOUR Core Landscape?

In this blog post, Cheryl talks about the concept of a “core landscape.” What do you think about the idea of a core landscape–do you have an interior space or exterior place that always calls you to your most essential self?

What is it? Leave your insights and ideas in the comment box, and don’t forget to leave your e-mail in the box at the right if you want to keep track of the upcoming conversation on this fascinating topic.

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3 thoughts on “Core Landscapes: Glass Butte, Eastern Oregon”

  1. I have probably asked a hundred people, what is your core landscape? Everyone seems to understand the question without hesitation. It is not just a question for artists; it is a question for everyone. Our mother answered, the ocean. The more wave action the better. For our father it was the high mountains – especially the Cascades. I wonder what our readers think. What is your core landscape? The place on the planet that you always return to in your imagination. The landscape where you feel the most at home.

  2. As Norman McLean says, "a river runs through it," meaning that in my interior world, my go-to place has a river. The Willamette rises out of old growth moss and duff in Chuckle Springs, and that is my place. The Salmon River enters the Pacific at Cascade Head, and that, too, is my place. My home is here in the middle where the Willamette curves wide and mostly peaceful within a few hundred yards of my house, and this, too, is my interior place.

  3. The ground that grew my heart molded broad fields under open windy skies, land gently undulating, punctuated with color: from swaths of rusty grass in autumn to golden black-eyed Susan and Queen Anne's Lace in summer. Deciduous trees laced with rosy-creamy pastels in May, silver backsides to their August leaves, brilliant torches of October color, silhouettes of black webbed branches over pale blue snow in a streaky January sunset.

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