La Conner – March plein air painting

This is the view of the old Victorian house next to our B & B Katy’s Inn (which I would highly recommend) close to the town center and the old neighborhood homes in such a beautiful spot.
Amarch is usually a bit early for the tulips ( plantations of bulb farms in the Skagit Valley) but the dafodills were amazing. Shocking neon yellow fields against the dark soil and farm fields. This little 8×10 panel was the first attemp at some plein air on the trip. Finally found an early blooming tulip field and a place to stop near the roadside. I got this much done on site, and had to head back for breakfast at Katy’s Inn (not to be missed) at 9:00. The deep perspective of the completely flat fields creates such great space and distance. Quite different from my usual forest, mountains, ocean views near home. I kept shooting photos of the huge sky and the horison kept getting lower & lower.
We spent a day touring and walking in Anacortes, about 30 minutes from La Conner. After a GREAT lunch at Adrift restaurant, lots of galleries and a fabulous wool/fabric shop…(Brian is so patient…) we headed for Washington Park. Beautiful quiet wooded roadway (one way loop) and great views over the San Juan islands and Fidalgo bay. The sun was out and away from the wind it was quite warm. I set up to work on the high outlook. great rugged pines and many arbutus below me on the hill. Got most of this done on site – added a bit of highlight to the fence and tree later.

Below is pictured “Cherry Lane” and it was the highlight of my Plein Air adventure. a 16 x 20 acrylic on Canvas. Along 3rd street from our B &B there are many lovely restored old heritage homes. (Katy’s Inn is 125 years old.) When the local garden maintenance guys finally stopped mowing, I chose a spot looking at the back of one property. A funny barn/chapel little building was peeking out from an explosion of blossom against the dark fir trees and a lovely little garden in front.
So I am painting away, quite happily in the warm sunshine…and a fellow drives up in his car.
Now I usually get a few onlookers and folks who like to chat but this wasn’t quite what I expected.

He stops and rolls down the window, and says ” well you are VERY brave to be out here working in this neighborhood – keep an eye out for the turkeys “
Now we had heard from several sources about the infamous gang of wild, LARGE turkeys that supposedly roam around La Conner. Brian & I thought is might just be a rural myth for the tourists. So… I said with a chuckle “you’re kidding right????”
” Oh No !…they can be nasty ” he replies
“if they come after you…just jump that fence right there and you should be fine”

Well now… I have been chased by dogs, nuzzled by cats, splashed by cars and poked by children while working on location. These are risks we adventurous artists take. But to be chased by Turkeys !
I managed to finish my work before a rain shower threatened and thanks to a local cat Max, who kept me company at the roadside…I avoided the dreaded Turkey gang.

But I do have documentation from our encounter the following morning.
They came gobbling down our street, blocking traffic, puffing up and showing no fear. 7 fat turkeys, 3 males and 4 females. At the sound of honking horns and gobbling…We leapt up from our breakfast to run out and take photos.

Of course for us this is a great novelty…but I think for the patient residents of La Conner ( where they roost on roofs, block traffic and dig up gardens) the novelty had worn pretty thin.

Now you too can say you have seen the illusive La Conner Turkeys.
A great place to visit and explore. and the flowers are beyond belief.


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