Riding my bike on the Burke-Gilman trail on the way to an art opening in Ballard recently, I stopped at "the Locks." Officially known as the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. The grounds also feature a fish ladder and the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden — one of the most beautiful park settings in Seattle.
I have visited the locks on a few occasions since I was a kid to watch how boats transition from Puget Sound, (salt water) to Lake Union (fresh water.) This particular evening, illuminated by the light of dusk, offered an excellent opportunity to watch the boats arrive after a day at sea. With the lush green grounds, the dark silhouette of the open bridge trestle set amidst the blueish grey cast of the evening sky, it's reflection in Salmon Bay and reminding me of windmills, I felt like I was in the Netherlands in the 16th century. I stayed for about 30 minutes absorbing the setting. I knew I wanted to capture this feeling in a series of small paintings. I took a bit more time to walk amidst the English Gardens to observe the view of the locks from different vantage points. I then proceeded to my friend's art opening nearby, thus capping off an evening of artistic inspiration.
In this painting: the view at dusk facing west from the locks. The Ballard Bridge ahead has opened up over Salmon Bay to allow for boats to arrive from Puget Sound.
Mary Lamery is a lifelong resident and native of the Pacific Northwest. Lamery paints regional landscape in a manner that leans towards 19th century French Impressionism. Through her project, "Washington Americana," she will create original landscape paintings from her journeys through Washington for the creation of an art book of painted landscape of Washington State.