For my Bridges of Redmond project I hope to paint 365 watercolor paintings of scenes along the Sammamish River in Redmond. To get the ball rolling, I set the goal of doing one painting a day in 2022. I won’t use all of these paintings in the show, but I hope to use many of them. I’ll be painting from photographs that I’ve taken over the years walking the river. I’ll add the most recent paintings as I go, so the painting at the bottom of this post is January 1.
But most of all I keep my eye out for fishermen, and fisherwomen, and their kids, because that means the salmon are moving up the river.
The views up and downriver from the bridges are always changing and delightful. The railroad trestle bridge is just around the bend in the river.
The feel of approaching fall was in the air as I soaked in the sunlight.
One morning at Marymoor the sunlight was especially striking against the dark trees and their shadows.
Or the windmill at Marymoor Park.
Or this poplar tree with bare branches bright against a stormy sky.
Like these lily pads in a quiet bend in the river.
I hope to do some of that boating in the future but for now its just walking, which works great for me. And I still see wonderful sights.
There is plenty of time to talk as you meander down, or up, river.
On a canoe or Kayak, you get to see the river from a whole new vantage point.
In August, many people prefer boating. What a great way for friends to spend time together and exercise.
Bikes will get you around quite well also. This is a biker I photographed on the trails at Marymoor Park near where the river meets Lake Sammamish.
In the morning, or evening like these lovers enjoy a romantic walk.
On the paved west side of the trail or like these two on less traveled and gravel walkway on the west side.
I guess I just prefer good ole-fashioned strolling, especially with my wife or a friend.
I still haven’t decided if I would go up in a hot air balloon. I’m not a big fan of heights. But it would sure give one a great view of the river. Shout out to Ed Weiss for the photos from which these paintings of hot air balloons are based.
You can spot hot air balloons taking off and landing from Sixty Acres Park.
Golf is my Dad’s favorite sport. I haven’t taken it up yet, maybe in later years.
There are other joys, like playing golf on the course that sits alongside the river.
Here’s a more simplistic, stylistic, abstract take on one of the joy of Autumn on the Rivertrail.
And like this, a virtual waterfall of blackberries.
But in due course they ripen and are black and soft and juicy.
Early in the season there are plenty of green berries.
But for me, the real highlight of the trail in August are the blackberries. You can see people picking blackberries, and the places that have been picked. But there are always more than enough for everyone so luscious and full is the crop.
It’s warm enough in August to stroll late into the night and see the bridges lit up and sparkling under the lights.
And this is the bridge itself looking south.
This is from the walking bridge at Dudley Carter Park looking north.
This is from the walking bridge on Leary Way, looking south.
You can catch the glories of August from the many bridges along the Sammamish. This is from the walking bridge to Marymoor Park.
August is deliciously warm. The perfect time to walk the Rivertrail.
Because, as my wife reminds me, twilight is here favorite hour.
But I would encourage you to walk the river at night. Then in the dusk and the warmth of the summer still you will see scenes that nourish your soul.
Or you might just come around a corner and be greeted with a happy sight like this.
You might even happen upon a rain shower although those happen very rarely in July.
You can see storm clouds brewing from the York Street Bridge looking towards Woodinville. They look like this.
And glistening sunsets from the metal bridge.
You can see fishermen trying their luck from the York Street Bridge.
And evenings too.
The lily pads are beautiful in the mornings.
And lily pads under the Redmond Way Bridge.
You can see big cumulus clouds.
Their bright reflections on the river are a great challenge for the artist to capture.
Like the light dancing on the bushes and trees and reflecting on the water under the bridges.
If you walk the trail there are lots of lovely sights to see.
And in the sun they dance and sparkle and shine with not a care in the world.
The daisies are out in July too. I know this because they are my wife’s favorite flower and you can find them at the hill next to the railroad trestle bridge.
I went out to see it on the 14th, but clouds covered the sky. But I can imagine it sparking on the river at this bend.
Like the supermoon, the biggest moon of the year, that happened on July 13.
Especially when the moon is full and it lights up the river.
The days and nights in July are warm. Nighttime on the river is especially magical in July.
July 2022 was our first time attending Derby Days. It was a lot of fun.
Derby Days happens in July. This popular Redmond festival features music, food, and lots of booths to buy from local craftsman and to connect to local organizations.
There’s even a monument to the beavers at Luke McRedmond Park on the Sammamish.
The beaver are active too. One hot July day I actually saw a beaver leaping out of the water to grab a branch.
And these mallards cooling off beneath the bridge.
The river teams with life too. Like these geese. Have the goslings grown up already?
The river fills up with boaters too in their paddleboards, canoes and kayaks. Like this father and daughter cooling off before the evening fireworks.
And this family in the afternoon.
And these friends in the afternoon.
In July, the Rivertrail fills with people walking and talking, enjoying the warm days. Like these two friends early in the morning.
At the end of June the days begin to be shorter. But we don’t think about that now but only enjoy the long days and the sun, aw the sun in all its glory.
On the warm days of June, you will often see people meandering their way down the river in kayaks and other water toys.
I can’t get enough of the reflections – this time highlighting the rocks – on the Samamish River.
The evening lights looking east from the Rivertrail.
There’s a little “island” on the Sammamish where the geese and ducks love to sun.
Last summer my son Julian surprised us with a visit. This is a painting of Jenny and Julian walking on the west side of the river coming up to the bridge at 60 Acres park.
My last take on wild roses, at least for now.
I enjoy the long shadows along the Rivertrail and the freshness of the clouds in this one.
This painting captures the warming of the days and drying of the grass along the Rivertrail. Summer has come!
I like the unusual composition of this painting with the railway bridge and puddles and morning sun.
I can’t imagine all the great talks, wise counsel and coaching conversations people have shared on the Rivertrail. I know my wife Jenny has herself logged hundreds of hours walkin and talking with people in person or over the phone. In this painting she is with our daughter Jackie.
Here’s another view south from the same bridge. I’m quite happy with these.
The view south from the bridge at 60 Acres park with colors soft in the twilight.
Here’s the same view of the Redmond Way Bridge with the little concrete staircase that leads down to the river.
The Redmond Way Bridge is just across from our first apartment at Riverpark. Most people just know the bridge by driving over it. But if you wander, and are willing to climb through some brush, you can find wonderful morning views like this.
Blue Herons are a beautiful bird. I had fun painting the dynamic reflections on the river as a backdrop to the bird.
Wild roses #3, this time trying to capture their whispiness against the sky.
Painting flowers is challenging for me, but I sure enjoyed the rich colors and nuanced shapes with this second painting of wild roses.
The wild roses, my mother’s favorite flower, also come out in their soft beauty in May and June. Here is the first of a series of four wild roses.
Here’s another fisherman, this time a youth. And what is better than fishing on a beautiful day with not a care in the world?
This June has been one of the wettest in history. Looking on the bright side, it has been wonderful for making big puddles on the Rivertrail that are so picturesque.
One day I was at 60 Acres and saw this glowing sunset. I climbed on the bridge there and took this picture looking west.
This turn in the river is one of my favorite spots. This painting went through three or four significant changes. The sky kept getting darker, and I like the feel of evening in it and the calm on the river.
I like this one the most…and decided to stop here.
I like the clouds more in this painting. The view is looking south, with the setting sun lighting up the poplar trees.
I painted this scene three times just trying to get it right. Here is my first attempt.
I feel weird stopping and taking pictures of the fishermen along the river but I can’t resist. I hope they don’t notice me there. This one is intent on whatever is nibbling at his lure.
Painting the river through the seasons has helped me slow down and notice the changes. In early June the Scotch broom comes up in its full glory, rich yellow and almost gold. Here the bushes are catching the morning sun just south of our Avignon apartment.
This June has been so wet. It’s special when we get a day with lots of sunshine. This was one of those, and the trail on the west side of the river shimmered.
There are some quiet places along the river where you can always find a great view, and reflect. This is one.
I love the moodiness of the weather in the spring. This was a very dramatic scene with the fading sun hitting the tops of the trees and a storm brewing in the east.
Apparently geese not only like to fly in formation but also to paddle in formation. I saw this line of no less than 12 geese making their way downstream in strict order.
Take #2 on the night lights of the 90th Street Bridge.
Reflections of the 90th Street Bridge on the river.
I love the drama of the stormy clouds in May against the sparkling green of spring.
The spring sun lit up the old windmill at Marymoor and the bushes and trees along the river on this glorious morning.
The scotch broom are a-flower in May. Their yellow beauty almost but not quite outshines the sun. The golf course is behind the tree.
My wife, Jenny, has had many conversations with our kids on the trail. On this particular one, the poplar trees are lit up against the stormy grey sky.
And friends still find ways to walk and talk in the rain. Raincoats and hot coffee helps.
But most of the time May is wet and rainy and grey green. Still that has a beauty all its own.
The colors of May on the river are so fresh and hopeful.
If you walk south in the dark from our Avignon apartment you will see the lights of the 90th Street Bridge reflecting on the river. They look like this.
Here’s a second take on those delightful puddles with reflections.
The puddles after a big rain on the path that runs west of the river are spectacular.
May is a month of love, and these two lovers are enjoying their conversation among the green and gold of spring on the powerline trail path that meets up with the Rivertrail.
Here’s another view of the path on the east side of the trail. This time as the sun breaks through a cloudy sky two friends are deeply engaged in conversation.
Here’s another view of the path on the west side of the river. You can see the golf course through the trees.
This painting is of my wife Jenny and her friend Annie walking the path on the west side of the river with the evening sun lighting up the trees and casting long shadows.
This sunset was especially beautiful because of the mist over the river.
A misty morning on the river.
Heading south towards Marymoor Park there is a cement wall that is beautiful with shadows.
The sun shining through the steel bridge made quite a sight, and beyond the golf course was ablaze in evening light.
In this spot on the Rivertrail just west of Ben Franklin the trees are like a canopy overhead. Shadows dance on the trail as this man takes his dog for a walk.
The walking path on the east side of the river is beautiful in the evening sun and a perfect place for friends to catch up as they walk.
The sunsets through the trees across from our Avignon apartment are magnificent.
Here’s another take of the sparkling warm reflections against the cool rocks.
One of my favorite things is to see the reflections on the river.
Here’s another take. You can see the little gravel island where the geese love to rest.
There’s a quiet spot on the river where you can look south and see the railroad track bridge.
There are some beautiful stormy skies in May. This fellow is walking fast to get home before the rain starts to fall.
May is the month that you see a lot of babies along the river. These goslings stick in a pack with their parents.
Construction is going on to put in light rail. Here’s the view from alongside the 520 Bridge into the valley.
One morning in April I was on the Redmond Way Bridge taking photographs and I caught this scene of the morning commute.
Close up of the blue heron. My daughter’s favorite bird.
There are many elegant blue herons that live and fish along the river. Here is one taking off.
A fisherman under the Redmond Way Bridge and the blossoming trees against the dark greens and the reflections in the Sammamish River feel like spring.
Take two on that sunset.
I photographed a beautiful sunset from the Marymoor Bridge. It was a challenge to recreate.
There is a access point to the river at Luke McRedmond Park. Sometimes canoeists and kayakers launch their boats there.
The morning sun warming the apartments on the west side of the river.
Early in the morning these two walkers had the Rivertrail all to themselves and the rising sun.
There’s a little park that looks out over the river onto the Luke McRedmond Park with shelter next to the Rivertrail Apartments where we used to live. This morning the sun bathed everything in Gamboge yellow.
I was photographing the cherry tree when this young canoeist came floating by and I thought the canoe floated on the river like the cherry blossoms seem to float and hover in the air.
This painting really hits the mark for the wonder and power and energy, for lack of a better word, of that cherry tree.
This big cherry tree along the river and just south of our apartments in glorious in April full of white blossoms.
I painted this the morning of Easter Sunday. The sun lighting the trees and shrubs and grasses with warmth and beauty and sparkling color is a picture of what the resurrection of Jesus Christ means to my heart and in my life, like the life-giving joy-filling rising sun.
There is a charming path that runs along the west side of the river, more rustic and rural. Here’s a couple on a romantic walk along that trail with the Redmond Way Bridge overhead.
Another attempt to get the mood and capture the beauty of the cherry blossoms that I see across the river.
When we first moved to Redmond in September 2015, we lived in the Rivertrail Apartments. People who walk or bike the trail, will recognize this turn in the trail just north of those apartment.
Painting a painting a day has really forced me to pay attention to the changing seasons and colors along the river. I’ve learned this year that April is when the cherry blossoms bloom.
There was a glorious sunset this April. I ran out of our apartment and to the river to take photographs. This is my attempt to show the glory of God painted in the setting of the sun.
The second painting of a mother and son walking the Rivertrail. There are parts of both paintings I like more than the other. This one gets the feel of the dark clouds of April and the sunlight lighting up the trail ahead.
My wife Jenny does a lot of walking and talking on the Rivertrail. This is her with our son Jacob and dog Winnie. But it could be any mother and son and dog.
The blackberry vines grow on this cherry tree near our apartment. It made an interesting – and challenging – subject. I tried to get the cheery mood of a sunrise on the river as a backdrop.
The Leary Way Bridge and footpath on an early morning in April.
I like how this painting gets the feel of the sun overhead on a wet, wet April day.
My second take of the bridge to Marymoor Park.
This is the first painting of the bridge to Marymoor Park and the windmill.
You can real see the colors change with the season along the river. Spring is here!
It’s hard to put on paper the foreboding skies and sunbreaks that I see over the river in front of our apartment. This is an attempt.
What could be better than to walk on the Rivertrail with a friend amidst the glories of April!
For the last day of March we have a stormy sky with sunbreak and jogger getting in his exercise rain or shine!
The sun is shining on the pickle ball courts behind the cedar tree.
The 85th Street Bridge makes for some dramatic scenes on sunny days.
The sitting lady on the Rivertrail near the Redmond’s Mayor’s Office. She changes with the seasons.
Jenny walking our dog Winnie amid the cherry blossoms on the path leading to the community of homes on the hill called Mondavio Verona.
Cherry Blossoms #2
This time of year the cherry blossoms are out on the lake next to the Rivertrail just north of our apartment.
The Sammamish Rivertrail teams with life; like this Bluebird – or maybe Stellar Jay, I’m not sure which it is – sitting on a fence I saw in an alcove along the trail.
Sunrise on the Sammamish. This is the view south from the Bridge at Leary Way looking at the 520 Bridge.
Jenny and I walked the Rivertrail one March evening and saw this fisherman under one of the bridges.
Jenny took a photo of a canoeist on the river and I painted it. Here it is.
Sometimes the morning sun sparkles on the Rivertrail. And the trail fills with people, including families enjoy the warmth.
Spring has come!
The clouds above the river are beautiful in March.
The river is teeming with life. Here are some of the ducks who call the Sammamish River home.
My wife Jenny has been asking me to paint a man who walks the Rivertrail with crows following. She had done some recon and realized that he was feeding peanuts to the crows. So here is the “Crow Whisperer.”
There are some lovely views of the river from underneath the bridges when the sun make the colors of spring bright and reflections dance.
In this version I tried to get the feel for this quiet spot on the river early in the morning with the fog on the river.
I like the colors in this version.
Same scene on a sunlit morning.
The artist has a new color palette with the coming of Spring!
I like this one the most of the three.
Second of the bush with yellow flowers. I wonder what kind of bush it is.
First of a mini series trying to portray a bush with yellow flowers near the bridge near our apartment.
The browns, reds and greys are giving way to the greens and golds of spring on the river.
It was a sunny March morning for these walkers on the Rivertrail. And you can begin to see the hint of yellow and green marking the coming of spring.
Redmond based poet Ken Osborne says that walkers, bikers, skaters, etc. on the Rivertrail are like a river next to the Sammamish. The only distance is that the flow goes both ways.
Everything is still on evening walks on the Sammamish as the sun sets.
As the weather warms, more and more people get their exercise on the trail like these joggers are doing.
Spring is in the air on the Rivertrail and people, and their dogs, come out for the beautiful sunsets glimmering on the river.
Morning on the Sammamish
Geese along the Sammamish.
We came across this couple walking their dogs one February with the long shadows of late afternoon.
That same evening I photographed a fisherman under the York Street Bridge.
That same evening walk with the sunset (February 23, below), I took some photos from underneath the York Street Bridge. This is the view I saw looking north.
The same view on February evening with the setting sun as Jenny and I walked the Sammamish Rivertrail.
You can almost feel spring in the area walking the Rivertrail.
It’s not unusual for a snowfall in February. There was one this year. Here is that dusting of snow on the Power Line Hill just north of our apartment as seen from the Sammamish Rivertrail.
My second take on the poplars along the Sammamish made dramatic on a cloudy evening with the sun breaking through.
The poplars along the Sammamish River are a one of the every changing beauties along the Rivertrail and a challenge to the artist trying to capture their subtlety.
A typical misty morning on the Sammamish in January.
Take #3 on this scene
Here’s a second take on the scene of the old railroad bridge in the mist. There’s some things I like more, some I like less than the first. Room for improvement let’s say.
On Sunday morning as I drove the van to set up for church at the Hilton Garden Inn, the sun coming through the fog was breathtaking. I made a mental note. This is what I imagine I would have seen that morning from the west side of the Sammamish river looking south at the old railroad and now walking bridge in all of the glory of approaching spring.
My wife Jenny’s favorite time of day is twilight. She loves to walk the Rivertrail then. So I painted this twilight scene from the York Street Bridge looking south for her on Valentine’s Day.
The view from York Street Bridge looking south at twilight.
Twilight on the trail. Twilight is my wife Jenny’s favorite time of day and I tried to catch that mystical time.
The same view looking north from the York Bridge. I darkened the trees and water in this painting.
The view north from York Bridge near 60 Acres Park. It was built in 2006, when Rosemarie Ives was mayor of Redmond. I tried to communicate the light breaking through the low clouds. I like the atmospheric feel of this painting.
Those who walk the Rivertrail will be familiar with this scene of a couple walking the trail on the west side of river with their Golden Lab.
I love the contours of the 90th Street bridge, especially when the sun illumines brightens up the backdrop and the light from the river reflects on the bridge.
The view from the bridge at 60 Acres Park looking northwest. I love how the sunlight made the river and the trail silver.
This is my second interpretation of this scene. Again, thanks to my watercolor colleague Eileen McMackin for the inspiration.
My colleague in the Northwest Watercolor Society, Eileen McMackin, painted a wonderful watercolor of this scene. I reached out to her and she kindly shared her resource photo. I like her painting more, but here is mine.
But most of the time the colors are muted by the clouds.
When the sun comes out, Fine February’s colors pop to the walkers along the river
You get some great cloud formations in the winter, but the browns and reds and oranges and greys of February may be even more breathtaking
When the sun does break through the clouds, the Rivertrail fills with people soaking in the vitamin D.
This was the sunset last evening (January 31, 2022). I had to attempt to paint it though I fell far short of the grandeur of God’s original.
The colors of the sky were so clear and pure this morning. I tried my best to capture them.
Last week I was walking with a parishioner. The sun was shining through the clouds and making the River Trail silver. I snapped a picture and did my best to recreate that moment.
Eventually the sun warms things up, the snow melts, and people walk the trail to get fresh air and enjoy the sights. The geese are out too, watching us!
This mom pulling her little girl at our Avignon apartment complex next to the river was such a sweet scene. It had to be recorded.
This is a view of the Sammamish River through the bushes I had one snowy and sunny morning.
This lovely sunrise greeted me one morning as I walked the Rivertrail.
A man and his dog walking in the snow.
One morning walk on the Rivertrail I came across these two ducks resting in the shelter of a fallen tree.
This January we had a big snow and it stayed cold. The Rivertrail packed with hard snow, and I saw cross country skiers for the first time on the trail.
One day the sky was clear and the crows on the trail made a bold pattern against the whites of the snow that covered the trail.
I love the statute of the “Sitting Lady” (that’s the name I’ve given her) next City Hall on the Sammamish River Trail. This evening she was covered in snow.
Take #2 on this scene…The snow covered branches of this fallen tree against the dark waters of the Sammamish are so pretty.
There is a tree that fell or bends into the slow moving Sammamish. I often think how picturesque its branches are when they are covered by snow and bright against the dark waters of the river. But it is not easy portraying it.
In the evening the crows rest in the trees along the Sammamish River.
My second take at this scene.
When the snow falls along the trail you can find these delightful snow blankets and puffs on the grass and bushes along the river trail. This one is captured just as the morning sun shoots its shafts of light across the trail.
I love the alizarin branches and red berries that you an attentive walker can see along the Sammamish River Trail in winter. They were especially distinguished on this day with a sprinkling of snow.
Night Lights. A few years ago after a big snow, I walked the Sammamish River Trail at night with my daughter. The lights on the fresh snow were enchanting.
The footbridge across the Sammamish just north of our house. It is quite a challenge to capture the sparkle and glow of the snow in the morning sunshine.
Here’s Take #2 on the 90th Street Bridge. I lightened the water and I’m quite happy with it.
Bridges can be challenging to get right with their nuances of architecture. I tried to show the glow on the 90th Street Bridge as I came across it early one morning after a new snow.
The sunlight bursts through the trees on an early morning walk on the Sammamish.
The browns and blues of winter. And the Sunlight. Ahh!
The last of three paintings of this scene. I’m happy with the overall composition.
The second of three paintings. I’m happy with the sun on the background trees.
There is nothing like a fresh snowfall on the Sammamish with the sunlight on the west bank. This is the first of three paintings of this subject.
The lowlight of January makes sunny days especially beautiful with their long shadows.
This is my second take on this painting. I like how the trees sparkle in the light.
I took this photo on a sunny day in January. On bright days like this the trail is full of people and when the sun hits the trees it gives them a gold or bronze hue.
Through the fall and early winter walkers on the Sammamish River see massive flocks of geese overhead in their formation.