Plein air painting session aims to observe trees in Scappoose that could be lost to future development

PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHAEL LIEBHABER - Scappoose artist Michael Liebhabers 2018 pastel drawing, Sara. Liebhaber was one of 10 artists who participated in a plein air painting event called Painting to Save the Trees.In early December, Scappoose artist Michael Liebhaber and nine other artists took to the outdoors with painting supplies.

Posted up near the Scappoose Industrial Airpark on Dec. 1 and 2, the artists were painting with a purpose, taking inspiration from scenic trees near the airport for a plein air workshop called "Painting to Save the Trees."

"The purpose of the weekend event was to bring awareness to trees that may be at risk because of their vulnerability to potential development," stated Liebhaber, who has a studio in Scappoose and also teaches at Portland Community College.

The paintings are now on display at the Elisabeth Jones Art Center in Portland. The art center sponsored the plein air event as part of an ongoing "Tree Emergency" effort, which seeks to draw attention to trees that are likely to be destroyed for new development.

"En plein air" is a French expression for the act of painting outdoors.

"The Scappoose location, near West Lane Road and Wagner Court, was chosen because of the trees and its historic importance to the City of Scappoose,"

Liebhaber noted via a news release.

"The trees are old primary and sec-

ondary growth oak, maple, and Douglas fir."

Liebhaber notes that in addition to being used by Native Americans, the property the artists focused on was also the homestead of one of the first non-native families to settle in the area.

The land is currently for sale.

"Our job as artists is to shine a light on the beautiful trees that surround us that are at risk," the Elisabeth Jones Art Center website explains. "The beauty that we bring to our art is the tool we use to save the trees."

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