Along Cornfoot

Cornfoot St is a long, quiet road that runs along a thin finger of the slough between NE 47th and 60th.  I reached it by bike by going north on 42nd, over Portland Blvd on a narrow and bike unfriendly bridge and crossing Columbia Blvd. When I got to Cornfoot I turned right. I could see evidence of the slough on my right: tall humps of blackberries and trees. This area is also the home of various airport related industries, including the Air National Guard. Behind the high fences I could see stretches of grass, with odd shaped buildings. No people. The only access to the slough were the few bridges that crossed the water. [caption id="attachment_150" align="alignnone" width="491" caption="Columbia Slough looking east from Cornfoot and Alderwood."][/caption]

My first stop was where Cornfoot dead ends into a golf course. From the bridge my view of the slough included a pedestrian bridge, probably for the golfers. I didn't bring my stool, but it wouldn't have worked since the bridge railing was so high. So I stood holding my pad of paper. My favorite part was the undulating shape of the water and where it lapped up against the bank. I also liked the reflection of the sky and trees in the water. I was not interested in all the greenery, of which there was an awful lot.

[caption id="attachment_151" align="alignnone" width="491" caption="Watercolor of scene above."][/caption]

My second stop was on the way back, on a bridge across the street from the ANG. This view was simpler and the shape of the water was more prominent. I liked the dark shape at the far end of the view and the humping blackberries.

[caption id="attachment_152" align="alignnone" width="491" caption="Columbia Slough looking west at Cornfoot, July 2, 2011"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_153" align="alignnone" width="491" caption="Watercolor of scene above."][/caption]

Here are my questions for the day. How can I explore the shapes I like in an abstract way yet indicate their place in a scene?  How can I show the odd juxtaposition of this body of water and industrial Portland. Maybe that is the way of cities.