Dawson Creek Lilies, 16x12

"Dawson Creek Lilies", 16x12" Pastel on sanded paper

Dawson Creek is a manmade water park complete with fountains, bridges, and small rushing waterfalls and graceful pathways that meander behind the Hillsboro Library in Oregon. I'd painted here before, but this time around there were water lilies which is one of my most favorite subjects to paint. What caught my eye was the bright sunlit grasses growing at the base of this stand of trees and the clear reflected sky from above. This is a bit larger painting than what I usually commit to for plein air painting, and hopefully this piece will be my pass into the juried Pacific Northwest Plein Air 2010 Show and Paint-Out this coming August 26~30 at the Columbia Center for the Arts.

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Kingstad Wetlands, 6x12"

Kingstad Wetlands, 6x12", Pastel on sanded paper

Late afternoon painting has it's advantages...and disadvantages when it comes to plein air work. I just struggled with getting the colors in this one. From moment to moment, the atmosphere changed just as fast as I was putting color down. Frustrated as it was, I walked away reminding myself that each painting is really an experiment. So, depending on who's looking at it, it could be more than just an experiment...or for me, a lesson learned in quick afternoon color.
After working on this, my painting buddy Gretha popped open a bottle of chocolate wine and celebrated a summer"y" serendipitous moment.

Painted at the Beaverton Wetlands area just located behind our once "Kingstad Gallery", I was reminded of a couple of years ago painting with all the artists from the Kingstad.

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When Grass Grows Wild, 12x12

"When Grass Grows Wild", 12x12" Pastel on sanded paper

The weather for the past couple of days has been the best in 9 months, so plein air painting was tops on my calendar. This was painted at Fanno Creek Park, a community path that runs the distance of a business park in town. Eager to get out and paint, I arrived without my tripod adaptor, so I made due with my pochade box on the ground and me sitting crossed legged. Ugh! Why am I so forgetful these days?

Tonight I'm off to celebrate the Lake Oswego Chronicle with about a hundred other artists. Hope to see some of you there!

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Lake Oswego Chronicle celebrates this weekend!

Back in January, I was invited to participate in a yearly regional show, The Lake Oswego Chronicle. Shown below is the promo piece on the event featuring "Winter Day" by Kevin Ferrell. My piece, "Shoreline Shadows" will be on display during the show at The Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street. Lake Oswego, OR.

FarrellOne visit to the Chronicle Exhibit and you begin the see the community of Lake Oswego with fresh eyes. Developed fourteen years ago by community members who wanted to “chronicle” Lake Oswego, the annual exhibit continues to evolve along with the community it seeks to document. Each year the exhibit showcases work by over thirty regional artists selected for their talent, originality, and vision. And that gives us all the opportunity to see what surrounds us in our daily lives in a new way. For more details and a complete list of participating artists click here.

So come on out to the reception (listed on the right) or enjoy any one of the three days of a saturation of art!


A little Press now and then...

Fine art gallery rises in Beaverton from business owner’s imagination

Area fine artists find Beaverton does have a gallery to serve their needs

(news photo)


Gretha Lindwood (from left) Brenda Boylan and Michael Orwick are three local artists whose work is displayed at Amato’s on First Street in Beaverton.

From floral arrangements to gift items to wine, chocolate and coffee, Amato’s on First Street in Beaverton offers a wide variety of products. Still, when 2010 began, owner Karen Amato was looking to diversify her business and decided to put a posting on Craigslist, seeking local artists interested in displaying their work. Beaverton’s Brenda Boylan was browsing Craigslist on New Year’s Day when she came across the listing. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, who is doing this?’ We know a lot of artists who have really been wanting to have a gallery in Beaverton for some time. There’s nothing out here that you would call a fine art gallery in the Beaverton area,” recalls Boylan.

Boylan began gathering artists whose work would complement one another, including Michael Orwick, who lives blocks away from Boylan, and Cedar Mills resident Gretha Lindwood. The facility operates as an artist-run gallery; each of the hand-picked artists displays work, helps pay the cost of rent and works together as a team – especially when preparing for the shows they host every few months.

“This area has a lot of creative people,” says Lindwood.

Apparently, this area also has a lot of people who appreciate creativity. At its first gala in February, the gallery was so packed, visitors had to leave and come back to wait for the area to clear out.

“We counted around 120 people,” said Boylan. “Throughout the course of the evening, from the time it opened until it closed, there were people here, which was fabulous. We loved that we had that kind of response.”

Most of the artists at Amato’s are veterans of the art scene and display their work at various shows throughout the region – and sometimes throughout the country. Many of the painters have been meeting for years for plein air (painting outside in the tradition of French impressionists). They take monthly field trips throughout the area to paint outdoors and spend time together, combining art, friendship, sunshine and nature.

The background of the artists who display at Amato’s is as varied as the artwork itself. Orwick began as a children’s book illustrator and was able to get his illustrations into galleries.

“It was more whimsical work,” Orwick says. “I began to daydream about what I’d do when I retired and was able to make the transition over to do landscapes. So, now I know what I’ll do when I retire.”

Boylan has a degree in Applied Art & Design. She says graphic design did not come naturally; she was always drawn to illustration and painting classes in school.

“But that was where the money was, and my parents encouraged it so I’d have a career,” Boylan says. “I slogged through that until I finally decided I just couldn’t take it anymore and decided to stay home, paint and raise kids. People kept asking me, ‘Why aren’t you selling in a gallery?’ I started looking into that and, step by step, got into shows regionally and now nationally.”

When Lindood graduated from art school in Seattle, her first job was as a retail illustrator doing fashion illustrations.

“That was really fun. I really liked that,” Lindwood says, “But that sort of went away when photography took over. I was doing graphic design also – layout, they called it in those days – and it was a good creative outlet for me. That was mostly in black and white. When I started working in color, it was like Dorothy in Kansas when she steps out of the black and white world and lands in Oz.”

Until last year, Lindwood was working as a graphic designer for Joe’s. Since that company shut down, she has been focusing more and more of her creative energy on painting.

Though Lindwood, Boylan and Orwick are all painters, the Westside artists who display at Amato’s work in a variety of mediums. Painters, sculptors and jewelry makers all come together to bring the best of their work to the Beaverton community.

A fine art gallery in Beaverton is refreshing, but perhaps most refreshing is the camaraderie, lack of competition and passion these artists have for their work.

“I love the social aspect of being an artist,” says Boylan.

“It’s very rewarding when somebody loves a piece enough to part with their money because that represents their time and their energy,” says Lindwood. “What did it take for them to make that money? It’s very validating and humbling.”

“How many jobs get celebrated?” asks Orwick. “When we come out, there’s music and food and wine and people. It’s a party.”

This is the reward of being an artist, a reward that only comes after many, many hours of hard work. To see the fruit of their labors and celebrate their artwork, too, visit Amato’s Floral, Fine Art, Artisan Jewelry & Gifts at 12330 S.W. First Street in Beaverton or call 503-601-3300. Also visit www.amatosflowershop.com and www.amatosgallery.blogspot.com.

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Grommit, 8x8

"Grommit" 8x8" Pastel on sanded paper

So here is the final of the duo pet portrait! I don't usually paint portraits, but painting Grommit and Daisy have been a nice change of pace. Grommit is the more active of the two dogs which made it difficult to get a good photo of him because of his wiggles. He was also much more challenging to paint than Daisy because of all those expressive muscles on his face. Gotta get that expression right!

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Beaverton Waterway, 10x8

Beaverton Waterway, 10x8" Pastel on sanded board

Well, we had a couple of dry days finally in Portland that I massaged my calendar so I could get out before the weather man changed his mind. As it is today, we have rain again and it's JUNE! And...my kids are almost out of school for the summer which leaves me little time to be an artist. Anyway, here is one of 2 pieces I plugged out in 3 hours time. This waterway runs through the city of Beaverton in a tech park. (A new favorite of mine because it is so close to my home.)


Daisy, 8x8

"Daisy", 8x8", Pastel on sanded paper

On a weekly basis, my daughter takes flute lessons from a very talented flutist, Phyllis Louke. Phyllis has been very instrumental (no puns here) in my daughter's progress as a musician; guiding her, challenging her, believing in her,and supporting her along her journey. And every week, while I wait for her lesson, in Phyllis's living room sits a sweet, long haired dachshund who has a very demure personality. This is Daisy. And this painting is my gift for Phyllis and for all my gratitude for her work with my daughter. Thank you Phyllis!

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Long time, no post?

Invisible Brenda at computer central with studio mate, Rosie the cat.

Long time, no post? Not even!

For those followers of my blog, I sincerely apologize for my blog not updating in your bloglists.

Thanks to my friend and fellow blog follower, Carrie H, she let me know that my followers were not getting the Feed from my blog. I've been blogging since September of 2007 and back in 2009, I decided to re-vamp my blog. In an effort to "clean up" the appearance of my blog I deleted a few features, one being the Feedburner feature. When I did that, I unknowingly wiped out all my followers feeds! This is really techie stuff, more than I ever needed to know, but thanks to Carrie, she got me on the right track to figure it all out! Thanks Carrie! You are da BEST!

So, do feel free to comment when you get an update from me! I'd love to hear your voices, for mine has been silent for a year now! And for you most recent followers, welcome aboard!

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