The Betty Gray Gallery continues a fine art exhibit in the lower gallery with Barbara Slater’s animal portraits in oil and, in the upper gallery, landscapes of the high desert by Steve Maker and Marilyn Higginson, oil, and Leslie Cain, pastel. The exhibition continues through September 23.
In the upper gallery are the colorful, realistic landscapes in pastel by Cain as well as those in oil by Higginson. Southwest Art Magazine featured Cain’s artwork in a cover article and the Contemporary Craft Museum features Higginson’s artwork in its permanent collection. Widely recognized in the Northwest, both artists’ work appears in collections throughout the US.
Reflecting a passion for barnyard animals that began in her youth during visits to her grandfather’s Utah farm, Slater’s current Stock Options series invites viewers to get friendly with the animals. In this recent work, the artist notes using “a softer touch” and greater expression to capture the personalities of cows, sheep, horses, hares and the other subjects of her animal portraits in oil.
She uses an extensive palette to convey her endearing depiction of her subjects. A richly colored yet subtle background echoes hues present in the dominant image of the animal, all rendered in well-integrated strokes. The darker background values support and emphasize the subject, painted in lighter hues. Her portraits reveal both her affection for her subjects and her skill in accurately capturing their natures as seen particularly in their soulful eyes.
A juried participant in Richard Schmid’s annual September Art Auction Show in Colorado for the past five years, the prestigious Scottsdale Art School juried Slater into their Best and The Brightest student art show in March 2013.
Slater is a member of the Oil Painters of America, California Art Club, American Women Artists and locally in Bend, the High Desert Art League.
Maker, a Portland artist, has roots and “a closeness to the land of Central Oregon.” His family homesteaded near Prineville and he grew up in Bend, graduating Bend High School. This history generates a strong emotional response to his subject matter of Fort Rock, The Ochoco Mountains, Peter Skene Ogden Train Trestle and other iconic area locations.
The artist works in oil in a colorful abstracted, expressionistic style. His images depict the landmark in clearly recognizable form as background while the foreground features expressionistic landscapes elements. The Fort Rock painting exemplifies this style with abstracted sagebrush prominent in the foreground and the realistic background feature of the rock formation.
Sunriver Resort invites the public to visit the exhibition continuing through September 23 at the Lodge, open all hours. Billye Turner organizes the exhibitions for Sunriver Resort and provides additional information at 541-382-9398.