Four Central Oregon Painters Accepted into the 20th Annual National Juried Exhibition of the American Impressionists Society

(Left – The Red Vase, oil, 24”x30” by Eric Jacobsen | Right – Peonies by the Garden Shed, oil, 24” x 17” by Laurel Buchanan)

2019 marks the milestone 20th Annual National Juried Exhibition of the American Impressionists Society (AIS), and Central Oregon is proud to be represented by four extraordinary artists: Laurel Buchanan, Eric Jacobsen, Barbara Jaenicke and Shelly Wierzba! The exhibit, held at the historic Salmagundi Club in New York City, will feature 150 juried paintings (selected from over 1,350 entries!) from some of the foremost contemporary American Impressionists and runs from September 19-October 2. Internationally known AIS Master, Kevin Macpherson will jury the show, and the first few days of the event will include a reception & awards presentation, lectures, demos and a paint out to celebrate those painters recognized for their fine talents.

For those not familiar with Impressionist painting, it started in France in the mid-1800s as a reaction against the academic realism of the official Salon paintings that largely treated historical and mythological themes. Painters like Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas and Claude Monet began painting everyday subject matter in a lively, bold style that highlighted visible brushwork and nuanced color in response to the effects of light and atmosphere. The advent of the paint tube in 1841 no longer required artists to grind their own pigments and be relegated to their studios. Rather, tubes of paint provided them the opportunity to paint outdoors, or “en plein air” (in open air), a hallmark of the Impressionist tradition that continues to the present day.

And now, without further ado, let’s meet our Central Oregon Impressionists!

Laurel Buchanan

Laurel Buchanan’s oil paintings originate from her life-long fascination with nature. Raised on a citrus ranch in Southern California, Buchanan developed a strong passion for the outdoors and always knew oil painting would figure largely into her life. Initially, she pursued art through surface and graphic design in the Los Angeles area after graduating with an art degree from Long Beach State University. Over 15 years ago she took her oil paints outside, convinced that the inspiration and challenge of painting nature in the midst of nature was the best way to learn to paint. In her art, Laurel constantly strives to unify good design and spontaneity, and seeks to impart a mood of “everything is right with the world right now.” In 2015 Buchanan and her husband, Andy, moved to Prineville after which she became involved with the American Impressionist Society, showing with AIS for the first time in 2017 and qualifying for signature member status this year. In addition to her own art, Laurel enjoys teaching art in workshops and through COCC’s continuing education classes. Her work can be seen at Michael Parson’s Fine Art in Portland and Rimrock Gallery in Prineville. For more on Laurel Buchanan and her art, visit

Eric Jacobsen

Eric Jacobsen was born and raised in New England. He received a bachelor of arts in History from Gordon College in Wenham, master of arts in 1989 and studied fine art at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Connecticut from 1991-1995. At the Academy he received training in the Beaux Arts tradition of drawing and painting from life. Eric’s true inspiration is the amazing beauty that he sees in nature. He takes his oils wherever he goes, setting up on site and working until his painting is finished. “It is most important to me that my paintings convey a certain mood,” Eric says. “I want them to be felt by the viewer without having to analyze or think about them. As a general rule, I try to find strong compositions in nature and then paint the scene accurately while leaving out any extraneous details that would detract from the strength of the piece as a whole.” Eric has received numerous awards across many competitions for his paintings, is a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society, and was honored with the role of juror for AIS’s Third Annual Small Works exhibit. Here in Oregon, his paintings can be viewed at Mockingbird Gallery in Bend and Phinney Gallery in Joseph. Visit to learn more about Eric, his art and the workshops he frequently teaches.

Barbara Jaenicke

An art enthusiast since her teens, Barbara Jaenicke began her career as an advertising art director in 1986, then later held various roles in corporate marketing communications. In 2002, she was able to turn her focus to a career in fine art. Working in oil and pastel, Barbara strives to capture light-filled landscapes in an impressionist style. She holds signature memberships in various national art organizations, including the American Impressionist Society, receiving Second Place in 2018 and the Artists Choice award in 2014 in this organization’s national shows. Like many landscape artists, Barbara often paints on location to gather studies for studio work. “My field studies are usually fairly loose and rough, but they allow me to quickly capture the genuine light, mood, and overall sensory experience from that particular moment in the landscape. Sometimes they serve as studies for larger work, and other times they simply hone my visual acuity for my studio efforts.” Barbara’s paintings can be seen locally here in Bend at Mockingbird Gallery. See more of Barbara’s art, her workshop schedule and her instructional videos and monthly online lessons at

Shelly Wierzba

As a new member of the American Impressionists Society, Shelly has entered and been juried into their two 2019 exhibitions in addition to the Expressions West Annual exhibit at the Coos Art Museum on the Oregon Coast. Shelly has been painting the Central Oregon landscape since moving to Bend ten years ago. As she states, “I travel to the most beautiful places with my fly fishing husband, Joe, where I have many hours a day to paint and appreciate our beautiful planet.” The artist also creates large studio paintings based upon her plein air studies and photo references. As Shelly explains, “I think of my plein air paintings as information gathering in nature. To capture the likeness of what I find in nature, there must be more than just visual information. By painting on-site, I am able to feed all of my senses. Back in the studio, I can remember the feel of the breeze, the scent of a river or field, and the sounds of the birds and the wind. My challenge is to paint those sensory feelings into each piece.” You can see more of her work, sign up for her newsletter and visit her workshop schedule at

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