Jeanie Smith, Central Oregon and Portland artist, passed peacefully on August 22 in Portland, Oregon, of ovarian cancer. Jeanie was a stalwart member of Madras’ Art Adventure Gallery where she had a yearly solo show since 1996. The gallery will be featuring a retrospective of Jeanie’s work this October. The opening reception is Thursday, October 1 from 5:30-7pm. The public is welcome.
Initially working in ceramics, Jeanie created giant fruit and shoes, masks and tiles…simple items that gave her pleasure. Color was a major component of her work, as she explored its ability to evoke emotions.
In 1998 she and her husband Ken bought a home in Palm Springs, California where she began taking classes in making mono types. Filled with humans, birds and animals, there were also images of Warm Springs and the beauty she saw each time they returned to their home in the Oregon High Desert.
Future paintings continued to incorporate the interplay of animals, humans and birds. She played with their relationships and communication with one another. Even inert objects seem to have the ability to interact.
Ken and Jeanie’s travels to Hawaii, Mexico and the jungles of Belize introduced reptiles, ruins and eyes of the unknown as well as architectural elements to her art. They represented today’s environment with its stresses and opportunities.
Overlapping and intersecting images formed complex and imaginative compositions. Color, bright and bold, continued to be a central element.
As her eyesight deteriorated she adapted by using less detail, finding joy in the way color allowed simple forms to relate to one another. Most recently she photographed everything of interest and found a new way of working she called contemporary collage on canvas.
Jeanie showed her art in Central Oregon, Portland, Palm Springs and Los Angeles. She reveled in her output of expression and placement of her work in a variety of venues. Her enthusiasm toward self-expression was contagious. Her intent was genuine; her energy was sincere. She had a true sense of joy in discovery and applied that to her art. She was always willing to change and expand. Her images were ever-evolving.
Jeanie contributed to the culture of Central Oregon. As a resident of Warm Springs, her heart was grounded in the rich soil of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. She felt the Deschutes River flow with the seasonal changes of the area. She was actively involved in the origin and growth of The Museum at Warm Springs. She lived the environment and practiced it in her art.
Remembrances in Jeanie’s name would be appreciated to:
Art Adventure Gallery, 185 SW 5th St.
PO Box 376, Madras, OR 97741.
541-475-7701, firstname.lastname@example.org or Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon
SW Washington PMB 243, Suite 103
16420 SE McGillivray Vancouver, WA 98683-3461