by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Silk painting began in China thousands of years ago with Chinese calligraphy characters carefully brushed onto silk scrolls, and over time came to be the preferred medium to depict forms of nature as well as religious and mythological characters. While artist Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey often keeps to the tradition of painting scenes from nature on her silk creations, it’s the spontaneity and brilliance of color that attracts her to the art.
“Silk dye is very transparent,” Cawdrey explained. “I love to get an image of wildlife with the sky reflecting in the water, [as in the cover painting, Boo!]. It is challenging and fun.”
This is the first year Cawdrey will be participating in the Art of the West show, but her Western themed artwork is well known throughout the country. She is represented in galleries throughout her home state of Montana, and her work is regularly included in invitational art shows across the West.
“We felt that Nancy Cawdrey’s painting, with its captivating colors and relevant subject matter, would stand out on the newsstands. It just makes a great magazine cover,” commented John Furgurson of the High Desert Museum.
“I have been part of other museum shows, they play an important roll in the community,” Cawdrey said. “It’s a wonderful place to gather and look at the history of [our communities] and support artists. I’m honored to be asked to do it.”
Cawdrey and her husband chose to live at the edge of Montana’s vast wilderness over 30 years ago while they ran a wilderness boarding school. It was there she was able to cultivate her appreciation of silence and become open to nature’s influence.
“There is a serenity and pattern in nature that is wonderful to pay attention to and take in,” she said. “I love watching animals in nature; we have that in abundance.” The Cawdreys live on a slough where blue herons, eagles, sand hill cranes, killdeer and other animals regularly visit. “It is very important [to me to] draw attention to nature as an artist, this is a beautiful place.”
Boo! was devised from a series of photographs of bears in Alaska taken by Cawdrey’s friend. “I think bears are awesome subject matter,” she said. “I like [this painting’s] humor and color. There is a sense of surprise…bears do love the water. I like the whole theme of wildlife in water.”
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Bringing truly original fine art and craft to Central Oregon is Art in the High Desert’s (AHD) vision, and for the sixth year, the banks of the Deschutes River in the Old Mill District will be transformed into an art collector’s dream.
Ranking in at an impressive 14th best fine arts show in the nation by Greg Lawler’s Fine Art Fair Sourcebook, the locally-produced non-profit festival experienced the impact of its success in a record number of artist applications for the 2013 show.
“We knew right away that, even though our standards are very high, this pool of artists was going to make the jury process extremely difficult,” said Show Director Carla Fox. “The overall quality of the work is simply astounding.”
Applications poured in from 28 states and British Columbia, and in a two-day marathon session, this year’s four jurors had the daunting task of selecting just over 100 visual artists from the talented pool.
Each spring the AHD jurors review applications, looking specifically for artwork that goes beyond the expected, the usual, showing excellence in craftsmanship. The process is completely anonymous as each artist is assigned an ID number which is shown along with six images the artists submit, and a brief artist statement.
2013’s jury consisted of Yoshi Aoki, a mixed media sculptor from Seaside, Oregon; Dawn Emerson, a local artist and instructor in pastels and mixed media; Delene Montoya, a Bend furniture maker and designer; and Brian O’Neill, a graphic designer, ceramicist and instructor from Bellingham, Washington.
Scoring 14 different media categories, (2-D mixed media, metal work, painting, 3-D mixed media, photography, sculpture, ceramics, print making, digital art, drawing, wearables, fiber non-wearables, glass, wood and jewelry) the highest scoring applications are then invited to the festival. “We curate the show and create what we feel is a well-balanced collection of media,” said AHD Organizer Dave Fox.