by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Alisha Vernon, local painter and co-founder of LUMIN Art Studios, is driven by an inner world that emerges when her brush meets canvas. By expressing her thoughts, emotions and feelings through paint, she defines the world around her and shares her experiences with all who view her work.
Growing up on the Oregon coast with a painter for a father helped to integrate art into her life from an early age. “Because my dad was a painter also, he could really keep me entertained with markers and paints,” she recalls. “I have fond memories of going to his evening painting classes with him when I was little, and I would walk around and bother the other artists until he set me up with a little canvas and paints of my own.”
High school art classes and an influential art teacher, Mr. Widder, helped Vernon continue to develop her skills, and despite trying her best to not major in art in college (in favor of a more career-oriented discipline), she ultimately graduated as an art major after realizing the inevitability of her passion.
“From there I didn’t really know what to do or how to sell paintings,” she said, “So I just started blogging and sharing some of the paintings I had done in my classes; the selling part just happened.”
Her first sale came from someone in Australia who found one of her paintings in a Google image search. “I had never sold anything before, so I put on my ‘fake it till you make it’ personality and made up a price, and figured out how to ship it to Australia,” she laughed.
When Vernon gave birth to her son five years ago, her painting took a back seat to motherhood, but when the family moved to Bend two years ago and her son started preschool, Vernon jumped back in.
“I wanted to make some friends I could relate to, so I started the Young Women’s Artist Group of Bend,” she said. “The Meetup group attracted a lot of really great motivated artist women.
“At the same time I wanted to start doing some painting out of the house, so started looking for studios,” she explained. “I was open to sharing it with a group or finding a place just for myself, and when I saw the studio space [in Tumalo], I knew it was what I wanted. I called a bunch of the girls from the Meetup group and three agreed to share the studio with me.”
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Dorothey Eberhardt has had a long and varied career as a professional artist and her current journey into landscape photography truly captures not only the majestic beauty of Central Oregon’s wild places, but a sense of the magic that can be found in nature.
Art has always played a pivotal role in Eberhardt’s life. After getting her art education degree at the University of Oregon, she taught junior high art in the Medford area for a few years; the best part of teaching on that level, she explained, was covering a wide variety of mediums. “I have changed my mediums [many times], and I like to investigate new things,” she explained.
“I’m always growing and I’m always changing,” she commented, “because I can’t do the same thing for 40 years, to me that would get boring.”
Eberhardt opened the first art gallery in Ashland, Oregon after she finished teaching in Medford, and when her husband, David, who was heavily involved in the ski industry, came to work at Mt. Bachelor in the early ‘70s, the couple transition to life in the high desert.
Soon after moving to Bend, they began a 35-year journey in the national art-show circuit. In a collaborative process, David, an accomplished woodworker and designer, and Dorothy, at the time working in copper and enamel, created functional pieces like lamps, and napkin and earring holders. “Doing the art shows influenced me more than anything else,” Eberhardt commented. “When you are traveling all over the country, you can see what everyone else is doing and get a lot of new influences and meet a lot of interesting people.”
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Natasha Bacca’s artistic process is unique. And by unique, we mean one-of-a-kind. The local professor and artist has captured light and color using an innovative process that has garnered national and international attention. Through pushing the boundaries of the traditional photographic process, her patented technique explores the world in vibrant hues, shades and silhouettes.
Bacca has always been an artist. “Early on I was interested in anything I could get my hands on,” she explained, “ceramics, drawing, painting, photography…everything!” In high school after she had taken all the art classes offered, she looked to the local college, Modesto Junior College, for her next creative outlet.
Once at the University of Oregon for her bachelors degree, Bacca continued her exploration into different art forms, but found a powerful draw to photography. “During the time I was pursuing my photography-based art degree I witnessed meteoric changes within the photographic world. The once commanding darkroom was being replaced by the newest computer lab, while prosperous photography businesses were closing their doors forever,” she explained. “I both embraced and questioned the digital world photography was being assimilated into. I delved further into the basic concepts of photography; where it came from, what it meant and where it was going.”
Her exploration into the discipline, and even root meaning of the word “photography” (photo meaning light, graph meaning to write) brought Bacca’s attention to a very literal translation: writing with light.
“Following extensive research, I developed various methods of painting with light on photosensitive paper and designed different tools for this purpose,” she said. What followed became an unexpected journey into the world of patents. Bacca knew her process was unlike anything else out there, so kept her exploration a secret. The impetus for a patent came when her husband suggested attending a meeting with the Central Oregon Inventors Guild.
by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
Kimry Jelen’s brush strokes are a journey, not a destination. Her paintings express a love of working with horses, and are made all the richer for the individual connection she has with each animal. She is a firm believer that the balance between her work training horses and her career as a painter is essential to her happiness and productivity. The deep hues and rich colors of her pallet create intimate portraits of the majestic animals, all inspired by the astonishing array of colors she finds in the mountains outside her Sisters studio.
“The wilderness is where I find my inspiration and get grounded when I ride horses or even hike; nature is better at complementary colors than I will ever be,” Jelen explained. “I study lichen and moss and think it’s amazing how many lessons nature gives us as far as color studies, I may not paint that lichen on that rock, but I’ll go home and have those colors in my mind and combine that in my paintings.”
Jelen’s path to becoming a successful painter began with a nurturing and artistic family, however because art was seen more as a hobby than a profession, she was encouraged to choose a more “career” track in college. “The closest thing I could find was fashion design,” she explained, “so I found ways to do art like painting colorways (color palettes in the fashion industry), but then the computer took over and the creative process wasn’t there like before. Even sketching the clothing was all computer generated. I was in for 12 years, and then I decided to move to Montana to be a cowgirl and get in touch with the outdoors.”
She has always been drawn to horses and explains getting her first horse at 16 was a pivotal moment. “Art and horses were my loves growing up,” she said. The two passions finally came together in Montana. I started painting for fun again, started to get back to my roots,” Jelen stated. While she was learning the horse trade, she became more and more confident in her paintings, creating a powerful combination that stands in her life today.
A move back to Portland for family reasons prompted her to tap into the numerous opportunities to take art classes. “I was self taught until that time, and I thought I should learn how to use the mediums,” she explained. “I took weekend workshops, and during a figure drawing class one afternoon when we were drawing a women who was on her side, [I thought] her hip, waist and shoulder looked like a horse; the outline looked like the back of a horse, so I started drawing a horse instead of the model. After that I started painting horses, it just kind of happened.
Artists’ Gallery Sunriver Village
The Best Present is a Gift of Art! Artists’ Gallery in the Sunriver Village features a collective of 25 local Central Oregon Fine Artists. The gallery is in its fourth year in Sunriver - from wall art to handcrafted fine jewelry, functional and decorative pottery, art glass, quilting and hand-loomed wearables, functional wood art and metal wall art. Unique collectible gifts!
Hours: Open 0am to 5pm, Closed Tuesdays. The Village at Sunriver, Building 19, 541-593-4382, www.artistsgallerysunriver.com
Cascade School of Music
Give the gift of music this holiday season with a gift certificate to Cascade School of Music. Music lessons and classes make a perfect gift for aspiring music students of all ages and abilities. For families with very young children, the school has an outstanding Kindermusik program that builds a great foundation and nurtures a love of music. For older children there are instrumental classes like beginning piano or guitar, as well as private lessons on all instruments.
200 NW Pacific Park Lane, Bend, 541-382-6866, www.cascadeschoolofmusic.org
Desperado Boutique located in the Old Mill District brings you fashion, footwear & gifts as unique as you. This holiday season Desperado features jewelry by Lenny & Eva. This one-of-a-kind line of jewelry lets you build and interchange pieces to make every necklace or bracelet as individual as you like. Pieces range from $8.95 to $37.50 and come with a guidebook to help inspire you. Desperado offers free gift wrapping and no-hassle returns.
330 SW Powerhouse Drive, Ste. 120, Bend, 541-749-9980, www.desperadowesternwear.com
Douglas Fine Jewelry
For over 30 years Steven and Elyse Douglas have been designing and creating original designs together. Douglas Jewelry Design specializes in the Oregon Sunstone, a unique gemstone native to Oregon. The gemstone crystals are responsibly sourced from claims near Plush, Oregon. The natural, copper bearing feldspar, Oregon Sunstone, has a wide range of colors from rich reds to exotic greens. Douglas Jewelry Design has the largest Sunstone gem and jewelry collection in the State of Oregon.
920 NW Bond St., Bend, 541-389-2901, www.douglasjewelry.com
High Desert Museum
Give the gift of discovery with a High Desert Museum membership. Visit otters, porcupines, raptors, reptiles and lynx. Connect with the past by engaging with living history characters. Explore changing exhibits and enjoy special events throughout the year. Family memberships start at $7.50 per month.
59800 S Hwy. 97, Bend, OR 97702, 541-382-4754, www.highdesertmuseum.org
Lumin Art Studios
Mckenzie Mendel Jewelry
The Winter 2014 collection is perfect for the holiday season. She specializes in high quality jewelry for women made of sterling silver and high karat gold. Her line includes earrings, necklaces and rings. www.MckenzieMendel.com
Meditative abstract artwork based in nature, feeling into the space where life’s energy and timelessness meet.
Bold, expressive abstract paintings and prints that will add soulfulness to your life, home and work space. Grab some of Alisha’s art prints for a unique and heartfelt gift, sure to make anyone’s living space hum. www.AlishaVernon.com
19855 Fourth Street, Bend, 541-510-7535, www.LuminArtStudios.com
- Film Fever in the High Desert - BendFilm’s 11th Season Begins October 9
- Art Central’s Black & White Supports Arts Education for Children & Adults Across Central Oregon
- Art of the West Exhibit at High Desert Museum Kicks off 25th Anniversary of Rendezvous
- Stunning Fine Art from Around North America at Art in the High Desert