(Artwork above: Ripple by Alisa Huntley)
Local Bend artist Alisa Huntley loves to experiment with new ideas and is always looking for fresh techniques to showcase the vibrancy of her artistic palette. This search led Huntley to explore various surfaces, discovering that oil paints on copper and aluminum yield surprising results. “Discovery is my favorite way of working,” says Huntley. “Much like watercolors on wet paper respond in different, surprising ways, when I’m painting I let the color express itself on the metal, then add layers to create deeper expressions.”
Huntley’s creative process is similar to that of a watercolorist. She applies the oil to the metal in transparent layers, and plans the composition to allow some of the aluminum or copper passages to peak through, similar to the white of a watercolor paper. As the paint flows and spreads, spontaneous drips and bleeds are interpreted into the composition. The aluminum and copper each provide a different feeling and color, but both offer an exciting, modern aesthetic and jewel-like glow.
Huntley prefers to use aluminum for imagery of water, believing that it captures the air and luminous quality of cool colors. In Huntley’s artwork, copper surfaces pair with warm tones and soft light. “I stumbled upon copper as a substrate while researching aluminum,” she says. “The use of copper has a long history. During the renaissance, copper plates were readily available and used instead of canvas. Many master painters such as El Greco and Rembrandt produced their paintings on
As the signature artist for Ripples, the Deschutes Children’s Foundation signature event, Huntley drew inspiration from her childhood, remembering the sweet innocence of a child in her safest, most comforting spaces. The weeping willow in the front yard of her childhood home symbolizes that memory. Now, Huntley visits a favorite willow tree along the banks of the Deschutes River every year, noting the changes in the tree, the light, and the river itself. These changes are further reflected in her new compositions each year. For Huntley, Ripple evokes the wistfulness of childhood and the sweetness of treasured memories.
“I’m thrilled to create Ripple for Deschutes Children’s Foundation,” she says. “I’ve been a supporter of their work for several years. It’s important for me to give back to my community, especially by supporting programs that help our children.”
Huntley received a bachelor of arts degree from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo. Her art education has been a self-directed process of discovery and learning from fellow artists, colleges, and workshops. Alisa’s art and self is reflected in the places she has called home. She has lived and worked in Sonoma County; the Delaware Water Gap; Sarasota, Florida; the Willamette Valley; and currently resides in Bend. She is married and has two adult daughters and a son. Huntley exhibits at Tumalo Art Company in Bend and at the Portland Art Museum Rental and Sales Gallery. Her work will be featured in a solo exhibit at Tumalo Art Company in October 2018. She shares her love of artwork, color, and creativity as an art teacher at Amity Creek Magnet School and through private classes.