(Artwork above by Brent & Luke Lawrence)
Sunriver Resort Lodge Betty Gray Gallery presents paintings by Courtney Holton and metal sculpture by Brent Lawrence and Luke Lawrence. The three artists’ work will appear in the upper and lower galleries during Thanksgiving weekend through November 25.
Painter Courtney Holton exhibits the mixed media, abstract art Construction Series, contrasting light and darkness. Featuring a dark background painted on canvas, the artist applies crushed and then re-formed metallic strips, brushed with thinned oil paint of varied hues. The irregular surfaces of the metallic strips create reflection, brightened or dulled by the color of applied paints, also suggest a 3D effect.
Holton notes that inspiration for the series came “from wandering at night in the forest — urban and natural — seeing what light the eye catches,” perhaps arising from light reflecting on wet leaves or rock shards. These experiences led to his paintings with high light/dark contrast which invites the viewer to pause and observe the presence or absence of light.
A native Oregonian, the artist also exhibits enlarged and colorfully rendered photographic portraits of Native Americans of the Cayuse Tribe of northeastern Oregon/southeastern Washington. Again one observes high contrast between the black and white photographs of the subject, and the bright surrounding background.
The 5’x4’ painting of Speel-Ye of the Cayuse (among other images) exemplifies the high contrast of the black and white photograph of her face and chest contrasted with the artist’s painting of a brightly rendered, background rug inspired by a traditional Cayuse weave pattern. He also painted a metallic double halo around Speel-Ye’s head, chosen to exemplify the respect for and importance of women in the tribe. Holton divides his time between Bend and southern France where he presently studies printmaking.
Brent Lawrence, sculptor and a third generation metal worker, learned metal work as a young boy, from his father, noted artist Gary Lawrence.The elder Lawrence also learned the metal craft from his father. The younger Lawrence pursued his metal craft throughout grade and early high school years.
After earning a degree from Portland State University, Brent Lawrence pursued other employment but decided art was his greater interest. He returned to work at Lawrence Gallery in Sheridan where he began to experiment and develop his own style. He perfected cutting and welding bronze along with varied steels; he also enlarged his wildlife imagery, and through intensive experimentation with chemicals, he produced his own unique patinas.
Brent Lawrence’s son, Luke Lawrence, a fourth generation metal worker and third generation artist, also experimented with metal work in his early years, much as his father. He graduated from the University of Oregon, majoring in philosophy which included study of the evolution of art, it’s reflection of and impact upon culture. After college, travel to the Caribbean, and touring the U.S., he returned to work with his father and to his own wildlife sculpture.
After 30 some years of artistic creation and examination, Brent painstakingly creates his modernized expression of man’s earliest art form — cave drawings. Working with his son, Luke, they form these difficult and demanding replications of the Paleolithic art of 36,000 years ago.
Cutting, heating and hammering stainless steel, they utilize their considerable combined skill to form their stylized images of elk, bison, bear, trout, salmon, even dragonflies. They then painstakingly apply Brent’s exclusive patinas to colorize and complete this singular and award-winning art.
The Lawrence’s three-dimensional sculptures, along with Holton’s two-dimensional paintings, appear on the lower and upper level galleries at the Suniver Resort Lodge Betty Gray Gallery. The featured art continues through November 25.
Billye Turner curates exhibitions for the Sunriver Resort Lodge gallery, open all hours. For information, contact her at 503-780-2828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.