Watercolors of Central Oregon at Sunriver Lodge

lasalleSunriver Lodge Betty Gray Gallery presents Watercolors of Central Oregon featuring paintings by Helen Brown, Hyon Fielding, Charlene Gerrish and Chris Keylock Williams beginning May 20 and continuing through June 24.  The artists will be present at the summer season’s opening reception in their honor on Saturday, May 26 from 4–6pm in the upper gallery.

Helen Brown, Sunriver resident for 22 years and noted watercolor artist, presents watercolor batiks.  A process usually employed on silk, the artist transfers the technique to ginwashi rice paper.  She paints each layer and when dry, protects the colors and shapes by applying molten wax.  The wax is necessary to create a harder edge as the rice paper is highly absorbent.  The process continues through the application of many layers of color when she then irons out the wax, leaving the watercolor on rice paper.  The softly flowing yet clearly distinctive, bright colors and images result.

Subjects for this show, all taken from the Sunriver area, include Mt. Bachelor overlooking the grassy marshland surrounding the Deschutes at Crosswater as well as an evocative view of an old road with untended fence surrounding summer-dried pasture with distant mountains in the background.  These and other paintings feature Brown’s unique perspective, dramatic light and saturated color, yet the rice paper lends a novel texture to the ground of the images.

A former French language instructor, Brown began painting in 2001.  Quickly gaining recognition, her art frequently appears in Watercolor Society of Oregon and Northwest Watercolor Society exhibitions winning awards in both.The artist qualified for signature membership in the NWS in 2008 and served as co-chair of the WSO Fall Convention and Exhibition at Sunriver Resort in 2011. 

Also appearing is noted watercolor artist and part-time Sunriver resident, Chris Keylock Williams. Williams’ subjects reflect central Oregon as painted in an expressionistic style.  Shapes, hard lines and angles or softer rounded and overlapping edges, rather than truly realistic objects, define her images.  These shapes as well as dramatic color and a high contrast, light/dark values create movement in the image, directing the eye to the clearly defined focal point.  Aqueous edges soften the intensity of the shapes and strong color.

Williams’ subjects for the exhibition pay homage to the icon of the Central Oregon Cascades, Mt. Bachelor, both a central figure to the mountainous terrain and as a backdrop to the agricultural valleys of the high desert.  Also included are the rocky gorges such as that of the Deschutes near Warm Springs and the familiar forms of Smith Rock with the winding Crooked River as central focus.  All feature the artist’s favored shapes, strong color and high contrast values.

One of the Northwest’s most recognized watercolor artists with a career spanning three plus decades, her images appeared in publications including Watercolor Expressions, Best of Flower Painting I & II, Better Homes and Gardens magazine and book, Garden Color.  She is a signature member and award winner in the National Watercolor Society, the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, the Northwest Watercolor Society and a past president of the Watercolor Society of Oregon with participation in exhibitions around the US and abroad. 

Hyon Fielding, Fossil resident and a native of South Korea, shows transparent watercolor images of the Central Oregon high desert reflecting her affection for its beauty and solitude.  She is a member and award winner of the Watercolor Society of Oregon.  Also participating is Charlene Gerrish, former resident of Crosswater, now of California.  The artist presents color-saturated images of the people, horses and cowboys of the high desert as well as other popular animal images.  More information on these participants will appear in next month’s issue with the show continuing through June 24.   

The artists will discuss their art and technique during the May reception at which complimentary light appetizers and wine will be served.  The public is invited to the reception and to the exhibition open during Lodge hours.

Billye Turner, art consultant, coordinates the Sunriver exhibition schedule that includes a July exhibition, In Full Bloom, with widely varied floral images featuring Natasha Bacca, Annie Ferder, Joanne Donaca and Mike Kelly. For information contact Turner at 541-382-9398.

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