An Artist Who Views Painting As Play

(Artwork above by Rebecca Sentgeorge)

The High Desert Art League welcomes Rebecca Reed Sentgeorge as their newest member. After 9 years in Asia, Rebecca and her husband returned to the United States, choosing to settle in Redmond, Oregon and establish a home studio there.  Entering her large, light filled studio, one immediately notices an Asian influence. Several shoji screens line one area.  Antique Japanese teapots and delicate pottery sit on shelves along with old wooden toys. An old school blackboard hangs on another wall, covered with scribbled ideas; on it sits the bell her grandmother used to call in students from recess. Paintings in various stages of completion hang from clothespins on one wall.

Originally a potter creating whimsical functional pieces, Sentgeorge gravitated to painting and printmaking after the birth of her children. Thirty years later she is still painting, drawn by the absorbing feeling she gets of being in a world all her own, with time suspended.  Creativity experts label this as a flow state.   Sentgeorge says, “As children, most of us have experienced this feeling of flow when we were immersed in imaginative play. I am so lucky, that as an artist, I get to play everyday.”

When asked where she gets her inspiration, Sentgeorge says it comes from her everyday life; she sees possibilities everywhere. She has always created art that reflects her surroundings. She has recently finished a series based on subjects she encountered in Japanese flea markets.  Currently she is working on two very different series. Cowboy boots done in a traditional watercolor style is the theme of one series currently occupying her time. This series is in homage to her new surroundings in Central Oregon.  The other series is more diverse with images taken from reference photos she shot while travelling or visiting friends. These mixed media pieces have a whimsical or nostalgic feeling, combining digital painting, collage and acrylics. Ephemeral bits from her life, such as tea bag tags, used Sudoku pages, train tickets, and other items from her travels are some of the materials Sentgeorge has collaged onto these paintings.

Sentgeorge attended earned her Bachelor of Art degree at San Jose State University, graduating with high honors. She continued on there with a year of grad school.  Her work is in private collections in China, Japan, Australia, and the US, and she has had multiple one and two person shows in galleries on the Oregon coast. A retired art educator, with 40 years experience, Sentgeorge has taught workshops in Thailand, Japan, China, California, Nova Scotia, and Oregon.  A Fulbright Memorial Fund Participant, she has also been selected to participate in the National Consortium of Teaching about Asia, and the Teachers Institute of Contemporary Art. Her work is currently on exhibition at Broken Top Resort and Clubhouse.

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