Betty Gray Gallery Summer in the High Desert: JM Brodrick, MaryLea Harris, Karen Ruane

Sunriver Resort Lodge Betty Gray Gallery continues Summer in the High Desert featuring JM Brodrick, MaryLea Harris and Karen Ruane through September 6.
Abstract acrylic painter Harris works in series exploring relationships, color and texture as in her latest Map Series. This series considers our relationships between physical place, connection and our collective personal journeys.

Not actual places, the maps consider “home” and its personal meaning- the structure in which one sleeps or lived as a child, one’s town or the planet. Adding that these commonalities of our lives join humans, the artist hopes viewers, through her art, reflect upon where they’ve been and where
they’re headed.

A Virginia native, she received studio art and art history degrees from Sweet Briar College and later earned a master of fine arts in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University. Harris fostered creativity in children working at the National Gallery of Art, Department of Teacher and School Programs and interned with an art therapist in the children’s oncology ward at Georgetown Hospital’s Lombardi Cancer Center.

These formative experiences launched her sharing arts education with kids for over 15 years. She developed an award winning blog about children’s arts and crafts (Pink and Green Mama Blog) and authored ten art lesson eBooks continuing in use by educators and caregivers of children throughout the United States and abroad. Now a Bend full time artist, Harris credits her daughters, Emma and Claire, as role models in creativity and imagination, inspiring her to make vulnerable and honest art.

Artist Karen Ruane’s career began as a figurative painter working with acrylics. She worked quickly creating large scale work celebrating the beauty and strength of the female form. Motivated by her “Type A approach” to finish a painting in a single session, she often felt frustration and depression. She moved on to more satisfying creative practices.

Then, watching a marbler in action, she became “paralyzed with intrigue.” Viewing colors spattered on to a viscous, fluid surface, tools dragged across the surface to organize the paint into patterns, she observed the push/pull between the artist’s control and the physics and flow of the medium.

Appreciating variables beyond the artist’s control, she eagerly worked with marbling for several years, sometimes creating the papers in as little as five minutes. Loss of the artist’s control enabled her to “love paint and creating again,” also fulfilling her desire for rapid results. Art again became a therapeutic meditation.

This ease in creating lead to her exploration of other fluid mediums including flow acrylic paints and, most recently, alcohol inks and resin. All satisfy her desire and need to create, while also satisfying the paramount urge for tranquility. Continuing in these mediums, it is absence from her studio that causes anxiety; “I am at my happiest and most centered when I am making art!”
Featured in July, JM Brodrick’s displayed paintings depict horses, as seen in the May 2017 issue of American Art Collector, Collector’s Focus, Art of the Horse.

Sunriver Resort invites the public to the exhibition. Open all hours. Billye Turner organizes the Lodge art series, info at 503-780-2828 or

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