(Photo above: Ready for the Ice Cream by Barbara Slater)
Sunriver Resort Lodge Betty Gray Gallery joins the festivities of the annual Traditions holiday celebration presenting artists Karen Bandy and Barbara Slater. The exhibit opens the gallery winter quarter through February 24, 2017.
In the upper gallery, oil painter Slater exhibits endearing barnyard animals with soulful gazes and playful natures. Her subjects include a cavorting young goat, a bear with tongue protruding perhaps tasting honey just consumed, cows with emotive, kind eyes and a menagerie of charming creatures.
The artist’s devotion to animals began while growing up on her grandfather’s rich farmland in the Eden Valley in Utah where irritated heifers would finally herd her away from their baby calves. Though adoring animals and a gifted, lifetime painter, she began to paint her beloved subjects in earnest only in 2008.
Prior to that time, floral imagery was then her preferred subject and excellence in that genre garnered an invitation to participate in the prestigious Richard Schmid Art Auction in Fort Collins, Colorado. Juried into four successive shows from 2008, the 2011 auctioneer elevated her image of back lighted grapes to the live auction.
During this period, colorful roosters occasionally appeared in her art. Then, while accompanying friends on a farm visit in Fossil, Oregon, she encountered a day-old colt; childhood memories and the rich experience of the colt’s smell and soft coat compelled her to paint her first horse, The Youngster. Thus began the artist’s pursuit of Herefords in fields, multiple breeds of horses, iconographic sheep, and an irresistible urge to paint portraits of these animal personalities.
Now years and innumerable paintings later, her popular work commands commissions of family pets, prize-winning horses, lovely angora goats and “lots of God’s creatures.”
A graduate of Utah State University with an art minor, and now over 40 years of paintings in oil, her collectors range from California and Utah to Chicago and Colorado and back to Oregon. Yet, Slater notes, her search for the next entertaining subject and her desire to continually stretch her technique and maintain enthusiasm arises from a singular goal – her growth as an artist that continually serves to attract the muse.
Exhibiting in the lower gallery is artist Karen Bandy. She studied drawing, design, painting, and sculpture at the University of Oregon and then began her earlier career in Portland in jewelry design. Upon her move to Bend in 1987, the unique beauty of her surroundings nurtured her desire to paint.
The High Desert, its vast landscape filled with aromatic sage and juniper, pines and bitterbrush, fostered her exploration of painting in acrylic. However, it was her attraction to the desert’s “animals great and small,” that inspired her subject matter of expressionistic cottontails painted in soft pastel hues and magpies amidst vivid desert flowers. The grace and charm of its creatures express through her art.
Sunriver Resort welcomes the public to the exhibition and to the Traditions celebration. Billye Turner, art consultant and gallery curator, provides additional exhibition information at 503-780-2828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.