High Desert State of Mind

(Artwork above: Time to Go by Helen Brown)

Sunriver Resort Lodge Betty Gray Gallery presents The High Desert State of Mind, paintings by members of the High Desert Art League (HDAL). The exhibit opens November 28, continuing through the annual holiday Traditions celebration and into the New Year.

HDAL, a professional artists’ group, supports the advancement of member artists. A cooperative business for participants, the league promotes their artwork through exhibitions as well as offering interactive education. Members are accomplished artists working in a wide variety of mediums.

The exhibit’s theme expresses the members’ affection for the High Desert. Member Vivian Olsen writes, “We share a love for this place where we live. The nearby mountains and high desert environments of Central Oregon, the sights and sounds of animals, the pleasant attitudes of the people, all come together to create an atmosphere perfectly made for creative minds. So, in this state of mind, we celebrate by offering our works of art.”

The High Desert State of Mind exhibit features artworks by members including Helen Brown, Barbara Cella, Jean Lubin, Karen Maier, Dee McBirien-Lee, Jaqueline Newbold, Vivian Olsen, Janice Rhodes, Rebecca Sentgeorge, Barbara Slater and Joren Traveller. These members’ works will be on display through March 15, 2019.

Artist Helen Brown notes that The High Desert extends south from the Columbia River to Klamath Falls and that inspiration for her watercolor paintings arises from the landscapes and birds present in this habitat. Her paintings begin on rice paper with the use of a batik technique that creates a unique textured appearance as seen in the image of migrating Canada Geese. Brown’s artwork received recognition with national publication in SPLASH, The Best of Watercolor as well as her appearance in numerous exhibits including the National Watercolor Society in Seattle, Washington and the national juried show of the Memphis Art League, Memphis, Tenessee.

In her first appearance at the Sunriver gallery with the HDAL, is photographer Karen Maier. From a background in commercial photography creating images for advertising, the artist now enjoys capturing macro photos, “getting as close as possible to her subject.” Featured in the December exhibit is her shot of Kokanee salmon in the Deschutes River. She notes that the fish are nearly identical in color to the pebbles in the river, producing a rather surreal image; the ripples in the moving water lend additional attraction. Maier also finds inspiration in wildflowers as featured in her exhibit.

Barbara Slater, creator of oil paintings for over 40 years, exhibits her memorable portraits of a bear, a fox, goats and other creatures. The artist notes that she studies the eyes of animals to capture their personalities and her paintings reveal not only that careful observation but her affection and respect for her subjects. A member of Oil Painters of America and the California Art Club, her work appears in galleries in Utah and Oregon and her art appears in collections throughout the United States. In addition to her career in art, she enjoyed a 35-year career in education and worked as a children’s book illustrator as well as an advertising/graphic design artist.

Sunriver Resort invites the public to the exhibition. open all hours. Future articles will feature other HDAL members. Billye Turner organizes the lodge art series, info at 503-780-2828 or billyeturner@bendnet.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *