Pastels & Oils Featured at Sunriver Resort Lodge

MakerThe Betty Gray Gallery presents a fine art exhibit in the upper gallery featuring landscapes of the high desert by Leslie Cain, pastel and in oil by Joanne Donaca, Marilyn Higginson and Steve Maker. Barbara Slater’s animal portraits in oil appear in the lower gallery.  Reception Saturday, August 3, 5–7pm.  


The exhibition opens on Monday, July 29 and continues through Sunday, September 8.   


SlaterAppearing in the upper gallery of the exhibition are the colorful, loosely impressionistic landscapes in oils by Joanne Donaca, frequently recognized artist of Bend, as well as the expressionistic oils by Steve Maker featuring both recognizable and abstracted forms of the landscape. In the lower gallery, Barbara Slater presents her popular oils depicting animal personalities in her current series, Stock Options, with livestock of Central Oregon.


CainjpgIn addition, Leslie Cain salutes a favorite subject of water in her pastel landscapes of the high desert of southeastern Washington and Central Oregon. She notes her pleasure in the challenge of rendering the wet subject of water in the dry medium of pastel, emphasizing that its accurate depiction resides in remembering water’s response to the light.


Her choice of pastel, inherently soft and fluid, reveals her reverence for place such as the soft reflection of a golden and orange sunset on trees at the edge of the Umatilla River. Other works also depict this dramatic contrast between lights and darks that accompanies the quietude of late afternoon or sunset, accentuating the dreamlike quality of the images.


Cain’s received acknowledgment as features in Southwest Art Magazine and in the Walla Walla Lifestyles magazine. Her artwork appears in numerous corporate, public, and private collections and she recently completed the new Lewis and Clark diorama and mural at Ft. Walla Walla Museum.


HigginsonAlso featured in the exhibit are the oil landscapes of Marilyn Higginson with her first appearance in the Betty Gray Gallery. Higginson salutes the importance of Nature to the human spirit, depicting the weather and seasons of the Steens Mountain Range and other high desert landscapes including the Alvord Desert, a favorite pilgrimage for herself and her father.

Her art often depicts the “peace of the twilight hours of dawn and dusk, and the ephemeral light and shadows” of these quiet times.  Working in oil, her surfaces are relatively smooth suggesting the calm of these hours.  This is especially seen in the rendering of her skies that are often seamless blends of hue and value. Regarding her artwork as narrative, the artist frequently creates a path into her paintings that leads to the horizon, alluding to the character of human life.


Higginson’s career now spans some forty years. Her artwork appears in collections throughout the U.S. and abroad, including that of the Contemporary Craft Museum in Portland.


Sunriver Resort invites the public to meet the artists at the August 3 reception and to visit the exhibition continuing through September 8 at the Lodge, open all hours.  Billye Turner organizes the exhibitions for Sunriver Resort and provides additional information at 541-382-9398.

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