(Painting by Joren Traveller)
For many people, the social isolation and stress imposed upon the world by the COVID pandemic has been hard to bear. Not so for Joren Traveller, sculptor and painter, whose work is showcased at Red Chair Galley in April.
The more time she spent at her home outside of Bend in 2020, the happier she was. “I was quite content,” she says. “It was a relaxing time for me, a peaceful time like being at a retreat.” She used this period to take a few online painting classes, experiment with different media and techniques and do a lot of plein air painting. Without a deadline to get anything done, it made her “not afraid to do something new.”
Joren is well known for her ceramic and bronze sculptures of whimsical animals, including beavers, ducks and hippos. She always manages to catch their expressions perfectly. Now she is displaying a number of bovine pieces, including one of a bison cow and calf. It complements her impressive painting of a bison head in profile, pictured here.
Growing up in Burbank, California, Joren dabbled in art as a youngster and later briefly attended Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. But eventually she graduated from California Polytechnic with a degree in microbiology and animal science and went to work. After she retired, she moved to Central Oregon and was finally able to devote more time to art. She fires her ceramic sculptures at the studio of Norman Frater, a local ceramicist and mentor.
In January, Joren displayed her paintings at the Oxford Hotel and she also has paintings at Sage Custom Framing and Gallery. Her work will be part of the High Desert Art League’s events later this year.