(Artwork by Rebecca Baldwin)
The year of 2020, now coming to a close, has been one of introspection and adjustment for many people. For artist Rebecca Baldwin it has been a time to experiment with a different painting style that she hopes instills more movement and emotion into her landscapes. Baldwin’s work will be showcased at Red Chair Gallery in December.
While hiking and skiing, she photographs scenes that form the basis for her paintings. In the past, blazing color has been Baldwin’s style, including incandescent sunsets and shimmering water. Lately, she has been exploring portraying different kinds of weather, applying her paint thinner, building up layers and leaving shapes more undefined. “A bright sunny day can create a totally different mood than a rainy, windy day,” she notes. Cloud formations, which show “the promise of weather on the way” are also a new source of inspiration, she adds. Some of her recent paintings are of misty dark forests studded with bright accents of aspens turned golden or lofty pines shadowing her backyard during a snow storm.
Growing up in Washington State on the West side of the Cascades, and then living for several years in Portland, Baldwin was accustomed to landscapes with denser forests and a lot of rainy and misty weather. She started her art career at Portland’s Saturday Market in the 1980s, selling brightly colored drawings and paintings of animals. After six years at the Portland market, she began exhibiting her oil and acrylic paintings at juried art fairs all over the West Coast. Somewhere along the line, she made landscape painting her new focus.
When she moved to Central Oregon in 1993, she began portraying drier vistas. In the intervening years, she traveled to places like Hawaii and the Southwest, which inspired her to paint different types of landscapes. This year, due to travel restrictions, she has returned to her roots. Now she is spending more time in her home studio, which has inspired her to try new approaches. No doubt Baldwin’s style will continue to evolve with time.