Unrepresented Artists of Central Oregon #4

(Two Cowboys, spray paint on canvas, 36”x48”, 2018 by Douglas Robertson)

To view previous articles in this ongoing series, visit our website at www.cascadeae.com and search Unrepresented Artists of Bend (December 2018 and January 2019 editions) or Unrepresented Artists of Central Oregon (as of February edition).

Sarah Helen More (sarahhelenmore.com)

Bio: Growing up in a household with creative parents (her mother a quilter, her father an engineer), Sarah and her two younger sisters were constantly making things. Their playroom walls were covered with paper to draw on and her mother’s fabric scraps quickly became outfits for their hamsters, cats and lizards. Weekends spent at her paternal grandmother’s house in Portland were filled with kitchen table lessons on embroidery, knitting, crotchet, decorative painting and ceramics. As a teenager, Sarah struggled with severe anxiety and depression, quelled only by her creative pursuits, which for her meant that a career as an artist was the only path to take. Sarah completed a bachelor of fine arts in textile design at the Rhode Island School of Design and an master of fine arts in fiber arts from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, the nation’s top-ranked school devoted exclusively to graduate education in art, architecture, craft and design. She worked as a studio assistant to Takashi Murakami, a Japanese contemporary artist exploring both fine arts and commercial media, and as an Adjunct Professor of Art History at Penn State University and various small colleges throughout Pennsylvania. Her clients include the University of Michigan, Digital Kitchen and Ten Barrel Brewing Company, and her art has been shown at the Society of Illustrators in New York City. Sarah currently lives and works in Central Oregon.

Artist Statement: My brightly colored and heavily patterned paintings and intricate drawings deal with the interaction of color, value and shape as well as the complicated relationship between mass-production and the handmade. Crafted without the use of tapes or masking films, each piece, whether gouache on paper or oil on canvas, appears to be generated through digital means. However, upon closer inspection, one sees evidence of the hand in the form of slight imperfections that reveal the true nature of each creation. Implementing sets of formal rules onto my canvases while not always having a definitive vision of the final piece provides me with both a meditative and dynamic experience. This process allows me to ride the line between control and accident, and while some components are clear from the beginning, others reveal themselves as each piece unfolds. Inspired by traditional methods of textile construction such as American quilt patterns, stained glass windows and colorful mosaics, I tend to work the canvas as if I were weaving, one “weft” at a time, building the piece from a concentrated area out.

Douglas Robertson (douglas-robertson.com)
Bio: Doug was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has been pursuing art since middle school. He received a bachelor of arts degree in fine art and art history from the University of Oregon in 1992. During his 20s, Doug lived in Bend, France, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Portland and Minneapolis and showed his work consistently during that time. Since moving back to Bend in 2000, Doug has made much art without being overly concerned about displaying it publicly, although he does follow the art world closely and is open to showing his work if opportunity strikes. Doug and his wife are currently raising their daughter in Midtown Bend, making art and building community through the High Desert Mural Festival (HDMF), their nonprofit that supports mural projects enhancing the public arts culture of Central Oregon.

Artist Statement: My art is a visual expression of the intersection between my dreams and my conscious reality, particularly those moments when I am not fully asleep and my mind is free to wander. Inspired by philosophical ideas, current events, personal challenges, nature and much more, I reflect upon how I want to visually express this subject matter and then execute that vision. My paintings are thus metaphors for my experiences as I try to make sense of my life, understand the bigger picture, decide where I fit into this chaotic world, and create some structure to comprehend it all. Typically, I do not elucidate the meaning of my art to others, whether verbally or through print, as I prefer the work speaks for itself and the viewer develops his or her own interpretation of it. A rare exception to this stance can be found in my Bridging Cultures series where I utilized iconic Old West imagery expressed through contemporary “street” mediums of stencils and spray paint, believing that a broad spectrum of Americans would be drawn to it. The body of work is a reaction to some current social and political issues I’m concerned about such as gun violence, cultural appropriation, and extreme political divides.

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