Art scene — Marilyn Higginson returns with landscapes, experimenting with ceramics

It’s been more than 15 years since Marilyn Higginson moved to Sheridan and she doubts she’d be painting if she hadn’t.

“Being in Portland you kind of forget what’s out there,” Higginson said. “I don’t think I’d be doing landscapes if I didn’t move out here. It’s been very inspirational for me living out here.”by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Local inspiration -- Marilyn Higginson said if it wasn't for her move to Sheridan more than 15 years ago, she isn't sure that she'd be painting. Her third show at Art Elements Gallery runs through Feb. 15.

So inspirational that she’s hosting her third show at Art Elements Gallery featuring landscapes and something new.

“She’s our best-selling artist,” said Lauren Wylie, gallery manager. “She’s had one (show) about every year. This one is a little different because of the ceramics. We’ve had her sculptures before but never ceramics.”

Higginson created a series of clay masks using a wood-fire kiln called an anagama.

“The wood-fire kiln is stoked 62 hours or longer, reaching temperatures of 2,400 degrees Fahrenheit,” she said. “A white clay wedged with coloring oxides is laminated into the almost black base clay. The kiln’s atmosphere produces the ivory tones and affects the colorants in often unpredictable, sometimes delightful ways.”

She said the nine ceramic masks on display were something she’s been thinking about creating for a while.

“I’ve had a series of little heads and faces in mind for a couple of years and decided to get started when I had an opportunity to (the kiln),” she said. “I’m very happy with the way those turned out.”

Although she said she intends to keep experimenting with masks and ceramics, landscape paintings are her forte.

“I consider (her paintings) modern landscapes, not traditional paintings but landscapes (inspired by) Oregon,” Wylie said.

Higginson said this show was intended to be all about Perrydale, a farming town she’s grown quite fond of.

“But it didn’t work out that way,” she said.

She said some landscapes are portrayals of the town, but not as anticipated.

“I like to paint fog and other scenes that aren’t all that cheery and warm, but there’s’ a lot of warm thought in the room,” she said.

Higginson’s work will be on display at Art Elements through Feb. 15.

For more information about the show, visit or

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