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Estacada artist Cheryl Butterfield finds inspiration in scenic locations and buildings

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CHERYL BUTTERFIELD - 'Florentine Loggia' is among the watercolor paintings created by Cheryl Butterfield that was inspired by her year living in Italy.

One reason Cheryl Butterfield enjoys painting scenes of Venice and Florence is it reminds her of the time she spent there.

"I relive it while painting. I feel like I've been in Venice for the afternoon," said the Estacada-based watercolor artist, who spent a year in Italy studying art history.

Butterfield is among the artists selected for the Clackamas County Arts Alliance Artist Exhibit Program. The artists will be featured at various locations around the county throughout the year.

Locations and dates for the exhibit program will be announced later this year at

Butterfield has participated in the program off and on since 2009.

She has been interested in art since she was a child.

"It goes all the way back to grade school. I went to a one-room schoolhouse. When we were done with work, we could do projects. The older kids showed me (art)," she said. "I can't remember a time I wasn't interested in art."

Today, her favorite paintings include depictions of homes on Venice canals and other sights around Italy.

Butterfield often finds inspiration in architectural details and enjoys capturing both interiors and exteriors of buildings. She often works with mossa paper, or Japanese rice paper, which creates a marbleized effect.

"It's difficult to work with, but I just love that method," she said.

Watercolor was "always her first love," Butterfield said.

"It requires a lot of planning. Everything you put down will show. It keeps my interest," she said. "I like the vibrancy of the colors, and the freshness. You can't get that any other way."

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