LAA hosting annual art show, sale May 3, 4 and 5
The Lake Area Artists will present its annual Art Show and Sale May 3, 4 and 5 at Lakewood Center for the Arts. The show opens at 10 a.m. all three days, running until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Artist receptions will be held Friday and Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. with wine, cheese and artist demonstrations.
Lake Area Artists is an organization dedicated to promoting an interest in art in Lake Oswego and the surrounding community. The members work to acquaint the public with their art and to participate actively in the cultural life of the community. They strive to maintain art and artists on a high esthetic level and provide sales opportunities for member artists.
The group is limited to 40 active members and represents all art mediums. Once a year members may sponsor a prospective new member if a space becomes available.
"I didn't realize membership was such a big deal," said watercolorist Mary Elle, an Oregon City resident and a new member this year. "I hadn't even heard of Lake Area Artists until some friends in my Watercolor Society of Oregon critique group invited me to come to the show last year. I was impressed with the quality of the art, and thought I would like to be part of the group."When she was accepted, Elle said an artist friend of hers was disappointed as she had been trying for years to get into the association. "Not everyone is accepted," Elle said.
Though she had dabbled with art in college (her roommate was an art major who struggled with watercolor), Elle graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in zoology and later completed in internship in medical technology at Good Samaritan Hospital. When members of her tennis team raved about a watercolor classes they were taking she decided to give it a try.
"I knew the first time I picked up the brush that this was for me," she said. She continued taking workshops and classes and now, 25 years later, she is pleased with what she produces.
"After 25 years of experimenting I'm at a point where I like what I see," she said. "With watercolor you can't add much dark paint until the painting is about 50 percent saturation or it will run all over. But to get definition you need to move to the darks."
Elle is a realistic watercolorist who paints in her studio from reference photos which she takes herself. She often paints flowers, particularly those she grows in her yard. She also chooses subjects from her travels and from objects found around her home, particularly glass objects. Animals are another favorite subject.
"I am working on a series from our travels to Greece and Rome, and also a series of glass in front of stained glass," she said.
Another new LAA member is Lisa Wiser of Lake Oswego.
"Painting has been a part of my life for over 50 years," she said. She said her father, who was an architect, taught her technical drawing skills at a young age. "I recall sitting outside at the age of eight painting a small watercolor of my red metallic reading lamp and telling my parents I was going to be an artist when I grew up."
Wiser earned a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from the University of Oregon, and spent one year studying abroad at Universita De Stranieri in Perugia, Italy. She completed post graduate work in graphic design, art education and painting at University of Oregon, Portland Community College and Portland State University.
She enjoys painting landscapes and spends a great deal of time at Black Butte Ranch in Central Oregon.
"It is such a beautiful area, it's like Walden Pond for me," she said. "I soak up the meadow, water and even the two-and-a-half feet of snow. The paintings just flow out of me." She practices what she encouraged art students to do: know your subject well and love it, as that will be evident in your art.
"I paint landscapes with a nod to human influence," she said. She has been returning to the same settings in Black Butte for ten years and notices how the scenes change due to logging or other human impact, water erosion or other influences. "Sometimes my scene is gone," she said. "But over time it heals itself, and it is interesting to be part of it."
Wiser paints from photographs as well as in the plein air method, which she says can be very chilly this time of year.
"I can paint about half the year plein air. It's cold and wet in the early mornings," she said.
She also draws inspiration from travel, and reading novels to create watercolor, acrylic and mixed media paintings. An avid photographer, Wiser chronicles her visual inspirations as she records obscure landscapes, architectural details and other intriguing painting subjects. Her art is characterized by vivid color, great depth of space and attention to detail.
The other LAA members include Stuart Adams, Kay Allenbaugh, Janet Amundseon-Splidsboel, Theresa Andreas O'Leary, Anita Arjomand, Bill Baily, Linda J. Baker, Sarah Bouwsma, Jan Browne, Michele Bufton, Mary Burgess, Lorraine Kovenz Bushek, Patrice Cameron, Aloha Cannon, Jean Marie Chapman, Leslie Cheney-Parr, Terri Dill-Simpson, Maud Durland, Sandy Dutko, Rene Eisenbart, Airi Foote, Evelyn Fritz, Jean Gale, Anji Grainger, Susan Greenbaum, Vernon Groff, Jan Hardenburger, Jani Hoberg, Sue Jensen, Gretha Lindwood, Stephen Ludeman, Deborah Marble, Diane Marconi, Jack McNally, Linda Mraz, Deanna Rommel, Rob Sanford, Lilly Selander, Julie Shirley, Pamela Smithsted, Chris Stubbs, Linda Terhark and Jan Youngman.
A feature of the art sale is the #FullSpectrum Project; a wall of color that spans the color spectrum composed of individual 8-inch by 8-inch paintings donated by LAA members for sale at $60 each. Proceeds from this project will benefit art scholarships for students at Lake Oswego and Lakeridge high schools.
Lakewood Center for the Arts is located at 368 S. State St., Lake Oswego. To learn more about the artists and view their art visit lakeareaartists.com.