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Lebanon artist Alisha Whitman portrays nature using watercolors in library exhibit

PMG PHOTO: COREY BUCHANAN - Artist Alisha Whitman likes to paint the sky and trees.

As a young painter, Alisha Whitman often recreated architectural wonders found in European cities.

But the Pacific Northwest native hasn't spent much time in Europe. And because it wasn't true to her experience, the work was less visceral and grew tedious.

Whitman has since changed her approach.

In her new exhibit at the Wilsonville Public Library, which runs through December, you will find depictions of skies and trees rather than the Leaning Tower of Pisa or The Louvre.

"We (her family) love to hike and camp and be outdoors, especially here in Oregon. I started to make that my focus," Whitman said. "Now I love painting. It's therapeutic and energizing because it's something I care passionately about and love, and I hope to make other people feel the same feeling I get when I'm out hik-


As her watercolor paintings in the exhibit show, Whitman is interested in the way the sky moves and in capturing a feeling rather than granular details.

"My favorite things to paint are trees and skies, and in the exhibit there are four long vertical paintings that are part of a series of 12 exploring different ways to show the movement in the sky and trees and how they're all connected," Whitman said.

Whitman, a mother of five children, views painting as both an escape from and inseparable from her role as a parent. While the creative outlet can be a nice reprieve, she also takes her kids on hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Bachelor, along the Deschutes River and other areas and sets up painting stations for her kids next to her own station. Her kids also helped Whitman set up her exhibits.

"It's important for them to see me pursuing my dreams and passions as well," Whitman said.

Along with her own work, Whitman creates requested art for a commission. You can view her artwork by visiting her website or her Instagram, alishabwhitmanart.

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