Visit Portland Open Studios artists at our booth at Art in the Pearl

Watch some of this year’s tour artists as they demonstrate their craft and talents at the PDXOS booth at Portland’s Art in the Pearl this weekend.

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Bringing a new life to the hand work of women through the ages

Karen Lewis had the pleasure recently of visiting Beth Yazhari  in her studio.  Here is an idea of what you could experience in a little over a month when Portland Open Studios opens.
When you enter Beth Yazhari’s studio, you first notice a rich collection of textures and patterns. She delights you with colorful designs, many reminiscent of Persian carpets or Amish quilts.  Then you are drawn in to discover the layers and layers of textures that make up her beaded textile collage paintings.
Beth begins her work on canvas, using acrylic paint in washes textured with cling wrap.  This gives the piece a rich, luminous color field, much of which will be covered in subsequent layers.  Vintage textiles inspire the design, defining the initial pattern of the piece.  She will play with a bit of fabric or lace as if it’s a puzzle, cutting out pieces and laying them out in symmetry– hence the carpet-like designs of the paintings.  Once the starting piece is in place, Beth layers her painting with gold paint, more textiles, stenciling through laces, and thin layers of acrylic paint.  She creates transfers from her own photographs, adding those and painting over them for permanence and color harmony.  And she sews beads on to the canvas, making everything secure so that the painting will stand the test of time, as the pieces of lace and vintage beads and buttons have done.
Beth delights in searching for interesting pieces of vintage textiles.  Her collection of materials is global, embracing Victorian era lace, Indian sari fabrics, embroidery from Pakistan, beads from Africa, buttons from Germany.  Items with character and handwork catch her eye.   Beth’s collections fill a whole closet in her studio, and just browsing through the materials can be a treat.
In creating out of recycled and found handicrafts, Beth is “giving new life to the hand work of women” through the ages, honoring their creativity and giving it a place in our modern life.  Take a trip through time and space and visit Beth Yazhari’s studio!

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A delightful montage of textured abstract design

Karen Lewis recently interviewed PDXOS artist #1, Ruth Armitage in her studio.  Here is what she found:

Entering Ruth Armitage’s spacious upstairs studio, you are instantly struck by the abstract work on the walls. Ruth works in a wide variety of painting media: oil and cold wax, watercolor, acrylic.. and all of them exhibit a textured abstract design.

The inspiration for Ruth’s work comes from memories and experiences of growing up on a family farm. “The paintings I do are more personal to me than something merely observed. It’s the personal that keeps me engaged as I create.”

She may begin with an aerial view from memory, or even a title. A thumbnail drawing starts her design, and she establishes the large shapes first on her painting surface, deciding early on a warm or cool dominance of color. The piece then develops in many layers. She adds and textures, using knives, brayers, stencils, drywall tape, steel wool, a kitchen bowl scraper…. tools that she has collected and used creatively many times. Ruth employs personal symbols in her work, but avoids making the piece look obviously narrative. The result is a painting that suggests, rather than shouting, allowing you to discover new passages with every moment of viewing.

Ruth has a full teaching schedule. Upcoming workshops and classes include:
The ABC’s of Abstraction
September 18, 19 & 20th 10-4
in Ruth’s Oregon City Studio: $190 for 3 full days.

A Drop-in painting class on Thursdays
Oregon Society of Artists
Beginning Sept 3, 2015.

Contact Ruth for further information at:

And visit her studio on your tour for a delightful montage of paintings, tools, and processes

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Psychological soup

Sara Swink’s studio is every clay artist’s dream: a spacious room with plenty of table space, and organized areas for drying, glazing and kiln.  There she creates her one-of-a-kind clay figures.

Little people and humanized animals decorate the wall shelves, looking down on her workspace.  Sara avoids happy faces, focusing on more ambiguous and mixed feelings in her figures.  The emotions expressed are more reflective of the human condition, where everything is a jumble and consciousness is fragmented.  The narrative quality of art interests her.  “I like to indulge in my own psychological soup.”

Sara’s works begin with a collage, developing an image vocabulary with bits and pieces from magazines.  Dreams and toys from childhood are among the inspiring elements that connect to the images she finds.  A doodling session follows, which helps her to focus on style. Then she is ready to translate her ideas into clay.  The finished clay piece may look very little like the collage that inspired it.  “I always try to insert some fun, even if it’s not conscious,” Sara says, emphasizing that it’s important for her not to be too controlling while she is creating.

She teaches this creative process, which she learned from Coeleen Kiebert, in her spacious clay studio, where she holds workshops, as well as drop-in classes on Mondays and Saturdays.  For more information, contact Sara at 971-271-0480.

Currently, Sara is working on a set of post topper sculptures for New Seasons Market.  For this commissioned project, she first created a set of maquettes so that her client could see what the sculptures would look like.  The full-sized sculptures are now in progress.  She also has an Etsy shop at    where she sells wall-hanging animal figures full of individual personality.

As you visit Sara’s studio, be sure to spend time with her evocative sculptures.

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Interview of Carrie Moore, an artist of many mediums

Carrie Moore is an artist of many talents.  While at her studio, you will see pastel paintings, leather embossing, metalwork, linocut printmaking, even leather projects in the works.  Carrie doesn’t like to stick to just one medium.  “My brain is all over the place,” she says.  But all her works do have common elements.  “They are all reductive,” says Carrie.  In each of these arts, something is carved away, erased, or reduced in form.

Throughout the day, Carrie will demonstrate many of these different reductive processes.  You may see her begin, perhaps even finish, a reductive pastel drawing.  First she lays in color with the pastel stick, using local colors of objects and complements.  Then she smears the color, filling the tooth of the paper.  Next begins the reductive process; she wipes some of the smeared color off, returning the paper to that touch of color that first hits the paper tooth.  She uses rags, erasers, and other tools to make different marks, sometimes digging back to the clean paper layer.  Adding and subtracting steps can repeat and overlap.  Decorative and accent marks can be made on top.  The result is a pastel piece with a complex surface history and many interrelated colors.

Carrie’s studio is an open teaching space, which artists, musicians, even poets can rent for their workshops of up to 18 students.  It is set in the beautiful countryside south of Oregon City, high up on a knoll with a pastoral 360 degree vista.  Looking at nature, really looking, has been a great inspiration to Carrie, now that she is giving one hundred percent of her attention to her art. Let her studio inspire you, too.  Take care coming up the winding drive, and come on in!

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Interview of Christopher Mooney, Oil Painter

Christopher Mooney is an oil painter, best known for his large, graphic paintings of bridges. He studied in New York at Parsons School of Design, then came to Oregon in the late 80’s in search of bridges and urban landmarks. Recently, he’s been painting in his workers series, a group of large pieces to commemorate the workers who create and maintain our iconic structures. This series leads him to new painting experiences. The Hawthorne bridge in Portland is one of the bridges that has to open for shipping traffic, and every two weeks it must be oiled. By special arrangement, Christopher was allowed to photograph the workers. He climbed a set of stairs to the top of the arch. They closed the traffic gates and raised the bridge with him on it. Then he moved over to the counterweight. As they lowered the bridge, the counterweight with Christopher went up, until he was at the top of the entire structure with the workers. From there, he had a view of the city, the work, and a perspective on the bridge like no other. Christopher also paints dramatic figures. He has been experimenting with red and blue spotlighting to get a variety of skin tones and shadow casts. He is now painting commissioned portraits for people who want a memory preserved. “Pictures fade, files get lost, but a painting immortalizes.” Get a preview of Christopher’s work at THE ART OF TRADE, a juried exhibit sponsored by the Port of Portland, at 903 NW Davis from August 6-15. Then take note of his studio for your Portland Open Studios tour.
Karen Lewis

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Request from PM Shore and something to do this weekend

If anyone can spare an umbrella and stand this Sat & Sun, please let me know if I can use it. Thank you.

Please call 503.560.1747 or email me at Thanks.

If you want to go to the hottest art show happening, it is at Arburst NW show (at Marylhurst University Campus) which is filled with the hottest art in town (as well as some shady trees). Come on out and see us. Here is a link to my website to see some of my latest work:


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Interview of Deborah Marble

I am so excited about this idea.  Karen Lewis,  PDXOS artist #6, is interviewing all the artists in her area.  This is such a great idea.  I hope all the artists on the tour go out and interview each other.  Let’s get some excitement generated for the tour!

Here is here first interview, of Deborah Marble, Artist #7.

Deborah Marble has been interested in drawing people since childhood. Years of experience in drawing and painting from life have given her a unique way of expressing the human figure. She was a courtroom sketch artist for many years, before cameras were allowed in courtrooms. There she learned to work quickly, putting down on paper the distinguishing features of faces, the nuances of body language. Scenes surrounding people are suggested in a few lines and shapes, just enough to set them in place. There is a tangible emotional quality in her drawn line and painted gesture, as she shows people in daily activities.

Whether she is working from life, from photos, or from memories, Deborah focuses on the people around her, known and unknown. Sometimes a few minutes are all she needs to capture a likeness. She especially likes watercolor for its “unique flowing and blending quality which suit my preference for rapid results.”

Visit Deborah’s studio on your tour to see her working space, tools and supplies, and the range of her figurative work. Throughout the day, Deborah plans to demonstrate her approach on small pieces.

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PDXOS artist Theresa Andreas=O’Leary will be showing at Art Elements Gallery from June 25th to July 18.

Artist’s Statement

“Hallowed Ground”
The voice of artist & seedlings chanting, “Save land, grow food.”
The changing landscape implores my brush to document memories.
Views of sacred hallowed ground in fields, open spaces and farms
dotting the contoured hillsides…revealing striated clay jory soil,
layered hues, connecting me, connecting us. Stewards of the land,
revering Mother Earth, we will remain.

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Portland’s Community Supported Art

As Portlanders, most of us are familiar with the acronym “CSA.” It usually stands for Community Supported Agriculture. However, there is a new CSA in town – “Community Supported Art”.

Portland Open Studios has designed a new program, PDX-CSA, similar to the more well-known CSA. In its first season, PDX-CSA offers three options for art collectors: Mixed Media, Figurative, and Ceramics. Considering project summaries and example works the artists have produced in the past; the collector pays $235–$300(depending on the collection); and receives later, upon completion, three pieces of art, one from each artist in the collection.
Providing funding in advance for artists to create new work supports the artists’ unique visions while allowing the buyers to follow the artists’ progress and enrich their understanding of how the art is made.

The focus of this exciting venture is to provide advance funding for artists to create new work and allow buyers to follow the progress and enrich their understanding of how the art is made. And all the work will be new, with each artist making no more than 20 pieces.

The collections are on sale for only a short window: May 8 – May 15 (unless they sell out). There will be an opening party on May 7 for artists and potential collectors at Ford Food + Drink, 5:30-7:30pm.

Learn about the 9 artists and other details at the PDX-CSA website.

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