Last Friday night we went to SideStreet Arts Gallery for our first in-person First Friday in a year and half. It was so good to be with artists and their art again, even with everyone wearing masks.
The artist in the Small Works Spotlight is Sharon Jonquil, who does oil painting and encaustics. We met Sharon a few years ago at her Open Studio event, and got to see her process. We even bought two of her small encaustics.
At this show, Sharon is showing oil paintings. They are abstract landscapes of Canyonlands and the Deschutes River, and they are wonderfully evocative. You almost feel the sun on your back and smell the sagebrush that grows along the banks of the river.
We also met Rabun Thompson, a ceramicist who was the Featured Artist of the month. Rabun works in high-fired stoneware, and many of his pieces can be hung on the wall as art and also used as serving plates. Auntie Bridgett and I fell in love with this one during the on-line Preview, and bought it before some else did!
It is about 18 inches across and fully glazed, so I can use it for food! Won’t it be pretty piled high with cookies or just-out-of-the-oven bread?
There was a lot more to see on the walls, but I will tell you about them tomorrow.
As I have told you before, I didn’t grow up with a lot of art. It just wasn’t something my parents understood or valued. They had both grown up on farms during the Great Depression, and were more interested in just keeping us all fed and clothed.
But now our house is full of wonderful, bright, original art! Auntie Bridgett being a member at SideStreet Arts helps, of course, because new paintings, prints and ceramics come through every month. But Ruth Inman, my friend from High School, has also been added to our collection.
We also just hung up a new Denise Krueger ceramic piece. It is three dimensional, one of her many sea creature-like sculptures that remind me of the tide pools in Monterey Bay. We hung it nice and high, above Sharon Jonquil’s encaustics, so we don’t hit it with a shoulder as we pass.
Our last new piece is a small acrylic painting Auntie Bridgett made for Grandpa Nelson’s birthday. It shows our lovely Laurelhurst Park with silhouettes of the three of us walking among the trees. It is hanging under Erin Hanson’s study of eucalyptus trees.
I love having art in the house. It gives me new perspective at times when I desperately need it. It shows me beauty and joy when I am burned down to my last neuron. And it reminds me that wonder can come from anyone, at any time.
We like to have lots of art around at our house. Auntie Bridgett is an artist, so some of our walls are covered with her work. It is cheerful and sometimes silly, and it always cheers me up.
This past Christmas, Auntie Bridgett gave Grandpa Nelson and me a new piece of art! It is called “Let it Be” and was painted by Mark Dunst, whose studio we visited last fall. We like his work so much that Auntie Bridgett invited him to show his work at the SideStreet Arts Gallery, as well.
Anyway, Bridgett took some time Sunday and hung “Let it Be” in the hallway by the dining room. It nestles nicely next to Johnny Apaodaca’s painting of a Umbrian Lake. It is wonderful.
We have other Portland art on our walls, as well. Sharon Jonquil’s encaustics greet us coming up the stairs.
But we actually got our very first piece of art by a Portland area resident in 1981, before we ever moved here! We were living in Eugene, Oregon, and a neighbor had decided he didn’t want his paintings anymore. He gave us our choice, and we chose this wonderful bicycle painting. He is now living in Troutdale, just east of town. Thanks, David Gettman!
I wasn’t raised with art. My parent’s house had a Robert Wood seascape print over the stereo and my mother’s paint by number landscapes by the TV. I feel blessed to have real art, and real artists, in my life.