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Geometry & Whimsy July 2023 Exhibit. Opening July 6th.

Dates: Opening Night Reception, Thursday, July 6th, 5 - 7 pm; show runs through Saturday, July 29th

Two landscape painters from the mid-Columbia area whose work is informed by geometry create paintings infused with the joie de vivre of their perspectives.

Myrna Anderson and Charlene Rivers are two well-known Oregon landscape painters of the mid-Columbia area. Both painters live amongst the landscapes they paint: Rivers from Mt. Hood-adjacent Parkdale, OR and Anderson of Mosier, OR found on the shores of the Columbia River. They have known each other or each other’s work for years and chance brought them to show together in the summer of 2021. To their delight and surprise, they discovered, although quite different in execution, both are fascinated by the geometric forms of the Columbia River Gorge landscape. Rivers simplifies the shapes into whimsical circles, lines and dots while Anderson fractures the space into tiny squares and rectangles. Their complementary approaches inspired them to seek out an opportunity at The Dalles Art Center to exhibit together again.

“I draw inspiration for my paintings from the landscape which surrounds me. I spend a lot of time outdoors taking photographs which I then turn into my paintings.” offered Anderson.

Myrna Anderson’s colorful acrylic paintings are done in what she calls, “stained glass style.” She begins with a photograph of the landscape and then breaks that image down into small cells. This process is done first in pencil and then in ink. Each of these cells is filled with layers of color often resulting in 7 layers of color. She starts with a wash of bright transparent color and then adds layers of color to allow them to mix on the canvas. The result is that all the colors show through. Myrna takes part in the Gorge Artist Open Studio Tour and shows her work locally.

“Bold, bright, and whimsical are words I use to describe my paintings. The landscapes around Parkdale and the Hood River Valley have been my inspiration for years. I use photos and drawings to begin a painting, but the final composition is imaginary. I am always told by viewers that my work makes them smile.” described Rivers.

Charlene Rivers work is bright and whimsical. The natural areas around Parkdale and Hood River have been an inspiration to her throughout her career. To start a painting, she uses photos and drawings, but the final composition is imaginary. Her process includes chalk drawings on a black canvas then she simplifies shapes with the intent of making them flat and opaque. Rivers prefers working on large canvases but often starts by making several smaller paintings before continuing to the larger size. Charlene Rivers’ work can regularly be seen at The Gorge White House, Cathedral Ridge Winery, The Pines Tasting Room in Hood River, and Lady Fern Gallery in Parkdale. She takes part in the Gorge Artists Open Studio each April. In addition to painting, Rivers creates children’s books and art instruction books.

“I am whole-heartedly thrilled to welcome a show with two such accomplished regional artists,” offered Sally Johnson, Executive Director of The Dalles Art Center. “I can’t wait to see people respond to the work as they discover not only the beauty of the pieces but also the incredible mastery of technique found within their work. The colors are brilliant, the composition compelling and the paintings come to life in front of your eyes.”

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