Saturday, September 28, 2019

Three Originals

Today I'm writing about three artists who were all original members of Art On Broadway gallery, which I founded with two partners back in 2010. Linda Baker, Gretha Lindwood, and Annie Salness took a leap of faith back then and have been loyal friends ever since. I'm thrilled to have them aboard for this leg of the journey.

Linda Baker is a resident of Lake Oswego, is married, and has two grown daughters and a son-in-law. She's a member of Oil Painters of America, The Portrait Society of America, Lake Area Artists and Painter's Showcase. She has served as president of Painter's Showcase and is currently serving as Vice President of Lake Area Artists. She studied art at the University of Wisconsin, Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago, and Scottsdale Artists School.

Linda is a "master" of still life oil painting, and uses rich juicy color and high contrast in her paintings of beautiful household objects and luscious-looking fruits and vegetables. When visiting her studio one time, I discovered she had a wall of shelving with hundreds of treasures she had acquired at garage and estate sales - many of the objects I had seen before as subjects in one or more of her paintings. She can make paint look exactly like china or copper and can so clearly create the illusion of flowers that you swear you can smell their fragrance when you're looking at her work.  Her paintings are very popular and hang in private collections throughout the nation. 

Linda says, "I want to create an emotional experience that comes from seeing some elusive or unrecognized beauty in an object, person, or scene. In a sense, art is for me, unveiling the beauty of everyday things."

Gretha Lindwood resides in the Cedar Mill area of Portland with her husband Walt, who is retired from the business world and spends his time these days writing and publishing novels. When I first met Gretha she was in the process of transitioning from graphic designer at Joe's Sporting Goods to fine art plein air painter, and I don't think she has ever looked back. She works both in oil on canvas and soft pastel on sanded paper, capturing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and sharing her work locally as well as in Carmel and Los Gatos California; Bend and Cannon Beach Oregon; Mercer Island, Olympia, and Port Angeles Washington.

Gretha is a member of Lake Area Artists, Appalachian Pastel Society, and Piedmont Pastel Society; and a signature member of Northwest Pastel Society. She attended Western Washington State College in Bellingham and earned a Professional Diploma from The Burnley School of Professional Art in Seattle Washington. She has continued to study by attending painting workshops with Mitch Baird, Camille Przewodek, Robert Gamblin, Richard McKinley, Albert Handell, Elizabeth Mowry, and others.

I'm impressed that Gretha has been juried into Portland Open Studios for the past six years and has participated in seven out of the last eight Annual Carmel Art Festivals, just to name a few of her recent accomplishments. Even with her busy schedule, she still finds time to teach pastel classes at Village Art Gallery near her Cedar Mill home.

"By painting in the traditional plein air style and by using an impressionistic touch," says Gretha, "my landscapes invite the viewer into the scene. My landscapes can bring to mind the smell of sage after a rain in the desert, the feel on your cheek of soft mist from a foggy morning, or the taste of a salty ocean breeze on your lips." Her work is valued for its vibrant color and strong design.

Annie Salness is amazing. She's an amazing person, an amazing wife and mother of four, an amazing artist - and a true inspiration to most everyone who knows her. Annie was actively involved in Art On Broadway in September of 2010 when the gallery opened. Two months later she suffered a massive stroke that paralyzed her right side. Because she was young and had been physically active she qualified for a special therapy program for stroke victims at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland and immediately began her long, hard road to recovery. She regained her speech, and over time learned to stand and walk and conquer stairs. But Annie did not regain the use of her right hand - her painting hand. She's amazing because she didn't let a massive stroke stop her from doing what she loved - instead she taught herself to paint with her left hand. Just like Molly Brown, she is unstoppable.

Annie was trained in bio-medical illustration but these days her goal is "to capture the purest essence of a person, an animal, or even a vegetable." She works with acrylic on panel in her basement studio and listens to music or an audiobook as she works.

"I love to capture special and often un-witnessed moments and express them in my paintings. I'm drawn to light, color or the glimpse of such a moment. I take random photos and ...often discover something wonderful that I didn't know I'd captured - and this discovery lends excitement to my process," she writes.

Annie says she feels inspired by the blank canvas. I feel inspired by Annie!

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