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A Warm Welcome to Artist Karen O’Brien!

Blue Angel, mixed media painting by Karen O'Brien

Blue Angel, mixed media painting by Karen O’Brien

The Southern Oregon Artists Resource extends a warm welcome to artist Karen O’Brien of Grants Pass, who can now be found in the Visual Artists directory and the Art Education section of We met Karen last December, when she entered two of her fabulous “Urban Folk” angels in the second annual Angels show at the GoodBean Café in Jacksonville. It was hard to give them back to her after the show! Please help us welcome this talented artist by visiting her listing to find a link to her website, social media sites, and bookmark her Etsy shop in progress.

Karen’s artist statement is an intriguing and beautiful one:

I am an art maker, pathfinder and storyteller.
I use whatever materials inspire me to begin my journey.
My style is a blend of Folk and Fantasy art.
It is a fusion of what I see everyday, dream and imagine.
My paintings evolve over many layers, using paint, marks and intuition to find the
quiet, soulful figures I call my Urban Folk.

Karen has graciously consented to have her blog syndicated to Art Matters!, and we trust you will enjoy getting to know her through her posts. Art Matters! subscribers will be happy to know that they will be among the first to be notified of her art events, classes and workshops via her syndicated posts!

“I am on a journey, exploring the path of intuitive art, listening to the voice within to learn, create and share what I find.”  ~ Karen O’Brien


Attraction, painting by Karen O'Brien

Attraction, painting by Karen O’Brien

Workshops by Karen O’Brien

Karen O’Brien teaches workshops for small groups in her studio and various locations throughout the year. To view Karen’s current teaching schedule visit her blog: Urban Folktales

Studio Classes and Workshops:

Acrylic Painting Explorations

Experimentation with acrylic techniques and styles in one day workshops, with ongoing instruction available for all levels.

Art Journaling Techniques

A journey into the world of Art Journaling. Explore and create personal pages with a variety of techniques and materials. These journals can stand alone as an amazing piece of art and serve as an inspiration for other art projects. Classes can be scheduled as individual workshops or an ongoing series for all levels.

Collage: Uncover the Mystery

Experimentation class in Collage. Discover the joy of working spontaneously and quickly to jumpstart your creativity in a half day workshop format for artists of all levels of experience. Collage principals learned can be easily incorporated into any painting style.

Karen also offers an expanded 5 week course in collage techniques.

Karen is away at an art show for the next two weeks, but she has a workshop coming up on June 6 you will want to know about “The Fantastic World of Collage: Mixed Media Techniques.”

Download (PDF, 203KB)

Journaling Retreat ~ Day 1 Afternoon

The aftermath of a frivolous, abundant lunch (where we get to make our own sandwiches and eat as much as we choose) found us pondering our afternoon assignment: Desire Mapping. With a wild collection of collage materials, giant atlases for us to dissect and paintbrushes as well, we each turned inside to depict the elements of what our perfect life and surroundings would look like.

First I had to determine what my priorities were. Like: mountains, rivers, wild, wide vistas, elements of the western United States, being an artist, continued learning and nature and women. Oh – and fearlessness!!! So I cut up a bunch of paper and danced it around my spread out journal pages. I never found an adequate image of an evergreened river’s edge so I watercolored it in first. I decided since I love warm colors, to have that red-orange as a uniting element and then, when I didn’t have those colors where I wanted them, I masked off with artist’s tape the area. Then painted it. Here’s my crazy, delicious Desire Map. I still feel very at “home” just looking at it. You might want to try it!!! T’will make you smile. Promise!!

Southern Oregon Society of Artists Members Critique

Southern Oregon Society of Artists Members Critique

Steve Bennett, well-known artist from Jacksonville will be the critique juror for Southern Oregon Society of Artists (SOSA) on Monday, April 27. Steve, who has studied with many of the finest instructors in the United States, has been painting for nearly 30 years. Having worked in most media, he now chooses the immediacy of pastel, saying, “The pigment is right here in my hand.” His strong designs and colors add to the excitement of each piece. He will look for good composition created by the use of the basic Elements of Design to convey each artist initial concept. Art will be accepted from 6:15 to 6:45 from paid members.  Guests are welcome to attend.

The meeting will be held Monday, April 27, at the Medford Library, 205, S. Central, Medford at 7 pm. Free for guests. Contact 520-471-5046

Event Announcements from Silk Artist Judy Elliott

Judy Elliott announces upcoming events where her work will be on display

Judy, a Grants Pass artist and SOAR member who creates handpainted silk art, has found a new focus in the subjects of her work over the past two years. Having grown up in Hawaii with a father who not only helped develop her eye for design and color but encouraged a healthy lifestyle with respect for Nature, she has been creating activist art works with subjects as diverse as endangered marine life and native Oregon wildflowers with bees. Pictured above are a few of her new works, including pieces from her Save Our Oceans and Save Our Bees collections. Please plan to attend one or more of the following events to view her silk art pieces, handpainted scarves, greeting cards, and handmade kimonos.

Gallery One, Grants Pass:

On First Friday, May 1st, beginning at 6:00pm Judy Elliott will demonstrate hand-painting silk, using dye. Her paintings are a reflection of her love of nature in all forms, with an emphasis on its protection. Her paintings can be viewed at the gallery, Tuesday through Friday from 10am – 5pm, and on Saturday from 11am – 5pm.

Brian Scott Gallery, Brookings:

During the months of April and May, Judy Elliott will have a display of her silk paintings showing Oregon wildflowers, insects and birds. Hand-made greeting cards are available as well. You can visit the gallery Tuesday through Saturday, from 11am – 5pm.

Bloomsbury Coffee Shop (upstairs), Ashland:

Beginning May 1st through 31st, Judy Elliott will have her hand-painted silk wall hangings on display, depicting Hawaiian flowers, birds and papayas! You can visit the coffee shop Monday through Friday 8:30 – 5, Saturday 9 – 5 and Sunday 10 – 5.

Southern Oregon Guild, Kerby:

From May 13th through August 7th, Judy Elliott will have her hand-painted silk wall hangings on display, with the theme of “Inspired by Nature.” Her emphasis will be on protecting our rivers and streams, and will feature Oregon birds and salmon. The gallery’s hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10am – 4pm. There will be a special reception on Sunday, May 17th, from 2 – 4pm, with a music, wine, food and $5.00 admission fee.

Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon Spring Community Meeting

Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon invites all arts enthusiasts to our Spring Community Meeting on Tues., April 14th from 2:30–3:30PM in the Shield Room at The Bear Hotel, 2101 NE Spalding, Grants Pass, OR 97526. All attending will have the opportunity to sign up for an Arts Alliance Charter Membership for just $20!

The Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon is an organization of artists, arts organizations, arts advocates, and the public, dedicated to building a strong, creative and sustainable arts community in southern Oregon.

In the spring of 2013, leaders from various arts organizations gathered with a vision to strengthen partnership and improve communication for the benefit of the greater arts community. Since then, we have regularly held panel discussions, public, and steering committee meetings to gather input as to what the Arts Alliance should be, and created mission and vision statements. Meeting locations vary throughout Southern Oregon in Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass, Jacksonville, and Kerby in order to be accessible, to encourage participation by the regional arts community, and to demonstrate our commitment to being an inclusive, positive, communicative, creative, informative, collaborative, and valuable resource to the arts community and the public.

Participants in a Community Meeting take part in a discussion about the Arts Alliance

Participants in a Community Meeting take part in a discussion about the Arts Alliance

With ongoing input from our arts community, we decided to create an active and robust Arts Alliance to help our arts community thrive. Our vision for the Arts Alliance is to accomplish this mission through:

  • Developing a strong, supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having art as a common interest.
  • Strengthening the economies of Southern Oregon communities by increasing the demand for art and increasing arts advocacy.
  • Supporting activities that raise awareness of the importance of the arts and create opportunities for all to participate in and experience the arts.

It is our goal to connect Jackson and Josephine County together through culture.  We realize this can have a significant economic impact on everyone who lives in the area, as well as benefitting tourists here for a short stay.

Our current steering committee include:

  • Brooke Nuckles Gentekos, artist, arts advocate, and Executive Director of Sanctuary One in the Applegate Valley
  • Susan Burnes, President of the board of directors Grants Pass Museum of Art in Grants Pass
  • Joyce Abrams, President of the Southern Oregon Guild of Artists in Kerby
  • Anne Brooke, artist and founder/director of Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville
  • Hannah West, artist, arts advocate, web designer, Art Presence Board member and founder of the Southern Oregon Artists Resource in Jacksonville
  • Denise Baxter, Executive Director of the Ashland Art Center in Ashland
  • Cammy Davis of It’s All About Art and southern Oregon art advocate in Jacksonville
  • Hyla Lipson, co-founder and chair of Artworks in Grants Pass
  • Kim Hearon, Executive Director of the Rogue Gallery and Art Center in Medford.

2015 is the pilot year for the Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon. Presently we are planning its launch and preparing for this by building a website, creating a map and calendar, designing and creating marketing materials, continuing to streamline communication, and building membership. We would like to express our gratitude to the Oregon Community Foundation for the grant that is helping us accomplish the Arts Alliance Launch in Spring 2015.

Participants in the last Community Meeting contribute ideas for the Arts Alliance slogan

Participants in the last Community Meeting contribute ideas for the Arts Alliance slogan

During our last community meeting we brainstormed slogans for the arts marketing campaign, narrowing the candidates down from a huge list of contributed ideas. The steering committee is coordinating details for the arts marketing campaign including a logo design, regional coordination, fundraising, and continued outreach to our blossoming arts community and arts enthusiasts throughout southern Oregon. We hope you will be among the artists, regional arts leaders, gallery representatives, and art enthusiasts who join us on April 14 to make their voices heard and continue working toward the fulfillment of our collective goals!

Learn more about the Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon at our website: and keep up with our events, news, and latest developments on Facebook:

Contact Us!
Arts Alliance of Southern Oregon
P.O. Box 24
Jacksonville, OR 97530
[email protected]

Our Retreat “Emerging Artist” Scholarship Awarded!!

KiriCorrectedTah-Dah … it was way back in 2009 that I first met this charming young lady. She came to me asking if I would mentor her in watercolor for her 8th Grade Project. Together we met for weeks, months. I grew to admire her and her family deeply. I was so touched and impressed when she did her school presentation – her work looked so strong up there on stage. And – oh my – when she presented me with roses!!! Over the years I’ve been invited to her birthdays, her family’s Daffodil Days and finally, her High School Graduation!! Mature, talented, brilliant, humble and with a heart as beautiful as her presence, she headed off to university last year.

We’ve kept in touch on FaceBook and when she showed an interest in my Alpine Retreat we found it conflicted with her schooling. But when she asked about this Wallowa Retreat – I was quick to offer her this ongoing “Emerging Artist” Scholarship available on all my retreats. And now she is on board, coming along to inspire us and drink in what we can offer. I’m so excited … here is a brief bio from dear Kiri herself:

“Kiri Bolles has been making art for as long as she can remember. Since she started Waldorf school in third grade she has never had a year in which she was not taking an art class. President of the National Art Honor Society in high school, with art having been shown in multiple galleries and won many awards, she is now at university studying to become a high school art teacher. She is constantly working to improve her skill in any way she can, and hopes to one day be able to make a positive impact on people’s lives through art.”

I couldn’t be more pleased!!!

Filed under: 2015 W Retreat, Retreat Tagged: artists retreats, Emerging Artist Scholarship, mentoring, National Honor Society, NE Oregon, Rim Rock Inn, Scholarships, Wallowa, Women’s Retreats

SOAR Welcomes Artist Linda Abblett!

The Southern Oregon Artists Resource is pleased to introduce artist Linda Abblett to those who have not yet met her. She recently moved to southern Oregon and has been busily establishing herself here. We met her at Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville—where she has become a member and has already exhibiting her watercolor paintings—and she decided a listing at would be a good way to further her efforts to introduce herself to the southern Oregon arts community. We hope you will welcome her by visiting her listing and from there her website, and follow her Facebook page.

Here is more about Linda and her beautiful watercolors!

watercolor painter Linda Abblett's artist bio


To Paint is to Love Again

I borrowed the title of my 20-year retrospective from a book of the same name by Henry Miller. In it, he wrote: “To paint is to love again, live again, see again.” Primarily a writer, Miller painted both to step away from his writing and to enrich it. Many artists and scientists have embraced a cross-disciplinary approach to the creative process. Einstein called it “combinatory play” and credited his time on the violin with many breakthroughs in physics.
As a poet and painter, I love words and images, and I often combine them; sometimes words form images, and sometimes images curl into words. And even if no words are visible in a painting, they are present as a title or as the story behind an image. This exhibit shares a few chapters from my life story.

Retrospective means to look back. As I looked back over the last two decades of art, I was reminded of the love and life that wove through every word and image. 

Join me for the art reception on April 11th at South Stage Cellars in Jacksonville, Oregon. Enjoy live music, award-winning wine, and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. 

And, as a bonus, my newest book, And: The Story of More,  is coming out just in time to add a book signing to the celebration…a perfect fit, since the illustrated parable is a blend of word and image. 

Here’s to combinatory play!

{The art exhibit will run from April 3—May 7}

Empty Bowls Pizza Party at Ashland Art Center

We are grateful for your presence at our<

Empty Bowls Pizza Party

Wednesday, April 8 at 6 pm


Let’s make a difference!

Empty Bowls

Empty Bowls Pizza Party at Ashland Art Center on April 8, 2015! Make you bowl to donate to this year's Empty Bowls event in Ashland!

Twenty-five years ago, an art teacher wanted to organize an event to give artists and art students a way to make a difference in their community.
Ceramic bowls were made in his high school art classes and then used as individual serving pieces for a fund-raising meal of soup and bread.
Guests chose a bowl to use that day and then to keep as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.
Since then, the idea has spread throughout the country as a way to support organizations who help feed the hungry.
Here in Ashland, the 4th Annual Empty Bowls event will be held on May 8th, with proceeds going to Uncle Foods Diner, Ashland Emergency Food Bank, Food Angels, and Access.
The participation of artists and art students is critical to the success of the event.
To make it fun, the Art Center is hosting a Pizza & Bowls Party this Wednesday, April 8 at 6:00.
We invite you to come and make bowls together while enjoying free pizza and drinks. Admission to the Empty Bowls event is free to all bowl makers. You can help ensure that no person in our valley need ever go to bed hungry.
You can make a difference.
When: Wednesday, April 8 at 6pm
Where: Ashland Art Center
Admission: Free
RSVP before Tuesday, April 7 at [email protected]

All Classes and Events held at Ashland Art Center unless otherwise specified.
Ashland Art Center, 357 E Main Street, Ashland, Oregon 97520
[email protected]

News from Cheryl D Garcia's Great Metal Works

The Great Metal Works
Metal Art by Cheryl D. Garcia   
April 1st, 2015

“Brittilaria” at Britt Festival Grounds

Cheryl has been working on one of the most ambitious and inspired sculptures of her career.  Ten years ago during the first Spring after she moved to Jacksonville from Ashland she was hiking in the hills around town when she first happened across a small clan of the lily family, the Frittilaria.  With a half dozen or so members in Southern Oregon, they each share a brilliant red bell like flower.  None of them stand more than a foot high and one of them only occurs in the Jacksonville Woodlands around the Britt Festival.

When Cheryl returned to her studio instead of picking up her grinder and getting back to the artwork she was working on she pulled out her sketchbook and sketched the blossomed subject with colored pencils.  Years went by and lots of poppies came and went.  Each year when Spring came around and the Frittilaria would bloom, Cheryl would revisit the sketch in her notebook.   It was truly an idea waiting for it’s time and place to come.

While working on one of her larger California Poppy installations, Cheryl’s clients Sean & Sonya asked her what other flowers she had created.  She mentioned the sunflower, thistle, columbine and corn stalk at Walker Elementary School in Ashland, the Bolander’s Lily at Red Lily Vineyards, the Perrier Jouet flower at C St Bistro in Jacksonville and the one flower she had always wanted to create. That frittilaria from her sketchbook.   Without hestitation Sean said “We want the first one if you ever create it!”, and the idea was starting to become reality.

When Sean and Sonya moved to Texas, it seemed like that the idea was destined to remain a dream.  Until one evening last year while Cheryl was attending a concert up at the Britt Festival Grounds and saw the perfect place.  A place where art, music and natural beauty could all meet in combined harmony!

Sean and Sonya loved the idea of giving back something so beautiful to their second home of Jacksonville and asked Cheryl to approach the Britt.  Thanks to the leadership and vision of Donna Briggs and the entire Board of the Britt Festival this dream is about to come true!

You are invited to the dedication of the latest public artwork by Cheryl D. Garcia on Friday, April 10th 2015 from 5:30 – 6:30 PM on the Britt Festival Grounds in Jacksonville, Oregon. Jeff Kloetzel will welcome everyone with music, celebratory miniature cupcakes and cava will be served.  We hope to see you there!


“Eternal Spring” Spiral Staircase Sculptural Profile 

Three years ago a couple stopped by the Jacksonville studio of metal artist Cheryl D. Garcia and requested she design a spiral staircase for their home. Cheryl recommended that they purchase and install a kit but they insisted on her being the artist and persisted in their request.  After a long patient wait the sculptural piece “Eternal Spring” was installed in their airy and light filled home in February.

St. Mary’s School
Art Mentorship Program 

As a girl Cheryl always dreamed of assembling the pieces of metal she discovered in the desert canyonlands.  Thanks to the support and encouragement of her family and teachers she was able to develop her inner vision into the metal artist she is today.  Cheryl cares deeply about giving back that support and encouragement through mentorship programs that inspire the next generation of artists.
Of course Cheryl said “yes” when the faculty at St. Mary’s School in Medford asked her to demonstrate her cold steel methods to their art students as part of an “Artist on Campus” Spring student workshop series.  St. Mary’s students will have the opportunity to see Cheryl work and ask her questions about her art.  Faculty, parents and the entire student body will also have the opportunity to interact with Cheryl’s selected sculptural works exhibited in the campus community garden through May.

A Farewell to Louis Colisimo 
The well loved and respected Rogue Valley Glass Artist Louis Colisimo passed away in December.  Many of you will know Louis from his Red Oak Glass in Central Point or will have seen his exquisite work at Kaleidoscope Pizza in Medford. Louis’ students knew him through his infinite enthusiasm, patience and constant encouragement.  Cheryl and Louis were longtime friends and collaborated on the artistic floor lamp below.  The world has lost a passionate and caring artist, he will be missed by our community.

Interview Insight

 Oregon Lifestyles Television’s Terri-Lynn Kalhagen visited the Great Metal Works to interview Cheryl D. Garcia and document her creative process.  Here is the segment they filmed that will be appearing on stations throughout the Pacific Northwest.
 Cheryl’s MessageThere was a time when I felt compelled to finish an art project the same day.  Today my projects take weeks and sometimes months to complete.  The growth and development I have felt on every project leads me to reflect to the returning Spring.  Since my most recent show at Red Lily in May 2014 I have been creating two amazingly huge projects which have taken all of my time and attention.

“Spring Eternal” was my first ever sculptural spiral staircase.  At a story and a half the assemblage consisted of 46 separately hand made precision fitted pieces.  An enormous effort that combined serious fabrication and artistic vision, the functional artwork astounded even me when I finally saw it fully assembled for the first time.

My second Winter project was “Brittilaria”. This sculptural installation is one of my largest yet and closest to my heart.  The project again challenged me to create, build and explore new tools, methods and techniques.  The completed multi-element work will be installed at the renown music venue at the Britt Festival Grounds here in Jacksonville.  I hope all of you will attend this very special public dedication ceremony on April 10th as we celebrate the natural, cultural and historic treasures of Jacksonville.
Of Interest

Britt Festival

St. Mary’s School

Jeff Kloetzel

Kaleidoscope Pizzeria

SO Artists Resource

South Stage Cellars

Audubon Society