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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)

My alchemy series is now on view at True Love Art Gallery in…

My alchemy series is now on view at True Love Art Gallery in Seattle through May 10th.

The fire element is associated with the sun which, in alchemy, influences the heart. Adorning the heart are orange blossoms, a flower governed by the sun.

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.

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


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





SOAR Welcome Animal and Wildlife Artist LInda Cruz!

The Southern Oregon Artists Resource is delighted to welcome wildlife and animal artist Linda Cruz of White City to the artist directories at! Cruz is a fine artist working primarily in acrylic, oil and graphite. She has also created sculptures, pen and ink drawings, pastels and some watercolors. She has been drawing since before kindergarten and first considered herself an artist when in grade school after receiving many encouraging comments on her work. She is one of those rare students who, after drawing borders around the surface of her desk in elementary school, would return the next day to find that the janitor had left them instead of cleaning them off.

In addition to some art classes in college, Linda pursued her education in art through workshops with Simon Combes, John Banovich, Terry Isaac, Daniel Smith, Paco Young, and Matthew Hillier. She fell in love with horses as a young girl and has spent hours drawing them nearly every day since early childhood, so one could also consider horses to have been her teachers, as well as the original inspiration for her to become an artist.

Linda finds inspiration in the beauty she sees around her every day—in the ordinary things that surround us all, the textures of mundane surfaces, the angle and pattern of light, and unusual shapes that catch her eye. Animals of every description from amoebas to elephants, and everything in between, are also primary inspirations and primary subjects of her work, which ranges from portraits of domestic animals to plein air paintings of wildlife and even insects in their natural surroundings.

Linda has painted in Wyoming and Montana, eastern Oregon, and mountain areas throughout the West, capturing many wild animals in their natural surroundings in western National Parks. She has yet to paint an ocean scene, but with a deep love of the ocean, that’s on her bucket list.

Her love for animals has instilled in Cruz a heartfelt concern for threatened and endangered species, and she plans to paint more of these in the future. Also on her bucket list is to carve and paint a full sized carousel horse.

Linda is a member of the Southern Oregon Society of Artists and Wind River Valley Artists Guild in Wyoming, and was past President of the Josephine County Artists Association. She just spiffed up her online presence to get ready for listing at SOAR – Find contact information and links to online galleries and social media in Linda’s new listing at!

2015 Annual Art Student Exhibit Opens April 9

The 2015 Clatsop Community College Art Student Exhibit will be on display at the CCC Art Center Gallery, 1799 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, from Thursday, April 9 through Thursday, April 30. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, April 9 beginning at 6:00 p.m.

During the reception, cash prizes and award winners will be announced. This year’s juror, Eleanor H. Erskine, will be present at the reception to give a juror’s talk. Clatsop Community College thanks the Astoria Coffeehouse and Bistro for its generous support for this year’s student awards.

The CCC Art Center Gallery is ADA accessible, free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and weekends by appointment.

The Annual Art Student Exhibit is a juried event that showcases the talents and creativity of the college’s art students. Art students are invited to submit up to three pieces of work created in the art classes in which they have been enrolled during the past year. The show will feature a range of disciplines taught at Clatsop Community College, including graphic arts, basic design, drawing, painting, ceramics, photography and printmaking.

Juror Eleanor H. Erskine attended the Chicago Art Institute, received a BFA in Painting/Printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1981, and earned her MFA in Printmaking, with a special focus in Sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1988. She has taught at the Maine College of Art; the Kansas City Art Institute; The Chautauqua Institution; Penland School of Crafts; and Portland State University. Her works have been exhibited at the Mark Woolley Gallery; Museum of Contemporary Art in Washington D.C; Nelson Atkins Museum; Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA); and the Marylhurst Art Gym. Erskine is recognized locally, nationally and internationally. Her work is held in major private and public collections including the California State University Museum; Portland Art Museum; Spencer Museum of Art; Hallmark Corporation; New York Public Library; Downey Museum of Art; University of Iowa Museum of Art; and in various collections in Canada, Africa, Japan and South Korea.


Please direct inquiries to:  Kristin Shauck, 503-338-2472; [email protected].


A new mixed media collage – Bird on a wire.

This is new, and somewhat different for me. It’s taken me a while to work on it, mainly trying to get all the elements together and perfect. I did have the beeswax on too thick, and finally found my heat gun and took a chance to work on it, and it worked really well! YAY!

SFA – Original collage with beeswax, original photo(s), old papers, and skeleton leaves. On Etsy. 4.5×4.5″ for those who

Rodeo Cowgirl – original watercolor painting.

SALE: I think this is the first time I have ever offered this for sale online. “With a Whoop and a Holler” SFA (Small Format Art) original watercolor – Australian cowgirl of the year 2002/2003. Cleaning out my closets … Check out all my works on sale – offers considered. Thank you! Approx. 10×8″ includes free frame.

BUNNYMANIA – Opens March 27th at 6PM – Dana Feagin – Inspired Pet Portraits & Animal Paintings in Oil





Two of my paintings (Sweet Cheeks and Blue Bunny) are part of the BUNNYMANIA fundraising art show curated by celebrated Los Angeles art critic, Peter Frank, and exhibit producer, Delia Cabral. The show opens tonight at 6PM at Chungking Studio, 975 Chung King Road, Los Angeles (China Town Area) and remains at that location over the weekend. On April 4th, the show opens again at Wilding Cran Gallery, 939 South Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles (Arts District), and remains at that location through April 18th.

This show raises awareness about our relationship to rabbits, both the animals, and what they’ve come to symbolize in our human experience. Inspiration for this show stems from the pure awesomeness of bunnies, but also from the curators’ shared penchant for rabbit-themed art, and their exchanges of all things ‘bun over many years. Proceeds from Bunnymania benefit the National Museum of Animals & Society.

This 501(c)(3) non-profit museum is the first of its kind dedicated to enriching the lives of animals & people by exploring our shared experience. The musem focuses on animal studies (where people and animals intersect in culture), the history of animal protection, and humane education in their collection, exhibitions, public programming, and educational efforts.



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