Sandy chamber exhibit touts local artists work

by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - Watercolor artists Debra Westcott, left, of Boring and Colleen Helmstetter of Gresham begin to hang framed art images created by members of the Watercolor Society of Oregon, all local residents. The exhibit is now available seven days a week in the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce visitor center, 38963 Pioneer Blvd.It takes a special eye for color to paint with watercolors, said artist Colleen Helmstetter, who lives at the eastern edge of Gresham near Boring.

Not only does a watercolor artist have to blend colors to get the correct shade, but the artist must visualize the finished product while painting in order to avoid applying any paint where the image should be white.

White is not one of the colors in a watercolor set.

“It is more difficult (than acrylic or oil paints,” said watercolor artist Bonnie Moore, “because (as you paint) you’re trying to save the white on the paper. That’s where you get your glow.”

More than a dozen framed images created by local professional watercolor artists are now on exhibit in the visitor center at the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce, 38963 Pioneer Blvd.

Helmstetter says local residents might be interested in seeing the wide range of painting styles, subject matter, detail work and bright colors on display at the chamber.

The exhibit includes images of chickens, an elephant, a young girl, several floral pieces, a couple of winter scenes in the mountains and an early-morning fisherman in a boat on a mist-covered lake.

There’s even one by the instructor who teaches local artists — Beth Verheyden of Verheyden Studios in Boring. Verheyden, who has nearly 100 students, has offered for this exhibit and for sale an image she painted in memory of her father that she calls “Stairway to Heaven, which includes wild foxglove blooms, white with a hint of lavender.

All of these artists are members of the Watercolor Society of Oregon, whose members are very busy this weekend with a semiannual convention at The Resort at the Mountain in Welches.

Watercolor artist Debra Westcott of Boring says the chamber exhibit is just a taste of what local residents could see if they visit The Resort at the Mountain because an 80-piece exhibit will remain there for several weeks after the conventioneers have gone home.

The watercolor exhibit in the chamber is open with no admission charge from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily throughout October at the chamber visitor center, 38963 Pioneer Boulevard.

For more information, call 503-668-4006.

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