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Brewski and the brush

by: CANBY HERALD: RAY HUGHEY - Canby artist Ron Pomeroy created a niche for his artwork in beer colors when he substituted beer for the water in watercolors.
Tall cold ones are at the heart of paintings by Canby artist Ron Pomeroy.

He has created a niche for himself and his artwork executed in beer colors.

He substitutes beer for the water in watercolors.

Why beer?

“It tastes better,” he likes to tell people.

Actually, one day he ran out of water for his paints and rather than go get some more, he added some of the beer he was drinking.

And BeerColors was born.

There’s no big difference most of the time, he said. Most beers run between 92 to 95 percent water and 5 to 8 percent alcohol content. It’s a different story when you get into stouts or dark beer. Their effect is more noticeable because they have more pigments.

He doesn’t use the dark beers much. Sometimes he lightens their pigment by blending them with a pale lager.

It’s fun, it’s unique, Pomeroy said.

His beer art has introduced him to both beer and arts communities.

And since most of his paintings are wildlife, he is getting acquainted with the environmental community as well. A portion of his income from the paintings goes to various wildlife and conservation groups.

Painting became his day job after he retired from practicing law in 2011.

“I had been painting for my own benefit, on and off, since the mid-80s,” he said. He began dabbling with beer as a medium in the late '80s.

His studio needs are modest. He works from an easel standing next to a window in a spare bedroom. A tray next to the window holds his set of water/beer colors and, of course, the bottle of brew he mixes with his paints.

He doesn’t paint big. His originals, which he does not sell, are done on 5-by-7 watercolor paper.

For the decorative art prints that he sells, his paintings are digitally enlarged and printed on high quality, long lasting 8-by-10 paper.

He sells his prints from his BeerColors funky art and fun apparel website. The website galleries include the name of the beer used in the painting and the brewery it came from.

The painting for his Color Reversed Singing Turnstone print was done with Widmer Brothers Columbia Commons from Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland.

The beer used to paint his Brown Bunny artwork was Steelhead Porter from Mad River Brewing Co. in Blue Lake, Calif.

He paints primarily wildlife, especially birds.

Some are realistic, others fanciful and some are pigments of his imagination.

His sense of humor, whimsy and irreverence radiate from his paintings.

The prints in his Gull Friends collection bear titles such as “Gulls Just Want to have Fun,” and “The Gull from Ipanema.”

“I try to bring that out as well as joy with my painting,” Pomeroy said.

He takes a more sober or serious approach when painting endangered species in terms of realistic depiction, he said.

Pomeroy, who has a grown son and a 6-year-old grandson, grew up in Portland. He attended Franklin High School, the same school his parents attended.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and a law degree through Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law.

He and his wife, Cindi, have been married 12 years.

For more information, visit http://beercolors.net/.