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Sandy artist's work is YOUNG AND EXPERIMENTAL

A sampling of Becky Hawley's artwork is on display at the chamber


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: ROD STROH - This photo of a Becky Hawley oil painting depicts the artists mental image of a distant Crown Point in the Columbia River Gorge — as if she had taken a hot-air balloon ride in her mind and imagined the scene.At an age when some people retire, Becky Hawley feels semi-retired. She would never admit to being retired because her mind and her creative imagination never stop working.

Hawley has been president of the Wy’east Artisans Guild for a number of years, but has turned the reins over to Claire Harrison.

Now she has even more time to devote to her expressive palette. Some of her varied body of work is on display at the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, the result of an agreement between the guild and the chamber.

Hawley believes her current semi-retirement is a phase of her life that she has worked for and earned.

HAWLEY“The French say life comes in three parts,” she said, “a time for learning, a time for earning and a time for living.”

Hawley says it feels like she is in the third phase, and has plans to live well.

“Fruit born of the earning years,” she said, “gives me time for living and the energy to enjoy it. Travel and art have inspired a new perspective on life, while color, light and poetry add depth — in unexpected ways.

“Freedom from the time clock provides the peace needed to explore inwardly and to experience the world more fully. Wanderlust has always been a part of who I am. It takes me to beautiful and interesting places, both here in the USA and abroad.”

For all of the life she can remember, she has had creative thoughts and mental images that have become her way of expressing feelings and her understanding of the world that surrounds her.

“From childhood, my thoughts formed themselves into strong mental images,” Hawley said. “The images were as simple as pleasing color combinations, interesting shapes or my interpretation of the physical world.”

Hawley’s husband, Rod Stroh, is a professional photographer, so she is often surrounded by photographic images.

That fact often brings a rhetorical question to her mind: A camera can capture an image that lasts only a moment, frozen in time, but how do you capture an image from your mind?

“Painting enables me to transfer thoughts, to canvas,” she said. “When I use color and texture to represent my view of the world or to capture abstract feelings, my vision and energy is spread across the canvas.”

Hawley does not have a recognizable style. She’s too young and experimental to settle into a specific mold. She uses traditional and modern materials in experimental ways to create and expand her eclectic body of work.

“I prefer to paint as the spirit moves me,” she said. “Each day is a new day, so I paint one day at a time.”

A sampling of Hawley’s work can be seen from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week at the chamber’s visitor center, 38963 Pioneer Blvd.

An artist’s reception will be held from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at the visitor center during First Friday activities.

For more information about Hawley’s art, commissioning her work or the Wy’east Artisans Guild, contact her at 503-668-5590 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .