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From business professor to artist

Pam Haunschild has made the transition from business-school professor to artist — and the results will be displayed at Belle Fiore Winery, Estate & Vineyard outside Ashland during September.

"I had a scholarship to go to art school. My mother wouldn't let me do it," Haunschild recalls. "Her first husband was an artist and didn't make any money."

Instead, Haunschild went a more practical route, eventually earning a Ph.D. in organizational behavior. She had a career in banking and was later a professor at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Austin McCombs School of Business at University of Texas.

After retiring in 2011, she was able to begin living in a vacation home she had previously bought on the Mt. Ashland Ski Area Access Road.

"Being retired gave me the mental space to pursue art. I began taking classes and workshops and teaching classes," Haunschild says. "I really immersed myself in it — and I'm having the time of my life."

That's not to say that finding her artistic voice has been easy.

Haunschild created handmade books and collages, then took felting and printmaking classes. But those mediums didn't feel quite right.

"I was searching for who I am as an artist," she says.

She eventually arrived at her current mixed-media painting style after taking a class on surface design at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in Otis on the Oregon Coast. She added layers of paint and limestone clay to a board. By scratching into paint on the surface, she was able to reveal the white clay below to contrast with the paint.

Many of the pieces displayed at Belle Fiore will showcase Haunschild's layered multimedia technique.

"Marsh Series 2: Kestrel" features a kestrel and pheasant painted in a traditional realist style. Haunschild also scratched a drawing of thistles onto a layer of blue paint, scraping through to the white clay underneath. The relatively large 30-inch-by-30-inch piece also includes images of ferns, as well as decorative patterns that lend an abstract element.

Adding even more depth, the work is finished with a layer of wax.

In the acrylic painting "Nest III," Haunschild juxtaposes a nest filled with three eggs against an abstract pattern of leaves, all done in a blue, maroon, black and white color palette.

Other pieces are adventurous mixes of materials. "The Cache" depicts a blue jay and has real objects such as a vintage key, a watch face, a button, and jewelry pieces affixed to the surface.

Blue jays and their avian cousins, including scrub jays and crows, are known for stashing away items that catch their fancy.

In other works, Haunschild explores the world of bees, mixing images with wax or even a scrap of textured cardboard that looks like a honeycomb.

Living on the flanks of Mount Ashland among pileated woodpeckers and other wildlife, Haunschild says she often explores the fauna and flora of the natural world.

"It's my attempt to share the beauty of nature, especially the beauty of Southern Oregon nature. People seem to respond to that," she says.

Haunschild's work will be displayed through Sept. 30 in the Belle Fiore wine pavilion. The winery and estate is located at 955 Dead Indian Memorial Road, Ashland. Call the winery at 541-552-4900 or visit Haunschild's website at pamhaunschild.com for more information.

'Nest It' and other mixed-media paintings by Ashand artist Pamela Haunschild will be displayed through September at Belle Fiore.