Elaine Witteveen, Roger Dormand highlight Third Friday
"Wings: Celebrating the Life and Works of Elaine A. Witteven," an exhibit of the Jacksonville artist's paintings in acrylic, watercolor and mixed media, will be showcased through Feb. 13 at the Rogue Gallery & Art Center. Also look for outdoor photography of the Pacific Northwest by Roger Dorband at the gallery, and oil paintings by plein air artist Stefan Baumann at Art du Jour Gallery.
Third Fridays — Medford's monthly downtown art celebration — will feature receptions for the artists from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, at the respective galleries.
About 40 of Witteveen's paintings will be displayed at Rogue Gallery. Some depict landscapes of Jacksonville, while a greater number are Witteveen's newer renditions of abstract art. Some are whimsical and playful, full of celebratory colors, while others are filled with strong black lines and intense colors.
"Most of the work I've been doing for some years is with acrylic," Witteveen says. "It dries rapidly and easily mixes with water to create innumerable colors and values, light to dark."
Acrylic paint can be used to layer on top of the dried surface of a painting, thus devising many interesting textures, Witteveen says. It can be used to make surfaces glossy or matte. It also allows artists to paint on almost any surface. The medium can be thinned with water to look like watercolor, without losing any brilliance. On the other hand, it can be mixed with gel to create an oil effect with a glossy texture.
"Different thicknesses give variety to your work," she says. "It is very flexible. I like using acrylic paint on tissue for a varied effect. Paint not one layer, but multiple layers. Allow the paint to dry, then apply more. It is unlike the effects achieved by direct painting. Each piece is original and satisfying."
Another creative effect is to add grasses, leaves and fabrics to basic papers, she says. When acrylic paint dries, it will not wash away. The paper becomes stronger than when you started — and possibly more beautiful.
"The possibilities are only limited by your imagination," Witteveen says. "The more you paint this way, the more ideas will come to you."
Witteveen moved to Jacksonville in 1946 from Chicago, where she attended lectures about the history of art and various artists at the Art Institute of Chicago. After moving to Southern Oregon, she met another Jacksonville artist, Eugene Bennett, who also attended Chicago's art institute.
"It was quite a coincidence," she says. "We lived about six blocks from each other in Chicago."
Witteveen also works in collage, using acrylic paint to glue her creations together.
"I started out with watercolor, then moved to acrylic," she says. "Part of the exhibit will include my sketch books. I've done a lot of traveling in Europe. Everywhere you look, there is something to paint there. I think sketch books are interesting to see because you feel the immediacy of the place. More artists should sketch before they paint.
"Once when I was in Greece, I was determined to get all the sketches I could. Everyone else on the trip was busy shopping and didn't get any sketches."
Rogue Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. See www.roguegallery.org or call 541-772-8118.
A selection of oil paintings by Baumann — featuring dramatic vistas, wildlife in its natural habitat, rustic architecture and stunning views from national parks — will be displayed through Friday, Jan. 30, at Art du Jour, 213 E. Main St.
Baumann, who hosted PBS’ painting series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks Through the Eyes of an Artist” and wrote “Observations of Art and Nature,” travels throughout America’s western landscapes, painting vistas on location with oils on canvas. The PBS series, which ran weekly from 2003 to 2012, will be rebroadcast beginning in February on SOPTv’s Create channel for arts.
Landscapes, still life, portraits and animal art by the 16 artists of The Grand View Fine Arts Society — all students of Baumann’s — will be displayed in Art du Jour’s salon gallery.
Art du Jour Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 541-770-3190.