Last year Jeanine Moy found herself with multiple front row seats to some of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument’s most striking vistas.
With a paintbrush and blank canvases at the ready, she worked for hours on end capturing some of that beauty: Soda Mountain as viewed from the Pacific Crest Trail, a striking scene visible only from the Greensprings summit, and several other vantage points of Vesper Meadow — an area she’s familiar with, as she is the director of the Vesper Meadow Education Program.
Some days were clear, with the terrain unfolding in splendor for miles around. On others, smoke from the nearby Klamathon fire distorted the view.
“There was one time when I was painting from Soda Mountain, and in the morning it was clear, a clear view over to Pilot Rock,” Moy said. “And then, by the early afternoon, I could not see Pilot Rock. So I had to pack up and leave.”
All told, she estimates she spent 80 hours, completing most of the pieces in June and July. This Friday, the public gets a chance to see them.
Moy and two other Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument artists in residence will showcase their works during a show held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 7, at Northwest Nature Shop, 154 Oak St., Ashland. Moy’s oil paintings will be displayed alongside watercolors by Medford’s Kim Faucher and music by Dave Atkinson of Northern California. The event is free and open to the public.
The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument artist-in-residence program is built “on the belief that artists look closely at the way the world works, notice things that others may have missed, challenge ideas, experiment and create new opportunities to look at the world,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management website.
Selected artists create projects that BLM will use to promote public appreciation of public lands and raise awareness of the “unique” and fragile environments. Interested applicants submit proposals of their work for consideration.
“It’s kind of open-ended how you want to do your art and what your theme is and your presentation,” Faucher said.
Program sites can be found across multiple U.S. states, including Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada and Idaho’s Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness in 2019. The sites change year to year.
In 2012, Faucher painted a piece at Crater Lake National Part, part of an artist residency project for the National Park Service. Her project, entitled “The Bluest Blue,” combined watercolor and poetry as a means to discuss climate change. One of the pieces she composed on the monument was a watercolor view of Pilot Rock flanked by hillsides and autumn golds and yellows.
“It was in the fall, and I love the fall colors,” Faucher said. “I left quite a bit of negative space for the gold leaves that are kind of in there, because when you’re painting with watercolor, you can’t really paint light on dark; it’s not going to show up.”
The artist-in-residence experience was a welcome change of pace from work, Moy said.
“I’m not a professional artist. It’s an important hobby to me,” she said. “That was the first time I stood outside in front of my canvas for, like, six, seven hours. It’s just such a deep pleasure to get into that mindset and just sink into your surroundings and kind of express it through painting.”
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-776-4468.