Portland has many nicknames. But one of the most well-known is “Bridgetown”. And, with a dozen bridges in and around the city, it is well-deserved. It is therefore no surprise that there are a number of our artists who are inspired by these iconic pieces of architecture in their art. Today’s blog showcases some of those artists and their wide and varied responses to the bridges and the landscapes that they are set in.
We hope that you enjoy this look at some of Portland’s most famous landmarks. All of these pieces are currently available (as of publication of this blog) to rent or purchase from the gallery. If you interested, then why not drop into the gallery in person or contact us via the means in the sidebar?
Christopher Bibby’s career as an artist began in Glasgow in the late 1990s. After receiving his first commission to paint some signs for a local restaurant, he realized that it was his desire to make his living as an artist. Though he had no money, no connections, no experience and no materials, he had this dream. Setting himself the target to learn how to paint watercolors in one year, he began selling mini-paintings. By the end of the year, he was supporting himself as an artist by selling over 100 of his “honest, heartfelt and positive” paintings a week. After his move to Portland, he continues to produce works that capture these qualities, being rich in character and color, of both the urban and natural landscapes in and around Portland.
Peggie has been a member of Rental Sales Gallery for more than 20 years and her vibrant, impressionist paintings have consistently proven popular with the public. Working directly from life outdoors or in the studio, her paintings capture the illusive beauty of light and color. In this piece, she combines two of Portland’s iconic visual attractions: the beautiful reds of the Fall foliage and St John’s Bridge in the north of the city.
Christopher B. Mooney
Although increasingly focusing on portraiture, Christopher is perhaps best-known as a painter of striking, large-scale landscapes, capturing Oregon’s bridges in wide angles. In particular, his focus on the urban landscape of Portland has done much to showcase the character, function and form of the numerous and iconic bridges that span the Williamette River. His great respect and admiration for the building’s forms shows through as he: “honors bridges by painting them from unusual points of view, giving them dramatic perspectives, rendering them both realistic and abstract.”
Born in Berlin and raised in England, before moving to Oregon, Sidonie is a much-respected fixture of the Portland arts community. An eclectic painter, she “respond(s) to life’s influences, my travels and my environment by making work that reflects all this.” Recently, many of the pieces that she presented to Rental Sales Gallery have been views of the city of Portland, with a particular emphasis on the river and the bridges that span it. Her depictions of these urban scenes combine a softness of palette and form with an unflinching realness of view, giving the works both a charm and honesty.
As an artist, Paul is inspired by the landscapes of Oregon. Much of his focus is on the natural environments, but he also produces a range of works that are his response to the grittier and characterful urban environments of Portland. The city’s many and varied bridges frequently appear in his pieces. Paul describes his process as: “I paint wet-in-wet oil on canvas and try to complete a piece in one sitting. My approach is to make an oil sketch in the field to capture the color, light and mood of the place, and also take photographs for reference. If I am lucky I may get a finished painting in the field, but my intent is to use these source references for creating a finished work in the studio.”
Jean W. Thomas
Jean creates striking landscape paintings, with a number of the pieces that she has at RSG being interpretations of the rugged, but beautiful architecture of the bridges of Portland. These two works showcased here capture the Steel and Hawthorne Bridges in striking and original manner. Over the years as an artist, Jean’s works have “evolved into bold, dramatic interpretations with vivid color, strong design and interesting texture being her focus”.