Craig Cheshire at Karin Clarke's Five Oregon Painters

Feb 6, 2019

Craig Cheshire in his Portland home studio
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen

Craig Cheshire at Karin Clarke's "Five Oregon Painters"

Viz City was privileged to interview Craig Cheshire Friday, Feb. 1, 2019 for a broadcast date of Wed.Feb. 6, 2019 regarding a show at The Karin Clarke Gallery, Five Oregon Painters: An invitational featuring paintings by Oregon artists Craig Cheshire, Margaret Coe, Bets Cole, Humberto Gonzalez, and Erik SandgrenIn conjunction with the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art's Visual Magic: An Oregon Invitational

Exhibition Dates: January 16 - February 23

You’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s Arts Review program.  Today’s focus is on the The Karin Clarke Gallery, Five Oregon Painters: An invitational on the theme of Visual Magic. Viz City interviewed one of the five, Craig Cheshire, in his Portland studio, where he has begun painting full time after a 31 year career teaching art at PSU.

Craig, "Well, when you start painting full time it kind of turbo charges you; you can get going on things you’ve always had in the back of your mind for years."

Craig Cheshire gestures to make a point
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen

Craig is an unusual artist because he works in both watercolor and oil. I asked him how the two were different for him.

Craig, "Watercolor is much more spontaneous and direct because it has to be done fairly quickly. Oil painting, I may spend any number of sessions on it until I get it the way I want it. With watercolor, you have one session; you have more immediacy and directness."

I asked Craig what the creative process felt like to him, and he gave me a surprising answer:

Craig, "Sometimes you run into a cliff that you have to scale and figure out because painting is always putting new challenges in front of you. Subjects are always putting new subjects in front of you, if you haven’t tackled them before, and that can be difficult. That can take some time. Other times things go very smoothly."

Other artists Viz City has interviewed recently have spoken specifically to the role memory plays in paintings, so I asked Craig if memory plays a part in his work, as well.

Craig, "You can’t deny memory. It’s always with you, and so every painting includes memory--memory of several kinds: other situations similar to the one you’re doing, also memory of processes you’re going through to make that painting, so memory is always part of it."

Craig’s canvases are partially abstracted, evocative landscapes with thick passages of color, light and shadow. You can see his work and that of the other four now showing at the Karin Clarke Gallery at 760 Willamette. See more about Craig Cheshire at the Viz City blog on KLCC.org.

Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.