This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s arts review program! All of the KLCC listening area is bursting at the seams with holiday art. From Bend to North Bend, from Corvallis to Creswell, online and on foot, art for living and giving has never been more accessible to us all.
In the heart of Eugene’s downtown, please seek out the Karin Clarke Gallery, a clean and spacious, well-lit place with a really special show up by Karin Clarke herself.
Let me take you directly into the world of one of my favorite paintings in the show. In the foreground, I see water falling from a weir with a yellow footbridge that my feet are itching to cross.
Trees behind are daubed in with thick, quick strokes of many greens, and out of the thicket rises the suggestion of a pink and white house.
This oil painting uses all the tools of Impressionism. It is very painterly, and the glorious light bounces all over the place, drawing me deeper and deeper into the dream that is the painted world.
Surfacing for just a moment before I go under again, I should say that Clarke started this portfolio of 27 pieces in May 2019, when she attended an artist residency at Chateau Orquevaux in the French countryside.
When she came home, she added other imagery, including self-portraits and interiors, and as I fall into another painting, I have to say I think interiors are where Clarke’s passionate gift really shines.
This one is of her bathroom at the Chateau. The old-fashioned, clawfoot tub is framed by a sash window with flowing white drapes and more of that glorious light caught in a mirror, giving shapely mystery to a white stone bowl.
Clarke says she was trying to create a feeling of intimacy, romance, beauty and solitude; I think she’s done all that and so much more.
The Karin Clarke Gallery is at 760 Willamette and is surrounded by other galleries to explore. Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.