Corvallis Gazette Times - Entertainment

Corvallis Arts Walk Spotlight: Kris Mitchell

Updated

Name: Kris Mitchell

Occupation: "I am an artist. I've been an artist all my life with some detours along the way. I taught art classes at Linn-Benton Community College for 17 years. I have worked as a full-time mom, drove school bus, and worked in the semiconductor manufacturing business, to name a few."

Hometown: "I grew up in Idaho. To be more precise, in the Treasure Valley, the heart of the lowland farmlands between the picturesque foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the Owyhee Mountain Range. I moved to Oregon in 1989 where I became inspired by the pastures and vineyards of the Willamette Valley, and the ever-changing hillsides of the Coast Range outside of Philomath that I now call home."

Exhibit: "Relationships"

Location: Pegasus Gallery, 341 SW Second St., Corvallis

Media: "I start off my process using renewable resource birch panels manufactured locally. I then create a texture using gesso and natural fibers or objects. I work with water based paint sometimes adding bits of mica powder. Love texture and I love painting on a textured surface."

About the exhibit: "Dealing with my parents' deaths for the past three years, first father, then mother, I spent many hours in my car traveling across state to Idaho to help with their care. Those long drives alone gave me a great deal of contemplation time. I spent a lot of that time thinking about my relationships. My relationship with myself, husband, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, friends, etc. I also thought about my relationship with the Earth, the animals I share this planet with, natural places and my garden.

"This started to influence the way I painted. I have to admit at times I was overwhelmed and so depressed I didn’t want to work in the studio. I slowly became aware that this was the time I NEEDED to be working. I leaned into my art. My work began to take on a deeper meaning for me. It became therapeutic.

"This exhibit is an expression of much of this emotional journey."

Inspiration: "I have been a member of Vistas And Vineyards, a local plein air artist organization, serving as their president for many years. I am inspired by nature."

Impact on viewers: "I would like the viewer to feel a connection, a relationship. My hope is that of invoking memories or feelings they have in their relationships."

Previous exhibits: "I have exhibited my work in shows at (the) La Sells Stewart Center on OSU campus, as well as at Spindrift Cellars during the Philomath Open Studios Tour each October."

What should people know: "I begin my painting process with a feeling and then think about how I can convey that feeling through texture and paint on the surface. I use only nontoxic light-fast painting materials to protect my health and that of our planet. This process becomes a dance between myself and the materials. Sometimes that dance turns into a battle. When I feel the battle is lost I will simply wash away all trace.

"My studio companion is my fluffy corgi named Bridgett."



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