New art for Deschutes River Conservancy RiverFeast

I just finished the artwork for the 2012 RiverFeast event for Deschutes River Conservancy August 4 at Ranch at the Canyons on the Crooked River.

This soft pastel painting shows the rock formation known as Monkey Face from the opposite side from Smith Rock State Park. I chose the vertical format to get the long sinuous stretch of the Crooked River. The panoramic of this view of the landscape is awesome as it is surrounded by towering rock. The river flows through a narrow canyon to the left.

The late afternoon I was there photographing it was perfectly still. Hawks were soaring in the updrafts. I would have loved to sit in that spot and make the landscape painting…maybe someday I can do that.

Art Placed at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Portland

"Through the Trees" in the Meditation Room at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Portland

Last Friday I went up to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Portland to sign the new large giclee on canvas in their 3rd floor meditation room, placed by Art Etc. It was a quiet room with a large picture window looking over Portland. On a clear day Mt. Hood would be visible. I’m honored to have one of my paintings in this room where parents and friends of ill children go for some quiet time and to rest their spirits. “Through the Trees” was painted at Black Butte Ranch and overlooks the lake, with aspens in front and the majestic Cascade Mountains in the background. The original was painted using soft pastel.

Art Etc. places corporate art and over the years my fine art has ended up in many wonderful corporate settings in Portland including the Lions Eye Bank and DA Davidson Lake Oswego offices. Read more about my work with Art Etc.

New Yellow-headed Blackbirds soft pastel painting

"Abundance"—Crabapples & Blackbirds

The last painting I made for my April show at Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, OR, is of yellow-headed blackbirds in a crabapple tree. The challenge was to make the background of pine trees work with the intense light and colors in the foreground…ie I didn’t want the background to usurp the foreground. As with all paintings there is a moment when I’m not sure I can pull it off. But, as I follow my instincts, it usually resolves. I intended to cut this in half and use the 2 squares in some frames I had ready to go. But in the end, I liked the composition and couldn’t bring myself to cut it apart. The square frames will have to wait!

Yellow-headed Blackbirds are so beautiful and mixed with the reds of the apples and the ochre leaves, they come to life.

“Natura”—Susan Luckey Higdon April Exhibit at Tumalo Art Co. in Bend Oregon

I will be showing my new paintings of Central Oregon landscapes, salmon and trout fishing art and a few bird paintings in April with fabulous sculptor and printmaker Danae Bennett Miller. The show opens April 6, during the First Friday Gallery Walk at Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, Oregon and runs all month. I will have some new soft pastel paintings of our glorious High Cascade mountain lakes and the Deschutes River. New wildlife art includes spawning salmon and beautiful trout in the crystal clear waters of the Metolius River.

Danae will have her cast bronze and glass sculpture along with hand-pulled prints depicting wildlife…elk, deer and horses.

Tumalo Art Co., an artist-run gallery, is in the heart of the Old Mill District in Bend, Oregon. Come see us!

Art for Passionate Creations show

"Free Range II", acrylic on canvas w/ museum-wrapped sides, 12 x 12

For our February show at Tumalo Art Co. in Bend, Oregon all of the artists in the collective painted things they are passionate about. As an exercise, because I hadn’t painted much since finishing my latest very large painting, “Into the Mystic” for the show at Black Butte Ranch, I wanted to do something different, which for me is often a still life. One of the Tumalo Art Co. artists, Danae Bennett Miller, (who I am having a show with in April!) raises chickens with her son on their ranch. They bring eggs from their (very) free-range hens to our First Friday Gallery Walk openings every month which are eagerly snatched up. They have absolutely beautiful colors—delicate tans, browns and blues…sometimes with speckles. As I was getting ready to make our traditional Christmas breakfast dish I found I couldn’t crack these two eggs. So I put them in a little dish and placed them on the vintage tablecloth to take some photos. The resulting tiny still life presented the perfect challenge for painting something I’m passionate about. In this case—pattern and color…