Featured artists for April
Karen Miller and Linda Herd
Karen Miller grew up in a home where both art and science were respected. My father was an organic chemist and my mother an artist, the daughter of one of the early naturalists in the Pacific Northwest. My zoologist grandfather traveled to Japan in 1908 and returned with an appreciation for the Japanese aesthetic and for their love of their own natural history as depicted in their art and textiles. He was a mentor for me as a child and his inspiration eventually influenced my choice of marine biology as a career. I spent 25 years as a research scientist at Oregon State University, studying Octopus oxygen binding proteins. I now realize I was always an artist as well, and my choice of career was made at least in part because of the beauty of the animals. I worked while raising three children but I always made time for art. My mother was a painter, and a good one, but I was genuinely drawn to textiles as my medium, first embroidery, then quilting and finally, my real artistic home, katazome, Japanese stencil dyeing. I had adored traditional Japanese stencil designs for nearly 30 years. Carving my first stencil in a class taught by a Japanese indigo dyer was a turning point in my artistic life and I have never looked back. Although I studied briefly with American katazome expert John Marshall, most of my work over the last twenty years has been independent, carving hundreds of stencils and using them to make traditional and experimental textiles for art quilts, garments and interiors.
Katazome allows me to separate the production of the image from the application of color, a process more akin to printmaking than to painting. The stencil itself is made from several layers of thin mulberry fiber paper, which have been laminated with persimmon juice and smoked, yielding an aromatic brown paper. It is brittle and easy to cut when dry, but leathery and tough when wet. A layer of silk mesh lacquered on the top surface protects even the most intricate stencil from damage when the rice paste resist is spread through it onto the fabric. Then the fabric is either dipped into the indigo vat, or stretched like a hammock and dye painted. The pattern emerges when the resist is soaked off. I began carving stencils using mostly traditional Japanese patterns and they taught me much about cutting techniques and the layout of the design. This “apprenticeship” ultimately enabled me to design my own stencils, inspired by the images which speak most deeply to me.
Combining art and science in my work, I care deeply that what I depict is biologically accurate as well as beautiful. My work ranges from realistic to abstract. Pattern is my passion, pattern found in natural forms, detailed biological images like tree branches, leaf skeletons, or marine animals and especially the abstractions nature produces when you move in close or zoom way out. Why invent when nature supplies such a wealth of beauty to use in my art?
Creating unique and unusual jewelry started as a hobby for me. I have always loved silver jewelry and beading seemed like a fun way to increase my collection. Soon after making my first designs, I discovered my hobby had the potential to be more than that. While working as a city planner for the Borough of Manhattan in New York City in the late 1990’s, I would arrive at work wearing three bracelets and leave wearing only one, having sold the others to colleagues. A move to Oregon in 2001 and the scarcity of jobs in my field made the change from urban designer to jewelry designer seem to be a natural transition.My designs combine my experiences living in urban New York and Oregon’s natural beauty to give my work a distinctive look. I find inspiration in materials, environments, and lifestyles. It is my firm belief that jewelry should make a statement, not a suggestion. My designs reflect that principle in their boldness of scale, texture, and color. Degrees in architecture and urban design afford a perspective of the impact details make on style.
One of my design strengths is that I have no circadian rhythm. For those who are of the "early to bed
and early to rise" mentality, this may not seem to be a positive quality. However, many artists find
working alone in the wee hours to be creatively stimulating. Not having to worry telephone calls or
random visits, I am able to work uninterrupted. That allows me to come up with innovative designs and
get more accomplished than I can in the daytime. Besides, my design skills don't start to develop until
around 11:00 p.m. It is my hope that, in the near future, dark circles under the eyes will be a new
One of my goals is to improve my metal sawing skills. Last year I began this endeavor with animal
silhouettes on shawl pins, pendants, and brooches. This technique, known as "piercing," is labor-
intensive but worth the effort. After much practice, I have moved on to designs that are a bit more
intricate. Taking inspiration from the beauty of the Cascade Mountain range, I've created cuff bracelets
and pendants featuring the many Cascade peaks in silhouette. If there's one particular peak that has
special meaning for you, I am happy to do custom orders.
Creating balled ends on silver wire is another fascination for me, inspiring design ideas on everything
from earrings to pendants. Several of these pieces are also featured in the April show.
Having fun is paramount to being able to create new designs and, fortunately, I still enjoy what I do!
Please stop by and see how much fun I've been having lately. I look forward to showing you my newest
Please Join us at Gallery Calapooia on April 5, 6:00pm – 8:00pm for our first Friday reception featuring the jewelry of Linda herd, textile art by Karen Miller as well as a first time collaboration. Their work will be shown alongside 18 other mid valley artists. Live music will be performed. Wine, beer and snacks will be served.
Susan Bourdet Watercolor Workshop
Gallery Calapooia artist Susan Bourdet will offer a 3-day watercolor workshop April 26, 27 and 28, 2019 at Walker Studios in South Salem. All levels will be welcome. Susan has authored two Northlight books - Painting the Allure of Nature in Watercolor and Capturing the Magic of Light in Watercolor, and has taught watercolor all over the country. She enjoys sharing her techniques, mastered over 30 years of painting, with students at all levels. From wet-into-wet backgrounds to lighting, form building and final details, her classes are designed to give students the tools they need to master this challenging medium. Cost for the 3 days (10 -4 each day) is $225. To sign up, or for more information, email Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see Susan's work on her website at
Artwork at Albany City Hall
Artwork by Cheryl French ( above) and Rob Robinson (below), two of Gallery Calapooia’s founding members, will be on display at Albany City Hall through the end of April. Cheryl is a painter and print maker and Rob works with painting and collage. The exhibit, which includes about 60 pieces of artwork, is displayed on both the first and second floors of City Hall.
Gallery Calapooia Thanks You!
As we continue with a strong sixth year in downtown Albany, we realize a big part of our sustained
success is the help we receive from family, friends, Albany schools, down town businesses, Albany
Downtown and Visitor’s Associations and the Linn County Cultural Coalition.
March 19 Gallery Calapooia hosted our many volunteers and supporters to the gallery for a thank you
party. There was a sumptuous buffet, beautiful flower arrangements, and music all meant to express
thanks for the many hours of volunteer service and support that help make Gallery Calapooia a success.
We hope you will continue to be there for us and we hope to continue many more years in Downtown
Let Gallery Calapooia help you with special gifts by using our Gift Registry. Come in, note items in our gift registry that you would like to receive as gifts, and let your loved one know so that he or she can get you the perfect gift at Gallery Calapooia. We also have Gift Certificates available.
Gallery Calapooia is a 501(c)(3) organization.
Donations to the gallery are tax-deductible.
Gallery Calapooia is now accepting applications for membership