First Friday in May

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We are pleased to present artist Peter Mathios and Phillip Smith in our latest exhibit “Is it Real or is it Kodak?” Pete Mathios and Phil Smith will bot be joining us for as Artist Reception on First Friday, May 3, 5-9 PM.

Mathios-Still Waters-18x24 Wildlife artist, Peter Mathios has been painting since he was a child. Inspired by memories of hunting with his father in Northern California, his favorite subjects are ducks and other waterfowl. He has been named the International Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year (’09) and Oregon Ducks Unlimited Duck Artist of the Year (’08). He has been published in Wildlife Art, US Art and California Waterfowl magazines. Mathios makes his home in the Willamette Valley and is a full-time artist. Image: Still Waters

Philip D. Smith is a native of Portland, OR and has been painting for over 35 years. He wasDog Mountain Trail-20x24-Acrylic-Smith born legally blind and has limited vision in only one eye. Because of this, his innate perception of color, light and depth is amazing as demonstrated by his paintings.

Phil paints in acrylic and oil and has explored a full range of subject matter including landscape, seascape, still life and portraits. He is also commissioned artist. He has participated in several regional art shows including Artists with Disabilities, Beaverton Arts Commission, Canby and Welches Art Festivals and the Audubon Wild Arts Festival in Portland. Image: Dog Mountain Trail

We have a new precast opportunity with Rip’s latest sculpture of a baby otter nestled on it’s mother while floating on the surface of a pond. Available at the precast price of $2900, this sculpture will retail for $3750. This piece is also still unnamed, so feel free to give us a suggestion.

ICrystal Lariz BW - Copyf you love artisan jewelry, Katie Hovis of Whimsy will be here to show her beautiful line of unique wire wrapped jewelry.These oxidized sterling and amethyst earrings, are now available in the gallery along with other Whimsy treasures.

Singer, songwriter Crystal Lariza will entertain from 6pm to 9pm and Phelps Creek Vineyard from Hood River will offer FREE wine tasting!

Make sure to start your weekend off with us! Festivities start at 5 PM and most Troutdale merchants participate. Troutdale has great shops, restaurants, and plenty of parking. We look forward to seeing you!


Portrait commissions by Cynthia Feustel

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The Gift_24x18

The Gift

We have been showing the portrait oil paintings of artist Cynthia Feustel for the past two months. Cynthia has agreed to be our “go to” portrait artist which is very exciting since we have not had a portrait artist of her caliber and reputation to refer our clients until now. If you haven’t been to the Gallery to see her exquisite work, be sure to do so. With that in mind, we have asked Cynthia to write a little about what to expect when commissioning a portrait, so read on!

Portrait Commissions
Commissioning a portrait begins with a meeting to discuss the mood, setting and size of the painting. An important aspect of this meeting is to get to know you and establish a genuine sense of what you wish to capture in the portrait.

Attire, pose and facial expression have always played a central role in portraiture and it is attention to these details that make a portrait believable and vibrant with life.

Clothing selection for the most part is of personal taste. It really can be anything from draped fabric, as in my figurative works, to full costuming that represents someone’s heritage, interests or lifestyle. It is usually best to choose something without too much pattern so as not to distract from the main focus of the portrait, which is the face. I prefer to work from photos that I take myself so I can adjust the composition and lighting to meet my needs for the painting.  Several outfits can be chosen for the photo shoot in order to explore different options.

A portrait should be authentic and true to the individuality of the person, based on what they love and how they see themselves. Every person has some gesture or demeanor that defines them in some way. It is capturing that defining moment that makes a portrait alive and believable. The choice of a formal or informal setting often depends on personality, age or even where the painting is going to hang. Once the photos are taken I will chose several exceptional ones and together we will make the final selection. In the event of a posthumous portrait or one depicting a past event, I will do my best work with your photos.

Due to the many variables of each client’s vision for their portrait, the painting is priced on an individual basis. We will discuss the various price ranges and options at our first meeting. Once we finalize all those details, a down payment will be required to begin the portrait process. The price does not include framing, shipping, taxes or travel expenses.

My goal is to bring a fresh, innovative approach to portraiture, capturing the personality and energy that makes each of my subjects unique. Although people often say that my work looks like a photograph, I feel that is far from the truth. By using a simplified composition, with a sense of light, atmosphere and texture, I add my own interpretation and vision to create something that is hopefully far more real than the limitations of photography.

I use traditional oil painting techniques on museum quality Belgium linen and archival oil paints to create a treasured heirloom to last for generations. Above all, your satisfaction is of utmost importance to me and I look forward to working with you.

Selling your art on the secondary market

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We often have clients come to the gallery wanting to learn more about a piece of art they have inherited or acquired in some other way. Sometimes they do not know who the artist is or its provenance; sometimes who the artist is, but nothing more. When in question, we try to offer suggestions that will help establish who the artist is. At this point we would make a referral to an appraiser or auction house for help. Antique stores often have in-house appraisers and have regularly scheduled appraisals (think Antiques Road Show).

3toiNIf the artist is in fact alive, we suggest attempting to contact the artist personally. If not, we recommend trying to locate the trust charged with handling the artist’s work. With any luck the artist has a website with contact information or gallery representation which should be able to assist with valuation and selling the piece on the secondary market. If you are unable to locate any direct contacts, we would again send you to an art appraiser or auction house as a resource.

If you are interested in actually selling the piece be sure to do as much research as you can to determine the market value of the artwork. Good resources are on the internet, but start with the artist or gallery representative first. Just search for the artist or name of the piece. With a little digging you should be able get some idea of its worth. Often the acquired art is from another part of the country. In that case we suggest they contact a art local museum or even historical society. Generally speaking this might be the best resource for finding an expert that’s familiar with the artist’s work. In Portland, the Portland Art Museum, PAM Rental Sales Gallery, or Oregon Historical Society are great places to start.

The 1,000-year-old Chinese bowl bought for $3 or less and sold by Sotheby's for more than $2.22mIf you do not want to sell your piece on your own there are benefits to using an auction house. These establishments generally have a large following and a sound clientele who will be knowledgeable and anxious for an acquisition. You can count on the auction house to vigorously advertise the auction and perhaps publish a catalog where your piece will be featured. If you decide to use an auction house, you can have some say in your rock bottom price, but keep in mind, auction houses not only take commissions, but often charge the buyer a fee as well, creating a scenario where the bidding might reflect those aspects. The auction house will do its best to create the best possible environment for a solid return, but anything can happen on auction night. You never know if you’ll walk away with a slim profit or an unexpected big sale. Nevertheless, if simplicity and a quick sale is what you’re after, this is a solid avenue to pursue.

If you decide to go it alone, learn as much as possible about the artist and the piece. The obvious ways to sell would be the-new-ebay-logothrough EBay or Craigslist, but there are several online art auction sites that you might have success with. Some will charge a fee or a small commission, others nothing at all. For any of these options, remember you will be responsible for actually shipping the item, so consider that in determining your price. The good news is if no one makes you an offer you can live with, you can always hold on to the piece and enjoy it for a while longer. As with all investments, the market does fluctuate, so you may have better luck another time. 

Some antique shops, auction houses and appraisers in the Portland area:

Troutdale Antique Mall – 503.674.6820
Monticello Antique Mall
Gary Germer and Associates
Pioneer Auction Gallery
Randolph E. Osman and Associates
West Coast Antiques
Antiques Road Show online Experts Library

Image and recently in the news: This 1000 year old white bowl was bought at a garage sale for $3 and sold at Sotheby’s for $2.225m, after it was recognized as a rare Chinese relic from the Northern Song dynasty. Originally purchased at a garage sale in 2007, the bowl had been displayed in the living room for several years before the owner became curious about its origins and had it examined. Image credit: AP

April First Friday

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For the month of April we are pleased to feature work by Mike Rangner, Cynthia Feustel and Phillip Smith, plus the music of Jairus Minsky and wines by Phelp’s Creek! Mike Rangner and Phil Smith will both be present for First Friday. Be sure to meet these fine, fine artists.

RangnerOregon native, Mike Rangner enjoyed a successful career as a professional illustrator in the Portland area for more than 20 years. His professional portfolio includes a diverse client list including Avia, Standard Insurance, Nike, and the Oregon Zoo. He illustrated the children’s book “The Seed and The Giant Saguaro” which was recognized by then Arizona’s Governor, Janet Napolitano. Mike currently lives in the Willamette Valley which has allowed him to pursue his love of plein air and studio painting by capturing the vast and diverse Oregon landscape. Mike’s image shown here is titled “Jetty Light”.Walks with the Morning Dew - Copy

Cynthia Feustel’s figurative work is realistic and true to life, capturing personality and emotion with her use of color and fine brush work. Cynthia has received national acclaim for her portraits and recent recognition in SW Art Magazine. Shown here is “Walks With Morning Dew”.

We are also featuring Phillip Smith’s photorealistic landscape work and PSmith_Mid-cycle-Sundownhave welcomed him back as a regularly exhibited artist. Phil’s work has been hailed as some of the best to come out of Oregon and we are so glad to have him back! Featured here is one of the smaller Mt. Hood pieces currently on display, “Mid-cycle Sundown.”

We have had two great Sculpture 101 classes so far. Our students from the most recent class will be displaying their finished sculptures on First Friday and available to share their inspirations and awesome work. While you’re there, be sure to ask about our upcoming Classical Portrait Sculpture classes or visit Firebird Bronze for more info.

whimsyIf you love artisan jewelry, Katie Hovis of Whimsy will be here to show her beautiful line of unique silver and gemstone jewelry. This lovely Keshi pearl necklace is now available along with matching earrings and other fantastic Whimsy treasures.

Local guitarist and rock vocalist, Jairus Minsky, will entertain from 6-9pm and Phelps Creek Vineyards will offer free wine tasting.

Mt. Hood Community College Foundation representatives will host a Mt. Hoodtable at the gallery during Art Walk, from where they will sell raffle tickets toward winning a new car! Winners will be announced at the MHCC Power of the Dream Auction and Dinner on May 4th, 2013, to be held at the Jantzen Beach Red Lion. For more information about the event and about the raffle, please click here.

Caswell Gallery & Studio
253 & 255 E. Columbia River Highway