Thursday, November 19, 2009

Meeting Artists

One of the best parts about attending Portland Art & Soul, and probably most art retreats, is attending the vendor night. Instructors, local artists, and art stores sell their wares to the hundreds of attendees. I look forward to buying unusual art supplies and maybe a couple of small works of art.

This year's vendor night showcased the work of wonderful artists, and yet I didn't buy any art. The prices this year seemed outrageous for today's economy. Although even in a robust economy, a $500 painting is not in my budget. So I was pleased to discover quite a few artists' books for sale. To me, owning a book with beautiful photos of an artist's works is the next best thing.

I came upon a Portland artist named Jesse Reno. He practices "outsider art." He is untrained and yet very skilled. He uses acrylics and paints mostly on wood. Deep, rich colors are used to create fantastic animals and figures. The backgrounds contain words, symbols, and a variety of colors. He told me about an award he won at an exhibition in France.

Unfortunately, I can't afford any of his paintings. Thankfully, he's reproduced a good deal of them in a book. I'm now the proud owner of Jesse Reno's . . . book. Thank you, Jesse, for your interesting art. Here is Jesse and his friend, who is a talented fabric artist. Jesse is on the right.