Artwork by Southwest Washington and Oregon artists.

Water, Color, Nature

October heralds the end of summer, and the inevitable coming of winter. We love the beautiful summer months, but we also love the fall for it’s colors and crisp biting air, and yes, even the rain.

Featured this month are Scott McRae’s paintings and Lorena Birk’s painting and sculptures, each with a unique style and focus on nature.

First Thursday – October 3, 5:30 – 7:30 pm with music by Dian McCracken
Featured Artists: Lorena Birk (paintings and sculptures), Scott McRae (paintings)

Scott McRae, Dorothy's House

Scott McRae, Dorothy’s House

Scott McRae explains his work as “describing a vision with paint”. He compares painting with playing the French Horn, one of his other accomplishments as a member of the Southwest Washington Symphony.

Lorena focuses on nature, most often the ocean and river creatures most affected by our ecological systems. Whales, crabs, geese and herons all find their way onto her canvas, along with tigers and horses. Her sculptures follow the form and grace of these creatures.

It’s a fitting start to the Fall season to feature these two long-time gallery artists. You are invited to meet them and join the festivities on First Thursday, October 3.  It’s a great time to get in out of the rain, and we will have music and snacks to warm you up!

About Scott McRae – Paintings

Scott with his cat

Scott with his cat

My grandma once told me that she never met a stranger. I cannot say I have had the same experience in life because I can be shy at times when meeting someone new, but I am not so timid when it comes to my art. I have been described as a fearless painter. My unabashed use of color and painting process has come embracing the problems I have with my painting and making them an integral part of the work.

It is important to me to describe a vision when I paint and what I paint has a great deal to do with what the materials I use say to me. The canvas might give the message that it needs to be carved with a palette knife, or when pursuing my paints, an orange might pop out at me, telling me it has not been used yet. Even the water I use with my acrylics sends off warnings that it is time to be changed. Each painting that I do is as real as all other contacts I have in life.

My art is a lot like music. I play the French horn in a local symphony—the Southwest Washington Symphony. I receive the music, go to the rehearsals, practice my part, learn from the conductor about how the music could be played, and then play the pieces in front of a large audience. Who would guess that sheets of paper with notes on them would eventually yield beautiful, energized, and dynamic sounds? This is all part of a larger vision created by a composer who is mostly likely no longer living.

I started painting when I was very young and studied under Betty Hance, a local art teacher inn Longview Washington where I still live now. I learned to oil paint but today I use primarily acrylic paint because it is idea for being thickly or thinly as watercolor. The quick drying time is ideal for painting over areas quickly that are not part of my vision. I graduated from Linfield College with a BA in art where I learned abstract painting. It was at college where I fell in love with Modern Art.

Working by studying still lifes is ideal for me because I can sculpt them in my mind as I paint. I began working with pastels as a child in my early lessons and from this experience I learned to work with bold, direct colors. I was taught to draw what I see, spending most of my attention on the subject and not on the paper or canvas. I now do both, but find it necessary to get more of my inner feelings out, rather than be a slave to the still life. ~ Scott McRae

Pitcher of Zinnias

Pitcher of Zinnias

By the Yellow Fence

By the Yellow Fence

Willow Grove

Willow Grove

Cathy's Flowers

Cathy’s Flowers


Lorena Birk – Paintings and Sculptures

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