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Art exhibit features brushes with nature

Tammy Malgesini

East Oregonian

Published on December 5, 2017 4:52PM



Nearly two dozen new oil paintings are featured in an exhibit by Hermiston artist Jim Simpson.

A retired minister, Simpson finds inspiration in God’s creation. Featuring landscape art, his newest works are inspired by the shores and wilderness areas along the Columbia River. Familiar scenes include six depicting the McNary Wildlife Area. Other notable locations captured by the stroke of Simpson’s brush are the Blue Mountains, Warehouse Beach, the John Day Basin and Helix.

The public is invited to “A Brush with Life” Saturday from 4-8 p.m. at the home of Jim and Sue Simpson. 370 W. Moore Ave., Hermiston. The framed works, ranging from 8-by-10 to 38-by-30, are also for sale during the exhibit and reception.

Simpson’s new work is based on many years of painting outdoors, and the plein air style is obvious in his studio work.

“It’s taken almost 50 years of painting outdoors to enable me to paint in a swift and free-flowing style,” Simpson said. “(It) takes time to learn value, color and composition — the ‘big three’ of successful art.”

Simpson began painting in the mid-1970s. He picked up his brush wherever his career as a pastor took him, from Texas, New Mexico, Montana, California and finally Oregon. When he began pastoring the Hermiston First Christian Church in 1997, Simpson found himself too busy to paint.

He laid aside his brush and palette several times over the decades while shepherding churches. Shortly after retiring in 2002, Simpson renewed his interest in painting.

His works have been featured locally at Pendleton Center for the Arts, the Walla Walla Art Center and an annual artist competition in Joseph. Simpson also has been an exhibitor in the Lawrence Gallery in Sheridan, the Gabriel Gallery in Laguna Beach, California, and the Outlaw Gallery in Kalispell, Montana. His paintings have also hung in local banks, storefronts and art shows in Hermiston.

In addition to private instruction, Simpson taught landscape painting at Blue Mountain Community College in Hermiston. Also an accomplished musician, Simpson plays banjo and harmonica with the Buttercreek Boys.

For more information, contact Simpson at jmspaint@eotnet.net or 541-656-8453.


Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at tmalgesini@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4539


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